The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 30, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President had said this date in his press conference that the hope of the world lay in peaceful coexistence with the Communists, but indicated that he would not be a party to any treaty which made anyone a slave and that he would not endorse appeasement. When asked about whether the U.S. would go along with partition of Viet Nam at the Geneva peace talks, leaving the Northern section to the Communists, the President responded with his statement regarding not being willing to be a party to a treaty which made anyone a slave. When asked about a speech made by Vice-President Nixon in Wisconsin the previous Saturday, in which he had said that the foreign policy of former Secretary of State Acheson had been responsible for the loss of China, Korea and for the crisis in Indo-China, he said that everyone was entitled to their opinion and that it was his job to look forward and not back, that he had not personally read the speech of the Vice-President and would not be maneuvered into a position of condemning him, that normally he spoke for the Administration, but would not say whether he had on this specific occasion. He also urged the press to do their part in urging Americans to drive safely during the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

In Guatemala, it was reported that the fighting was over in the 12-day civil war, with the U.S. Embassy indicating it as a victory over Communism. The leader of the new military junta, Col. Elfego Monzon, called on all persons to surrender their arms or face severe punishment. The new junta prepared to conduct talks with the anti-Communist insurgents on the future course of the country. The leader of the rebel forces, former Army Col. Carlos Castillo Armas, announced that a cease-fire would remain in effect pending formal armistice negotiations. Former President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman was reported to have taken refuge in the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala City, along with Communist and left-wing leaders who had supported his regime.

Congress this date passed and sent to the White House the final three annual appropriations measures for the new fiscal year, starting the following day. The Senate completed action on the measures within an hour after the House had passed them, providing funds for the State, Justice, Commerce, Labor and HEW Departments, and the judicial and legislative branches. It provides the details of the appropriations, totaling 3.278 billion dollars, approximately 100 million less than the President had requested in January. Senator Styles Bridges, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said that the passage of the bills by both houses marked only the second time in 25 years that all regular appropriations had cleared Congress by the end of the passing fiscal year.

Senate Republicans this date decided to offer a general income tax cut plan in an effort to head off a broader reduction amendment sponsored by Senate Democrats, with the Republican proposal to increase personal exemptions for each taxpayer in the lower and middle brackets by $100 per year, resulting in a minimum annual tax reduction of $20 for an individual taxpayer and $40 for a couple.

The Atomic Energy Commission agreed with the three-man committee appointed previously by the President, chaired by UNC president Gordon Gray, that atomic scientist Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer was not fit to handle U.S. nuclear secrets because of "defects of character … and dangerous associations", ruling 4 to 1 in favor of that position. Neither Dr. Oppenheimer nor his attorneys would indicate what their next step would be.

The President left the White House shortly after noon this date for a round of golf at Burning Tree Club in Maryland.

In Laredo, Tex., the greatest flood in the history of the Rio Grande River persisted, but business had returned to usual, though across the river in the twin city of Nuevo Laredo, there was no sign of life, as it was on lower ground and most of its 60,000 residents had fled to the hills while the water had risen in the streets. Upstream 85 miles, at Piedras Negras, Mexico, a mostly adobe village of 35,000 people across the Rio Grande from Eagle Pass, the situation was described as desperate and nobody knew how many had been drowned, with one Texas highway patrolman estimating that the death toll could run into the hundreds, but probably not as high as 500. The river had risen to 62.6 feet during the morning in Laredo and had stayed there for a time in the areas closest to the river, but farther uptown, the sidewalks were being swept and city buses and taxis were running. The International Bridge was still intact but under 18 feet of water.

Across the country, millions had seen the early morning solar eclipse, its total version, however, only visible across a 70-mile wide strip through parts of five states, as its visibility revolved toward India, with a partial eclipse seen in most sections of the nation except in the West. Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn., were alive with activity as it was the central location for viewing the total eclipse.

Harry Shuford of The News reports of the solar eclipse as viewed in Charlotte in the early morning hours, finding that most people waiting for buses or rides acted as if they had never heard of an eclipse and were trying to stand in the shade. There were also no housewives in evidence trying to catch a glimpse, while a half-dozen ducks appeared on one street to be the most curious spectators. Photographs of the event and of a couple of spectators are included from Charlotte.

Two former Charlotte residents serving life sentences for murder were reported to have escaped from custody, one, on May 18, from Central Prison in Raleigh, and the other, on June 22, from a Macon County road camp. Descriptions are provided in case you see them.

As pictured, the 17th annual local Soap Box Derby race took place this date in downtown Charlotte, with 150 boys participating, the details provided on an inside page.

On the editorial page, "Sen. Ervin Should Explain His Stand" indicates surprise at the stand of Senator Sam Ervin, on his first major policy vote since being sworn in as the interim Senator replacing deceased Senator Clyde Hoey, that being the issue of extension and liberalization of the Reciprocal Trade Act. The Administration had originally sought a three-year extension, but after that was resisted by Old Guard Republican protectionists, the Administration backed down and settled for a one-year extension. Senate Democrats had decided to try to resurrect the Administration position, led by Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee, who proposed an amendment incorporating features of the original three-year request, supported by all Southern Senators except Senators Walter George, Richard Russell, and Senator Ervin. Only six Democrats in all voted with the 39 Republicans who opposed the amendment.

It indicates that perhaps the three Southerners, who traditionally voted for free trade, believed that it would be better to extend the Act for one year presently and then liberalize it the following year when, as they hoped would be the case, the Democrats would once again control Congress. All three had voted for the one-year extension.

It concludes that, given the importance of free trade, particularly to the South, Senator Ervin ought explain his position to North Carolinians.

"Why They Stay Away from Washington" indicates that the current issue of Fortune had shed light on one of the most difficult problems of government, how to get good men to leave private employment and enter public service, the magazine having inquired of 107 top business executives in 20 U.S. cities as to whether they would accept a position in the Eisenhower Administration, finding that only 27 had said they would definitely be willing to serve, while 59 said they would not or could not take a job, and 16 that they would serve only if pressured to do so, while the other five did not answer. Of the 59 who had said they would not serve, 30 percent gave as the reason Congressional investigations in general, and in particular the Army-McCarthy dispute which had recently concluded. Half of those who said that they would serve only if pressured, cited the Army-McCarthy hearings as the reason, while 15 percent of those willing to serve mentioned it. Many of the executives had also cited financial sacrifices being too great, and some had objected to bureaucratic procedures in government, while a few said that they did not like the Washington fishbowl.

It indicates that the survey showed good evidence why there had been 17 resignations from high Government offices during 1954 and why it was becoming increasingly difficult to persuade business executives to accept top Government management positions. It suggests that the survey might prompt Congressional leaders to take a new look at the investigative processes, low Government salaries and excess bureaucracy, in an effort to provide an atmosphere in which competent and accomplished persons could serve the people in responsible Government positions.

"Robert McHardy Mauldin" tells of his dedicated public service record in the community prior to his recent death, having served more than eight years as chairman of the Charlotte School Board, and having loved the community, that even after he had suffered a serious stroke three years earlier, he had continued to attend meetings of the Board and visit new sites for schools. It praises him for having been unselfish and inspired and urges others to follow his example.

"Jonas Puts Himself on the Record" indicates that Republican Representative Charles Jonas might or might not vote more wisely than his Democratic colleagues from the state, but it was indisputable that he placed himself on the record more frequently than any other Representative from North Carolina, having made all 41 roll call votes in the House the previous year, along with two other members of the state delegation, Congressmen Hugh Alexander and Lawrence Fountain, and that through June 15 of the current year, had missed only one of the 33 roll call votes, with Mr. Alexander coming in next, having missed four, while Representatives Frank Carlyle and Thurmond Chatham had the worst record of attendance, missing 16 votes each.

In the Senate, Senator Alton Lennon missed 36 of 73 roll call votes, with only Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, with 41 missed votes, and Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, with 37 missed votes, having more. It points out that Senator Lennon and Mr. Carlisle had heavily contested primaries, the Senator losing his to former Governor Kerr Scott.

It gives credit to Representative Jonas for consistently putting himself on the record and enabling voters to understand where he stood on the issues.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "What Are They Teaching?" indicates that the Durham Herald had said that North Carolina's public schools faced a situation in science teaching which was "disturbing", quoting at length from the article, indicating that in the previous year, there had been no graduates of white or black colleges qualified to teach physics and no demand from the schools for physics teachers, that there had been only six graduates from white colleges and nine from black colleges qualified to teach chemistry, but again no demand for any of the 15 teachers. The Herald had found the situation lamentable, as there was more interest among the students in chemistry and physics than the absence of new instructors would suggest.

The piece finds the situation surprising and disturbing in the atomic age, when it had appeared that schools were stressing science more and there had been a sharp decrease in the number of students taking Latin and languages in general, leaving the piece to wonder what the schools were teaching, whether it suggested only vocational training, social sciences and otherwise frills. It wonders whether learning by doing required no fundamentals or mental discipline, culture and basic knowledge, as the schools had previously provided.

Dr. Frank E. Vandiver, assistant professor of history at Washington University in St. Louis, has an address reprinted which he had given before the Illinois State Historical Society recently, in which he discusses the Civil War and the consistent and successful attempt by the South to write the history of that war in its own favorable image. He indicates that in sheer volume, more Southerners had written of the war than Northern historians, such that by the end of the 19th century, a large segment of the country's readers were acquiring knowledge of slavery and their viewpoint on the war from Southern writers.

He suggests that the final victory for the Southern interpretation of the war had come only recently in A Short History of the American People by Oliver Chitwood and Frank Owsley, after some of the early historians on the war had become more ardent Rebels as they wrote than they may have been during the war, itself, such as Alexander Stephens in his A Constitutional View of the Late War Between the States. Dr. Vandiver indicates that his favorite appellation for the war was the "late unpleasantness", coined by E. M. Coulter, as opposed to the Civil War or "War Between the States" or "War for Southern Independence" , the latter being the label applied by Messrs. Chitwood and Owsley.

He indicates that there were certain stock plots involving the Civil War presently in vogue, with the scene set somewhere in the West, as a small band of Confederates undertook some desperate mission to save the South, opposed by an equally small band of Yankees, both groups also forced to withstand the attack of various tribes of Indians. The Confederates were never allowed to lose. They might win a small skirmish or just fade away, but more commonly, they would join the Yankees to prevent another Indian massacre, with the final scene usually showing the U.S. flag alongside the Confederate Stars and Bars riding into battle...

Drew Pearson indicates that Republican and Democratic Congressmen who had attended the briefing conducted at the White House by Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith the previous Thursday on the Far Eastern problems, had departed with a depressed feeling, not so much, they said, because the situation was grave but because the Administration did not seem to know what to do about it. Mr. Pearson recaps the briefing by Undersecretary Smith, indicating that the U.S. was prepared to draw a line in Indo-China which would embrace Laos, Cambodia and part of Viet Nam, and if the Communists were to transgress that line, the U.S. would be willing to fight. But he had also said that if France were willing to accept a cease-fire at any price, the U.S. would probably have to go along with it, as the French were doing the fighting and thus had the right to dictate the terms, just as the U.S. had done in Korea. He said that the Communists would likely demand occupation of all of Viet Nam and that the French would allow them to get away with it. He said that the Chinese Communists were already wooing Laos and Cambodia and that as soon as the military offensive ended, the Communists would begin a political offensive to win over those two states.

There followed questioning by Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California, with the Democrats asking few questions, apparently not wanting to embarrass the Administration. Senator Knowland asked Undersecretary Smith where the fighting line would be drawn in Indo-China, and whether the U.S. would draw another line later if that were transgressed, and then draw yet another line, etc. Neither Undersecretary Smith nor Secretary Dulles ever gave him a direct answer but talked in circles. The latter sought to end the conference on an upbeat note by indicating that new French Premier Pierre Mendes-France and his Government more nearly expressed the will and spirit of the French people than had the previous Government of Premier Joseph Laniel, and believed it signaled improvement in relations between the U.S. and France and portended more hope for U.S. policies for Western Europe to be realized.

But after the conference, Senators recalled that Secretary Dulles had indicated to the same group prior to the Geneva conference that the only reason he was attending was to save his friend, former Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, from losing his job and to prevent M. Mendes-France from being able to unseat the pro-American Laniel Government.

Mr. Dulles had told the Senators that the Geneva conference could not yet be judged a failure because it was not yet over, but as Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia filed out of the room, he said, "Hogwash! Pure hogwash!" saying it so loudly that the statesmen who had been conveying the hogwash could not help but overhear it.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the President and Prime Minister Churchill had, during their just ended three-day conference, reforged the links between Britain and the U.S., the goal of the conference. But British leaders had awakened to Britain's total peril from Soviet attack with nuclear weapons. While the peril had existed for some time, British leaders had not really felt it deeply until the previous winter, and their actions had not been influenced by it, regarding the peril as something other than real, practical and immediate.

But since a speech on February 17 by Congressman Sterling Cole, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, in which he had described the first hydrogen bomb as having obliterated Eniwetok and left a cavity in the floor of the ocean a mile in diameter, Prime Minister Churchill had suddenly become fully aware of the danger to the British Isles, believing them a prime target for Soviet attack. The nuclear fallout impact to the Japanese fishing boat some 50 miles from the point of detonation, when the fishermen were outside the predetermined safety perimeter set by the AEC, had also reinforced the concern for most other members of the British Government. These practical considerations had driven home the point as the secret documents to which they had access could not.

It was that awakening which had caused the British to determine not to risk a major nuclear war over Indo-China, thus being resistant to Secretary of State Dulles's urging of "united action" in Southeast Asia, favoring instead a series of nonaggression pacts between the free nations and Communist China and the Vietminh.

The Alsops regard it as tragic that the realization of total peril would produce that result, but also find it not blameworthy because of its inevitability. They conclude that the flaw remaining in the Anglo-American partnership and in the Western alliance, as well as in the whole ruling conception of U.S. foreign policy, was that the U.S. had not yet awakened to the total peril of the situation, as had Britain.

A letter writer from Kannapolis sees no reason for so many letters regarding segregation, thinks that the people of the South could learn to live with the problem, as they had learned to live with Republicans. He indicates that it was true that there were not as many Republicans as there were blacks, but reminds that blacks could not change their race, whereas Republicans were made, not born.

A letter writer quotes from Drew Pearson's column regarding a life insurance executive who had written a letter to Governor Allan Shivers of Texas indicating that he had the opportunity to "visit with" the Governor to discuss a life insurance matter pertaining to a Texas company, the writer commenting that "visit with" was incorrect phraseology, that one always properly expressed the desire to visit another directly, not "with" someone.

A letter from State Senator Fred McIntyre, who had just lost his runoff primary to his challenger, Jack Blythe, thanks the thousands of people who voted for him, and congratulates Mr. Blythe for his victory, urges all Democrats to support him in the November election.

A letter writer from Greenfield, O., indicates her belief that the newspaper had missed the boat on the Army-McCarthy hearings, that in the Midwest and Southwest, they had formed prayer circles for Senator McCarthy, as he was the symbol of anti-Communism in America and most of the free world, and that if they destroyed him, it would be a great victory for world Communism. She thinks it must not happen. "These Red rats must be dislodged from their nests in our government, Army, colleges and labor unions."

Be sure and get rid of the Pink elephants while you're about it, too.

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