The Charlotte News
Wednesday, June 8, 1955
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Bonn, West Germany, that Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had been urged by three West German political parties to accept an invitation to visit Moscow to discuss "normalization of relations" between the Kremlin and the Bonn Government. The three parties were the Free Democrats and Refugees, within the Adenauer Government coalition, and the Socialists, part of the opposition. A session of the Bundestag was suspended for an hour so that deputies could caucus regarding the invitation from Moscow, after which the Free Democrats, the second largest coalition party, issued a statement saying that Chancellor Adenauer had "no choice" but to accept it. The Chancellor declined a public statement, apparently desiring first to talk to Western leaders. In a formal statement, his Christian Democratic Party described the invitation as "a further step in the long and stony path leading toward a general relaxation of tension." They indicated that the note had to be examined carefully and that it was too early to take a final stand. They also stated that it would be a fundamental mistake for Moscow to assume that they could separate West Germany from the West.
The President said this date at his press conference that he had the utmost confidence that Chancellor Adenauer would stand by the Western world in any dealings with Russia. He said that it was only natural that Russia would extend such an invitation in view of recent developments in Western Europe. He also stated that acceptance or rejection of the invitation would be a decision exclusively for West Germany.
The President also indicated opposition to adding anti-segregation amendments to Administration-proposed legislation to create a new military manpower reserve program. Such an amendment had been added to the measure in the House, causing it to be sidetracked a few weeks earlier. The President said that he was hopeful that the Senate would be able to take the initiative on the measure if the stalemate in the House could not be broken. He said that he believed the record of his Administration on opposition to segregation was good but that he was against anti-segregation riders attached to bills which dealt with other matters. He again stated emphatically that the reserve program was necessary to permit reduction of the active forces.
The Senate Investigations subcommittee this date, looking into possible graft in contracts for uniforms arranged by the Quartermaster Corps of the Army, heard from wealthy hat maker Harry Lev, denying offering bribes to Government procurement officers, testifying that one of his aides had been "definitely sneaky" in turning over a letter from his file to Senate investigators. The subcommittee questioned him about former Quartermaster officers who may have been employed by Mr. Lev after leaving the armed services. He denied that retired Army Maj. General William Nicholson, whom he had hired, had ever helped him acquire any Government contracts. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas, chairman of the subcommittee, produced a letter which he said showed that General Nicholson had been very active in the procurement process, saying that the letter had been subpoenaed from the files of a top aide of Mr. Lev, and that the aide had once headed the Quartermaster inspection service. Mr. Lev was surprised by the letter and wondered aloud why the aide had turned over such a document. He claimed never to have heard about the letter previously and said it made him wonder whether he had some "wrong people" on his staff who did and wrote things relating to his Government contracts. Subcommittee counsel Robert F. Kennedy referred to the letter which was not placed in evidence, asking whether Maj. General William Middleswart, former chief of the Quartermaster Corps in Europe, had invited Mr. Lev to visit him in Europe with an offer to arrange post exchange privileges and the right to obtain the local currency "so you could hold your expenses down." Mr. Lev replied that Mr. Kennedy had the letter and that therefore it must be correct, saying that he had hired the General at a salary of between $10,000 and $12,000 per year. The previous day, Mr. Lev had signed a check for $5,089.38 as evidence of good faith, after Senators had questioned him concerning testimony that he received a Government contract at a higher price than his final bid.
In Ottawa, Canadian Army headquarters reported this date that sub-Arctic tests had proved that the Nike surface-to-air guided missile developed by the U.S. was successful in the most severe weather. The missile was designed to locate and destroy enemy aircraft by means of an electronic brain. Six months of tests had been conducted near Churchill, Manitoba, on the western shore of Hudson Bay, by Canadian artillery and engineering personnel. The missile had previously been tested in New Mexico, with the Canadian Army stating that the tests in Canada were aimed at determining the performance of the missile in low temperatures and whether it would require modification under those conditions.
In Detroit, General Motors this date was believed to be preparing a fresh offer for the UAW, aimed at settling a new contract before the expiration of the extended period of the old one through midnight Sunday to avoid a strike at that time. G.M. officials would not comment on the offer, but union leaders said that they would never have agreed to a five-day contract extension unless they believed that G.M. was ready to negotiate along the same lines as recently settled with Ford, including a guaranteed wage plan demanded by UAW. Both Ford and G.M. were having wildcat strikes in plants across the nation, the most serious of which was of the tool and die workers, maintenance crews and skilled craftsmen at Ford's River Rouge plant at nearby Dearborn, supposed to be the largest production facility in the world. The tool and die workers had defied local union leaders who had sought to persuade them to accept the Ford settlement, complaining that the contract settlement provided an insufficient wage increase at between eight and 18 cents per hour plus additional annual "improvement" raises of six cents per hour, indicating a desire instead for a 30-cent increase. Skilled workers had been receiving base pay of about $2.50 per hour, compared with the average hourly wage of $2.10 in the automobile industry. The striking workers said that they had been little impacted by layoffs and that the Ford package with its guaranteed wage provisions for laid off workers therefore benefited them the least. Other Ford plants at Monroe, Mich., St. Louis, Kansas City and Buffalo had also experienced walkouts. G.M. had walkouts in St. Louis, Cleveland, Linden, N.J., and Tarrytown and Rochester, N.Y., but the UAW said that local union leaders were seeking to get them back on the job.
Alton Blakeslee, Associated Press science correspondent, reports from Atlantic City at the annual AMA convention that perhaps one's aches, pains and tensions were the result of hypokinetic disease, the lack of motion or exercise, making one more prone to heart attacks, diabetes, backaches, cases of nerves, obesity, stiff neck and a few other ailments. A study was presented by two doctors and a third person from the Institute for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at NYU, showing that heart attacks were twice as prevalent among London bus drivers who sat all day as among bus conductors who moved about. Fifty-six percent of U.S. children could not pass six simple muscle tests, compared to only an 8 percent failure rate among European children. Among 5,000 adults with backaches, 80 percent had no organic or physical difficulties, but could not pass six simple exercise tests for strength and flexibility of key muscles for posture. Given some corrective exercises, their backaches disappeared. Physically inactive persons showed signs of aging earlier than those who exercised, and the former group were more prone to stress in sudden emergencies.
Dick Young of The News tells of the first move toward desegregation of the Charlotte schools having been made this date by the City School Board, authorizing the appointment of a study committee to investigate methods of carrying out the Supreme Court's order in the Brown v. Board of Education implementing decision of May 31, and ordering the collection of information regarding integration plans by the administrative staff, requesting the assemblage of official records on the State Legislature's act of 1955, which had increased the authority of local school boards on school administration. The chairman of the Board, the Rev. Dr. Herbert Spaugh, noted that the implementing decision in Brown had stated that desegregation should take place in the public schools "as soon as feasible". Board members readily agreed that the problem had to be faced without hesitation. The Board gave the study committee authority to retain extra legal counsel and clerical assistance as necessary.
Julian Scheer of The News indicates that former Charlotte Mayor Ben Douglas, director of the State Department of Conservation and Development, would the following month take a leave of absence from his post, to return to Charlotte to look after his many business interests. His resignation had been rumored for several months. Mr. Douglas could not be reached for comment. He had been appointed to the post by the late Governor William B. Umstead, succeeded at his death by Governor Luther Hodges the prior November.
A Mecklenburg County police officer stated that he had wound up with his clothes stuck to the amphitheater seats at Freedom Park in the wake of the graduation ceremony of Central High School, after it had been reported the previous day that a couple had suffered a like experience. The officer favored removal of the pine benches, which had oozed resin in the hot sun, and replacing them with some other type of wood. But the Park superintendent said that to remove the seats, made of pine, oak and fir, would cost $3,000, and he believed that the old lumber still had life in it. The Park & Recreation Department would soon scrape the resin away and provide an anti-resin treatment to the benches, paint them and hope that the sun would not again produce the sticky problem.
In Gatlinburg, Tenn., the temperature dropped to 30 degrees atop Mt. Leconte this date, with an elevation of 6,593 feet, one of the highest peaks in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You could probably get your seat stuck up there, too, in those kinds of temperatures, especially if you got stuck at night. You had better come out of those high places.
On the editorial page, "Hugh B. Campbell—A Wise Choice" indicates that by naming Mr. Campbell to the Superior Court of the local judicial district, Governor Hodges had made an excellent choice, as Mr. Campbell measured up to the highest standards of the bench and the bar. It congratulates the Governor as well as Mr. Campbell on the appointment. Many local Democrats had besieged the Governor with conflicting advice on the appointment, but he had resolved the problem in a way which was beneficial to both the state and the community.
Mr. Campbell had graduated from Amherst College, and then from the UNC Law School, had practiced law in Charlotte for the previous 21 years, was a past president of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association, and had been active in a variety of civic activities. He was endorsed by the County Bar Association, and it finds him a credit to the community and to his profession.
"Let's Learn More about Tobacco" tells of the American Cancer Society having returned to the annual convention of the AMA to report statistical evidence of a link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, providing figures, while explaining that the sample was far too small to be conclusive, which showed that smokers who had quit the habit were 50 percent less likely to contract lung cancer than those who continued smoking. A year earlier, the ACS had established a definite link between the incidence of lung cancer and smoking cigarettes.
The tobacco industry had countered, as it had a year earlier, that the ACS figures did not prove that smoking actually caused cancer. It finds that a basically true statement but a weak counterattack. If the statistics continued to support the ACS findings, then increasing numbers of people would quit smoking cigarettes, which would impact the tobacco industry and the tobacco growers.
Senator Kerr Scott of North Carolina had recognized the implications of the reports, seeking from Congress an expanded tobacco research program to explore the chemical components of tobacco and tobacco smoke, which he said was necessary to both medical research and agricultural research, aimed at producing better tobacco at lower costs, that the knowledge of the chemicals in tobacco had to be ascertained to determine the relationship between smoking and health.
It finds that he had made a good point, that if there was a cause-and-effect relationship between smoking and cancer, it was important to know what particular chemical properties within tobacco were causing cancer and whether or not those properties could be eliminated. Tobacco ranked fifth in national farm income, with consumers spending five billion dollars per year on tobacco products, from which the Federal Government collected 1.5 billion dollars in taxes. North Carolina farms produced 40 percent of the national tobacco crop, a crop which ranked first among the state's farm income, with factories in the state producing more than half of the manufactured tobacco products sold across the nation. It concludes, therefore, that money spent on research which would help tobacco coexist with good health would be money well spent.
Sure, smoke yourself to better health. Everyone ought know that makes sense.
Incidentally, the second part of the "See It Now" program on lung cancer and smoking, hosted by Edward R. Murrow, an incessant smoker who would eventually succumb to lung cancer in 1965, had aired the previous night, but is not available online—its copyright probably having been bought up by the tobacco industry at some point. CBS did a lot of good reporting in the 1950's and 1960's but as being a good example for adolescents and adults to abstain from cigarette smoking, we could not find much on which to attest, most seemingly following the lead of Mr. Murrow in that department as well.
"Orneryness: Anybody vs. 'Everybody'" tells of Adlai Stevenson having put in a good word for old fashioned "orneryness", telling graduating seniors at Smith College that the world could use more "idiosyncratic people—that rugged frontier word 'ornery' occurs to me—who take open minds and open eyes out with them into the society which they will share and hope to transform." He said that the Communists were busy brainwashing people all over Asia, seeking to eradicate independence of judgment and moral courage, and that preservation of an intellectual climate which permitted and encouraged independence of judgment was worthy of the nation's best efforts.
The piece indicates that possibly the darkest barrier facing the United States in the 20th Century was the increasing trend toward conformity rather than individualism, that out of that trend might come a new kind of masses accepting of the commonplace, including prejudices and leftover truth, crushing everything which was different. No person could reject all of the moral and social constructs of a particular time, but every mature person was equipped with a ratiocinative mind and will, and in a democracy, the individual ought be permitted to use those faculties to analyze the questions regarding man's fate and to reach a personal decision, even if not conforming to the popular norm. It indicates that it did not mean that democracy should be populated by skeptics, cynics or philosophical rebels, but that citizens had to agree to disagree, lest truth lose its meaning.
Years earlier, José Ortega y Gasset, the Spanish philosopher, had warned the West of the coming of the mass-man and the possibility that he would supplant the individual. He had written: "The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will."
It concludes that it followed that to believe in something different was to be indecent, that anybody who was not like "everybody" ran the risk of being eliminated. It counsels that the nonconformist was worth preserving, that orneryness was not necessarily subversive. It quotes Irving Howe: "The most glorious vision of the intellectual life is still that which is loosely called humanist: The idea of a mind committed yet dispassionate, ready to stand alone, curious, eager, skeptical. The banner of critical independence, ragged and torn though it may be, is still the best we have."
A piece from the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser, titled "The Drawl Never Dies", indicates that expatriated Southerners sometimes attempted to rid themselves of their accents, with varying results, from an awful mess of pseudo-British accents superimposed on the remains of a drawl to a comparatively successful transition. Even in the latter situation, however, the new voice was a fragile structure.
Alabama-born actress, Mary Anderson
The piece concludes that the Southern accent was a tenacious thing which never quite admitted defeat.
Drew Pearson indicates that the chanceries of Europe and the diplomatic corps in Washington had now had a chance to assess the Belgrade conference between Russian representatives, including Premier Nikolai Bulganin and Communist Party Secretary Nikita Khrushchev, and Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia, concluding that the problems facing the Kremlin behind the Iron Curtain were more serious than previously thought and that the Soviets were dealing from a position of weakness rather than strength. For a long time, reports of unrest had emanated from Russia, including farm inefficiency, political dissension and silent revolution, those reports now appearing to be confirmed. Unrest within the satellite countries was even worse, which was why the Kremlin leaders had gone to Belgrade with hats in hand to seek to win over the return of Tito to the Soviet fold. Other conclusions included that Premier Bulganin was little more than a "well-dressed flunky and front man", that Mr. Khrushchev was the real power in Russia, despite being an "ignoramus and a swashbuckler who really believes his own propaganda, that Andrei Gromyko, the dour young former ambassador to Washington, is on his way to become foreign minister of Russia." It was doubtful that the Russians had made any progress in Belgrade. Mr. Khrushchev apparently had expected Tito to bow to the entreaties of the Kremlin and return like a lapdog, being rudely shocked when he rebuffed them. The people of Yugoslavia also seemed unimpressed, greeting the Moscow team in silence. Overall, State Department observers were encouraged.
The Joint Chiefs, however, had become panic-stricken after the first reports from the conference, causing them to want to cancel all military aid to Tito immediately, nixed, however, by the State Department.
There might be an allied conference with Tito to see where the West stood at present with Yugoslavia, but it appeared to the State Department that he remained on the side of the free world.
Mr. Pearson notes that political conditions behind the Iron Curtain were not to be confused with military preparedness, that there was little question that the Russians were not ahead of the U.S. in long-range jet bombers, and possibly in guided missiles, with their overall air strength about the same as that of the U.S. He also notes that when U.S. Ambassador to Yugoslavia James Riddleberger had asked Mr. Khrushchev whether he would attend the Big Four summit conference, tentatively scheduled for July 18 in Geneva, he had replied with a wink that of course he would not as he was not a chief of state.
If Secretary of State Dulles really wanted a bipartisan foreign policy, Mr. Pearson suggests looking at his own State Department, where he would find that the public relations expert attached to Senator McCarthy's friend, Scott McLeod, the security chief of the Department, was Hal Short of Portland, Ore., Mr. Short having been paid $16,300 and was owed another $17,000 for political publicity in Oregon during the 1954 Senate race, ultimately won by Democrat Richard Neuberger over the Republican incumbent, Senator Guy Cordon. The Citizens-for-Eisenhower Committee had paid the amount to Mr. Short to defeat Mr. Neuberger. Mr. Short appeared definitely in violation of the Hatch Act as a Government employee involved in a political campaign. He had begun working for Secretary Dulles in July, 1954, just as the Oregon campaign was beginning, and yet he spent part of his time campaigning in that race, presumably circumventing the Hatch Act by receiving a $50 per diem stipend from the State Department, enabling him to work politics one day and another day for the Department. Mr. Pearson suggests that it did not make for bipartisan foreign policy but might keep Mr. Short out of trouble, except for the fact that on December 3, 1954, following the general election, Mr. Short participated in a conference with Senators Everett Dirksen of Illinois, William Jenner of Indiana, Frank Barrett of Wyoming and Charles Potter of Michigan, to try to unseat Senator-elect Neuberger by obtaining a recount of the Oregon votes. On that day, Mr. Short was listed as working for the State Department. Mr. Pearson suggests that were he prosecuted under the Hatch Act, some of the Senators present might conveniently forget that he was at the latter meeting. He concludes that it would be interesting to see what, if anything, the Justice Department and/or Secretary Dulles would do about the matter.
A letter writer indicates that the white race was definitely "one of original conception and of pioneering capabilities, Q.E.D., whereas the Negro race is what we might call pursuant, as a race, that is." He indicates that when the proportion of whites to blacks were less than 10 to 1 in a given locality, in schools or churches, there would never be a happy comingling of the "pioneering races with the race that is positively and definitely pursuant in its major qualifications." He asserts that such comingling would inevitably result in blacks having an inferiority complex, that the NAACP wanted to destroy that complex, but would only enhance it. He assures that "the Negro is our friend—our friend—but insofar as close personal racial mass association is concerned he knows as well as we that you cannot force close racial mass personal association where complete personal racial incompatibility is deeply ingrained. Individually, the Negro is O.K. and I am sure the Negro feels the same way about us whites. But racially we are incompatible and that is that."
A letter writer indicates his belief that the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education had been correct a year earlier in finding continued segregation in the public schools unconstitutional. He indicates that he had graduated from an accredited, resident law school with a scholastic average of 96.2 percent and was one of 26 of 118 applicants who had passed the bar examination in June, 1940, after which he had practiced law for six years, prior to entering the seminary to study theology, after which he was ordained as a minister on February 11, 1946 by the National Society of Universalists, Inc., and remained a member in good standing of the bar of a neighboring state. He asserts that segregation violated the basic law of the land and that it was inconceivable that any disciple of Jesus would betray the Master by approving of segregation. He believes that intelligence and integrity would be needed to make the transition to an integrated society, but that no problem was too large for "the human spirit activated by charity, good will and a sincere desire that democracy prove its worth in accord with orderly constitutional processes."
A letter writer indicates that as a black man, he felt that blacks needed more freedom, with new and better houses in which to live, and new schools. He indicates that someone had stated that the NAACP should remain in the North, although it was a nationwide organization, going wherever black people were located. He says that it was not a troublemaker organization and was not producing hatred between blacks and whites, but rather trying to make friends with other people.
A letter writer from Reidsville offers two quotes from Thomas Jefferson which he suggests ought be considered, the first being: "I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand-in-hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors. God who gave us life gave us liberty. Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed the conviction that these liberties are the gift of God? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that His justice cannot sleep forever. Commerce between master and slave is despotism. Nothing is more certainly written in the Book of Fate than that these people are to be free…" The other quote was: "Educate and inform the mass of people—enable them to see that it is their interest to preserve peace and order and they will preserve them. Enlighten the people generally and tyranny and oppression of the body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day. The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches. We must be contented to secure what we can get from time to time and internally press forward for what is yet to get. It takes time to persuade men to do even what is for their own good."
A letter writer from Chadbourn lauds a letter which had appeared in the previous Friday's newspaper, suggesting that people were ceasing to be free, with only a few having the boldness to decry enslavement. She says that Southerners were not prejudiced against "the colored race as a whole", that it was only "a few groups here and there that foster hate and prejudice", not the reason they resented integration. Rather it was "the idea of what will happen to the future generations of the children if the white and colored races are allowed to mix. And the United States Supreme Court is trying to shove the idea down our throats, even if it chokes us to death." She hopes that the Senators and Congressmen who were born and reared Southern would "wake up, speak up, and stand up, before our liberty is destroyed and we become slaves and bondsmen and women to laws and ideas forced upon us."
A letter writer asserts that it had been a great day for the country when the Supreme Court had handed down the original Brown decision a year earlier and when it had also provided the implementing decision on May 31, enforcing the law of the land. She indicates that the country could look forward to having law and order and that "the old evil of race and class is stopped", with youngsters having "a foundation for their education on the Bible and the Constitution and laws of their country, which without such a knowledge they could not have an education." She thanks the men of the Court for helping to make the country one of law and order.
A letter writer comments on the editorial of June 4 regarding the fatal traffic accident at the intersection of Central Avenue and Eastway Drive, in which a car with four older women had apparently run a stop sign and blinking red signal and was hit broadside by a truck loaded with 8 tons of stone, causing two of the women to be thrown from the vehicle and killed, and the other two to be injured, the editorial having suggested that the 35 mph speed limit for automobiles was still too fast for a truck carrying a heavy load, urging that two speed limits, one for cars and one for trucks, ought be adopted by the Legislature. He thinks that the truck driver should not have been traveling at 35 mph when approaching an intersection with a blinking caution light facing the direction of the truck and that the traffic engineer for the city was wasting his time with a caution system under such circumstances. He offers no excuse for the driver of the car who had failed to heed the stop sign and stop signal, but offers that had the truck been only going 20 mph or less, it might have mitigated the seriousness of the accident and perhaps avoided death. He urges that a stoplight be installed at the corner.
In this episode
A letter writer praises the editorial of May 31, "The Price of Honor Has Gone Up", regarding the likely price of freeing the remaining 11 American fliers and civilians imprisoned or held in Communist China on trumped-up espionage charges, and echoes the sentiment of a "sense of shame", finding that Herbert Agar, in his book, A Declaration of Faith, had written wisely: "If the world's out of joint we must all have played our part in the dislocation."
A letter writer says she had read many times of boys and girls running away from home or having gotten into some trouble, wondering what kind of home life they had, relating that she and a friend had been discussing juvenile delinquency and parents, and the friend had said that in some state, if a boy or girl were caught doing something wrong, they would be brought into court along with the parents, and soon there were fewer crimes committed by children. She asserts that home life was responsible, that if children were taught the Christian way of life, they would not go astray, while parents who played cards and left the children at home should remember not to do things they would not want their children to do, as the parents would one day shed tears over their children otherwise, "for God gives you sons and daughters and you will be held responsible for how you raise them." She concludes that many children never received loving kindness, which was what they needed.
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