THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Churchill and ‘The American problem’

From the Belfast News Letter, September 18, 1954

By Darryl Armitage
Friday, 18th September 2020, 6:00 am
Dwight D Eisenhower pictured in October 1951. On this day in September 1954 the News Letter published the following editorial headlined 'American Problem' which reflected on the upcoming mid-term elections which were to be held on November 2 and that President Eisenhower was “a prisoner his own party, in which Senator McCarthy is not the only liability”. Picture: PA Wire
Dwight D Eisenhower pictured in October 1951. On this day in September 1954 the News Letter published the following editorial headlined 'American Problem' which reflected on the upcoming mid-term elections which were to be held on November 2 and that President Eisenhower was “a prisoner his own party, in which Senator McCarthy is not the only liability”. Picture: PA Wire

On this day in September 1954 the News Letter published the following editorial headlined ‘American Problem’ which reflected on the upcoming mid-term elections which were to be held on November 2 and that President Eisenhower was “a prisoner his own party, in which Senator McCarthy is not the only liability”.

The editorial read: “Mr John Foster Dulles and Sir Winston Churchill, who net London yesterday, may have felt some mutual sympathy over the fact that both belong to political parties that are in power by virtue of slender majorities.

“The United States Republicans are worse off In this respect than the British Conservatives, for the Senate in Washington is composed 48 Republicans, Democrats, and one independent; and the House of Representatives baa 219 Republicans, 216 Democrats, and one independent.

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Pictured in June 29, 1956, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and US President Dwight D Eisenhower leaving an airstrip at St Hubert in Quebec. Picture: PA Wire

“This narrow majority makes the forthcoming mid-term elections of vital importance to the Republicans. Mr Eisenhower has two years his presidential term to serve, but between now and November 2, the date of the elections, he will make - and will need to make - great efforts save himself and his party from the cramping effect of having a hostile majority in Congress.

On November 2 there will be contests for 37 seats in the Senate and for all the 435 seats in the House, and the loss of one Senate seat and three in the House would rob the Republicans of control of Congress.

“The forecast of the political prophets is that the Republicans will retain control of the Senate, and lose the House of Representatives, but the issues that affect the minds the American public are today so varied and so complex, and so subject to rapid change - especially in the field of foreign affairs - that speculation is dangerous.

“Mr Eisenhower has certainly improved his personal position in recent months after a rather indifferent start in the Presidency. He has made several excellent speeches this year - speeches of worldwide import and interest, and has begun to speak with the authority that should belong to the leader the world’s most powerful nation.

“Nevertheless, from a distance it seems that the President is too often the prisoner his own party, in which Senator McCarthy is not the only liability.

“Whatever happens at the elections, we in the United Kingdom must wish Mr Eisenhower well in the efforts he is making just now to liberalise trade, to reduce American tariffs or to prevent them from rising.

“His trade policies, it is believed, will be the first business of the Congress when it meets in January next year.”