The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 11, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that fighting in Korea had dwindled to patrol activity along the front this date as Lt. General Maxwell Taylor took command of the U.S. Eighth Army, the fourth U.N. field commander during the war, succeeding General James Van Fleet who had just retired.

Despite clouds covering most of North Korea throughout the day, the Fifth Air Force reported that Sabre jets had swept MIG alley in northwest Korea without encountering any enemy jets, that fighter-bombers had struck on the west coast, and that B-26 bombers had knocked out the center span of a rail bridge south of Wonsan on the east coast.

The new Administration might ask U.S. allies to join in an embargo of all shipments to Communist China as an alternative to proposals to establish a risky naval blockade. Administration officials thought that such proposals might be placed before the National Security Council during its meeting at the White House this date, together with Secretary of State Dulles and Mutual Security administrator Harold Stassen. Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley was quoted as having told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in executive session the previous day that international law permitted a blockade of the Chinese ports and of Russian-controlled Port Arthur and Dairen, as China retained legal sovereignty over the ports. He said, however, that British-held Hong Kong could not be legally tied up by a blockade directed against Communist China. The General said that the Joint Chiefs, however, did not make policy and any blockade decision would be the President's.

The Administration was reported this date to have decided against a proposal to end all remaining price controls with a single executive order and instead would continue a step-by-step termination of controls. All controls would lapse on April 30, but the President had begun early termination of controls on wages and salaries, and a number of price controls.

The Administration had apparently accepted politely a decision by Republicans on the House Ways & Means Committee to vote for early action to reduce income taxes, as favored by Committee chairman Representative Daniel Reed of New York. Treasury officials had made it clear to Committee members the previous night at a private dinner that they would neither support nor oppose any tax-cutting drive.

Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina called for the dismissal of four members of the New York City school system who had refused to tell Senate investigators whether they were Communists, during their testimony before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee, of which Senator Smith was a member. The four witnesses protested the question of whether they had ever been Communists, saying that it was an affront to their academic freedom, and asserted their Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. The Senator stated that the New York City charter provided authority to dismiss employees who refused to answer questions on the ground of self-incrimination.

The DNC, feeling the sting of defeat in the November elections, had given the axe to Kenneth Fry, former Voice of America official, who had been the director of DNC's radio-television division for the previous five years. He said his job was one of several which were either abolished or absorbed in a general shakeup of DNC personnel by chairman Stephen Mitchell, in an effort to reduce expenses. The campaign had left the Democrats with a large deficit, and they were arranging dinners to try to raise money.

In New York, in the continuing trial of margarine heir Mickey Jelke III, the lawyer for the 19-year old woman who claimed to be one of the three high-priced prostitutes whom the defendant was accused of using to support himself while he awaited his inheritance, complained about leaks from the defense counsel regarding his client's testimony, said that if the defense did not relent, he would begin talking and paint a "diabolical picture of monstrosity" such that the defendant would be unable to find a corner of the globe in which to live. It was this attorney who had made the motion to ban the press and public from the trial, a motion upheld by the judge to preserve public decency. The reporters, however, were obviously not impressed by the bloviating antics of the witness's attorney. The judge who had banned the press and public was directed by a higher court to show cause the following Friday why he should not rescind the order, after five of the city's newspapers and two wire services, charging that their exclusion was arbitrary, unreasonable, unconstitutional and amounted to unlawful censorship, filed a petition with the higher court.

In Salisbury, N.C., the two top contenders for the chairmanship of the North Carolina Republican Party denied this date that the race between them was based on pre-convention Taft and Eisenhower lines, each claiming that he had the support of persons from both camps.

In Raleigh, a bill to reorganize the State Highway Commission, urged by Governor William B. Umstead, was being debated by the State Senate, while his proposal for power to reorganize the State Board of Conservation and Development obtained quick approval from a House committee. A State Representative delayed for at least another day introducing his bill calling for a statewide liquor referendum.

In Cleveland, an astronomer of Northwestern University's Dearborn Observatory, addressing an educational group, said that the person destined to make the first trip either to another planet or to the moon was presently about two years old, and that the first space voyage to such a distant body would occur around 1992. He said that unlike Columbus, the new voyagers would go to worlds on which there had never been a human foot set.

In Conway, S.C., a man had shot at what appeared to be a flying saucer in the night sky two weeks earlier, but many people believed it would come back. The man who had claimed to see the object was not given to telling wild stories, according to townspeople, including his minister. Newspaper editor Horace Carter, who had been nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his fight waged against the Klan—an award which he would win the following May—, had devoted a complete story in his Ocean Beach News about what the man had seen. On the night of January 29, the man, 29, heard a commotion around his barn, in which a couple of mules started making noise along with the chickens. He became concerned because the family's cow had died from a mysterious poisoning the previous day, and so he took his .22 pistol and went to see what the problem was, went behind the barn and saw, about ten feet above the pine trees, a strange object hanging in the sky, drifting but almost still, making a low humming noise. He became frightened, but summoned the nerve to walk into the woods until he caught up with the object, which he estimated to be about 24 feet long and 12 feet wide, pale gray, with two glass-covered cockpits appearing in the front and another cockpit in the rear, with lights inside. If you wish to know more about the egg-shaped object, you will have to find it elsewhere, as the story is cut off.

In Pasadena, California, a 75-year old man and his dog were riding along a road when the brakes on the car failed, and three miles later, he crashed through a plate glass window into a drugstore, knocking prescription bottles onto the head of a pharmacist, who was treated for shock. The driver and the dog were uninjured.

Martians, having infused themselves into the dog, caused the brakes to fail.

On the editorial page, "Welfare Rolls and Secrecy" indicates that State Senator Fred McIntyre of Mecklenburg County and 22 of his colleagues had introduced a bill in the General Assembly requiring quarterly public reports of the names, addresses and amounts paid to all persons receiving assistance payments. It again provides the arguments on both sides of the issue, and indicates that in the absence of evidence favoring one side or the other, held no strong brief on the matter, though finding as a general principle that taxpayers had the right to know how their money was being spent. It anticipates that if the bill were passed, there would be a great reduction in the size of the welfare rolls.

"From Monkeyshinery to Manhood" indicates that past hazing at Davidson College had involved very little abuse, only an occasional wielding of a paddle, with neophytes nevertheless subjected to treatment beneath their dignity as individuals and beneath the professed ideals of the fraternities. But even that mild form of "hell week" had now been eliminated in favor of fraternity pledges opening the new "Greek week" with a book drive for the Mecklenburg County Home library. Various fraternities were assigned to different social welfare organizations or schools, to make improvements.

It indicates that it was happy to see the old tradition of hazing eliminated, as it had contributed nothing to the general welfare of the community, and compliments the Davidson Inter-Fraternity Council for developing the new and useful outlet for the energies of the fraternities.

Sissies all. Rocks, only rocks, gravel, 40 pounds of it down the gullet in 40 days, a pound per day, no matter the size of the helpings as long as confirmed by yer brither. No water with which to wash it down, maybe a sprinkle of briny salt to give it a little flavor, nothing else, for 40 days. If you survive it, then you're a brither, and you know you're a brither, for life. Sissies all.

"A Cache of Butter, To Barter for Cash" indicates that Secretary of State Dulles had not been a hit on his tour of Western Europe, as the Europeans had not appreciated his continued exhortations to unite, sometimes expressed as a conditional threat to diminish aid should they fail to unify and make progress toward establishing the European army by April 1. But Congress and the American press had appeared to greet his stern words with approval, feeling that he was standing up and telling the Europeans the nature of things.

When Mr. Dulles had been negotiating the Japanese peace treaty, he would publicly praise General MacArthur, while bitterly criticizing him privately. A reporter later asked a close associate of Mr. Dulles why he did so, and the reply was that he had gotten the results he wanted, which were good, and so believed there was no ground for criticism.

Those who knew him well knew that he was a pragmatist, seeking a particular objective and then seeking to remove potential obstacles to its achievement, thus by buttering up General MacArthur, had converted a potential adversary to his plan into a supporter, resulting in signing of the treaty.

It concludes that Congress was likewise being buttered up with the notion that if Europeans united, everything would be all right and foreign aid could be substantially reduced. It suggests that the Secretary was storing up his treasure in Congress, to be expended when the realities of foreign aid and other international commitments had to be faced.

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "Patter on Patterns", indicates that it would be easy to raise eyebrows at the 3.5 million dollars which the Ford Foundation was providing to a project titled the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, over a period of six years. Its chief feature would be to assemble annually some 50 scholars and scientists to exchange views on why people behaved as they did.

It suggests that the behavior of psychologists might merit study, for the fact that a great deal of "so-called" psychology was just "hogwash", and most of the high-sounding phraseology about emotional areas, instinctive retrogressions and complexes could be thrown down the drain. When people were physically, mentally and spiritually well, they tended to cling closely to conduct patterns, and when they were sick, they did not. It finds that most of the psychological treatises merely confused rather than helped. It suggests that the striving to equalize everyone was both futile and foolish, that nearly every genius or great achiever did not care about "adjustments" to his fellows.

It urges that more efforts could be expended in helping persons with special talents to break away from mediocrity and the norms, to soar above average, encouraging individuality and avoiding patterns.

Drew Pearson, in Berlin, indicates that the most important question in the world at present was what was happening behind the Iron Curtain, including the reasons for the current purges, the indirect attacks on certain Russian leaders, the wave of anti-Semitism, and the flood of political refugees daily streaming across the border at Berlin. He regards the answer to be that some parts of the over-expanded Soviet Union had become gorged from too much conquest and were on the brink of revolution, while various other areas in the Soviet orbit were seething with unrest, causing the Communist leaders in the Kremlin to need scapegoats, the reasons for the purges and the pogroms.

He indicates that on the face of things, Russia was a long way from war and in no position to wage it, while recognizing that dictators sometimes started wars to divert attention from their own failures, the greatest danger in Europe at present.

There were 40 million Russians in the U.S.S.R. and the overall policy of the Kremlin was to operate and control the other parts of the Soviet zones, from Mongolia to Czechoslovakia, from Turkestan to Poland, for the sole benefit of those 40 million Russians. While the Russians had never had it so good, the other diverse and nationally-minded millions, who were expected to raise more crops, build more factories, provide more railroad lines and support the Soviet war machine, were restless and rebellious. Nationalism had become a basis for asserting charges of treason, as in the case of Vladimir Clements and some of the other Czech leaders. Deputy Premier Rudolf Slansky had been convicted of leftism, carrying the doctrine of Communism too far to the left.

The greatest danger spot for revolt in the Soviet satellite nations was Poland, where the peasants were angry over crop quotas and collective farms, with the form of revolt ranging from producers sending poor seed to collective farms, for which nine state agricultural farm directors had been found guilty, to outright refusal to make grain deliveries. Peasants had become so rebellious that Soviet officials had enlisted several hundred priests to encourage crop deliveries. Sabotage of Polish railroads continued, and, in general, the nation was closer to emulating Tito's Yugoslavia than any other satellite nation. The Allies were concerned that the Polish revolt might be premature and consequently would be stamped out so severely and ruthlessly that restlessness would be discouraged in other parts of the Soviet empire for years to come.

Restlessness was also evident in the Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Georgia, Armenia and Turkestan.

Probably the worst campaign against the Jews had taken place in Russia in 1905 after the great Russian drought, when Prime Minister Sergei Whitte and Czar Alexander needed scapegoats to blame for the widespread starvation. In 1914, the Russian military, fearful of unrest at home, wanted war, explaining why a Russian military attaché in Belgrade was in contact with the Serb assassins who bombed Archduke Franz Ferdinand at Sarajevo, touching off World War I. It was also why Russia had immediately come to Serbia's defense by declaring war against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Unrest at the time had been rampant in Russia and the small group of generals around the Czar needed war to maintain the shaky Empire. Mr. Pearson concludes that it was the biggest danger inside Russia presently.

Marquis Childs indicates that every President had found the White House ultimately a lonely and isolated place, comparable to a prisoner inside a prison. Many Presidents lost touch with the outside world and the ordinary life of citizens.

The event which was grabbing the most headlines since the inauguration was the controversy over the confirmation of business executives named to top positions in the Defense Department, with many people writing in that they were puzzled over the idea of it being a "sacrifice" for these executives to have to divest themselves of stock and then pay a capital gains tax on the profits. Senator Francis Case of South Dakota said that some of his constituents had protested that poor boys were being drafted for the Korean War while the sons of wealthier families were deferred so that they could attend college. Mr. Childs indicates that there were certainly exceptions, as he knew a college graduate who had volunteered for combat duty in Korea because he believed he owed the society for enabling him to get his education. Furthermore, to close the colleges down would do irreparable harm to the society, especially in an age of technology. In a limited war, as Korea, the question of college deferrals was particularly difficult.

When the Defense nominations were before the Armed Services Committee, Senator Harry F. Byrd had indicated his determination to hold the appointees to the letter of the law regarding divestiture of stock. He reminded his colleagues of the late Henry Stimson, when he had been nominated by President Hoover in March, 1929 to become Secretary of State, having sold all of his stock at the high point of the bull market, and when the market had crashed the following October, had not lost money for having it in cash and bonds. Senator Byrd reminded, therefore, that there was not really any genuine sacrifice in divestiture.

The Congressional Quarterly regards the proposals to cut taxes, against the desires of members of Congress to balance the budget. About 200 tax bills had been introduced in the first month of the new Congress, and it summarizes a few of those proposals. The deficit, estimated at ten billion dollars for the coming fiscal year, stood as a roadblock, however, to tax cuts. The President had stated in his State of the Union that he wanted to reduce and revise taxes, but that it would only be justified when the budget was brought under control. Republican leaders in both houses agreed with the President's position, but Representative Daniel Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, insisted that he would push his tax cut bill, intending to erase the temporary 11 percent increase in taxes passed for the Korean War, come what may.

Balancing the budget was harder than it appeared, as there were only certain areas of the budget which could be reduced, as about half of the 45.5 billion dollars slated for defense spending was already committed to pay for such items as planes, tanks and guns previously ordered. Nevertheless, Congressman Richard Simpson of Pennsylvania, a member of the Ways & Means Committee, said, following the President's State of the Union, that he was convinced that both the balanced budget and tax cuts could be achieved immediately, as he believed that the "sound policies" outlined by the President were bound to bring economy in government. Representative Reed had set February 16 as the day his Committee would approve his tax bill, and claimed that the full House would approve it by the end of the month. But Congressman Leo Allen of the House Rules Committee had said at the end of January that it was safe to say that the bill would not be sent to the floor for several months.

Unless Congress were to amend the Revenue Act of 1951, which implemented the 11 percent average tax increases but set expiration dates for the increases, taxes would return to their previous levels according to a particular timetable between June 30, 1953 and April 1, 1954, the details of which it provides.

A letter writer from Matthews, N.C., comments on a proposed bill to outlaw knives which were longer than 2 1/2 inches, which would include the writer's knife and those of most men and Boy and Girl Scouts. The bill would be applicable only to Mecklenburg County. He counsels that there were enough laws which were little understood and seldom used, and that this bill should not be passed.

A letter from the art and production director of the New York Times congratulates the newspaper on its January 30 Business and Pictorial Edition, says he found it enjoyable to peruse, compliments its typography and printing.

A letter writer indicates approval of the noble motives of the World Federalists and contributes a dollar to them.

A letter writer from Alexandria, Va., takes issue with a quote from an editorial of February 4, in which it was stated, "Good law enforcement and politics, like oil and water, do not mix," indicating that if "politics" meant dishonest management of public affairs, as it had come to mean to many, then the newspaper's statement was true. He suggests waking up to the fact that electing good politicians would result in good law enforcement, that law enforcement and politics were not separate areas of government.

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