The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 21, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Brussels, the U.S. had intervened in the impasse regarding the European Defense Community unified army plan, seeking to negotiate a settlement between the foreign ministers of the six nations to be members of EDC, France, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries. Special Ambassador David Bruce, the U.S. expert on European integration problems, had flown from Paris the previous night to Brussels, as the six foreign ministers were engaged in an eight-hour session trying to resolve their differences regarding the proposed changes of EDC put forward by France to obtain French National Assembly ratification of the treaty, without which, according to French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, there would be no ratification. Ambassador Bruce had met for an hour during the morning with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and then spoke with Belgian Foreign Minister Paul-Henri Spaak, chairman of the conference. A German source said that the main purpose of Ambassador Bruce in his discussion with Chancellor Adenauer had been to effect reconciliation between him and Premier Mendes-France regarding EDC. The foreign ministers had assigned a committee of defense, legal and economic experts to meet again this date to negotiate details of a compromise arrangement proposed by Foreign Minister Spaak. The ministers planned to take up the compromise during the afternoon, and it would likely be the last attempt at a settlement in the conference.

The Senate Investigations subcommittee this date set a deadline of August 30 for its members to submit a report on the Army-McCarthy hearings which had taken place between April and mid-June. It was the same date on which the six-Senator special committee, investigating the charges on the censure resolution of Senator Ralph Flanders, was scheduled to begin public hearings, which, according to Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, chairman of that committee, would begin on time after consultation with the newly hired committee counsel, having previously suggested that it might be delayed by two or three days while the latter familiarized himself with the matter. Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota, temporary chairman of the Investigations subcommittee for the prior hearings, announced that an unanimous vote of the six members present had set the August 30 deadline for submission of additional statements of viewpoint by individual members or groups of members, after they had failed to reach agreement on what the evidence had shown. He indicated that they had, at the morning session, provided final approval of a summary of the evidence and testimony taken during 36 days of hearings. He also said that failure to agree on a verdict this date would mean a lapse of weeks or months before the seven members could reconvene for another attempt, and that prospects for agreement were not good, but were also not hopeless. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, the senior Democrat on the subcommittee, said that he believed it would not be possible to agree this date. Some Senators had said privately that there had been delaying friction within the subcommittee, some of it caused by weariness occasioned by the end of the Congressional session and another part because of resentment against alleged efforts to steer the findings one way or the other.

The 83rd Congress had adjourned the previous night, with the President thanking it for a "record of accomplishment". In its final hours, it had passed a Social Security bill similar to the one sought by the President, and a Federal employee pay increase bill which Senate Majority Leader William Knowland of California had warned might be vetoed without an accompanying postal rate increase to help pay for the employee pay increase. The House would not return until the new session would begin on January 5, 1955, barring any special call by the President. The Senate would have some unfinished business later in the year, authorizing its leaders to call it back into session sometime in the fall to consider the report of the special committee studying the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy. Senator Knowland had said that the 83rd Congress had "acted decisively to safeguard the nation from enemies within its borders and to rid government, labor, education and all other phases of American life from Communist infiltration and subversion," while Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson said that he would let history determine whether the legislative record of the Congress represented the "bold, dynamic, progressive" program which the President had said would be the paramount issue in the November midterm elections.

The President planned to deliver a nationwide radio and television talk the following Monday night, in which he was expected to extol the legislative record of the Congress. The President departed Washington during the morning for a stay in Colorado, where he planned to conduct a speaking campaign to help fellow Republicans win stronger control of the next Congress. Prior to his departure, nearly 40 Republican House candidates went to the White House to pose for campaign photographs with the President, including Congressman Charles Jonas of North Carolina. More than 150 of the House candidates had been photographed with the President.

The U.S. accused Czechoslovakia of acting maliciously and lying in shooting down an American jet fighter plane the previous year on March 10, and sought more than $271,000 in damages for the incident. The pilot had parachuted to safety. He had been flying one of two U.S. planes dispatched to look into the presence of a pair of Soviet-built MIG-15 jets near Pilsen, on the border, and the State at Department declared that radar had shown that neither of the American aircraft had left the U.S. zone of West Germany at any time.

In Tokyo, it was reported that suicides in Japan had reached the all-time high of 54 per day, though it trailed Switzerland, Denmark and Australia for per capita suicides.

In Chicago, the anticipated court fight over the 1.8 million dollar estate of the late Montgomery Ward Thorne had been initiated the previous day by his mother, charging that his fiancée and prospective mother-in-law had exercised "domination and undue influence" over him in the making of his last will, executed June 10, nine days before he was found dead in a Chicago apartment at age 20. His 18-year old fiancée had been named and appointed as executor. The will had left to her one half of his estate, one fourth to her mother, one-eighth to an aunt and one-eighth to his mother, whereas the prior will had left his entire estate to his mother.

In New York, the family doctor of an 18-year old boy, who was the alleged leader of a kill-for-thrill group of four boys, said that he agreed with defense counsel that the youth was mentally ill, as his defense attorney had indicated in court the previous day, adding that he was also physically disturbed. The attorney had asked for a referral of his client for psychiatric examination, saying that the boy suffered from dementia praecox, a form of insanity which commonly began in adolescence. The judge had instructed the lawyer that he would have to take his plea for transfer to the Department of Correction, and the defense attorney said that he would do so. The family physician said that the boy had shown definite schizophrenic symptoms three or four years earlier, but had never done anything grave prior to his involvement in the present case. The four boys were accused of killing two men who were indigent and living in parks, flogging of teenage girls and other senseless attacks. The boy in question had been charged only with felonious assault on a 60-year old man in a Brooklyn park the previous Monday, while two of the youths had been charged with murder, and the fourth, a juvenile, charged thus far only with juvenile delinquency because of his age. The State, however, would ask a grand jury the following Monday to indict all four for the first-degree murder of a homeless man in a Brooklyn park, in which they had allegedly burned the soles of his feet with cigarettes and then marched him seven blocks into the East River, where he drowned. According to the prosecutor, the boy in question, from Manhattan, had made a statement that he had "an abstract hatred for bums".

In Shannon, Ireland, a former U.S. Marine jet pilot from Texas had flown into the airport from Newfoundland, via Paris, this date after starting off on what he had insisted had been a one-hour trip in Canada in a single-engine airplane. He did not provide detail on how the trip had become extended, but he said it had added ten years to his life. He had flown in the Pacific War and in Korea. He had flown 3,100 miles in 13.5 hours, and brushed off questions concerning regulations regarding Atlantic crossings by uncertified planes taking off from Canada.

In Rose Hill, N.C., an alert bank cashier, reporting for work, had foiled an attempt to rob the Waccamaw Bank this date, indicating that the bandit, hiding his face behind a white handkerchief mask, had fled after yelling that the bank was being robbed, failing to get a penny. He said the bandit carried a .38-calibre pistol and had hidden himself in the bank, pulling the gun on two employees, a teller and a bookkeeper, after they had arrived for work a few minutes before the cashier who had foiled the robbery. As the latter had walked into the bank, he noticed that the teller was pale and he believed something was wrong, that when he asked him if everything was all right, he had replied that it was, at which point the robber raised up from behind the counter and pointed the gun at him. He then walked out the door and yelled that the bank was being robbed, prompting storekeepers to run toward the bank, while the robber ran out behind the cashier and departed in a pickup truck. The Highway Patrol reported that the truck, which had been stolen, was found abandoned near Delway, with the gunman apparently fleeing into a nearby wooded area. Patrol cars, officers and bloodhounds had rushed to the scene, and a call was sent out for a helicopter to assist in the search. The car had been stolen from a Chevrolet dealer in Wallace, seven miles south of Rose Hill, about 50 miles north of Wilmington. Previously, six bank robberies had occurred in the state during the year, with the most recent having occurred three days earlier at Vanceboro, the only robbers not yet caught. The cashier said that the bandit had left behind a series of printed notes which he had apparently planned to use in the robbery, with one printed in red pencil, saying, "This man can't talk but the .38 he has can. Just follow instructions." A second note had directed that the vault be opened. There was no indication why the man could not talk. Perhaps, he needed the money for an operation.

In Denver, a registration judge told an election commission official by telephone that they had a woman who could not write and wondered how they would register her to vote, receiving the reply that she should make an "X". A few minutes later, the judge had called back, saying that she also wanted to register her husband, and was told to have her sign "X" by "X".

In Hollywood, comedian Jerry Lewis, suffering from viral pneumonia, was expected to remain in bed for ten days and then would go to the desert to recuperate. Take plenty of water and salt tablets, and make sure you have good hiking shoes. The desert can be murder. Watch out for the pre-dug holes.

On the editorial page, "No. 1 on Every Legislator's Checklist" indicates that the office of State Attorney General Harry McMullan, in answer to a question raised by the Charlotte solicitor regarding whether the City Council had authority to pass an ordinance empowering law enforcement officers to arrest drunks on the street without a warrant, had issued an advisory opinion that an ordinance which would confer greater power than the power conferred by a state statute would not be valid or legal under the general principle that ordinances of municipalities had to be in harmony with the general laws of the state and that when there was a conflict, state laws prevailed.

As the column had indicated earlier, the State Supreme Court had issued a decision indicating that a peace officer could not arrest a drunk without a warrant unless the drunk's conduct created or was reasonably calculated to create public excitement or disorder amounting to a breach of the peace. Charlotte Police Chief Frank Littlejohn and City Manager Henry Yancey had deplored the ruling as an impediment to law enforcement.

While the ruling had been confusing, it suggests that the Court could not be blamed as it was merely interpreting a statute which was plain on its face regarding the necessity of warrants to effect arrests for non-felony offenses not involving a breach of the peace. Some cities and towns had charters authorizing officers to make arrests for misdemeanors committed in their presence, but Charlotte's charter, however, did not have such a provision.

Once again, it suggests that the General Assembly ought address the issue and pass a law to alter the existing rule, permitting an officer to make an arrest without a warrant when a misdemeanor was committed in his presence.

"Goat Drivers Have Their Rights, But…" indicates that while everyone, including goat drivers, had the right to use the public roads, none had unrestricted rights, with safety and convenience necessitating maintenance of the roads in good condition by applying certain restrictions on truckers, pedestrians, slow drivers and general regulation of motorists. The few lug tractors still in use were not permitted on highways which they would damage.

Yet, a goat driver who was traveling between Georgia and Virginia with his 33-goat caravan, continued his journey without interference, snarling traffic as he went, while law enforcement officers and lawyers searched the statutes in vain for some way to stop him.

It expresses admiration for the goat driver while also sympathizing with motorists who were being inconvenienced and the patrolmen who were perplexed by his slothful journey. It suggests that there ought be a law requiring animal-drawn vehicles to stay on the secondary road system for any extended distance. It hopes that the 1955 General Assembly might take up the matter. Meanwhile, it wishes Godspeed to the goat driver in his trip to Virginia.

"Take a Page from Communists' Book" indicates that the British Labor delegation visiting Russia and China had seen quite a lot of what the Communists wanted them to see, having obtained an idyllic interlude in a Moscow garden, where Premier Georgi Malenkov had picked posies for a female member of the British delegation. They had enjoyed several drinking encounters, after which the delegation's secretary had indicated that he could not remember what was said. They had been getting complaints from Western reporters who suggested that delegation members were more interested in saving information for articles they intended to write than disseminating information to the press.

It indicates that it did not object to the expedition, as it was not the business of Americans, but the trip did suggest a need to add to U.S. foreign policy tours of the U.S. by European students, technicians, businessmen and the like, along with other such liaison activities. It finds that instead of Congress criticizing the Britons for making the trip to China, it should consider the advantages to the host countries from such visits and invite a group of European legislators.

"Sharp Words for Tough Hides" indicates that insurance representatives and safety experts were trying to find a catchy name for mad motorists, with the executive secretary of the Maryland Association of Insurance Agents having suggested "motorac", while the National Underwriter had solicited other names.

It suggests "motormoron", "automobully", "automobooby", "roadrogue", "roadraff", "trafficur", "automaniac", "roadunce" or "devildriver".

It finds that no name was too rude for the motorist who deliberately drove as if murder, mayhem or suicide were his or her chief objects, and it wants to see a name which would evoke the same fighting instincts which some of the nation's livelier profanities did. It asks for suggestions.

"Automobitch" and "automobastard" appear to fit your order.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Baseball, All Slicked Up", indicates that sometimes the writer awakened in the middle of the night alarmed at the thought that baseball was not what it once had been, that not only radio broadcasters, but advertising agencies and public relations persons were tampering with the game, along with the front office.

Eddie Stewart had been fired as manager of the Colorado Springs Sky Socks because he returned the ridicule of some fans who had been riding him consistently during the season. It suggests that with such a policy, the late John J. McGraw could not have managed the New York Giants and Ty Cobb could not have played for the Detroit Tigers. It suggests that baseball could not afford the principle that the customer was always right, as fans should not be determining when a base runner would steal the next base or when a manager should throw a .348 hitter on a home run binge out of the game because the fan happened to think he was a bum.

It thinks that baseball was not meant to be packaged and merchandised, says that it was hard to try to get in step with the times.

Drew Pearson tells of a low-level White House secretary having been responsible for the appointment of Brig. General Herbert Vogel as new head of TVA. The President had not reappointed Gordon Clapp when his term had expired, and for a time was considering the appointment of athletic coach Bob Neyland of the University of Tennessee, until that prospect provoked too much criticism from supporters of TVA. The Army Corps of Engineer had sent the name of General Vogel to the White House for approval of additional years of active duty, as he had reached retirement age, at which point a secretary saw that he had engineering experience and so suggested to her boss that he might be a fit candidate for head of TVA. Her boss then passed it on to White House chief of staff Sherman Adams who passed it to the President, and the appointment was made.

Mr. Pearson indicates that things which would be remembered from the 83rd Congress included a letter from Jack Martin of Texas to the President from the late Senator Robert Taft, asking that his old friend, former Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, receive a job, but no job had yet been provided him.

Senate page boys had rooted for Senator McCarthy, while the Senators rooted the other way.

The public utilities lobby, which had operated from the Shoreham Hotel in Washington, had been headed by Edgar Dixon of Dixon-Yates Combine, the Arkansas utility which was being awarded, pursuant to the President's controversial executive order, a contract with TVA without the usual competitive bidding. The lobby had used a representative of Arkansas Power & Light to put pressure on Arkansas Congressmen, Louisiana Light & Power to pressure Louisiana Senators, and North Carolina utility representatives to pressure the Senators from that state, and in all three cases, it had worked.

Congressman Sterling Cole of New York had been for big industry in the atomic energy fight.

Senator Walter George of Georgia, once a friend of big business on taxes, had opposed the tax bill as a windfall giveaway.

Inside the White House, the President had been prepared for the criticism of DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell regarding golfer Bobby Jones and his association with Dixon-Yates, and the President had handled well the press conference questioning on the matter, having been conditioned by a remark which the President had found objectionable, made by Senator Wayne Morse during the atomic energy debate: "There is no yardstick in the pending bill. In fact, sometimes I wonder what kind of a stick is in the bill and if what we are doing is substituting the golf stick for the public power yardstick."

Charles Willis of the White House staff was doing his best to provide the smaller airlines a break, but thus far had not been able to upset the inside track of American Airlines.

Senator William Knowland's victory over Vice-President Nixon during the recent California Republican meeting had shoved the Vice-President a bit further into the White House doghouse, though, comments Mr. Pearson, he appeared to have a way of coming back. (You can say that again...)

Within Capitol cloakrooms, the Navy was offering Congressmen free European cruises, with their wives for an additional $110 each. Mr. Pearson indicates that while a lot of Congressmen deserved a vacation after the way they had been working, a lot did not. Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan demanded that the Air Force make plenty of room available for wives on his Interparliamentary Union trip to Europe.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the White House, Republican Congressional leaders and the professionals subversive-hunters were as mad as they could be about the bill to outlaw the Communist Party, as the Democrats and liberal Republicans were stealing anti-Communist thunder in a cleverly conceived, ruthlessly executed and politically adroit manner.

On the prior Monday, the Senate had before it a bill sponsored by Senator John Butler of Maryland, strengthening the existing law against Communist-dominated labor unions, and Republicans were making clear that the bill, plus Attorney General Herbert Brownell's other anti-subversive measures, would be useful ammunition for the fall midterm election campaign. Then came Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, who was up for re-election and did not relish the cry by Republicans, "20 years of treason", in reference to the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations. So, he suddenly decided that he would "give the back-row Red-hunters on the other side some real legislation to chew on." He recalled a bill to outlaw the Communist Party, a bill which had been introduced much earlier by Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana, and so suggested to Senators Mansfield, John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts and Wayne Morse of Oregon that they attach the Mansfield bill to the Butler bill as an amendment, and all agreed. Senator Humphrey then took the plan to Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson, who was delighted, but recommended a conference with Senator Price Daniel of Texas to obtain a conservative Democrat's approval. Senator Daniel also approved, and by the evening, everything was ready except the amendments themselves, still being drafted at the point when Senator Humphrey sought permission at a late hour in the evening to have several amendments printed for later consideration. The following morning, Senator Humphrey recruited other allies, and eventually had 21 Senators in his corner, representing both the right and left wing extremes of the Senate.

He then rose to call up his amendments, with the Republican leadership having no idea what was about to occur. Senator Humphrey said: "I'm tired of having people play the Communist issue. I want to come to grips with the Communist issue. I want Senators to stand up and to answer whether they are for the Communist Party or against it."

Senator Herman Welker of Idaho grumbled loudly, and Senator William Jenner of Indiana grumbled long, at which Senator Humphrey hinted that they must be "soft on Communism". Senator Daniel, by prearrangement, proposed modifications and clarifications of the Humphrey amendment, and Senator John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky changed a clause to safeguard free speech. The Senate then voted unanimously for the amendment and the bill.

The White House was opposed to the bill, and under pressure from the Administration, the House softened it by changing the criminal penalties to deprivation of the privileges of a political party.

The prior Tuesday, Senator Humphrey renewed his raid, asking that the Senate insist on his bill's original language, with the vote close on that measure, as Majority Leader William Knowland had corraled support against the measure. Senator Knowland, however, was deserted by Senator William Langer of North Dakota and by Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, the latter having originally proposed outlawing of the Communist Party, and, most significantly, by Senator Thomas Kuchel of California, who was also up for re-election. Minority Leader Johnson juggled pairing to cancel the effect of Democratic desertions, giving the Humphrey bill another victory, by a vote of 41 to 39. Meanwhile, Senator Johnson hurried over to the House and was able to get Democratic Leader Sam Rayburn and Representative Martin Dies of Texas to ask the House to approve the Senate measure. After a disorganized moment, overriding an angry plea by House Majority Leader Charles Halleck, the House approved the Senate measure by a vote of 208 to 100.

The Alsops relate that the best comment on that method of legislating had been made by conservative Democrat, Senator Walter George of Georgia: "They brought in a political bill, so we just put a little more politics into it."

Doris Fleeson indicates that a worry of liberals in both parties might be mitigated during the fall, that if the oil industry could manage it, there would be less "oil money" in the campaign, and that which would be present would be more equally distributed. Republican sources had indicated that the oil industry had become chary anent the increasing tide of liberal victories, especially in the South, and that oilmen were aware of the bad publicity accorded the political contributions and activities of the Texas oil millionaires, many of whom were friends of Senator McCarthy. Recent primary returns had convinced them that the Texans were making the worst mistake of all, that they were picking losers, and that the victors probably had it within their power to shut off the major source of campaign funds which had been paid liberally to elect a reactionary Congress.

Most of the oil wealth was the result of the 27.5 percent oil depletion allowance, premised on the contention that it was necessary to encourage the discovery and production of oil. The present high percentage had been set during wartime, and political pressure had maintained it at that rate during peace and oil plenty. Former President Truman had sought in vain to reduce it. Virtually every liberal who had won 1954 primaries, such as Senators John Sparkman of Alabama, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, and Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, had complained that oil money had been made available to defeat them, most of them raising it during the campaigns, explaining that the oilmen had so much money to spare because of the depletion allowance. The public got the message and it could be argued that they had given those candidates a mandate to review the allowance.

The following Congress would be assuredly to the left of the present one, and the public would most likely support any moves it might make to curb the depletion allowance.

The Texas oilmen had identified oil with Senator McCarthy, to a degree which bothered the more sedate members of the industry. Senator McCarthy was described in the Senate cloakrooms as being free with promises to obtain oil money for those who would run against the people he disliked. While that was not necessarily binding on the oilmen, it did not make new friends for them.

When liberals spoke of the problem of oil money in their campaigns, even the most responsible among them mentioned wistfully what wonderful witnesses Texas oilmen H. L. Hunt of the "Facts Forum" and his fabled net of $160,000 per day, H. R. Cullen, Clint Murchison and others would make at a public hearing. Late returns, Ms. Fleeson indicates, suggested that it was not an idle dream.

A letter writer congratulates the newspaper for its editorial, "The King Can Do Wrong", and the editorial below it on the City Council, as appearing August 16. He recalls the criticism leveled at the Charlotte Police Department by Drew Pearson the previous year, after which the City Council had appointed a committee to make a report on the matter, and after about five months of work by the man assigned the task, he was told by the Council that they had forgotten to make an appropriation for the work, which had cost him $1,600 out of his own pocket. The writer indicates that the man was his adoptive father and that he had spent all of his retirement savings on the matter, suggests, "The Queen should hide her face in shame", referring to the Queen City.

A letter writer from Pittsboro suggests that the country might become involved in a war over Formosa which could lead to use of atomic or hydrogen bombs and the annihilation of a large segment of the human race, that the American people had not authorized the use of the atomic bomb against Japan in August, 1945, and he doubts that they would have ever approved its use, despite it possibly having shortened the war and saved American lives. He urges people to let members of Congress and the White House know how they felt about the matter of war over Formosa, an island on the other side of the globe. He regards Munich and appeasement to be terms of a past age, that there had to be a mutual determination to live with ideologies the U.S. did not like, rather than suffering nuclear war.

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., indicates that the British evacuation of the Suez Canal Zone would leave Egypt in control of that vitally strategic and important military base. The U.S. hoped that the settlement of the dispute would bring a welcome change in the Middle East, but Egypt's refusal to permit relaxation of the rigid blockade of the Canal, aimed at throttling the economic life of Israel, posed a direct threat to freedom of the normal maritime commerce so important to the free world. The U.S. (whom he appears to mean by use of the pronoun "we") was concerned that the State Department had failed to make the illegal blockade a point of contention before signing agreements between Britain, Egypt and the U.S. If the Egyptians could win all of the benefits of that agreement, he wonders why the State Department thought that Egypt would make any concessions after the signing of the agreement. He indicates that Israel was a new democratic state able to absorb and help the remnants of the Holocaust and provided the hope of the Jews in Arab lands only because "Christian America thought it necessary and right that the Jews should be able to return to Zion." The Administration, he suggests, could show the Arab nations that the only hope of the improvement of their "diseased and impoverished peasantry" lay in a sincere effort to work for peace in that important area of the world.

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