The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 3, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at a press conference this date, Secretary of State Dulles accused the Communists of violating the Korean Armistice of a year earlier by not allowing inspection by members of the Armistice commission, primarily the Swiss and Swedish representatives, of the ports of entry designated in the agreement, instead circumventing the agreement by moving materials through other ports of entry into Korea and denying the Swiss and Swedes the opportunity to visit those ports. He said, however, that the violations did not amount to sufficient grounds to resume the war. He also indicated, with respect to the U.S. protest lodged with the Chinese Communists regarding the shooting down of the British airliner off Hainan Island nearly two weeks earlier, that the U.S., contrary to the Chinese position, did have a stake in the matter as three American passengers of the airliner had been killed in the incident. He also said that, while the U.S. had no formal agreement at this point with Formosa, it would use its warships and airplanes to protect the island against any enemy attack. He also stated that he hoped that decisions would be made within a week to ten days to establish the time and place for holding a conference to conclude the Southeast Asian defense alliance, SEATO.

Senator McCarthy, the previous day, had made public a letter, dated six weeks earlier, quoting former Secretary of War Harry Woodring as saying that he had once thought very highly of General George C. Marshall, but had lost faith in him, that the General "would sell out his grandmother for personal advantage." General Marshall declined comment. Senator McCarthy offered the letter for the record during the Senate debate on the censure resolution against him, offered by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont. Some of the supporters of the resolution had cited Senator McCarthy's 1951 speech in which he charged that General Marshall was "steeped in falsehood". Mr. Woodring, Secretary of War under FDR between 1936 and 1940, said that he had lost faith in the General because he thought he had "sold out" Chiang Kai-shek during his year-long mission to China on behalf of President Truman in 1946—General Marshall having reported to President Truman at the time that because of the graft and corruption he found within the Nationalist Chinese Government and the greater efficiency of the competing Communist government in the northern provinces, with its program of land redistribution benefiting the peasants, the best policy would be to encourage a coalition government between the Nationalists and Communists. Mr. Woodring had opposed FDR for re-election in 1940 and 1944.

The Senate, the previous night, by a vote of 75 to 12, agreed to assign to a special bipartisan committee the censure resolution of Senator Flanders, and Majority Leader William Knowland predicted appointment by Vice-President Nixon within 48 hours of a six-member committee charged with going through 50 overlapping charges against Senator McCarthy, and eventually rendering a report to the full Senate. Senator Knowland said that he expected the Republican and Democratic policy committees to meet quickly to select the three Senators from each party who would serve on the committee. Senator McCarthy called for continuous sessions by the group to draft a speedy report, saying that all he wanted was a vote by the full Senate, with his critics placed under oath before the special committee to repeat their "scurrilous, false" charges. He said that they would, in that event, "indict themselves for perjury" or prove what "consummate liars" they were. Congress was slated to adjourn within about two weeks, and Senator Knowland wanted a progress report from the committee prior to that time, adding that if it could not complete its investigation by that point, the Senate would have to decide whether it wanted to remain in Washington to await a final report while members of the House returned home. Senator J. William Fulbright said that he believed the chances were very remote that there would be any final report before the 84th Congress would convene the following January. Eventually, the hearings on the censure resolution would take place after the midterm elections, in November and December.

In Philadelphia, some 75,000 VFW members and auxiliaries lined up for a giant seven-hour parade this date, highlighting their week-long annual encampment. Vice-President Nixon had addressed them the previous night at a banquet, warning that the free world could not stop Communism unless the people had the "will to resist", indicating that Indo-China was visible proof of that fact, and that the principle had played out in reverse in Guatemala, where the Communist army had been ten times as strong as the insurgent "army of liberation" which had successfully staged a coup, while 90 percent of the people had been against the Communist Government, the members of which had to "run for their lives" only hours after the revolt had ended. Mr. Nixon was awarded the VFW's Bernard Baruch Distinguished Service Award, for "most outstanding contribution to the American way of life, promotion of unity and world peace." The convention approved a "proclamation of policy", charging the Federal Government with "cynical disregard" for veterans and their dependents "while dealing generously with foreign nations, including former enemies." Mr. Nixon refused to comment on the proclamation, saying he had not had time to read it.

In Rawalpindi, Pakistan, an Italian mountain-climbing expedition reported this date that on July 31, its members had conquered the 28,520-foot K2, Mount Godwin Austen, the world's second highest peak, and since the conquest of Mount Everest in June, 1953, the hitherto world's highest unclimbed mountain. The message did not indicate which members of the expedition had successfully reached the top. One member, considered the expedition's ablest, had died of pneumonia on June 21 and was buried on the mountain near the grave of an American climber killed in an unsuccessful attempted ascent as part of the U.S. expedition the previous year. K2 is 750 feet lower than Everest, but considered more difficult because of the steepness of the final stages of ascent. It is the highest peak in the main range of the Karakoram mountain system across Northern Kashmir. Four Americans had died in an attempt to climb it in 1939.

Near Preston, Conn., a four-engined Air France Constellation, with 37 aboard, flying from Paris to Mexico City via New York, crashed on an isolated farm in flames, flying in inclement weather. State police reported that all aboard, including a baby, had survived the crash and the flames, which had burned for two hours. Only a dozen or so of the passengers were injured and none critically. The plane had been turned away from Idlewild Airport in New York because of rain and a low visibility ceiling. It had hit the field and skidded for about a half mile, bouncing into the air and shearing off the tops of a row of trees, then plowed through a barn before coming to a rest, one of its wings just missing a man's home where one of his twin sons had been playing on the porch. The last man to leave the plane only suffered a scratched hand.

In New York, Joseph Nunan, Jr., previously the head tax collector for the nation, had been sentenced this date to five years in prison and a $15,000 fine for income tax evasion, the sentencing judge indicating that his crime had been made greater by the fact of his position and that he was familiar with the tax laws and tax collection rules, adding emphasis to his guilt. He had been appointed by FDR as commissioner of Internal Revenue in 1944 and served through 1947, was accused of reporting his income for the period 1946 to 1950 as a little over $416,000, when it actually had been more than $543,000, underpaying his taxes by more than $91,000, according to the Government.

In Miami, the body of a slain Eastern Air Lines flight steward, 26, of Miami, had been found early this date in a secluded spot beside Arch Creek, frequently used as a lovers' lane. He had been shot once through the stomach and there were bruises on the back of his head, plus scuff marks on the ground indicating that there had been a struggle. The front seat of the victim's cream-colored convertible, parked 500 yards away, was spattered with blood, and a .22-calibre cartridge case lay on the floor. Footprints of a barefoot man led away from the parked car and disappeared into the creek.

In Reno, Nev., Bobo Rockefeller, 37, a coal miner's daughter, was awarded a divorce from her millionaire husband, Winthrop Rockefeller, 42—future Arkansas Governor. The decree was granted on the basis of four years of separation, the statutory minimum in Nevada being only three years. She received a settlement of 5.5 million dollars and custody of their young son—future Lt. Governor of Arkansas. The couple had been married on February 14, 1948, two years after she had divorced socialite Richard Sears, Jr., also in Nevada.

In Winston-Salem, N.C., Ab Walker, 44, who had been implicated in the death of young Smith Reynolds, 20, in 1932, died in a hospital the previous night after a week-long illness. He had been a close friend to Mr. Reynolds and had planned a trip around the world with him just before he had been shot to death at the family home, Reynolda—adjacent to the presently being constructed relocated campus of Wake Forest College, to open in 1956. Mr. Walker and nightclub singer Libby Holman, wife of Mr. Reynolds, had been indicted at the time on charges of murder, but the case was eventually dismissed by the State. Mr. Walker then moved to Texas in late 1932 and remained there in business, in Corpus Christi, until the previous November, at which time he had moved to Walnut Cove, near Winston-Salem, to be with his parents.

Whether, incidentally, it was entirely fitting and proper to have named the Wake Forest main library after young Mr. Reynolds, when he died in the middle of a corn-liquor drinking party during Prohibition, provides some consternation to the imagination. Maybe some of the assiduous building name-changers will want to take that up, unless they might think that illicit moonshine parties among the independently wealthy, resulting in death, must have been "coo-ool".

In Norfolk, a man who was a storekeeper at the Naval Supply Center had whittled a fleet of full-rigged ship models, having begun his hobby in 1941 while in the Army.

In Tokyo, police had stopped the sale of Japan's newest toy invention, a miniature flying saucer, police objecting to its ear-splitting noise and the fact that it was liable to take off in any direction. The toy left a white trail of smoke as it followed its unpredictable course. It is kind of like the news.

On the editorial page, "The Senate Has Done a Shameful Thing" indicates that it would have no objection to the Senate's decision to assign the question of censure of Senator McCarthy to a select committee, provided that committee would make a conclusive report prior to the end of the Congressional session and the Senators were to meet the issue directly before adjournment. But it now appeared that the committee would not report until at least the fall, which meant that the present Congress would not be able to act on the report, allowing Senator McCarthy to continue to present impertinent issues, as he had the previous day with his attack on General Marshall.

It indicates that Senate Majority Leader William Knowland could be expected to help him along, as he had done the previous day with the Senator's attack on Senator Wayne Morse for his supposed hypocrisy in presenting part of a classified document in a speech during the 1952 campaign, while Senator Morse attacked Senator McCarthy for his stance earlier in the year in asking that all Government employees provide him with any evidence they had of graft or subversion, despite the documents containing classified information, with Senator Morse having informed Senator Knowland that the document from which he had quoted in the speech had been declassified by President Truman before he had used it. The piece thinks that, meanwhile, the issue of the censure would become involved in the fall campaign, as Senator McCarthy wanted it to be, with the Senator and his supporters able to claim on the hustings a victory on the basis that the President and the other Senators, including Democrats, had not had the guts to take a stand against him. The piece finds it shameful.

It thinks that a censure resolution should be accompanied by a bill of particulars, as suggested by several Senators, and that Senator McCarthy should have an opportunity to answer the charges against him, but that it had been overlooked during the hurried debates of the previous few days that Senator Ralph Flanders, sponsor of the resolution, had appended to it a bill of particulars, and called attention to the fact that a bill of particulars had been drawn up against the Senator by a Rules subcommittee toward the end of 1952, and that Senator McCarthy had repeatedly refused to answer those charges regarding his finances, labeling them as smears. Senators Morse and Fulbright had provided additional bills of particulars, and there was plenty of documentary evidence available for the Senators on which to base conclusions.

Nevertheless, it finds, too many Senators had chosen throughout the debate to rationalize their irresponsibility, of whom Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina was typical, saying the prior Saturday night in Hickory that he would probably abstain from voting on the Flanders resolution if it came to a vote, that he would vote for the resolution if all the things he had read in the newspapers were true and were documented by evidence, but he could not base his vote on that which he read in the newspapers, that they were being asked to vote on generalities, about which no more than five or six Senators had direct knowledge. It comments that if the charges made by Senator McCarthy, as reported in the newspapers, were true, there would not be any need to censure him, and that someone who had been around Washington as long as Senator Lennon had been without obtaining direct knowledge of Senator McCarthy and his tactics was not very observant. Both Senator Lennon and Senator Sam Ervin feared that adoption of the Flanders resolution might set a dangerous precedent, but the piece indicates its concern about the apparent failure of the Senate to live up to its precedent of honor, "and the effect of its spineless decision on the nation and the world."

"The Diplomacy Uncle Sam Neglects" indicates that the U.S. poor showing at postwar international fairs and expositions had anti-American forces chortling all over the globe, neatly reinforcing Communist arguments that the star of capitalism was fading, unable to meet the competition of Communist art, science and industry. The President, it finds, was wisely seeking to reverse that trend with a special five million dollar fund presently awaiting Senate approval for the purpose of encouraging U.S. businesses to participate in about 30 of the world's 77 trade fairs which "constitute a valuable springboard for promoting wider understanding of American products and our private enterprise system," according to the President.

It finds that the President was correct, that U.S. household appliances, automobiles, farm equipment, television sets and other such modern products were vastly superior to those of any other nation, but had to be seen to be believed, and the country could not simply depend on movies, booklets, posters, and other such matter to convince the rest of the world of their importance and the significance of the economic system which had produced them.

In one of the famed Lucerne music festivals shortly after World War II, England had sent an orchestra conducted by Sir Adrian Boult to represent its composers, while France had sent an orchestra conducted by Charles Munch, yet the U.S. had been embarrassingly represented by only a concert of phonograph records, which one stunned observer said was akin to something one might encounter at a summer camp.

It suggests that to the contrary, cultural activities should form a strategic part of foreign policy, to capture loyalty and allegiances in the cold war, and yet the Government had often seemed ashamed to exhibit the result of the nation's achievements in the arts. An outstanding production of Porgy and Bess had been sent abroad recently with the State Department's blessing, but the Government had refused to take part in the largest and most important exhibition of modern art ever held in the Western Hemisphere, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where more than 4,000 works of art and important personages from 39 countries had been assembled, with works representative of France, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany, Norway, Yugoslavia and Austria, all with the blessings of their governments, while the U.S. exhibit was put together from private donations of a New York organization and consisted primarily of stark mobiles by Alexander Calder, resulting in the international art world having a very limited perspective of modern American art. It concludes that it was no way to win friends and influence allies.

"Prepare To Man the Lifeboats" regards the item on the front page the previous day indicating that an experiment was ongoing at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Oklahoma, wherein a catering service employing females was being used to provide breakfast to the airmen, rather than the traditional K.P. duty for servicemen, the experiment, in its second day, obtaining good reviews, both from the airmen and their servers.

The piece finds it a sign of the times and the beginning of the end, cites Arnold Toynbee's A Study of History, in which he had argued at considerable length in favor of the idea that rugged living kept people great, that no important civilization had been born or maintained under conditions of plush comfort, that such conditions sapped ambition, vigor and power. It asserts that now that the U.S. stood uncertainly on the threshold of the hydrogen era and needed all the strength it could muster, someone had come along and abolished K.P. duty, suggests that the next thing would be to have local cops pulling guard duty, "twinkling chandeliers in the barracks, latrines with built-in dice tables and tea and crumpets every day at five."

"Prepare to man the lifeboats. We can feel our civilization sinking already."

"Tell Leon" indicates that Leon Keyserling, who had been the chief economist during the Truman Administration, was talking about reduction of taxes and increasing spending to keep things going along smoothly in the economy, the piece wondering whether someone would ask him to play with his own money for awhile and lay off the taxpayers' dough.

Drew Pearson indicates that it was the time of "slap-happy legislation", at the end of the Congressional session, when laws could be put on the books which only a few men wanted and the rest of the country did not even know about. House Majority Leader Charles Halleck of Indiana, who was in charge of piloting the Administration's program through the House, would give no advance warning when certain pet bills would come up for a vote, picking the time when he believed the fewest Democrats would be on the floor, the manner in which he was able to ram through the important atomic energy bill on a Friday, keeping the House in session until 3:00 a.m. Saturday morning, as he knew the big city Democrats from New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey left Washington for the weekends.

Mr. Pearson reviews some of this "slap-happy legislation", the Rocky Mountain Trout Bill, the Dinosaur Canyon Irrigation Bill, a bill sponsored by Senator Everett Dirksen to return back to the Germans the Nazi chemical companies seized by the U.S. during World War II and reimburse the Nazi cartel owners who had built up Hitler's war machine, each of which was slated for quick passage at the end of the session. But, at the same time, it was likely that Congress would sidetrack a bill returning the German Embassy building in Washington to pro-American, anti-Hitler Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany. The Embassy had been seized by the U.S. during the war and the Government had eventually sold it for $300,000 before it deteriorated further. After the war, the U.S. had returned the Japanese Embassy to the Japanese, but could not return the German Embassy because it had been sold, and so now the State Department had approved a bill to pay to the West German Government the $300,000 received for the Embassy building.

Mr. Pearson concludes that unlike the Rocky Mountain Trout Bill, which had been rushed through the Senate because an election was pending in Idaho and Colorado, and unlike the Dirksen bill returning Nazi industrial property, which was being rushed through the Senate Judiciary Committee, the German Embassy bill had been stymied for three years because there were no powerful lobbyists or politicians putting force behind it. He indicates that the lobby behind the return of the Nazi industrial property would be addressed in another column.

Marquis Childs, in Bonn, West Germany, indicates that in his second broadcast from behind the Iron Curtain, Dr. Otto John, former head of the West German equivalent of the FBI, had said that he had followed the voice of his conscience and was convinced that he had chosen the right course of action in recently defecting from West Germany to East Germany.

Mr. Childs indicates that because of his past, there was good reason why he might have feared that his high position was gravely threatened by the rise of German nationalists in West Germany, who perceived him with suspicion for his participation in the July 20, 1944 plot to assassinate Hitler. Some had openly called Dr. John and those like him traitors, and powerful influences had been at work to remove him from the top security post and, in the process, discredit him. Mr. Childs had learned from top American intelligence sources that Dr. John, while working in the underground to remove Hitler, had, in all probability, been a double agent, a secret operative for the Gestapo as a cover to ensure against suspicion of his underground activities and presumably to obtain more information to help the July 20 plotters. The Gestapo records, which had been concealed in the salt mines of Thuringen, had been captured at the end of the war by invading Russians, providing the Communists with detailed knowledge of the secret activities of thousands of Germans, including, it was believed, those of Dr. John. Had his Gestapo record been broadcast to the world, it was not difficult to imagine the damage it would have done to him in his position in West Germany.

In addition, his brother, Hans, had also been involved in the July 20 plot, had been caught and executed with at least 200 others, including a field marshal and several generals. Dr. John had escaped because of his former position as counsel to Lufthansa Airlines, enabling him to board a plane to Madrid as a member of the crew without being spotted by the Gestapo. British intelligence had intercepted him in November, 1944, and used him as a valuable source of information, enabling him to gain exile in London for the duration of the war, returned by the British to Germany at the end of the war.

Mr. Childs suggests that those episodes in his past might have made him susceptible to the persuasion or coercion of a visitor, Wolfgang von Putlitz, from East Germany, with whom Dr. John had talked in Cologne during the prior March. Herr Putlitz had been one of the wartime diplomats of Nazi Germany Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop, and had long previously gone over to the Communist side. It was not known what the two had discussed during the visit, but it was conjectured that Herr Putlitz had conveyed both an appeal and a threat, the latter regarding revelation of Dr. John's Gestapo past.

Mr. Childs concludes that the John case presented a microcosm of the times, with his personal history containing much of the tragedy of the German people, being a pawn in a power game, resisting the totalitarianism of Hitler, while now giving himself over to another totalitarian force which would exploit him as long as his voice could sow doubt in Germany and the West.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the odds for the Democrats to capture either or both houses of Congress in the midterm elections in the fall, indicating that during the previous 50 years, the party out of power had taken seats from the party in power in all except one midterm election. But only twice had the party out of power taken control of both houses in so doing, with control of the Senate taken twice and control of the House, four times. But rarely had both houses been so closely divided as at present.

Since 1900, each new President had taken office with a Congress controlled by his own party, but the only midterm election in which the in-party had made gains in both houses had occurred in 1934, during FDR's first term, and not until 1938, had the Republicans made gains. The Republicans had taken both houses in the 1918 midterm election, during President Woodrow Wilson's second term, and again in 1946, during President Truman's first four years, gaining in the latter midterm election 13 Senate seats and 56 House seats. During President Theodore Roosevelt's first four years, in 1902, both major parties gained seats in both houses, but the Democrats had larger gains than the Republicans. Including the latter election, Democrats had gained in one or both houses in all six midterm elections occurring while a Republican was in the White House and while his party controlled Congress, whereas Republicans had increased seats in six of the seven midterm elections when Democrats had been in control.

The largest midterm gains made in the Senate by Democrats had occurred in 1910 and 1934, each time picking up ten seats, while the largest Senate gain by Republicans had been 13, in 1946. Democrats had their largest gain in the House in 1922, winning 75 new seats, while in 1946, Republicans had made their largest gain, with 56 new seats. In 1906, the Republicans, in power, increased their Senate majority by three seats, while in 1914, the Democrats, in power, increased their number by five seats.

Democrats, in 1930, during the midterm of President Hoover, increase their membership in the House by 51, but still did not constitute the majority, falling six seats short of the Republicans. They took over as the majority party in the House, however, and organized it when Congress convened in 1931 because 14 members of the House, mostly Republicans, had died between the time of the election and the convening of the 72nd Congress, and Democrats had won enough special elections to take control.

The Democrats would win back control of both houses in 1954, gaining twenty seats in the House and only one seat in the Senate, but enough to gain organizational control.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that in earlier times, one did not have to consider the sad plight of the world one never saw, or fret about the Communist Chinese, or fidget about France, or even consider the difference between the Vietminh and Viet Nam. If Babe Ruth hit a homer, that was enough news for the day. He had just finished reading Paul Gallico's old book, Farewell to Sport, recounting the period called the "Era of Wonderful Nonsense", when the nation was not globally oriented to any remarkable degree, and heroes of the sports world tended at times to dominate the news. He recalls that there were not as many "How to" books around in those times, and it was not such a dreadful chore to believe in God or to be nice to kids or to enjoy oneself.

He goes on a bit in that vein, indicating that he was prepared to accept Willie Mays as being more important to his personal share of the current "great and sweeping era of nonsense" than Anthony Eden, and that there was a new bullfighter named Chamace in Spain, who outranked Roy Cohn by a great many degrees in his private estimate of importance.

He tells of columnist Westbrook Pegler having dubbed the old times the era of "wonderful nonsense", and suggests that the current era was "nonsensical", but not wonderful, perhaps dreadful, stupid, and "damned dull in its final appraisal". On bad-weather days, he began thinking about a lot of Chinese he did not know and did not want to know, and a lot of "dreary Russians and drearier Indians and various gradations of same, and all the business of parallels and parliamentary rules and Senate hearings," and he wishes to God he had Babe Ruth's bellyache back or some of former New York Mayor Jimmy Walker's quiet foolishness to think about.

Of course, Mr. Ruark does not bother to indicate that the period of nostalgia which he recalls carried with it gangsters, a Depression and a terrible world war, while getting over the First World War. Most people, we venture, upon reflection, would therefore take the nonsensical time over the era of "wonderful nonsense", Mr. Pegler having been known for his isolationist and atavistic views.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that one of the principal planks of the platform of Representative Pat Sutton, running against Senator Estes Kefauver in the Tennessee Senate primary, was anti-Communism, stressing that policy in his campaign. The writer thinks that Mr. Sutton, like every other powerful critic of Communism at home, was suffering from a smear campaign, indicating that Drew Pearson, in his column of July 31, had made one of his "customary vicious attacks", implying that Mr. Sutton was being supported by underworld money while Senator Kefauver received dollar bills from his supporters to finance his campaign. He indicates that Representative Sutton had solicited donations from the public at large during his radio and television talkathons and that those contributions had been acknowledged by names and addresses of the contributors weeks prior to Mr. Pearson's commentary. He suggests that Mr. Pearson would carry on his smear campaign against Mr. Sutton to the end of the campaign, and that if Mr. Sutton were to win, he would receive the same treatment received by Senators McCarthy, William Jenner of Indiana, and HUAC chairman Harold Velde, and "every other vigilant anti-Communist representative". But, the writer finds, the heyday of the "anti-anti-Communist, both among columnists and hair-brained editorialists", had passed, that the monitored telephone conversations between Army Secretary Robert Stevens and Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri, which had come forth during the Army-McCarthy hearings between April and June, had exposed "as totally false the charges of improper pressure by McCarthy"—referring to the alleged pressure of the Senator and former subcommittee counsel Roy Cohn applied to the Army to give preferential treatment for Private G. David Schine, drafted the previous November after having been an unpaid aide to the subcommittee, under threat of otherwise turning up the subcommittee's pressure on the investigation of subversives in the Army.

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