The Charlotte News

Friday, July 2, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from San Salvador in El Salvador that the Guatemalan rebel leader, Col. Carlos Castillo Armas, and the new Government three-man military junta leader, Col. Elfego Monzon, had signed a peace pact this date, ending Guatemala's two-week civil war. Authoritative sources said that the treaty provided for a new five-man military junta, the fourth government of Guatemala during the previous week, with Col. Castillo being a member and Col. Monzon to be leader for the ensuing 15 days, after which the junta would elect a permanent chief. The new junta would consist of two of the rebels and the three members of the extant Government junta. Observers believed that Col. Castillo would seek to win the allegiance of one of the existing three-man junta, so that he could eventually lead the new Government. Meanwhile, Communist supporters of deposed President Jacobo Arbenz Guzman were reported to be inciting peasants outside Guatemala City in an effort to get them to rise up against the new junta, inflaming the peasants with stories that the new regime would take away the lands which the previous Government had turned over to them.

The House, in a voice vote, defeated an attempt to strike from a bill a two-price plan for wheat, favored by the farm state members, despite an Administration effort the previous day to retain a compromise flexible price support plan in the bill, sponsored by Representative Gerald Ford of Michigan. The adopted two-price plan called for a referendum among wheat farmers the following year to determine whether to continue regular fixed price supports at 90 percent of parity or to have 100 percent of parity on the portion of their crop grown for domestic consumption and lower world prices for the remainder of the production which would be for feed or export.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, chairman of the Republican policy committee, said this date in an interview that the scandals being uncovered by the Banking Committee in the Federal housing program were attributable to the Democrats and that he could not understand "the failure of the previous Administration" to expose them. He praised a Senate vote the previous night to extend the statute of limitations from 3 to 5 years for charges based on filing false information with the Government, including such offenses as espionage, bank robbery, bribery, fraud and conspiracy in tax cases, in addition to the cases involving the housing scandals. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, the senior Democrat on the Banking Committee, said that there was an apparent effort to make it appear that it was a Democratic scandal, but that he could name many Republicans involved in it. (The chairman of the Committee, Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, the Wurlitzer king, had spoken on the subject on television two nights earlier.)

In New York, negotiators for Western Electric and the Communications Workers of America, which had called a strike of its 17,000 members the previous day, most idle by noon of this date, had met separately this date in preparation for a joint session later in the day to try to work out an agreement to end the strike of telephone equipment installers. The strike would impact 44 states and the District of Columbia where the Bell Telephone System operated, if the union were to place picket lines around the telephone exchange buildings, as long-distance operators had honored those picket lines in the past. Operators in Texas had walked off their jobs the previous day in a number of cities, honoring the picket lines of the installers. Union leaders had announced their plans to delay nationwide picketing until the following Tuesday. The strike would not affect local service for some time.

A report from Manila indicated that at least 22 persons were killed and scores injured this date in a strong earthquake in the central Philippines, with the provincial capital of Sorsogon bearing the brunt of the jolt, 20 of the dead having been reported there along with extensive property damage, with 80 percent of the older buildings destroyed.

Checks made in more than 20 major U.S. cities in the wake of medical reports indicating that cigarette smoking could hasten death by cancer or heart disease found that cigarette sales had not thus far been impacted in the ten days since the American Cancer Society had released its report of an extensive study of 187,000 white male cigarette smokers between the ages of 50 and 70. A San Francisco wholesaler said that smokers appeared generally complacent about the study, figuring that since a hydrogen bomb was liable to snuff out their lives anyway someday, they had nothing about which to worry. There were some decreases in sales by as much as 25 percent, along with some signs of a trend toward filtered cigarettes. Of 75 sources sampled, some representing chains with hundreds of outlets, 52 had said cigarette sales had remained unchanged while 15 reported decreases, usually slight, and seven had reported increases. A Dallas wholesaler indicated that they were selling more pipes than previously but there had been no real decline in cigarette sales, just a switch to filtered brands. There was no general run on chewing tobacco, pipes or cigars as substitutes for cigarettes. Cigarette holders were also becoming popular. There was an indication from the wholesalers, however, that until mid-July, the effects from the study would not be known. A Dallas secretary said, "I might as well die happy."

Near Utica, N.Y., a jet plane loaded with ammunition crashed into an automobile and two houses this date, killing six persons and setting the two houses on fire. Four of the dead were in the automobile into which the plane had crashed.

In Hopewell, N.J., a nine-year old boy suffocated in an unused icebox the previous night while his parents were attending a funeral. The icebox had been lying on its back in the basement in the home of the boy's aunt. She had missed him at supper time and when the parents returned from the funeral, they began a search, with two State troopers finding his body inside the icebox, theorizing that he had climbed inside to play and that the heavy door had slammed shut on top of him. Maybe he was hiding from the jet plane or the hydrogen bomb during the cold war.

In New York, a professor of education at Ohio University said to mathematics teachers attending the annual convention of the National Education Association, that arithmetic was much easier at present than in the past, providing an example in subtraction, whereby under the old system, if one subtracted 28 from 43, eight would be subtracted from 13 after the three had been increased to 13 by adding 10, proving problematic for the average eight and nine-year olds who did not understand the source of the 10, whereas the new system taught that 43 was represented by three tens and 13 ones, as well as by four tens and three ones, that subtraction of eight ones from 13 ones and two tens from the remaining three tens was not difficult to understand. How about if you simply put aside mechanical formulae and learn to visualize the difference or sums of numbers between 0 and 100, as a building block to higher mathematics?

On the editorial page, "A Time for Stem-to-Stern Reappraisal" indicates that when the Atomic Energy Commission had voted four to one against giving Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer continued access to restricted atomic data, the curtain had been lowered on the most extraordinary security case in U.S. history, but had not provided the solution to a delicate and difficult problem, as there was more at stake than the fate of one brilliant nuclear scientist.

The three-man Presidential commission, headed by UNC president Gordon Gray, had indicated, in its recommendation to deny further security clearance, that if they had not been bound by rigid regulations and criteria, they might have rendered a different decision. The AEC which reviewed the case on appeal had also been subject to regulations and criteria. The issue was not one of loyalty, as the three-man committee had stated and with which the AEC had agreed, but the latter had indicated that because of Dr. Oppenheimer's associations with persons known to him to have been Communists, he had extended beyond the limits of prudence and self-respect expected of one holding high positions to which the Government had continuously entrusted him since 1942, and that the associations had lasted too long to be justified on merely intermittent and accidental revival of earlier friendships.

It indicates that if the decision was influenced by restraints on "mature practical judgment", as the Gray report had indicated the previous month, a full reappraisal of the internal security system was in order and the responsibility for that reappraisal lay with the White House.

"There'll Be Other Guatemalas Unless…" indicates that the anti-Communist revolt in Guatemala had succeeded, eliminating the first Communist beachhead in the Western Hemisphere. It suggests that the Administration should begin a re-examination of U.S. policies toward Latin America to discover how other future Guatemalas could be avoided.

There were rising tides of nationalism in underdeveloped areas all over the world and because those movements were revolutionary, threatening traditional political and economic systems, they aroused powerful opposition, necessitating that the revolutionaries turn to others for leadership and techniques in which they were deficient, areas where the Communists were always ready to oblige. Thus it had been in Guatemala, as in Indo-China, Iran and in Africa, where small groups of dedicated Communists exercised disproportionate influence in the reform movement, gradually taking over key positions in the government. Such Communists had been on the verge of taking control of Guatemala when the military insurgency of the rebels was launched out of Honduras, "undoubtedly with indirect U.S. assistance."

It suggests that any Americans who had qualms about the nation's role in the overthrow of the Guatemalan Government were naïve, as the world crisis made it imperative that the Communist beachhead close to the Panama Canal had to be destroyed, indicating that the wonder was that the U.S. had played so skillfully a role in which it had relatively little experience. It urges paying more attention to Latin America, with U.S. focus having been on anti-Communist efforts in Western Europe and Asia in the postwar world, becoming preoccupation to the neglect of the Good Neighbor policy undertaken during the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. It urges reactivation and expansion of that policy to lend guidance to legitimate movements for political and economic reform, keeping the Western Hemisphere free of foreign domination pursuant to the Monroe Doctrine, never seriously challenged since its inception in 1823 under President James Monroe, until the crisis in Guatemala.

"Driblets When a Torrent Is Needed" indicates that burial of the dead had been undertaken since the Stone Age days as a community responsibility, and only in recent times had private enterprise entered the business in a major way. The community still had to take up the slack when private enterprise did not handle all of the business because burial expenses were based on what the market would bear, which, it suggests, should not be the case when a family was often incurring those expenses when they could least afford them, after having bills for ill health.

It informs that a special committee of the City Council had originally proposed increasing burial costs at City-owned cemeteries by 500 to 600 percent, some by as much as 800 percent, about four times as high as those charged by private cemeteries, based on its preoccupation with the quest for revenue, unmindful of the obligation of the community to bury its dead. Increased rates adopted by the Council the prior Wednesday had not been so drastic as those proposed by the special committee, yet involved increases of between 50 and 100 percent over the old rates, but in line with the charges made by private cemeteries and sufficient to cover the costs of operation of the City-owned cemeteries.

It finds that with Federal and state governments grabbing the most lucrative sources of revenue, municipalities were often forced to fall back on property taxes, which could only bear so much increase, with the final answer being re-apportionment of revenue sources to provide cities a fairer break rather than trying to pick up driblets by placing higher taxes on the dying.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Civilizing the Heathen", indicates that a news item had provided that the Australian Government planned to civilize the natives of the newly discovered "Shangri-La" in southeast New Guinea whether they liked it or not.

It suggests that civilization intended to raise high the "quite barbaric habits" of the heathen until they would join modern culture and partake of the wonders it could buy, until they had modern weapons made "to multiply each crime", and were taught that "when they murder, to kill millions at a time." They would be instructed to encompass states and people in their hate, to take their local rancors and make them large furies spanning an entire continent. They would put an end to rituals and customs and teach them new diversions marked by well-developed vice, winning them from the pleasures that they hitherto prized though it might make them most unhappy, but "they'll damn well be civilized."

Drew Pearson indicates that top Republicans were still wondering what to do about Senator McCarthy and whether to use him in the midterm election campaign. Congressman Richard Simpson of Pennsylvania had highlighted the backstage conflict by stating that the Senator would speak wherever he wanted, going against the desires of the White House, with the President not appearing to have much influence with the party bosses at present. The pro-McCarthy and anti-McCarthy people within the Republican strategy group were both citing the Maine Senate primary to prove their point, with the anti-McCarthy people citing the 5 to 1 victory by Senator Margaret Chase Smith over a McCarthy-picked candidate, Robert Jones, while the pro-McCarthy people quoted the Associated Press story that the defeat of Mr. Jones could not be labeled a vote against Senator McCarthy as he had never been a concrete issue during the campaign. The A.P., however, was charged by editors with leaning toward Senator McCarthy and had not dug into the facts in the Maine race.

Mr. Pearson provides greater detail on the race, indicating that Mr. Jones had made McCarthyism an issue at the start of the campaign, but that as the Army-McCarthy hearings had proceeded, he played down the issue, "though he continued aping McCarthy's mannerisms." He concludes that Maine voters had recalled the early part of the candidacy of Mr. Jones, finally casting their vote heavily for Senator Smith, something which Republican campaign advisers were carefully pondering.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the upcoming midterm elections through the lens of the various candidates' pro-labor stances. Labor leaders of the AFL and the CIO were hoping to persuade as many as possible of the nation's 15 million union members and their families to register to vote, to inform them of the major issues, and to make sure they got to the polls. The record of the current Congress had not been favorable to labor, with a rich man's tax bill, an effort to scuttle public housing, a drive to make Taft-Hartley stricter, and a Social Security program which had not gone far enough in its expanded coverage.

A major obstacle was that it was a midterm election when normally turnout was much lighter than in a presidential election year. They would need to counter the public relations and advertising work on behalf of candidates considered unfriendly to labor, but were, nevertheless, optimistic, claiming that a large number of politically active workers wanted to elect a nonpartisan slate of progressive candidates. AFL's Labor's League for Political Education had issued a voting record to show its members the Congressmen who had voted for labor and those who had voted against their interests, with such members as Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, James Murray of Montana, Theodore Green of Rhode Island, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and Matthew Neely of West Virginia having completely correct voting records on labor issues. On the other hand, Senator Alton Lennon, who had been defeated by a former Governor Kerr Scott in the Democratic primary in North Carolina, had a completely wrong record on labor issues. The labor groups had also made it clear that they would support deserving Republicans, such as Senator Smith of Maine, providing her labor support in the June 21 successful primary over Mr. Jones.

The League, according to its director, said it would concentrate on districts won by less than five percent of the vote in 1952.

CIO's Political Action Committee was waging a campaign to "stop reaction", basing its campaign on a platform of issues which it described as broader than that of the League, making door-to-door canvasses of the wards populated by workers to collect names and addresses of adults.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that it was possible that a pair of women's shoes utilized less material by weight than a small spiderweb, about one-tenth of the amount of material of a man's shoe, but anomalously cost large amounts of money. His wife, he reports, had recently bought several shirts for herself, appearing as men's shirts, but costing two dollars more than he paid for his. His wife went to a men's tailor for her slacks, and he charged her more than he charged him.

He had decided that on their anniversary he would take some of his old clothes to a tailor and have them cut down to his wife's measurements, then present them as a gift, and provide her a haircut himself.

A letter writer comments on the high cost of dying, as examined in the above editorial, relates that his family had paid $3.50 the previous winter for grass on their plot in Elmwood Cemetery, whereas the special committee of the City Council had sought $28 for the same service in the City cemetery. He or she suggests that the poor working folk and elderly of the community would have to let the weeds grow, either that or resort to funeral pyres as in India, or standard cremation, which the writer thinks a good idea.

A letter writer comments on a prior letter which had urged not using the Bible to justify segregation of the races, indicates that she was white, a native of Mississippi and had been educated in the South, with the exception of her graduate work, and was troubled, as the prior letter writer, over rationalizing prejudices by resort to the Scriptures. She says that there was no support in the Bible for segregation, that, to the contrary, there was support for non-segregation, such as in Solomon 1:6, stating: "Look not upon me because I am black, because the sun hath looked upon me: my mother's children were angry with me; they made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept." In Acts 10, Peter learned through a dream that he was to include the minority group of the time, the Gentiles, in his ministry, and in the 34th verse, said: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons." She further finds that the whole foundation of Christianity was brotherly love and fellowship and therefore should not involve separation when it came to education. She expresses amazement at those who professed to know God's will with respect to "mixing" of the races. She reminds that Jesus had been crucified because he had upset old laws and traditions.

A letter from J. S. Dean indicates he was humble and grateful over his re-election to the County Commission in Union County in the recent runoff primary, and thanks the friends who voted for him.

A letter writer from Lincolnton indicates that the "do-gooders" would have to devise a better way to have their measures carried out with regard to school desegregation, favoring leaving it alone, that administration of it with a hostile attitude would probably make things worse for blacks. He cites the administration of the wage and hour law, intended to be a good thing, but that employers had begun at once to nullify it by increasing the workload and laying off people under the guise of efficiency, concluding that passing laws was not so hard but enforcement of them was.

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