The Charlotte News
Wednesday, May 18, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the President, at his press conference this date, responded to a question regarding the contention of some members of Congress that any summit conference which included a representative of the Soviet Union was likely to end in appeasement, by saying that he could not believe that the American people or the leaders in Congress thought that he would fall into an appeasement trap while participating in any international summit conference of the Big Four heads of state and said he believed some good might come of a Big Four conference, provided he could sit down and talk with Marshal Georgi Zhukov, the Soviet Defense Minister and a long-time friend of the President. But Senator William Knowland, the Minority Leader, and Senator Styles Bridges, the Senate Republican policy committee chairman, had raised questions regarding the possible results of such a conference. The President said that appeasement meant giving away rights of other people and was emphatic in his statement that he could not believe that the American people would believe that he would fall into any such trap. The previous night, the President and Secretary of State Dulles had addressed a nationwide television audience, making it clear that they were preparing for the Big Four conference in the hope that it could provide a "new dawn" for peace. The President again reaffirmed his belief and that of Secretary Dulles that the summit conference would only lay the basis for extended discussion by the Big Four foreign ministers, who would reach any international agreements out of the conference. He did not foreclose the possibility of an arrangement whereby a neutrality belt of countries in Eastern Europe would be established between Russia and the West. He emphasized that under its new independence treaty, Austria would be a neutral state but not a military cipher, that it would be armed, just as Switzerland was neutral and armed, and that such was a far different type of neutrality from one which resulted in a military vacuum.
The President also said that HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby had handled the Salk polio vaccine program and her job generally in a highly efficient manner, responding to a question by a reporter raising a comment of Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had accused Mrs. Hobby of being guilty of "gross incompetency" in administering the vaccine program, urging that she be removed from the post. The President said that Mrs. Hobby had placed him on notice several months earlier that, for personal reasons, it might become necessary for her to resign, and that if that were the case, he would be sorry to lose her services because she underscored the idea that properly trained women were just as able to handle important jobs as were men. Mrs. Hobby's husband, former Governor William Hobby of Texas, had been ill with arthritis, presumably the personal reason for which she might resign. President also said that it was his information that the supply of the Salk vaccine, either that on hand or prospectively available, was sufficient to take care of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis inoculation program, which was providing free vaccine shots for first and second-grade students, with each student to receive two shots.
The Army was undertaking a billion-dollar program of construction of Nike missile sites, seeking to reassure communities nervous over nearby installations of the missiles, and so took newsmen on a tour of a Nike site at Lorton, Va., part of the antiaircraft defenses for Washington. The head of Army information told journalists that the installations were being placed literally in the backyards of householders all over the nation and that Army engineers had met with strong resistance during the process of acquiring the sites, with some local communities not being in sympathy with the program, particularly in terms of the acquisition of land and stationing of troops in residential areas. The commander of the Washington-Baltimore Nike defense area said that the sites were not dangerous and were as safe as a gas station, while being as important to security as the police and fire departments of a local community. There had been no mention at the press conference of an incident a month earlier, when a Nike missile at Fort Meade, Md., had fired accidentally, falling onto a usually heavily traveled highway, not, however, inflicting any injury or damage in the process. The Nike battery at Lorton was typical of others being constructed near more than 15 cities, eventually to extend to all of the large industrial and population centers. A Nike site was said to cost on average about a million dollars each, while the weapons themselves cost between $20,000 and $25,000 each, the total program to cost an estimated billion dollars.
Former Secretary of State George C. Marshall stated this date that he endorsed a proposal for a conference to explore the Atlantic Union concept, and strongly urged that it be held, describing as "prudent" the resolution proposing such a conference, presently pending before Congress. His statement was released at a press conference held in Washington by Clarence Streit, a member of the board of governors of the Atlantic Union and author of a book on the subject, Union Now. General Marshall had said that a few days before the death of retired Justice Owen Roberts the previous day, he had accepted the May 5 invitation of the Justice to become a member of the council of the Atlantic Union committee, which Justice Roberts had headed since its foundation in 1949, and in accepting the invitation, he had responded on May 12 that he would be honored to be among those who supported the unity of free nations. He said that the services rendered by Justice Roberts to defense, as well as to the judiciary, were manifold but that perhaps the finest thing he had done was the sacrifice he had made in resigning from the Supreme Court in 1945 to devote himself to the cause of the Atlantic Union.
In Newcastle, Australia, four U.S. Thunderjets landed this date to complete a record nonstop Tokyo to Australia flight of 12 hours and two minutes. Each of the jets was capable of carrying an atomic bomb and had refueled in midair three times during their 4,840-mile flight, part of the Air Force good will mission to Australia. The record topped the prior record by 355 miles, established in 1953 on a flight from Turner Air Force Base in Georgia to North Africa. The flight had departed an air base near Tokyo in balmy spring weather and landed in Newcastle in autumnal weather, typical of the Southern Hemisphere for May, with a chilly wind lashing the oceanside airport and black clouds darkening the sky.
In Raleigh, the State Senate
Committee on Propositions and Grievances this date unanimously
approved a House-passed bill to ban the sale of comic books which
portrayed acts of mayhem, sex or use of narcotics. After the
Committee approved the bill, it unanimously went on record as
commending the work of the Comics Magazine Association of America in
setting up a code for self-censorship, and also commended the
presentation by Robert Emanuel, who had appeared before the Committee
on behalf of the Raleigh News Agency, explaining that objectionable
comic books presently on newsstands could be eliminated under present
laws covering obscenity and indecency. But a State Senator had argued
that the present laws did not cover mayhem, that it was indecent to
cut off a person's finger
Perhaps, in the 1840's, they still had the good sense, it being yet close enough to the Founding fully to comprehend the contrary to a free press, one encumbered by the red pencil's blooded prepense, and the distinction's sounding, ever rap-rap-rapping on the printer's door, between the censor's damning grip and debate spawned by the critic, even of the foul lip, which, nevertheless, evermore keeps open the window to sew shut the book's crease or no, rather than have a policeman's edict, or that of a querulous duress, to cease and desist all print
In Hot Springs, N.C., two gunmen this date robbed a branch bank of between $19,500 and $20,000 after forcing the manager to open the safe, the only employee present at the time in the bank, located near the Tennessee border. The manager said that one of the gunmen pointed a gun at him which "looked as big as a sewer pipe"—probably then having a barrel of about the circumference of the manhole-cover sized commemorative tablet honoring the May 20, 1775 Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence, which probably never existed, cleaned of its tar and pavement remnants in Independence Square in Charlotte, as depicted on the previous day's front page. The other robber had held a gun on the only customer in the bank at the time—probably warning him not to become possessed of the Spirit of '76 and hence engage in any independent action, to take the stance of John Dickinson and remain a good, little customer. Neither the manager nor the customer were harmed and were able to get out of the vault about five minutes after the robbers departed in a 1952 Oldsmobile which had been stolen the previous day from Knoxville, Tenn., and was found abandoned a mile from the bank. The manager described the two men, who did not wear masks, as "rough looking customers" and said that the one who had forced him into the vault had worn a lumberjack's jacket. They had taken virtually all of the money at the bank. The Tennessee Highway Patrol established roadblocks to the west of the town and said that they were looking for two men in their 30's who were likely driving a grey Ford, having switched from an Oldsmobile to a Pontiac and then to the Ford. More detailed descriptions are provided in case you see them. It was the third bank robbery in the state during the year, a pink-gloved gunman having held up a branch bank in New River on April 14, having taken nearly $29,000, and two armed men having robbed a bank in Waxhaw of nearly $9,000 on April 28, with no one having yet been charged in either of the two prior robberies. Look for a pink glove.
In Charlotte, the 20-year old man
with a ninth grade education, who had confessed to setting three
church fires during the prior ten days, was sentenced this date to
five years in prison after pleading guilty to the charges. He had
received a three-year sentence for setting fire to a table-desk at
the Oaklawn Community Center, where church services were often held,
plus a consecutive two-year sentence for burning a piano at the
Second Presbyterian Calvary Church. He was given a two-year suspended
sentence for setting fire to the altar of the Church of God, where he
and his grandmother had attended church. The only witness who
testified in the brief proceeding was the detective who had taken the
defendant's confession, saying that he had said that after setting
the fires he had waited to see the fire department extinguish
By the way, as long as we are spending some time on this case, we can find plenty of systemic fault at the time penologically in not providing for a presentence report for the judge's consideration, prepared by a qualified probation officer, that not having been the case generally in North Carolina and many other states of that time, the emphasis having been on swift and sure punishment for crime, with little or no delay afforded between arrest and sentence in the case of a confession and plea of guilty, the arrest having been effected on the prior Sunday night. Apparently, the court had input only from the arresting detective and the prosecutor prior to sentencing. Many issues are raised as to whether the confession was, in any manner, coerced, either by promise of lenience or otherwise, whether the defendant truly made a knowing and intelligent waiver of his constitutional rights to a trial, and, possibly, even to counsel to advise him of his rights before entering a plea of guilty. Was there any effort to bargain for lenience on his behalf, based on his background and personal socio-economic circumstances? But, it was still 1955, not 1965. Dr. Sam Sheppard had been convicted in Cleveland the prior December of the second-degree murder of his wife in a carnival-like atmosphere, based on a lot of dubious evidence, with inadequate forensic analysis of the scene of the crime until after his conviction. The system, nationwide, with possible exceptions to a degree for New York and California, had a lot of growing up to do, to emerge from a turbulent era of little more than frontier-style justice. The Supreme Court would have to lead the way to the jurisprudential modern era, and, under the guidance of former Oakland District Attorney and California Attorney General Earl Warren, it would.
Dick Young of The News indicates that Charlotte and Mecklenburg County were top-notch in their economic rankings with other cities and counties, with Charlotte ranking second among 17 competing cities, six of which had larger populations, ranking first in a variety of economic categories, while Mecklenburg ranked first in a variety of economic categories among 39 counties with similar populations among 550 South Atlantic counties and the 100 counties of the state. The information was disclosed by the City Treasurer, L. L. Ledbetter, and was contained in a brochure, copies of which would be mailed the following day to New York bond buyers on the eve of the following Tuesday's sale of 1.6 million dollars worth of city and county library bonds. Greensboro ranked fourth among the cities, followed by Raleigh, with Asheville ranking behind Atlanta and Richmond in eighth place. The 17 compared cities also included Rocky Mount, Wilmington, Durham, Winston-Salem, High Point and Fayetteville.
On the editorial page, "Flicker of Hope for Charlotte College" indicates that there was fresh hope emerging in the latter days of the 1955 session of the General Assembly for some sort of State-supported institution of higher learning in Charlotte, albeit not the type of program the community preferred or one providing a satisfactory answer to the state's urgent educational needs, given the large increases in college enrollment. It could, however, pave the way for later solutions.
The original bill, which had called for the State to take over Charlotte College and appropriate $150,000 per year for its support was as dead as King Tut and Charlotte residents had to face that fact. It had been reported favorably out of the State House Appropriations Committee earlier in the month, but had attracted the attention of community colleges in other sections of the state, prompting Wilmington and Asheville-Biltmore Colleges also to put in requests for $150,000 per year in state support. The total bill would have been too much for the state to bear at present, and so one of Mecklenburg's State Representatives had proposed a substitute measure which would provide both Charlotte and Carver Colleges, the latter a black institution, $75 per student per year from the State. The same amounts would be provided for Wilmington and Asheville-Biltmore, with the institutions remaining in each case under local control while receiving the State funds as grants-in-aid. It was believed by the Mecklenburg Representative that the chances were good that the alternate proposal would pass.
Though it had been watered down from the original proposal, it was better than nothing and would establish an important precedent on which the community could build a case for receiving more help in the future. It suggests that Mecklenburg County, as the most populous county in the state, was the best place to start with the regional college concept and the goal for it should not be abandoned.
As indicated, Charlotte College would eventually form the foundation in 1965 for UNC-Charlotte, and Asheville-Biltmore would follow as UNC-Asheville in 1969, with Wilmington College eventually becoming UNC-Wilmington the same year. Woman's College in Greensboro was already part of the Greater University, eventually changing its name to UNC-Greensboro in 1963.
"Mrs. Hobby: Puzzles and Guesses" finds that there was suspicion growing that the polio vaccination program had not gone far enough and did not know where it was going. It urges that its request for funds from Congress to inoculate indigent children and to hire more inspectors to ensure safety of the vaccine deserved speedy approval, as being predicted.
But HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby feared Government control of the distribution, even on a standby basis, a position which was puzzling, suggesting failure to profit from previous mistakes which had halted the program for a week while the safety checks had to be made following some 61 breakthrough cases of polio after the patients had received the vaccine. It also suggested an unwillingness on the part of Mrs. Hobby to assume her responsibility. She was requesting Federal money to help the states vaccinate the poor while conceding that there was a tremendous shortage of the vaccine because of the overwhelming demand for it, but was refusing to have the Government take over distribution.
Several communities and states, including Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, had already provided for vaccination of the indigent, but local government would be helpless if the shortage in supply combined with high demand to produce a black market in the vaccine. While Mrs. Hobby did not anticipate a black market, she had also not anticipated the necessity to halt the vaccination program for the further testing. She had explained why the Department had not engaged in prior detailed planning for such contingencies by saying that she believed no one could have foreseen the public demand. It finds, however, that virtually everyone could have foreseen such a demand, except apparently Mrs. Hobby. It supports the bipartisan effort in Congress to provide the Administration with standby power to control distribution.
It concludes that the public's confidence in properly tested vaccine apparently remained strong, hopes that it would continue, and urges that the confidence ought be bolstered by forthright action and leadership.
"Owen Roberts, Defender of Precedent" suggests that during the 1930's, it had been fashionable in liberal circles to think of the Supreme Court as one thought of the eye of a hurricane, that to exist within the tranquil center of the storm, one had to move along with it, with the New Dealers believing that the Court was not moving fast enough in the socio-economic storm of the day.
It posits that retired Justice Owen Roberts, who had died the previous day, had been one of the reasons why the Court did not move rapidly enough for liberals during FDR's first term between 1933 and 1937, having voted against 11 of 13 New Deal measures which the Court had considered prior to October, 1936. Justice Roberts, however, had not been an enemy of progress or the liberal dream, had found himself siding with liberals as often as not prior to the election of FDR, and thereafter had become merely a defender of precedent and legal stability, while his colleagues on occasion overruled themselves. Justice Roberts had remarked that the Court had set forth on an "uncharted sea of doubt and difficulty," rendering some decisions which were like a "restricted railroad ticket, good for this day and train only."
He was neither a consistent conservative nor an inconsistent liberal, eschewing labels while earning the respect of all sides by interpreting the law as he saw it. He borrowed from Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes the maxim: "If a law makes you want to puke, then due process has been denied." (The anti-choice advocates, who favor state control of a woman's choice over her own body, irrespective of the right of privacy, traditional in the United States, embodied in the Fourth Amendment, long before the decisions in Roe v. Wade and its antecedent which expressly recognized the more pervasive right beyond merely personal papers, property and other possessions, Griswold v. Connecticut, should probably have that maxim hung on their walls to remind them of how the country came to be, not with Draconian measures dictating to people how they should behave with their own bodies, except in matters where that behavior compromises their own health and safety or that of others. And forcing some young girl or young woman or any woman to bear to term an unwanted pregnancy which she wishes to terminate prior to the medically determined viability of the fetus does make one want to puke, not the least of whom would be the person forced by a state to bear the pregnancy to term.)
By the time of his retirement in September, 1945, Justice Roberts had announced 21 majority opinions and authored 53 "vigorous, acid" dissents. It finds that his grasp of legal principles was missed when he retired, as it still was.
His wholesome influence had extended beyond his work on the Court, to his leadership and advocacy for the Atlantic Union movement, which would have expanded the U.N. into a world parliament operating under a codified body of law. It finds that in those endeavors he had earned a reputation as more than a distinguished jurist, that above all, he was a distinguished American.
The Supreme Court, incidentally, overruled precedent five times during the 15-year tenure of Justice Roberts on the Court, the most notable of which were Erie Railroad v. Tompkins, a case determining that state substantive common law in the location of venue applied in cases involving Federal jurisdiction based on diversity of citizenship rather than "general law" as dicretionarily determined by the Federal court, as previously allowed, U.S. v. Darby, unanimously upholding the constitutionality of the Fair Labor Standards Act by virtue of the power of Congress conferred under the Commerce Clause to regulate matters having a substantial effect on interstate commerce, and West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette, a Jehovah's Witness case expanding the more narrowly construed right of free speech versus religious freedom in an earlier case which had held that a law which prescribed a salute of the flag was constitutional, in Barnette holding that such a law was unconstitutional if applied mandatorily against the desire of Jehovah's Witnesses not to participate in the daily school ritual, premised on competing religious or conscientious belief, also protected by the First Amendment. Justice Roberts, joined by Justice Stanley Reed, briefly stated their adherence to the precedent in the latter case. A sixth case, it should be noted, U.S. v. Classic, which held that Congress possesses the power to regulate primary elections for Senators and Representatives just as general elections, and so upheld a conviction under a Federal statute for vote tampering in a Congressional primary, did not actually overrule a prior case, which had tied in its determination as to whether the power extended to primaries and so had not rendered a decision on the issue.
Search as you might, you will not find any Supreme Court case in the history of the country which has ever narrowed a previously determined individual constitutional right, as would the leaked February, 2022 draft opinion in the Dobbs case, presently pending in the Supreme Court, should that opinion become the final majority opinion and overrule Roe v. Wade and its subsequent affirmation in 1992 in Planned Parenthood v. Casey, varying the standard somewhat for adjudicating state restrictions on abortion after viability.
And to those who make the idiotic argument that the right to an abortion prior to viability does not appear in the Constitution, despite the plain words of the Ninth Amendment that the document was never intended to express all of the rights reserved to the people, we would respond by saying that the First Amendment neither states that we have the right to call you a blithering idiot, and yet, we do have that right in the United States, per the First Amendment, even if you be a Supreme Court Justice, that is, as long as we do not do so contemnaciously in court.
A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Unanswered Question", asks what was to be North Carolina's educational pattern and how it could best meet the long-range responsibility of providing facilities for the increasing numbers of college students, indicating that the newspaper had slowly come to the conviction that higher education ought be more scattered than concentrated over the state, along with established educational centers, public and private, especially for post-graduate and research work.
It was indisputable that colleges and universities exerted their greater influence and drew their largest percentage of enrollment from the areas in which they were located, contributions which the so-called community college would make.
One of the greatest concerns pertained to North Carolina's low rating compared to other states in the percentage of students who attended college, and one method of encouraging them to attend would be to bring higher education to them at less expense by utilizing local facilities, where emphasis would be more on education than on extracurricular activities and dormitories would be a minimum need, as many of the students would live within easy driving distance of the campus. The community college, it posits, might be the answer for which the state was searching.
It also suggests that wherever there was a private college, a mutually beneficial tie-in could be effected, such as Greensboro's Evening College, which had started and was operated for several years on its own as a Chamber of Commerce project, with the financial underwriting from business and industry which wished educational opportunities for their employees, more recently having been constructively integrated with Guilford College. State funds might be needed for the program which was envisioned, but civic leadership, farsightedness and support could go far toward effecting a program which would accomplish as much and ease the burden borne by the already strained taxpayers.
Drew Pearson indicates that the President had just appointed to the Subversive Control Board, a vital body which ruled on loyalty and subversives, former Georgia Congressman John Wood, a Democrat, who ordinarily might have difficulty passing a security test for a Government job, suggesting that the people who ran things at the White House for the President either did not do much screening or did not care what type of Democrats they appointed to commissions which were required by law to have Democrats among their membership. He presents the record of Mr. Wood, which included his introduction of a bill in Congress in 1944 to compensate a teenage boy from his home district for $10,000 when he had been injured by an Army truck, a typical bill but for the fact that Mr. Wood's law firm received an illegal fee of $1,000 in the matter. His law partner in Georgia received $7,000 per year as Mr. Wood's assistant, while handling cases in the firm, an unusual, if not unethical, arrangement.
When Mr. Wood had become chairman of HUAC in July, 1945, he shifted a black servant from his personal payroll to the Government payroll as the Committee "janitor", when janitorial services were performed for every member of Congress by a special corps. The man was paid $192 per month, while spending most of his time at the Congressman's home. When Republicans had taken over the 80th Congress in 1947, the man had gone off the payroll.
In addition he had awarded mail routes, not by merit as required, but, at least in one instance, by receipt of a fee, a mail carrier having attested that he acquired his route by offering the secretary to Mr. Wood a payment of $1,500. Two other similar instances were also attested by witnesses.
When Mr. Wood had been solicitor general of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit, a sworn affidavit showed that the local sheriff had arrested him while he was drunk and placed him in a room in a hotel in a town in Georgia, holding him there for 24 hours while he sobered up before having to appear in court as solicitor general, while the court session was also delayed for a day for the same purpose. Mr. Pearson indicates that ordinarily such an incident would not be mentioned in the column, but Mr. Wood had been so under the influence of liquor during one important debate in Congress on his own substitute measure for the Taft-Hartley bill that former Speaker of the House Joseph Martin and Congressman Charles Halleck had to substitute for him.
As chairman of HUAC, the Congressman was supposed to probe alleged Communism wherever he found it, including in Hollywood. But when his Committee started to probe certain Hollywood film writers in 1945-46, Louis B. Mayer, head of MGM, had hired an obscure Georgia attorney from Congressman Wood's district, and, mysteriously, the probe of Hollywood was postponed, with the Republicans in the 80th Congress in 1947 taking over that probe. Attorneys Robert Kenny and Bartley Crum, representing the film writers, were informed in advance by attorneys for the film industry that Congressman Wood would ask friendly questions during the inquiry, and the official record of the hearings demonstrated that to have been the case. He was nice, kind, and gentle during the questioning.
Thus, Mr. Pearson asks whether Mr. Wood would be especially kind to others brought before the Subversive Control Board should they hire a lawyer from his home district in Georgia.
John Lord O'Brian, constitutional lawyer, in the second consecutive abstract of two Godkin lectures delivered at Harvard, again discusses the impact of the U.S. security and loyalty program on individual rights. He indicates that a survey titled "Communism, Conformity and Civil Liberties" by Samuel A. Stouffer had found that less than one percent of those interviewed volunteered any concern about either an internal Communist threat or a threat to civil liberties, and that of community leaders interviewed, only five percent indicated concern about either issue. He regards the results as showing that such Communist threats were no longer felt personally by Americans and that relatively few citizens had experienced any sense of threat to their civil liberties. Only three percent of those surveyed had ever known an admitted Communist and those persons were disposed to be tolerant. Thus, assuming the results were typical of the American people, the country, contrary to popular belief, was not in the grip of hysteria or emotional fear of Communism.
Nevertheless, politicians were exploiting the issue for selfish purposes.
He regards inaccuracy in the current use of the label "Communist" to explain some of the exaggerated perception of susceptibility by some to Communist ideals, as the term was applied to those whose views were disliked, including many people undoubtedly who were loyal citizens. It was unlikely, however, that there were not more than a "maladjusted handful" of people who would actually surrender their souls to the Russian cause in the future, given the adverse publicity against it. The possibility of espionage and sabotage ought not be a cause for any particular alarm, especially as there were indications that the tide of Communism in the country was steadily lowering and that the trend had been true for some time.
He indicates that the guarantees of rights embodied in the Bill of Rights did not have a common origin but developed for the most part one by one from common law rulings, and that those rights were developed to protect against just the kind of pressures confronting society at the present time, some having been created for the special purpose of protecting the individual against the same "Reasons of State" which were being asserted to justify secret evidence, anonymous accusers, secret hearings and the like regarding loyalty.
He finds it a fact of utmost significance that the Supreme Court had established the First Amendment in a preferred position above all other provisions of the Bill of Rights. The rights embodied therein originally were the result of religious conviction. As Dean Pound and other commentators had emphasized, during the 17th Century, there was a natural affinity between the Puritan principles of morality and the common law. Many of those principles were distinctly of a religious origin and were taken over and embodied in the common law.
He finds that it could not be denied that Government officials had embarked on a "fatuous policy" which in effect was trying to guide and constrain citizens, as well as aliens, in the exercise of the liberties guaranteed them by the First Amendment and other provisions of the Bill of Rights.
Another development which showed how far the society had departed from fundamental constitutional principles was the neglect of the presumption of innocence which for long had been a distinctive characteristic in the administration of justice among English-speaking peoples. Few persons seemed to realize that in the security cases, the accused person did not have the protection of that presumption, but rather was confronted with accusations and had the burden to refute those accusations, many times based on anonymous informers. He thus regards the presumption recognized in that area to be, if anything, a presumption of guilt.
The present executive order regarding security investigations required an affirmative finding that employment would be clearly consistent with national security, a standard interpreted to mean that every doubt had to be resolved in favor of the Government, not the employee or potential employee.
He finds the absence of comment on that situation to be evidence of the insidious way in which plausible practices developed into dangerous tendencies and that if that development were to become accepted law, it could expand into other fields, undermining the importance of the presumption of innocence in all cases of accusation and prosecution, whether or not that result would obtain constituting a question for the future to answer.
Doris Fleeson indicates that a bitter argument in the Pentagon had preceded release of the Defense Department announcement that the Soviet Union was making "formation flights with intercontinental bombers". The school of thought of keeping the matter to a minimum was reflected in a highly technical, polysyllabic release, which appeared to have fooled most of the press commentators and the Congress. Senator Walter George of Georgia, ordinarily astute, had even suggested that it constituted only fresh Air Force propaganda, as the Senate started work on its new defense budget, the Air Force having cried "wolf" before.
Some experts, however, believed that the story was quite important, signifying that the Communists could now deliver the nuclear fission bomb to the U.S. mainland, whereas previously, it had been thought that the Soviet Air Force had only a sample heavy jet bomber of the general type used by the U.S. Strategic Air Command.
She finds all of the circumstances surrounding the story to be unusual. The Soviets had flown their new heavy bombers in the customary May Day parade of Russian military might and the Pentagon announcement simply referred to "formations", suggesting that a "new basis" for U.S. estimates of Soviet power would have to be projected. A Pentagon spokesman had admitted that at least ten, possibly more, of the heavy bombers had been observed, and the U.S. admitted only about 25 of its own heavy bombers. The Soviets had displayed only one such bomber in their 1954 May Day parade, indicating that they were moving their production schedules along fast. For some reason, press observers of the Moscow parade had not transmitted the story of increased production to their editors in the U.S., as the Defense Department had expected, preparing to confirm the story. Presumably, Soviet censorship had halted those reports, but the Air Force believed that the story should be told.
Argument then began over whether a mere statement should be made or that the implications of the news should be officially described. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson decided on release of only a terse and non-committal statement, hoping to avoid another round of debate on Soviet air capabilities in the face of the prospect of contentious Senate debate on the defense budget.
A letter writer suggests that May 22
was an excellent date for Youth Appreciation Day, as school was
nearing its close and examinations were ongoing with diplomas and
prizes to be awarded. The song, "Will You Love Me in September
as You Do in May?"
Links-Date — Links-Subj.