The Charlotte News

Friday, September 3, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Senator McCarthy was set to testify the following week in the hearings regarding his censure, before the six-Senator special committee considering the charges and set to make recommendations to the full Senate. This date, the committee investigators spent its time on the other four major categories of charges, having spent the previous day on the fifth category, dealing with Senator McCarthy's statements during the Army-McCarthy hearings that he had received a classified document via an intelligence officer of the armed forces, originating from the FBI, supposedly setting forth the names of subversives at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey, and had urged publicly other executive department employees who had documents which showed either corruption or subversion, to step forward, regardless of whether those documents were classified. The committee, itself, stood in recess until Tuesday because of the funeral of Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina this date and the Labor Day holiday on Monday. The committee had promised to do something with all of the 46 counts which had been put forward in three bills of particulars offered by Senators Ralph Flanders of Vermont, J. William Fulbright of Arkansas and Wayne Morse of Oregon. The general expectation was that the committee would, after some further submission of evidence, the bulk of which had been completed the previous day with the reading into the record of abstracts of the May 4 (and presumably from both sessions of the May 5) Army-McCarthy hearings, turn matters over to the defense for its presentation. Neither Senator McCarthy nor his attorney, Edward Bennett Williams, was disclosing their strategy, and would not say whether there would be any witnesses other than the Senator, himself.

There were at least two versions of language attributed to Vice-President Nixon in comparing Senator McCarthy with DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell, neither of which appeared to satisfy either man. Mr. Nixon could not be reached immediately for comment. He had spoken at a meeting of the RNC in Cincinnati on Wednesday night, and an anonymous committee source had said that the Vice-President said there was not much to choose between "the blasts of McCarthy and the drawing room innuendos of Mitchell". A Cleveland News dispatch from Cincinnati by Thomas Vail had quoted Mr. Nixon as saying: "I can't see much difference between the bellows of Senator McCarthy and the bleats of Mitchell. In fact, Mitchell is using the McCarthy techniques." (That appears to suggest a case of the blowhard bull calling the hissing bellows and sheep black.) Senator McCarthy had commented that he was sure he did not like the comparison any better than Mr. Mitchell probably did. Mr. Mitchell said that he could not figure out from the report whether Mr. Nixon and the other Republican leaders had finally decided that Senator McCarthy was a liability to them, adding that Mr. Nixon was "an expert on Senator McCarthy but I don't think he knows much about me." He also said that when they had mentioned Mr. Nixon's name, he thought they were going to tell him that the Republicans were "announcing another Nixon TV-extravaganza to claim the Dixon-Yates deal for private exploitation of atomic power was white as snow. What was the name of Nixon's dog?" He was referring to the President's executive order that the Atomic Energy Commission contract with the Arkansas utility combine in TVA territory to provide private power for West Memphis, Arkansas, subsequently allowed by Congress after a Democratic filibuster, led by Senator Albert Gore, had sought to block the bill for opening the floodgates to private utilities to take advantage of cheaply produced public power, reselling it to consumers at higher rates, while taxpayers paid the bill for the production costs.

In Paris, three French Cabinet ministers who had supported the European Defense Community unified army had resigned this date, protesting the fact that Premier Pierre Mendes-France had not fought to win approval of the treaty before the National Assembly, which had declined to vote on ratification of it earlier in the week. The resignations meant that six Cabinet members had thus far resigned over the EDC issue. The other three, however, had resigned because they believed the Premier had not been strongly enough opposed to the treaty.

In Saigon, it was reported that the U.S. Embassy announced this date the official return of five American military technicians captured by the Vietminh near Tourane the prior June 14, and that they would be flown the following morning to Clark Field in the Philippines. All five were reported to be in good health. They had been captured while swimming on a beach which was out of bounds for approximately 200 Americans who had been working in the area servicing U.S.-supplied planes used by the French in the battle of Dien Bien Phu. The Vietminh had turned them over to the French the prior Tuesday, and the French, after processing them as prisoners of war, delivered them this date to the Air Force in Saigon.

In Denver, the President, continuing his vacation, signed an executive order designed to clarify and strengthen provisions of the standard hiring and firing nondiscrimination clause included in all Government contracts with private industry. It ratified recommendations of the President's Committee on Government Contracts, headed by Vice-President Nixon, recently made to purchasing agencies of the Government. The recommendations were drafted by a special subcommittee headed by Deputy Attorney General William Rogers.

In Washington, the 36th annual American Legion convention began breaking up this date, after having selected a new national commander, Seaborn Collins, Jr., of Las Cruces, N.M., a World War II pilot chosen unanimously to succeed Arthur Connell of Middletown, Conn. The group had voted its full support for Communist-hunting committees, including that of Senator McCarthy, recommending that "ample funds" be provided to continue their investigations without limit of their present powers. They defeated a resolution which would have provided that the Legion opposed methods violating the traditional American concepts of due process which were abusive to witnesses. They approved of calling for Congressional action to expose contributors to the Communist front organizations and to pass additional anti-Communist legislation. They had also called on the Government to warn Communist China and Russia that further aggression in Southeast Asia would bring immediate military retaliation, by the U.S. alone if necessary. They also urged the Government to study severance of diplomatic relations with Russia and its satellites, curtailing trade with Russia as fully as practicable, and getting allies to eliminate all trade with Communist China. They gave full support for making universal military training the law.

In Sydney, Australia, the French ambassador said this night that a woman, former second secretary in the French Embassy, had been arrested on charges of furnishing information to the Communist spy network formerly headed by Vladimir Petrov, the third secretary of the Soviet Embassy who had obtained asylum in Australia the previous spring for offering to disclose what he had called a large espionage ring. The woman in question was identified by Mr. Petrov as having provided him with important information on Australian arms shipments to Indo-China prior to his defection.

In Nashville, Tenn., the Southern Education Reporting Service, a nonprofit agency which was studying the segregation issue in the South, had distributed 10,000 copies of the first issue of its monthly newspaper, Southern School News. The editor of the newspaper was Pete McKnight, who was currently on leave as editor of The News. The Service, headed by Virginius Dabney, editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, was financed by a grant from the Fund for the Advancement of Education, an independent agency established by the Ford Foundation, and had been set up by a group of newspaper editors in 17 Southern states and the District of Columbia affected by school desegregation. The agency had been set up to collect background material on school segregation after the May 17 decision in Brown v. Board of Education, declaring continued segregation of public schools to be in violation of the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause.

In Tokyo, a woman went to turn on what she believed was the water faucet and instead received a stream of fire which destroyed the kitchen. Firemen traced the trouble to a faulty water main, into which pressure from an oil refinery storage tank had forced gasoline, normally furnishing water to 80 homes in the neighborhood.

If you would like to apply to the Civil Service Commission for a postmastership in four communities in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina, paying between $5,970 and $7,770 annually, you have until September 28 to apply.

On the editorial page, "Don't Let Your Labor Day Holiday End Like This…" offers up four pictures of automobile accidents, with people injured or dead lying beside vehicles on the roadway.

A piece from the LaGrange (Ga.) Daily News, titled "Moral Responsibility", indicates that a small boy on the block had been struck by a car recently following supper, after he had run into the street from between two parked cars. It says that the writer had never actually seen the victim of a traffic accident, while having read about many, and so had joined the rest of the curiosity seekers to have a look. The boy was lying in the street, partially covered by a blanket brought by one of the neighbors, had blood on his face and teeth, making the writer a little sick. As the writer approached, the injured boy was talking to his mother, saying that he could not help it, that his ball had rolled into the street and he had gone after it. Fortunately, he was not too seriously injured.

It hopes that every motorist in the crowd heard what the child had said, for a child's work was play, according to psychologists, and so it was perfectly natural for the small child to become completely engrossed in play. The small boy probably did not even realize he had run into the street, was simply focused on chasing his ball. It suggests that the motorist who injured him had been far more morally responsible than the child, who, after all, was only acting like a child.

Albert Coates, head of the North Carolina Institute of Government in Chapel Hill, writing in Popular Government, indicates that a thousand years earlier, the English king had called on all of his "faithful subjects to give diligent counsel and aid" to the protection of "men traveling from place to place, as well as men sleeping in their beds," and required all persons "15 years of age and upward to give information to the sheriff of persons violating the king's justice on the highways."

During the course of the centuries, the problem of highway safety had shifted from the highwaymen ambush to the person behind the wheel. The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles was calling for all drivers "16 years of age and upward" to assume personal responsibility for the observance of traffic laws. About 1.5 million drivers were presently traveling 40 million miles per day on the streets and highways of the nation, with differing degrees of care and carelessness, sobriety and intoxication.

During the previous 50 years, the number of persons killed or injured in traffic accidents was twice as many as North Carolina had lost in killed and wounded during World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Most, if not all, of those killing, crippling and damaging accidents could have been avoided by following the letter and spirit of the law.

While everyone might not aspire to be a king, everyone did aspire to sit at the controls of the deadliest weapon which modern science and mass production had ever put in the hands of the rank-and-file, the automobile. It was why drivers were formally tested as to driving skill and knowledge before obtaining a license. He asserts that driving was complicated, dangerous and no ordinary business, requiring attention to the road, sobriety, and clear thinking. He urges following the program of the Department of Motor Vehicles requiring driver training to ensure that the motorist would have the bare requirements of the law, enabling each to do his own part to make the streets and highways safer for everyone.

Drew Pearson, still on vacation, has his column written this day by actress Ella Raines, who indicates that the next top glamour girl scheduled to make her formal debut on her 18th birthday on the coming Christmas Day was Princess Alexandra Helen Elizabeth Olga Christabel, presently touring Canada with her mother, the Duchess of Kent, and scheduled to make her first visit to the U.S. within the coming few weeks before returning home to England. The race was on to have the best party honoring the Princess and the Duchess, and American military brass, political leaders, and top diplomats, were being handpicked for the dinner parties around Washington.

Ms. Raines suggests that which she believes the average American housewife would suggest in the way of a few sports figures and Hollywood celebrities to round out the fare. She also suggests band music by Guy Lombardo, Sauter-Finnegan, and Xavier Cugat, plus singers Perry Como, Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee. After dinner, she thinks that Les Paul and Mary Ford, followed by Liberace, Patti Page, Danny Thomas, Jane Powell, Jackie Gleason and a musical finale comprised of Helen Traubel, Rise Stevens, Blanche Thebom and Roberta Peters, singing "Minnie the Moocher", would provide good entertainment. Shirley Booth would be the mistress of ceremonies, with an assist from David Wayne and Danny Kaye. She also provides a suggested dinner menu.

Stewart Alsop, in Louisville, after the previous day having assessed the poor chances of victory for Kentucky Senator John Sherman Cooper in the upcoming re-election campaign, looks at his Democratic opponent, former Vice-President Alben Barkley, 78, who had spent 50 years in politics, 40 of which had been spent sporadically in Washington, four years as Vice-President under President Truman, from 1949 to 1953. He reports that politicians, sages and other newspapermen believed, almost unanimously, that Mr. Barkley would win the race.

Not all Kentuckians admired the former Vice-President, but almost all of them had at least a sneaking affection for him. Mr. Alsop, after speaking with him, says that he can understand that viewpoint, as Mr. Barkley hearkened nostalgia for a simpler past, despite there being nothing particularly old-fashioned about his political views. He was, for example, completely supportive of the TVA system and rigid, high farm price supports. The Eisenhower White House had been upset when Senator Cooper had deserted the Administration on both of those issues, and the former Vice-President had been just as angry as anyone at the White House, implying that Senator Cooper was co-opting good Democratic issues in a dastardly way.

Mr. Barkley had learned his politics in a time when the only way to reach voters had been to bellow at them person to person, with the voice expected to carry to the farthest reaches of the audience and the campaign having been a physical endurance contest. He was proud of his sobriquet, "Iron Man Barkley", which had been given him after making 16 to 17 speeches per day during the climax of all of his campaigns, a performance he intended to repeat during the fall.

Some of Senator Cooper's supporters, though not the Senator, himself, believed that the best way to beat the former Vice-President was to exploit his age by suggesting that he was on the verge of senility. But there were those who believed that the issue might backfire against the Republicans should it succeed, as his supporters would then say that he might die of a broken heart for being rejected. Mr. Alsop indicates that it seemed highly unlikely that such a scenario would play out, given his toughness, but it might appeal to the sentimentality of Kentuckians. The candidate would dispense with the age issue by showing that he was still "Iron Man Barkley". The age issue was central because there were so few substantive issues between the two men, as Senator Cooper had even come out against Senator McCarthy, who was political poison in the state.

Both men were popular and, in his own way, Senator Cooper was also a vigorous campaigner, and so the difference between the two came down to the basic fact that one was a Democrat and the other a Republican.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his having written routinely during the course of his column's tenure against coddling of criminals, in favor of imposing stiff punishments and forgetting about rehabilitation. He indicates that the only way to rehabilitate a youth who was a thrill-killer, as the four boys recently arrested in New York for killing two destitute men and horse-whipping several teenage girls, was to "exterminate" them by capital punishment. He says that the problem was pervasive in every town and city, wherever young boys grew ducktail haircuts and wore jeans. He finds that New York City, at least, was beginning to crack down on juvenile crime.

He believes in stiff punishment for vandals, which, he asserts, should include placing the culprit in stocks, having a public whipping and shaving the boy's head.

"I say that anybody old enough to commit a crime of violence is old enough to pay the penalty for that crime, with the possible exceptions of aimless idiots who should be permanently shut away as menaces. I've been saying it out loud, for eight years, and am happy to report that finally it appears I wasn't whistling into the wind."

He does not mention the recent case of the two teenage girls out of Christchurch, New Zealand, who conspired to kill the mother of one of them and were convicted of murder. Both would be released after reaching their majority, and one, an aspiring writer, would go on to become a bestselling mystery writer.

Is the problem that the U.S. generally is, historically, not too soft on crime, but too Draconian in its insistence on retribution for crime rather than enough stressing rehabilitation and return of offenders to society in a productive form? That retributive mentality is, of course, fueled and nurtured by the sort of yellow journalism, usually now of the broadcast variety, which plays out every day in this country to sell widgets and appeal to the baser instincts among us, including the present, nurturing the vindictive streaks of nuts who want to persecute the entire world for their self-perceived lousy state of being. Stand down, fools, and let the defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges, police do their jobs within the law. Get off of people's lawns with your stupid signs and moronic chants, your microphones and cameras, which only communicate your low-browed dearth of understanding, complicating justice, not lending to it. Lynch mobs of any type are not a pretty thing to behold.

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