The Charlotte News

Monday, June 21, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith had flown home from the Geneva peace conference on Southeast Asia this date, with a pledge that the West would continue "a sincere, patient effort" to negotiate a peace settlement for Indo-China, an effort which would continue, and that the role of the U.S would be as a friendly and interested nation, neither a belligerent nor a principal in the negotiations. He blamed "inflexible opposition by the Communists" for the failure of the peace talks to reach a permanent settlement regarding unification and free elections in Korea.

Also in Geneva, the Chinese Communists confirmed this date that they were holding 30 American civilians in prison, but that one civilian and a number of military personnel listed by the U.S. as detained were either dead or missing. The U.S. agreed to permit 15 detained Chinese nationals to leave the U.S. and return to the Chinese mainland, while the Chinese supplied preliminary information on the list of approximately 83 American civilian and military personnel believed by the U.S. either to be in prison or prevented from leaving China. The Chinese said that one missionary, who had been arrested for espionage, had died in prison in February, 1951, and that three American fliers had died of injuries when they parachuted from their plane over Northern China. They also said that 11 crew members of a Naval patrol plane and a rescue plane were missing after the two planes had crashed into the sea.

At the U.N. in New York, the Security Council determined unanimously the previous night to call for a cease-fire in Guatemala and for all U.N. members to withhold aid from the fighting forces there. A veto by the Soviet Union, its 60th veto since the founding of the U.N., had defeated a motion to refer the Guatemalan complaint of aggression to the Western Hemisphere's regional organization, the Organization of American States. U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., said that the Soviet veto showed that the Russians had "designs" on the Americas and warned angrily that the Soviets must stay out of the Western Hemisphere and not start plans and conspiracies there. Despite the veto, Guatemala had asked the inter-American Peace Committee of the OAS to help stop the invasion against the existing Government. The Guatemalan delegates had charged that Honduras and Nicaragua, backed by the U.S. and the United Fruit Co., and their bananas, had connived to foment aggression against Guatemala through mercenary expeditionary forces. Ambassador Lodge defended the U.S. and denied the charges, saying that the evidence indicated that there was no aggression but rather a revolt by Guatemalans against Guatemalans. The Council took no action on Guatemala's request that it send a peace observation commission to prove the alleged "connivance" of Honduras and Nicaragua. The Associated Press story, incidentally, is by William Oatis, held for nearly two years between mid-1951 and spring, 1953 in Czechoslovakia on a charge of espionage.

In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, it was reported that insurgent leaders had announced this date the bombing the previous day of a garrison town in central Guatemala and a threat to bomb Guatemala City, the capital. In a clandestine radio broadcast by the Guatemalan anti-Communist "liberation army", all residents of the capital were urged to take cover. The U.S. Embassy in Guatemala City announced that it was making plans to evacuate wives and children of U.S. citizens, that with a wave of anti-U.S. sentiment sweeping the city, the Embassy feared violence might occur against North Americans. There were about 1,200 U.S. citizens within Guatemala.

Senator Karl Mundt, temporary chairman of the Senate Investigations subcommittee during the Army-McCarthy hearings, which had just concluded the prior Thursday, stated this date that the Senators on the subcommittee could spend the ensuing 20 years investigating the dispute and still not get all of the facts. He told reporters that he believed, however, that the 36 days of televised public hearings had "brought out the salient facts". He had called a meeting during the morning for the group to consult on a timetable for preparation of its report on the hearings, but it had proved inconvenient for several of the other six members of the subcommittee and so was postponed. Special counsel Ray Jenkins had indicated to reporters that he was ready to accept the task of helping to write a report on the hearings.

Assistant Secretary of Defense Struve Hensel demanded that the subcommittee unanimously dismiss the charges against him, and issue a severe rebuke to Senator McCarthy, who, he contended, had admitted that the charges against Mr. Hensel were baseless, that the Senator had told him that the accusations originated from the teaching of an Indian with whom Senator McCarthy had worked on a farm, who had taught that if one were ever approached by another person not in a completely friendly fashion, then one should start kicking below the belt at the other person as fast as possible until the other was rendered helpless. Mr. Hensel had been one of the principals accused by Senator McCarthy and his aides of trying to use Private G. David Schine as a "hostage" to sidetrack the subcommittee probe of alleged Communists within the Army.

In Maine, the Senate primary was set to occur this date between incumbent Senator Margaret Chase Smith and her Republican opponent, Robert Jones, whom Senator Smith claimed was planted by Senator McCarthy, attempting to engineer her defeat, in retaliation for her "declaration of conscience" issued in mid-1950 against Senator McCarthy's tactics. Senator Smith had spoken of Senator McCarthy in a television interview with Drew Pearson, filmed several days earlier in Washington. Mr. Jones said that Mr. Pearson had been brought in to try to ruin him, adding that Mr. Pearson had been called a liar by four Presidents, 250 Congressmen and 85 Senators. Mr. Pearson told Senator Smith that he had heard that Senator McCarthy had put Mr. Jones, a political novice, in the race—who, as apparent from this "See It Now" broadcast, appears as a weird imitator of the style of Senator McCarthy, lending the effect almost of parody, if not insanity, to the race. Political forecasters predicted an easy win for Senator Smith.

In San Francisco, an American Cancer Society study was reported this date, indicating that male cigarette smokers between the ages of 50 and 70 died principally of cancer and heart attacks, finding also other types of cancer, in addition to lung cancer, as being affected by smoking. It had indicated that the effect of cigarette smoking on men under 50 and on women could only be guessed until further studies on those groups were made. The report was based on interviews in 1952 with 187,766 healthy men between the ages of 50 and 70 about their smoking habits and followed with a checkup on the causes of death of 4,854 of the sampled group who had died within 20 months, showing that the death rate from all causes among the cigarette smokers had been 75 percent higher than among the men who had never smoked, and that for men who smoked a pack per day or more, the death rate from heart disease and cancer was, at certain ages, double that of non-smokers. The risk of death appeared to rise in direct proportion to the number of cigarettes smoked. Smoking only a pipe or cigars did not appear to affect the death rates, except possibly for cancer in general, but that possibility needed further study. The report was the first disclosure of any findings from the ACS study which had set out to learn about the effects from smoking on the incidence of cancer or other diseases.

It is better not to light up the first one, lest they become quickly addictive.

On the editorial page, "For Guatemala, the Warning Is Clear" indicates that Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., in voting for the French resolution in the U.N. Security Council, calling for a cease-fire in Guatemala, had taken the only position consistent with longstanding U.S. policy. Had he exercised the unilateral veto right, the U.S. position against aggression anywhere would have been seriously weakened. Regardless of the motivation for the armed aggression against Guatemala, it was emanating from outside the country's borders and so had to be opposed.

It indicates that the present Guatemalan Government was the product of a military revolution ten years earlier and was heavily tainted by Communism, partly by design of Communist conspirators who had moved into high places within the Government, and infiltrated the labor unions and the communications media, and in another part because of extreme leftism often being the inevitable ally in the fight against extreme rightism. Given that situation, it ventures, the U.S. should direct its policy toward re-establishment of a government which did not take orders from Moscow. Ambassador Lodge had told the Soviet Ambassador the previous day that Russia must stay out of the American hemisphere. Unless the Guatemalan Government followed that advice, it was doomed to extinction eventually, regardless of the current armed conflict, as the nations of the Western Hemisphere would not tolerate the establishment of a Communist nation in their midst.

"This Is No Way To Run a Business" indicates that the House Veterans Committee voted to provide veterans with a ten percent cost-of-living increase in disability payments and pensions, costing 290 million dollars per year, further increasing the national debt. A showdown vote also loomed on high price supports, with odds favoring its passage. The Commodity Credit Corporation meanwhile had enough wheat in storage to provide a loaf of bread every day for a year to every person in the country, enough tobacco to give every one of the 60 million cigarette smokers in the country 183 packs, and enough cotton to make 117 shirts or 91 house dresses for every family in the country, all the result of high rigid price supports.

Given that status, it believes that the taxpayers should elect a new Congress, but not having that power, they should tell them how they regarded Congressional management on those farm and veterans measures.

"State Board Evading Its Responsibility" indicates that Dr. William Cartwright, head of the Department of Education at Duke University, had long been one of the more articulate critics of overly-rigid accreditation requirements for public school teachers. The previous week, the Durham Herald had quoted two of his statements regarding two of the most obvious defects of the present system of accreditation. He had said that when a superintendent could not employ without penalty a teacher who had demonstrated superior teaching ability under a standard certificate issued in another state, or when a teacher-training institution could not possibly pack into a degree program the courses required for teaching a given grade level in all of the several states in which a candidate might eventually live, the situation was little short of ridiculous. He had also challenged the sanctity of the arbitrary standards of the state certification process, by indicating that if the certifying authorities in three adjoining states could not agree on the importance of a specific course in the training of a teacher, there was little reason for the government to assume that the course in question was really necessary.

It indicates that it was proper for each state to reserve the right to determine its own standards for teacher preparation, but that the proliferation of requisite professional courses, plus the lack of any agreement among the several states as to what college courses were essential, placed the colleges and the aspiring teachers on the horns of a dilemma whereby colleges could not squeeze into four years all the work needed to prepare a teacher for a job in any one of several states, causing the job opportunities of teachers to be accordingly limited.

During May, the newspaper had printed an article by Dr. E. K. Graham, chancellor of the Woman's College at Greensboro, pointing out that the basic responsibility for accreditation policies reposed in the State Board of Education and not the Board's salaried executive officers. The Board appeared to have ignored Governor William B. Umstead's mandate in his inaugural address of January, 1953, that there was a shortage of elementary school teachers in the state and in most sections of the country, and that it was his belief that the shortage was not based entirely on the salary scale but rather on the rigorous requirements and regulations for elementary school teachers, serving to deter young people from entering that part of the profession. The Governor had recommended that it be remedied at once by the General Assembly, the State Board, and the State Department of Public Instruction. The piece asks how much longer the people of the state ought wait for the Board to meet its responsibility in that regard.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Willie the Veep", indicates that former Vice-President Alben Barkley had revealed in his memoirs that his middle initial, W., stood for Willie and originally had preceded Alben. He changed his name to Alben William Barkley as soon as he could.

The piece suggests that it reminded that he had never had the pleasure of identifying himself with any of the numerous "Little Willie" rhymes which he must have read in the course of his lifetime, such as: "Little Willie, who did things neatly,/ Got blown up almost completely;/ They found an ear, but don't be silly—/ That's just about enough of Willie."

It finds it a shame and further indicates that he had probably never read a rhyme written about "Little Alben", and so it obliges: "Little Alben's appellation/ Was changed in keeping with his station;/ He thought it would be downright silly/ To grow up FDR's 'Dear Willie.'"

Someone has been drinking in St. Louis.

Drew Pearson indicates that the White House had recently received a confidential memo explaining how thoroughly all Democrats had been purged from the U.S. Information Agency and that former President Truman's picture was no longer present on Information Agency bulletin boards abroad, having stemmed from a complaint from House Speaker Joseph Martin that the Information Agency offices were still harboring Democrats and flaunting former President Truman's picture overseas, prompting Republicans in Congress to use it as an excuse to cut the Agency's budget by 13 million dollars. The White House had asked for a report and received a memo in return on May 11, signed by Abbott Washburn, the Agency's deputy director and former executive of General Mills, and national director for the Citizens for Eisenhower during the 1952 campaign, the memo reporting that more than 5,000 people had been dropped from the Agency since the beginning of the Administration, of whom about 2,300 were Americans, with the rest being local nationals, the Americans being about half the total number of Americans formerly employed by the Agency. The memo stated that they had filled many senior executive posts with qualified Republicans to enable the Agency to reflect Administration policy, and that there had been no Democrats appointed to those positions. It stated that the new people were definitely not "the same old crowd of New Deal sympathizers." Mr. Pearson indicates that originally the political purge had been ordered to appease Senator McCarthy, after he had sent his two "junior G-men", Roy Cohn and G. David Schine, on a barnstorming trip through Europe to investigate the overseas Information libraries for potential Communist or subversive influences from the books contained therein.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that in the wake of the Army-McCarthy hearings, Administration officials were passing around the word that there could no longer be appeasement of Senator McCarthy. In light of that stance, they wonder how it would manifest itself, whether the Senator would continue to be permitted to retain his right to inspect income tax returns of anyone he might dislike, a power provided to him in early 1953 by the President's executive order. He was not the only committee chairman permitted that access, but in his hands it was a particularly dangerous weapon, given his tendencies to go after political enemies. He had demonstrated that willingness with respect to Assistant Secretary of Defense Struve Hensel, accusing him, based on his income tax returns, of being a war profiteer, prompting Mr. Hensel to demand an investigation by the Justice Department, which would soon be completed and was anticipated to clear Mr. Hensel of the charge. Once that occurred, they indicate, it would be perfectly appropriate for the President to rescind his executive order, as demanded by the ranking Democrat on the House Judiciary Committee, Congressman Emanuel Celler, in a letter written to the President.

Rescinding the order, they comment, would now be somewhat belated, as the Senator already had access to a large collection of copied tax returns, but it would send the message that the White House was no longer going to tolerate Senator McCarthy's excesses.

A carefully planned campaign to undercut the Senator's influence in key areas of the Republican Party had been underway with White House approval, and more action against him had been considered, such as having the President, soon after adjournment of the Congress in August, deliver a speech attacking McCarthyism and the Senator by name for the first time. CIA director Allen Dulles had been promised support from the President in the event of the anticipated attack by Senator McCarthy on the CIA.

But there were also signs of appeasement still at work, such as the reappointment of John Doerfer, a McCarthy supporter, to the FCC, one of two members of the Commission solidly backing the Senator, enabling him to exert pressure as favors for his journalistic friends. The Senator's State Department emissary, Scott McLeod, had been given control over the Foreign Service Inspection Corps, and there had been signs of a similar McCarthy empire being set up within the Atomic Energy Commission. Yet, in the case of Mr. McLeod, Undersecretary of State Charles Saltzman had been assured that he could discharge Mr. McLeod if he concluded that he was doing harm.

The Alsops conclude that everywhere within the Administration, there was far less fear of the wrath of Senator McCarthy.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that the low-rent public housing program, the future of which was clouded by a deadlock in Congress, had found legislative enactment tough going in the past. The program had fallen 75% short of its goal set by Congress in 1949, when it had authorized construction of 810,000 new public housing units to be constructed over six years at the rate of 135,000 per year. The reason for the gap was Congress, having placed limits on annual public housing construction far short of the initial 135,000 authorization. It provides a table of the number of units requested by the Truman and Eisenhower Administrations between 1951 and 1954, versus those actually authorized. It also provides figures for North Carolina.

A letter writer from Pittsboro indicates that the unanimity of the Supreme Court in Brown v. Board of Education was being advanced as evidence of its correctness, finds that while it was significant, it did not add force to its conclusion, which he believes was not supported by history, logic or law.

Yes it is. You just can't read.

A letter writer recommends two candidates in the runoff primary, though not indicating the office for which they were running, one apparently being Fred McIntyre, a State Senator, and so we assume the other candidate was also for the General Assembly.

A letter writer from Mount Holly indicates that he had been reading the letters on segregation for several weeks, finding some from both black and white authors to be very foolish, indicates his lack of belief in race mixing, that "if we mix one way, we will mix others, so we all know that will not do." He thinks blacks were wanting something for nothing, that if blacks expected to get what the whites get, blacks should pay more taxes than the current five cents on every dollar. He thinks blacks should be fighting for higher wages. He says that he did not have any children going to school but that if he did and they were boys, he would supply them a pair of brass knuckles and tell them to protect themselves. He says that he has no problem with blacks, that he worked with them five days per week and had never had trouble and never would, "unless some smart, white man puts foolish ideas in his head, and from then on let every man look out for himself." He indicates that what had started the "uproar" was the "beautiful lady that came down here from Washington a few years ago"—presumably referring to Eleanor Roosevelt. He indicates that if things got too rough, they could always fall back on the "three-letter Klan".

"Klan" has four letters. We do not understand your point. Are you planning to fall back on the Kan? Is that similar to falling off the wagon? You're an idiot.

A letter writer from Huntersville indicates sorrow at finding that so many people had harsh ideas about segregation, says that he had finished high school and believed the students in high school or college, whether white or black, did not feel the same way as the older people of the South regarding mixed schools. He wants to know why so many people were against blacks going to school with whites, what was wrong with it, and if there was anything wrong with black children, he was certain that mothers and fathers would do everything possible to see that things were made right, but doubts that anyone would find anything wrong. He suggests that if the concern, as several writers had expressed, was over intermarriage and mixed blood, it would not be a problem, that black women were "like a flower garden", that one could find any color or type one wanted, whereas the other races did not afford that choice. He finds that blacks were offended by such prejudiced remarks and that no one need worry about interracial marriage. He urges looking at the desegregation decision with an open mind, regarding blacks as brothers and that there should be more thought given to what Russia and the rest of the Communist world was going to do.

That all sounded pretty good, until you got into the "flower garden". What is that all about?

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.