The Charlotte News

Monday, February 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Sabre jets had engaged with enemy MIG-15s over northwest Korea this date, the 15th straight day of dogfights in the area, with the Sabres shooting down two enemy jets and probably destroying another, plus damaging two others. B-29's and fighter-bombers had struck at enemy battle line positions on Sunday night and early this date, in the largest B-29 strike on Communist bunkers and gun positions in a year.

In ground fighting, the sharpest engagement of the date had occurred on the western front near "Old Baldy Hill", where the allies withdrew from an outpost position after a two-hour nighttime assault by 80 Chinese troops, but had re-occupied the hill before daybreak, without resistance. Elsewhere, only sporadic patrol activity was reported.

Far East Naval headquarters reported from Tokyo that the Navy and Marine Corps had lost 1,033 planes during the first 30 months of the Korean War, of which 471 had been attributed to enemy ground fire and fighter planes, and 562, to operational accidents. The Navy said that more rockets, bombs and bullets had been expended on the enemy than by the Navy air power throughout World War II. Combined Navy, Marine and Air Force aircraft losses were 1,733, against 792 enemy planes definitely destroyed, and more than 900 others either probably destroyed or crippled.

The President delivered his State of the Union message to Congress this date, indicating that the free world had to take the initiative from the aggressor through practical unity. He announced that the Seventh Fleet would be withdrawn from "shielding" Communist China by preventing the Chinese Nationalists on Formosa from attacking the mainland, the Seventh Fleet having been sent to the area to preserve the neutrality of Formosa at the outset of the Korean War by President Truman. In a surprise move, he invited Congress to disavow any past "secret understandings" with foreign governments "to purchase fancied gains for ourselves" which permitted "enslavement of peoples" anywhere, presumably in reference to the Yalta agreement with Russia in early 1945, which had made territorial and other concessions in the Pacific to the Russians in exchange for Russian support against Japan, war on Japan having been declared by Russia only right after the first atomic bomb had been dropped on Hiroshima, and therefore only days before the end of the Pacific war. He also said that civil defense was a "sheer necessity" because Russia possessed atomic weapons, and that the country had to win the cold war to avoid total war. Regarding economic policy, he proposed to end wage and price controls and materials allocations when they expired on April 30, but urged maintaining curbs on scarce defense items and rent controls in critical housing areas. He also urged a start on balancing the budget and checking inflation before cutting taxes. He urged Congress to retain existing authority for the President to reorganize executive agencies and the ability to rid executive agencies of disloyal, unreliable personnel. He urged legislation to end permanently racial segregation in the armed services and in the District of Columbia. He recommended statehood for Hawaii and that conservation should be a joint federal, state, and local effort. The summing principles of his message were to deter aggression and secure peace, ensure respect abroad through governing honestly and well, spurring creative initiative in the economy, and unity through equality of opportunity for all.

In Paris, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles this date met with top French Government officials, who questioned him regarding the announcement by the President of his intention to withdraw the Seventh Fleet from its blockade of Formosa. The Secretary had questioned the French as to why they were dragging their feet in the plan for European unity against Soviet aggression. The French were worried that the new policy regarding Formosa might indicate an intention to use Chinese Nationalists in the Korean War, and that, in consequence, Communist China might then send troops to aid the Communist Vietminh in Indo-China against the French.

In New York, the 13 convicted second-level Communist leaders of the American Communist Party, convicted recently under the Smith Act, rejected an offer by the U.S. District Court Judge providing the choice under a probationary sentence of either going to Russia or to jail, declining the offer to go to Russia.

The U.S. Supreme Court held this date, 6 to 2, in Brock v. North Carolina, 344 U.S. 424, an opinion announced by Justice Sherman Minton, that jeopardy had not attached under procedures adopted at common law in North Carolina when a criminal trial was ended by declaration of mistrial by a judge after two prosecution witnesses initially refused to testify, and the trial was resumed subsequently after the witnesses agreed to testify. The majority said that it was not setting down a blanket rule of due process, which had to be examined case by case based on attendant circumstances, but the two dissenters, Chief Justice Fred Vinson and Justice William O. Douglas, stated that such was the effect of the decision. The decision upheld the conviction of a Tarboro, N.C., man charged with assault with a deadly weapon, resulting from a labor dispute in which no one had been injured. At the first trial of the matter in 1949, a mistrial was declared on the request of the State after two of its witnesses refused to testify on grounds of self-incrimination, the two having been convicted previously of taking part in the same shooting of which the defendant was eventually convicted. Then, 17 months later, after the two witnesses had appealed their cases and had their convictions upheld, they agreed to testify. The defendant claimed that the second trial was barred by double jeopardy and thus violated due process under the Fourteenth Amendment, but the Court disagreed, indicating that it was within the trial judge's discretion to declare the mistrial in the interests of justice under procedures long in use in North Carolina, and then resume the trial later at a point when the witnesses were available to testify, without infringing due process or double jeopardy. The Court distinguished the stance of the case as not arising under Fifth Amendment double jeopardy considerations, as that only pertained to Federal cases, but rather under Fourteenth Amendment due process. The dissent stated that never in the history of American jurisprudence, including a case from 1795 in North Carolina, had the prosecution been allowed to take a dismissal after the start of the trial so that it could present a stronger case at a later date, that the practice did infringe due process and double jeopeardy as there was no reason in the interests of justice to declare the mistrial in the instant case, hearkening back to colonial justice prevailing under the Crown, whereby when it pleased the Crown, it could take a dismissal and return at a later time when the case was more suitable for presentation to a jury, depriving potentially the defendant of an evidentiary presentation as strong as at the earlier time, after witnesses perhaps had died, moved away from the jurisdiction or had lapses of memory regarding the facts. Justice Hugo Black took no part in the decision.

In the Netherlands, towering waves pounded through ancient dikes at 70 places and covered one-sixth of Holland's territory with salt water, amounting to the country's worst disaster since the 15th century, with the death toll having reached 464. In Britain, another 395 had died, 248 in floods and 132 in the sinking of the ferry Princess Victoria, plus 15 in the disappearance of a British trawler. In Belgium, 17 persons had drowned. In all, 850 had died during the weekend hurricane and flood, with the death toll possibly to pass 1,000 after all bodies were recovered. Thousands of persons remained threatened by death, cold or disease, and rescue workers were seeking to save them. Meteorologists said that a million-to-one combination of wind and tide factors had produced the great storm.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, a four-engine British commercial transport plane, with 39 persons aboard, sent out an SOS from the stormy North Atlantic this date, prompting rescue planes and ships to speed to the area where the plane was believed to have gone down, 262 miles east-southeast of Gander, Newfoundland. The plane was being used to ferry British troops between London and the West Indies, and had taken off the previous night from the Azores for Gander, Bermuda and Jamaica.

In New York, Mickey Jelke III, a central figure in New York's café society vice prosecution, went on trial this date on charges of forcing three young women into prostitution and living off their earnings, while he awaited his margarine inheritance. We really do not wish to hear all the gory details.

In Charlotte, L. R. Sides, former City Councilman, had expressed an interest in running in the upcoming mayoralty race. He had been music director in the City schools for many years and was now a representative of the Eagle Stores Corp. He stated that he was not yet ready, however, to commit to enter the race, but was seriously considering the possibility and had been given assurance of substantial support. There was also the possibility that Ben Douglas, who had served three terms as Mayor previously, might again run for the office. The only definite candidate in the race to succeed Mayor Victor Shaw was Councilman Philip Van Every.

In Quarryville, Pa., the Slumbering Lodge of Groundhogs, with one of its members now in the White House, was cooking up something special for this Groundhog Day, on which the groundhog had seen its shadow and promptly re-entered its burrow, predicting thereby six more weeks of winter. General Eisenhower had been elected to the Lodge two years earlier, following a careful screening, joining Albert Einstein and more than 100 doctors, lawyers, teachers, businessmen and farmers in the Lancaster County region of southeastern Pennsylvania. Starting before dawn, the members of the Lodge traveled for miles in all directions, principally on horseback, seeking to locate the groundhog, then provided the findings which were recorded by the secretary-treasurer-historian for the archives. The governor of the Lodge said that it had the intention to shoot two groundhogs aboard a rocket to the moon, as a tribute to science and to their only member to have become a President. By doing so, he indicated, when the first scientists arrived on the moon, groundhogs would already be there, as they had been from the beginning of time on earth. If anyone scoffed at the notion, the Lodge members responded that such people needed more imagination, to be stirred by something more than mere facts.

Thus began the country's moon-quest program.

On the editorial page, "Compromise with Bankruptcy" indicates that the City Council was set during the week to discuss a report from a special committee named to study the Firemen's Retirement System, a report which had been labeled properly a "compromise", in that it represented a middle ground between the widely divergent viewpoints on the subject—of which you may read further, should you have an abiding interest in the subject, that is if you are, or know, a fireman in Charlotte in 1953 who soon might retire.

"A Sound Adoption Requirement" indicates that North Carolina did not have a "black market" in babies, as a result of work by welfare agencies, through which adoptions were channeled, and because of fairly stern laws. Anyone who separated a mother and a baby under six months of age for the purpose of putting the child in a foster home or institution was subject to a $500 fine, a year of jail, or both, unless first granted permission by a court or welfare agency.

The previous week, a State Representative of Guilford County had proposed a change in the law to permit a mother to place her baby in a foster home, without first obtaining the consent of a court or welfare agency. The piece thinks the proposal unsound and that it should be defeated, as the delay in placement of babies until a court or welfare agency approved was to make sure that foster parents were appropriate and that the mother wishing to put her baby up for adoption understood fully the consequences.

"A Former President's Pay and Counsel" indicates that President Truman had earned $100,000 per year, against which he paid $56,000 in taxes, plus receiving, tax-free, an expense allowance of $50,000, resulting in take-home pay of $94,000, a good deal of which had to be spent on White House entertainment and living expenses. The former President now received a $112.56 per month as a pension for having been a reserve officer in the Army. Retired Presidents received no pension.

The 82nd Congress had voted to end the tax exemption on the $50,000 expense allowance, effective at the end of President Truman's term, such that President Eisenhower would pay $95,000 in taxes on his total $150,000 income, including the $50,000 expense allowance. The new President would have been entitled to $18,761 per year as a pension for his Army service, but had voluntarily relinquished it before coming into office.

It suggests that it was a shabby way to treat former Presidents, and asserts that Congress ought provide to former Presidents, for life, the perquisites, facilities and privileges of members of Congress, except for the vote, thus giving Congress the benefit of former Presidents' counsel and giving the former Presidents their richly deserved moderate income following their service in the office.

A piece from the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, titled "Shades of Dante", indicates that men through the centuries had debated what hell would be like, hinted at by Dante in The Inferno, it having been generally agreed that it was hot.

The piece indicates that after nursing a sick family during the weekend, it had come to an even more terrible conception of it, that instead of being hot, it would be cold, damp and changeable, full of colds, sore throats, running noses, flu, chills and fevers, "and everywhere you turn there will be sinks of dirty dishes and closets full of dirty clothes."

No. What is hell? UNC basketball at 10-12, over two-thirds of the way through the season. Time to get rhythm, and run. Stop worrying about losing, and win. Or there's gonna be hell to pay at the end.

Drew Pearson indicates that the trip to Europe by Secretary of State Dulles was probably the most important of any Secretary of State in 20 years, as the future peace of the world might depend on its outcome. He says that he wrote the piece not with a sense of drama, but with a recognition that the seeds of war were planted years in advance and that rifts between nations which were scarcely perceptible, could grow into major rifts and eventually war. The Secretary of State had undertaken the mission to bring France and Germany together in a united European army, and if he were successful, there would be a reasonably long period of European peace, but if not, Western Europe was almost certain to drift further apart, with Germany being wooed to the Russian sphere, upsetting the balance of power, almost inevitably to end in war.

The trip by Mr. Dulles was, according to Mr. Pearson, similar to that made by Secretary of State Henry Stimson in 1932, when he had gone to Geneva in a "vain but heroic effort to build up the world's machinery for peace". Mr. Dulles understood the background, that secret diplomatic cables from U.S. embassies had indicated that NATO's defense program had dangerously bogged down and had to be restored immediately or would bog down permanently.

Mr. Pearson regards the problems which Mr. Dulles would face at home and abroad, on the home front, facing angry, rebellious diplomats upset regarding Mr. Dulles's letter demanding "positive loyalty", considering it an insult. His chief problem abroad was to resurrect the goal of the French and German unity to form a European army, with France posing the major problem, increasingly concerned over the resurgence of Nazism in Germany and the fact that their resources had been depleted by the war in Indo-China, such that they could not supply enough manpower for a Western European army until the war in Indo-China was concluded. New Premier Rene Mayer was somewhat upset with Prime Minister Churchill for having gone to see President Eisenhower right away and would not like it any more after being informed by Mr. Dulles that all trips by foreign leaders would be postponed until after the new President was settled in office. Mr. Dulles had already warned that a failure to provide defense would result in a decrease in aid dollars from the U.S., and the French would want to know how much aid the U.S. would be willing to extend in return for their participation in the European army. Mr. Dulles, in continuing his commitment to Congress to consult the Senate before formulating policies, would have to state to the French that it would be up to Congress, and thus he would come home without any definite commitment, meaning that the delay in forming the army would continue.

Also as an obstacle to Mr. Dulles was the Republican commitment to balancing the budget, and specifically regarding foreign aid.

He also faced the problem that the French wanted out of Indo-China, which would leave it to the Communists, extending into the rubber and tin areas of the Malayas, Indonesia, Burma and perhaps India. Thus, the new Administration's policy regarding Indo-China would have to be the same as the previous Administration's policy, except firmer. The President had determined to set up a Southeast Asia supply base at Singapore and increase shipments to the French Army in Indo-China, a move which would help but not permanently resolve the problem. Indo-China promised to become a worse problem than Korea, which, one day, could be held by South Korean troops, whereas in Indo-China, virtually no progress had been made at training native troops. The situation was near the top of the new President's agenda for attention and remedy, as both he and Mr. Dulles understood that it had to be solved for there to be a united European army and to prevent Communism from spreading over all of Southeast Asia.

Marquis Childs indicates that what Secretary of State Dulles was now setting out to accomplish in Europe was exactly what a Democratic Secretary would have been doing had Governor Stevenson won the election, seeking to encourage unity in Europe, especially with regard to Britain, France, and West Germany and the creation of the stalled European army. But Europe had been shocked by the recent hint of Mr. Dulles, in his broadcast speech, that the U.S. might revisit foreign aid policy should the sloth continue. The statement had bipartisan support in Congress and probably from a large part of the public.

The Secretary was not telling Europe to produce an overnight miracle regarding federation but rather to provide promising signs of progress, such as by ratification of the army pact.

Mr. Childs allows that European federation might have been oversold in the U.S. as a panacea against Russian aggression, and that a Democratic Congress might have been less demanding of concrete indicators of progress before agreeing to supply more aid, though Southern Democrats would have echoed the same line now being expressed by Republicans.

The matter was urgent, especially in the Middle East, only lightly mentioned by Mr. Dulles in his address. In Egypt, where General Mohammed Naguib, as Premier, had, for the present, been able to forestall the nationalistic trend, there was only a small time window available to stabilize the Government without a substantial concession by the British, failing which the nationalist fanatics would overrun the Government, followed by the Communists, ready to profit from the chaos.

In Iran, the margin of time had been prolonged but a stalemate in the oil nationalization issue could not last indefinitely.

Democrats had been waiting for Mr. Dulles to encounter the same obstacles encountered by his predecessors, most recently, Secretary of State Acheson, rendering nugatory the oversimplified campaign oratory, expecting Mr. Dulles to stumble and fall. Mr. Childs concludes that such a fall, however, would have great consequences on the world stage.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggest that the Democrats were more united and happier than they had been in awhile, despite the crushing defeats of the prior November, losing the White House and control of both houses of Congress. Now, with the patronage of the prior 20 years gone and the former Congressional leaders from the South no longer in Congress or in power, they had been forced to unite for the good of the party in the 1954 and 1956 elections.

A force in that transition had been Minority Leader Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas, under the able tutelage of former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn of Texas. The Senator had been able to convince party stalwarts from the South with seniority to step aside on committee assignments to make way for some freshman Senators. Senator Walter George of Georgia, for instance, had stepped aside on the Military Affairs Committee to allow Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri to sit on the Committee. Others provided favorable committee assignments were Senators Mike Mansfield of Montana, on Foreign Relations, Henry Jackson of Washington, on Interior, and John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, on the Labor Committee.

Southerners had also been in the vanguard of opposition to the confirmation of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense, for his initial refusal to divest his holdings in G.M., the primary defense contractor, Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia having led the opposition as one of six Senators, of whom four were Southerners, who voted against confirmation.

There had also been gestures of appeasement from Northern liberals, such as Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, offering to agree to a civil rights bill which would not entail Federal enforcement of equal employment opportunity but allow only voluntary compliance, palatable to Southerners.

The inexperience at Government of many in the new Administration, of whom Mr. Wilson was a prime example, including the President, himself, caused Democrats to believe that the problems would multiply with time and benefit the Democrats in coming elections. One Democrat had remarked that if the President could end the war in Korea and also balance the budget, cut taxes, avoid inflation, and prevent unemployment, the Democrats would be finished, but that he could not possibly do all of those things. The Democrats also believed that a clash between the Eisenhower forces in the Administration and Senator Taft as Majority Leader of the Senate was inevitable.

Yet despite the optimism, nearly all Democrats agreed that while the House might return to the Democrats in 1954, the Senate would almost assuredly remain Republican—both houses actually passing to the Democrats again in the mid-term elections, where control would remain for the rest of the Eisenhower Administration, and, indeed, through 1980, when only the Senate would obtain a Republican majority for the first time since 1954, riding the coattails of the landslide victory of Governor Ronald Reagan over incumbent President Jimmy Carter. The Republicans would lose that majority in the 1986 mid-term elections, and would not gain majority control of the House until 1994, during the mid-term elections in the first term of President Bill Clinton, at which point the party also gained majority control again of the Senate, holding both houses simultaneously for the first time since 1954.

Some of the more thoughtful Democratic leaders believed that a more or less permanent demographic shift had occurred, with former urban dwellers who were solidly Democratic having become solidly Republican suburbanites, after the loss of the Chicago machine and nearly New York by the Democrats in 1952. They were also worried about the paucity of new Democratic talent.

Most Democrats were convinced that Governor Stevenson would be a candidate again in 1956, and some were not happy about the prospect, with one Senator reminding that the Governor had run way behind the party in the 1952 election. But that same Senator, when asked to name an alternative, could only come up with Governor G. Mennen Williams, not a hopeful choice.

The Alsops conclude, therefore, that the new optimism of the Democrats was tempered by realizations, but it was clear that the Republicans, despite their late victory, would be facing a more united opposition than appeared likely only weeks earlier.

Frederick C. Othman tells of Americans having been consuming, without their knowledge, inedible wheat bought from Canada, with a considerable tariff tax break to the buyers, the wheat having been intended only for livestock consumption. The wheat had been mixed with grade-A wheat in some circumstances to make flour and had been shipped abroad as part of foreign aid commitments, while some had gone to livestock. The Food and Drug Administration had determined that the inferior wheat was nevertheless edible by humans, that its 30 percent damaged kernels did not make it less consumable.

In all, Congress had determined that about 100 million dollars of taxpayer money had been spent on the inferior wheat, within the aid program, the loss of tariffs versus the good wheat, and displacement of American wheat, combined with subsidies in price supports.

Senator George Aiken of Vermont wanted to know who the villains were and Senator Clinton Anderson, former Secretary of Agriculture, thought they ought be in jail. Yet, it was not clear that the adulteration or importation of the damaged wheat from Canada had broken any laws, as the proper duty had been paid, and the present law did not appear to prevent the mixing of the inferior wheat for human consumption.

Mr. Othman suggests that some of the pig fodder might be mixed into the reader's pancakes. That would, obviously, make them pigs in a blanket, squealing for margarine on top.

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