The Charlotte News

Friday, August 20, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Brussels that Premier Pierre Mendes-France had this date reached the time of decision on whether a compromise was possible in his dispute with the other five members of the proposed European Defense Community army. Two lengthy sessions the previous day had confirmed the hostile points of view, with Premier Mendes-France stating to the conference of the six foreign ministers that EDC, as currently set forth, had no chance of ratification by the French National Assembly, while West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer rejected the French proposals for amendment to the EDC treaty, which Premier Mendes-France assured would be necessary for the treaty to be ratified by France. This date's talks centered on the Belgian plan, proposed by Belgian Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, which would permit the ministers to break off their meeting without formally admitting disagreement and without taking final action on the French amendments. The main objective for the other five participating nations, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries, was to save the EDC treaty in its present form. M. Mendes-France said that he favored German rearmament and a European organization but not in the form prescribed by the treaty, which had been signed 27 months earlier, with only Italy and France not having yet ratified it.

The President, in his report to Congress on the Government's foreign aid program during the first six months of 1954, said this date that a firm defense of Western Europe against Russian attack would be impossible without German troops to bolster the line, and appealed again to France and Italy to ratify the EDC treaty. He said that the failure during the previous six months to ratify it had been "the most serious single obstacle" to a successful European defense. Congress had sent to the President a bill providing for 5.243 billion dollars for foreign aid during the current fiscal year, including military and economic assistance. The President's report said that the U.S. had shipped 1.7 billion dollars worth of weapons and military supplies during the first six months of 1954 to friendly governments, raising the total amount of aid sent overseas since the military aid program had begun in 1947 to 9.4 billion dollars, about 6.7 billion of which had gone to European countries. New military aid agreements with Japan and Pakistan, the report said, had helped strengthen anti-Communist defenses in the Far East.

The Senate and House conference committee agreed this date on a compromise Social Security bill extending coverage to more than ten million additional persons and raising benefits and the taxes to pay for them. It would be rushed to the House floor for expected quick passage and then returned to the Senate for final action. The confreres had settled their major differences by agreeing to place under compulsory coverage 3.6 million farm operators as sought by the President. Senator Walter George of Georgia told reporters that he had refused to sign the conference report because of the decision to include the farm operators, and that Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, for whom he held a proxy, would also refuse to sign. Senator George said that he would not vote for the bill but would not fight to block it.

The Senate this date voted a 5 percent pay increase for two million Federal workers, the bill passing by a vote of 69 to 4, after Senate Majority Leader William Knowland had unsuccessfully sought to attach the bill to an increase in postal rates to help meet the cost of the pay increase. House action was anticipated quickly. Senator Knowland said that the President could be expected to veto the bill unless the postal rate increase was included to offset part of the cost of the pay increase. Senator John Pastore of Rhode Island, however, told the Senate that he had obtained exactly the opposite impression, as Senator Frank Carlson, chairman of the Post Office Committee, had provided the Committee assurances that in his opinion, the legislation would be acceptable to the President.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this date that the cost of living index for July was 115.2 percent of the 1947-49 cost of living average, two-tenths of a percent under the record reached the previous October, with higher food prices, primarily on fresh fruits and vegetables, attributed primarily to drought conditions, having caused the slight uptick in the index for the third straight month, producing a one cent per hour raise for about a million workers in the auto, aircraft and farm equipment industries with escalator clauses in their contracts. Food prices in the Far West were lower as there were no drought conditions in that area.

In Cleveland, O., Dr. Samuel Sheppard pleaded not guilty at his arraignment this date on a first-degree murder charge for the murder of his wife, Marilyn, which had occurred on July 4 in the wee hours of the morning. His defense attorney surprisingly made no motion for renewed bail, after bail granted the prior Monday had been revoked 30 hours later on Wednesday, following the grand jury indictment, which had not been before the different judge granting $50,000 bail on Monday. (As remarked previously, there is no such thing in Anglo-American criminal jurisprudence as a plea of "innocent", as the story incorrectly suggests the doctor entered, for to force a plea of innocence would be, implicitly, to shift the burden of proof from the prosecution, forced to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused, to the defendant to prove his or her innocence. The burden of proof or production of evidence to substantiate a claimed fact only falls on the defendant in most jurisdictions with respect to assertion of affirmative defenses, such as self-defense, defense of others, insanity, or other legal justification or defense, though the rules differ depending on jurisdiction. In some states, such as California, self-defense and defense of others are not considered affirmative defenses and thus the burden does not shift to the defendant to prove them.)

In Memphis, a young blonde, 16, whose afternoon movie date had turned into a terrifying trap, remained in serious condition from a .22-calibre bullet wound in her abdomen. She told police, just before entering surgery, that she had been fired upon by two teenagers who threatened to rape her, and an inspector said that the two teens, 17 and 15, were held without charge by the Juvenile Court, pending the outcome of the girl's condition. The girl had a date with one of the two boys to see a movie, and both boys had picked her up at her home and suggested stopping at the home of the boy with whom she had the date so that she could meet his parents. But the parents were not at home and the three sat around for awhile until the two boys started "getting smart", whereupon she told the boy with whom she had the date that she wanted to go home, at which point he told her to start stripping. She tried to leave but found herself blocked, ran down the hall to the bathroom and locked herself inside, but the two boys had pushed the door open, and the boy with whom she had the date shot her. The boy told police that he had only intended to scare her.

Boy, those nice, quiet Fifties. Don't ye just miss them? So innocent and all.

In New York, a Brooklyn couple celebrated the birth of their 13th child at a hospital which charged for the other 12 but decided to allow the 13th to be delivered for free. The other children ranged in age from 14 months to 15 years.

In Lisbon, the official position of the Portuguese Government regarding Goa, an integral part of Portugal situated in Eastern India, was described the previous day by Foreign Minister Dr. Paulo Cunha, in an exclusive interview with News publisher Thomas L. Robinson, who had gone to Portugal to study domestic and international problems facing that nation. Dr. Cunha said that he did not know if there were another foreign influence involved in the case with India but he did know that there was no true reason, based on the interests of India as a whole, to merge Goa into the Indian Union, and that there were other powers behind the Iron Curtain which would profit from the campaigns which led toward abolition of the Western possessions everywhere in the world and especially in Asia. A transcribed portion of the interview is continued on an inside page.

In Charlotte, traffic snarls caused by the closing of the Independence Boulevard-Morehead Street intersection prompted a traffic captain to cite an ordinance which effectively prohibited the obstruction of traffic at an intersection, indicating that though a driver might have a green light, he should not cross the intersection unless there was sufficient room in lines of traffic ahead to keep him from blocking the flow of traffic on the intersecting street, that the traffic snarls were the result of motorists taking advantage of green lights and piling up immediately behind other cars extending across the intersections. The traffic captain said that patrolmen were issuing traffic citations to drivers who violated the ordinance, carrying a potential fine of up to $25 plus court costs.

In La Jolla, Calif., the treasurer of the First Baptist Church found a note in the collection plate which read: "1 cent to bldg. fund, 1 cent to preacher, 3 cents to God. Bobby."

See what we mean? Innocent, nice and all, just like on the tv...

On the editorial page, "Workmen's Compensation Inadequate" indicates that every 16 seconds during the day an American was injured on the job, and once every four minutes, a worker was killed or maimed. Every year, two million workers suffered injury or disease on the job. When that happened, the worker had to depend on workmen's compensation laws to provide medical care and replace lost wages. But in nearly every state, workers were not obtaining the protection they deserved, as benefits were woefully inadequate, often not amounting to more than a third of the lost wages, particularly true in North Carolina, where reform was long overdue.

It had taken between 1911 and 1948 for all of the states to pass workmen's compensation laws, with North Carolina's law having been enacted in 1929. There had been amendments to the latter since that time, but it had never kept pace with changing times and economic conditions. It provided for a weekly compensation equal to 60 percent of the worker's average weekly wages, but not more than $30, a maximum badly out of date. The maximum payment had not been amended since 1951, when it had been raised from $24, and the maximum amount of overall compensation, from $6,000 to $8,000. While some employers made up the difference, some did not, resulting in temporarily disabled employees not being able to make ends meet. It urges that the 1955 General Assembly take up the matter and provide adequate benefits to maintain a decent standard of living for the disabled worker and his or her family.

"Solution" indicates that, according to a magazine writer, a derivative of a new chemical called hydrazine was being used as a "sleeping pill" for plants. When sprayed on grass, it retarded growth so that mowing of the lawn was not required so often. It recommends August Sun for a couple of days to effect the same result.

"The West Loses Another Leader" comments on the death from a heart attack the previous day of former Italian Premier Alcide de Gasperi at age 73. As an anti-Fascist, he had led Italy out of the chaos of World War II, and led it into the NATO alliance, fighting actively for the projected European Defense Community unified army.

It suggests that his death had occurred at an ironic time, as foreign ministers of Western Europe were meeting in Brussels to ponder the fate of EDC, with pessimists predicting that the conference would doom the plan. It suggests that in his death, the free world should have found a lesson, the danger of going forward toward the goal of Western unity with too much sloth.

Count Sforza of Italy, the early European federationist, had recently died also. Prime Minister Winston Churchill was 79 and his political magic was declining. West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, it suggests, could not carry on much longer, and the French internationalists were in disfavor. It suggests that if Western Europe waited much longer to ratify EDC, there might not be anyone left to lead. The concept of interdependence of free people was diminishing everywhere, as there were no new young statesmen to champion the cause effectively. It urges that if Western leaders were going to make the free world work, now was the time to do so, for soon it would be too late.

"All of These Trips Weren't Necessary" indicates that the Charlotte induction center for the Army had moved so frequently that its furniture was wearing out, as was the patience of the taxpayers. It would have to leave the Quartermaster Depot to make way for the new plant set to manufacture Nike missiles, approximately the sixth location it had occupied in six years. Each of the moves involved remodeling and moving costs, and it suggests not all of them had been necessary, urges the General Services Administration and the Third Army to decide once and for all on a relatively permanent location, and to stop spending so much taxpayer money.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Beans", tells of there being two schools of thought about the culture of string beans, one school advocating planting plenty early and giving them tender care, that even though most of the early beans would not survive, there would be plentiful beans in the end. The other school of thought said not to plant any beans but rather to rely on the beans produced from the plantings of friends and neighbors. Either way, one got more beans than one could eat. It says that it was not advocating one method over the other, that the only thing one could do with a bean was to eat it or give it away.

You can put them in your ears.

Drew Pearson tells of "strange things" occurring in the Congress in the closing days of the session. On the Senate subway car recently, a young black boy, about eight, had very big eyes, as tourists, secretaries, and Senators piled onto the car, and he found himself on the car largely reserved for Senators, connecting the Capitol with the Senate Office Building. He had been wedged in beside Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado, a huge man, with massive shoulders developed from shoveling coal as a fireman on the Union Pacific Railroad. The little boy had no idea who was sitting beside him.

A House stenographer took testimony while a Capitol Hill policeman slept in a chair by the door, as Congressman Louis Graham of Pennsylvania presided, while one member of his Committee, Congresswoman Ruth Thompson of Michigan, sat beside him, listening to testimony proposing to outlaw the Communist Party. No one seemed to care, as a member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court testified in support of the bill, introduced by Representative Martin Dies of Texas. Earlier, Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine had introduced a bill to outlaw the Communist Party, but no one paid any more attention to it than they had the Dies bill.

Charles Halleck, the House Majority Leader, was seeking to corral votes for postal increases and increase in postal pay. But the House would not accept the package he was pushing. Nevertheless, the postal pay bill came up again, while Mr. Halleck was off fishing. The Majority Whip, Leslie Arends of Illinois, took over the role of Mr. Halleck, delivering a speech prepared for him by the Administration. But it fell on deaf ears, as only 29 voted to support the increase in pay. Speaker Joe Martin made no effort to conceal his irritation at Mr. Halleck's absence.

Marquis Childs, in Rabat, Morocco, tells of French troops, seeking to suppress the terrorism which held the protectorate in a state of tension for many weeks, moving into several cities and looking through the Arab quarters for arsonists and terrorists. In Marrakech, the French had announced the arrest of a gang of 11 persons said to be responsible for many crimes, including an attempt to assassinate Sultan Moulay Mohammed Ben Arafa. That raid had followed talks between the French resident General Francis Lacoste and the Pasha of Marrakech, Eli Glaoui, leader of the Berber tribes, who had helped to bring about the removal by the French of former Sultan Mohammed Ben Youssef, and had advocated a "strong hand" in suppressing terror growing out of the demand of Arab nationalists for independence. His insistence on action had been a source of irritation to General Lacoste.

The General was trying to strike a balance between the forces striving with one another for supremacy in the land, still primarily feudal in its political and social outlook. The most important of those forces were the wealthy French, whose interests extended from Morocco back to France. Their strength was so great that they might succeed in toppling the Government of Premier Mendes-France, whom they regarded with great suspicion because of his proposal for reforms in North Africa. They agreed with El Glaoui that action by troops and police could suppress the revolt and restore peace and order.

Mr. Childs suggests that they might be correct in the short run, but that it would carry grave risks for France. Because of world opinion, especially aroused Arab opinion, it was no longer possible to shell the hostile populace in a defenseless town; but to the advocates of the strong hand, it might appear as the only recourse.

In September, in all probability, the issue of Moroccan independence would come before the U.N., and any show of mass force would make the French position less tenable than it presently was. There were indications that the situation had explosive potential. At Port Lyautey, where the greatest violence had occurred the previous week, the casualties were reported by reliable sources to have been more than the 14 or 15 listed dead by the French, with one source indicating that the deaths had run into the hundreds.

The Arab elements were angry and threatening. While Premier Mendes-France had been able to fly to Tunis to speak directly with the leaders of the independence movement in Tunisia, that was not possible in Morocco, as there was no one with whom to talk, as the leaders of the Independence party were all in jail or in exile. That party represented only a part of the country, primarily the Arab elements in the cities, quite opposed to El Glaoui and his Berbers in the areas still largely tribal in their ways.

In deposing Sultan Ben Youssef a year earlier, the French had given the Nationalists a point around which to rally and the mobs held up his picture as an object of worship, offering prayers on holy days in his name rather than in the name of the present Sultan. But to try to restore Ben Youssef, as the Mendes-France Government appeared to have considered at one point, would touch off a Berber uprising. No one, including the Premier, appeared to have a solution to the problems in Morocco.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that it would now appear that the German victory in World War II had been clear-cut, as was that of the Japanese, and that, if things remained on their present course, both nations might take the U.S. into the family of nations. It appeared necessary if the U.S. was to be defended against England, France and Australia, and the other enemies threatening the U.S.

In West Germany and abroad, nationalism was again coming to the forefront, including the Nazis. He wishes that the U.S. were not so eager to fawn on the "Krauts". He hates to see the emancipated Japanese making passes at New Guinea again, while the Australians remembered what had happened in Singapore. He understands that the U.S. needed allies in the fight against Communism, but wonders why the country had to be so loving with former enemies. He indicates that what he had seen of Germans abroad during the previous year looked to him like 1933 all over again. When he had been in Australia during the winter, it appeared to him that the Japanese were reaching toward New Guinea again.

He had seen Italy double-cross France, France double-cross itself, the Germans turn on Russia, Russia turn on the U.S., the Japanese double-cross the U.S., Communist China align itself against the U.S., while Korea kicked the U.S. in the pants and the British hamstrung the U.S. regarding Communist trade. Tito in Yugoslavia had turned his back, and Germany, Italy and Japan had surged to prosperity while England became seedier.

He finds that it had been an unstable set of "chum-buddies" and he was withholding his personal enthusiasm for any "dancing in the streets with new soul mates."

A letter from Ziggy Hurwitz, local jazz musician, finds the editorial on jazz which had appeared during the week to have been refreshing, that the editorial displayed insight into the music. He wants to add a qualification, however, regarding its conclusions on Count Basie's band again leading the Downbeat poll, that having heard the band play in Charlotte and just a week earlier in New York, he finds that the so-called be-bop fashion had contributed much to the present sound of it, while its beat was the same swing which had established the hallmark of good jazz in the 1930's. But the "riffs, backgrounds, and figured punctuations" had all come from the influences of such maestros as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Boyd Raeburn, Pete Rugolo, and Billy Eckstine, when the latter had fronted his band on trombone, and others of the latter jazz period. He had found all of the solo work, except for one trumpeter, to reflect the influence of the new school as well. He agrees with the editorial on the other hand regarding the academic approach to jazz winding up a bust, suggests that the only composer to have done it with a modicum of success was George Gershwin in "Rhapsody in Blue". "Jazz and its creativeness is of such a nature that it must flower by itself, for its essence is spontaneity. The only limit to its freedom, at the hands of a master, is the beat, and the original harmonies of the tune being worked." He indicates that in sessions, the participants were usually serious as they studied and listened intently to whomever had the floor, the reason why the sessions were held after hours in the "back room" where distractions were minimized.

A letter from Charlie Friar responds to the same editorial, finding it "the coolest commentary on the current jazz scene" or he would break every one of his Benny Goodman and Art Tatum collector's items, wants to know the name of the "cat" responsible for the piece so that he could make him guest of honor at their next swing session.

The editors respond that the cat was Cecil Prince, new editorial writer for the newspaper, who dug jazz the most. Mr. Prince, as we have noted, would become associate editor on October 1, 1955, following the departure of current associate editor Vic Reinemer during the following early March.

A letter writer indicates that North Carolinians sometimes forgot that the state had a billion dollar agricultural industry and that some country people cooked over an old wood stove, milked the cows before breakfast and tilled the soil, sometimes by moonlight, all to improve their standard of living. He is bothered by Congress passing the flexible price supports to force the price of principal farm products lower than they had been in past years, causing the farmer to abandon intensive production methods and have to eke out an existence from the soil, pushing him one step lower to the peasant class. While the farmer had suffered a 20 percent drop in prices of his products, the same products did not cost consumers 20 percent less, though that should be the case according to the experts favoring lower price supports. He wants to know where the savings were and why consumer prices had not gone down.

A letter writer comments on segregation, asking whether "you southern white people know that you are doing just what the Russian people want to see you do", and if they did not watch it, some day, while they were fighting for segregation, the Russians might move in and take over "and mix us all up in heaven, or hell." He urges not worrying so much about segregation, that people should ask God to let his will be done on earth as it is in heaven and not to teach children to hate anyone, but rather teach them from the Bible. He favors that "God Bless America" not be sung so much, for people had done so little, that a new song should be written, "God Help America".

A letter from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover compliments the newspaper on its editorial of August 7, "Bill Murphy and the Bank Robbers", finds the comments about Mr. Murphy to have been heartening, that such words had always been a source of encouragement for his associates and him.

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