The Charlotte News

Monday, January 5, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a U.S. Sabre jet pilot had shot down the first enemy MIG-15 of the new year this date in a battle 35,000 feet above northwest Korea. The action occurred as the Sabres were flying a protective screen for fighter-bombers striking through snow flurries at Communist supply targets, in which 70 enemy vehicles were destroyed.

The ground war was stalled by bitter cold across the front, but several sharp engagements had been reported the previous night and early this date before clouds intruded to obstruct air cover. On "Sniper Ridge", about 175 Chinese Communists attacked "Pinpoint Hill" under artillery cover, hitting in two waves, but withdrawing after less than an hour. On the western front, almost two days of no contact was ended by sharp patrol clashes.

British Prime Minister Winston Churchill this date told journalists in New York, still aboard the Queen Mary, that resisting Communism in Korea had "done more to improve the chances of world peace than anything else". He said that the danger of a third world war had "receded during the last year" as Soviet aggression had been "resolutely and fully confronted" in the Korea War, which he regarded as the greatest event of the previous five years. He said that Britain was against any extension of the war. He expressed distress with American trade tariffs and the fact that the U.S. had not shared fully its atomic information with Britain. He declined to indicate what he would discuss with President-elect Eisenhower, which would take place later in the week. He would also meet with the President. He would travel to Washington on Wednesday.

E-Day had arrived and yet, no atomic blast. That was a relief, for they said it could be, in the past. We're here, now, this afternoon.

The State Department said, in response to a constituent letter sent to Congressman Walter Rogers of Texas, that the U.S. was running military operations in Korea without clearing them through a Russian member of the U.N. Secretariat. The constituent's inquiry was based on an American Mercury item submitted by a reader of Rye, N.Y., under the magazine's "Do You Know—" column, alleging that all Korean military orders had to be approved in advance by a Soviet member of the Secretariat. The particular member in question had gone to Russia on vacation the previous July and had not yet returned.

Take heart, misinformed reader. He was just probably awaiting his short-orders from the Mayo to begin spying on you through your doctor or even the friendly stewardess on the airplane.

Members of the new 83rd Congress concerned themselves principally this date with arranging committee assignments. The Senate and the House would meet jointly the following day to tabulate officially the electoral votes in the general election. It would thereafter largely mark time until the inauguration of the new President on January 20. President Truman would deliver two messages later during this week, one transmitting the new budget and the other being the State of the Union. Neither would be delivered personally. An economic report would come from the President the following week. The new Congress would likely pay little or no attention to those three messages.

The President denounced this date "unwarranted and reprehensible" attacks on his special Commission on Immigration and Naturalization, which recommended complete revision of the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act. Senator Pat McCarran attacked the report as a "rehash of the line that was parroted by the radical left-wing clique in Congress". The chairman of the Commission responded that the Senator had attempted to defend the law with "unfounded insinuations and smears". The President said that the attacks were "politically motivated". The Act had been passed over the President's veto in the last session of Congress, and the report said that it was "an arrogant, brazen instrument of discrimination based on race, creed, color and national origin."

Senator William Knowland of California conferred with the President-elect this date and said afterward that he had every reason to believe that Hawaii would obtain statehood at a very early date, but would not say what the new President indicated about that matter. He said that legislation would be introduced within a few days for Hawaiian statehood, which had been supported in the Republican platform. Both Hawaii and Alaska would become states in 1959.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan would, according to anonymous sources, chair a Senate Investigations subcommittee task force hunting for Communists in the Government and in the U.N. The sources indicated that it would signal an official decision to shift the Senate's Communist investigation from the Internal Security subcommittee, on which Senator Ferguson had sat, and which would be chaired in the new Congress by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

In Tokyo, a Japanese maid testified this date that a woman, the daughter of retired General Walter Krueger, brandished a kitchen knife over her dying husband, an Army colonel, and said that she was glad that she had done it. She was being tried by a U.S. Army court-martial on a charge of murdering her husband on October 3. The maid said that she had wrested the hunting knife from the woman and hidden it in the downstairs living room. She then ran back to the bedroom and saw the woman holding a small kitchen knife over her bleeding husband. The wife had nearly fainted when postmortem photographs of her husband were produced in evidence. Another witness, who was a friend of the family, testified that he had heard the woman tell her husband two weeks before the killing that she was going to kill him someday. The woman's lawyer had lost a motion to dismiss the case on the ground that the Army did not have jurisdiction and that the case should be tried instead before the Japanese courts.

In New York, the date of execution was set on January 14 for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of providing atomic secrets to the Russians. Their attorney indicated that further appeals might trigger a postponement—as they would.

In Washington, Serge Rubinstein, the Russian-born financier fighting deportation, obtained a new order from the U.S. Court of Appeals temporarily delaying his arrest and detention at Ellis Island for deportation. The order would remain in effect pending a decision by the District Court on Mr. Rubinstein's application for an injunction. The deportation was sought on the basis of his having been convicted of draft evasion.

The five-day old bus strike in New York City had its first full day of impact this date, after the holidays, producing an extra heavy load of riders on unaffected subways and city-owned bus lines during the morning rush-hour, which they absorbed with great difficulty in standing-room only conditions. Staggered hours for the schools helped alleviate some of the burden. A mediation session was scheduled at City Hall this date in another effort to try to resolve the dispute over hours and wages.

The Supreme Court rejected a request for a quick ruling on the validity of the 80-day injunction provision of the Taft-Hartley Act, as sought by the United Steelworkers, following a December 29 decision by the U.S. District Court in Buffalo, N.Y., upholding the disputed section of the law. It was the first direct test of the injunction provision. The District Court's ruling would subsequently be affirmed by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals the following March.

The death toll in traffic accidents for the New Year four-day period, which had begun at 6:00 p.m. on New Year's Eve and had ended at midnight Sunday, was a record 391, which the president of the National Safety Council described as "a disgraceful way to start the new year". The previous record for a four-day New Year period had been 375, set the previous year. Late reports might increase the total to the 410 which the Council had predicted. Other accidental deaths numbered 122, to raise the total to 569, against the previous year's total of 611. A record for the Christmas four-day period had been established the previous week, with 556 killed in traffic accidents and 744 total. During the first 11 months of 1952, an average of 102 persons had died in traffic accidents every 24 hours, including deaths occurring after injuries.

In London, Canon Lewis J. Collins waved a pair of dirty old socks from the pulpit of St. Paul's Cathedral during services the previous day and said that it was the sort of "junk" which Londoners had turned in as Christmas gifts for the poor. He said that people had left three boxes full of unusable junk, "including many ladies' unmentionable garments".

Some took it literally, boxers on Boxing Day.

On the editorial page, "After Six Years, Realism at the U.N." indicates approval of the practice of the FBI checking into the backgrounds of Americans to be employed by the U.N. Secretariat, suggests that the change, which had been slow in coming, should have occurred much earlier. It would assure Americans that the U.N. was worthy of their faith and support, necessary for success of the organization.

In 1946, then-Secretary of State James Byrnes had directed that no recommendations by the State Department should be made regarding U.S. employees of the U.N., as the Secretary-General had the exclusive right to hire and fire U.N. employees. That hands-off policy continued under Secretary of State George Marshall, but in 1949, when Secretary of State Acheson took over, his Assistant Secretary for U.N. affairs, John Hickerson, worked out with U.N. officials a confidential arrangement whereby the Government would identify to the Secretary-General those employees or potential employees of the U.N. who appeared to be Communists or were under Communist discipline. Under that policy, 31 Americans had been dismissed from the U.N., but not until the prior spring, and 15 of those had been dismissed only after the McCarran Internal Security subcommittee and grand jury probes had begun. Some of the Americans working at the U.N. had adverse comments filed against them by the State Department as early as spring, 1950.

Under the new policy at the U.N., each government could pass on its own citizens who were to become employees of the U.N., and it hopes that Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles would maintain an active correspondence on the subject with the U.N., without substantial delays.

"Good Idea Dept." tells of a neighbor who was a Mecklenburg County resident having been transferred to the West Coast, with the transfer set to occur about a week before the general election in November, prompting the man and his wife to go to the voter registrar's office and seek absentee ballots, whereupon they were informed that because they were leaving before election day, they would not be able to vote. They did not have time to establish their legal residency in their new home and so were unable to vote at all.

Other states had similar laws to that of North Carolina. A few days earlier, Governor John Lodge of Connecticut had called the situation to the attention of another governor and suggested that a study occur, aimed at developing uniform reciprocal laws to remedy the problem. The piece indicates favor of the idea, as every qualified voter ought be able to vote in presidential elections, whether or not they moved from one state to another shortly before the election.

"A Sound Principle—If Extended" indicates agreement with a point made by Senators Harry F. Byrd, Walter George and John Williams, against granting President-elect Eisenhower, Vice-President-elect Nixon and Speaker of the House Joe Martin tax deductions on part of their incomes.

It finds, however, that the tax laws were full of inequities, for instance the oil depletion allowance, which was clearly excessive at 27 1/2 percent, and yet Congress appeared ready to extend deductions rather than decrease them. The person on a fixed salary or wage did not have the opportunity of many businessmen to write off business expenses. It has no quarrel with the idea that the President ought to pay income taxes like everyone else, and that if the President was correct in asserting that the necessary expenses of the offices of the President, Vice-President and the Speaker were higher than for other Government officials, then the proper remedy would be to give them a higher salary. It finds that the three Senators would be more convincing if they were to call for a re-examination of all tax deductions, with the aim of putting everyone on the same basis.

The piece mistakenly refers to "exemptions" when it means deductions, exemptions being standardized for dependents and the like, itemized deductions being based on specific amounts expended by the taxpayer, to be deducted from income to figure taxes.

"Taft's Proposed Labor Legislation" indicates that the suggested revisions to the Taft-Hartley Act proposed by Senator Taft the previous week appeared to be, on the whole, reasonable and worthy of serious study. The proposal would tighten union security provisions in some industries using casual labor, compelling workers to join the union in three or four days, instead of the 30 days presently provided by the law. It would also provide for stricter compliance with the ban on the closed shop, which had been circumvented by bootleg arrangements in some states. It would permit employers to fire Communists in union shops after they had been ousted from their unions. Senator Homer Ferguson wanted to enable employers to fire anyone who belonged to the subversive organizations listed by the Attorney General, which the piece finds discriminatory and hopes would be opposed by Senator Taft.

The piece disagrees with the Senator's proposal that the requirement of non-Communist oaths, which currently applied only to union officials, should be extended to company officials. The piece thinks it would be better to eliminate the oaths completely rather than to extend the useless procedure. HUAC had indicated that a person could take the oath, saying that he was not a member of the Communist Party, and then join subsequently with impunity.

It finds appropriate Senator Taft's proposal for continuation of the 80-day no-strike injunction in the case of disputes impacting national security, and suggests that the Congress establish machinery for the contingency of a dispute which continued beyond the 80-day cooling off period, favoring establishment of a labor court which could arbitrate such a dispute.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly also reviews the proposals of Senator Taft regarding the Taft-Hartley Act. It also indicates that Congress would take up tax reduction, and reviews some of the proposals. In addition, it reviews some other suggested legislation which the new Congress would likely consider. Among the proposals was that of Representative John Dingell of Michigan, who would seek appropriations for the construction of 100,000 miles of superhighways, which he indicated would provide greater security in time of national emergency. He advocated tolls on those roads until their cost was recovered. Representative Samuel McConnell of Pennsylvania wanted to continue Federal aid to the states for construction of schools in congested areas of vital importance.

Drew Pearson indicates that Attorney General-designate Herbert Brownell would specialize in picking top-level U.S. Attorneys throughout the country, knowing that corruption began at the grassroots and that the U.S. Attorney's offices were where it could easily originate. One of the best men provisionally picked by Mr. Brownell was Warren Olney for the U.S. Attorney of Northern California. Mr. Olney had been former counsel of the California Crime Commission and was close to Governor Earl Warren, having focused a great deal on California corruption. For the Southern District of California, Mr. Brownell was considering the appointment of Evelle Younger, husband of one of the most prominent Republican women in California. He had worked for the FBI as a secret agent within the Longshoremen's Union in the office of Harry Bridges, though had made the mistake of leaving a carbon copy of a report to the Bureau in a wastebasket in one of Mr. Bridges's hotel rooms indicating that the memo had come from Mr. Younger, causing him, when discovered, to be booted from the union. Mr. Younger, who would instead become a State court judge, would subsequently become the State Attorney General in California from 1971 until 1979. Mr. Olney, son of a deceased California Supreme Court Justice and grandson of the co-founder, with John Muir, of the Sierra Club, would be tapped instead to be Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division.

A group of Senators favoring abolition of the two-thirds cloture rule for filibuster gathered in the office of Senator Herbert Lehman of New York, including Republicans James Duff of Pennsylvania and Irving Ives of New York, and independent Wayne Morse of Oregon. After considerable discussion, it was agreed that, to avoid angering their party caucuses, nothing definite should be stated to the press other than that they had discussed the problem generally. Senator Morse, however, demurred, saying that his party, of which he was the sole member, had already caucused and had decided that there should be a showdown on the issue, that the Senate should make its own rules and not be governed by the rules of the first Senate of 1789.

A group of Congressmen, recently inspecting the Korean War front, had visited General Mark Clark, supreme commander of the U.N. forces, and two Texas Congressmen, O. C. Fisher and Frank Wilson, expressed anger regarding the battle of the Rapido River when General Clark had been commanding in Italy during the war, and the fact that a Texas National Guard division had been badly mauled during the siege at Cassino at the time. Before the conference ended, however, the Congressmen were solidly behind General Clark, after the General had answered all of the questions the Congressmen posed regarding the Korean War.

General Eisenhower might not be aware of the fact that there was backstage wire-pulling going on inside the Pentagon regarding who should replace General James Van Fleet as U.S. Eighth Army commander in Korea. General J. Lawton Collins, Army chief of staff, wanted General Maxwell Taylor, his deputy, to take over the position, but President-elect Eisenhower had hinted privately that he would like his former deputy, General Al Gruenther, in the post. General Taylor's supporters had sought to convince the President-elect that General Gruenther was so urgently needed in Europe that he could not be spared for Korea and General Collins had sent General Taylor to Korea for an inspection trip, so that he would be ready to take over the position. Mr. Pearson indicates that whoever wound up in the post would probably eventually become Army chief of staff.

General Taylor would get the assignment and eventually become Army chief of staff in 1955, serving in that post until 1959, and subsequently would be named chairman of the Joint Chiefs by President Kennedy in 1962, just prior to the Cuban missile crisis, replacing General Lyman Lemnitzer, appointed supreme commander of NATO.

We neglected to mention, incidentally, on Saturday, regarding the swearing-in of new Senators, that the 83rd Senate had within its freshman class not only a future President but also the fathers of two future Presidents. (That one will prove difficult for the Trumpie because it requires both deductive reasoning and simple arithmetic, as well as knowledge of U.S. history and politics.)

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Governor Stevenson having determined that the Eisenhower Administration would need a responsible, but aggressive and articulate, opposition, and that he should be the leader of that opposition. Those close to the Governor had said that he had reached that decision slowly and reluctantly, that in the last few weeks of the campaign he had been absolutely confident of victory, causing his landslide defeat to be more of a shock than was generally realized. Initially, he had been inclined to recede into the background, but had now recovered from that initial shock and was ready to lead the Democratic Party, not just as titular leader, but actual leader, provided the party would accept him in that role.

His first move toward that goal would be to go abroad, probably in March, taking a round-the-world tour and returning around June. He would spend most of his time in the Far East, going to Japan, possibly Korea, Southeast Asia, India, and the Middle East, then to Western Europe. He believed that there would be no real place for an opposition leader during the first few months of the new Administration and so during that honeymoon period, he would be better served not to be in the news. He was also convinced that the ensuing two years would be more crucial on the foreign front than at any time since the war and that Asia would play the central role. Although the Governor knew Europe well, he had never been to Asia, had promised to go to the Far East before General Eisenhower had made his promise during the campaign to go to Korea. When he returned, he would be better equipped to speak with authority on American foreign policy, and intended to speak and write extensively on those issues, as well as on domestic issues. He intended to travel widely also in the U.S., keeping close touch with principal party leaders.

The question remained whether a person out of office, as the Governor, who had been badly beaten in the election, could become the real and recognized party leader. Wendell Willkie, after his defeat in 1940 to FDR, had attempted the same thing and failed. The Governor's friends believed that he could, however, succeed as there was no great division among Democrats on foreign policy, as there had been among Republicans in the wake of the 1940 election. Mr. Willkie, moreover, had been more or less forced down the throats of the Republican regulars and they were more than happy therefore to kill him off politically. Although the Governor had enemies within the party, especially among Southerners, there might come a time when the party needed a symbol and spokesman, and the Governor could fill that role as the President could not and did not wish to do, regularly assuring the Governor that he regarded him now as the leader of the party. A former President was in no position to lead the party, as he was automatically no longer a contender for the nomination.

The fact that the Governor was seeking to be the leader of the Democrats indicated that he would seek the nomination again in 1956, though he had confided to no one that intention. But he would be a power to be reckoned with four years hence and so might succeed where Mr. Willkie had failed. If he did succeed, the Alsops posit, he would be able to supply the informed and responsible opposition which any Administration had to have, "if our political democracy is to function as it should."

Don't dare tell a Trumpie that or they will go into paroxysm, gnash and wail and accuse you of being a Communist and the anti-Christ or worse, a child-sacrificing, pizza-ordering, anti-holy everything that's bad and against mom and apple pie. They also might throw you on the ground and kick you a few times to make sure you understand. For Trump is the Man who can do no wrong and thus is not susceptible to criticism as with an ordinary man.

James Marlow indicates that now that Senator Taft was the new Majority Leader in the Senate, he could no longer stalk off the floor without defending or arguing his points as he could in the past. Now he had to guide legislation desired by the new Administration through the Senate.

When Vice-President Alben Barkley had been Majority Leader, and when Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska had occupied the role in the 80th Congress for the Republicans, they had both exhibited a sense of humor when having to withstand rough assaults. But Senator Taft was not noted for humor and took himself very seriously. He put a lot of energy into making his decisions and, suggests Mr. Marlow, if other Senators did so, the Senate would be more informed and "less drafty".

He thus finds that it would be interesting to see how the Senator handled himself when the Democrats inevitably began needling him in the hope that he could not take it and would make a move or statement which could be turned against him.

Senator Taft's time as Majority Leader would be short, as he would die the following July.

Twelfth Day of Christmas: Twelve dogs yelping in the moonlight's penumbral periphery, trying to get home ahead of the rumbling tumbril's Epiphany.

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