The Charlotte News

Monday, July 19, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Geneva that French Premier Pierre Mendes-France had entered the final 36 hours of his attempt to achieve a peace in Indo-China, after which he had promised to resign his post if he could not achieve the cease-fire by the following day. A British spokesman said that he had "a chance, that's all". Another Western official said that he would not even bet on the proposition. The top Communist delegates kept to themselves. A source indicated that the French Premier and the Communists appeared to have settled the issue of the composition of a commission to police the armistice, to consist of representatives from Canada, India and Poland, composition which the British, according to the source, would support. The position of the U.S. was not known, but in the past it had opposed inclusion of any Communist states on the commission because of the negative results in Korea, where Czechoslovakia and Poland had hampered operations of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission with their veto power. Under the tentative agreement regarding the composition of the commission, France and the Communists had agreed that an unanimous vote on any issues which might lead to resumption of hostilities would be required, that otherwise, a simple majority would suffice. The source stressed, however, that the agreement was not in its final form. Progress had also been reportedly made on the issue of elections in Viet Nam following the armistice, with the Communists prepared to accept a delay of 18 months prior to elections, whereas earlier they had sought elections within six months, while the French had sought a two-year interim. There appeared little doubt that Viet Nam would be partitioned somewhere between the 14th and 18th parallels. A Vietnamese spokesman said this date that there would, sadly, be a partition and they realized it could not be avoided. He said that his Government still demanded U.N. supervision of the armistice but that the decision would be made over their heads, complained that the Vietnamese were kept in ignorance of whatever happened. A high U.S. source said that it would be very difficult for the Communists to reject the offer made by Premier Mendes-France and still make it appear that they wanted peace and without losing face before the Asian nations. It was reported that the statement by Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith the previous day, that the U.S. was prepared to help obtain a just and honorable peace and that it would honor its obligations under the U.N. Charter in the event of an agreement, had brought no objections from the Communists.

Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont announced this date that he would defer from July 20 until July 30 his planned motion for censure of Senator McCarthy, stating that he had agreed to the delay based on the request of Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, the senior Democratic member of the Senate Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, because Senator Flanders wanted the vote to be "as massive and bipartisan as possible". He also said that there was concern expressed by the Republican leadership that his resolution might stir a fight which could hurt action on the President's legislative program during the closing weeks of the session of Congress. Senator Flanders stated that he would deliver a speech the following day in the Senate regarding his resolution of censure, the text of which speech he had made public during the weekend. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California had expressed concern that the President's legislative program might be completely blocked if the Senate became engaged in extended debate on the censure resolution and that it could wreck plans for the Congress to adjourn at the end of the month.

Senator McCarthy this date began public hearings on his repeated charges that there were 130-odd subversives in defense plants. One of the accused began yelling about informers and stool pigeons, prompting Senator McCarthy to order him removed by a Capitol police officer. The man had been identified as a Communist by a witness who was an FBI undercover agent who joined the Communist Party. When Senator McCarthy asked whether the accused was in the room and would like to step forward and testify, the man stepped forward and shouted that he wanted to know what the charges were, who the accusers were, and wished to have time to prepare his response, saying that a telegram practically convicting him had been sent to his employer and had nearly cost him his job, that he did not know who the stool pigeons and informers were. Senator McCarthy replied that he was not going to come into the hearing and call an FBI agent a stool pigeon, then ordered him removed. Senator McCarthy admitted that some of the 130-odd individuals whom he claimed were members of the Communist Party in the defense plants might include some of the undercover FBI agents. The investigation had been initiated despite four of the seven members of the subcommittee objecting that first there should be a housecleaning of the subcommittee's staff and despite the censure resolution pending from Senator Flanders. There were only nine spectators present at the hearing this date and television newsreel cameras recorded part of the proceedings, a far cry from the publicity attendant the 36 days of televised hearings in April through June before the subcommittee regarding the dispute between Senator McCarthy and the Army.

The American Telephone & Telegraph Co. announced this date that it planned to construct an underwater telephone cable system linking all 48 states with the Territory of Alaska, with the project to be completed by 1956. The company said that it would serve both public and defense purposes. Present telephone service between Alaska and the 48 states was provided over 13 radio and land-line circuits which the company said were inadequate to handle equipment and estimated future business.

Hot weather continued across the nation's midsection this date after a brief period of relief late the previous week, with little further relief in sight. The death toll from the heat had reached 237 as of the previous day, when temperatures from central Texas and northern Louisiana to southwestern North Dakota had climbed generally into the 100-plus range. Scattered thunderstorms in the Ohio Valley and near the Canadian border had kept temperatures in those areas down somewhat. The high for the date was 116 in Fort Scott, Kans., with the mercury having reached 111 in Kansas City and 112 in St. Louis.

In Richwood, W.Va., a flash flood hit the town this date, taking at least one life and ruining approximately a million dollars worth of property, as 10 to 12 feet of water swept through the small town. The storm which produced the flooding had begun around midnight with torrents of rain.

Near Cambridge, Md., a frugal bachelor who made thousands of dollars crabbing and oyster tonging but did not trust banks, was near death and penniless this date, after neighbors heard his cries for help early the previous day and found him lying in his kitchen savagely beaten. During one of his brief periods of consciousness, police officers questioned him and he said that he had been carrying between $5,000 and $6,000.

In Middletown, O., a blood brigade was formed to save the life of a six-year old boy who suffered from an unnamed, rare condition which prevented his blood from clotting properly, though not hemophilia, and had been bleeding steadily since having his tonsils removed 13 days earlier. The problem had not shown up prior to the surgery. He needed fresh blood and direct transfusions, and so townspeople had responded with hundreds of offers of transfusions, providing more than 40 pints of blood. His doctor said that he was in critical condition but that his spirits were good.

In Raleigh, a man serving a life term in Central Prison had died the previous day from drinking muscle liniment issued to his cellmate who had been sore from playing baseball, and death was attributed to heart dilation. The director of prisons had ordered further investigation of the death.

In Richmond, Va., a 92-year old woman from Boone, N.C., completed her first flight aboard a passenger airliner and said that it had been wonderful and that she was ready to go again.

In Waterloo, Québec, one of the famous Dionne quintuplets, 20, who had entered a convent as a novice two months earlier, had left for home, with a church officials saying that she had departed temporarily for reasons of health, which her family diagnosed as homesickness. It was not known whether she would return.

In Norristown, Pa., someone was playing a repeated practical joke on a woman, having sent to her home in the previous few days, three taxicabs, a cleaner, a storm-sash installer, a load of lumber, a plumber, a paperhanger, a painter, another cleaner, an exterminator, a television repairman, a load of coal, an interior decorator, a telephone repairman, and a bus driver, the latter having said that he had been sent to pick up 32 passengers for a church outing.

A schoolteacher from Lexington, N.C., planned this date for her trip in September to Atlantic City for the Miss America pageant, after winning the Miss North Carolina pageant in the early morning hours of Sunday, following prolonged introductions and acts which caused the contest to run late. Betty Jo Ring, 24, had won the talent portion of the contest with a reading from Macbeth, and her 34-24-36 figure had won the bathing suit competition. It does not indicate what scene or which character she represented in her reading. Double, double toil and trouble...

In Long Beach, Calif., the Miss Universe contestants would take their first trip to Hollywood this date, and for some it might be their last. Since the original 1952 pageant, only Ruth Hampton, a former Miss New Jersey, was presently under contract to a studio, and of the 1953 contestants, Myrna Hansen, Miss U.S. A, was the only contestant working regularly at Universal-International presently. That studio had signed six or more contestants after each annual contest. The present group appeared better in terms of movie promise, and the reporter, James Bacon, indicates that if he were a movie producer, he would screen-test Miss Brazil, who had the most sex appeal, which he regards as the most valuable commodity the movies had to offer aside from cowboys and Indians. He also liked Miss Montana, who walked, talked and looked like Marilyn Monroe. Miss Italy, he opines, had a beautiful, classic face, a figure to match and wore clothes "like a Dior model". And he goes on assessing the qualities of some of the other contestants, comparing them to famous actresses on the scene.

Two of the contestants, Miss Germany and Miss New Zealand, are shown in bathing suits being carried away by police officers, above the caption that the California heat had been too much for them, without further explanation.

On the editorial page, "A Test of the Senate's Morality" quotes Article I, Section 5 of the Constitution, providing that each house of Congress would be the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members, and would determine the rules of its proceedings, punish its members for "disorderly behavior", and by vote of a two-thirds majority, expel a member. It advises Senators to reread the section and relate it to the case of Senator McCarthy, "who for years has disgraced the Senate and the nation by his bald lies and brazen distortion." It urges that they vote for the censure resolution to be presented by Senator Flanders on July 30.

It regards the resolution as mild and not nearly going as far as the Congress had in the past against colleagues whose records were not as bad as that of Senator McCarthy. The resolution would only condemn his conduct as chairman of the Senate Investigations subcommittee. Its virtue was to place the Senate on record regarding the body's "political morality", as Senator Flanders had put it. It suggests that a solid case could be built for his expulsion from his committee posts and from the Senate, itself. But some Senators feared tampering with the seniority system and quailed at the notion of expulsion. It regards the decision of Senator Flanders to abandon his original intention to seek removal of Senator McCarthy from committee chairmanships to have been politically wise, though the case for doing so had been sound.

It finds that support for the resolution had not been as wholehearted as it should have been, either by Democrats or Republicans. Apparently, the President had not placed pressure on Congressional leaders to exploit the opportunity to censure the Senator. Thus, Republican leaders were still hoping that Senator McCarthy could be an asset in the fall midterm elections. Some Democrats had also been lukewarm to the resolution, as they now believed that Senator McCarthy was a Republican liability—the piece indicating that he was more than that, a "sickening problem of the nation, the state of Wisconsin and the Senate". But only the Senate or Wisconsin could do anything about him, and the latter had missed its opportunity in 1952 when he was standing for re-election. Now, the Senate had the opportunity to put itself on record against him, which, the piece advises, it should have done long earlier. "If that step is taken, it should be easier to obtain approval of effective curbs on the blathering blackguard from Wisconsin."

"Now If He'd Used the Fifth Amendment…" finds that it would not want the job of providing explanation of U.S. immigration and visa policy, as it would require explaining why there was so much delay regarding the entry of legal immigrants, while illegal immigrants continued to cross the Rio Grande in large numbers, despite increased efforts of the Border Patrol. The person would have to explain the quota system of immigration, under which only a few citizens from some nations with large quotas desired entry to the U.S., while many people from nations with small quotas had to enter only under special legislation, and why the quota system was based on the 1920 population demographics.

Judge William Clark was the chief justice of the U.S. court in Germany and had been ousted from office the previous year after displeasing the Government, now wished to return to Europe for a visit, but could not obtain a passport, contending that the State Department would not provide him one unless he promised not to speak about his dismissal while in Germany. An assistant U.S. Attorney had indicated that Mr. Clark had the right of free speech as long as it did not conflict with the "best interests" of the U.S. in Germany. It indicates that it could read dark fascistic meaning into the statement but instead chooses to regard it as the remark of a bureaucrat "buried deep in the bipartisan bog created by years of immigration restrictions", followed by the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. It suggests that Mr. Clark had made the mistake of not criticizing U.S. policy strongly enough and by failing to sound like a Communist, that he might have successfully been able to plead the Fifth Amendment and receive an offer of a free trip abroad, all the way to Moscow, as one judge had recently offered defendants who came before him.

"Old-Fashioned" praises House Post Office Committee chairman Edward Rees for turning over to the Justice Department and the FBI the investigation of the report that someone had sought to bribe a member of the Committee, rather than launching his own investigation into the matter, alerting the television networks and issuing mimeographed statements, hiring a team of sleuths in the process. It concludes that he apparently did not go along with the popular notion that the three branches of the Government were the judicial, executive and investigative.

"An Investment in America's Future" tells of the U.S. Steel Foundation having wisely made financial support for liberal arts colleges the basis for its new $700,000 aid to education program, as liberal arts institutions were in serious financial trouble and urgently needed capital and general operation funds to provide for their growing student bodies, to strengthen undergraduate education and improve the incentives offered for the highest quality of free and independent teaching.

In 1940, private colleges had received 26 percent of their income from endowments, whereas now, 14 percent came from those sources. The previous month, nine South Carolina colleges had joined in a campaign to seek funding from businesses. American corporations were contributing about one percent of their earnings, the equivalent of 260 million dollars per year, to education. And businesses were becoming aware of the need for well-rounded liberal arts graduates, needing executives as well as specialists, people who understood how to manage according to the individual and social needs of personnel.

It concludes that from the partnership between education and industry, both fields would benefit—that is, as long as they do not insist, as a condition for their benevolence, that they have an exclusive contract with the college or university for provision of services of one sort or another or to have their corporate names splattered all over the campus.

"It's Not the Heat" indicates that the usually conservative Associated Press had been taking liberties in computing the statistics for heatwave fatalities, including victims of various other circumstances, and advises the A.P. against reporting of hundreds of deaths from the heat, including drownings, as one could also drown in cold weather, traffic accidents, because someone was hurrying home to fix a gin and tonic, or old age, as the old liked it warm. It advises that a death from the heat should be limited to heat prostration and non-recovery, swelling up and busting, starving from lack of water and body temperatures of 110 without infection.

Drew Pearson indicates that in light of the insistence of Senator Flanders of Vermont to press his resolution for censure of Senator McCarthy, Senate researchers were looking for precedents for unseating or disciplining members of that body. There had been one other case in recent years of a Senatorial censure, Hiram Bingham of Connecticut, occurring during the Hoover Administration, defeated in the next election, and there had been two cases of expulsion, William Vare of Pennsylvania and Frank Smith of Illinois, both elected in 1926, and another case of a Senator, Truman Newberry of Michigan, elected in 1918, who was on the verge of expulsion when he resigned. In the House, there had been two cases during the current year where Congressmen had been relieved of Committee chairmanships by a vote of their fellow members, Representatives Clare Hoffman of Michigan and Alvin Weichel of Ohio.

He indicates that Senator Newberry, who had previously served as Secretary of the Navy under President Theodore Roosevelt, had run against Henry Ford and defeated him, after the latter had run on both the Republican and Democratic tickets, losing to Mr. Newberry in the Republican primary and in the general election. President Woodrow Wilson had supported Mr. Ford, whom Mr. Pearson indicates was very different from his grandson, Henry Ford II, staunchly Republican. Mr. Ford had claimed fraud against Mr. Newberry for his spending $500,000 on the campaign, and the latter was tried and convicted of violating the Corrupt Practices Act, though on appeal, the conviction was reversed. Mr. Newberry had been seated by the Senate, despite his financial report showing campaign expenditures of $195,000, considered exorbitant at the time. The vote to seat him had been 46 to 43, with all Democrats plus 8 Republicans voting against him. In the following midterm elections in 1922, the Democrats had made substantial gains and even Senator Townsend, who had supported Senator Newberry, had been defeated. Senator Newberry, shortly after the election, facing certain ouster, resigned.

Some Democrats believed that a vote for Senator McCarthy on the resolution of censure would boomerang against the Republicans in the midterm elections.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of House Majority Leader Charles Halleck having three offices on Capitol Hill, symbolic of his power, but was most likely to be found in a little room buried among the labyrinthine corridors of the Capitol, nevertheless an impressive room. The power of Mr. Halleck was particularly interesting as he had crossed the divide from opposition to Administration leader, a feat which many other Republicans, especially Senate Majority Leader William Knowland, had failed to accomplish. Mr. Halleck was at present the best liked man in Congress by the White House and visitors were told by the President how much he liked and admired him. Increasingly, Presidential aides, when faced with a legislative or political problem, called on Mr. Halleck, and he undoubtedly spent more time at the White House than any other member of Congress, something which most of his fellow Republicans still instinctively regarded as the abode of the enemy.

Mr. Halleck had suffered failures during his time as Majority Leader, one of which was the Eisenhower housing program, which was sunk when it reached the House Banking and Currency Committee, chaired by Mr. Halleck's old friend, Representative Jesse Wolcott of Michigan. Mr. Halleck indicated that Mr. Wolcott had spent years barnstorming around the country denouncing public housing, as he, himself, had done at one time, and so it was not easy to ask him to sponsor a public housing bill.

Prior to 1952, Mr. Halleck had always voted with the Taft wing of the party, and it appeared he was now somewhat surprised to find himself fighting for expanded Social Security or the three billion dollar foreign aid bill or various other items in the President's program, but despite the housing setback and one or two others, he had been the most effective champion of the Administration's program in Congress. He indicated that his checklist for the Administration's program was now nearly complete for purposes of the House, and he believed the President would get nearly everything he would reasonably expect from the current session, provided the Senate did not "louse it up". He had lost only 10 Republican votes on the tax bill and only 23 on the farm bill, the latter of which was particularly important as Republicans held virtually every farm district in the country, demonstrating how persuasive Mr. Halleck and House Speaker Joe Martin could be in the clutch.

He said that insofar as Taft-Hartley had been concerned, the House was ready to give the Administration most of what it had desired, when the Senate got to it first and "fell flat on its face.

Mr. Halleck was a "belligerently partisan man", partisan about the House, which he loved and regarded as a body infinitely superior to the Senate, but, above all, partisan about the Republican Party. He was well known for being short-tempered, but was trying to control it, though still getting angry when he believed a Republican was being disloyal to the party. The Alsops indicate that his partisanship was the key to his conduct as Majority Leader and that unlike so many other Republicans, loyalty to the party meant loyalty to the first Republican Administration in 20 years. He believed that such a form of loyalty was beginning to take shape among other Republicans, such as House Ways & Means Committee chairman Dan Reed, with whom the leaders in the House had trouble during the first session of the Congress, but believed he was doing a great job and "playing on the team" during the 1954 session.

They indicate that the Administration needed more Republican "team players", as did the Republican Party, and posit that as scars healed, more Republicans would make the transition which Mr. Halleck had made and begin to play on the Administration's team, in which case Mr. Halleck could take a good share of the credit.

Doris Fleeson indicates that the most pressing and specific reality which had been dealt with at the recent governors conference was how to meet the attack by the trucking interests on the right of the states to tax them for the use of the highways. About 20 states levied truck taxes in some form, for an estimated 100 million dollars of revenue. The truckers had sought to make an example of Ohio Governor Frank Lausche for his state imposing an axle-mile tax, and the truck drivers had sent lobbyists to the governors conference in the hope of isolating Governor Lausche from his peers. The latter had taken the offensive, however, and had been supported by leading governors, including Governor Dewey of New York, so that the truckers never got off the ground in their attack.

The associates of Governor Dewey believed that he had decided not to run again, but one reporter mused that he did not know where the Governor could find a better salary than the $50,000 he would receive the following year, after the Governor's salary was doubled. On top of that, he also received housing, service of various types, including secretarial, domestic and state troopers, plus had great power, which Governor Dewey enjoyed and knew how to use. But at the conference, the Governor waved away a Life photographer by saying, "I'm sick of pictures." Apparently, he had lost his zest for politics.

Republicans had taken up the states' rights issue and had done everything at the conference except raise the Confederate flag over the hotel, while the Democrats remained silent.

Governor Robert Crosby of Nebraska had created the most unfortunate moment at the conference by indicating that his state was rich and wanted no Federal aid, saying that his state was also generous, encouraging the governors of poor states to speak up and Nebraska would consider what charity it could provide them. No governor accepted the invitation. Another Nebraskan said that the state was only beginning to break even when World War II had begun, that decreasing farm prices and a general depression would alter the Governor's position.

Reporters agreed that the only Presidential hay made at the conference was by Governor Lausche, a Democrat.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that he had not been overly distressed by the "scare stories" regarding the connection between cigarette smoking and cancer, and did not feel sorry for the cigarette manufacturers, as they had hung themselves with "20-odd years of bizarre advertising". Nor had he rushed out to buy a pipe and would not allow his wife to do so. He smoked about three packs of cigarettes per day, had been averaging that amount for about 20 years, had catarrh, post-nasal drip, but did not have a cough and would not care if he did, would continue to smoke cigarettes "until heart, cancer, or an airplane into a mountain forces me to stop."

He indicates that only in recent years had the cigarette manufacturers toned down their exaggerated advertising, which claimed that cigarettes were fun to smoke. He recognizes that they were bad for a person's health, but indicates that so was the air of London and New York.

He says that whenever he started to brood about the evil effect of anything on the human body, he considered jazz musicians and felt a lot better, as most jazz musicians he knew had very little right to be alive, as they did not eat or sleep, drank like camels, many smoked reefers and most chain-smoked ordinary cigarettes, lived off pills, methedrine to wake up and goofballs to go to bed, but, nevertheless, as a group, were nearly indestructible. He suggests that perhaps some of them smoked pipes, ate spinach and went to bed early, but he had never met any. He regards the image of Louis Armstrong, Eddie Condon or Joe Bushkin with a pipe to be ridiculous, as was the idea of Joe Sullivan drinking milk, but they continued on.

He finds something about pipe smokers annoying, which he did not understand, except that they looked so "confounded smug about it". They appeared noble, "while expelling poison gases all over the room", suggests that a lit pipe smelled like hell, "and a dead one would serve as a substitute for a gas chamber". They used the pipe stem to stab at a person to make a point and used the loading, knocking, doddle-scraping ceremony to halt the flow of conversation and put their listener on the defensive. He found that mostly they adopted an air of superiority, phony intellectuality and general condescension.

He concludes that he had seen a few women pipe-smokers and cigar-smokers, and believed them to be either showoffs or ignorant hillbillies, indicates his personal desire rather to associate with a snuff dipper, and says again that there would be no pipe smoking in his house.

A letter writer from Monroe, N.C., indicates that the "People's Platform" should instead be titled the "Editors' Platform", because it did not represent the people, finding that the printing of a letter on July 13 had been evidently a condensed version of the same letter to the Charlotte Observer printed on July 10, and he wonders which version the people should believe and whom the editors believed they were fooling.

Certainly not you.

A letter writer from Gastonia indicates that in the July 10 edition of the newspaper, an article had appeared about the Charlotte Medical Center, quoting the AMA, and implying in the body of the article that Augusta, Ga., had similar medical facilities to Charlotte, which he corrects as untrue, that Augusta lacked quality in its medical facilities and standards, as affirmed by a statement approved by the Medical Society of Augusta. He asks whether the newspaper still wanted to compare Charlotte to Augusta.

A letter from the president of the Mecklenburg unit of the American Cancer Society thanks the newspaper for its contribution to the crusade against cancer.

A letter writer comments on the several articles and a July 15 editorial regarding the increased water rates in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, indicating that he lived in the city, but nevertheless had been forced to make a complaint to the City, as he regarded provision of water as a service and not one designed to raise revenue for other municipal expenses, indicates that his June 1 water bill had been $1.39 for 500 cubic feet and his July 1 bill had been $11.34 for 3,400 cubic feet. He indicates also that during the previous three years when there had been dry weather, he had not consumed any volume close to 3,400 cubic feet, and so questions whether the meter readers had read his meter correctly. He believes that water he had used in May and possibly in April had been billed at the new, increased rate, and had asked the City not to turn the water department's service into a racket.

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