The Charlotte News

Friday, June 25, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Washington, the President and Prime Minister Churchill met together this date to begin their talks to eliminate any "misunderstanding", as Mr. Churchill had put it, between the two countries regarding their foreign policy toward the Communist world. Mr. Churchill, arriving this date, appeared to be in buoyant spirits, downplaying any rift between the U.S. and Britain, saying that the difficulties were as "family matters" and that the differences within the Communist world were "even greater". There was no discussion on the American side of any optimism for the talks, with diplomats generally holding great doubt that anything concrete would come from the discussions which might improve the situation. Vice-President Nixon and Secretary of State Dulles had greeted Mr. Churchill at the airport and escorted him to the White House, where the President met him at the door. Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden accompanied Mr. Churchill.

In Taipeh, Formosa, Nationalist China announced that one of its warships had seized a Russian tanker on Wednesday off Formosa and indicated that the vessel and its cargo might be confiscated. The Soviets, in a diplomatic note made public in Moscow earlier this date, accused the U.S. of having seized the tanker. The Nationalists said that the tanker was carrying oil to the "Communist bandit" port of Shanghai on the Communist Chinese mainland, in violation of a U.N. embargo on such shipments.

In Washington, 14 persons, including three New York lawyers, were named this date in an indictment accusing them of plotting to corrupt IRS officials and impede tax scandal investigations. Among those named as co-conspirators were Daniel Bolich, former second in command at the old IRB, and Henry Grunewald, long a mystery-man fixer around Washington.

In Brownsville, Texas, it was reported that Hurricane Alice, the first of the season, had arisen suddenly in the Gulf of Mexico and moved quickly toward Brownsville and the Mexican coast, with winds reported at 80 mph, just 5 mph above hurricane strength.

In Charlotte, a fire had destroyed a freight terminal of the Southern Railway during the afternoon this date, injuring at least eight City firemen and one civilian, with loss to property estimated at between $800,000 and $900,000, the source of the fire not yet having been determined but believed to have emanated from the chemical contents of drums or from movie film stored in the terminal, possibly from spontaneous combustion. It was the worst fire the city had seen since the old Academy of Music building had been destroyed in 1924. The Armory-Auditorium had burned down just a couple of weeks earlier, on June 8.

Also in Charlotte, the Western Electric Co. announced this date that it had taken an option on land on N. Tryon St., on which it proposed to erect a distribution facility.

In the vicinity of Philadelphia, Pa., a minister had placed a sign in front of his church in suburban Germantown, saying, "Come in and have your faith lifted." In his sermons, he may have spoken of Sathan.

On the editorial page, "The President Must Exert His Powers" indicates that relations between the U.S. and its principal ally, Britain, had hit a new low. Germany was miffed at the U.S., while France appeared more likely than ever to retreat in Indo-China and reject the European Defense Community treaty on which U.S. foreign policy in Europe was based. Meanwhile, the Communists continued to advance in Southeast Asia. All of those issues meant that the U.S. was in a dangerous predicament, as it could no longer brag about speaking softly and carrying a big stick, as advocated by President Theodore Roosevelt. The current Administration spoke loudly, talking of liberation and massive retaliation, while no one was liberated and the U.S. only backtracked, instead of retaliating, after the Communists had won the battle over the French at Dien Bien Phu on May 7 and continued to move against Hanoi and the Port of Haiphong, controlling the vital Red River Delta region in Viet Nam.

Instead, U.S. forces were reduced and foreign aid, particularly economic aid, was cut. In an effort to appease Senator McCarthy, capable foreign service officers had been terminated. Secretary of State Dulles ruled out any possibility of U.S. diplomatic recognition or admission to the U.N. of Communist China, thus reducing his bargaining capability at Geneva. The louder voices in Congress often drowned out the quieter voice of the President, creating confusion at home and abroad about U.S. foreign policy.

It suggests that the U.S. needed to associate itself with legitimate aspirations of peoples seeking freedom from colonialism, replace the Communists as chief advocates of the inevitable worldwide social and economic revolution, and thus help direct it. It also needed to practice what it preached in terms of unity and work on the concept in Western Europe via NATO, which it was bypassing. It indicates that President Truman and Secretary of State Acheson had a definite foreign policy, even if the American people had never fully been sold on it. But the Eisenhower Administration had not only not sold the American people on a foreign policy, its policy lacked form and direction, and it was time, it urges, for the President to exercise his power to direct it.

"Vote Your Choice—But Vote!" indicates that four major public positions were at stake in the next day's Democratic primary runoff, in the State Senate race, the district solicitor's race and the race to select two members of the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners. It urges, therefore, casting a ballot so that the people would win.

"A Victory over Demagoguery" indicates that because Senator McCarthy had not taken the stump against Senator Margaret Chase Smith in her recent primary campaign against the McCarthy-supported political novice Robert Jones, Senator McCarthy had been dismissed as a factor in the race.

The piece, however, finds it to be too easy an answer. Senator McCarthy and Senator Smith had been at political odds since the spring of 1950 when she issued her "declaration of conscience", protesting the Senator's methods. In February, 1951, Senator McCarthy had retaliated by ousting her from the Senate Investigations subcommittee which he chaired, and then encouraged Mr. Jones to enter the campaign against her, introducing him to Maine audiences prior to the primary as a young man of promise and ability. Mr. Jones had followed the McCarthy line during the campaign and was described by the wire services as Senator McCarthy's "apostle"—more apt to say his impressionist.

It finds that the solid rejection of Mr. Jones by Maine voters equated to a rejection of McCarthyism, especially since Senator McCarthy had, daily during the primary campaign, been on television in the Senate Investigations subcommittee hearings regarding his dispute with the Army. It suggests that the whole nation could take comfort in Senator Smith's resounding victory, as she was a woman of intelligence, integrity and courage, typifying the traditional New England virtues of tolerance, fair play, and rugged individualism. It thus concludes that the victory supplied reassuring evidence that demagoguery was losing its appeal in the country.

A piece from the Democratic Digest, titled "Dreamers and Theorists in Government", indicates that the Administration's troubles seemed to be coming from the fact that the President had hired a lot of "starry-eyed businessmen" to run the practical affairs of government, including Army Secretary Robert Stevens, Treasury Secretary George Humphrey and Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson. While they had been three of the nation's leading businessmen, when they got to Washington, they turned out to be theorists and impractical do-gooders. Mr. Stevens believed that he could do business with Senator McCarthy and still maintain the honor of the Army. Mr. Humphrey had a theory that he could introduce a tight-money policy without the economy going downhill. Mr. Wilson had made cuts to the Air Force, the Army, and brought two divisions home from Korea, despite the looming crisis in Indo-China.

As a result, the President and the National Security Council were holding special sessions to see what could be done to retrieve the situation. It appeared that the Administration would belatedly start spending a lot more for defense. The piece advises, however, to remove the idealistic business executives from the Administration and bring in tough, hard-headed college professors and bureaucrats to run things. It indicates that while former Secretary of State Acheson and former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes had their drawbacks, such down-to-earth pros would look good now, favors ending the romance and sending the dreamers home.

Drew Pearson indicates that Prime Minister Churchill, after suffering his second stroke the previous year, had wiggled his toes every morning to restore his circulation, saying that he would yet fool Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, with Mr. Eden in line to succeed him as Prime Minister. Two years earlier, Mr. Churchill had confided to a friend that he had wished he had died the way FDR had, during the peak of the war, that he felt lonely. But the previous year, at age 79, he had pulled himself back to life by will power.

He had survived many close shaves with death, having almost been killed by a Pathan tribesman near the Afghanistan border during the Malakand campaign, and having been captured during the Boer War when an armored train was wrecked, his capture having been effected by Louis Botha, who later became the first Prime Minister of the Transvaal. He had also once fallen off the dock after arriving by boat in India, and saved himself by grabbing a mooring rope. During World War I, while a lieutenant colonel, he had left his underground trench to meet a general who did not keep the appointment, and when he returned to the trench, he found that it had been blown to smithereens. At the age of 18, while being chased by his brother and cousin, he had jumped from a bridge to the tops of some young pine trees below, dropping about 30 feet, landing in bed as a result for three months. In New York, 40 years later, he had stepped off the curb and was hit by a taxi, was badly injured, but nevertheless cleared the driver and filled all except 10 of his 45 lecture engagements.

Mr. Pearson goes on giving various aspects of the life of Mr. Churchill through World War II and his several meetings with FDR, charting the course of the war.

Marquis Childs discusses the visit of Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Secretary Eden with the President and Secretary of State Dulles, starting this date, indicative of a realization that major differences threatened the close relationships between Britain and the U.S., including Southeast Asian defense and issues involving a half-dozen other critical areas essential to the policy of Western containment of the Communists. British dissatisfaction with certain aspects of U.S. policy was widely known. Widespread in the Labor Party and even among many Conservatives was the suspicion that the U.S. wanted to use the Southeast Asian alliance as a respectable cover for initiating a war against Communist China, with the instant and massive retaliation policy enunciated by Secretary Dulles having caused many Britons to believe that the airbases being used by the U.S. in Britain would serve as staging platforms for a nuclear attack on Russia, after which a counter-attack would obliterate Britain.

Less generally known was the acute unhappiness in Washington over many aspects of British policy, it being felt that it was time to evolve in the discussion with Prime Minister Churchill and Secretary Eden a more clearly unified approach to the trouble spots or lose the initiative and potentially millions of people and vast resources to the Communists. The discussion would center on the unacceptaability any longer of British delay in action in the Middle and Far East and in Africa. High on the list of U.S. priorities was Egypt, where, for more than a year, at the insistence of the British, the U.S. had withheld economic aid from the Naguib-Nasser regime, resulting from the dispute between Britain and Egypt over the status of British technicians to be retained in the Suez Canal Zone after British troops had been evacuated.

Iran also had high priority for the U.S., with its properties and vast holdings of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co., nearly lost in the nationalism which had threatened violent revolution. Lengthy negotiations had been ongoing regarding the joint Iranian-British exploitation of the oil fields, with the British insisting that the new company be incorporated in London, while Premier Zahedi and his Government favored Teheran.

There was also an unpublicized dispute with the British over oil in Saudi Arabia becoming more acute, such that U.S. policymakers believed the flow of oil from the Middle East, vital to Western Europe and the issue of peace or war, to be in imminent peril.

Secretary Dulles believed that the chances for an effective Southeast Asian alliance, to become SEATO in September, had been greatly reduced in the previous six weeks since he had first proposed it. Thus, the prospects for the alliance would be discussed in the Washington talks. The U.S. hoped that a line would be drawn which could save Laos and Cambodia, despite the rapidly deteriorating military situation in Indo-China generally. The U.S. believed it was getting very late to try to rescue any part of Viet Nam.

The conference would also deal with the European Defense Community six-nation unified army in Western Europe, with the British believing it was dead, while the U.S. policymakers believed there was still a chance it could finally be ratified. Other ways to bring West Germany and its divisions into the Western community, however, would also be discussed.

Mr. Childs concludes that the meeting was, in many respects, long overdue, as many of the differences had been dragging on for months, delayed by Mr. Churchill's slow recovery from his second stroke and his insistence on maintaining power in his own hands. Secretary Dulles had recalled a series of lectures by Joseph Stalin in the 1920's, in which he had outlined the Communist conspiracy to undermine the so-called colonial powers in various areas and convert them to Communism, taking the resources away, as he saw it, from Western imperialism, and that prospect was no longer a distant threat, but had become an imminent reality which could no longer be ignored by the West.

Doris Fleeson indicates that an extended White House conference on foreign policy with Congressional leaders of both parties had failed to develop any concrete suggestions or sense of direction. It had developed out of Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith's return from the Geneva conference on Korea and Indo-China, his account being lucid and gloomy, but Senators indicating after the meeting that it had added little to what they already knew regarding the difficulties the country was facing all over the world, as well as within the Western Hemisphere in Guatemala. What the conference did indicate was that the White House had no plans for action to alter the shape of the faltering foreign policy, and so appeared to be in stalemate.

In Congress, Senate Majority Leader William Knowland continued to say that the Congress would adjourn at the end of July, to enable campaigning for the midterm elections. While appropriations were in good shape, there were controversial issues which had yet to be undertaken. The Administration was not only content with the diminishing military establishment, it had fought to keep it down only the previous week, indicative of the President's lack of intention to undertake any new military ventures, suggesting a defeat for Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford and his insistence on affirmative moves in the Far East, such as a naval blockade of China and the building up of native divisions to do the ground fighting in Southeast Asia.

There was a feeling that the White House had not fully grasped the fact that it had to make foreign policy, as neither the Congress nor the people could supply the imagination necessary to do so. The Congress did not want military action in an election year but were also unhappy regarding the current drift of foreign policy, which they did not expect to improve.

A letter from the Mayors of Huntersville and Cornelius endorses the candidacy of Arthur Auten for Mecklenburg County commissioner.

A letter writer indicates that the people did not want to be represented in the State Senate by a man whose interests were in Texas or Louisiana, and so supports Jack Blythe over the incumbent, Fred McIntyre.

A letter writer endorses Ernest Brown for the Mecklenburg County Commission.

A letter writer from Huntersville, who indicates he was speaking for 26 other owners and operators of businesses in that town, also endorses the candidacy of Mr. Auten.

A letter writer indicates that after carefully reading all of the statements of Jesus in the New Testament, he could find not one line supporting segregation, invites those who had cited the Bible as offering support for that convention to cite the Biblical text to which they adverted. He urges people who supported segregation to make their argument without citing the Scripture in support of intolerance. He indicates that blacks and whites were creatures of God, that each suffered in the world and that blacks had suffered more than whites, that they had died together in wars. He says that Jesus had not healed the sick with one hand marked "white" and the other marked "black" or "colored", that those who would be fortunate enough to reach heaven would not reach one entrance marked "white" and another marked "colored".

A letter writer from Ellerbe indicates that she had been reading "the kind of mess" the newspaper had been printing in the letters column, that she would never allow her children to go to school with a black child, that it was not so much that she thought herself better than a black, but rather that "it's just not right", "[f]or God didn't intend for the races to mix."

Once again, lady, we have to explain that going to school together does not necessarily entail having sex together, as was obviously the case in your little town there when you were growing up. We feel sorry for you that going to school is obviously inextricably bound up with compulsory sex with everyone in the class. They really do not do that anymore here in 1954. Health concerns have since eliminated the practice.

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