The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 10, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Hanoi in Indo-China that fear and resentment were building a potentially explosive amount of tension because many believed that they were about to be turned over to the Vietminh under a cease-fire agreement expected to be reached at Geneva, prompting hundreds to leave the city daily. Thousands who lacked money or a place to go were voicing resentment, but there was no threat yet of a native uprising or any real panic, as had gripped the city in December, 1946, resulting in the slaughter of hundreds of Europeans and Eurasians. But the anticipated cease-fire agreement which would partition Viet Nam into a northern half controlled by the Vietminh and a southern half could touch off such an uprising. An American in Hanoi told of one Vietnamese who said that the day he learned that they had been sold out, he would take his gun, go into the streets, and shoot the first three French whom he saw, that it would make him feel better and give him more points with the Vietminh. The American commented that he thought the man was just talking, that he hoped he was, because such an act could touch off bloody rioting. Meanwhile, the Vietminh, keeping Hanoi under steady pressure, had overrun four small French Union militia posts 20 miles northwest of the city the previous day, as they launched two ambushes against the French along the Hanoi to Son Tay road. Hundreds of natives were assigned to repair work in areas such as the airport, French military and civilian Government buildings, and downtown streets, while soldiers manned posts behind barbed wire, where they were most likely to be seen. There was a rush to leave Hanoi as quickly as possible.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this date approved, without opposition, a proposal, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader William Knowland, calling for the President to outline a new course of action for Congress should the U.N. admit Communist China to its membership, while expressing opposition to that membership, adding the provision to the multi-million dollar foreign aid bill. Senator Knowland stated that he had not wavered from his originally avowed stance to resign as Majority Leader and then conduct a fight to remove the U.S. from the U.N. by withdrawing U.S. funding from the organization, should the Communist Chinese be admitted, though the compromise proposal did not go that far.

The three-man fact-finding board appointed by the President regarding the strike by 4,500 workers at the Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Paducah, Ky., atomic energy plants, responsible for producing U-235, the key element necessary for production of atomic and hydrogen bombs, issued its report this date to the President, but there was no immediate move to obtain a court injunction pursuant to Taft-Hartley, apparently pending the outcome of a meeting at Paducah this date to determine whether 1,000 of the strikers would go back to work voluntarily, having refused a plan to return to work the previous night, after 3,500 union members had voted the previous night to end the strike at Oak Ridge, where the full workforce was reported present this date. Secretary of Labor James Mitchell had met with CIO leaders and arranged the back-to-work plan.

Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, who favored the existing rigid support price program for farmers, said in an interview this date that he did not think the President would veto a bill which might emerge from the Senate preserving the rigid high-level supports, and predicted that most Republicans and Democrats in the Senate would vote for a one-year extension of those supports. But Senator George Aiken, chairman of the Agriculture Committee, who favored the Administration's flexible price support plan, said that an extension bill would be vetoed by the President, such that there would be no new farm legislation in place, leaving a flexible support system between 75 and 90 percent as the result, based on contingent legislation passed by Congress in 1948-49, which would only go into effect when the current fixed price supports expired unless replaced by new legislation. The Senate Agriculture Committee had voted the previous day, by a vote of 13 to 2, to recommend extension of the 90 percent price supports for a year.

The Senate Judiciary Committee, according to its chairman, Senator William Langer of North Dakota, had turned over to the Internal Security subcommittee a letter in which former Communist, turned informant, Paul Crouch, had charge that Attorney General Herbert Brownell and Deputy Attorney General William Rogers were providing "considerable aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States" by their investigation of Mr. Crouch and his reliability as a witness, requesting an investigation of the matter. Columnist Joseph Alsop had asked the Justice Department to examine conflicting testimony given by Mr. Crouch in two court cases, and Attorney General Brownell had agreed to look into the matter. Mr. Crouch had denied that he had provided any conflicting testimony.

In Vienna, disaster teams, aided by hundreds of U.S. soldiers, intensified their efforts to rescue hundreds of families marooned by floods raging across Austria and southern Germany, with at least 13 persons known to have died in the floodwaters, while scores of others remained missing. During the previous two days, more than 20,000 persons had been evacuated from farms and villages inundated by the rain-swollen Danube River and its tributaries. Two large cities, Passau and Linz, were partly under water as a result of the worst flood to sweep the Danube and Inn River valleys in the previous 50 years. Many families had to spend the night shivering on the roofs of their homes. The rains had resulted from more than 70 hours of rain and heavy snowfalls in the Alps, and the two rivers were still rising.

In Passau, a pregnant German woman was taken to a hospital by a U.S. Army rescue helicopter, shortly after her arrival, giving birth to her child, and both were reported in good condition.

In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the U.S.-owned United Fruit Co. and Honduran labor leaders signed an agreement the previous night, ending a two-month strike by 23,500 banana workers, the settlement raising minimum daily wages from $1.68 to $2.04, with work expected to be resumed Monday on the company's plantations.

In Norfolk, Va., the male of the couple who had held up a bank branch in Calypso, N.C., on June 14, surrendered this date, turning over $2,200 which he said was part of the $3,287 stolen from the bank. His female accomplice, 18, had previously been arrested, and was ordered to appear before a North Carolina Federal grand jury in the fall. The two had worn dark glasses during the robbery and were both from Hampton, Va., confirming our theory that both were Yankees.

In Newport News, Va., a proofreader and her former husband, whom she believed to have died five years earlier, were reunited by surprise the previous night in the newsroom of the Newport News Daily Press, where her former husband, an Army soldier, was being interviewed. Both had remarried, after the wife believed that her husband had been killed in a rodeo accident in Camden, N.J., in 1949. The husband had obtained a divorce in Nevada in 1951 on the grounds of desertion after searching for two years for his wife, following their separation in Roanoke, Va., in 1949, shortly after their daughter was born and the husband had suffered a serious leg and ankle injury in a rodeo accident, leaving his wife, at the time a trick rider, in Roanoke and going to Camden with the show, from which his wife had received a subsequent wire that he had been killed in a rodeo accident, believing the story, as he had been seriously injured many times. She had then remarried, to an Air Force sergeant in 1951, and they had two children. Following the accident, the husband had suffered memory loss, until about six months afterward, he began to remember his past, then returned to Roanoke to search for his wife. He had remarried the previous year and had been drafted the prior November. The two couples spent the evening together reminiscing and comparing notes regarding the previous five years. The former wife said that she was happy to see her former husband again but that they had both grown up in the intervening years and would not be happy together again.

Harry Shuford and John Borchert of The News tell of Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks having provided, in an interview this date with the newspaper, an optimistic note on the state of the nation's business, as he arrived in Charlotte to dedicate its new air terminal at Douglas Municipal Airport. He found that signs for the previous several months pointed to a steady upturn in business, though it was a little spotty and depended on the type of business under examination. The textile industry, for instance, was not improving as fast as had been hoped and expected, and the automobile industry was "not flourishing", though automobile production was still high. He contended that Administration policies of indirect controls, such as changes in the Federal Reserve requirements to stimulate easier money, had been a strong factor in the improved business climate, which he said would also stimulate production.

On the editorial page, "Vehicle Inspections Will Save Lives" indicates that Governor William B. Umstead's announcement that he expected to recommend legislation requiring compulsory inspection of motor vehicles in 1955, had provided a timely boost to the state's traffic safety program, and that if the General Assembly the following year reinstated the program, which had been repealed in 1949 after a two-year experiment which had resulted in long lines at the inspection stations, with proper changes to assure smoother and more efficient inspections, the safety of motoring in the state would be well served.

Experts reported that about six percent of the automobiles involved in fatal accidents each year had one or more unsafe conditions, either bad brakes, tire defects, improperly adjusted or burned-out lights, and other such conditions traceable to poor maintenance, contributing to about 2,000 fatal accidents in 1951. It thus urges adoption of the program when the Assembly would meet for its biennial session the following January.

"Wanted: Information on Informers" indicates that Paul Crouch had been an organizer for the Communist Party in his native North Carolina at one point, prompting Charlotte Police Chief Frank Littlejohn to recall that he had once arrested him. Mr. Crouch had split from the party to become a paid and frequently used informant for the Government regarding Communist activities.

The previous day, he had demanded that a Congressional investigation proceed against Attorney General Herbert Brownell, who was investigating Mr. Crouch. As it was the Justice Department who employed him as a paid informant, the picture was somewhat convoluted, but it expects some worthwhile results, as it would focus attention on the growing "cult of the informer", a bipartisan phenomenon which had dangerous possibilities.

The FBI and CIA would not disclose how many paid informants they had on the payroll or how much they were paid. Other agencies and departments, such as Treasury, the IRS, and the Secret Service, likewise maintained such information in secret. It was known, however, that the Justice Department maintained at least 35 informants as "consultants" for the Immigration and Naturalization Service, under the purview of Justice.

It suggests that many informants had provided invaluable aid in the Government's continuing investigation of subversion and tax fraud, but that there was also the chance, regardless of pay, for unjust and unsubstantiated accusations by informants, resulting in serious damage to individuals thus accused falsely. It finds, therefore, that having informants on the Government's payroll encouraged irresponsibility. The Alsops in a column had recently suggested that when the informant ran out of things on which to inform, there was still an incentive to maintain the regular Government income, to the point of encouraging the informant to begin to make up things.

The investigation of Mr. Crouch and two other of the 12 Justice Department informants most frequently used as witnesses had begun after discrepancies cropped up in their testimony. It indicates that the investigations would determine the facts and the necessity perhaps for perjury charges, after which remedies might be afforded for the evils which the informant system stimulated.

"Able Ambassador of God and Country" indicates that evangelist Billy Graham was Charlotte's best known native son, and probably also of the state of North Carolina, being, in many parts of the world, a symbol of America, not generally represented by the tourist, the G.I. or the diplomat, and so unknown previously to many foreigners. He was, it suggests, "the embodiment of the enduring, upright, God-fearing qualities" which had given the nation one of its greatest sources of strength.

Raised in a Christian home, Rev. Graham had become an able and articulate ambassador for his God and his country, retaining the while his modesty and sense of values, despite the attendant publicity. He had become a vehicle for considerable spiritual awakening in Europe, and had helped to instill in high places in Washington, as elsewhere across the land, a renewed awareness of the eternal and everlasting. It welcomes him home and wishes him well as he undertook to rest before again continuing with his crusade.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "A Small Vote for Disunity", indicates that from abroad had come grave laments that an absence of unity in the French Government had caused the fall of the Government of Joseph Laniel, which, in turn, could contribute to further disunity among the Western allies regarding Indo-China, that in the U.S., Senators William Knowland and Karl Mundt were upset about the feud between Senator McCarthy and Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, having a bad effect on Republican Party unity. The President had urged more unity behind his legislative program, wanting "less political fission and more political fusion", which the piece regards as the type of "advertising agency prose" in which his speechwriters occasionally indulged.

The News-Leader had recently urged more Southern unity in the matter of school segregation, and so suggests that it might appear paradoxical now to be stating the case for more disunity, but finds the need to state it anyway, as it regards unity, in itself, not to be the virtue it was reputed to be. For in some quarters, the conception of unity manifested itself as doing what was generally acceptable, not what was necessarily right, which it finds to be a corruption of values, placing form over substance. If unity was pressed for a program which was ultimately wrong, the fact of unity on it would not improve it. Compromise, sometimes, had its place, but compromise solely for the sake of it lacked merit, and so it was with unity. "Political fusion" could become a dangerously wrong course if dissenters were made to feel as outcasts merely because of their dissent.

Thus, it explains, it did not object to healthy measures of disunity, as the condition suggested independence of spirit and the unwillingness to be squelched and gagged, the spirit which had contributed to American greatness. The maxim, "united we stand, divided we fall", should not be accepted uncritically to the point that it was achieved in pursuit of wrong goals, for in that event, "we can fall united where divided we might have found a better answer."

It might have added in present times that disagreement and division for the sake of it, rejecting all rational reasoning in the process, as are the Trumpies wont to do, winds up only with a divided mess, tending, in the end, toward violence, far worse, therefore, than unity for the sake of it, even if both forms of artificiality are the result of overindulgence in sentiment and rejection of intellectual reasoning informed by reasonably determined factual agreement as a basis on which to found logical conclusions, not subjective cherry-picking of claims devoid of merit to weave a concatenation of fiction on which to base a conclusion reached emotionally in the first instance and then rationalized by the picked cherries chosen for their tendency to support it, that because all cherries come from nature and some cherries are good, all cherries are thus necessarily perfect and only Commies would dare criticize them as becoming rotten with time and unfit for consumption.

A piece from Changing Times  regards joke telling as a fine art, suggests, in the event one had told a joke and received no response, adjusting the method by which the yarn was spun, providing 13 suggestions to improve the spinning. For the jokers, have at it.

Drew Pearson indicates that a lot of diplomats had been answering queries about the character, motives and background of Senator William Knowland of California and his challenge to the President on foreign policy. Mr. Pearson indicates that the Senator was a man of brawn and not brains, "sincere, honest, sometimes mistaken, loyal," that if it had not been for his loyalty, he might have been President by this point. At the 1952 Republican convention, the Senator could have become the vice-presidential running mate of the late Senator Robert Taft, which, because of the latter's death the previous July, would have made Mr. Knowland President had such a ticket been triumphant. He had also received assurance from Senator Taft that if Senator Knowland would steer the support of the California delegation to Senator Taft, and if the latter did not obtain the nomination by the third ballot, then Senator Taft would deliver his delegates to Senator Knowland for the nomination. But Senator Knowland had refused the offer, remaining loyal to his fellow Californian, Governor Earl Warren, also a candidate for the nomination, and who had, years earlier, appointed Mr. Knowland to the Senate seat.

At the time of the convention, Senator Richard Nixon turned his back on the California delegation and made a backstage deal with the Eisenhower forces to become the vice-presidential nominee. The rivalry between Mr. Nixon and Mr. Knowland partly explained why Senator Knowland now found himself challenging the leadership of the President and Secretary of State Dulles on foreign policy, there being two reasons, posits Mr. Pearson, for that challenge, that Senator Knowland had talked so much about China that he had come to believe his own rhetoric, and that Vice-President Nixon had engaged in a backstage conspiracy to unseat Senator Knowland as the Republican leader in the Senate and replace him in 1955 with Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois. The latter plan was known to the Senator and he had decided that if he was going to break with the Administration, he would choose the issue on which to do so, that being an issue dearest to his heart, Nationalist China, in which he had become interested because the largest Chinese population of any state or area within the country was in San Francisco, across the bay from Oakland, where Senator Knowland's father published the Oakland Tribune, one of the most powerful newspapers at the time in California, and San Francisco's Chinatown had afforded one of the strongest enclaves of support for Senator Knowland.

The Senator had visited General MacArthur in Tokyo, had talked to Chiang Kai-shek in Formosa, and to him, Nationalist China was virtually a religion.

There had been nothing remarkable about his Senate leadership, though he was relentless, tenacious, and sometimes ruthless in domestic policy, and equally tenacious in foreign policy. He had been so relentless in examining Secretary Dulles after the latter's return from the Berlin conference, that he had brought tears to the eyes of Mr. Dulles, remarking that it appeared impossible to please the gentlemen of the committee. The previous week, Secretary Dulles had appeared in another closed-door committee meeting to report on Indo-China and the Geneva peace conference, had been meek and listless, looking pale and tired, appearing to have surrendered to Senator Knowland.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson being one of the few really confident and cheerful figures in Washington, where those attributes were growing increasingly rare. They suggest that the reason might be that the Secretary had a cause and the guts to fight for it, was doing pretty good at it thus far. They find that not enough had yet been made of the important House vote providing a compromise victory on the flexible farm subsidy issue, instead of providing the farmer with a rigid price support at 90 percent of parity, leading to further increasing surpluses, already taxing available storage space, the Secretary wanting to be able to change, at his discretion, the percentage of parity within a range based on market price. He had proposed a range of between 75 and 90 percent, and the House had compromised, providing a range of between 82.5 and 90 percent.

The President, at his most recent press conference during the week, had stated that he did not regard the House vote as a compromise because he had never really wanted the floor below 80 percent in the first place. Yet, the Administration-proposed bill had set it at 75 percent, and Mr. Benson made it clear that he had only accepted the 82.5 percent floor because he thought that was the best House Majority Leader Charles Halleck could obtain, and that it was a victory to have obtained half of what they had sought. He also stated that the fight in the House was harder than it would be in the Senate, that he believed they would do better in the latter body and would be able to amend the House bill to remove the higher supports for dairy products and obtain the 75 percent floor.

The House vote had been obtained only by offering something extra to the representatives from the wool states and threatening that the wool-growers would obtain nothing at all unless they deserted the rest of the farm bloc and voted for the flexible supports.

Secretary Benson's case against the 90 percent fixed support price was, the Alsops suggest, pretty hard to answer, for there would be nearly two billion bushels if wheat, about a two-year supply, in storage by the end of 1954, and both wheat and corn were currently selling in the market well below the Government's guaranteed price, for the fact that there was no further storage available and the support price, by law, could not be paid when the crops could not be stored, as there was then no theoretical security for the Government "loan".

Henry Ford II, president of Ford Motor Co., has printed an excerpt from his address before the Finnish-American Club and the Finnish-American Society in Helsinki, in which he discusses broader aspects of the American economy, specifically, social responsibilities of American businessmen. He suggests that the previous conventional wisdom, that American businessmen were under the domination of Wall Street, that business and labor were at loggerheads, that American mass production methods had eliminated individual initiative and made a robot out of the working man, that American capitalists competed so fiercely that the interests of the worker and the consumer were trampled, that American business wanted war because war would bring high profits, no longer obtained, though they may have contained a grain of truth 50 years earlier, now representing only propaganda.

Rather than try to argue against those notions, however, he indicates his intention to provide one businessman's view of the businessman's primary responsibilities toward society, that it went far beyond what the law demanded, as in the law against combining in a monopolistic form to dominate a particular business or industry. Unlike the Nineteenth Century when the business tycoon was at large, that era was dead and now business was run by the manager who likely only owned a small share of the business and no longer controlled the social environment in which he lived. Thus, unless the new businessman understood and accepted the new forces at work in society, accepted his industrial citizenship, he would fail both economically and socially. He still had to make a profit but it was no longer to be by any means he chose.

He finds that the businessman had responsibility in three areas, to the consumer, to the employee, and to the community, responsibilities which had always been present, but now were realized by the American businessman during the previous few years. He indicates that the American businessman was not a saint, but that his conduct regarding social responsibility would compare favorably to any other social or economic group, in America or abroad. That was only natural as the businessman was a human being and was therefore anxious that the society which he left to his children would be better than the one he found.

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