The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 13, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles arrived in Paris this date and said that he considered that a collective defense organization for Southeast Asia could help France obtain a "just and honorable peace" in Indo-China. His purpose in making the visit was to confer with French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, who would seek to convince him that an "honorable peace" could still be won in Indo-China and that the Secretary's presence at the Geneva peace conference would help to achieve that. He indicated that the U.S. was not a belligerent in the war in Indo-China and, therefore, was not directly concerned with many aspects of the problem before the Geneva conference, but also had a great and continuing interest in collective action by France, Britain, the U.S. and other free countries to promote the peace and freedom of Southeast Asia. He hoped that those problems, as well as the problems of Europe, would be among the subjects of his conversations with the Premier and with British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, with whom he was also scheduled to have talks in Paris, the conversations to take place during the afternoon and evening this date.

From Hanoi, it was reported that the Vietminh the previous night had shelled French Army headquarters with mortars at Son Tay, a town 25 miles northwest of Hanoi, and that sniper warfare was occurring in the streets of the town. A French Army spokesman said that civilians were moving out of the town as rebel pressure built up in that sector and across the northern Red River Delta defense posts. One rebel sniper had been killed on a street corner in Son Tay, but others had apparently escaped. The French reported that 41 Vietminh were reported killed and 17 captured in various actions during the previous night, but there was no statement regarding French losses. The Vietminh had attacked a French highway guard patrol between Hanoi and Son Tay, but were repulsed by a French tank squadron, with 20 Vietminh reported killed and seven captured. Other fights were reported 25 miles southeast of Hanoi and 35 miles northeast of the city. The French spokesman said that the Vietminh had been driven off before their demolition units could cut the supply road to Hanoi, and 20 rebels had been killed and ten captured in that area.

Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California said this date that he still believed the U.S. had to obtain a definite answer soon from France regarding German participation in the European Defense Community unified Army, involving six nations, France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, by an 8 to 5 vote the previous day, softened a proposal supported by its chairman, Senator Knowland, to cut off military aid to France and Italy at the end of the year unless they ratified EDC by that point, but Senator Knowland told reporters afterward that he believed some acceptable formula could be worked out to get a tough form of that provision. He said that he and other Senate Republicans would continue their fight on the Senate floor for such a provision. In addition to Senator Knowland, Senator Homer Ferguson, chairman of the Senate Republican policy committee, had voted against the compromise, while five Democrats and three other Republicans supported the Administration-backed proposal, already approved by the House. General Alfred Gruenther, NATO supreme commander, had telephone from Europe that he regarded the Knowland-backed proposal as "dangerous", a term also reportedly applied to it by Secretary Dulles.

At Fort Bragg, N.C., the nation's newest atomic artillery weapons were paraded this date before top defense officials, including Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens, Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Anderson and Army chief of staff, General Matthew Ridgway. Featured was a 280-millimeter atomic cannon and the "Honest John" atomic rocket. The officials described the review, which included the 82nd Airborne Division and units of the 18th Corps Artillery, as "a very impressive sight, indeed". It was the first time that the atomic weapons had been displayed in a public review, and later the visitors witnessed the first unrestricted firing of the "Honest John" rocket, a 762-millimeter gun with a range of over 20 miles. General Ridgway said that such weapons were valueless except in the hands of men determined to fight and trained to do so. He said that the 82nd Airborne was one of three divisions presently at full strength, the other two being the first Armored Division at Fort Lewis, Wash., and the 44th Infantry Division at Camp Hood, Tex. Only rarely was a full Army division assembled for formal review, as it took weeks of planning and days of equipment polishing for preparation, taking hours just to parade nearly 18,000 men, their trucks, jeeps, weapons carriers, tanks and guns past a reviewing point.

At Bolton Landing, N.Y., at the 46th annual governors conference, Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania proposed a plan for a showdown conference of governors with the President on a projected 50 billion dollar highway construction program, a proposal endorsed by California Governor Goodwin Knight. Governor Fine criticized a proposal made by Vice-President Nixon the previous night, saying that the governors wanted the Federal Government to get out of the gasoline and fuel oil tax field and that the present was the time to do it before there was a large-scale highway program, such as the President had proposed through the Vice-President. The latter proposal was that the Federal Government and the states would cooperate to build a system of roads aimed at providing transportation for an anticipated 200 million people by 1970. Mr. Nixon, reading from notes prepared by the President, said that the President believed that there were "appalling inadequacies" in the country's highways, which had to be solved "to meet the demands of catastrophe or defense should atomic war come." Governor Fine, a Republican supporter of the Administration, said that the proposal placed a "cloud" on the state control of road-building and involved continued Federal aid which a majority of the governors opposed. He said that he believed the states ought take advantage of the President's offer only after a conference of the governors in Washington during the fall, where they would be able to determine what the Administration proposal exactly meant. Governor Knight agreed with that proposal as long as the meeting would be held after the November elections, in which he was running for re-election. Almost without exception, both Republican and Democratic governors agreed that the country needed a ten-year road expansion program, but there was a general feeling that the President's plan involved a challenge in the historic controversy regarding state and Federal powers.

Many people are oblivious to the notion today that the interstate highway system was originally conceived primarily as a defense mechanism by which men and matériel would be moved between strategic points in the country with ease during a direct attack, and as a means of evacuation of the major cities, as well as a means of enabling dispersal of industries outside the major cities, making the cities less appealing as targets for nuclear attack, the necessity of which President Eisenhower had gleaned immediately after the war in touring defeated Germany and seeing the Autobahn. Their secondary purpose was as a means of facilitated commerce and transportation.

In High Point, N.C., three fires in industrial areas of midtown the previous night had caused an estimated one million dollars worth of damage and the fire chief indicated a suspicion of arson as the origin. Fifteen firemen had been overcome by smoke, and another had suffered a hip injury after a fall through a floor, all having been hospitalized but without serious injuries. The SBI and the National Board of Fire Underwriters indicated that they were sending representatives to the scene, and the Mayor, following a conference with police and fire officials, announced that there would be a patrol of the city against the potential for further arson. The fires had no effect on the High Point summer furniture and rugs trade show, which had opened in the Exposition Building the previous day.

In Stockholm, prisoners at the Langholm Penitentiary complained to the Swedish Government that their nerves were being shattered by jazz music emanating from a fairground just outside the walls, penetrating the closed doors and windows so that they were unable to sleep, according to their statement. They blamed the music for a recent rash of escapes and narcotics smuggling within the prison, saying that they were sentenced to hard labor, not torture.

On the editorial page, "A Ray of Sunlight in the Gloom" indicates that for the first time in two weeks, a ray of sunshine had pierced the gloom which had pervaded U.S.-British relations, as Prime Minister Churchill had stated firmly before Commons that his Government did not consider it appropriate at the present time to raise the matter of Communist China's admission to the U.N., indicating that Britain would cooperate with the U.S. in seeking postponement of the issue, which otherwise threatened to produce a serious breach between the two allies, indicating his continued support for admission to the U.N. of Communist China, but only after it made it clear that it was forswearing aggression, as demonstrated in Korea and Indo-China, and would follow international agreements. He understood the difficulties which the Eisenhower Administration faced in the midterm elections and was aware of the dangers to the U.N. and to the Western alliance by pressing the issue of admission of Communist China at the present time.

It indicates that postponement would not solve the problem, but it would at least prevent it from entering the realm of partisan politics in the U.S., as Asian policy was becoming once again a partisan weapon as the midterm elections approached. Stalwarts of both parties were determined to demonstrate their toughness toward Communist China and many were following those who advocated departure from the U.N. in the event of admission of Communist China.

In contrast to that dissension had been Prime Minister Churchill's conciliatory attitude, which it finds to be a model of practical diplomacy, recognizing that long-range U.S.-British aims were identical, despite the nations having somewhat different ideas on how to reach them. It regards it as a useful lesson for hot-headed U.S. politicians who would allow short-sighted political considerations to endanger relations with the oldest and most valued allies.

The speech had also raised important questions regarding the exchange of atomic data with allies, as the Prime Minister had stated that his original purpose in going to Washington had been his deep concern regarding the lack of information possessed by Britain on the hydrogen bomb. It indicates that if such information had been withheld, it was unwise, that the Western world had to live with the fact that it was hopelessly committed to the unstable atom, and that it could no more go back to the relatively playful type of warfare of the early 1940's than to the long-bow of Agincourt. It was thus vital that the great nations of the Western world share atomic knowledge, if they were going to survive.

"Still Preoccupied with Patronage" indicates that H. F. Seawell, the 1952 Republican North Carolina gubernatorial candidate who had entertained many audiences with sharp jabs at the Democrats, was beginning to talk like a Democrat during an interview recently in Carthage, N.C., in which he denounced the "Fascist" and "carpetbag" rule of the national Republican Party, charging that in dispensing patronage, it had ignored the people who stayed loyal through the long years of political adversity, making it hard to build a strong Republican Party in the South.

He was still angry for being turned down by Attorney General Herbert Brownell for the position of U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of North Carolina, despite having good qualifications and high recommendations. He had made the point that if the titular head of the North Carolina Republican Party was not suitable for that position, then no one among the other loyal Republicans could expect rewards for their labors.

Patronage had traditionally been a major factor in holding American political parties together, but with the expansion of the Civil Service system, it had become a relatively minor force, as so many positions were filled through Civil Service. Mr. Seawell's preoccupation with patronage reflected a state of mind which had, itself, been a deterrent to building a strong Republican Party organization in the South, as Republican bosses maintained party rolls small so that there would be fewer claims for the jobs when a Republican presidential victory would occur. Thus, even after the 1952 Republican victory, there had been few efforts at the precinct level to expand Republican registration in the South. It recommends therefore that Mr. Seawell and his fellow Republicans stop worrying so much about patronage and start thinking more about the other reasons why people should become interested in political activities, through examining the headlines of any newspaper and noting the state of the world.

"Dale Francis Earned His New Job" indicates that Mr. Francis had been named national director for Catholic information activities, a position which he deserved, having become well known locally as an able and articulate lay spokesman for the Roman Catholic Church, despite being raised as a Protestant and licensed to preach in the Methodist Church, having converted to Catholicism while in the Army, and since that time having been a tireless worker on behalf of the Catholic Church. A former newspaperman, his writing on Catholicism had been prolific and for a diverse market, consisting of pamphlets, magazine articles, a column for the Catholic press, and letters to editors. Presently, he and his wife were in Europe, where he planned pilgrimages to its shrines, and it compliments him on receiving the promotion.

A piece from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "How To Get Junior to the Dentist", tells of a Pennsylvania dentist's statement that he and others in the profession suffered along with their patients regarding the necessity of inflicting pain, which the piece finds comforting in light of a pending visit.

It relates that according to the Manchester Guardian, Elizabeth I, in December, 1578, suffering from a bad toothache, had been informed by her physician that the offending tooth should be pulled, but that the Queen had not given her consent because of fear of the "acute pain" attendant the extraction. The Bishop of London had sought to reassure her that the treatment was nothing about which to be alarmed and volunteered to undergo an experiment, himself, despite being an old man and not having many teeth left, then proceeding to have one of his own pulled in the Queen's presence, encouraging her to submit to the procedure.

King James I took up dentistry as a hobby, and instead of accepting fees, paid his patients 18 shillings each for the privilege of removing their teeth.

It advises that the next time Junior refused to go to the dentist, his father should recall the Bishop of London's great sacrifice in a similar situation and perhaps consider volunteering for a similar experiment, as the father likely had some teeth which either needed to come out or be filled.

Drew Pearson indicates that the question of whether the Justice Department ought bring an antitrust suit against the United Fruit Co. during the Guatemalan revolt recently, had gone all the way to the Cabinet before a decision was made. The United Fruit lawyers had urged Attorney General Brownell to dismiss the suit, the investigation of which had begun under the Truman Administration, but the new Eisenhower Administration trust-buster, Judge Stanley Barnes, decided that there was a definite case of monopoly against the company based on its banana trade in Central America. Yet Mr. Brownell remained cautious and urged first discussion with the United Fruit lawyers before the suit would be filed, to hear their side of the story, despite being apprised that it was not Justice Department policy to confer with the offending parties when the Government had an airtight case. They nevertheless deferred to his advice, and discussions transpired for about a year, delaying action until around the time of the Guatemalan revolt, at which point, the case was sent to the President, who, in turn, raised it in a Cabinet meeting at which Secretary Dulles was in favor of the suit as showing that the U.S. was not working with United Fruit alone, but championed smaller companies in Latin America. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, however, opposed the suit, but it was his opposition which caused the President finally to decide to go ahead with it, as Mr. Wilson's arguments against it appeared to support the Justice Department view that the suit was correct.

The President had received a letter from Democratic Congressman Emanuel Celler of Brooklyn, in which the latter accused the President of playing into Senator McCarthy's hands by giving the Senator confidential income tax returns, normally against the law, enabling the Senator to continue his routine of attacking those who accused him of wrongdoing. Mr. Pearson informs that Senator McCarthy was on friendly terms with the IRS commissioner T. Coleman Andrews, who had once introduced the Senator to an audience in Richmond, Va., as one of the nation's greatest Americans, despite the fact that Mr. Andrews was supposed to be investigating the Senator's taxes at the time. Mr. Pearson suggests that it might be that friendship which had enabled the Senator to obtain all types of tax returns from the Treasury Department, even though the Government Operations Committee which the Senator chaired had not voted to obtain them. Yet, under Senate committee rules, a majority of a committee was supposed to pass on any request for income tax returns. Senator McCarthy had various investigators, not on the Senate payroll, paid by his Texas oil friends, who had access to the confidential tax returns, setting up an elite corps of private investigators working for one group of citizens against another. Mr. Pearson notes that meanwhile, two of those investigators had failed to obtain security clearance, as revealed recently in the latter stages of the Army-McCarthy hearings.

Columnist and radio commentator Walter Winchell was helping to peddle the story that every anti-McCarthy newspaper in the country had someone on the editorial staff placed there by the Communists.

When Winston Churchill had been entertained by the National Press Club during his recent visit to Washington, the only distinguished speaker who received no applause when introduced had been Admiral Lewis Strauss, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of grave concern about the many breaches of atomic security which had occurred in the transcript of the loyalty hearings regarding Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer, including concern by the Atomic Energy Commission's advisory committee chairman, Dr. I. I. Rabi. The Pentagon, especially the Air Force, was also concerned about the release of the transcript, even though it had been edited for security purposes during the course of the hearings. But that editing had been hasty and in some cases contradictory. Moreover, those doing the editing believed the transcript would have only limited circulation and so substituted rows of dots for questionable words and phrases, which were quite discernible to those with knowledge of atomic energy.

As a result, the transcript had revealed a previously top-secret Air Force project for long-range detection of Soviet atomic and hydrogen explosions, revealed that U.S. scientific analysts had found the air sample the most reliable of the several available methods of long-range detection and disclosed that the analysts knew the precise character of the Soviet bombs listed thus far, revealed many never before published facts to enable detailed reconstruction of the basic recommendations of the VISTA report, also previously top-secret, including its chapter 5, which had led then-General Eisenhower to make important modifications of his strategy for Western European defense, modifications which still guided the thinking at NATO headquarters. In addition, the transcript had revealed many vital details regarding the Lincoln study of continental air defense and the exact timing of the discovery by Dr. Edward Teller which had revolutionized the hydrogen bomb project, thus letting Soviet intelligence know when the U.S. hydrogen bomb project got started, giving their analysts a base on which to calculate their hydrogen bomb stockpile, and revealed certain other data which the Soviet intelligence officers could probably put together with their own air samples and deduce the exact nature of Dr. Teller's discovery.

Those were massive revelations which, for the first time, revealed secret arguments, the precise nature of highest official opinion, and various viewpoints and approaches regarding several of the country's most vital strategic problems, giving the Soviets an accurate assessment of their enemy's intention.

The Alsops assert that while security should never conceal from the nation basic facts of the national situation, there had been security investigations in which facts were published which were already known to the enemy but not the public, but now the transcript of the Oppenheimer hearings had told the enemy substantial amounts of information which they could otherwise not have learned with any certainty.

The single person most responsible for the leaks was Admiral Lewis Strauss, chairman of the AEC, who had fought to keep from the public the truth about its situation via "Operation Candor". Now, the Oppenheimer hearings had been "Operation Spill-the-Beans", with the apparent motive being to obtain advance support for Admiral Strauss's finding against Dr. Oppenheimer, containing, among other things, a letter with ugly charges against him, unanimously repudiated by the three-man board appointed by the President, chaired by UNC president Gordon Gray, and by the AEC, itself. The Alsops remind that Dr. Oppenheimer was held to be guiltless of any disclosure of secret matter.

Marquis Childs indicates that Secretary of State Dulles was being pressed on many fronts as the Indo-China crisis shook the base of the Western alliance. At home, he had to cope with a number of conflicting views, including a widening conviction that a preventive war might be the only answer to the increasingly serious threat to the country's security from Communist imperialism, with speeches of prominent military men contributing to that conviction. Air Force generals, especially General Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command, had occasionally openly advocated a preventive strike to destroy or at least permanently cripple Russia's war-making centers. More recently, Admiral Robert Carney, chief of Naval Operations, in a speech to the National Security Industrial Association, appeared to say that there were only two choices presently open for the country, either to accept Communist conquest in Southeast Asia or go to war there. Admiral Carney had stated privately that it was an incorrect interpretation of what he had meant, that he did not mean to insinuate that there were only two such choices ahead. The speech, nevertheless, had brought a showdown between the State Department and the Pentagon.

In the midst of such speeches, Secretary Dulles sought to hold the line which would maintain bipartisan support at home, while assuring allies in Europe and Asia that the U.S. was not about to make war. The speech by Admiral Carney had only received the typical advance cursory examination by the State Department to ascertain that it was not disclosing any vital secret information and then was "cleared", which had complicated the scenario for Secretary Dulles when it was thus reported in the newspapers. The Secretary had always been firmly opposed to any preventive war on moral and ethical grounds, and believed that to launch such a war was a confession of failure of policy based on the conviction of innate superiority of the free system over totalitarianism.

The latest speech to shake the State Department had been Vice-President Nixon's political speech in Milwaukee, blaming the foreign policy of the Truman Administration, and specifically Secretary of State Acheson, for the policy in China which had led to its loss to the Communists, and thus the war in Korea and the crisis in Indo-China, prompting counter-charges from Democrats.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that a vote for a governor during the year might be naming a presidential candidate of the future, as a survey by the Quarterly regarding presidential tickets since 1912 had shown that a governor had a much better chance to be a party nominee than a Senator. No sitting Senator had been nominated for the presidency since Warren G. Harding was nominated by the Republicans in 1920. The governorship of a key two-party state, especially New York, was the best possible springboard to the presidency, with both major parties usually nominating a Senator as the vice-presidential nominee. In the 11 presidential contests between 1912 and 1952, governors or former governors had won major party nominations for the presidency 14 times, while others nominated included a Senator, a former Senator, that being President Truman in 1948, and a former Representative, James Cox of Ohio, who was Governor at the time of his Democratic nomination in 1920, while five nominees, all of whom were Republicans, had not been either governors or members of Congress, including incumbent President William Howard Taft in 1912, Supreme Court Justice Charles Evans Hughes in 1916, Herbert Hoover in 1928 and 1932, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and General Eisenhower in 1952.

Since 1912, 16 men, seven Democrats and nine Republicans, had won the nomination for the presidency, and four had been nominated more than once, President Wilson, President Hoover, President Franklin Roosevelt, and Governor Thomas Dewey. Of the nominees, seven had previously been Governors, four Democrats and three Republicans. Democrats had only chosen nominees who had been either Governors or members of Congress, while Republicans had nominated persons from other areas five times.

During the previous 11 elections, the major parties had chosen vice-presidential nominees from Congress 12 different times, while men with gubernatorial backgrounds had been chosen seven times.

Since 1912, the Democrats had won seven presidential elections and the Republicans four, with the Democrats winning four times with FDR, twice with Woodrow Wilson, both of whom had been former Governors, and President Truman. President Harding had been the only person elected directly to the Presidency from the Senate since 1912, succeeded at his death by Vice-President Calvin Coolidge, a former Governor of Massachusetts. It lists the successful vice-presidential nominees since 1912.

It indicates that only once since 1923 had a New York Governor or former Governor failed to be the presidential nominee of one of the two major parties, that having been in 1952, when Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson vied with General Eisenhower for the presidency. Those sitting New York Governors included Democrat Al Smith, in 1928, FDR in 1932, 1936, 1940 and 1944, and Republican Thomas Dewey in 1944 and 1948, as well as Mr. Hughes, former Governor of New York.

Since 1952, the presidential nominees of the two major parties have consisted, in 1956 of former Governor Stevenson and the incumbent President, in 1960 of Senator John F. Kennedy and Vice-President Nixon, in 1964 of incumbent President Johnson and Senator Barry Goldwater, in 1968 of former Vice-President Nixon and Vice-President Hubert Humphrey, both former Senators, in 1972 of Senator George McGoven and incumbent President Nixon, in 1976 of Governor Jimmy Carter and incumbent President Gerald Ford, a former member of the House, in 1980, President Carter and former Governor Ronald Reagan, in 1984 President Reagan and former Vice-President Walter Mondale, a former Senator, in 1988 Vice-President George H. W. Bush, a former member of the House, and Governor Michael Dukakis, in 1992 President Bush and Governor Bill Clinton, in 1996 President Clinton and Senator Bob Dole, in 2000 Vice-President Al Gore, a former Senator, and Governor George W. Bush, in 2004 President Bush and Senator John Kerry, in 2008 Senator Barrack Obama and Senator John McCain, in 2012 President Obama and former Governor and future Senator Mitt Romney, in 2016 former Secretary of State and former Senator Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a businessman and reality-tv star, in 2020 "President" Trump and former Vice-President and former Senator Joe Biden. Thus, in those subsequent elections, aside from incumbent Presidents running in nine of them, Governors or former Governors were major party nominees in 1956, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004 and 2012. Senators or former Senators were nominees in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016 and 2020. Former Congressmen were the nominees in 1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1976, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2008, all subsequently, however, having held higher office, either in the Senate or Vice-Presidency, before becoming the party nominee. Seven Representatives or former Representatives, without having subsequently served as Governor or Senator, who were on major party tickets as vice-presidential nominees since 1952 were William Miller in 1964, George H. W. Bush in 1980, Geraldine Ferraro in 1984, Jack Kemp in 1996, Dick Cheney in 2000, and Paul Ryan in 2012. Otherwise, all vice-presidential nominees were either Senators, former Senators, sitting Vice-Presidents or Governors, with the exception of the substitute candidacy of Sargent Shriver, former head of the Peace Corps and Ambassador to France, on the Democratic ticket with Senator George McGovern in 1972 after the withdrawal of Senator Tom Eagleton, the original vice-presidential nominee, regarding personal matters.

A letter writer indicates that recently, the newspaper had reprinted a paragraph from the Buford (Ga.) Advertiser, which ran: "One of the nice features of old age is that you can whistle while you brush your teeth?" He wonders whether anyone had ever tried to whistle while washing their only set of dentures, and if so, he would like to learn the secret.

A letter writer indicates that he had made an observation, as a former resident of North Carolina, during a recent visit, reading with interest many of the letters to the editor in the newspaper, finding them amusing, indicates being on the way back to the "'wonderful northern states' where we all love our colored brothers—where we all live in complete non-segregated bliss!"

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