The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 31, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Detroit, the Detroit News said this date, in a copyrighted story, that the Republican majority on the seven-Senator Investigations subcommittee, which had conducted the hearings between April and mid-June into the Army-McCarthy dispute, had determined that both Senator McCarthy and Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens were at fault. The story, out of the newspaper's Washington Bureau, said that the majority had straddled the fence on the question of whether the Senator or the Secretary was the more guilty. It said that Senator Charles Potter of Michigan had, while joining the other three Republicans in the majority report, issued a separate opinion more critical than the majority of both the Secretary and the Senator. He said that the provision by executive department employees of classified material to Senator McCarthy could wreck the entire security system, and also charged that Secretary Stevens had lacked competency when the morale of the U.S. Army was at stake. The three Democrats would present a minority report. The newspaper said that the majority had been "impartial in slapping" Roy Cohn, former chief counsel for the subcommittee, and John G. Adams, Army counsel. The newspaper said that the majority had determined that the charges of improper influence on behalf of Private G. David Schine by Senator McCarthy, personally, had not been established, but that the Senator should have exercised "more vigorous discipline to have prevented such improper influence" by members of the subcommittee staff, and that in condoning such activities by his staff, the Senator deserved criticism. Regarding Mr. Cohn, the report said that he had made many contacts in executive departments on behalf of Private Schine and that such contacts took on a different connotation than they might ordinarily because of Mr. Cohn's position at the time as counsel of the subcommittee investigating the Army. They also found, according to the newspaper story, that Mr. Cohn had been "unduly aggressive and persistent" in seeking favors for Private Schine, and that he had consumed an inordinate amount of committee time in that effort. It reported that the majority also found that the investigation of alleged subversion at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey had not been designed by Mr. Cohn as a way of obtaining preferential treatment for Private Schine. Regarding Secretary Stevens and Mr. Adams, the majority, according to the story, said that the evidence reasonably inspired belief that Secretary Stevens and Mr. Adams made efforts to terminate or influence investigations and hearings regarding Fort Monmouth, and that they were also derelict in not registering vigorous protest with the committee when they first became aware of Mr. Cohn's approaches which they considered improper. The majority report had not yet been issued and was not anticipated until later this date or the following day.

The six-Senator special committee examining the censure charges against Senator McCarthy, this date conducted its first session. Senator McCarthy and his attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, sought to raise the question of whether the committee's vice-chairman, Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado, a member of the special committee, had been quoted accurately or not in a Denver Post story of the previous March, when the newspaper had said that Senator Johnson had stated in an interview that it was his opinion that there was not a man among the Democratic leadership in Congress who did not loathe Senator McCarthy. Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, chairman of the special committee, ruled that Senator Johnson's right to sit on the committee had not been challenged and that even if it was, the committee, itself, could not act on it. He said that the matter was irrelevant to the hearings and that Senator McCarthy and his attorney could obtain from Senator Johnson any statement regarding whether his attributed quotes in the newspaper had been correct. Senator Johnson had already issued a statement in which he denied that he had ever suggested that he, personally, loathed Senator McCarthy. Eventually, Senator Watkins ruled Senator McCarthy out of order for persisting in his efforts to determine the accuracy of the quote. In the session this date, the committee only laid the groundwork for its hearings, with much of the time taken up reading into the record correspondence relating to a charge that Senator McCarthy was contemptuous of a Senate subcommittee of the Senate Rules Committee regarding elections and privileges, which had looked into his financial affairs in 1952 but could never get him to appear as a witness, despite making several requests for same. Mr. Williams had moved for dismissal of that charge against Senator McCarthy.

In Paris, the French National Assembly, by a vote of 319 to 264, voted to postpone debate indefinitely on the European Defense Community treaty, which would establish a six-nation Western European united army. The vote on the procedural motion appeared to kill any chances of French ratification of EDC, despite France having originally proposed the plan. EDC had been a keystone of Western defense policy for the previous three years, having been signed by the six nations, France, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries, 27 months earlier. Only France and Italy had thus far failed to ratify it, and Italy would likely follow France's lead in ratification. President Eisenhower said that the French vote was a "serious setback" to the free world in its fight against Communism. Pravda, the Communist Party organ in Moscow, was jubilant. Some members of the French National Assembly expressed this date that no one could be sure whether West Germany could be continued in an orientation with the Western allies. Unless the U.S. and Britain determined to go ahead with the plan without France, there were only limited steps which could be taken immediately to remedy the situation, as many of the same French deputies who voted against the plan had declared that they would also vote against any immediate rearming of West Germany as part of NATO. In addition, many of the deputies who had supported EDC pledged to vote against German rearmament without the controls EDC would provide. A British Foreign Office spokesman said that talks would be arranged immediately to provide West Germany its independence, which to the present had been dependent on ratification of EDC.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date that the U.S. would reappraise its foreign policy in light of the French move, and he called for a prompt meeting of the NATO Council to work out a new approach. He said that the U.S., Britain and France would need to move quickly to do everything possible to restore sovereignty to West Germany and enable it to contribute to international peace and security. He attributed defeat of EDC by the National Assembly to "nationalism, abetted by Communism" and that the effect had been to "endanger the whole of Europe".

In Tokyo, one of the 23 Japanese fishermen who had been showered by radioactive ash from an hydrogen bomb test at Bikini Atoll the previous March 1, was reported near death this date, with doctors saying that his condition was critical and worsening, having lapsed into a deep coma. His wife told a crowded news conference that she had given up hope for her husband's life and that he had been blind since the previous night. Informed observers indicated that if the man died, friendship between Japan and the U.S. would sink to its lowest point since the end of World War II. They said that his illness had drawn the 80 million people of Japan closer together than any incident since the war, with hundreds milling outside the hospital awaiting news. Many Japanese were said to believe that the U.S. had treated the case of the fishermen exposed to the fallout too lightly. They had been fishing 80 miles from Bikini, well outside the stated safe perimeter established by the Atomic Energy Commission in advance of the test. The U.S. had offered compensation to the fishermen and for the tuna catches which had been destroyed because of contamination by radioactivity. Japan had barred U.S. medical experts from helping in treatment of the fishermen and had permitted only occasional limited examinations. All of the men had been hospitalized since their return to Japan, and had appeared to be recovering from the effects of radiation sickness, characterized by inability of the body to manufacture white blood cells to ward off infection.

In Fort Sheridan, Ill., four Army soldiers testified in an Army general court-martial proceeding that their fellow prisoner in a North Korean prisoner of war camp, Lt. Col. Harry Fleming, had made propaganda broadcasts and led discussion groups on behalf of the Communists. He was charged with collaboration with the Communists and the proceeding was in its second day this date, with four additional former prisoners of war set to testify against the defendant. He was the first American officer to be brought to trial on charges of aiding the Communists while a prisoner. A witness the previous day had testified that Colonel Fleming had once gone to the Communist commander and reported that the testifying witness had double-crossed them. The witness testified that he had prepared a broadcast for Peiping Radio, in which he encoded a message, using the first letter of each word, saying: "Five thousand men at Pyoktong near Yalu River need medicine and clothing." He said that an American private had tipped the Communist Chinese that the code was being utilized and that the defendant had then gone to the Communist commandant and told him that it had been the testifying witness who had double-crossed the Communists. The witness said that shortly after the incident, he was transferred to a particularly brutal prison camp known as "The Caves". Under cross-examination, the witness admitted that he had written what he called slanderous statements about 20 senior Air Force generals in an effort to save his own life in a moment of panic. He claimed that the defendant had urged other prisoners to sign propaganda leaflets urging U.N. forces to surrender. A sergeant testified that the defendant once had objected to signing a Communist propaganda broadcast until the script was revised to take out some of its more objectionable statements. Colonel Fleming had been held prisoner for 34 months. He denied the charges. If convicted, he faced a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and dismissal from the service with a loss of pay.

News publisher Thomas L. Robinson reports from Madrid that military bases in Spain, being constructed through close cooperation between the U.S. and Spain, challenged the imagination of the free world. The Air Force and Navy bases were to form a "bastion of strength" were Russia to attack any part of the world. Mr. Robinson had sought out Maj. General A. W. Kissner, the top-ranking U.S. military official in Spain, and found him to be a good administrator, a fine soldier and a skilled diplomat who rarely wore his uniform and moved about Spain without ostentation but "with a firm grip on all echelons of his vitally significant command."

Hurricane Carol, after hitting the North Carolina coastal region the previous night without causing serious damage, had moved north and struck New England this date, setting adrift a loaded ammunition barge in Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island and causing a state of emergency to be declared in Providence and New London, Conn. The Weather Bureau in Boston advised residents along the coasts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island to leave their homes for high ground, particularly around Narragansett Bay, Buzzards Bay and Cape Cod. In Worcester, Mass., the wind had hurled a man ten floors to his death from a fire escape on a downtown building and another man was reported drowned at Dartmouth, Mass., while trying to moor a boat. The Coast Guard was searching for three boys believed missing in Quincy Bay. The Navy reported wind gusts of 90 mph at Newport, R.I., as the eye of the hurricane moved past that city around noon. Water rose higher than in the disastrous 1938 hurricane, dubbed the "Long Island Express" prior to the naming of hurricanes, which had resulted in the deaths of about 500 persons in Rhode Island and other New England coastal areas. Some advance warning on this occasion was believed to have averted loss of life in the Newport area.

On the editorial page, "Negro Teachers: A New Job Problem" indicates that a growing surplus of black teachers had created new economic security issues for blacks, making up more than 25 percent of the population of Mecklenburg County. The County school superintendent reported that for every opening for a black instructor during the summer, there had been approximately 20 qualified applicants.

Among the problems were that turnover of black teachers was small, black enrollment was decreasing in the County system, and increasing numbers of blacks were choosing education as a career to achieve improved economic and social status. In addition, many black teachers in the County system and throughout the South would lose their jobs in the event of large-scale racial integration in the public schools, causing opportunities for blacks to become even smaller in the teaching profession. Black leaders were aware of that problem, as they had seen it manifest itself in Northern communities which had eased segregation.

Ernest Hollis, chief of college administration for HEW, had outlined the situation occurring in a small town in Indiana, during a recent address in Greensboro. Jeffersonville was just across the Ohio River from Kentucky and had only recently eliminated public school segregation. At present, there was no black teacher employed full time in teaching either in the town or the Clark County school system. The town had 16 black teachers when integration had begun in 1948, and that number had been reduced to 11 by 1951, with only three still remaining on the payroll because they had achieved permanent tenure under state law and could be discharged only from misconduct or incompetence. Those three, moreover, were not teachers of regular academic courses, one being a supervisor and the others teachers of remedial reading. A school official had admitted that they had not had the nerve to try to put black teachers into predominantly white classrooms, that they would try to do so eventually but were afraid of losing more than could be gained in terms of public acceptance at the present time.

U.S. News & World Report had indicated that trained black educators could not find teaching jobs in the North in nonsegregated schools.

North Carolina employed as many black teachers as did seven states put together, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, California and Indiana. In 17 Southern states and the District of Columbia, one out of every five teachers was black. In 31 Northern and Western states, only one out of every 73 teachers was black.

Openings were scarce for black teachers, but blacks were still entering the teaching profession because it represented one of the few avenues open in Mecklenburg County to educated blacks, and was one of the few jobs where blacks could be paid on the same scale as whites, with average black teacher pay in North Carolina in 1951 having been $2,910 annually, compared to $2,807 for whites. It also offered a certain amount of social prestige and respect.

But, it suggests, putting so many blacks into the teaching profession when opportunities were limited was a waste of human resources. If the South was to develop its untapped materials, markets and manpower, new careers had to be found for blacks. It was of practical concern to the whole community, as blacks with limited economic opportunity had limited purchasing power and could contribute little to the area's progress, and could, in time, become a serious community burden. More economic opportunities needed to be found therefore for blacks, a problem and challenge for the present times.

"Port Promotion Just Part of the Job" indicates that foreign trade policy was seemingly a remote subject, but often had repercussions for North Carolina, particularly in the tobacco industry. It cites as an example the recent increase in tariffs on Swiss watches, resulting in the Swiss probably not buying as much North Carolina tobacco as they previously had because of the lack of American dollars. Likewise, in Japan, there was a "post-American" depression brought on by the end of the Korean War and the consequent drying up of the plentiful dollars which had been in circulation during the war, reducing the ability of the Japanese now to purchase American goods. Because of crop failures the previous year, Japan had to import considerably more than it exported and unemployment was rising. Japan still found it hard to sustain its population on the small islands of its territory and U.S. tariffs made sale of some Japanese articles difficult in the U.S. Increasingly, as a result, Japanese businessmen were trying to get the pro-American Japanese Government to open up trade with nearby Communist China and with Russia, as they did not demand American dollars with which to trade.

It indicates that those gloomy facts were an integral part of the tobacco export picture, which had been brightened during the weekend by the North Carolina State Ports Authority. When the Japanese ambassador had been in Charlotte on Sunday, he had been visited by a representative of the Authority, seeking Japanese approval for routing North Carolina tobacco destined for Japan through Morehead City instead of through Norfolk.

Now that the state had good port facilities, it should, urges the piece, have its tobacco routed through Morehead City to foreign ports, as it was closer to Japan and it received mahogany for North Carolina furniture manufacturers and other goods from the Far East. It commends the Authority for putting its case before the visiting ambassador and urges North Carolina members of Congress to match that promotion by fighting for tariff reductions which would divert more Japanese commerce to the U.S. instead of to the Soviet bloc.

We got our first real watch, a real Timex, and our first real transistor radio, manufactured in Japan, a special combo $15 deal, at Christmas, 1960, no doubt the result of improved trade with Japan brought on by rock 'n' roll and the sudden mid to late fifties boom in transistor radios. Thank ye, thank ye very much...

"Whatever It's Called, UMT Is Needed" indicates that the President, in a speech the previous day to the American Legion convention in Washington, had actually been talking about universal military training when discussing the need for a "strong, ready military reserve", which he said he intended to make one of the central aims of his 1955 legislative program. UMT was what Assistant Secretary of Defense John Hannah had in mind during the summer when he reported of a plan for training all able-bodied men and then placing them in reserve units. Nobody referred any longer to "UMT" per se because it had acquired bad connotations.

It urges that the program should be high in legislative priority and should have been during 1954. The Korean War was over and draft requirements were down, making UMT easier to administer. A comprehensive study had been undertaken by a commission before Congress had convened, but the opportunity had been lost, making adoption of UMT early the following year the more urgent. It indicates that UMT had long been advocated by responsible leaders of both parties and that it should be above partisan politics. It would enable aging veterans to be free from the duty to fight in two or three wars while younger men remained at home, and the nation would be assured of a ready supply of trained manpower, which it could not afford to train after hostilities had begun.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Pure Logic from Hollywood", indicates that a movie company was making the film version of the musical "Oklahoma!", and had announced that its location scenes would be shot in Arizona rather than Oklahoma because Arizona looked more like Oklahoma than did Oklahoma. It indicates that several years earlier, movie producers had moved into western North Carolina to shoot the background scenes for their version of the novel Tap Roots, which had been set in Mississippi or Louisiana along a swampy river. The mountains of western North Carolina and the French Broad River had been chosen because they looked more like the swamplands and rivers of the Deep South.

It finds such choices logical because western North Carolina was cool and Mississippi was hot, that Arizona was close to Hollywood while Oklahoma was quite a long way distant.

It relates of an old story about a fellow who had lost a silver dollar on a dark street, persisting in searching for it only under a street lamp because he could see better there. The piece suggests that he had undoubtedly been the first movie producer.

Drew Pearson's column is written this date by singer Johnnie Ray, with Mr. Pearson still on vacation. He says that the only thing he knew about politics was what he heard at hearings, but that he, like everyone else, had pictured himself in the nation's capital on a "merry-go-round that spins to a different tune every minute". He believed it was show business at its height and thought he would like a taste of it. While on the set of "There's No Business Like Show Business" with Ethel Merman, he had been wondering about some of the possibilities, considering what politics would be without money.

Marilyn Monroe was also in the picture and if she had ever tried to get a bill passed through Congress, he suggests, "no fuddy dud could resist her motions before the house", that if she were elected to Congress, the entire following session would be spent investigating her.

He indicates that the talk in present times was about production and what Washington lacked was a Darryl Zanuck, one of the best producers of all time.

He indicates that when he was last in Washington he tried to catch up on his reading, starting with the Congressional Record, finding it dull. And he goes on

Horace Champion, writing in Inventory, discusses the science behind consideration of alcoholism as a disease and the need to understand it before effective treatment could take place. He suggests that anyone dealing with a relative who was an alcoholic needed first to examine their own emotional attitude toward it and realize that to help the person would take time, that berating the alcoholic for neglecting responsibilities would do little good. Nor would taking a holier-than-thou attitude, divorcing oneself from the person emotionally. Nor would becoming overly emotional about the situation, only creating more guilt in the alcoholic. He goes on at length about things one should not do in trying to help the alcoholic.

He indicates that members of Alcoholics Anonymous took personal inventories of their shortcomings and attitudes and then sought to correct them daily, that the person seeking to help the alcoholic needed to do likewise.

He counsels that if the subject did not express interest in accepting treatment, then the subject should be dropped, as the person raising it had accomplished more than they realized. He recommends waiting a day or two and then casually leaving some literature out for the afflicted person to read. Should the person then begin to show interest in treatment, the helpful other should not show surprise or shed tears or make an issue of it, letting the subject make the decision as a mature adult. Furthermore, he recommends, when the person was going through treatment, there should be no sense of victory on the part of those seeking to help, as the fight had just begun and recovery was a long-term proposition, with attainment of sobriety only being part of the victory. If treatment were successful, the subject would learn to face life experiences without chronic emotional distress and without the compulsion to drink.

If the person seeking to help an alcoholic was a spouse, then they should meet the other recovering spouse on the same mature emotional level that the treated alcoholic would be adopting during treatment. He recommends going to the nearest mental hygiene clinic to assist in that process.

Robert C. Ruark, complaining about the high prices of dinner, finds in one restaurant, however, a relatively reasonably priced meal for $2.35, with the choice of half a chilled grapefruit, tomato juice cocktail, cold creamed Vichy-souisse or jellied tomato Madrilene and baby lamb stew, with plenty of vegetables, rolls, butter and coffee. He flashes back to 1935 in Washington, wherein there had been White Tower hamburger stands, where impoverished young men could dine on a decent hamburger, with onion, ketchup and bread on both sides for a nickel per burger, and twice-refillable coffee for a "jit" per cup, such that for a quarter, one could quell hunger pangs, affording four hamburgers and at least 3 cups of coffee. Tomato juice was also available for a nickel per large glass. The People's Drugstores had offered a milkshake for a dime, providing the shaker which enabled about 2 1/2 glasses full, with enough ice cream to "choke you on the lumps". Any sandwich was a dime except for the club, which was 15 cents, and two hands were needed to hold it. A carton of cigarettes had cost 92 cents. Bonded bourbon called "Green River" had been on sale at $1.69 per quart, scotch cost $2.89, and one could obtain a half-gallon of wine for 50 cents.

And he goes on touting the cheaper prices of 1935.

He says that about that time, he had met the woman he eventually married, whose family owned an icebox, and he had just celebrated 16 years of marriage with her, sometimes reflecting that the whole thing might have been cheaper if he had kept on eating at a restaurant around the corner from the Daily News where he worked at the time, even at 75 cents for the full meal.

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