The Charlotte News
Wednesday, January 28, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a 100-man Communist attack had hit the main U.N. lines on the eastern front in Korea this date, but allied defenders had repulsed the attack, cutting the enemy to bits, killing at least 20 and possibly as many as 40 of the attackers north of the "Punchbowl". The allies had launched three counterattacks as the enemy troops had withdrawn. Only light patrol activity was reported elsewhere along the front, following a two-inch snowfall. Enemy artillery and mortar fire dropped to its lowest level in the previous four months.
In the air war, U.S. Sabre jets damaged one enemy MIG in the tenth straight day of air battles over northwest Korea. Navy planes from the carriers U.S.S. Kearsarge and Oriksany hit enemy front lines the previous day, blowing the top off one hill in a strike and damaging 16 camouflaged supply buildings and ten trucks.
The Navy said that 16-inch guns of the battleship U.S.S. Missouri the previous day had hit the east coast of Korea off Chongjin for three hours, 60 miles south of the Russian border.
Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins spent the second day of his front-line tour and would return to Tokyo U.N. Command headquarters later this date or the following day.
The U.N. Command charged this date, following capture of Communist documents and allied intelligence reports, that two top Communist armistice negotiators, North Korean General Nam Il and his deputy, General Lee Sang Cho, had "direct responsibility" for prisoner of war riots on Koje and Cheju Islands. The two uprisings had cost the lives of more than 200 Communist prisoners of war and, according to the report, had been the result of a "Communist campaign on the second front of the Korean War". The report gave detail of the steps which the Communists had undertaken to organize the riots, indicating that many captured prisoners had admitted that they had been deliberate plants to penetrate the prison camps at Koje. It said that there was a direct chain of command from the two armistice negotiators to the individual compounds and that the Communists considered all prisoners held in the U.N. camps to be soldiers still under their control while physically detained temporarily by the U.N. Command.
The new Administration was reported authoritatively this date to have advanced plans for trying to end the Korean and Indo-Chinese wars by denying Russia any advantage from them. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles had indicated the previous night in a nationally broadcast radio and television address that "these wars go on because the enemy thinks he is getting an advantage by continuing the war", and that he believed the President would find ways to make the enemy "change his mind in that respect so that they, too, will want peace". He did not give specific indications of what moves would be undertaken. During the campaign, Mr. Dulles had indicated that the Russians had an advantage by tying down American troops in Korea, an advantage which could be removed by replacing them with South Korean troops.
Charles E. Wilson, having been confirmed as Secretary of Defense on Monday, took his oath of office this date at the White House. He was now eligible to attend a meeting of the National Security Council which had been scheduled to occur this afternoon but had been postponed until the following day, called to consider the country's defenses and hear reports on foreign, domestic and military policy. The meeting was postponed so that the President could finish work on his State of the Union message, to be delivered the following Monday to Congress. The President returned to work at his desk this date, having recovered from his slight cold.
The Senate Armed Services Committee this date unanimously approved the nomination of Roger Kyes as deputy Secretary of Defense, following his agreement to divest himself of stock holdings in General Motors, of which he had been vice-president. Senator Lester Hunter of Wyoming questioned the wisdom of appointing both the former president and vice-president of G.M. to the top echelon of the Defense Department, but said that he would vote for confirmation of Mr. Kyes. There were reports that the President might abandon his appointment of Robert Stevens as Secretary of the Army, unless he agreed to dispose of his family textile business holdings.
Senator Joseph McCarthy indicated that he might oppose the appointment by the President of James B. Conant, president of Harvard University, as U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany.
The Atomic Energy Commission this date stated to Congress in its semiannual report that new advances toward perfecting atomic power for industrial use and to drive aircraft and submarine engines had made greater strides in the previous six months than in any comparable period during the previous decade. It said that construction work had fallen behind schedule at the new Savannah River, S.C., plant where materials for the projected hydrogen bomb were to be made, resulting from delays in the delivery of supplies and equipment. It said that production of atomic weapons had continued in 1952 at the rate authorized by the President. Congress had thus far appropriated approximately 7.5 billion dollars for the entire atomic program.
In New York, sentencing of the 13 second-level Communist leaders was postponed in U.S. District Court this date because of the illness of one of the defendants. They had been convicted under the Smith Act of advocating or teaching the overthrow of the Government by force or violence.
In Darwin, Australia, Britain's Canberra jet bomber, holder of the Atlantic speed record, added a new official record for a flight from England to Australia, accomplishing the journey in 22 hours and one minute. The previous record had been 45 hours and 35 minutes, accomplished by a British Lancaster bomber in August, 1946. The total distance was 8,608 miles and the average speed had been 391.2 mph.
In Aiken, S.C., where an explosion at an electrical store had occurred the previous day, impacting surrounding businesses, nine bodies were found amid the rubble and digging continued to try to locate two other bodies. A leaking gas pipe had been determined as the cause of the explosion and resulting fire.
In Raleigh, a State Senate committee this date called on State agencies to reconcile their statistical data on the needs of public schools. A State Senator from Guilford County, a member of the committee, told journalists that there was a "deliberate strategy of confusion against the public schools".
In New York, actor Alan Curtis
On the editorial page, "On Keeping Faith with the People" indicates that it would not quarrel with the County Commissioner's decision to pay for the new 7.5 million dollar school construction program out of taxes during the ensuing seven years, instead of borrowing the money over a long period of time, finds that it took political courage to make that decision, as the voters would not be happy with the 20-cent County tax rate increase during the ensuing seven years. By doing so, however, the Commissioners maintained the County's favorable credit rating and the low interest rate at which Mecklenburg bonds had been sold in the past.
It indicates two reservations, that it was too bad that someone had not thought of doing so earlier so that it could have been presented to the voters during the bond elections of the prior December, and that repayment of borrowed money for long-term public improvements, as long as interest rates were within reason, did not result in additional costs of any consequence, enabling the burden to be spread among the new taxpayers of the community as it expanded to use the new facilities. A seven-year tax program, however, would unduly place the burden on present taxpayers. It reiterates, however, that it was a decision which the Commissioners had to make, and so refrains from arguing the point further.
"Personal Property Tax Full of Defects" lists four problems with the current system of taxing personal property in Mecklenburg County and suggests as flawed a remedy proposed by the Tax Supervisor to adopt a system employed in Guilford and Forsyth Counties, to fix the homeowners personal property at 15 percent of the assessed value of the residence, with appeal by the homeowner available to seek an actual assessment if the owner thought it too high. It finds the proposal workable but not the best remedy, as it would not reasonably be applicable to renters, unless the tax were assessed against the property owner, who would then pass on the tax to the renter. It suggests that a better remedy would be to abolish the personal property tax, except on automobiles, and add enough to residential valuations to make up for the lost revenue.
"Restatement" indicates that before the General Assembly was a proposed amendment to the State Constitution to permit creditors to attach up to ten percent of the wages of debtors, supported by the State Merchants Association. It favors defeat of the proposal, as the people would never approve such a Constitutional amendment, permitting a creditor to garnish their wages, and that they should not do so, as the extension of credit was a decision of the creditor, making it his responsibility to collect the debt, with recourse in the civil courts.
"Public Libraries—Reservoirs of Wisdom" refers the reader to the piece on the page by Salisbury Post editor Spencer Murphy, who had counseled the State Legislature to provide more allocation for public libraries than had originally been advised, so as to provide for minimum modern public libraries facilities throughout the state. The piece agrees with his reasoning that the public library constituted "the university of the adult years", the "post-graduate school for the scholar", and the "reservoir of wisdom and inspiration for knowledge-hungry youth", thus encourages the General Assembly to agree to the requested additional allocation of funds.
A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Stylish to the End", indicates, sarcastically, sympathy for a man who headed a textile manufacturer, as he was worried about the new "miracle" fabrics, that they would become so durable that the normal replacement business would be in jeopardy. He thought that the answer, however, might lie in styling changes.
It says that the wearer of suits expected "to be seen on the avenue with trouser cuffs frayed as always, our fashionably-cut pockets bulging with bills for normal replacement—stylish to the end."
Spencer Murphy, as indicated in the above editorial, editor of the Salisbury Post and the only three-time winner of the North Carolina Press Association's first prize for editorial writing, as well as a member of the North Carolina Library Association and a trustee of the State Library Commission, states, in his testimony recently before the joint Appropriations Committee of the General Assembly, that more State aid for public libraries would be required during the ensuing two years to get the state's libraries out of the "mud" and to endow them with modern facilities and adequate stocks of books and other materials. He points out that there were more automobiles in the state on the roads than there were library books on the shelves, indicates that the Advisory Budget Commission's recommendation of $414,000 per annum for the ensuing two years, representing an increase of $44,000 over the current allocation, was insufficient, that a minimum of $620,000 per year would be required to the job.
Drew Pearson indicates that the most important question discussed at the first Cabinet meeting with the President was whether to abolish price, wage and rent controls—incidentally fulfilling the prediction made by the News editorial column the previous week that despite each member of the Cabinet having been sworn to secrecy, leaks would inevitably appear in Mr. Pearson's column. Most of the controls would expire April 30, but some in the Administration wanted to end all controls immediately. Those included Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks and Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, but the President was thus far reluctant. He had been discussing the matter with Bernard Baruch, who urged that standby controls be maintained in case of an emergency, also cautioned against inflation and of the difficulty of getting Congress to act in a hurry. It was likely, therefore, that the President would move to end wage and price controls within 30 days, but would ask Congress for standby power in case of emergency.
Democratic Senators were not quite sure how to react to Harold Talbott as Secretary of the Air Force, as they believed him the weakest member of the new appointees to the Defense Department, but some of them believed it was better to allow Mr. Talbott's weak points to show up later. Former Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes had been assigned during the Wilson Administration, following the defeat of Mr. Hughes, who had resigned the Supreme Court as a Justice to run against the President in 1916, to investigate airplane failures during World War I, and wrote a highly critical report of two companies run by Mr. Talbott. Mr. Pearson provides some detail of that report, stemming from the period 1916 and 1917. Mr. Talbott had testified recently to the Armed Services Committee that his company had battled a lawsuit brought against it by the Government and won, but some Senators believed that even though Mr. Talbott had been quite young at the time, the person to be in charge of the Air Force ought be above reproach.
Marquis Childs indicates that while the issue of the confirmation of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense had been resolved after he had voluntarily agreed to divest himself of his General Motors stock holdings and bonus, the issues raised in the controversy would not go away.
The first such issue was the claim by small business that they were being squeezed out of the defense-contract picture, as illustrated by a letter sent from the head of a corporation employing about 300 workers and equipped to make automotive parts, explaining that he and several of his assistants had visited the automotive tank center in Detroit in an effort to obtain Government contracts by direct negotiation with Government procurement officers, which would have placed them into competitive bidding with the large automotive manufacturers, which insisted on getting overall contracts and then subletting to the small, individual suppliers. In reference to a prior House subcommittee investigation into reported excessive costs for spare parts, the executive, a Republican, had said that competitive bidding would have saved the Government millions of dollars, but that it was not possible for a small firm to place a competitive bid. He directed his chief complaint at General Motors for denying small, individual suppliers access to blueprints which would enable them to produce spare parts for newer trucks. The blueprints in question, said the executive, had been financed by Government funds and thus should be made available to all manufacturers. He said that when the REO automobile company had been awarded contracts to make a 2.5-ton truck, G.M. got the Government to approve another 2.5-ton truck to be made by G.M.
G.M. was controlled by DuPont, against which the Truman Administration had filed a criminal antitrust suit, changed to a civil suit shortly before the end of the President's term by Attorney General James McGranery. At the same time, the Government was continuing to prosecute criminal antitrust actions against smaller firms. Some had suggested that the new Attorney General, Herbert Brownell, might even drop the civil suit against DuPont, further exacerbating the differences in treatment between the large and smaller corporations.
On June 30, the excess-profits tax would expire and Republicans controlling Congress were determined to allow it to do so, while Democrats were trying to keep it for its production of 2.5 to 3 billion dollars in revenue annually. G.M. would again figure prominently in that debate as the largest corporation in the country.
There were many who share Mr. Wilson's belief that whatever benefited business, specifically G.M., benefited the country. But as between big business and small business, with the smaller businesses constantly being swallowed up by the bigger ones, it was something else again. Mr. Childs suggests that the remedy lay in tax reform. Under present laws, it was more profitable to sell out than to continue in business in competition with larger corporations, and thus reforms which benefited small business could alleviate that problem.
A letter writer from New York, director of public relations for Pan American World Airways, thanks the newspaper for publishing Pan Am's reply to Drew Pearson's column which had indicated that the airline had obstructed the return of G.I.s from Europe during the Christmas holidays.
A letter writer from Albemarle, N.C., wishes to point out some things about the Democratic Party which "a certain big know-it-all has forgot", in reference to a person who had written a "very stupid letter" about Governor William B. Umstead and Governor Kerr Scott, thinks that the writer should be thankful to God that he had good men as Governors, who used the State's money for the benefit of the state's residents, instead of spending it on balls and inaugurations, as had President Eisenhower, objecting to his spending a million dollars "to glorify himself" while the boys in Korea were freezing and going hungry. She says that if the prior writer were dissatisfied with Governor Umstead, he should run for Governor himself, but if elected, she intended to leave the state.
A letter writer from Campobello, S.C., suggests that the difference between the Democratic and Republican platforms had been expressed long ago by William Jennings Bryan in a speech at Kings Mountain, N.C., in which he had said that the Republicans believed in beginning at the top and coming down, and the Democrats believed in beginning at the bottom and going up. The writer indicates that for the previous 20 years, the common people had a chance to make something, while the rich had to help out. He believes that the new President was making a blunder in filling his Cabinet with multimillionaires.
A letter writer responds to the most recent letter of the man who had referred to Billy Graham as a "mountebank" and then subsequently, in response to criticism by other writers, had stated that he had fundamental objections to all evangelists for stimulating unquestioning devotion. She suggests that, according to the Bible, true evangelists acted out of a sincere personal desire to be a disciple of Christ, were "God-called", and she thanks God "for the great men who were evangelists and who have long since gone on to Glory", is sure that they would be rewarded for their "fruitful ministry".
Of course, the problem lies in the fact that many evangelists, especially televangelists, have ministries that are plentifully fruitful for their own pockets.
A letter writer, 11 years old, indicates that he was proud to be in a` classroom which had a television set with which to see the inauguration, that he had been most impressed by the great mass of people, with the grandstands being crowded and seats therein bought weeks in advance for $10 or $15. He was also impressed by President Eisenhower and the facts that he had broken tradition by wearing a homburg hat, had started his inaugural address with a prayer, and had ridden with Mrs. Eisenhower in the car. He wants to know what happened to the money which had been paid for seats, whether it went to charity, to the District of Columbia or was paid to the workers who had set up the stands.
No, Stan, after thorough research, we have established that it went to a slush fund for Mr. Nixon. You might regard that as silly sarcasm now, kid, but wait about 21 years and you might catch our drift.
The question of the day is whether more than at least two Republican Senators, Mitt Romney and Susan Collins, will have the moral backbone to seek no more than basic due process for the American people, not just the U.S. Senate, in demanding that the trial of impeachment articles entail more than merely a presentation of opening statements and then questions from Senators regarding those presentations, strictly limited thus far to evidence presented in the House, and regarding the legal standard as established by precedent and opinion for impeachment and removal from office. If not, and at least four such Republican Senators are not to be heard to demand that basic due process so that the American people may hear all of the relevant evidence which can be marshaled in support of the House Articles of Impeachment, duly voted on and passed by a House whose majority was elected by the people in 2018 with the subject of impeachment then in the air regarding the aid and encouragement of the Trump campaign, including the candidate, for the demonstrated Russian interference with the 2016 election, then the trial in the Senate, as mandated by the Constitution, becomes no more than a joke, a sham, a kangaroo court, with a predetermined object in mind, not only to acquit the accused of the current pair of Articles, but also to participate in the cover-up and obstruction of Congress by the accused, which Article 2 of the Impeachment charges.
Such a stance would make it the shortest impeachment "trial" of a chief executive in the history of the nation, lasting only eight days and involving, for the first time, presentation of no new evidence in the Senate. Some of the Republican Senators have had the unmitigated gall to suggest that the Constitutionally-mandated trial in the Senate should not do the job of the House by calling additional witnesses not heard in the House. Not only does such a silly stance ignore the history of all prior impeachment trials in the Senate, whether of a President or of some other Federal official, it does violence to the Constitution which prescribes that trial of impeachments shall be solely by the Senate, not the House. The House charges; the Senate tries the case. Moreover, the position involves the circuitous reasoning that the executive branch may block all evidence from going to the House except by those who defy the directive and voluntarily come to the House to testify in obedience to lawful subpoenas, enabling such Senators blithely then to say that the House has not presented enough evidence to support the Articles of Impeachment and may call no further witnesses in the Senate because "it is not the job of the Senate to do the job of the House". That, of course, is hogwash, as always, previously, the Senate has called witnesses and is the sole trier of impeachment articles; it is the Senate's duty to call all known relevant witnesses and demand all known relevant documentary evidence, not to "do the job" of the House, but to do the job for which the Senators were elected, to discharge the business of the people, all of the people, not as royal princes overseeing peons and peasants, but in respect of the rights of the people to be heard through the House Managers, standing in the shoes of the prosecution.
We reiterate that never in the history of the republic outside lynching trials of the old West and colonial Virginia or by stipulation of both sides, has there ever been a trial without witnesses or evidence except by way of summary of that presented in the equivalent of a grand jury proceeding or preliminary hearing.
The House Managers have assured that the process of deposing the intended witnesses and evaluating the sought documentary evidence, already assembled by the State Department for submission, will take no more than one week, during which the Managers stipulate that the regular business of the Senate may resume, until that evidence is ready for presentation.
The counsel for the accused, however, cry foul, claiming, in whimpering tones intended to elicit sympathy for the poor downtrodden and oppressed billionaire, that the accused may not call witnesses while the Managers may call whomever they desire for the prosecution. That, of course, has never been the position of the House Managers. If the White House representatives want to call relevant witnesses, they certainly may and submit any questions of relevancy to the impartial presiding officer, Chief Justice John Roberts, for final determination.
That which is at stake is the Constitutionally-intended process of allowing the people to hear the evidence to support the Articles of Impeachment, never before denied in any impeachment trial in the nation's history, whether of a President or other Federal official. Anything short of that process is not a trial, but a whitewash of the worst sort, and entangles its proponents in participation in the obstruction of justice which Article 2 charges, while also making the spurious claim that plain evidence of soliciting a bribe from a foreign head of state, the exchange of official exercise of duty, the release of aid to the Ukraine, for a public announcement of an investigation into a political opponent, as presented in the House and which is alleged as the factually substantive basis of Article 1 charging "abuse of the power", does not arise to the level warranting impeachment and removal from office. Those positions would astound the Framers, who expressly stated not only that trial of impeachment shall be by the Senate but also that "bribery" is one of two named offenses constituting grounds for impeachment, with "other high crimes and misdemeanors" embracing the generic class of other conduct warranting impeachment.
And, incidentally, the claim by the White House counsel that McDonnell v. U.S., holding that setting up routine meetings for "constituents"—of whom the President of the Ukraine is not—to discuss matters pertaining to potential exercise of official acts, without more, is insufficient ground for charging bribery of a public official in exchange for performace of "official duties", ignores the other quid pro quo, which is clearly performance of an official duty, release of the quarantined 390 million dollars in foreign assistance money to Ukraine only when the announcement was to be made publicly regarding the investigation of the Bidens, a position changed at the end of the process in early September, as the Ukraine desperately sought to set up such a public announcement via CNN, that release of the impounded aid occurring only after the White House became aware of the whistle-blower's complaint and that the House was aware of that complaint, thus not at all dispelling the attempted solicitation of a bribe, even if the quid pro quo was never completed by virtue of the accused getting caught in the process of the solicitation by an honest Federal employee who did his or her duty.
In addition, the fact that the original "favor" required that the Biden investigation had to be announced publicly before the aid money would be released dispels the notion of "mixed motives", one being improper and the other a proper exercise by the chief executive of direction of foreign policy objectives. A bribe is a bribe and its "corrupt intent", the heart of the inquiry, is not dispelled by the fact of some proper motive coexisting as its impetus, any more than an accused embezzler might assert a coexistent "proper" motive of transferring money to his or her personal account for protection against "loss" while in the regular trust account under the oversight of the accused. The White House counsel have confused basic logic in so asserting that the only motive for soliciting a bribe must be a corrupt one or the accused goes free. Mark that defense down, potential bribers and bribe-takers, so that you can make sure that part of your motive is ostensibly characterizable as within your official powers, even if the obvious primary object is for personal gain.
The American people have a right to hear all of the relevant evidence available, especially when that evidence has been withheld by the White House from the House during its inquiry, the act of which, itself, is the ground for Article 2, obstruction of the Congress. It is not just the prerogative of the individual Senators, but the entire history of the nation and its jurisprudential foundations which mandate such a decision in this crucial upcoming vote. No Senator who votes not to hear that evidence is worthy of a seat in the Senate. That person does not give a hoot about the rights of the people, but is there only to serve partisan ends after being elected and paid by the citizens of the United States to do the people's business.
If such a vote transpires, then we call for the next Democratic President, who, by the polls, may well be in office a year from now, to refer the matter to a new Attorney General, who understands his or her proper Constitutional role as a politically impartial prosecutor of Federal crimes and not merely as a surrogate counsel for the President, protecting the President in the commission of illegal acts, failing the ability to discharge that role impartially or to avoid the prospect of appearance of political conflict of interest, appointing a special prosecutor, for the purpose of putting forth all of the evidence presented in the House anent impeachment to the District of Columbia grand jury for investigation of whether the presently accused ought be indicted for the crime of bribery and other Federal crimes, such as soliciting foreign interference in a Federal election, once he leaves office. That day will come, whether in 2021, as is probable by the most recently available polling data, or in 2025 at the latest. Such a prosecution will be necessary should the Senate Republicans in this instance refuse to do their duty and at least allow all relevant evidence to be heard, not for vindictive retribution, but to send a message to future Presidents that merely escaping, by partisan votes of the President's own party, impeachment and removal from office will not shield the wrongdoer from justice eventually to be meted out by the courts. That issue, incidentally, was one uppermost in the mind of President Nixon when he tendered his resignation rather than risk a trial in the Senate, with the obvious understanding at the time that President Ford would issue a complete pardon for all crimes he may have engaged in regarding Watergate, prime among which was obstruction of justice in the President's approval of the Watergate cover-up to be attempted through the CIA director putting pressure on the FBI acting director not to dig into the Watergate break-in out of concern by the CIA that it would dredge up the whole "Bay of Pigs thing".
In the meantime, we applaud the courage being demonstrated by Senators Romney and Collins, and we hope that Senator Lisa Murkowski and other Republicans will have the courage to join them in at least demanding basic fairness and due process, to enable some semblance of a fair trial of all available, relevant evidence, even if the result is a foregone partisan conclusion. For it is the right of the people to hear all of the evidence. That is not a decision which individual Senators ought take upon themselves, especially when they are aiding an executive branch cover-up in voting against that basic Constitutionally-mandated due process. No jury in the United States has the right, even by a majority vote, to say to a prosecutor or court, "We have heard enough; we do not need or wish to hear any more." They must listen and hear all of the relevant evidence before making up their minds on the guilt or innocence of the accused. Senators are not any more above the law while sitting as jurors in an impeachment trial than any other jurors in a trial. The overwhelming majority of Senate Republicans are now setting a poor example to jurors across the land.
Should the vote on hearing evidence wind up 50-50, we hope that Chief Justice John Roberts will at least issue to the Senate an advisory opinion, marshalling appropriate precedent from impeachment trials of the past, which might have the effect of changing the votes of one or more Senators on the issue, before routinely ruling on the question based on such a tie vote.
Is the "fix in"? The people appear to think so. At least in regard to presentation of all available, relevant evidence, it is the duty of the Senate to dispel that notion.
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