The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 22, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, election transpired of seven vice-presidents and seven committee chairmen for the ninth annual General Assembly session just getting underway the prior afternoon, when the Assembly had sidetracked the annual bid to seat Communist China until the end of the year, the third straight year such a proposal had been made and likewise postponed. Dr. Eeelco N. van Kleffens of The Netherlands was elected Assembly president the previous day, and by U.N. rules, the Big Five permanent members of the Security Council would each have a vice-presidency, with Burma and Ecuador, on a rotating basis, having the other two. The new Steering Committee, formed by the president, vice-presidents and committee chairmen, would meet this afternoon to plan the agenda for this session, with 67 proposed items.

In London, Labor leader Clement Attlee, returning from a tour of Russia and Communist China, said to reporters this date that he believed the sooner Chiang Kai-shek and his troops could be gotten rid of, the better off things would be. He said he had the impression that there had been a relaxation of tension in the Orient, following the Indo-China truce agreement at Geneva on July 21. He declined to comment on the U.N. General Assembly decision the previous day not to consider admission of Communist China in lieu of the Nationalists, effectively postponing it for another year.

In Taipeh, Formosa, it was reported by the Chinese Nationalist Defense Ministry that Nationalist warplanes this date sank five Communist gunboats in the 20th consecutive day of raids on the Chinese mainland by the Nationalist forces. It was said to be the largest bag of gunboats claimed in the hostilities, which had erupted in the Amoy-Quemoy area on September 3, Amoy being a Chinese Communist base and Quemoy, a Nationalist outpost base, about five miles from the mainland. The airstrike had occurred against Communist shipping concentrations in a bay 25 miles northeast of Amoy, the second consecutive day of strikes at that location.

The Supreme Court announced this date that it would hear oral arguments on December 6 in the implementing portion of the Brown v. Board of Education decision and that the five principal parties, school boards from Kansas, South Carolina, Virginia, Delaware and the District of Columbia, would be afforded a total of ten hours for argument, with the Justice Department allowed one hour, and the seven states which had applied timely for participation in the argument to be allowed one hour each. Those latter states included North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Tennessee and Oklahoma. Each would also file an amicus brief, which had to be filed by November 15. Six other states where segregation was mandated by law had not applied for participation.

In Raleigh, a Pender County delegation handed to Governor William B. Umstead a petition signed by 4,537 persons calling for continued segregation in the public schools. The group was led by an association favoring continuation of segregation, formed the previous summer for the purpose of easing tension resulting from the Court's decision. The leader of the group, a State Senator, said that they had no intention of destroying "friendly relations" between blacks and whites, and that "to a certain extent", black citizens of the county favored continued segregation. Of the signers of the petition, 299 were said to be black, with 522 having been non-residents of the county, interested in the matter. An attorney said that 51 percent the county's school children were black. The State Senator who led the group said that citizens believed that the Court's decision could and would destroy both the black and white races, and he believed the decision was "a step towards a mongrel race." The Governor assured the group that officials were studying what the state would do in response to Brown, and that the ultimate action would lie with the General Assembly in its 1955 session.

That group first needs to be apprised that, unlike the days when they were in school in one-room schoolhouses, modern, liberated students nowadays don't have sex with each other on a routine, rotating basis. That went out with the horse and buggy. People can move around now.

In Rome, the son of Italy's former Foreign Minister, Attilio Piccioni, was arrested, after the Foreign Minister had resigned his post the previous Saturday to assist in his son's defense to the charge of aggravated manslaughter in connection with the death of a 21-year old party girl, whose nearly nude body had been discovered on a beach near Rome in April, 1953. Another man was accused of aiding and abetting him. Both had denied any connection with the woman's death. The scandal had threatened the stability of the Government of Premier Mario Scelba.

In Pusan, South Korea, it was reported that winter uniform trousers issued to WAC's and nurses had proved too tight in some places, and so the Army had decreed this date that they might combine the most desirable parts of women's and men's uniforms, one minor problem having been the location of the zipper, quickly solved by authorizing women to move their zippers from the front to the left side, transforming "boy type" trousers to "girl type" trousers.

In Stansted, England, a privately chartered aircraft transporting 45 British soldiers and a crew of five crashed and caught fire during takeoff this date, but everyone was able to emerge from the aircraft safely, with only a second or two to spare.

In Union, S.C., the Union County grand jury recommended that State Senator Bruce White and four others, one of whom was a member of the County's welfare board, be indicted on charges of election irregularities arising from the June 8 Democratic primary, with evidence suggesting that votes had been purchased by money, groceries and promises of increased welfare checks.

In Memphis, a grandmother entered the Mid-South Fair's hog-calling contest, admitting that she had never owned a hog, but figured that her trained dramatic soprano voice could accomplish the task. The contest would take place on Saturday.

In Pilot Mountain, N.C., a black man who lectured on Communism and who allegedly had attempted to kill the police chief in the town, had been linked to a Saturday night hold-up in Weldon, according to the police chief in Pilot Mountain. The gunman in Weldon had entered a hotel, taken $55 from the clerk and an $85 Hamilton watch from a guest. The Halifax County sheriff said that an intruder had gone to a residence, held a pistol on the occupant and proceeded to lecture on Communism and race relations, then forced a taxi driver to take him to Enfield, where he escaped from police in a hail of gunfire. The Pilot Mountain police chief said that the man had forced his way into the police car at gunpoint and shot at him twice at close range, as the chief wrestled with him. He said that the man had a Hamilton watch which matched the description of the one stolen at Weldon. He was also informed that the man would face a charge of attempted rape in Halifax County, after first facing four capital charges in Surry County, where the grand jury indicted him on four cases of first-degree burglary for robbing Mount Airy homes while residents slept, as well as charging him with kidnaping and assault with intent to kill in connection with the encounter with the police chief in Pilot Mountain. They never showed you all of that nefarious business on Andy Griffith, now, did they?

In Asheville, N.C., a five-day course of business was begun this date by the 1954 Western North Carolina Conference of the Methodist Church, with the conference expected to take up the issue of racial segregation. A sermon titled, "A Tale of Two Cities", was delivered by Dr. Mark Depp, pastor of Centenary Methodist Church in Winston-Salem.

In Godthaab, Greenland, ice cream was now available for the first time in an ice cream parlor which had opened the previous day, utilizing equipment imported from Denmark, with sales reported to be brisk, as residents lined up to sample the product.

On the editorial page, "Political Landscape with Figures" quotes from V. O. Key, Jr., in Southern Politics, published in 1949, that South Carolinians had a strange hesitancy to reconcile themselves to the proposition that to govern required power and the problem of democracy was not to break down power but to grant power adequate to the necessities and then control it.

The piece finds that thousands of South Carolinians were once again demonstrating that traditional distrust of power, following the state Democratic executive committee having nominated State Senator Edgar Brown as the party's nominee for the Senate race in the general election, in the wake of the death of Senator Burnet Maybank after having been nominated in the spring primary for re-election, as well by the effort of former Governor Strom Thurmond to campaign for the seat as a write-in candidate, openly defying the executive committee's authority.

It finds that the political climate in South Carolina was even more interesting when compared to the relatively smooth transition in North Carolina, confronted with a similar situation, after the death of Senator Clyde Hoey in May and the agreement that Sam Ervin would succeed to his seat in June by virtue of selection by Governor William B. Umstead, while the state Democratic executive committee would select the nominee for the general election ballot, as well as the agreement that the Governor and the committee would agree on one name, resulting in the selection of Senator Ervin. Rank-and-file North Carolina Democrats had not registered any strong dissent.

While North Carolina Democrats followed the principle of party discipline, South Carolina Democrats were militantly independent, as further demonstrated by the fact that Governor Thurmond had sought the presidency on the Dixiecrat ticket in 1948, contesting President Truman in the South. Regardless of how fierce the primary battles were in North Carolina, it was never carried over into the general election campaign in the form of write-in candidates. The only serious split had occurred in 1948 when Mr. Thurmond had coaxed some North Carolina Democrats into his movement.

The situation in South Carolina went back to colonial times, when, in 1776, South Carolinians had attacked and repulsed the British fleet in Charleston Harbor, and then, on December 20, 1860, had become the first state to succeed from the Union, then supplying the opening salvo to the Civil War in April, 1861, by firing on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

It concludes that no other state could match the record of South Carolina for independence, lively dissent and "get-up-and-get".

"$13 More for Junior's English Bike?" indicates that soldiers returning from World War II had recalled the foreign-made bicycles of which they had been fond, causing imports of bicycles to zoom from a prewar annual average of 11,500 to more than 593,000 the previous year. American watchmakers had also been bothered by European competition, to the extent that they prevailed on the Tariff Commission and the President to approve a tariff increase on Swiss watches. The bicycle manufacturers were now seeking the same preferential treatment, tracing American losses in production, sales and employment since 1948, when duty rates on imported bicycles were cut from an "unrealistic" 30 percent to 7.5 percent, beyond the reach of their ability to compete, wanting the tariff restored to 30 percent.

The piece indicates that it would have the result of an English-made bicycle which currently sold for about $60 in Charlotte increasing in price to about $73. The domestic manufacturers also wanted to establish a flexible quota limitation based on a fair relationship of imports to domestic sales. While the $13 increase would go to the Treasury, not the bicycle manufacturers, it was the hope of the U.S. manufacturers that the consumers would purchase American bicycles in preference to the higher-priced imports.

It finds the import duty essentially to be a fine on Americans who chose to purchase imported goods and invited retaliation by Europeans who would raise tariffs on U.S. exports. Protectionism hurt the consumer and disrupted the economic relations between allies, erecting new trade barriers rather than encouraging free trade, and, it urges, the President and the Commission ought therefore deny the request of the bicycle manufacturers for the tariff increase.

"Baseball's Twilight of the Gods" indicates that there was no joy in either Brooklyn or the Bronx, as the Dodgers and the Yankees were out of the World Series, while Cleveland and the New York Giants were in. It wonders what had become of the experts who had spent the spring confidently predicting a repetition of the 1953 "subway Series" between the Dodgers and the Yankees.

Leo Durocher's Giants, led by Willie Mays, had been great in the clutch, winning games they should have lost and getting the pitching which they needed. Meanwhile, the Indians of Al Lopez used superb pitching, sharp fielding and strong and timely hitting to develop a formidable combination. They had to be good to top the Yankees, who would finish with more than 100 victories and the highest runner-up percentage in the history of the American League.

The World Series would open in a week and, it suggests, would be a breath of fresh air, that though it liked the great ball clubs, it looked forward to new teams battling for the Series, as the Dodgers winning consistently in the National League and the Yankees, in the American League, had become monotonous.

It warns, however, that while in the next year, it might be rooting for the Yankees and the Dodgers again, this year, it looked forward to bright new faces, and urges getting the "end of the season nonsense over with quickly and Play Ball!"

A piece from the New Orleans States, titled "School Teachers", indicates that teachers needed skill and enthusiasm in selling their product to be successful in their efforts, at least according to what new teachers in New Orleans were being told at an orientation conference. It thus adds super-salesman to the various roles which a teacher already had to perform, that of a cowboy lassoing pupils caught wandering in thought and physically, a soldier, who had to repulse aggressions of spacemen and comic books, an athlete, fast enough to be several jumps ahead of agile juvenile minds, a diplomat, scientist, banker and, finally, a scholar.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Atomic Energy Commission and the CIA were the two secret agencies previously beyond the reach of investigation by Congress. But now, retired General Mark Clark was making a confidential survey of the CIA, and Mr. Pearson suggests that it might be a good idea to include the Atomic Energy Commission as well, in terms of its efficiency and honesty. For the AEC had been caught in flagrant disregard of the truth and not providing the Tennessee Valley Authority a copy of the important contract with the Arkansas public utility combine which had become controversial during the summer when the Democrats staged a filibuster to block a Congressional bill to authorize the executive order to form the contract between TVA and the private utility to provide electricity for West Memphis, Arkansas. At that point, acting TVA chairman, Harry Curtis, publicly criticized the AEC for withholding the contract, and it relented.

In addition, the AEC had been caught in a lie regarding concessions to two other private utilities. A year earlier, Senator Bourke Hickenlooper had asked for Senate permission for the AEC to purchase 5.5 million kilowatts of power from the Ohio Electric Corporation and Electric Energy, Inc., as well to raise the limit on the amount of money the Government could guarantee to those companies should AEC later purchase its power elsewhere. At the time, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had asked whether the two private companies were being given accelerated tax amortization by the Government, believing that if such were the case, they should not also be provided Government guarantees on the building of new plants. The AEC had replied in a letter to Senator Hickenlooper that no certificate for rapid amortization had been issued to either utility, and that they had indicated that they had no plans to request such a certificate, that amortization would occur on a 25-year basis. But Mr. Pearson had then contacted the Office of Defense Mobilization and discovered that the AEC had not been candid, that two months prior to that letter, in April, 1953, the Ohio Valley Electric utility had applied for accelerated amortization on 175 million dollars for a plant, while its wholly owned subsidiary, Indiana-Kentucky Electric, had applied for accelerated amortization on more than 172 million dollars for another plant. Electric Energy had also applied for 191 million dollars worth of accelerated amortization on a plant in August, 1951. Those applications were still pending because the Office of Defense Mobilization had decided that utility companies did not need accelerated tax relief for war purposes, and in December, 1953, suspended all concessions.

Mr. Pearson posits that it might have been the reason that AEC chairman Admiral Lewis Strauss and the Commission had produced a new gimmick on behalf of the Arkansas private utility, such that the AEC would pay Federal taxes for the company.

Marquis Childs examines the damage done to American prestige abroad by McCarthyism, finds it significant. Americans in overseas jobs were making themselves as inconspicuous as possible to survive, an understandable reaction in the wake of the beating which the State Department and Foreign Service had taken. But it did not serve well the effort to meet the challenge of Communism or in coping with the twin problems of colonialism and anti-colonialism.

After traveling through Europe and North Africa, Mr. Childs had been impressed by how much had survived in ability and integrity of the Foreign Service, particularly in North Africa, where Arab nationalism and French sensitivity clashed, producing a perilous situation. The U.S. belief in self-determination could not cross the sensitivities of the French. Both U.S. diplomats and top Air Force officials appeared to approach their tasks with realism and understanding, as 15,000 Americans were present in French Morocco, where violence and sabotage had been on the increase in the previous two years. Mr. Childs had concluded that the positive attitude in the face of such difficulties demonstrated the fundamental soundness of the Foreign Service.

When State Department security chief Scott McLeod traveled around Europe the prior spring and early summer, many stories had circulated that the "friend of McCarthy", with great authority over the Foreign Service, was taking a tour for security purposes. When he visited Vienna, where he sought to meet some of the most ardent anti-Communists in the Austrian Government, he was introduced to the Secretary of the Interior, who had resisted the Soviet threat in still divided Austria. After a few minutes of conversation, the Secretary realized that Mr. McLeod was the chief security officer of the State Department and an ally of Senator McCarthy, and reportedly said to him that he wanted him to tell his friend, the Senator, that he had done "more harm than all of the Communists in Western Europe." Mr. McLeod had responded by demanding that the Secretary inform him who in the U.S. Embassy had conveyed such a notion, causing the Secretary to become angry at the assumption by Mr. McLeod that he could not form his own opinions anent McCarthyism. The two then argued.

While the clamor over McCarthyism was beginning to subside at home, as the special committee on the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy was preparing to release its report to the full Senate for potential action, it would take several years, according to Mr. Childs, before the damage overseas would be remedied. But he stresses that, regardless of that fact, the job which hundreds of loyal Americans had performed in the Foreign Service should never be forgotten.

Doris Fleeson indicates that as a result of the new Democratic confidence in the outcome of the midterm elections, there was a sudden dispute in Indianapolis regarding control of the 1956 convention machinery, with DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell set to resign after the fall election, while, for some time, ambitious Senators, desirous of the 1956 nomination, had been quietly cooperating to replace him with a person not committed to Adlai Stevenson, the odds-on favorite at this point for repeating as the nominee in 1956. The previous weekend, an Indiana Democratic faction out of power had enthusiastically embarrassed Mr. Mitchell and the ruling Democratic faction by spreading stories that it had been necessary to cut the $100 per plate dinner in Indianapolis to $7.50 to obtain crowds to hear Mr. Stevenson, a claim which Mr. Mitchell said was "purposely exaggerated".

Those who were out of power were led by former associates of former President Truman, including his last national chairman, Frank McKinney, and former national committeeman Frank McHale. The leader of those in power was Mr. McHale's successor on the DNC, Paul Butler, said to be the choice of Mr. Mitchell to be the next chairman. Former President Truman had made a point of his loyalty to Mr. McKinney, but said that he would not become involved in national committee politics. The incident showed that former Governor Stevenson, who definitely hoped to be renominated, and Mr. Mitchell henceforth could expect different combinations to be used against them. It was hard enough for Mr. Stevenson to act in a political vacuum without any present political position, and would be doubly hard if he failed to retain the national committee in friendly hands.

Ms. Fleeson indicates that no change of chairman would remedy the greatest problem Mr. Mitchell faced, a lack of finances, forcing him to stage major fund-raising dinners, offering the opportunity for those out of power to make a play. On the whole, the dinners had been successful, but a substantial deficit remained in the DNC coffers. Mr. Mitchell had also had trouble with personalities within the committee. India Edwards had abruptly taken herself off of the committee, diminishing the Woman's Division noticeably in importance. Publicity director Clayton Fritchey had resolved his problems with Mr. Mitchell by absorbing himself in editing of the Democratic Digest.

Mr. Mitchell had worked hard and had run a clean committee, his most notable reform having been his absolute refusal to accept contributions except by the most direct, personal and public means, which did not help the budget but improved the party's reputation.

She concludes that no one had thus far gathered any real strength in the struggle to become Mr. Mitchell's successor.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of the Administration trying to discover how much land the Federal Government owned and how much of it was no longer needed, which could start a movement of returning land to the states. The Government was the largest landowner in the country, with Government experts estimating that it owned about one-fourth of the 1.9 billion acres within the continental United States. But there had been no complete inventory in nearly 20 years, since 1937.

Representative Russell Mack of Washington had recently stated that the Government owned small parcels of land everywhere in the country which it no longer needed and which should be sold to the states, subdivisions of the states or to private citizens.

The previous year, the Senate Appropriations Committee had reported that it had been advised that the Government was without an inventory of its real property, and sought from the General Services Administration such an inventory. The Administration then created a task force to study the matter, and at the end of the previous year, the Bureau of the Budget and GSA announced that they were undertaking a thorough review of the real property holdings, with a special task force to be set up to coordinate the results of the inventory, to determine what parcels could be sold.

In 1937, the time of the last inventory, urban real estate holdings of the Government had totaled an estimated 47,444 acres while rural lands reportedly totaled 394.6 million acres. The Department of Agriculture had made a survey of the rural holdings as of 1950, and in 1952 reported that the Government owned 455.6 million rural acres, about a quarter of the total U.S. acreage. Urban lands were not inventoried at that time. The report indicated that more than 88 percent of the rural acreage was in 11 Western states, and that Federal holdings amounted to 53.5 percent of the total Western acreage, compared to five percent or less of the other regions. The report showed that the states owned 80.3 million acres of rural land, about a fifth as much as the Federal Government.

Out of a total of 31.4 million acres in North Carolina, the Federal Government in 1950 owned 1.9 million rural acres, while the State owned 333,265 acres.

The Constitution prohibited state or local governments from taxing Federal property without consent of Congress, but some favored placing Federal lands on state and local tax rolls or extracting some form of payments in lieu of taxes, arguing that the tax-free status resulted in the loss of needed revenue by state and local governments. Congress had enacted laws allowing states to tax Federal lands, to share in the revenue or to receive payments from some Federal properties, but there was no uniform standard applied to all Federal lands, much of it still remaining tax exempt. The Commission on Intergovernmental Relations was considering some form of shared revenue for the states and local governments.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that RKO-Pathe would soon release a film about his safari adventures, called "African Adventure", which he had not yet seen and so could not tell whether it was a "stinker or not", but recalled what a nervous breakdown the presence of cameras had caused during the safari. It was especially problematic because the actors were wild animals, such as old cow elephants with new calves and a dirty disposition. He found it to be "super-distilled madness". One could not yell "cut!" to a charging rhinoceros.

After going on in that vein, he concludes that it was probably a good film because of the cameraman, but thinks he did not wish to see it as he had remembered the grisly details too well.

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