The Charlotte News

Monday, September 27, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the six-Senator select committee which had studied the censure resolution against Senator McCarthy and received evidence, primarily in the form of transcripts from the earlier Army-McCarthy hearings of late April through mid-June, recommended unanimously in its released report this date that the Senator be censured. It based the recommendations on his contemptuous attitude toward the Senate and its committees, for his refusal to testify before the Senate committee which had investigated his finances in late 1952, his abusive language regarding other Senators, and his "inexcusable" treatment of Brig. General Ralph Zwicker during his testimony the prior February before the Senate Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, as the Senator investigated subversion at the secret radar facility of Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, specifically inquiring forcefully as to why General Zwicker had approved the honorable discharge of an Army Reserve dentist at the facility, despite the dentist having refused, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, to testify before the Senate Investigations subcommittee regarding his alleged subversive associations in the past. The latter episode had led ultimately to the Army-McCarthy hearings, after Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens had ordered General Zwicker and other Army officers to disregard in the future any summonses from the Investigations subcommittee, although backing away from that categorical statement after meeting with Senator McCarthy and being convinced that the Senator would not repeat the rough treatment of Army officers, Senator McCarthy then publicly denying that there ever had been any rough treatment.

In three other general categories of charges against Senator McCarthy, the committee had recommended against censure, including his obtaining of a classified executive branch document from a Government employee, although finding the conduct with regard to the 2 1/4 page purported FBI letter, actually a condensed version of a longer 15-page FBI memorandum, received by the Senator from an unnamed Army officer, to have been "a grave error", manifesting "a high degree of irresponsibility". The letter had been produced as part of the Army-McCarthy hearings, with the Senator contending that its contents revealed that there was a spy ring operating at Fort Monmouth, arranged by executed atomic spy Julius Rosenberg, a contention never proved. The committee also described as "improper" the Senator's solicitation from Government employees generally of any information, regardless of whether it was classified, pertaining to corruption or espionage. The President had issued an executive order when the issue arose during the course of the Army-McCarthy hearings, directing all employees of the executive branch to refrain from providing to Congressional committees any documents or information regarding communication with other executive branch employees. A large portion of the 68-page committee report was devoted to summaries of the evidence presented in the nine days of hearings. The Senate was scheduled to convene in special session on November 8, following the midterm elections on November 2, to begin consideration of the report.

Senator McCarthy made no immediate comment on the findings and recommendations, although his staff indicated that he had not yet seen the report and was not expected to be in his Senate office this date as he suffered from a sinus ailment and was taking daily treatments at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. His attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, announced that he would make a "vigorous and lengthy fight" on the Senate floor against the recommendation of censure.

Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, a member of the select committee, said that there was no disagreement on the final report, that the three Republicans, committee chairman Arthur Watkins, Francis Case and Frank Carlson, and three Democrats, co-chairman Edwin Johnson and John Stennis, in addition to Senator Ervin, had all reached the same conclusion after hearing the evidence, had considered only the evidence, the law and the Constitution, and had been free from partisanship at all times. He said that he would vote to sustain the findings, when the matter came up before the full Senate.

Former North Carolina Governor Kerr Scott, the Democratic nominee for the other Senate seat, and thus assured of becoming the new Senator from the one-party state, said that it would not be appropriate at the present time for him to comment on the recommendations of the select committee. Current Senator Alton Lennon said that if he were to have a chance to vote, he would vote to censure.

In London, Secretary of State Dulles spoke for 90 minutes this date with French Premier Pierre Mendes-France, and was reported to be optimistic afterward regarding the chances of an agreement on West German rearmament, the focus of a conference between nine nations, including West Germany, set to begin the following day. A source indicated that a cordial exchange occurred between the two and that they were not very far apart in principle. The U.S. was reported to be prepared to renew its pledge to maintain a fair number of U.S. troops in Europe as long as the Communist threat continued, provided an agreement could be reached on West German rearmament. Premier Mendes-France had also spoken earlier to British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden. The conference was being viewed by the London press as the last chance for forming a Western European military alliance to resist potential Communist aggression.

In Tokyo, an estimated 1,500 persons had died in a typhoon striking northern Japan the previous night, including nearly 1,000 aboard a seagoing ferry which had capsized. Among the dead or missing were 58 Americans, including 14 confirmed dead. The storm had generated winds up to 110 mph and was whirling harmlessly into the Sea of Japan when it suddenly struck the northern island of Hokkaido almost without warning. Five large ferries were sunk, four of which had carried no passengers. A fire had virtually wiped out a town of 23,000 on the west coast of Hokkaido.

In Milford, Del., ten of 11 registered black students reported for classes at the local high school this date, but more than two-thirds of the 1,562 white pupils had boycotted classes, with parents saying they had kept their children home out of fear of possible violence and because of opposition to integration of the school. The State commissioner of education had stood in the front entrance to the school and announced that less than 30 percent of the white pupils reported for class during the morning. He was acting as the chief administrator of the school district after the State Board of Education had taken over in place of the resigned local Milford board. Of the 892 elementary school pupils attending the school, 274 had reported for class, and 182 of the 670 high school students had reported. The school had been closed for a week after white parents had threatened violence over the State's order of integration. Delaware was one of the four states, along with the District of Columbia, which were defendants subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education, decided by the Supreme Court the prior May 17. An official of a pro-segregation organization, the National Association for the Advancement of White People, predicted a court battle if the integration of the school continued. A mass meeting of some 3,000 persons at the local airport near the town the previous day, heard an address by the president of that organization, saying that parents had the right to protect their children by keeping them home if they were afraid there would be violence "stirred up by the opposition".

In Due West, S.C., Dr. William "Buck" Pressly, named by the AMA in 1948 as the family doctor of the year, had died at his home this date at age 66, after having been in ill health for several months and in critical condition for some time, since having been stricken while at the bedside of a patient the previous May. He had played professional baseball during the summers to obtain the money to attend medical school at Emory University in Atlanta, having been first baseman for the Roanoke team from 1908 to 1913 and manager of the team during the last two years, and in 1913 and 1914, having been manager of the Norfolk team in the same league. He had made $750 during his first year as a country doctor, prompting him to wonder why he had ever left baseball. It was estimated in 1948 that he had delivered 4,200 babies during his practice, including 16 sets of twins in and around Due West. The first three winters of his practice, he had utilized a horse and buggy to reach patients because the roads were so rough, then finally bought a Model T, going through 22 of them on the rocky roads. We have always heard that they don't build them like they used to, and while that may be true of country doctors, his experience would suggest otherwise regarding Model T's versus latter-day automobiles.

On the editorial page, "'The Days Now Rapidly Running Out'" indicates that now that the European Defense Community proposal of a unified Western European army had failed of ratification by the French National Assembly out of concern for rearming of its old nemesis, Germany, there was the urgent need to find a workable alliance to replace the concept and enable West Germany to rearm and be part of the Western alliance. Thus, the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries were meeting in London, starting the following day, to try to work out such a solution.

West Germany wanted to join NATO, which, in addition to the confreres, included Greece, Turkey, Portugal, Iceland and Denmark. Secretary of State Dulles had not stated his position, but the U.S. previously had supported the German view, as had Britain. The French had indicated that they wanted Britain closely aligned with France to counterbalance the military and industrial might of Germany, and did not want to grant full status to Germany within the context of NATO, while all the participants in the conference recognized the need for the West German troops to defend Western Europe against potential Communist aggression.

If West Germany were included in some manner within NATO at the conference, there would remain another goal of EDC to be accomplished, which was to ease the nationalistic barriers within Western Europe and create political machinery which would control the military forces. The President, who had been the supreme commander of NATO in 1951-52, was saying little on the subject at present, speaking only in generalities. The French leaders who had echoed his words were now out of power. The British believed that the French and Germans should surrender their sovereignty for the sake of unity in Western Europe.

In conclusion, the piece quotes from historian Arnold Toynbee, from two years earlier: "In the days—now rapidly running out—in which we Westerners were enjoying our decisive technological lead, we could indulge in the luxury of being disunited… Division of our Western fifth of mankind … would be suicidal if we were to allow it to linger on into an age in which we are losing our technological lead and are therefore being thrown, militarily and politically, on to the defense against the rest of mankind's formidably superior numbers."

"There Is Still Time To Register" indicates that in an editorial the prior week, the newspaper had said that Saturday would be the last day to register for the midterm elections, and that was correct insofar as Mecklenburg County, but not so for most North Carolina counties, where the first registration day was October 9 and subsequent registration would be permitted on October 16 and October 23, concluding that most North Carolinians, except those in Mecklenburg and Guilford Counties, still had further opportunities therefore to register.

"Greensboro: Barefoot Boy with Cheek" indicates that Greensboro, in an effort to win favor over Charlotte for more air service from the Civil Aeronautics Board, had offered statistics tracing the growth of the area serving the Greensboro-High Point Airport, in terms of population, business development, education and the like, not only including Guilford County but also neighboring Forsyth, location of Winston-Salem, served by Smith Reynolds Airport. Greensboro had even included Salem College and Wake Forest College, not yet relocated to Winston-Salem from the town of Wake Forest, some 75 miles away from Greensboro, outside Raleigh. The people of Winston-Salem, eager to obtain more service for their airport, were upset by their inclusion in Greensboro's efforts, with Winston-Salem's Twin City Sentinel having complained that if the CAB were to accept the claims of Greensboro, the present service to Winston-Salem might be curtailed or terminated.

It indicates that it stood by the axiom, "love thy neighbor", but finds Greensboro to be carrying it too far, advises them to drink their milk, eat their spinach, get lots of sleep, and soon they would be a "big boy like Charlotte".

A piece from the Rocky Mount Telegram, titled "Snuff Stages Comeback", indicates that recently in a large supermarket in Rocky Mount, the writer had been waiting in line at the cash register, noticing an aristocratic-looking lady ahead, who asked the cashier for some snuff, which see said her maid had asked her to purchase. When the clerk announced that the particular brand was not in stock, the annoyed woman stated a couple of other brands, which were available. The writer concluded that if she was as informed about everything else as she was about snuff, the nation had need for her services.

The writer then asked the clerk whether there were many calls for snuff, to which he replied that there were, but that they never asked for it for themselves, always contending that it was for someone else. It concludes that since five million pounds of snuff had been purchased the previous year, it was not the neglected item which the writer had assumed.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, reporting from Lumberton, tells of how a tobacco auction works, focusing on the role of the ticket marker, with the average price at above 50 cents per pound in 1954, considered satisfatory by the farmers of the area—of which you may read, should you have any interest. We have none, having never seen one and never intending to do so. Bearing witness to the auctioning off of poison doesn't thrill us. Besides, you know how it goes...

We forgive Mr. Reinemer, as he hailed from Montana, where they don't have tobacco except in stores, don't manufacture it or see its evidence regularly in the yellowed fingernails of people who smoked their entire lives, from cradle to grave.

Drew Pearson indicates that it had been a long time since there had been a probe of the largest lobby in Washington, the public utility lobby, but as a result of the recent deal between the Atomic Energy Commission, TVA and the private utility combine out of Arkansas, Dixon-Yates, Senator William Langer of North Dakota, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and Congressman Sterling Cole of New York, both Republicans, wanted to conduct one. Senator William Jenner of Indiana, chairman of the Rules Committee, having control of the appropriations for all Senate investigations, would not allow Senator Langer any funds for the investigation, causing the investigator whom he had tapped to perform the investigation to have to pay expenses out of his own pocket until the Senator took on three legal cases in his law practice to finance the investigation. Mr. Cole, chairman of the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy, had some money at his disposal for the investigation, but actually was sympathetic with the big utility-atomic combines, rendering any investigation by him therefore of probable little consequence. Mr. Pearson concludes, therefore, that it would be interesting to see who received the investigation money from Republican leaders, Senator Langer or Mr. Cole.

He next indicates that it was easy to see why some people wanted to see Henry Grunewald, Washington fixer, behind bars on a perjury charge, as they wished to impeach his veracity and wanted to put him in a position where he had less chance to talk. In talking to Mr. Grunewald in preparation for a television interview, Mr. Pearson had determined that he had receipts to show that he had contributed heavily to the DNC, plus canceled checks from former Republican Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, plus an accounting of cash contributions to Governor Dewey and Attorney General Herbert Brownell, totaling $13,000, from 1944 and 1948, when Governor Dewey had run for the presidency and Mr. Brownell had been his campaign manager. Governor Dewey had told Mr. Grunewald that he could not accept cash but told him that he would introduce him to a man who could, who turned out to be Mr. Brownell. Mr. Grunewald told Mr. Pearson that he had also given $1,700 to the Truman campaign in 1948 and had a letter from President Truman thanking him for it. He also had a receipt signed by then-DNC chairman Howard McGrath for $500, plus another $2,500 in four separate contributions, with receipts signed by other DNC officials or, in one case, a friend of the former President, given during several campaigns. He also had a canceled check to former Senator Brewster from 1941, for $2,500, in addition to the $10,000 in advance to Senator Brewster in 1950, $5,000 each for the Senate campaigns of Congressman Richard Nixon and Senator Milton Young of North Dakota. Mr. Grunewald told Mr. Pearson that Mr. Nixon had never thanked him for the contribution or helped him in his present troubles. He said he did not know whether Mr. Nixon had recorded the $5,000 contribution in his Senate campaign disclosures.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that Adlai Stevenson had already finished counting the number of delegates certain to provide their support for him at the 1956 convention, indicating that, unlike 1952, he would not only not resist the nomination but was actively seeking it. Moreover, his enemies within the party could not see what would prevent him from obtaining it.

But, they indicate, politics had a way of treating the front-runner unkindly, as the man to beat, with all opposing factions organizing against him. Thus far, the opposition in the party, however, remained soft and unorganized. The fight over the chairmanship of the DNC, to provide a successor for resigning Stephen Mitchell, might determine the beginning of the fight for the nomination.

One of the first acts of Governor Stevenson as the party nominee in 1952 had been to fire DNC chairman Frank McKinney and hire his attorney, Mr. Mitchell. The latter presently was promoting as his successor Indiana national committeeman Paul Butler, with presumably the assent of Mr. Stevenson. Mr. Butler was in the anti-McKinney faction of the Indiana Democratic Party, and since Mr. McKinney had been a friend of former President Truman, it was like opening old wounds, prompting the former President to pass along the word that Mr. Butler was unacceptable to him. Many of his friends believed the former President was now more powerful within the party than in 1952, and a dispute between Mr. Stevenson and the former President would please the anti-Stevenson underground, and so everything which could be done to stimulate such a dispute would occur.

There was no obvious successor to Mr. Mitchell other than Mr. McKinney, as several other possibilities were either uninterested or given little chance. Senator Earle Clements of Kentucky, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial campaign committee, was being put forward as a compromise successor, but that would, actually, be interpreted as a severe defeat for Mr. Stevenson. Senator Clements was a moderate conservative from a border state, and the opposition to Mr. Stevenson within the Senate came from the South and border states. The Senator was not committed against Mr. Stevenson, but was also not considered a supporter, and with him as chairman, Mr. Stevenson would lose control of the party machinery which he presently had.

The Alsops conclude that events at present did not suggest that the renomination in 1956 of Mr. Stevenson was in any real danger, and neither Mr. Stevenson nor former President Truman were spoiling for a fight with one another and their present troubles would likely be resolved, perhaps by retaining Mr. Mitchell as chairman, as some supporters of Mr. Stevenson were proposing.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its September 21 editorial, "Charlotte's Traffic Cops Are Too Soft", indicating that she was weary of being nudged out of the way by impatient motorists at intersections while most policemen grinned and let it happen, urges that it was not only a question of law but also common courtesy to yield to pedestrians already in the intersection.

A letter from the CIO representative of the local region indicates that when natural gas was piped into homes for cooking and heating, consumers had been promised cheaper rates, but now were being gouged by Republican policies, that despite the Supreme Court's rulings, Republicans were providing hundreds of millions of dollars of rate increases to the already wealthy oil industry, and that even higher rates for natural gas appeared likely. He indicates that the Republican Administration had been put into power to a great extent by money from big business and was now paying off its political debts by favoring big business, including the oil and gas industries. The Federal Power Commission was now packed with commissioners favoring big business and the power trust, over the interests of the people. Republicans in Congress had bills pending which would allow oil and gas companies to raise rates almost without control. The Supreme Court had decided in June that the FPC had responsibility to regulate natural gas rates, thereby protecting the people, but the Commission continued to provide the gas and oil companies the increases they sought. He concludes that the return of the Democrats to power in the Congress was essential to saving the people from being further victimized by the Republicans, representing big business.

A letter writer from Kannapolis indicates that the newspaper could shout as loud as it wanted about the New York Giants versus the Cleveland Indians World Series being "like a breath of fresh air from center field", but it was the end for the Brooklyn Dodgers fans, concluding, however, "But just wait'll next year!"

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.