The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 7, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at the U.N. in New York, the U.S. took the latest of six incidents involving the Russians shooting down a U.S. military aircraft before the Security Council, the first time the U.S. had done so. U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., sought an early meeting of the Council regarding the incident, which had taken place off Siberia the prior Saturday. Nine of the ten crewmen aboard had survived the incident, which the U.S. had described as an unprovoked attack over international waters. The Russians claimed that the plane had opened fire first and that the two Russian jets were required to respond. The State Department had denied that version of the facts. One of the members of the crew said that he was able to load one gun and fire about 150 rounds to try to scare off the MIG-15 jets.

In Manila, a reliable source indicated that the proposed SEATO, the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization, had two more articles of the proposed treaty approved by the conference this date, and that the foreign ministers of the eight participating nations might have the pact ready for signing by the following day. The biggest controversy yet to be resolved were the military commitments to be made by the U.S., Britain, France, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Pakistan and the Philippines. Thailand and the Philippines were reported to be holding out for a NATO-type agreement, under which all members would agree to come instantly to the defense of any member which was attacked. The U.S. wanted a pact under which each member would react to an attack on another within its own constitutional framework. The delegates this date, according to the source, had adopted an article stating that member nations "by means of continuous and effective self-help and mutual aid will maintain and develop their individual and collective capacity to resist armed attack and to prevent and overcome subversive activity directed from without against their territorial integrity and political stability." Thailand had abandoned its demands to include in the article subversive activity within a nation as well as outside its borders. The other article on which the delegates reportedly agreed involved an economic clause providing for cooperation "with each other in development of economic measures designed to promote economic stability and social well-being." Asian nations had wanted more concrete proposals regarding what would be done to develop economic stability and social well-being. The delegates had provisionally approved an article calling for the creation of a SEATO council, which would meet at any time members deemed it necessary. The source providing the information said that the U.S. had stated its willingness to drop from the preamble of the treaty the word "Communism" as the specific aggressor against which the pact was being formed. Secretary of State Dulles, however, was quoted as having informed the U.S. negotiators that no treaty could be signed by the U.S. without a reservation which explained that the U.S. did not consider any aggression the same as Communist aggression, stressing that the U.S. considered Communist aggression in Asia as being the same as an attack on the U.S., whereas a local war in the Far East would not be considered by the President and Congress as such a direct threat. The source quoted the Secretary as indicating, however, that it was a complex matter which would not prevent the signing of the treaty, provided the signatories understood the U.S. position in that regard. The source also said that France had submitted a possible solution to the problem of whether Laos, Cambodia and and South Vietnam should be included in the treaty area, proposing a document of protocol which would add those three Indochinese states to the area covered by the treaty, though not to be deemed as having an active role in SEATO as with the other signatories.

In Taipeh, Formosa, Nationalist Chinese warplanes struck at Communist Chinese naval vessels along the China mainland coast this date and the Defense Ministry said that a Communist Chinese gunboat, more than 100 wooden military junks and five motorized vessels had been damaged. The identification of the junks as military craft indicated that the Communists might have been massing for an invasion fleet against the Nationalist island of Quemoy, but there was no official confirmation of that prospect. Quemoy had been under intermittent fire since the prior Friday, when the Communists had bombarded it for five hours. The two locations struck by the Nationalists were within artillery range of Quemoy. Nearby Amoy, where the Communists had a major base, had also been struck, and, according to the Nationalist sources, had been crippled, with intermittent antiaircraft fire having been stopped during the attack. All Nationalist planes returned safely to Formosa.

Sources close to Senator McCarthy said this date that he might question whether Senator Sam Ervin of North Carolina, a member of the six-Senator special committee considering the resolution of censure against Senator McCarthy, sponsored by Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont, was prejudiced against him. Senator McCarthy declined to discuss the matter, except to indicate that he had been informed that commentator Walter Winchell had mentioned Senator Ervin in his Sunday night broadcast and that he knew nothing of the matter beyond that report. Senator McCarthy said that Mr. Winchell had read from an article published on August 1 by the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, N.C., quoting remarks attributed to Senator Ervin, but Senator McCarthy had not said what the remarks were. A check of the files indicated that the newspaper had stated on August 1 that Senator Ervin had said in an interview: "I'm a lawyer, and as a lawyer I know you can't convict a man on hearsay evidence. Personally I've formed an unfavorable opinion of the junior senator from Wisconsin since going to Washington, but I have no personal knowledge of the wrongdoing and improper conduct to which his opponents refer." Senator Ervin, who had been appointed to the Senate in early June to succeed deceased Senator Clyde Hoey, was a member of the Government Operations Committee chaired by Senator McCarthy. Reporters had asked Senator Ervin about the comment and he had said he knew of no basis for a challenge to his impartiality, that he had not favored removal of Senator McCarthy from his committee chairmanships or expulsion of him from the Senate. He said that he had been quoted as making such a statement as that which appeared in the Sentinel, and the newspaper had asked him why he took that position, in response to which he had written a letter to the newspaper explaining his position. He also said that he was on record as stating that he would not vote to censure anyone except after hearings and due process of law, and would not vote for censure except on proof, that he would not have voted for the Flanders resolution in its original form because, in his opinion, it did violence to the law of the land by proposing censure without specific charges. After introduction of the original resolution, Senator Flanders, along with Senators J. William Fulbright and Wayne Morse, had introduced bills of particulars to support the resolution.

During the 80-hour Labor Day weekend completed at midnight on Monday, traffic deaths had numbered 357, drownings, 91, and miscellaneous accidental deaths, 79, for a total of 527. It was the lowest traffic fatality toll since Labor Day weekend of 1948, when 293 had died on the highways, and was less than the National Safety Council prediction of 390 such deaths, though somewhat higher than the total for a recent non-holiday weekend of the same duration. The overall total was the lowest since 1948, when 407 accidental deaths had been recorded. The July 4 holiday weekend total for traffic fatalities, 348, had been the lowest three-day total for that holiday since 1949.

In New York, Bud Fisher, 69, creator of the "Mutt and Jeff" comic strip, died in Roosevelt Hospital this date of cancer. He had started the comic strip for the San Francisco Chronicle in 1907, and publisher William Randolph Hearst signed him to a contract the following year. He had begun by drawing sketches and cartoons for department store advertisements to be placed in windows, before he obtained a job in the Chronicle art department. He spent his days off observing characters who hung around the horse racing tracks in the Bay Area, and finally sketched a character of his own based on his observations, which became Mutt. When he showed it to the Chronicle editor, John Young, the latter had liked it and said they would run it the following day, the beginning of the comic strip.

In Canton, O., youngsters watched their crime and horror comic books ripped to shreds the previous day at the Stark County Fair, where each youngster who brought in ten such comic books for destruction received a hard-bound book of their choice from among 1,010 volumes made available by the public library and the Mayor's Advisory Committee for Good Reading Habits.

In Dallas, Tex., an expectant mother fell to her death from a third-floor window of Parkland Hospital the previous night, but doctors were able successfully to deliver her baby boy minutes later by cesarean section. She had arrived at the hospital to have her second child, and a woman on the same ward recounted that the apparently distraught woman had gone to the window and had stood there a minute, and then disappeared. She had not seen how she had gone out the window. There was as yet no verdict as to cause of death.

In Miami, a hurricane alert for South Florida was a good probability for later this date, as a tropical storm in the Atlantic whirled at about 85 mph with winds still increasing, as the storm was positioned 500 miles east-southeast of Miami and moving west-northwestward at about 12 mph, set to move into the central Bahamas this night and continue on its course for the ensuing 24 hours.

In Charlotte, there was a heat wave, sending temperatures again toward and above the 100-degree mark, though the Weather Bureau was not predicting it to be as hot as it had been the previous day, when the temperature had reached 103.5 in Charlotte, the hottest reading ever recorded in the city, beating the previous mark of 103.2 set in 1952, when above-100 temperatures had been recorded nine times. This date's temperature was expected to reach 102, having reached into the 80's during the early morning, and 95 by noon.

In Atlantic City, N.J., contestants were arriving from around the country for the Miss America Pageant. Meanwhile, Violet Fuchs, 24, who said that she was Miss Connecticut, picketed the pageant because she said that the judges had done her wrong. The pageant's executive director demanded that she surrender the pageant's silk badge bearing the title and instructed Ms. Fuchs that she was not Miss Connecticut, to which the latter insisted that she was, having won the Miss America pageant contest legally and refused to relinquish the badge, at which point the executive director said that she could keep it. Ms. Fuchs then stormed out of the headquarters and said she was so mad that she could not cry, then began crying freely outside as photographers took her picture. She then picketed the headquarters from a hired rolling chair from which anti-pageant placards hung. After three hours in the sun, however, she keeled over in a faint and was revived by police, who sent her to her hotel in a cab. Ms. Fuchs had won a rival contest to the official Miss Connecticut pageant, which had been staged by a bathing beauty promoter who had named Ms. Fuchs as the Connecticut representative. The promoter had filed a breach of contract and damage lawsuit against the official pageant.

On the editorial page, "A Report on the Economy of Italy", the second of two by-lined pieces by News publisher Thomas L. Robinson, writing from Rome, indicates that when Fascist Italy had surrendered on September 8, 1943, its citizens had faced a long period of hardship and sacrifice ahead, and the intervening years had shown that they were blessed with stamina, courage and self-reliance. Despite three billion U.S. dollars in aid money having been spent on the nation, no fair historian could say that the U.S. alone had resuscitated it, for the Italians, themselves, had done much of the job.

Italy, unlike many of its neighbors, was not endowed with great natural resources, having to import at least 90 percent of its coal, plus almost all of its petroleum, copper and cotton. It also had to purchase from other nations a major part of its wool, cellulose and iron ore. Unable to grow enough food for its 48 million people, it imported about ten percent of its food requirements, including wheat. With its overpopulation, shortage of capital with which to buy raw materials, scarcity of good soil and a lack of many natural resources, it was little wonder that poverty and discontent characterized the country.

About two million, or ten percent of the working population, were unemployed, and an additional two million, most of them in southern Italy, were only partially employed. About 200,000 young people entered the job market each year. Only about 150,000 Italians each year could leave the country because of immigration quotas imposed by other nations, 50,000 less than those entering the labor market yearly. Its birth rate had been dropping, and was well below the rate in the U.S., and lower than the rate in France. Since 1949, the natural increase in population had averaged slightly more than 400,000 per year, with net emigration being about 120,000 annually. If the economy were to slow appreciably, as it had in 1952, the amount of unemployment would grow and the Communists would obtain fresh propaganda to sow the seeds of distrust and discontent.

The Italian Government, mindful of the challenge, was working on many fronts to improve the welfare of the people. Because more than half of Italians earned their livelihood from agriculture, it was encouraging to note that there had been some substantial strides made in land reform, with legislation passed recently permitting the Government to expropriate much of the land owned by wealthy families and redistribute it to small farmers. Thus far, about 1.5 million acres had been expropriated in that manner, principally in southern Italy. More than 68,000 farmers had now come into possession of farms ranging in size between 10 and 15 acres. Much of the land of the country was arid and untillable, but the economy of the nation would be greatly strengthened when the agricultural reforms were completed. Scientific methods of farming were being introduced on a larger scale, and there was hope that the production of all essential farm products would increase at a more favorable rate.

There was also encouragement from advancing industrial output, with the manufacture of textiles, automobiles, ships, electronic equipment and various food products providing opportunities for growth, with many American companies cooperating with the Italian Government to offer technical assistance in the training of industrial leadership.

Mr. Robinson had noted that 100 million dollars had been spent in the offshore procurement program in Italy during the current fiscal year, involving the placing of contracts with Italian firms for military equipment.

It was too early to determine how rapidly the country would be able to develop its economy to a point where it could eliminate much of the unemployment and poverty, but it was reassuring to see the country's leaders wrestling earnestly with so many problems.

"No Marquess of Queensberry Rules" indicates that the attack on the U.S. Navy Neptune plane by a pair of Soviet MIG-15 jets the previous Saturday off the coast of Siberia had added one more chapter to the long and agonizing history of air incidents over non-battle areas, with Soviet planes having been involved in at least 34 such incidents since the end of World War II, resulting in at least 65 deaths or disappearances. There would probably be more, it ventures, should armed U.S. military planes continue to invite trouble by flying close to Communist territory.

On November 6, 1951, a Navy Neptune with ten men aboard had disappeared near Vladivostok after being fired on by Soviet fighters. The latest incident had occurred 100 miles east of Vladivostok, 44 miles from the Siberian coast. It followed attacks the prior July on Navy search planes in the South China Sea, looking for survivors of a British liner which had been shot down by Communist Chinese aircraft. After that incident, U.S. aircraft had been ordered to be quick on the trigger in the future.

It concludes that whether the nation liked it or not, a state of hostilities existed between East and West, in a kind of undeclared war, without Marquess of Queensberry rules involving neutral areas and international waters. When a U.S. plane strayed to within 50 miles of Soviet territory, it was likely to be shot down, and the same would be true of a Russian bomber which might approach the U.S. coastline.

It finds no real justification for such barbarity, but recognizes that it was a desperate age when survival of nations hung in the balance and the moral legitimacy of a nation's behavior under such pressure could not be judged by ordinary rules.

The exchange of stern diplomatic notes, even though proper, would not halt such attacks and the severance of diplomatic relations with Russia would likewise serve no purpose. U.S. planes, it ventures, would either have to stop such flights near Soviet installations or take the consequences, the only alternative being the use of naked force to teach Russia a lesson. But, it recognizes, the U.S. was not prepared physically or mentally to take such a drastic step at the current time.

"Detectors for Detectors for Detectors" indicates that polygraphers were banding together to get rid of the fakes and frauds within their profession. Two Chicago polygraphers had announced the founding of an American Academy of Polygraph Examiners, with its purpose being to promote higher professional standards and to "root out the quackery which has led to recently publicized abuses…"

The piece finds it to be shades of George Orwell's 1984, and it foresees a Congressional hearing room lined with polygraph machines, each one testing the veracity of the other, while in the center would be "The Last Witness", with everything he said registering on 37 different polygraph machines. "Then, in one great electronic alarum, the multiple bumps are analyzed, gauged, sifted, dissected and finally disintegrated." Suddenly, there would be a blinding explosion and when the smoke cleared, all that would be left would be the witness chanting repeatedly, "Two and two make five, two and two make five, two and two make five…"

"And nobody will care."

Drew Pearson's column this date is written by film and television star George Jessel, sometimes called the "toastmaster general", indicating that he had traveled a great deal during the past few weeks and had made several observations, first that the more places one went, the more anxious one was to return home and wave the American flag. Paris, despite the fact that it had been occupied by enemies three times in 80 years, had not changed, with the Champs Elysees still the most colorful thoroughfare in the world, the Mona Lisa's eyes still following the viewer, and the Arc de Triomphe still standing as proud and anxious to welcome Napoleon, and the theater remaining the same, though, he notes, the Folies Bergere girls were not nearly as pretty as they had been in previous years, with the exception of Yvonne Menard. French movies had improved quite a bit, and Sacha Guitry, at age 70, was having the time of his life as an actor, author and director. The prices in restaurants were even higher than an elephant's eye. He believed the threat of Communism in France was very small, that the Frenchman who owned his own farm and garden held it too close to his heart and pocket to have it become the property of the state. Only about 20 percent of the population were white-collar workers, terribly underpaid through the years, and therefore fertile ground for Communism.

He provides his observations also of Italy, Athens, and Israel.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the regrouping by both the American Legion and the AMA in the wake of the Legion having lobbied the 83rd Congress heavily in behalf of veterans' medical care, while the AMA had opposed the legislation. The Legion, at its recent convention, had passed a resolution condemning the AMA for its attack on sick and disabled veterans. The AMA had responded that certain veterans' organizations were planting "the seeds of socialization". At its most recent meeting, the AMA had reiterated its stance against provision of Federal hospitalization for indigent veterans with non-service-connected disabilities, unless they were suffering from tuberculosis or psychiatric problems.

Both organizations were encouraging their membership to lobby against the other.

Presently, any honorably discharged war veteran suffering from an illness not recognized as service-connected could establish eligibility for treatment in a V.A. hospital by signing a statement that he was unable to pay for the costs and filling out a form listing his assets. The Legion advocated continuing those benefits, while the AMA contended, with the stated exceptions, that such veterans should be treated in private hospitals with the veteran having to foot the bill. The Legion said that "non-service-connected" disabilities were often misleading and based on inadequate information, that many states and localities were not prepared to care for the veterans and that even if they were, there would be uneven quality in medical services corresponding to the unequal distribution of wealth and resources among the states. The secretary and general manager of the AMA had responded that preferential treatment for veterans with non-service-connected disabilities could not be continued indefinitely because of the detrimental effect on the health and economy of the nation. He said that in a democratic nation, there could not be two types of citizenship, veterans and non-veterans, that veterans should not become wards of the Government. The Legion said that some doctors wanted to speak out against the AMA policy regarding veterans hospitalization but feared that if they did, they would lose their status on hospital staffs. The Legion had also claimed that AMA members had deliberately entered the Legion in an effort to influence its position on the subject. The AMA claimed that it had always supported the best medical care possible for veterans injured in service.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that a recent astronautical congress, which studied the navigation of outer space, had announced firmly that a trip to the moon was just around the corner and was no longer a matter of conjecture, that space travel was only a matter of time, money and research. The notion left Mr. Ruark unstirred, as he had never found any fascination in space travel, whether in movies or reality. He believes that there were too many problems on earth without adding further complications, that the first thing a delegation from Mars would demand would be a large grant of money to keep them from joining the Russians.

He indicates that he would be frightened to travel to the moon for a long weekend, for the fact that the "interspace pilots' association" would probably strike for longer rockets and shorter working hours, leaving him stuck there, as, since the war, there was hardly a week which had passed that one airline or another had not gone on strike, messing up planned travel for long distances.

He anticipates that if space travel did come, it would be an anticlimax, as the younger generation had been fed such a "long and dreary diet of comic-book, TV and 3-D movie fantasies of the worlds in outer space that if ever they do start a steady trade route with the moon or Mars, it'll probably be as dull as a train ride through industrial New Jersey."

He fancies that once a space route was established, some spy would sell the atomic secrets to the people of outer space and the sphere of anxiety would only dramatically increase. He likes the moon the way it was, with its kindly, old-man face looking down on earth. Dogs howled on moonlit nights and the tides worked according to its cycle. "A girl who would knock a divot out of your cheek if you made a remark to her at noon, sighs and dives into your arms when you make the same pass when the moon's full and the air is full of flowers." He hopes that they would leave the moon alone, that the people of outer space who saw the earth as a ball would be dreadfully disappointed if they were to become aware of all of the facts about Geneva conferences, the advertisements for falsies, the problems with subways, crime waves and Senator McCarthy.

"Hands-off the moon, I say, and leave well enough alone. She is lovely up there, just as she is, and I do not wish to book any motel space on one of her craters."

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., indicates that it was pleasant to read an address to the citizens of New Bedford, Mass., by the board chairman of a printing and finishing company of Rock Hill, telling the employees and townspeople that there was no slave labor in the South, that Southern workers appeared and were prosperous, many owning their own homes and cars, while their children often attended college, that the mills were "happy" and doing fine. The anonymous writer concludes that the South had come of age and now provided a fit example for the North. The writer recommends that the regions cooperate with one another and thereby live symbiotically.

A letter from Bob Cherry, Jr., comments on an August 14 editorial, "The Wrong Way To Fight Communism", which had referred to the recently passed law providing that the Communist Party would not be entitled to the same privileges which other regular political parties in the country had. He takes issue with the statement of the editorial that Americans had been dangerously confused regarding the true nature of the Communist menace, that they had been misled into believing that the danger of internal subversion was great. He thinks instead that the case of Alger Hiss and his assistance to the President at the Yalta conference in February, 1945, persuading FDR "to buy a bill of goods which scuttled the freedom and happiness of millions of people", and Mr. Hiss then continuing to obtain the confidence and loyalty of President Truman and Secretary of State Acheson, among other such things he lists, had all served "for the glory of diabolical tyrants" in the Kremlin. He concludes, therefore, that there was a genuine internal menace and that the newspaper was soft-pedaling it.

A letter writer indicates that they were told that the King Brothers Circus was the second largest in the country, but she thinks it ranked first in uncleanliness, poor entertainment and incompetency of management, as she and her children, plus another lady, had waited for an hour and a half in line while "dirty men paraded by", and there was a lot of dust in the tent. She hopes that the American Legion, which sponsored the circus, made a lot of money and would put it to work for a good purpose, because the children of Charlotte had certainly been made "the victims of the most flagrant fraud to have been ballyhooed by the Charlotte papers."

A letter from Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont thanks the newspaper for its "outspoken, lucid editorial" regarding the effort to bring the McCarthy issue to a Senate showdown. He indicates his belief that it had been begun but was not yet won, that a fair determination would result if papers such as The News continued to focus public attention on the broad issues involved in McCarthyism, as well as the specific misconduct of the Senator.

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