The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 31, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senators Homer Capehart of Indiana and George Malone of Nevada had said this date that the resolution to censure Senator McCarthy, sponsored by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, involved an attack on the investigatory powers of Congress, and Senator Capehart recommended tabling of the motion so that the Senate could get on with its other legislative business. Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, however, accused Senator McCarthy of "numberless outrages", saying that history would honor the Senate for a vote of censure, and that in his judgment, so would their constituents. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey said that he had urged Senator McCarthy to write to the President and indicate that he would cooperate with the Justice Department in ferreting out Communists, but that Senator McCarthy had not accepted his suggestion. Senator McCarthy later said that "if playing ball means quitting our investigation of Communism, graft and corruption, that kind of ball" he would never play. Two substitute proposals for the censure resolution had been offered during the morning session, one by Senator Smith and the other by Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, the former proposal being for Vice-President Nixon to appoint a bipartisan commission, consisting of six Senators, of which he would serve as chairman, to investigate the grounds for the censure and make a report to the full Senate. The Bush substitute amendment would have eliminated the censure and all mention of Senator McCarthy, simply amending Senate rules regarding the procedures to be followed by committees conducting investigations.

Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina predicted that the censure motion would be referred to a committee for presentation of evidence, indicating that he did not think that the Senate as a whole had before it enough evidence yet to pass on the resolution. He said that he did not believe the Senate would censure Senator McCarthy, based on what he had read in the newspapers regarding what his colleagues were saying and what he had heard them personally indicate. The Senator arrived in Hickory, N.C., site of a Young Democrats Club rally during the evening, his first visit to the state since having been defeated for renomination by former Governor Kerr Scott in May. He said that he was planning to tour the state after the adjournment of Congress, so that he could personally thank all of those who had supported him.

Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California asked the Senate Appropriations Committee to delay a scheduled vote on funding for the foreign aid program until the Senate could complete passage of the required separate authorization bill which would set a ceiling on the funding. The proposal had become sidetracked the previous night, however, when the debate began regarding the resolution to censure Senator McCarthy. The Committee had, however, rejected an amendment by Senator Malone, by a vote of 17 to 8, which would have killed the foreign aid program, and instead used the funds to purchase military planes. Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was ready to act on Senator Knowland's proposal but that they would have to hold until they got the signal. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana was seeking to cut over a billion dollars from the 3.1 billion dollar ceiling for foreign aid for the coming fiscal year, as approved by the Foreign Relations Committee. The Senate had approved by a vote of 86 to 2 an amendment proposed by Senator George Smathers of Florida to add 10 million dollars to a 23.5 million dollar fund for technical cooperation in Latin American nations.

In Washington, South Korean President Syngman Rhee, undaunted by official coldness to his proposal that the U.S. provide air and naval support for an invasion by South Korean Army and Formosan troops in mainland China, participated in a joint statement with the President the previous night, making clear that President Rhee had met with no encouragement for that proposal during his talks in the U.S. It was reported unofficially that President Rhee had obtained the President's assurance of U.S. aid to build up South Korea's military forces to meet the growing power of Communist forces in North Korea. The joint statement agreed to abide by the U.N. Charter, which forbade the use of armed force to obtain a political objective, implicitly ruling out any move by President Rhee to start the Korean War again in an effort to unify his country. He told a group of reporters that invasion of mainland China should be a long-range objective rather than an immediate goal, but still insisted that the U.S. should attack.

In Manila, it was reported that the two Communist Chinese fighter planes which had picked a fight with U.S. Navy pilots five days earlier had run into "a bunch of tigers", according to the U.S. air commander of 11 Skyraiders, referring to the two Communist planes shot down on July 25 by U.S. planes searching for possible survivors of the British airliner which had been shot down two days earlier, on July 23, by Communist Chinese planes off Hainan Island.

In Tunis, it was reported that France had given Tunisia control of its internal affairs this date, with some conditions attached. French Premier Pierre Mendes-France was seeking through the move to end terrorism within the French protectorate. He instructed the Bey of Tunis that if he desired, a new government could be formed which, except for defense and foreign affairs, would be empowered to negotiate with France the terms of new internal sovereignty. The French Cabinet had approved the move the previous day. A spokesman for the French Foreign Office in Paris said that the framework for the new government would be outlined later.

American scientist Joseph Cort, 26, departed from London on a Polish freighter to seek political asylum in Czechoslovakia this date. He was wanted for the U.S. for draft evasion, but Britain had no ground to prevent his departure for the Iron Curtain, after his departure had been ordered by the British Government after refusing his plea for political asylum in Britain. Dr. Cort had described himself as a former Communist.

In Washington, Alcoa and the United Steelworkers union reportedly this date had reached agreement on a new contract providing a nickel per hour wage increase for about 15,000 workers in 11 Alcoa plants, plus improvements in pensions and insurance programs.

In Chicago, airline service was curtailed this date in 91 cities across the nation, as some 1,200 American Airlines pilots struck against the company in a dispute over flight schedules, forcing cancellation of all 970 daily flights of American, the nation's largest domestic carrier, handling an estimated 20,000 passengers daily. Service was to end this date after 32 flights returned to their home bases. The dispute regarded a contention by the pilots that they should not be required to fly more than eight hours continuously during the course of one day. American, in its newspaper advertisements, called it a strike against better airline service. The president of the pilots' union said it was a battle for preservation of safety regulations and the public interest. The Civil Aeronautics Board had approved transcontinental schedules over the objections of the union, after which the ruling had been appealed to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals, which had denied a union motion for an injunction to ban flight schedules of more than eight hours.

In Birmingham, Ala., it was reported that Mayor Elmer Reese of Phenix City had been roused from his sleep in a Birmingham hotel early this date and arrested on a charge of willful neglect of duty by permitting the operation of slot machines, the warrant having been sworn out by the military sheriff of Russell County under the limited martial law declared in the town for the previous nine days, after National Guard troops had conducted gambling raids and found every form of gambling device, ranging from slot machines to lottery tickets. The charge was punishable by a fine of up to $1,000. Mr. Reese was the first public official to be arrested during the investigation of gambling and vice, which had grown out of the June 1 assassination of Albert Patterson, a Phenix City lawyer who had been nominated as the next State Attorney General, based on his campaign pledge to eliminate racketeering throughout Alabama.

In Wiesbaden, Germany, a large air-sea search for a U.S.-bound airliner reported crashed in the North Sea with 72 persons aboard, was called off at the last minute this date when word came that the plane had landed safely in Iceland.

In Salt Lake City, a ten-year old boy and his eight-year old brother had slipped away from their home Thursday night and hitched a ride on the California Zephyr, a Western Pacific Railroad train headed for San Francisco. The older of the two had ridden atop one of the cars, while the younger rode within the folding steps. They were not discovered until the train had traveled 115 miles at speeds up to 80 mph. The parents, who had five other children, were not aware that the two were missing until they received a call from a deputy sheriff at Wendover, on the Nevada border. The younger boy had been discovered by a porter who heard someone crying, and the boy informed of his older brother riding on top of the car. The crew indicated that they did not understand how the older boy had managed to hold on.

In Cherryville, N.C., a woman became a great-grandmother and a grandmother on the same day, when her daughter bore a son on Thursday, the same day that her granddaughter gave birth to a daughter.

On the editorial page, "Toll Roads Require Regional Planning" indicates that North Carolina was anxious for action with respect to the Virginia-North Carolina toll highway project, on which Virginia had dawdled. The North Carolina State Highway and Public Works Commission had finally approved during the week plans for a preliminary study of the feasibility of a turnpike route through North Carolina—which would eventually be Interstate 77, not a toll road, from which the state has always been free.

The piece concludes that in both toll roads and free roads, more interstate cooperation was necessary if the basic system of highways in the country was to be expanded in the most reasonable and efficient manner.

"The Loosening Bonds of Empire" indicates that after Prime Minister Churchill had declared in 1942 that he had not become Prime Minister to preside over the liquidation of the British Empire, he had now staked the life of his Cabinet on a motion demanding approval of his decision to withdraw British troops from the Suez Canal Zone, which Commons had supported by a vote of 257 to 25. It was another retreat of the British Empire, surrendering another jewel in the crown of the realm, requiring much soul-searching within Parliament.

It regards the decision as having been a wise one, indicating again the adjustment being made by the British to the realities of the changing world. Britain no longer saw itself as the sole guardian of peace in the Middle East, recognizing that its role was now shared with as many nations as were willing to take part. It posits that the agreement, after years of bloody conflict, would strengthen the vital outposts of the free world in the Middle East, as a worrisome friction point had been relieved while preserving an important military base for the free world's defense. So, it was not truly a retreat at all.

Britain had loosened its bonds of empire after World War II, with Ireland having severed its tenuous ties with the Commonwealth, Burma having gained complete independence, India having been partitioned into two self-governing nations, with Pakistan forming the other Moslem portion, and Ceylon having passed from colonial to dominion status, which, within the Commonwealth, meant that it had an autonomous government. It finds that the self-governing members of the Commonwealth were, for all intents and purposes, independent nations, united by common allegiance to the Crown, the sole bond of empire. It concludes that a new community had emerged, one of free people.

"And Away We Go" indicates that Representative Richard Bolling of Missouri had found it a curious thing to watch the preparations for adjournment on Capitol Hill, as members prepared to depart from Washington, that after months of delay in legislation, suddenly the heat was on, with the result that bad legislation often resulted in the last few weeks of the session.

The piece regards Mr. Bolling's observation as correct and that the mad dash at the end of the session had become a tradition in American politics, suggests that perhaps the only way to avoid it would be to take the advice of a person who had proposed that all legislation passed in the final month of a session not become law for two years, so that all the mistakes made in haste could be repaired before any real damage was done.

The column this date, incidentally, bears the notation in the masthead that editor Pete McKnight was on leave, to become executive director of the Southern Education Reporting Service in Nashville, Tenn., tasked with the job of studying and reporting to the 17 states affected by Brown v. Board of Education regarding plans for transition and adjustment to the May 17 decision holding segregation of public schools unconstitutional, with the implementing decision due during the following Supreme Court term starting in October. The following July 6, he would join the Charlotte Observer as editor, where he would remain until his retirement in 1976, and would not return to The News. He had been editor since March 4, 1949. Presumably, the editorial column was now being written by either associate editor Vic Reinemer or executive editor Brodie S. Griffith, the latter likely to have been writing editorials on occasion during the previous several years during Mr. McKnight's tenure as editor, while Mr. Reinemer had been contributing editorials during the previous three years or so since he had become associate editor. Cecil Prince, to become associate editor in 1955, was also hired at this time to assist in editorial writing duties. Mr. Reinemer, a graduate of Montana State University and a native of Montana, would depart The News the following March, to become executive secretary to Senator James Murray of Montana. The changes would portend a general shake-up in the staff of the newspaper fourteen months hence, on October 1, 1955, when longtime former editor J. E. Dowd, general manager since early 1947, when a group of investors had bought out the Dowd family's sole ownership in the newspaper, resigned. Afterward, according to several veteran News writers, the newspaper would take a decidedly rightward turn. We shall see. You can keep it in mind on the calendar through the notion that when James Dean died, so did The News, as we knew it.

A piece from the New York Herald Tribune, titled "Vacation in a Woodlot", indicates that a withdrawn thrush understood that a woodlot was a cool, quiet and restful place at the present time of year, with the woodlot, itself, on vacation, whereas a winter woodlot had the sound of an ax, in autumn, the crack of a gun, and in spring, apt to be filled with shouting schoolchildren chasing arbutus and anemones. It explains how the wildlife understood the best vacation resorts within a woodlot, with a hawk picking the tallest pine, raccoons being familiar with the desirable suites within hollow basswoods, etc. Men of the country also understood summer woodlots.

"And it takes a lot of suntan cream and less shady places than a woodlot for a vacationist to look like an oak-leaf Indian—especially the white birch sort of city man who never did any haying."

William Morris, writing in the Winston-Salem Journal, finds "catawampus", meaning diagonal, to be a fascinating word from dialect of uncertain origin. He notes that around Texas, the term "catawampus cat" meant a bad-tempered woman. A letter from a man in Georgia had indicated that "wampus cat" was made with a hollow cypress knee five or six inches in diameter, with all the bark stripped and both ends cut off down to 22 to 24 inches in length, a piece of wet goatskin then stretched over one end and tacked securely, with a slot cut in the skin, into which a leather string was inserted, a knot tied, whereupon a pair of leather gloves coated with plenty of resin were utilized to reach up into the hollow cypress and slide the string through the fingers, turning the hollow end the way one wanted the noise to go, causing people to leave home for two or three miles. Mr. Morris thanks the writer for adding to his store of knowledge as to what a wampus cat was.

He indicates that a New York reader had sent a clipping headed "Informer Hoist with Own Petard", and he explains that the phrase came from Shakespeare, literally meaning one blown in the air by his own bomb. But an entirely different meaning attached to the headline, as the story concerned a woman who had received $10,000 from the Government for turning in her employers on an income tax evasion charge but was now facing a jail sentence and a heavy fine, herself, because she tried to evade the income tax on the money the Government had paid her for her reward.

Drew Pearson discusses Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1952, following his nationally televised probe of organized crime in 1950 and 1951, exposing the underworld as no other expose had ever done in U.S. history. He had won primaries repeatedly, even trouncing President Truman, and on the floor of the 1952 convention, delegates for him had wept when he finally conceded defeat to Governor Adlai Stevenson. Now, things had changed, however, with Frank Costello, once the king of the gambling world, in jail as a result of the Kefauver committee hearings. In addition, hundreds of top leaders of organized crime were listed for deportation and the racing wire had been put out of business, with a law taxing bookmakers and requiring them to register with the Federal Government.

One of the Kefauver delegates at the 1952 convention, recently nominated State Attorney General of Alabama, Albert Patterson, had been assassinated by the mob in Phenix City following his election on a pledge to clean out organized crime from that location, rife with prostitution and gambling, across the state border from Fort Benning, Ga. The underworld also appeared to be pouring money into Tennessee to defeat Senator Kefauver, who, in consequence, was having to fight for his political life, against a relatively unknown and dubious candidate, Congressman Pat Sutton. Money had poured into finance Mr. Sutton's helicopter at a cost of around $20,000, and for a series of radio and television talkathons, undoubtedly costing more than $40,000. Senator Kefauver was receiving one dollar bills from admirers everywhere, but that was a slow way to build a campaign chest.

Congressman Sutton was likable, but also rewarded his family members with plentiful jobs on his Congressional staff and had written no legislation of consequence, though having introduced two bills helpful to slot machine operators and deportable gangsters. Mr. Pearson provides detail on the members of his family who had been placed on the public payroll.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that, increasingly, U.S. strategy of "massive retaliation" in case of direct attack was being challenged by events. The strategy was framed around U.S. strategic air power and nuclear weapons to create a balance against the Soviet superiority in troop strength. It had been a sound idea in the past when U.S. air-atomic superiority was clear, but now, the Soviets were catching up and would soon surpass the U.S. in the ability to deliver nuclear weapons to distant targets.

In 1948, Winston Churchill had wondered aloud what would happen when the Soviets obtained the atomic bomb, as they would in August, 1949, Mr. Churchill having then stated that what would happen could be judged by what was happening at that time, regarding Soviet aggression.

Now, the Kremlin had the initiative and could rely on the U.S. to remain on the defensive, both globally and locally, as the U.S. was committed to use its air-atomic power only in retaliation and would not initiate local aggression, such as that in Korea and Indo-China, initiated by the Communists. The Communists were not limited by any such commitments, and a direct and unprovoked Soviet attack on the U.S. remained unlikely as long as the U.S. continued to have the power of devastating retaliation. But, the Alsops caution, the history of the previous eight years suggested that indirect Soviet attacks were increasingly likely, with more and bigger Koreas and Indo-Chinas almost certainly to occur into the future.

They suppose that an area essential to U.S. security, such as Japan or West Germany, was threatened by the Soviets three years or so hence, when Soviet power to destroy the U.S. would be unquestioned, and consider the three potential ways in which U.S. policymakers could respond, first by ordering the Strategic Air Command to attack the Soviet Union, with the realization that the Soviets could undertake massive retaliation also, leading to the question of whether Japan or West Germany was worth the risk of destruction of the United States. A second possible response would be to order a local and limited attack in the threatened area, on the pattern of the Korean War. But the Communist portion of the world contained approximately 430 infantry divisions, compared to 17 U.S. Army divisions, two and a half U.S. Marine divisions, perhaps 30 other effective Western allied divisions in Europe and no more than 40 within the Far East. If atomic weapons were ruled out, the Soviets could safely reinforce their attacks until they would win the fight in such a local conflict, rendering such wars not practical policy. The third response would be to do nothing and ignore the threat.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that a last-minute lobbying effort was being made to obtain action on legislation for school construction before Congress would adjourn, with a coalition of 20 national organizations pushing for its enactment against opposition from some economy-minded spokesmen within the Administration and private groups. The Quarterly had found in a check conducted on July 28 that both sides agreed that school construction needs were "acute", but disagreed on whether the problem should be met partially through Federal aid or by states and localities alone.

There were pending emergency school construction bills providing for 250 million dollars for each of the ensuing two fiscal years, offering different formulae for apportioning the money. Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, chairman of the Education subcommittee of the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare, had sponsored a measure which could receive consideration, as hearings had been held on a similar House bill sponsored by Representative Peter Frelinghuysen of New Jersey. Other measures proposing various Federal-state solutions to the construction problem were pending as well.

On July 20, the argument of the pro-Federal aid bloc, led by the National Education Association, had been summed up in a telegram sent to the President and Congressional leaders, indicating that to safeguard the precious resource of the children enrolled in the schools, and meet the demands of rising birth rates, schools had to have more classrooms. But an official of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the Quarterly on July 27 that the school construction bills assumed an inability on the part of the states to provide adequate school facilities, not substantiated by any recent nationwide studies or other available data. The Chamber recommended that Congress take no action until it had been proven that the states could not meet their own needs.

Recent figures from the Office of Education showed that during 1953-54, 36 million children had attended public school and that by 1960, an estimated 44 million would be attending, necessitating 340,000 new classrooms in the coming school year if a start was to be made on improving education.

A letter writer wants to throw the book at road hogs, indicating that the Alabama State Highway Department had investigated 108 fatal and injury accidents in rural areas during a 12-day period between Christmas and January 3, 1954, finding that 21 of the accidents had resulted in the death of 25 people, and 87 injury accidents had involved 150 injured persons. Six of the 25 deaths resulted from violations of solid center line markings and 40 of the injured had been caused by driving on the wrong side of the road or failure to yield the right-of-way. The writer, a physician, indicates that thousands of lives would be saved if the various state legislatures were to pass more strenuous laws and enforce them regarding driving on the wrong side of the road and driving in the wrong lane of traffic on superhighways.

A letter from Representative Kit Clardy of Michigan, a member of HUAC, finds a previous editorial on Harvey Matusow's confession of having given false testimony previously before HUAC to have been "far off the beam", indicating that the Committee did not vouch for the truthfulness of any witness who appeared before it, that while they did check and double check as well as they could to determine the accuracy of testimony, the evidence submitted by Mr. Matusow identifying persons as Communists had been verified and had not been upset or attacked, and no other witness had come before the Committee to dispute his identifications. Mr. Clardy indicates sorrow that the editorial had accepted "the lying misstatements and propaganda put out by left-wingers" generally concerning the Committee and its witnesses, that the phrase "professional informers" had been invented by the Communists as a smear word to discredit efforts to expose subversion. He says that no one who had witnessed hearings before the Committee had ever been critical of it unless they belonged in the camp of the Americans for Democratic Action or other left-wingers "whose chief aim in life is to destroy all investigations", and he hopes the editors would not be taken in by the kind of propaganda which such people were distributing.

Just ask Kit Marlowe. He knows the truth about HUAC's assiduous investigations.

A letter from the chairman of the publicity committee of the Charlotte Archers expresses appreciation to the newspaper and its staff for helping to make its recent North Carolina Archery Association Tournament a success. He indicates that archery fostered a keen spirit of competition and that those who participated had one of the greatest personal challenges which could be found, that even crippled persons, whose handicaps prevented their participation in other sports, enjoyed archery.

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