The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 10, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles said this date that the U.S. had asked Russia whether its rejection of the President's atomic energy pooling plan, proposed before the U.N. the prior December 8, was final, indicating that regardless, the U.S. intended to go forward with it, that there was consideration of starting talks with other countries which might join the plan by contribution of materials and sharing in the benefits. The plan proposed establishment of a world bank of fissionable materials for peaceful purposes, available to all nations. The Secretary also said at his press conference that an announcement might be forthcoming later in the week setting forth the plans to create SEATO, indicating also that one of the so-called Colombo group of nations, consisting of Ceylon, India, Burma, Indonesia and Pakistan, might join. He also said that the situation in South Vietnam was nearly chaotic but that no information suggested that the Communists might attempt to seize power. He stated that Japan's worsening financial state was a grave problem, but that it might be possible to relieve it by establishing new trade markets for the Japanese and selling surplus U.S. farm products to them at cut-rate prices, that he did not believe, however, it would be necessary to resume direct financial aid.

Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas said this date that he would not object to eliminating some of the accusations against Senator McCarthy regarding the censure resolution, as long as the Senate had the chance to vote on whether the Senator had shown "disregard for the whole orderly conduct of government", and that he would be willing to drop the charge that Senator McCarthy had not provided "comparable value" for a $10,000 fee he had received from Lustron Corp., a prefabricated housing company, for a pamphlet the Senator had drafted on prefabricated housing. The six-Senator committee appointed the previous week to consider the censure resolution, sponsored by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, determined the previous day that Senator McCarthy would have the right to cross-examine witnesses in public hearings which would begin on August 30 regarding the accusations of the resolution and the bills of particulars presented by other Senators, including Senators Fulbright and Wayne Morse of Oregon. The chairman of the special committee, Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, appeared to be aiming for a ten-day hearing schedule and issuance of a report in mid-September, with the Senate possibly reconvening on October 1 to act on the report. Senator Watkins said that the committee hoped to conduct its hearings much as a courtroom trial, with evidence limited to that which the committee would determine was relevant and most hearsay barred. He said that Senators Fulbright, Flanders and Morse would be asked to testify if they had personal knowledge to back up their specific accusations. One member who declined to be identified said that the committee had agreed that quite a number of the charges, even if true, would not be grounds for censure, declining to specify those charges.

Senators supporting the Administration's farm proposals eliminated this date mandatory supports for feed grains and soybeans by a vote of 54 to 33, substituting an amendment offered by Senators Milton Young of North Dakota and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, calling for mandatory supports at 75 to 90 percent of parity on oats, rye, barley, grain, sorghums and soybeans. The Senate also approved, by vote of 52 to 29, a proposed amendment by Senator George Aiken of Vermont, Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, and others to eliminate from the bill a provision tying mandatory supports for the four small grains to support levels for corn. During the course of debate, Senator Humphrey said that he did not trust Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson. The previous day, the Senate had given the Administration victories by adopting the flexible support principle for major crops in a range between 82.5 and 90 percent of parity, the same levels adopted by the House, and by approving language allowing Secretary Benson to continue dairy supports at 75 percent.

In West Branch, Iowa, former President Hoover returned this date to the cottage where he had been born, to receive a round of official honors celebrating his 80th birthday, and to deliver a major speech on foreign and domestic policies. His prepared address primarily concerned the 20-year period between the end of his Administration in 1933 and the election of President Eisenhower, much of it devoted to the foreign policy pursued by the U.S. during those years, especially regarding Russia. Other portions dealt with what he called "socialism" and his view that the original conception of the separation of powers in the Constitution had suffered dangerous changes.

In Chicago, Roger "The Terrible" Touhy, who had been sentenced to 199 years for a 1942 escape attempt from Stateville Prison after having been convicted and sentenced to 99 years for kidnaping in 1934, released on an appellate bond the previous day after a Federal judge found that he had not had the effective assistance of counsel at his trial and so granted his habeas corpus petition, from which the State intended to appeal, said that he was simply looking for peace of mind and not thinking of revenge, of which he had forgotten after he had been in prison for so long. The judge also found that Mr. Touhy had taken no part in the alleged kidnaping, finding that it was a hoax engineered by the alleged kidnap victim, John Factor, to forestall his extradition to England to face prosecution for a confidence game. Mr. Factor had served six years, between 1942 and 1948, of a ten-year Federal sentence on a million-dollar whiskey warehouse receipts fraud case. The Touhy gang members had pulled a $120,000 mail truck robbery in Charlotte in 1934 in an effort to use the proceeds to pay for the defense of Mr. Touhy on the kidnap charge. The gang members had blocked off Third Street with three automobiles and held off two guards at gunpoint while they robbed the armored truck.

In Mexico City, police were holding a 19-year old boy who had admitted killing at least ten men, with the defendant admitting that robbery was usually his motive, but that the largest take he had managed was the U.S. equivalent of $2.56. Police described him as one of a band of professional killers. Mexico did not have a death penalty and the worst punishment he could receive would be time on the Marias Islands in the Pacific, where he said that he would not mind going, asking police that they send along his 16-year old wife.

In Pueblo, Colo., a man received a watchdog from the pound the previous day, stating that he wanted one which would bite, as he was tired of marauders molesting his chickens, whereupon the head of the pound selected a dog and asked the man to watch him while he went out to unload a truck, upon returning finding that the man's face and right ear were bleeding, the man telling him that it was the dog he wanted as he had bitten him.

In Winston-Salem, a young wife had participated in the stock-car races at Bowman Gray Stadium against the wishes of her husband, had been in second place in the race and gaining when her car crashed, escaping uninjured. But her husband, a truck driver, then came up behind her "like a madman", she said, as she left the stadium and she had to yell for help, taking refuge in the home of her sister. Her husband said that he had threatened her because he did not want her on the racetrack "acting a fool". The wife had pressed charges and the judge fined the husband $25 and costs for assaulting his wife, but suspended judgment on the case.

Harry Shuford of The News indicates that a meteor shower would take place this night, ongoing between August 9 and 13, with the following night having probably the greatest show, albeit past midnight. He explains that a meteor shower was caused when pieces of grain floating around in outer space struck the earth's atmosphere at night, producing a blaze of light. A meteorite consisted of the rock and its flash of light in the sky, while a meteor was the rock which fell through space and sometimes was recovered after it struck the earth. When the earth went through a trail of fragments following a comet, there was a meteor shower. On an average night, one could see about three or four meteorites per hour, and during a shower, about one per minute, sometimes more or less. The particular shower during this period came from the trail of either Tuttle's Comet or Swift's Comet, depending on which authority one wanted to believe.

On the editorial page, "The Invisible Strings Must Be Cut" finds that the justice of the peace system in North Carolina was part of a crude and imperfect legal system set up many years earlier and never modernized, presently held together by a "hundred invisible strings of timidity and orthodoxy", generally unsuitable to 20th Century conditions, and badly in need of reform.

It indicates that the North Carolina Bar Association had directed the State Judicial Council to find ways to eliminate the abuses in the system, and the president of the Mecklenburg Bar Association had promised that during the coming year, lawyers would explore the possibility of placing all justices of the peace on salaries, while studying proposals for a small claims court.

At present, magistrates were paid only from fees they collected from defendants, resulting often in judgments for the plaintiffs, giving rise to great abuse of authority and graft, made the greater by the fact that there were no qualifications established for magistrates. A 1949 law permitted 26 North Carolina counties to limit the number of justices of the peace and place them on a salary, Mecklenburg having been one of those counties, and, it urges, there should be no delay in making use of that authority.

It also advises that a small claims court would be a valuable asset to eradicate the problem of lesser civil matters not handled by the justices of the peace going into the Superior Court, cluttering calendars and producing long waits for justice, with a small claims court relieving that bottleneck and giving better justice than the inconsistent justices of the peace. It offers that in time, the entire justice of the peace system could be eliminated.

"Yes, Even the Girl Scouts" discusses the resolution passed the previous Saturday by the Illinois American Legion, which had also heard a speech on Saturday by Senator McCarthy, to condemn the Girl Scouts for supposed "un-American influences", as reflected in their literature and the Girl Scout Handbook.

The resolution had stemmed from a rescinded invitation by a Girl Scout group to Robert LeFevre, prompting him to write a smear piece in Human Events, titled "Even the Girl Scouts", in which he expressed anger at the "one worldism" displayed by the handbook, with phrases like "We the people of the United Nations", and expressions of comparison between the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights and the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, as well as finding objectionable the handbook's support for the League of Women Voters, and offering "World Neighbor" and "One World" merit badges on the basis of knowledge of the U.N. Charter.

Scout and civic leaders had responded by saying that the Constitution and its Bill of Rights were also required reading for other merit badges and that, generally, Mr. LeFevre had done a very reckless thing.

The result of the Legion criticism, however, was that the Girl Scout leaders decided to rewrite the U.N. section of the handbook and rename the two objectionable merit badges. It suggests that they ought to add another merit badge, awarding it to the Girl Scout who would tweak the nose of one of those "unduly disturbed Legionnaires, and invite him to come out to camp for a little fresh air."

"Both Thinkers and Doers Are Needed" indicates that the Alsops had exposed a weakness in the fabric of the society the prior Saturday when they observed that Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas was one of the few "readers" in the Senate, an eccentricity which he shared with Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois and Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania, plus a few others, according to the Alsops.

It finds it reminiscent of a remark made the previous year by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon when he said that he belonged to the "greatest non-reading fraternity in America—the United States." He believed that if any of his colleagues ever read a book on political philosophy, they would suffer ill health.

It suggests that such rejection of learning had not only infected politics but other areas of modern life as well, was part of a growing trend of anti-intellectualism in the society, with too many people frightened by book readers and thinkers. It suggests that it was politically disastrous for a politician to be known as an intellectual, that when a candidate betrayed erudition or even unusual command of the English language, he was labeled an "egghead". He might also be derided as subversive, atheistic, Communistic and generally un-American.

Leo Gurko had documented that trend in his recent book, Heroes, Highbrows and the Popular Mind, discussing the American preference for the "doer" over the "thinker", noting how such people as Thomas Jefferson and John Adams had disappeared from the American landscape in the 19th Century, and how the teacher or professor had changed in the popular conception from a respectable figure to a foolish one.

It finds the trend ridiculous and dangerous, thoroughly undemocratic, as there was room for both types of persons in the society, and a good combination of the two types would be difficult to beat. Literate lawmakers were needed more than ever to grasp the complex causal relationships which existed in human affairs, urges that the fear of intellectuals had to be conquered.

A piece from the Richmond News Leader, titled "The Varmints Never Had It So Good", finds that most everything was migrating to the suburbs, that rural people were moving to the towns while the townspeople were moving to the suburbs, that the Government was moving onto the farms and the squirrels were in the writer's bird feeder, of which it explains further. Meanwhile, the chipmunks had dug up the tulip bulbs, the rabbits had feasted on lettuce and parsley, and the moles had created a catacomb on the lawn. The neighborhood was full of dogs, but they were sophisticated, suburban dogs which looked on squirrels and such with an effete and worldly eye.

It finds that the only answer was to move to the country and erect a bird feeder there, where there would not be a squirrel for miles, concluding that it was no wonder such varmints liked the city, as they never had it so good.

Drew Pearson indicates that White House press secretary James Hagerty, who once had worked for Governor Dewey, had stated without hesitation recently that the Governor would not run again, and he knew him about as well as anyone. The statement probably also meant that Governor Dewey would not seek the Republican nomination again in 1956—conventional wisdom at the time persisting that the President, because of his age, would not seek renomination. Mr. Hagerty said that Senator Irving Ives would run for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

He indicates that the question which had caused the most consternation in the closed conference debate over the atomic energy control bill was control of patents. The Government presently controlled all 606 patents on atomic energy, and some members of Congress, led by Representative Chet Holifield of California, wanted some kind of public control into the future for the next generation. During the secret debate, Congressman Sterling Cole of New York sought to eliminate that future control and permit corporations to begin taking over atomic patents immediately. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa noted that the Administration sided with the Democrats on control of patents more than it did Republicans. The President's original bill had provided for the pooling of atomic patents for five years, such that any company would have the right to cross-license new atomic discoveries, paying a royalty for the use of the new patent. The Democratic proposal was to extend the pool to ten years, adopted by the Senate. But Mr. Cole wanted to revert to the House measure, with five years as the pooling period, producing a deadlock in the conference to reconcile the two bills.

Another problem had occurred over Senator William Langer's amendment that if any company which had been licensed to produce atomic energy would be found guilty of violation of the antitrust laws, it would forfeit its license, with Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio declaring that he would fight until he died against that amendment, and continued to do so, despite the argument of Mr. Holifield that when a person transported narcotics illegally, they had their automobile seized, and so a company violating antitrust laws ought forfeit its license.

Secretary of State Dulles had pressured Prime Minister Winston Churchill into finally giving up the British bases at the Suez Canal in Egypt.

Of the six bills considered essential for passage by the President, the only one which would not pass was the wiretapping legislation, at least as it was proposed by Attorney General Herbert Brownell, to provide him with sole discretion as to when national security warranted it.

The major automobile manufacturers always cut production in the late fall to make way for the following year's models, but this time, Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield of Michigan, formerly the largest Chevrolet dealer in the country, had urged the manufacturers to postpone the cuts as long as possible so that plants would not be closing down just before the midterm elections.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that they had found no Republican or Democratic candidate up for re-election in the fall who intended to make Senator McCarthy an issue and so conclude that he would not become an issue in the campaign.

Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, for instance, had quoted from Hamlet, the advice given by Polonius to Laertes: "Beware of entrance to a quarrel, but, being in, bear't that the opposed may beware of thee." Nor did it appear that his opponent would make an issue of the Senator, despite having made some loud pro-McCarthy noise some weeks earlier, now taking the position that he could not understand why he should be an issue in Illinois. The warm letter of endorsement of the opponent by the President may have come in response to that attitude.

A similar situation obtained in the Republican race for the Senate in Iowa, where Representative Thomas Martin had also been talking earlier of welcoming Senator McCarthy to Iowa, but was now no longer making such noises, after receiving stern advice against it from both the state and national Republican organizations. Democratic incumbent Senator Guy Gillette indicated that he did not intend to mention the issue of Senator McCarthy in the race.

The Alsops had found the same sort of indications across the country in every other principal race. In Kentucky, Senator John Sherman Cooper had courageously taken a stand against McCarthyism, as had Republican candidate in New Jersey, Clifford Case, and so their Democratic opponents could not make McCarthyism an issue even if they wanted to do so. But the fact was that nobody did.

Part of the reason for the position was that Republicans desperately needed the support of the President and it was no longer possible to hang onto both his and Senator McCarthy's coattails. Just a few months earlier, the Senator had been expected to be sought after as he had been in the 1952 election campaign, but now he was a "political wallflower", the change coming essentially from the fact that any politician always hesitated to take a strong stand on any issue on which hard-core voters felt passionately, especially if those voters normally voted for the politician's party. It had been for the reason that many of the hard-core McCarthyites had been Democrats, that Democratic campaigners, with few exceptions, refused to take a strong stand on Senator McCarthy.

Doris Fleeson indicates that when Undersecretary of the Navy Dan Kimbell had been promoted to Secretary in the summer of 1951, he had asked his superior at the time, Secretary of Defense Marshall, whether he had any suggestions about filling his old job, to which the Secretary told him to provide his own Undersecretary, that he did not want any part of the appointment process, that he should obtain someone with whom he could work, who would be loyal to him and fight for him all the way to the White House and back to the Pentagon. Secretary Marshall had said that he had been Army chief of staff to a Secretary of War whose first assistant was not speaking to him and both made no secret of how they hated one another, running to the President behind each other's backs, at which point President Roosevelt would send for General Marshall to obtain the facts. He did not want anybody else to have to suffer through the same experience.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that the Secretary of War in question was Harry Woodring, who had recently drafted a letter asserting that General Marshall "would sell out his own grandmother for personal advantage", the latter having been made public the previous week by Senator McCarthy. The first assistant in question had been future Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. She comments that the conflict appeared to be of amusement to the President, even if hard on the conscientious and dignified General Marshall. In the end, the President, explaining that the nation's defense had to have bipartisan support with war looming in 1940, appointed Henry Stimson, former Secretary of State under President Hoover, as Secretary of War, and Frank Knox, vice-presidential nominee under Governor Alf Landon, the Republican presidential nominee in 1936, as Secretary of the Navy. Mr. Woodring then departed for his native Kansas in a rage, which, she indicates, had only intensified with time. He had fought Democrats and Democratic policies with zeal since then and once had sought to organize a splinter party.

The only reason why Mr. Woodring was in the Administration was that when he had been Governor of Kansas, he had been for Governor Roosevelt before the Democratic convention in 1932. His support had been critical in obtaining the nomination for FDR, and so Jim Farley had put him on the list for receiving an important Administration position.

A letter writer from Charleston, S.C., "Gritius", indicates that the Charleston Junior League Cookbook advised never to call grits "hominy grits", "Or you will give Charlestonians fits!/ When it comes from the mill, it's 'grist';/ After you cook it well, I wist,/ You serve 'hominy'! Do not skimp —/ Serve butter with it and lots of shrimp."

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., comments on the same editorial regarding Miss Universe and Vice-President Nixon referring to grits as "hominy grits", this writer wanting to know what was wrong with the term, as the makers of grits always used it, displayed on the packages of Quaker Oats grits as well as those of other companies, believes that it should not be held against Miss Universe, never referring to the Vice-President.

The editors respond that, as they had said in the editorial, she had probably been misquoted.

By the way, it brings to mind the urgent need for the Quaker Oats Co. to eliminate its symbol of the Quaker dressed in 18th Century garb, as communicating a stereotype likely to induce four-year old children to believe that all Quakers wear such clothing, damaging to their mental health and likely to produce in consequence unconscious, systemic religious discrimination, just as certain groups in the country, mostly socialistic, discriminated against Vice-President Nixon, obviously, because he was a Quaker, believing he should dress accordingly lest he be a hypocrite by proclaiming his Quaker heritage during campaigns while eschewing the standard dress, even golfing with Bob and Sammy.

At about that very age, we, ourselves, we admit, associated the Quaker Oats oatmeal carton image, probably the result of formation from subconsciously melded representations conveyed contemporaneously by magazine, television or motion picture Martianesque conjurings of one sort or another by the martinets for the marionettes, with Benjamin Franklin, surely then leading to our subsequently continuing bias through time against the Vice-President, all because he was born a Quaker.

Moreover, the very term "grits", especially in combination with "hominy", communicates, because of unfortunate verbally assaultive associations through time, an adverse stereotype of rural white Southerners and so should be changed to a more race-neutral term, such as "harmony maise", not lending itself to pejorative usage.

A letter from Bob Cherry, Jr., objects to the newspaper's editorial defense of General Marshall, in the face of criticism by Senator McCarthy, suggests that the New Deal had spawned and reared him, making him chief of staff of the Army without ever having personally commanded a division in the field. And he goes on with his usual booboisie banter, obviously never having found anything Senator McCarthy said to be the least bit objectionable.

A letter writer from Pinehurst comments on the August 3 editorial, "The Senate Has Done a Shameful Thing", finding it to have been reasonable and correct, particularly the section indicating that Senator McCarthy and his supporters could claim a victory in the fact that neither Republicans, including the President, nor Democrats had demonstrated the guts to take a stand against him. It congratulates the editorial for finally saying that the President had not so taken a stand against the Senator, urges that they not overlook that General Eisenhower, after becoming the nominee, had shown "gutlessness" during the campaign when he had deleted from a Wisconsin speech all reference to General Marshall, at the behest of Senator McCarthy. The writer adds that he had voted Democratic in 1952.

A letter writer indicates that she had asked many young people whether they were saved and they had responded by saying that they had joined the church and did not know what she meant. She indicates that for anyone to enter heaven, they had to be saved, not just sign a card, that it was getting late and no one knew when they were going into eternity, urges that it was time to check up on who was lost and who was ready to meet God.

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