The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 29, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the State Department had announced that the Communist Chinese had refused to consider U.S. diplomatic protests to two incidents, the first the prior Friday involving Communist Chinese planes which had shot down a British transport plane, and the other incident occurring the following Sunday in which two Communist Chinese planes had fired on U.S. rescue planes in the area and then were shot down by the American planes, both incidents occurring off Hainan Island in the South China Sea. A State Department press officer indicated that the situation would not be permitted to rest there, but did not indicate what further steps were contemplated. The Chinese took the position that the matter involving the British transport plane was between China and Britain, and that the firing on the U.S. aircraft had been the result of a violation of Chinese territory.

Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada said this date that Attorney General Herbert Brownell had injected politics into national security, resulting in a lack of action on the Administration's anti-subversive bill. Leaders of both parties agreed that most, if not all, of the other major parts of the Administration program would likely pass the Congress in some form. The President, at his press conference of the previous day, had urged passage of the anti-subversive measures prior to the adjournment of Congress, scheduled for August 7, listing them along with farm, tax revision, Social Security, foreign aid and housing measures which were major parts of his legislative program.

Later the previous day, a housing bill, lacking some of the things which the President had sought, had been passed. Senators William Knowland and Homer Ferguson predicted passage within the ensuing few days of most of the other bills which the President had listed. Senator Ferguson said that he was confident that a measure similar to the President's flexible farm price support program would pass in the final days of the session. All of the President's listed programs, except for parts of the anti-subversive bills, had already passed the House.

The compromise tax revision bill, which the President regarded as the cornerstone of his 1954 domestic program, might clear its final Congressional hurdle this date, as the Senate planned to take up the measure which would completely revise the nation's tax laws, with Senate Republican leaders predicting that they had the votes to send the compromise bill to the President for signing.

Senator Knowland said this date that he would allow "a full dress debate" on proposals that the Senate censure or investigate Senator McCarthy, set to begin the following day and possibly to continue through Saturday and Monday sessions. He said that he had nothing to do with an effort by Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey to push aside the motion of censure sponsored by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont. Senator Smith had proposed instead that a committee of six Senators, three Democrats and three Republicans, plus Vice-President Nixon as chairman, investigate and report the following February 1 on "the alleged good or evil of so-called McCarthyism". Senator Flanders said that he would fight the Smith proposal as a substitute for his resolution of censure, but said that he would favor it as a separate move.

At Fort Dix, N.J., a sergeant with six years of Army service had been cleared by a three-man special court-martial board the previous day of charges that he kept 225 recruits at taut attention for an hour in 92 degree heat. The board had deliberated for 40 minutes before acquitting him. He said that he felt very good and glad that it was over. The punishment had occurred on June 21 and men were said to have passed out in the intense heat and had to be revived with pails of water before being forced back into the line. The sergeant's immediate superior, a first lieutenant, and the commander of the company, had been cleared of "dereliction of duty" charges the previous Friday. The sergeant had not testified in his own behalf, and his counsel had argued that he had merely acted on orders of his superiors, the counsel, a captain, making light of the ordeal of standing at attention, saying that he had done it many times and that he had seen men pass out all around him. One soldier testified that he had fainted twice while standing at attention, that he had been revived by water the first time and the second time by smelling salts administered by the charged sergeant.

In Brookline, Mass., police stated that an 18-year old schoolboy had confessed that he had killed a 52-year old dressmaker with a rolling pin in an attempt to commit what he had called "the perfect crime". The woman was found dead the previous day on her living room floor, bludgeoned and stabbed to death. The police indicated that the boy had told them everything, but they had not determined any motive beyond his desire to kill. He had gone to the woman to pay her for repairing his raincoat. The woman had not been raped. He had told a schoolmate that he would kill someone and that it would be a crime which would be unsolved, that the schoolmate would read about it in the newspapers. The schoolmate, who was unidentified, furnished the tip which had led police to pick up the boy for questioning.

In Philadelphia, a woman had gone horseback riding in the scenic Fairmount Park the previous day, where she often rode her horse during the previous several years. A short time later, a mounted park policeman found her and the horse shot dead, side-by-side, killed with a .22-caliber rifle rigged to a nearby tree branch, with the horse's head covered with a blue denim skirt. Both had been shot through the head. Police concluded that the woman had apparently shot the horse and then committed suicide. She had in her hand five playing cards, a pair of aces and three eights, a full house in poker, close to the traditional "dead man's hand", consisting of two aces and two eights. Carved on the wooden stock of the rifle was the inscription: "Speak not in anger. In mercy, whisper; in vengeance, sing." There was also a note tied to the trunk of the tree addressed to the woman's brother, indicating that she planned to commit suicide, had so planned during the previous ten years and expressed regret for any inconvenience. Friends described her as moody and her father, with whom she lived, said that she had been depressed recently because of her inability to find employment, having previously worked in musical instrument manufacturing plants.

In Louisiana, a tropical storm had struck the sparsely populated southwest portion of the coast this date and had begun moving inland toward a point east of Lake Charles, with heavy rains and winds up to 60 mph as it crossed the coastline about 25 miles east of the small fishing town of Cameron and about 40 miles southeast of Lake Charles.

In Greenwood, S.C., Miriam Stevenson, recently crowned Miss USA and Miss Universe in the pageants at Long Beach, Calif., was planning to return to her hometown the following day, and officials, business leaders and nearly everyone else had begun planning this date to provide her a red carpet welcome as "the prettiest girl in the world". We hope that they do not lose her luggage again such that she arrives in Greenwood on Friday night without her suitcase, as she had in Long Beach two weeks earlier.

In Niagara Falls, N.Y., an estimated 185,000 tons of rock had collapsed the previous day into the Niagara River gorge, including the well-known observation area, Prospect Point, plus a large pie-shaped chunk of the American Falls, itself, the largest collapse at the falls since January 17, 1931, when a huge section of the American Falls had fallen to the rocks below. Many visitors had witnessed the collapse, but no one had been injured. Engineers for the Niagara Frontier State Parks Commission estimated that the size of the rock-fall had been 400 feet in length, 50 feet in width, and 150 feet in depth, falling down 70 feet, taking ten minutes to occur. The change had resulted in an improved appearance of the falls, as visitors would now be able to obtain a direct view of the American Falls because of the deep "V" carved in its flank, whereas prior to the fall, the only available direct view of the American Falls had been from the Canadian side, thousands of feet away across the gorge.

On the editorial page, "Atomic Bill an Anti-Monopoly Measure" indicates that when the Senate version of the atomic energy bill had been finally approved on Tuesday night after extended debate, Senators on both sides of the aisle appeared reasonably satisfied that they had won their main points. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, a leading opponent of the bill, had said that the marathon debate had prevented approval of a bill which "would have been disastrous to the American people". Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, an Administration supporter, believed the passed measure would set up a satisfactory relationship between the Government and private enterprise.

The piece finds that Senator Wiley was correct and that Senator Humphrey had overstated the case, that the opponents had succeeded in pushing through some worthwhile amendments, but that the original bill had not been as bad as had been suggested by the opponents. The overriding virtue of the bill was that it was an anti-monopoly measure, permitting more people to have access to atomic information and material, designed to result in scientific advancement. It authorized increased international exchange of information and material relating to industrial and military uses of atomic energy. It provided for more private development of atomic energy power plants, a key point on which the opponents had based their opposition, fearing that private utilities would monopolize patents and hold back developments until they had recouped their investment in existing utilities. The final measure had provided for a ten-year period during which atomic power developments would remain in the public domain. The House version of the bill granted normal patent rights, providing for 17-year exclusive control for civilian atomic developments not conceived under Government auspices, a difference which would have to be worked out in conference.

The piece finds that the ten-year public domain provision provided ample safeguard to prevent monopoly from occurring, but that deletion of the provision in conference would not be disastrous, as competition often stimulated new processes in any given industry.

Another controversial point had concerned the President's order to the Atomic Energy Commission to negotiate a contract with an Arkansas utility combine to construct a steam plant at West Memphis, Ark., and provide power for the TVA system, to offset that which TVA provided to a Paducah, Ky., atomic plant. It finds that it was proper and advisable for private companies to get such steam plant contracts, but does not like the fact that the President had overridden the majority of the AEC opposed to the contract, which was to be let on a non-competitive basis, resulting effectively in a large Government subsidy for the Arkansas combine.

"A Date with Destiny To Be Kept" tells of most of Charlotte's problems stemming from its rapid growth, and that it had not been completely streamlined yet. A joint session of the City Council and the County Commission the following Wednesday could produce a progressive step, as the meeting would consider the advisability of establishing a City-County planning board to replace separate planning boards presently operating. It urges support for the plan to effect more coordinated urban planning for the future, as the county had doubled in population during the previous 30 years and 70 percent of the county's residents lived in urban areas.

"The Last Roundup for Allan Shivers?" indicates that the Texas Governor who had campaigned in 1952 for General Eisenhower was on the edge of political disaster at this point, despite having been predicted to win renomination easily for his third term just the previous week. Now, he was facing a runoff primary in August against pro-Adlai Stevenson liberal, Ralph Yarborough, who had amassed surprising voter strength. The outcome of the race would be watched closely across the country as it could be an important bellwether of the midterm elections.

Governor Shivers had defeated Mr. Yarborough handily in the 1952 Democratic primary, but the latter had now polled 200,000 more votes, resulting in Governor Shivers coming in behind by 45,000 votes in the first primary. Mr. Yarborough had run on the basis of the Governor's desertion of the Democratic Party in 1952, and Texans were not partial to the idea of voting for a Governor for a third term, unprecedented in Texas. In addition, it had been disclosed during the campaign that the Governor had profited by $425,000 in a 1952 land deal with individuals who were trying to obtain water and irrigation rights, and was accused of being taken in by a Republican "welch" on Texas claims to offshore oil lands to a distance of 10.5 miles. Texas voters had been given a clear choice between an Eisenhower Democrat and a party regular.

Representative Sam Rayburn and Senator Lyndon Johnson had both won renomination easily and both were party regulars who had remained loyal in 1952, with Representative Rayburn, then-Speaker of the House, having headed the Stevenson-for-President organization in Texas.

Texans were saying that the Democrats were simply regaining control of their party. It concludes that time would tell.

The primary reason why President Kennedy went to Texas in November, 1963, a state carried in 1960 narrowly by the ticket, by two percentage points, and deemed at the time crucial for winning the 1964 election, was to heal a party rift among Texas Democrats, between Senator Yarborough, who would be elected to the Senate in early 1957, representative of the liberal wing of the party in Texas, and the leader at the time of the conservative wing, Governor John Connally, elected to that position in 1962, having been Secretary of the Navy during the first year of the Kennedy Administration—to whom, in that capacity, Lee Harvey Oswald had written personally in January, 1961, seeking review and reversal of the 1960 change of his honorable discharge from the Marines in 1959 to an "undesirable discharge" from the Marine Reserve because of his renunciation of American citizenship and acceptance of permanent residence in the Soviet Union, ultimately taken up by a Navy review board in mid-1962 and eventually rejected in July, 1963, upholding the change to an undesirable discharge. Governor Connally, of course, rode in the President's blue Lincoln through Dallas on November 22, and Senator Yarborough rode two cars behind, in Vice-President Johnson's gray Lincoln.

A piece from the Denver Post, titled "Catsup's Catching Up", indicates that scientists were making rheological tests on catsup, having to do with the deformation and flow of matter. Rheology determined why products behaved as they did, the reasons behind the consistency of catsup, creamed corn and mushroom soup, or the sag of jellies, the stiffness of dough, the tenderness of peas. According to the scientists, the stress movement of matter could be classified as "elastic, reversible flow or viscous, irreversible flow".

The piece finds that studies of the "complex rheological behavior" of such food products as flour dough made it sound like "pretty deep stuff". It is cheered by the prediction that the research could lead to the development of an ideal, non-soupy catsup which would be emitted from the bottle with a gentle tap.

But you will need a Federal judge's approval that national security is in issue before you can tap the catsup.

Once the tap is made, you may be able to obtain the tell-tale clue, a really big shoe... Pick up the paper from the floor on the way out, after muffing your line, substituting "confession" for "accusation".

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator Lyndon Johnson had overwhelmingly been renominated for the Senate the previous week, but nevertheless had placed himself in the paradoxical position of having to seek from his Senate colleagues promises that they would vote for him as Senate leader in 1955. On the surface, it would seem strange, observes Mr. Pearson, but to insiders who watched the strained relations between the Senate Minority Leader and the Democratic Senators he was supposed to lead, it was not strange at all.

After Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, one of the recognized national leaders of the party, had indirectly complained on the Senate floor about Senator Johnson's lack of leadership in the filibuster of the atomic energy bill the previous week, Senator Johnson was livid and approached Senator Sparkman angrily. The latter had not budged an inch, however, after having stated publicly that Senator Knowland had failed to consult with the Democrats who were really leading the Senate, those leading the filibuster, implicitly leaving out Senator Johnson who had remained on the sidelines. Senator Johnson tried to get the Senate floor to defend his leadership, but Senator Hubert Humphrey, who would be chosen in 1964 by President Johnson as his running mate and would then become Vice-President from 1965 to 1969, had refused to yield "for an attack on those who have been carrying on this fight." At that point, Senator Johnson began making a deal with Senator Knowland to end the debate.

Late the following day, after Democrats had learned what Senator Johnson was doing, it was decided that a delegation would be sent to see him, which included Senators Lister Hill of Alabama, Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, John Stennis of Mississippi, Albert Gore of Tennessee and Henry Jackson of Washington. When they arrived at Senator Johnson's office, he was courteous but cool, as Senator Hill started to argue against Senator Johnson's proposed statement against his fellow Democrats, which they indicated only played into the hands of Senator Knowland. Senator Johnson had replied that they would be surprised at some of their Southern colleagues who planned to vote for cloture, but the five Senators indicated that they did not believe that to be the case, that Southern Senators would not vote for the cloture motion. When the motion finally came to a vote, the only Southerner to support it was Senator Spessard Holland of Florida. At one point, Lady Bird Johnson had brought a note to her husband, which he read and said he would have to return to the Senate floor at once, not explaining what the note had said, but his colleagues had suspected it had come from Senator Knowland. Senator Johnson then immediately delivered a floor speech aimed at breaking the filibuster.

Shortly thereafter, after Senator Johnson took his seat, Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona, to become in 1964 the Republican nominee who would lose in a landslide to President Johnson, read a prepared speech praising Senator Johnson and his renomination in Texas, after which Senator Knowland provided another tribute to Senator Johnson, making him appear as a buddy rather than an opponent. Another Republican, Senator Guy Cordon of Oregon, paid yet another tribute, at which point all of the Republicans on the floor rose and applauded, walked over to Senator Johnson and shook his hand, while no Democrat joined them. Senator Smathers of Florida then reminded the Republicans that it was a Democratic victory, not a Republican one, and that it pointed to a Democratic trend. Senator Johnson then walked over near the door and made a point of shaking the hands of all Democratic Senators as they departed the chamber. Mr. Pearson concludes that it was why Senator Johnson was now eagerly soliciting Democratic votes for the leadership the following January.

Mr. Pearson predicts, in response to inquiries from readers, that Senator McCarthy would obtain the support of about 19 consistent supporters, most of whom were Republicans, on the censure resolution against him to be introduced during the week by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont. The remainder of the Senate largely was undecided and would be partly swayed by the position of Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, previously a friend of Senator McCarthy, but who had tangled with him during the Army-McCarthy hearings between April and June. If Senator McClellan made a strong statement against Senator McCarthy, many conservative Democrats would follow him. Mr. Pearson indicates that Democratic Senators Burnet Maybank, Harry F. Byrd, Willis Robertson, Alton Lennon, James Eastland, Lyndon Johnson, Price Daniel, John F. Kennedy and Allen Frear would either vote for Senator McCarthy or were leaning toward him at present, all of whom were Southerners with the exception of Senators Kennedy, from Massachusetts, and Frear, from Delaware. Moderate Republicans leaning toward voting for Senator McCarthy included Leverett Saltonstall, Homer Ferguson, Prescott Bush, William Purtell, Guy Cordon, Thomas Kuchel, Edward Martin, Henry Dworshak, Frank Carlson, Wallace Bennett, and Bourke Hickenlooper.

Mr. Pearson notes that Senator Knowland would do his best to prevent any vote on the resolution, had been buttonholing Senators, urging them to block all debate and vote only on a motion to table the resolution, despite the fact that he had previously given his word to Senator Flanders that he would permit the resolution to come to a vote.

Marquis Childs, in Paris, tells of the hard challenge ahead for Premier Pierre Mendes-France for getting France back on a going basis, against political and economic opposition led by powerful interests. In the wake of the truce he had achieved with the Communists in the Indo-China war, he faced problems at least as difficult to solve. As soon as he had briefed the National Assembly on the Geneva negotiations, he began a series of discussions the prior weekend regarding his economic program, one started earlier by Minister of Finance Edgar Faure, one of three or four holdovers from previous Governments.

The final decisions on how far public investment could go in helping to expand the economy in light of the large Government deficit were for the Premier himself to make, with the goal being to break the network of restrictions, subsidies and tariffs which had enabled privileges and protection for the large industrialists.

He also had to find middle ground for North Africa which would maintain Tunisia and Morocco as semi-independent states within the French Union, on which he had long discussions with his Cabinet even while the negotiations in Geneva were ongoing. Also, before the August 15 deadline when the Assembly would go on vacation, the European Defense Community treaty for a unified European army, and the problem of incorporating West Germany into it, had to be pushed to decision. It was on that point that his Government would face its greatest trial.

There was also the task ahead of evacuation of the Vietnamese and French Union troops from the Red River Delta and Hanoi, which would take a lot of money and resources to effect, though the number of Vietnamese desiring to relocate to the South, estimated at two or three million, were actually nearer to two hundred thousand. Meanwhile, the Communists were seeking to persuade the Vietnamese and French businessmen to stay in the North, as the bulk of French investment was in that territory ceded to the Communists.

Another problem was the hole which would be left in the French balance of payments with the end of U.S. aid of 800 million dollars per year to the war effort, dollars which had helped to maintain accounts with the rest of the world in balance.

Mr. Childs concludes that as formidable as all of that was, it was only a partial list of what Premier Mendes-France had to do, and quickly, to make up for the procrastination of the previous nine years of unstable government. Yet, the magnitude of the task and his boldness in approaching it head-on had, for the time being, captured the imagination.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the recent cloture vote on the atomic energy bill versus the cloture votes since 1946, which had occurred twice in 1950 on the Fair Employment Practices Commission bill. All twelve Senators who had voted against cloture on July 26 had voted in favor of cloture in 1950 on the FEPC legislation, ten of whom were Democrats. That list included Senators Hubert Humphrey, Clinton Anderson, a leader of the July filibuster, Herbert Lehman, and Republican William Langer, plus Senator Wayne Morse, a Republican in 1950, switching to independent in the fall of 1952.

Of the 31 Senators who cast a record vote on the cloture motion on July 26, 19 had favored it, all Republicans.

Senator Lehman had helped to introduce to the 82nd Congress a resolution providing for a simple two-thirds majority to effect cloture after a 48-hour waiting period, or for a simple majority vote after 15 days of debate. Senators Humphrey and Morse had sponsored a resolution calling for a cloture vote by simple majority. Senator Morse had said on July 22 that he would continue to try to get his anti-filibuster resolution before the Senate, but that while the Republican filibuster rule remained in effect, he would use it.

The 1952 Republican platform had made no reference to cloture, while the Democratic platform had called for changes "to improve Congressional procedures so that majority rule prevails and decisions can be made after reasonable debate without being blocked by a minority in either house."

The Senate cloture rule had been adopted by a vote of 76 to 3 in 1917, following the Senate's defeat by filibuster of President Woodrow Wilson's proposal to arm U.S. merchant ships, in the wake of the 1915 sinking of the Lusitania. The original rule had required a two-thirds majority of the Senators present and voting to effect cloture, and it was amended in 1949 to require two-thirds of the entire Senate—amended again in 1975 to require a three-fifths majority, that is 60 votes under the current Senate membership.

Cloture had come to a vote 22 times since 1917, and 18 of those times, Senators had refused to invoke the rule, including the most recent vote. The last previous time it had been invoked was on February 28, 1927, during debate on creation of a Bureau of Customs and Bureau of Prohibition, at which time the vote had been 55 to 27. Of the 22 cloture votes, eight had dealt with civil rights, all of which having occurred since 1938 and nine having been successful. Both of the 1950 efforts to block filibusters on FEPC had failed, with votes of 52 to 32 on May 19, and 55 to 33 on July 12.

North Carolina Senator Alton Lennon had been paired against the motion to invoke cloture on the atomic energy bill, and his colleague, Sam Ervin, had also voted against cloture.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Texans he had encountered throughout the world becoming rather effete and losing their Texas swagger, at the insistence of their wives. He provides great detail, in case you're interested in the subject. We find it most boring.

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