The Charlotte News

Friday, January 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jim Becker, that allied raiders had attacked a Chinese Communist position near "Bunker Hill" on the western front in Korea this date and had then withdrawn after an hour-and-a-half rifle and hand grenade battle. On the eastern front, allied rifle and machine gun fire halted seven thrusts by North Koreans, supported by heavy artillery fire, in sub-zero temperatures this date and the previous day.

During night strikes for the second straight night, allied planes shot up 30 boxcars and 40 supply vehicles. Fighter-bombers hit Communist front line and supply positions. F-80 jets, diving to 20 feet above the ground, sealed a tunnel by skipping bombs into its entrance. No Communist jets were encountered above North Korea.

Republican Senators this date unanimously chose Senator Taft to be the new Majority Leader in the 83rd Congress. Senator Styles Bridges was elected president pro tempore, and Senator William Knowland of California would be the new chairman of the Senate Republican policy committee, with Senator Eugene Millikin to become chairman of the Republican conference. Senator Leverett Saltonstall was chosen to be Senate Whip. The new Senate would convene at noon the following day. Senator Wayne Morse, who had bolted the Republican Party to become an independent, did not attend the caucus. A meeting in the afternoon would consider committee assignments, possibly excluding Senator Morse except as a minority member.

Senator Hubert Humphrey, who was leading a move to change Senate rules to make cloture of filibusters easier than the present two-thirds requirement, said that if the Republican Senators rejected his proposal, its chance of success would be nil. He hoped that the Republican conference would not take a party stand against the plan but would leave it up to individual Republican Senators. The Republican leaders planned a full discussion of the issue at their conference, but declined to predict the outcome. With Republicans holding only a one-seat majority in the Senate, they would not wish to anger Southern Democrats, who would be inclined to form a coalition with Republicans on some issues. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, leader of the Southern Democrats, had denounced the rules change as "goon squad tactics" and asserted that approval of it would shatter unbroken precedents of 160 years duration.

The House Small Business Committee would advise the new Congress, in its two-year report issued the previous day, that price, wage and materials controls should be abandoned and that prices were unlikely to rise as a result. The report of the Committee, consisting of six Democrats and five Republicans, had been unanimous. It said that decontrol would help provide a smooth transition back to free competition. It also said that there had been ineptitude and deterioration in the caliber of personnel in the present emergency controls agencies. Wage, price and rent controls were set to expire on April 30, and priority and allocation rules for scarce materials, on June 30.

The Eisenhower administration was at work trying to find ways to cut the Federal budget, which the President would submit to the Congress the following week. There was speculation that the new budget would reach 80 billion dollars, though the amount had not yet been disclosed. It was unlikely, according to leading Republicans, that there would be any substantial reductions in Federal spending until the fiscal year starting July 1, 1954.

In New York, Federal District Court Judge Irving Kaufman, who had originally sentenced Julius and Ethel Rosenberg 20 months earlier to death after their conviction by a jury for providing atomic secrets to the Russians, denied their clemency plea this date. Their last appeal would be to the President for clemency. Presently, they were set to be executed during the week of January 11, but the Judge had indicated that he would allow as much time as needed for the clemency plea to the White House.

Also in New York, the bus strike continued this date, causing thousands of New Yorkers to use automobiles, taxis and feet to get around. There was no sign of forthcoming settlement of the strike. The union was angry at Mayor Vincent Impellitteri for his charge of "collusion" between the Transport Workers Union and the struck bus companies to force higher fares. The union was demanding a 40-hour week instead of the current 44 hours, plus pay raises.

Three small unions of longshoremen specialists also struck in New York, closing down 22 Manhattan, Brooklyn and Staten Island piers within two hours. The strike involved 462 scalers, weighters and samplers. The strike threatened port tieups in New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.

In New York, Frank White, a former president of the Mutual Broadcasting System, was elected president of NBC this date. He succeeded Joseph McConnell, who had been NBC president since October 7, 1949, until resigning, reportedly to become president of Colgate-Palmolive-Peet.

In Valparaiso, Chile, rescuers combed the wreckage of an explosion at a highway department warehouse which had killed at least 47 persons and injured 350, the worst tragedy in Valparaiso in 46 years. The cause of the explosions had not yet been ascertained.

In Portsmouth, N.H., a 77-year old woman had fallen into the Piscataqua River the previous day and police who spotted her floating along indicated that she was buoyed by a fur coat she was wearing. A civilian constructed a lariat from a piece of rope and lassoed her, pulling her to safety.

In Gastonia, three young men, one wielding a revolver, had held up the office of the Gray Mills, Inc., at noon this date and made off with about $2,400 in payroll money. They sped off in a green automobile. The mill handled cotton waste.

In Belmont, N.C., DeLambert Pinkney Stowe, 64, a widely known textile executive, died in his office at the Perfection Spinning Co. during the morning. He had been a member of the Belmont City Council and a church leader, and was secretary-treasurer of Perfection.

As of this date, there had been 198 accidental deaths, of which 149 had been in traffic accidents, since the start of the four-day holiday weekend at 6:00 p.m. New Year's Eve. The number of deaths had averaged five per hour thus far, compared to seven per hour during the Christmas holiday period. Rain and snow in many sections of the country may have deterred travelers. A record number of traffic fatalities, 556, had occurred the previous week during the Christmas holiday. The accidental death toll for the four-day New Year's holiday in 1951-52 had been 611, including 375 in traffic accidents. The National Safety Council had estimated that 410 would die during the current holiday in traffic accidents. The extended holiday period would end on Sunday at midnight. Fatalities in traffic accidents had averaged 102 every 24 hours during the first eleven months of 1952, including deaths which had occurred days or weeks after the injuries.

The Agriculture Department said this date that a 70-pound boy used more energy for doing most things than did a girl of the same weight, with the boy using 49 calories of energy per hour for resting compared with 47 by the girl. It found, therefore, that in various activities, boys consistently exerted themselves more than girls.

Why did that come out of the Agriculture Department?

On the editorial page, "Now, About That Blonde in Singapore..." indicates that immigration inspectors were asking questions of seamen entering U.S. ports on foreign ships under the new McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, designed to keep subversives out of the country. Thus far, it had only resulted in confusion, as sailors, including possible subversives, answered all the questions and received their clearance and went ashore, while others who resented the questioning refused to answer and stayed aboard. On occasion, the inspectors had exercised their own discretion and withheld permission for shore leave.

In San Diego, many tuna fishermen were leaving town because of the provisions of the Act, as many were aliens from countries with low immigration quotas and could no longer spend time in San Diego awaiting fishing boats to pick them up. The result was that the tuna industry had slumped.

It indicates that laws of the type did not deter subversion, that spies could enter a democracy and some dictatorships in numerous ways.

"Flying Is Safe" indicates that the Civil Aeronautics Board, in its 1952 report, found that scheduled airlines achieved their best safety record in history, with only five fatal accidents, compared with ten the previous year. The passenger fatality rate for domestic operations had dropped from 1.3 to .38 passengers per 100 million miles flown, with the previous record low having been 1.1, set in 1950. The airline industry had carried more than 27 million passengers 16.6 billion passenger miles during the prior year. It indicates that the scheduled airlines, having received their share of criticism, deserved commendation for this record.

"The Institute Merits a New Home" indicates that the high standards in North Carolina's state and local government derived in large part from the founding about 20 years earlier of the Institute of Government, under the direction of UNC law professor Albert Coates. The Institute had undertaken a variety of tasks on a nonpartisan and nonpolitical basis, from training public officials to comprehensive studies of government machinery to make it more efficient and modern. Several other states had patterned similar organizations after it.

The Knapp Foundation had promised $500,000 to UNC to build a new home for the Institute, provided the 1953 General Assembly would appropriate the same amount. It indicates that the Institute would be of incalculable help in advising and providing information for officials of state and local governments who, under the new Administration, might soon be taking over functions previously exercised by the Federal Government. It urges the Assembly therefore to match the grant to build the new building for the Institute.

"Good Idea Dept." asserts that Senator Wishart Robertson of the Canadian Senate had suggested a good idea, that U.S. and Canadian legislators become better acquainted, and so proposed frequent or at least annual exchange visits between the Congress and the Canadian Parliament.

It indicates that in NATO, for instance, the administrators from the member nations met regularly, but the legislators rarely became acquainted with one another. It ventures that if they were to become acquainted, there would likely be less contention over common problems, such as defense, trade and foreign policy. It thus hopes Senator Robertson's proposal would be extended to the allies in Europe as well.

"Exit George S. Kaufman" tells of Mr. Kaufman having been fired from an evening television show before Christmas for an offhand remark, says that it would miss the playwright's "rumpled head, dour countenance, and sarcastic humor … a welcome relief from the syrupy and servile sycophants who drool over the TV screen these days."

It also disliked the fact that a radio network and a sponsor had displayed such weak backbones that they would fire someone because a few people had misunderstood what Mr. Kaufman had said and objected to it. He had simply said, "Let's make this one program on which no one sings 'Silent Night'." Several hundred telephone callers and letters protested the remark as being anti-religious. Mr. Kaufman had responded that it was not "wittingly an anti-religious remark", that he was merely speaking out against the use and over-use of that particular Christmas carol in connection with the sale of commercial products.

The piece thinks the explanation should have satisfied anyone except fanatics, had expressed an opinion shared by many people in the country, including the editors of the News.

A piece from the Memphis Press-Scimitar, titled "Arthur, Not Santa", indicates that well-intentioned givers could sometimes get innocent people into trouble, as had been the case in Loudoun County, Va., the sheriff of which needed a police radio system and could not afford to buy one, prompting a citizen to provide one on condition that his name would not be disclosed. But the county supervisors demanded to know the name of the person, and when the sheriff refused to tell them, they turned down his request for an extra night guard at the jail and provided the sheriff's two deputies with salary increases, while holding up action on a raise for the sheriff. The sheriff told the good samaritan his story and obtained permission to disclose the name of the donor, who turned out to be television star Arthur Godfrey, who owned a farm in the county. It concludes that Mr. Godfrey had a heart of gold but should not have expected people to believe in Santa Claus.

A piece from U.N. World tells of the various problems besetting the U.N., from the resignation of Secretary-General Trygve Lie, to the suicide of one of the ablest members of the Secretariat, followed by the dismissals of a number of key officials, some of whom were Americans, suspected of subversion or even espionage.

It indicates that there was no conflict between loyalty to the United States or any other country and the U.N., suggests that if there were American Communists employed at the U.N., they were even more apt to violate the Charter than the Constitution. The U.S. had not outlawed the Communist Party, but Article 100 of the Charter prevented staff of the organization from seeking or receiving instruction from any government or authority external to the U.N.

Communists from Communist countries who were in the employ of the U.N. automatically violated the Charter by the fact that they had to execute the instructions of their Government. But the reality was that the violation made it possible to avoid a split in the world between the Communist and non-Communist nations, with the hope being that eventually there would be a healing of this breach through the machinery of the U.N.

Drew Pearson tells of the report of the Senate Elections Committee on Senator Joseph McCarthy's finances having shocked some of his Republican colleagues. He had made large cash deposits and placed accounts in the names of his sister-in-law and administrative assistant to avoid conflicts of interests. He had declined to appear before the Committee to explain any of these dealings. Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona, one of the most respected members of the Senate and chairman of the Rules Committee, worked on the Elections subcommittee, sifting through the evidence. His work had convinced many conservative Democrats and Republicans that Senator McCarthy, just re-elected in November, should be asked not to take his seat in the new Senate until the full Senate had carefully considered the evidence.

Mr. Pearson notes that Republican Senators who believed that Senator McCarthy should be disciplined indicated that the Elections Committee had exposed facts of which the people of Wisconsin had not been aware at the time of his re-election, that Governor Kohler of Wisconsin could appoint a Republican to take Senator McCarthy's place, and that the Republicans could make a good start by carrying out President-elect Eisenhower's pledge to clean up corruption regardless of party.

Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett was trying to get rid of the Justice Department's grand jury probe of the big oil companies for operating international cartels in alleged violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, and the 67 million dollar lawsuit brought by the Department against certain oil companies for overcharging the Government. Secretary Lovett, a Republican, believed it would be embarrassing for the Republicans to dismiss the two cases after they took power, for the facts that the Rockefeller family had contributed $85,000 to the Eisenhower campaign, and H. R. Cullen, the big Texas oil man, had contributed about $50,000, while other oil moguls had also contributed heavily. Thus, if the President-elect and the new Justice Department dismissed the two actions, it would appear as a political payoff. Mr. Lovett had asked the National Security Council to consider the matter on the grounds that the two suits would jeopardize the holdings of oil companies in the Near East, and he and Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had issued a report to that effect. Secretary of State Acheson had not signed the report because his law firm represented the Standard Oil Co. of New Jersey. Meanwhile, Standard of California and Texaco were hurting their own situation by spreading reports that the cases against them were inspired by Communists.

He notes that what was really hurting the U.S. oil companies in the Near East was not lawsuits but British wrangling with Iran.

The Air Force, in studying the recent spate of crashes of its planes, admitted that Air Force pilots did not have the same lengthy experience of commercial pilots. The Globemaster crash at Moses Lake, Wash., which killed 86 G.I.s, was piloted by a lieutenant, whereas a civilian pilot flying such a plane would have 15 to 20 years experience and a rank equivalent to major or lieutenant colonel. The lieutenant who had been the pilot did have more than 2,000 hours of flying time in that type of plane and had a good efficiency record, but would have been a co-pilot in civilian aviation. The Air Force had too many pilots and too little gasoline. It wanted to train younger pilots who were better under fire than the older men. But if Congress were to vote more appropriations for gasoline, then both younger and older pilots would obtain more flight training.

Marquis Childs tells of the new McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, which had been in effect only since Christmas Eve, having had a disrupting influence on relations abroad, impeding shipping, as immigration officials were stationed on the passenger liners of Britain, France and other nations, to check the crew members for possible subversive connections, in which case they were prevented from coming ashore. While the agents could not be aboard the hundreds of freighters passing in and out of American ports, the process of inquiring of the crew would take place during the quarantine, causing delays for the shipping companies and cutting into their profits which relied on quick turn-arounds.

The British had complained that even behind the Iron Curtain and even in Russian ports, the restrictions were not so tight as they had become under the new law in the U.S.

Mr. Childs indicates that there were likely Communist agents among the crews of the ships, as there had been poor conditions in merchant fleets in the recent past, placing pressures on seamen to join the Communist Party. If the inspection process were likely to keep out dangerous agents, it might be justified. But he points out that even if the screening process could be made effective, which was doubtful, there were many other ways of entering the country, such as across the Mexican border. Short of creating a garrison state, such agents simply could not be kept out. "Even with walls built along both borders manned by the military and with all foreign ships barred from our ports, it is doubtful that the garrison would be impregnable."

He indicates that the FBI could detect such agents, who then could be kept under surveillance or jailed, keeping the possibilities of sabotage and espionage to a minimum. He finds that the new law might be little more than an irritant to stir ill will and that the alliance which was attempting to build a secure barrier against Communism already had enough friction without adding more.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cairo, tells of spending two days with strongman General Mohammed Naguib, who had been responsible for a military coup the previous July, forcing King Farouk into exile. Mr. Ruark found the military dictator to be modest and a devout Mohammedan who did not drink and led a simple life. He was a lawyer as well as a soldier and a dedicated reader of the classics. He maintained a long and arduous schedule each day and was very close to the people, who hailed him without reserve. He had thus far kept every promise he had made, punishing corruption and restoring order to the government, ended the rioting, cut prices, raised some taxes, and divided the wealthy estates. Mr. Ruark was impressed by him.

Ninth Day of Christmas: Nine dogs in the alley, the girls consuming less energy than the boys in the bone tally.

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