The Charlotte News

Monday, September 6, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Denver, the President disclosed this date that the U.S. had agreed with a number of other nations to form an international atomic energy pool for peaceful purposes, without the participation of Russia. The pooling arrangement had first been proposed by the President the previous December 8 before the U.N., and all nations, including Russia, were invited to participate. The President would make the announcement in a brief nationwide radio and television address this night. The message did not name the other nations to join the agreement, but a Presidential aide indicated that the nations would include Britain, Canada, Australia, South Africa, France, and others. Prior negotiation between Secretary of State Dulles and the Soviets had failed to achieve any agreement on Russian participation in the arrangement. Legislation had been passed by Congress, signed the previous Monday by the President, which authorized the exchange with U.S. allies of certain atomic information. It also provided that the new international agency which would be formed had to be approved by Congress before it could become fully operative.

Two Russian MIG-15 jets had shot down a U.S. Navy plane the previous Saturday off Siberia, killing a Navy ensign. The other nine members of the crew were rescued after spending a night in the waters of the Sea of Japan. The Russians claimed that the U.S. plane had initially opened fire and that the Soviet jets were forced to respond. Washington rejected that story as being without foundation, indicating that the aircraft had been on a peaceful patrol mission over the high seas some 40 miles from the Siberian Coast when it was attacked without warning and destroyed by the two Soviet jets. The State Department issued an official protest, indicating that at no time had the Navy plane opened fire on the Soviet aircraft. Senate Majority Leader William Knowland demanded that the U.S. retaliate by severing diplomatic relations with Russia, but the White House indicated that the President believed that such a step would not be in the best interest of the nation.

In Manila, representatives of eight nations began considering the proposed economic and military pact to protect Southeast Asia from Communist expansion. SEATO would be signed in a matter of days. Attending the conference, in addition to the U.S. delegation, were representatives of Britain, France, the Philippines, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan. They did not intend to form a standing army, as Secretary of State Dulles indicated that to try to create formidable land-based forces at every danger point in the world would be self-destructive.

In Taipeh, Formosa, unidentified planes were reported over the city early this date, prompting antiaircraft guns to open fire, but no bombs were dropped. It was the first time that antiaircraft fire had issued from Formosa since the Nationalists had arrived in 1949. There were continuing but still unconfirmed reports of fresh artillery fire on the Nationalist outpost island of Quemoy, fire which had begun the prior Friday. According to White House press secretary James Hagerty, the President was keeping close tabs on the situation at Quemoy.

Following 72 hours of the 78-hour holiday weekend, North Carolina had thus far suffered nine accidental deaths, with six killed and 95 injured in 38 traffic accidents. Nationwide, traffic fatalities were running behind the year's daily average and short of the previous year's death toll, but the National Safety Council believed that an uptick in the number of accidents on Sunday night would cause the toll to reach close to the predicted 390 fatalities. With nearly 60 hours of the holiday weekend complete, the nationwide traffic death toll was 232, plus 46 by drowning, and 45 by miscellaneous accidents. By comparison, the non-holiday weekend of the same duration from August 20-23, had 346 traffic fatalities, 43 drowning deaths and 104 deaths in other accidents. The all-time Labor Day record had been 461 traffic fatalities and 658 total accidental deaths, set in 1951.

In Ciudad Acuna, Mexico, Patricia McCormick, who had quit college at Texas Western in El Paso, where she had been an art major, to fight bulls, was impaled on the horns of a charging 1,350-pound black bull the previous day when she turned her back on him to accept the cheers of the crowd for her bravery, and was in serious condition this date in a hospital in Texas across the Rio Grande. She had received surgery for her wound and three blood transfusions, and doctors said that she was holding her own. She had killed one bull, for which she was awarded its ears and tail, and was fighting the second bull when the goring occurred. She had been fighting bulls for three years, and, according to her manager, had a lot of confidence in her second fight.

On the editorial page, "Italy—A Political Battleground", a by-lined piece by News publisher Thomas L. Robinson, writing from Rome on August 31, indicates that regardless of how adept and accomplished the average American believed his knowledge of politics, he could feel completely bewildered when facing the complexity of Italian politics, where parties to the left, right and center were so numerous that only a strong coalition could achieve and maintain power.

Italy, with a total population of 48 million, approximately 27 million of whom had voted in the 1953 elections, had a leftist coalition of Communists, at 20 percent, left-wing Socialists at 15 percent, while in the center were the Christian Democrats leading a coalition which included Republicans, Liberals and Democratic Socialists, polling just short of 50 percent, while at the extreme right were the Monarchists, who received about 9 percent of the vote and the Neo-Fascists, coming in at about 6 percent.

The Christian Democrats, led by the recently deceased Alcide de Gasperi, had been the rallying point at the center and had thus far stood their ground despite strong opposition from the Communists and Socialists, who, together, formed about 35 percent of the voting strength. In 1948, the center had succeeded in averting a Communist attempt to gain political control, but in 1953, the Centrists had lost votes to the left and the situation had again become critical. As a result of the 1953 elections, former Premier De Gasperi had been unable to form a new Government. Giuseppe Pella, a financial expert of previous De Gasperi Governments, was accepted as Premier by the Christian Democrats, but only on a temporary basis, until the budgets had been pushed through the Parliament. He had resigned after about six months, when the left of center political factions had withdrawn their support, suspicious that he might seek to remain permanently in power.

In January, 1954, a left-wing Christian Democrat, Amintore Fanfani, had formed a Cabinet made up solely of Christian Democrats, but could not win a vote of confidence in the Parliament. He was succeeded by the former Minister of the Interior, Mario Scelba, who formed a new centrist coalition by bringing together the strength of the four old-guard center parties. But that center coalition had only a tenuous hold on the Government, as new coalitions and deviations were apt to occur at any time.

Some Italian observers believed that it was as likely that extreme rightist parties would emerge as it was for the Communists to gain sufficient power to take over the Government. The only salvation would be a moderate center coalition. Most well-informed Italians and American officials with whom Mr. Robinson had spoken, indicated that without substantial aid from the U.S. since the end of the war, another dictatorship might have arisen. Although the Fascists were completely discredited, the Communists had risen to strength largely through their powerful assault on Fascism, and the Center had emerged to protect the nation from going completely to one extreme or the other. The center held right, left and center groups, and its cohesion was enabled by the desire to keep the Communists from power.

The challenge facing the conservative element in Italy was how to strengthen and stabilize the centrist coalition, for if either the Liberals or the Social Democrats voted against the Government, it would fall to the Communists.

The failure of the European Defense Community to be ratified by France gave new fuel for Communist propaganda in Italy, as they had consistently campaigned against EDC, and unless a new integrated European army plan were to be developed, the Communists might successfully capitalize on that failure.

Mr. Robinson concludes that the continuing political crisis in Italy was being constantly fanned by the fact that political extremists at the far left and right spent their time exploiting Italy's basic economic weaknesses of poverty and unemployment, which he says he intends to discuss in his piece of the following day.

"A Powerful Man Heads for Washington" tells of newly designated Senator Edgar Brown of South Carolina, chosen by the Democratic Party to succeed deceased Senator Burnet Maybank, indicating that he was intelligent, shrewd and ambitious, having left the farm to read law in Aiken, then moved to Barnwell, his current home, 48 years earlier. He had been a member of the Barnwell County Democratic executive committee continuously for 40 years, had served two terms as chairman of the state executive committee and been president of the state party, as well as Democratic national committeeman. He had been an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate twice earlier, had been speaker of the South Carolina House, where he served three terms, and had been speaker pro tem of the State Senate since 1942, where he had served since 1929.

When he had run unsuccessfully against incumbent Senator "Cotton Ed" Smith in 1926, he had run as a critic of the League of Nations and the World Court, sticking with the national Democratic Party when many other Southern Democrats were abandoning it. He supported many of FDR's New Deal policies by putting through enabling acts in the State Legislature, one such resolution having endorsed FDR's highly criticized Supreme Court packing plan of 1937. He had long advocated rural electrification, state aid to schools, and more support for penal institutions. In 1952, he had broken with Governor James Byrnes, who had endorsed General Eisenhower, and supported Governor Adlai Stevenson for the presidency. It cautions that it would be misleading to read too much into that latter endorsement, however, as it was probably motivated by self-interest and party loyalty rather than actual support for Mr. Stevenson and his policy positions.

Senator Brown was 66 and would not likely reap the powers of long seniority as a Senator, but it would likely not take him long to learn his way around the Senate.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Wrinkle", indicates that "Combat Television" was the latest gadget in the military hard goods, but that it has its doubts about it. The system consisted of television cameras stationed along the front lines, scanning the field of battle for the generals, tested recently in "Operation Threshold" at Fort Meade, Md.

It finds that it contradicted Napoleon's dictum: "A general who sees with the eyes of others will never be able to command an army as it should be." It acknowledges, however, that it was written from his exile on St. Helena long before the age of television. It is disturbed as to who would stake out the television camera and tend to it during battle, assumes that it would be the G.I., but that if there were a bitter television hater among the enemy, a gunner out to get his vengeance, the tender would be in for it. There would also be the commercials, "in which case what General Sherman said about war was mild indeed."

George Meany, president of the American Federation of Labor, writes Drew Pearson's column this date while the latter remained on vacation, indicates that Labor Day this date was finding American trade unions more closely united than at any time in the previous 19 years, principally because of the successful operation thus far of the no-raiding agreement between the AFL and the CIO during its three months of duration, with no violations thus far. The unions involved were quietly getting together and resolving their organizational differences, and if the good feelings continued, labor unity in the country might be closer than most observers were anticipating.

There were also outside pressures, economic, political and international, serving well to gather the once hostile divisions of labor into a virtual alliance on major issues. There were presently about five million unemployed people in the nation, meaning that there was considerable unnecessary suffering by the families in the lower rungs of the economic scale, whom labor had to protect. It resulted in a large deficit in purchasing power and in the long run meant reduced income for business and farmers, unless the retreat were promptly halted. Labor had pleaded in vain with Congress and the Administration for a remedy, but had found that big business was running the show in Washington and doing a poor job of it. The views of labor were given little consideration.

Labor found no satisfaction from the 83rd Congress, in its giveaway of the nation's tidelands oil to the states and of atomic resources to private exploitation, nor under the tax revision plan, which gave the worker very little while giving huge benefits to corporations and wealthy stock investors. There had been complete failure of the Republicans to fulfill campaign pledges to remove the union-busting provisions of Taft-Hartley, aggravated further by new administrative rulings of the Eisenhower-appointed majority of the NLRB, making the law even more oppressive to labor. Labor was greatly concerned that Congress had done nothing to improve the standards of unemployment compensation, or the minimum wage or Federal aid to education, as well as dodging responsibility of enacting fair employment practice legislation and enacting an inadequate housing law. Only in the new improvements expanding the coverage and benefits of Social Security had Congress earned a passing grade.

Mr. Meany indicates that all liberals were perturbed by the backward trend in government policy, by complacent acceptance of "second best" conditions and by the shrinkage of horizons for future progress. They were also shocked by the collapse of the effectiveness of U.S. foreign policy. He points out that the AFL and the CIO were jointly engaged with free labor movements of other nations in the fight against Communism, that through the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions, labor had helped to prevent Russia from gaining further conquest by subversion of workers anywhere in the free world. But labor had also found that the country's allies in the free world had lost confidence in the firmness of American leadership in international affairs, succumbing to the "fatal illusion" of "'peaceful coexistence'" with Communism. When European labor leaders had made missions to Moscow and Peiping, where dictators had imprisoned more than 40 million workers in slave-labor camps, they knew that free labor had lost ground.

He concludes by indicating that, occasionally, people asked labor leaders what advantage would be gained by a merger between the AFL and CIO, responding that the answer was simple, that labor would be strong only when united, and in his opinion, unification of the labor movement would revive and fortify the liberal forces in America.

The AFL and CIO would finally join to form one organization in December, 1955, following years of trying to effect such a merger.

John Allen May, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, suggests that automobile horns had become too much of a bad thing and ought to be abolished. He notes that in Paris during the current month, the horn had been made illegal to blow except in an emergency. He does not believe it would work, but would at least be a good try. He counts the horn as an unnecessary part of the car, particularly if it is the other car. In earlier times, it had been used to draw a crowd, whereas now it was being used only to disperse crowds. The speeds of cars in present times made the warning device obligatory at all times, not just sporadically.

Taxi drivers needed the horn for their game of "chicken", involving two converging cabs continuing on their courses until one was brought to an abrupt halt, allowing the other to scrape past in safety, the driver of the first cab becoming "chicken" and the second "going up one as the Knewit Man."

It suggests that communities set aside public land as a "chicken" park, where the sport could be practiced during specified hours, some distance from the city.

He concludes that the average motorist would not miss the horn and would find that he or she was better without it.

Robert C. Ruark suggests that someone ought to have a harsh word for Aneurin Bevan and Clement Attlee of Britain and the other Labor Party members who were traveling in Russia and Communist China, for playing a perfect patsy for the Communists. He finds that the Chinese had made monkeys out of the touring group by insisting on removal of the U.S. Seventh Fleet from the Formosa area, and the British press appeared to recognize that Mr. Attlee's position had left Formosa and the U.S. beleaguered. He suggests that Mr. Attlee had no more business being received formally by an alien government than would former President Truman. He favors lifting his passport for a time.

He says that the group could not be called traitors because treason was harshly defined, but could be called as naïve as former Vice-President Henry Wallace, and as dangerous "in their feather-brained meddling."

He concludes that it had provided the British public a fair idea of what would occur if they put Labor in charge again, that Britain would become a minor colony for Russia and China.

A letter writer from McColl, S.C., indicates that he was neither a minister nor white, but wanted to try to answer some questions asked by a recent letter writer who wanted to know the color of Adam or the first man. The writer says that science regarded Africa as the cradle of the human race, and that Africa was not the home of the white man. He concludes that there was little reason to assume therefore that the first man was white. In answer to the previous writer's question of the color of Jesus, he says that it was unknown, that his parents were Jews, but that it indicated only their religion, not their race. The Bible told that when Jesus was in danger, they took him to Africa where he remained until he was about 12. The writer asks whether Jesus played there alone or with little black boys and girls. The previous writer had also wanted to know whether anyone had ever regarded blacks as God's chosen people, this writer answering that the ancient Greeks had, that Homer had said that Ethiopians were nice people, and that Zeus, their chief god, had spent his vacations with them.

Ah, but how do you know that Ethiopians were not white as snow in those days?

A letter writer from Myrtle Beach, S.C., indicates having read an editorial in the newspaper about Senator McCarthy and the way he had voted, wants to analyze it further, saying that when he had campaigned for the Senate, he had been even more liberal, courting the Communist vote, had voted for many so-called liberal programs, had taken liberal leaves of absence during his time in the Marines, had been very liberal with abuse of people's rights and personal activities in the name of anti-Communism, methods followed by the Communists and the Fascists, and had fought for friends to receive commissions as officers in the Army. He thus concludes that he had been very liberal all the way through his career, and he bets that he would get away with it, "the fields of politics being what they are."

A letter writer from Pittsboro comments on the editorial, "Common Ground for Atlantic Allies", approves of its finding a common ground of alliance. He finds that EDC had been a proposed coalition of unnatural allies, France and West Germany. He also finds an unnatural alliance to be forming between the U.S., Yugoslavia and Spain, with their only common ground being opposition to the Communists. Thus, he points out, the "free" world was taking some poetic license, that the difference between the free world and Communism was only mechanically derived through power against power. He finds that it was a mistake for U.S. leadership to have taken sides with the Communists against the Nazis, Fascists and Japanese feudalists, that U.S. leadership was responsible for the power which Russia presently had, as well as responsible for the possible destruction of mankind through nuclear weapons.

Right, the U.S. should have allowed Hitler and Mussolini and Tojo to goosestep right on into the country and take over. We suppose then you would be satisfied, with then-Senator Robert Rice Reynolds as gauleiter of the Eastern District of the New National Sozialist Republic of America. Or, should have sought to pick a fight with Russia at an opportune moment so as to involve the country in either a three-front war at one time or in fighting a second part of World War II against an erstwhile ally who had been instrumental in diverting the war from Britain and potentially from the U.S. mainland, the sine qua non for winning the war in Europe, all while fighting a land war in Japan, with the estimated loss of hundreds of thousands of American and Japanese lives in the process, in lieu of deployment of the tested atomic bomb, the project for development of which had been set in motion in 1939, and of which full warning and ultimatum had been given to the Japanese warlords in advance of its use.

A letter writer from Pinebluff indicates that he was not a minister but wanted to quote some Scripture in answer to a recent letter to the newspaper, the same to which the first writer had responded, which had asked whether anyone could find grounds in the Bible for blacks being regarded as equal to whites in the eyes of God. He refers the reader to Acts 17: "God hath made of one blood all nations of man for to dwell on all the face of the earth." He also cites Romans 12:5: "So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another." He indicates that in Biblical times, the issue of segregation was between Jews and Gentiles or Greeks, that Paul had said: "There is no difference between the Jew and the Greek; for the same Lord is over all." He also finds guidance in the text: "Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For there is no respect of persons with God." He indicates that about two-thirds of the world population was non-white at present and so it was anomalous for whites to claim that only they were made in God's image, that if God had not made the black, red, and yellow races, then he wonders who had, and who were whites to lock them up in separate areas, reminding that there was no class or caste in the Kingdom of Heaven.

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