The Charlotte News
Monday, June 7, 1954
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Hanoi that, according to the French high command this date, the Vietminh troops who had crushed the French fortress at Dien Bien Phu on May 7 had shifted their positions to a point surrounding the defense lines guarding the vital Red River Delta, the enemy troops forming a gigantic pincers threatening an all-out assault to drive the French from that region. Indications were increasing that the Vietminh would strike at the Delta with a full force before the end of June, unless a negotiated peace were reached in Geneva in the meantime. A French Army spokesman said that Vietminh infantry units, estimated to number about 20,000 troops, had completed their movements back to the bases from which they had departed to capture the French fortress, while other Vietminh troops were also moving toward the Delta area from the southwest. Meanwhile, the French were building up their forces in the area as well, with reinforcements arriving from other parts of Indo-China and Europe. The French expected the Vietminh to seek first isolation of Hanoi by severing the road and rail lines linking it with the port of Haiphong, 64 miles to the east. Those routes were the lifeline for the continued resistance to the Vietminh, carrying the bulk of U.S.-supplied war matériel from Haiphong to Hanoi and to the fighting fronts. Vietminh attacks were cutting the routes off nightly, but French patrols and repairmen reopened them for about six hours each day. The French were heavily reinforcing the defenses of Haiphong and the Doson Peninsula, 12 miles to the southeast of the port, both of which the French could probably hold for some time if they had to be used as beachheads. Thousands of Vietnamese villagers were being evacuated from Haiphong and Doson to make way for new defense preparations.
In Geneva, French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault and Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov were reported by French sources to have had a "useful" exchange of views this date on supervision of the proposed Indo-China cease-fire, the two having met for 50 minutes in what was described as "a cordial atmosphere", but were unable to reach agreement on composition of a commission to police the cease-fire. The French were reported to have come around to the Soviet position that at least one Communist nation would have to be included, as insisted by Mr. Molotov. M. Bidault, according to French sources, now believed that something could be worked out by taking three Asian nations, possibly India, Pakistan and Ceylon, as a base and adding one Communist country and one Western nation to comprise the commission.
In Guatemala, workers gathered at four Communist-dominated mass meetings the previous day to organize vigilante defense units, providing a show of support for the leftist Government of President Jacobo Arbenz. The meetings had been called by the nation's two largest labor organizations, the General Federation of Workers and the National Confederation of Farmers, both controlled by Communists. The effort was to lay the foundations for a farmers' militia to defend national sovereignty, and some newspapers reported that the militia would be armed with weapons discarded by the Army. The Army chief of staff indicated, however, that the Army had no connection with the project. It had been reported that the Army was getting rid of some of its older weapons following the receipt by Guatemala of a ten million dollar arms shipment the previous month from Communist Poland. The former chief of the Guatemalan Air Force, a colonel, had fled the country the previous day in a private plane, and informed sources said that he had received asylum in neighboring El Salvador. Reports indicated that he had escaped by tricking airport guards with the excuse that he wanted to go on a test flight, and had been accompanied by his brother, also a colonel and a former undersecretary of defense, considered to be a leader of the opposition to the present Government and said to be on the Government's wanted list.
In the 28th day of the hearings
before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding the dispute
between the Army and Senator McCarthy, the Senator, in a transcript
of a monitored phone call occurring the prior November 7 with Army
Secretary Robert Stevens, had stated, as read before the subcommittee
this date, that the Secretary should not tell some individual, whose
name was redacted, that the Senator believed G. David Schine was not
indispensable to the subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, for
that unnamed individual would go right to Roy Cohn and tell him. The
line had not been included in transcripts of calls which Senator
McCarthy had released to the press during the weekend. Senators on
the subcommittee had decided that the name of the individual to whom
Senator McCarthy referred was not relevant to the inquiry and so
maintained it in secret. The Senator had also said during the call
that Mr. Schine was "one of the few things" Mr. Cohn was
"completely unreasonable about". He said that Mr. Cohn
believed that Mr. Schine "should be a general
The transcript of the morning session of the hearing is not available online. During the afternoon session, reading of other monitored telephone call transcripts continued.
In Sauk City, Wisc., the "Joe Must Go Club" announced this date that it had failed to obtain enough signatures on petitions for a recall of Senator McCarthy, not reaching the 403,904 required by law. The club did not report the number of signatures it had obtained, but said that it was heartened by the response to its efforts. Officers of the club said that they would not give up their efforts to unseat the Senator and would investigate and study the possibility of a future recall effort.
In Raleigh, Senator-designate Sam J. Ervin, Jr., made plans this date to travel to Washington on Thursday to take his oath of office on Friday. Congratulatory messages and telephone calls continued to pour into his home in Morganton, following his appointment the prior Saturday. Mr. Ervin said that he was grateful to Governor William B. Umstead for the opportunity to serve the people of the state in the Senate and hoped to be able to render, "in some degree at least, the fine service the late Senator Clyde R. Hoey rendered." Among his friends, Senator Ervin was regarded as a conservative liberal. He said that he believed in "clinging to the tried and true landmarks of the past, but I'm willing to test the soundness of new ideas."
Meanwhile, friends of Superior Court Judge Dan K. Moore of Sylva, to be elected Governor in 1964, began boosting him for appointment to the State Supreme Court seat vacated by Senator Ervin. Others were also being promoted for the appointment.
The Supreme Court decided, in a 5 to 3 opinion, Phillips Petroleum Co. v. Wisconsin, 347 U.S. 672, delivered by Justice Sherman Minton this date, that the Federal Power Commission had authority to regulate prices of natural gas sold by Phillips Petroleum to interstate pipeline companies, reversing a decision by the Commission that Phillips was not a natural gas company within the meaning of the Natural Gas Act and that the agency therefore had no jurisdiction over its rates, affirming the decision of the D.C. Court of Appeals. Justices William O. Douglas and Tom Clark wrote dissenting opinions, the latter joined by Justice Harold Burton, with Justice Robert Jackson taking no part in the decision. Phillips Petroleum produced and gathered natural gas in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico and carried it to ten processing plants in Texas and New Mexico, after the processing, transferring it in pipes extending 240 to 1,490 feet, then selling it in interstate commerce for resale to five pipeline companies.
In Dover, Del., the President arrived and left immediately for Chestertown, Md., where he would receive an honorary degree at Washington College, where he was expected to make a speech emphasizing his concern about obtaining passage in Congress of his legislative program during the current session. Crowds in Dover lined the streets to wave at the President's motorcade as it passed.
In New York, a 14-year old rape victim had died the previous day without regaining consciousness, four days following her rape, stabbing and bludgeoning, the victim having been discovered the previous Wednesday in the hallway of the apartment house where she lived with her family in Manhattan. During the weekend, police had arrested a man accused of the crime. The rape and killing had spread terror through the neighborhood, which had already been on alert following the slaying of a waitress less than two months earlier, on April 8, a murder for which the suspect was also charged. He had also confessed to the fatal stabbings of an 85-year old woman on November 15 and a male taxi driver on April 16. He was reported to have a police record for burglary and larceny dating back to 1944 and had been confined to a mental institution for a time in New York. An assistant district attorney told reporters, however, that there was no basis for believing anything to be wrong with him mentally, either from his record or in talking to him. He sounds perfectly normal, doesn't he?
New York police said that another arrested suspect had admitted raping and killing three women. He had aroused suspicion of police when they saw him on a rooftop munching crackers and observing detectives examining the body of his latest alleged victim, a 66-year old woman, with his open shirt revealing scratches across his stomach. Police said that under intense questioning, he had admitted strangling and raping the victim and two other women. Police said that the crackers he was eating had been bought with five pennies stolen from the victim's purse. He had told police that he had entered the building where the woman lived and thrown a noose around her neck, demanded money and when her purse produced only five pennies, demanded more, tightening the noose until "she just died on me". He had then ravished her lifeless body, according to police. He admitted to similar rape-murders of two other women in the New York area on January 2 and May 28, respectively. There was no discussion of his mental state. Except for the necrophilia, he must be normal, it would appear. He had five pennies. He bought crackers, not chewing gum or candy. He was a health nut.
In the vicinity of Owings, Md., eight men and two women had died in a flaming head-on collision near Lyons Creek early this date when one of the cars approached a curve on the crest of a hill in the wrong lane of traffic. The cars were so mangled that it was difficult at first to determine in which direction either one had been traveling, and all except one of the passengers had been thrown from the wreckage, the other dying in one of the cars, a burning convertible. There were no survivors.
In Philadelphia, two strangers had stopped a 68-year old man and his wife as they were about to enter their North Philadelphia home the previous day after closing their restaurant nearby, and the woman said to the strangers that if they wanted money, it was there, pointing to a brown paper bag she had placed on the doorstep, which the pair then grabbed and sped away in a car driven by a third man. Unfortunately for them, the bag contained some scraps for the family cat, as the day's receipts of $75 were locked up in the restaurant safe. At least, they can feed their cat if they have one.
In Myrtle Beach, S.C., Rankin Suber, a rising sophomore at the University of South Carolina majoring in drama, would represent South Carolina in the Miss America contest in Atlantic City in September. She won over 25 other contestants in the competition held in the Pavilion on Saturday night, climaxing the Sun-Fun Festival, which included a jousting tournament won by a man from St. George who had a perfect score, presumably a contest separate from the beauty contest. But in this wild time of 1954, one should probably make no assumptions.
On the editorial page, "The
Type of Man the Senate Needs" indicates that the News had
wanted local attorney Robert Lassiter, Jr., appointed to the Senate
seat of deceased Senator Clyde Hoey, but finds that there was no
better person among those who had been considered by Governor Umstead
than State Supreme Court Justice Sam Ervin, who had been appointed to
the seat the previous Saturday. It finds Mr. Ervin the type of
person whom the Senate needed and commends the Governor for the
appointment, indicating that he had been a skilled lawyer and judge,
having spent 14 years on the bench, eight as a lower court judge and
six on the State Supreme Court. He had also served three terms in the
General Assembly and had served for a year in the House in 1946, the
last year of the term of his brother Joe, after the latter had
committed suicide on Christmas Day, 1945, at the time in ill health.
He had also shown a keen knowledge and interest of foreign affairs
and knew North Carolina well, having served on several commissions
and boards at the state level. He was respected for his fine mind,
It indicates that there were two interesting sidelights to the appointment, one being that the political orientation of the state's Senators was shifting to the left, that the combination of Senators Ervin and Kerr Scott, who had just defeated in the Democratic primary interim incumbent Senator Alton Lennon, would be more liberal than during the period between 1951 and mid-1953, when the late Senator Willis Smith and Senator Hoey had been the North Carolina combination in the Senate, as well as during the period since the death of Senator Smith, after which the Governor had appointed Mr. Lennon. The other sidelight was that Governor Umstead, some of whose appointments had been puzzling to many observers, had made an appointment on this occasion which satisfied the demands of real statesmanship as well as practical political considerations, as Senator Ervin would not run into any difficulty with the members of the state's Democratic executive committee in determining him as the nominee of the party for the fall election.
"Liars Can Fool the 'Lie Detector'" indicates that Senator McCarthy wanted witnesses in the hearings on his dispute with the Army to submit to lie detector tests, offering to be the first person to be strapped to the machine before the television cameras and microphones. He had also stated in hearings he conducted years earlier, investigating the Army officers who had conducted the interrogations of Nazi war prisoners, accused in the Malmedy massacre of unarmed American prisoners of war during the 1944 Battle of the Bulge, the investigation focusing on claims that the Army officers had coerced confessions from the Nazis, that the Army witnesses could not fool the lie detector. He had also, more recently, wanted to use one on Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen, during his confirmation hearings, and on other officials in sensitive positions.
But responsible officials and scientists did not share the Senator's views that the lie detector was a foolproof method of determining truth, the courts having refused to allow polygraph results into evidence.
The current issue of the Reporter had indicated in an article that FBI director J. Edgar Hoover had said that the name "lie detector" was a complete misnomer, that the machine was not that, but rather that the operator of the machine was the lie detector by reason of his interpretation of the test, and that whenever a human element entered into such a matter, there would always be variation in the interpretation.
It wonders therefore why Senator McCarthy was so intent on use of the polygraph, suggests that, on the one hand, it would make a spectacle for television, and, on the other, that he might fall into a particular category of individual of whom the polygraph would be useless in detecting a lie. As an article in the Journal of Criminal Law & Criminology, by penologist Maurice Floch, had stated, three types of persons could not be tested effectively by the machine, "the social childish personality type", who felt no guilt about lying, professional criminals who regarded a lie as an acceptable instrument "preferable to any silly concept of truth", and pathological liars, who had lost the ability to distinguish between reality and fiction.
Senator McCarthy should also consult
new Senator Ervin of his Government Operations Committee about it, as
he regarded it as "Twentieth-century witchcraft", and
Senator McCarthy certainly did not want any more witch-
"Fluoridation Is Beneficial and Safe" indicates that, just as with milk pasteurization, water chlorination, and vaccination, most recently involving the Salk polio vaccine, water fluoridation was encountering opposition in some areas, on the basis that it poisoned the water, caused or accelerated the growth of cancer, or adversely affected human organs.
While medical opinion had provided unqualified support for fluoridation, it examines the charges made by the opposition in some detail and concludes that it was safe, that the important thing to remember was that it reduced by about half the incidence of tooth decay among children. It indicates that Consumer Reports had stated that tooth-brushing immediately after meals was perhaps the most important single prophylactic measure which an individual could take to prevent tooth decay.
A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "The Truth about Old Abe", indicates that in an Illinois town, a man was tried and fined for mutilating an automobile license plate because he had cut off the slogan, "Land of Lincoln", explaining to the judge that he was planning a fishing trip to Tennessee and was afraid that, with that slogan displayed, other fishermen might bust out his car windows.
The piece finds that nonsense, indicating that in East Tennessee, where fishing was most apt to be plentiful, Lincoln Day dinners in the spring stuffed the populace as much as during Thanksgiving. It thinks that Illinois was therefore suffering from anti-Southern propaganda. It indicates that in all parts of the modern South, there was a high regard for President Lincoln as having been a great Republican, that in some partisan areas, he was regarded as the last such great Republican.
Drew Pearson indicates that use of U.S. ground troops in Indo-China had now been discarded by the Administration, after the Defense Department submitted an estimate to the National Security Council that it would take ten divisions of such troops to regain the offensive militarily in the war. Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson reported that neither the Philippines nor Thailand, both eager to effect Asiatic defense, would send troops to Indo-China unless the U.S. also did so. Secretary Wilson had returned the previous week from a lengthy tour of the Far East and was against sending U.S. infantry, even if it meant the loss of Indo-China to the Communists.
Prime Minister Nehru of India had informed the U.S. Embassy that the Communists would agree to a cease-fire in Indo-China, indicating that his personal representative at Geneva, Krishna Menon, had been assured of that prospect by both the Russian and Chinese Communist delegations during secret talks. Prime Minister Nehru had said that Russian Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov had stated that the Communists did not want all of Indo-China, only the northern half which they had already captured, but that they would have to have the French stronghold at Hanoi and all of the critical Red River Delta region. Prime Minister Nehru believed that a reasonable settlement to achieve peace, and had agreed to police an armistice with most of India's Army if the two sides could agree.
When Tom Morgan of North Carolina, retired head of Sperry Gyroscope, had sat on the three-man Presidential committee which was charged with the responsibility of determining the loyalty of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, he might not have remembered, suggests Mr. Pearson, an occasion when the Government had dealt more tolerantly with Mr. Morgan than the committee had with Dr. Oppenheimer. On September 1, 1942, nine months after Pearl Harbor, the Justice Department had dropped a proposed prosecution of Sperry for prewar exchange of secrets with the Germans, the Japanese and Fascist Italy, instead agreeing to a consent decree. The committee on which Mr. Morgan sat had finally determined recently that while Dr. Oppenheimer was loyal to the United States, he was, nevertheless, a poor security risk, and so recommended that he be denied clearance for continued membership on the Atomic Energy Commission. Mr. Morgan's company, however, had already given away vital information, in the form of directional gyroscopes and automatic pilots, to countries which had later become enemies of the U.S., and yet the Government had agreed not to prosecute.
The International News Service had published an account of a secret memo by Maj. General Kirke Lawton, commander of the Signal Corps at Fort Monmouth, N.J., supporting Senator McCarthy's claims of subversion at the secret radar research facility there and the failure of the Army to do anything about it. Roy Cohn had been able to obtain the memo from the desk of the Investigations subcommittee special counsel during the McCarthy-Army hearings, Ray Jenkins, in the wee hours of the morning, showed it to an INS reporter in the men's room of the Senate Office Building, the reporter then copying certain portions of it and filing his story two hours later, several hours before the document was made public at the hearings the following day, Mr. Cohn then putting the document back on the desk of Mr. Jenkins.
He does not explain why Mr. Cohn
Marquis Childs finds that the extent to which control over the direction of U.S. foreign policy had been taken from U.S. hands was one of the disturbing facts of the present world situation, one reason for the sense of drift reflected daily in the headlines, threatening to shift the balance for peace or war beyond the power of the U.S. to control. Less than six months earlier, the Administration had informed the public that the U.S. had taken the initiative, but since that time, things had changed.
The President, the Secretary of State and his associates had to have the power to negotiate through the ordinary channels of diplomacy and across conference tables, qualified in a democracy by public opinion and politics. But that power had been nearly completely circumscribed in recent years, such that foreign policy had become nearly impossible to conduct, as illustrated by the situation in Indo-China, the effort to form the European Defense Community, the united army for Europe, and by the conflict over foreign economic policy. It had been said that the U.S. had suffered a major defeat during the first week of the Geneva peace conference, but that, he finds, had hardly been a defeat, as there was no actual contest, Secretary of State Dulles having gone to Geneva under the restraints of being prevented from negotiating with the Communist Chinese over concern that it would amount to recognition diplomatically of that Government.
Six weeks prior to the conference, General Paul Ely, just named the new commander of the French Union forces in Indo-China, had come to Washington appealing for emergency assistance for the French in the war. While in Paris, Mr. Childs had spoken to many of the officials in the French Government who imparted that military matters in the war had deteriorated to the point where only massive direct assistance could change the situation. He supplies a brief colloquy he had with French Defense Minister René Pleven, in which the latter explained that France would need a thousand bombers and three or four paratroop divisions, even that resulting in a long struggle to try to win the war, that such assistance could only come from the U.S. Otherwise, it was plain that only concessions made to Communist China could convince them to stop supply of the Vietminh. Mr. Childs concludes that, while no one spoke of it, there was a third alternative, defeat, rout and disaster, as another French official had, more or less, said. One of the concessions which the U.S. could make, possibly to induce the Communist Chinese to withdraw their support of the Vietminh, was to relent in blocking Communist China's admission to the U.N., the French having spoken hopefully of that possibility and that the U.S. might supply economic aid to Communist China in return for calling off the war. Deputy Premier Paul Reynaud had stimulated a report, carried with large headlines in the Sunday Times of London, to the effect that such could occur.
But Secretary Dulles had gone to Geneva without the power to negotiate in the face of Communist intransigence, and only by his replacement by Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith could the U.S. participate in the effort to negotiate a reasonable armistice which might end the war short of complete disaster.
The Congressional Quarterly, in the fourth of a series of articles regarding the Brown v. Board of Education decision, handed down by the Supreme Court on May 17, examines the cost of seeking to close the gap between black and white public schools, indicating that operating expenses for the just completed school year would have to be raised by about 6 percent or 90 million dollars, to bring about equivalency, that gap having been closed in some communities while in others, local taxes would have to be doubled. The other gap which existed was between rural and urban schools in the South, the budget of which, to effect equivalency, would have to be raised by about 240 million dollars, bringing average per pupil expenditures to about $200 each, the current average for the urban schools. Together, those two increases would be about 20 percent of the estimated current expenditures, raising the total from 1.45 billion dollars to 1.78 billion.
The current per-pupil deficit in black school facilities compared to white school facilities was about $190 per pupil or 350 million dollars. The deficit of the Southern region as a whole was estimated by some educators to be about 1.7 billion dollars, whereas two years earlier it had been estimated at 2.1 billion.
Because of the war and postwar baby boom, present facilities would shortly be outgrown throughout the nation, particularly in the South, where a relatively high proportion of the school-age population lived. By 1962, average daily school attendance in the South was anticipated to reach 9.1 million, about 16 percent more than during the 1953-54 school year. To take care of that increase and provide the new schools needed in urban areas because of the population shift from rural areas, the added expenditure would amount to about 1.3 billion dollars by 1962. That would mean that the South's total education bill by 1962 would be about 2.5 billion dollars, an increase of 325 million dollars per year during the interim.
Presently, the South was earmarking 3.3 percent of its income for schools. If the rising Southern income continued at the rate of 3.1 percent per year, the 1962 school allocation could be met by the present percentage of school expenditure.
Federal grants to the states for school construction or other purposes could accelerate the equalization programs, but that had been resisted by many of the Southern states and their members of Congress on the basis that Federal aid could be utilized to force integration of the schools. But with that objection now removed by Brown, Southern leaders such as Senators Richard Russell of Georgia, Lister Hill of Alabama and John McClellan of Arkansas, each of whom favored such Federal aid, could induce additional Southern support.
A letter writer indicates that she had read with much interest the thoughts and ideas of the "hate-dispensers" in the wake of the decision in Brown, and so directs her letter to them, indicating that segregation had stultified the South and kept it down, warped its mind and brutalized its heart, perpetuating poverty, contributing to the South's illiteracy, making Southerners cowards and touchy and sensitive. Southerners were constantly defending the South, trying to prove that the region was no worse than any other, defending segregation with a "consuming passion", while that institution was "the root of most of the social ills" of the region. She finds Southerners to be an abnormal people, that blacks were not ashamed of having been slaves, the disgrace of slavery having been the burden borne by those who had kept the slave enchained. She concludes that Southerners were ready for integration, proud of the progress made in the 90 years since the end of slavery, that the color of one's skin had nothing to do with the matter, and that the "hate-dispensers" knew that. She believes it time for them to stop fooling themselves and the world, to rid themselves of "that false security of soul obtained because of their peculiar rationalizing with our Heavenly Father regarding their attitude toward the Negro", wonders whether they were also trying to fool God. She indicates that the blood, sweat and tears of American blacks were on every battlefield on which the country had fought, that blacks were part of American history, literature, art, religion and industry, singing with pride "The Star Spangled Banner" and "America". She hopes that, after 90 years since the end of slavery, others, also, would be ready for integration.
A letter writer from Albemarle, N.C, replies to another letter writer, a former Northerner, who had indicated that he would move back to the North if a previous letter writer, who had so offered to any Yankee, would pay his expenses, this writer indicating that he would join with the other letter writer in paying the costs of the move for the former Northerner, and that he would take up a collection to send his "black brothers right along with him." He thinks that the taxes would not be so high in the South if it did not have to "feed and clothe the North." He says that if President Eisenhower were not in Washington "trying to starve us to death down here, we wouldn't all be out of work, and there would not be so much dread in the South", that it was not like that before the North had decided the South was not doing right, "and took over to rule us."
The Yankee will probably pay for your flight to Cuba so that you can obtain work on a sugar-cane plantation for better wages.
A letter writer from Marshville, N.C., agrees with another letter writer regarding the mixing of "white and colored", hopes that "they leave it to a vote", and that all mothers would vote against it. She feels like "the colored feel the same way" and agrees that "the colored have better schools than white."
Fine, then you better send your children to the colored schools, that they won't be growing up to be stupid fool mothers like you and the previous writer with whom you agree.
A letter writer, president of the Charlotte Music Club, thanks the newspaper for its coverage provided the Club during the previous year, especially reporter Ed Bergamini for his comments after attending their meetings and programs.
A letter from three Marine privates stationed in Pohang-dong, Korea, indicates that they had received scant mail lately and that since the signing of the Armistice the prior July, found themselves with little to do after their work-day ended, would appreciate correspondence from young women between the ages of 18 and 25.
If you are such a person, and wish to communicate with them, you can write them c/o F.P.O., San Francisco. Do not become confused, however, and address your letters to Pohang-dong, or Senator McCarthy's investigators might intercept them and begin investigation for potential subversive activities, undermining the morale of the soldiers, a violation of Federal law.
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