The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 5, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied warplanes had attacked a 5,000-ton enemy ship on the Korean west coast this date and struck at Communist supply routes and front-line positions. U.S. Sabre jets encountered no enemy MIGs this date.

In the ground war, there had only been light patrol activity along the frozen front.

The Marine Corps announced this date that pilots of a new U.S. jet night-fighter plane, the Skynight, had shot down seven enemy planes in Korea, six of which had been MIGs, without even seeing them. The twin-jet F-3D, built by Douglas Aircraft, had made a secret appearance in Korea several months earlier, equipped with an intricate radar system which locked the plane on its target in darkness. One Marine reported that he had destroyed an enemy plane without even seeing it, until it fell in flames after being hit.

The Communist Chinese warned the previous day, through a broadcast by Premier Chou En-lai, that the U.S. had to accept Communist terms for peace in Korea or face a fight to the finish. Chou demanded unconditional resumption of truce talks and an immediate cease-fire, plus an 11-power political conference to settle the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners, the only remaining issue barring a truce. U.S. officials at the State Department rejected the broadcast threats as "old stuff", the same proposal advanced by Russia at the U.N. the previous December and voted down, 40-5. The armistice talks had been suspended since October 8, after the allied negotiators had walked out, saying that they would return only if the Communists agreed to one of several U.N. proposals on exchange of prisoners of war or developed some new proposal.

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles this date, visiting Bonn, West Germany, called upon Europe to put away its "old dangerous rivalries" and join quickly in the united European army "to provide the indispensable cornerstone of a strong Atlantic community." It was reported that the Secretary had warned British leaders during his just completed visit in London that concrete progress had to be made within 75 days, or by April 20, toward creating a European army, including West German troops, or American aid would be potentially reduced. Mr. Dulles this date met with West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, and afterward praised him as "a great postwar statesman who had the vision to move forward and realize the possibilities of the future."

Deputy British Labor Party leader Herbert Morrison, addressing Commons, accused the President, in his recently announced order to withdraw the Seveneth Fleet blockade of Formosa, of egging on Chiang Kai-shek to attack Communist China and warned that there was a risk of spreading the Korean War.

The White House announced that the President would begin holding regular press conferences starting the following week, probably on Thursdays, the same day of the week on which President Truman held his weekly conferences. The last previous press conference had been during the campaign, on September 8 in Cleveland.

Major John Eisenhower, son of the President, became staff intelligence officer of the U.S. 3rd Division in Korea, having been acting intelligence officer since December 19.

A State Department security officer testified this date before the Senate Investigations subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy, that his report regarding a suspected Communist employed by the Department had disappeared from secret files. He did not identify the employee in question. He said that one of the documents which had disappeared had been a letter from a former State Department official who had jumped to his death in December, 1948 from a New York building window. Senator McCarthy said that the man's death had been a suicide and that he had been exposed or was under fire as a possible Communist. Senator McCarthy had alleged that the files had been "looted" of derogatory information concerning some employees, including some whom he had contended were Communists.

Federal tax agents in Washington said that Caroll Mealey had failed to report nearly $41,000 in income during the five years he had headed the Alcohol Tax Division of the IRB, the assertions having been made before the House Ways & Means subcommittee investigating revenue practices.

In the Netherlands, the death toll reached 1,320 from the recent flooding, bringing the total for Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands to 1,880 dead. Four new breaks in the dike system were reported, posing a new peril for thousands of homeless flood victims. Rescue boats had taken some 3,000 stranded persons from one island, in a race against time before the next high tide would come late during the afternoon. Both British and American troops were aiding in the rescue efforts, despite Britain also suffering from flood damage.

In New York, an aide to atomic scientist Dr. John Dunning, who had done much of the work producing U-235 uranium in pure bomb form, was found dead the previous night from an ice pick having been stuck into his heart. He was found in the hallway of a residential building in Manhattan and, according to a family spokesman, had been engaged in Government-contract atomic research under Dr. Dunning, dean of Columbia University's school of engineering. Police gave no indication that the man's death was connected with his work. They also had no clue as to the motive of the killer.

In Izmir, Turkey, eight women and seven children had died and 24 others seriously injured in the collapse of a house where a wedding celebration was being held.

At least 50 students were hospitalized after a flash fire at Lowell State Teachers College in Lowell, Mass. Seven of the injured were in critical condition. A workman's acetylene torch had exploded its tank, causing the fire.

In New York, AFL longshoremen backed up striking tugboat crewmen, paralyzing the waterfront. The longshoremen went to work on only one Manhattan pier, apparently an oversight by the tugboat strikers who had neglected to place a picket there. All piers on the Brooklyn waterfront and on Staten Island, except the Army piers, were closed.

The FCC announced this date the authorization of ten new television stations, including ones in Winston-Salem, N.C., Hampton and Newport News, Va.

In Raleigh, the Senate Committee on Conservation, with no one appearing in opposition before it, unanimously approved a measure providing Governor William B. Umstead power to reorganize the State Board of Conservation and Development, enabling him to appoint all 15 members. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard from a witness, the librarian for the State Supreme Court, regarding the use of scientific tests to gauge blood-alcohol content of suspected drunk drivers, saying that his study of court cases in other states raised question as to whether the techniques had been perfected enough that they were ready for adoption by the courts. He said that a person with low resistance to alcohol could be intoxicated although having much less than the proposed legal limit of .15 percent blood-alcohol level, while a person with a high resistance to alcohol could be sober, despite having a much higher percentage. The Committee deferred action on the measure. The House Judiciary Committee heard debate on the proposed law to ban hot rods, preventing alterations of vehicles so that they could travel faster than the manufacturer intended. An N.C. State sophomore, who headed a hot rod club, asserted that hot rodding was a sport as American as hotdogs and basketball and that the Assembly ought help the sport organize to provide an outlet for American ingenuity instead of killing it by approving the bill. He distinguished between a hot rod and a "shot rod", the former being a well-built, modified stock car, while the latter was an old car stripped down to resemble a hot rod but without safety devices. He claimed that the shot rodders were giving the hot rodders a bad name. The police chief of Winston-Salem called it "a real and practical problem", a "question of either turning the highways over to such persons, or to do something about it." A representative of the North Carolina Auto Dealers Association said that the bill would make illegal a lot of legitimate repair work, as any overhauling of an old engine would increase the speed of the car.

Speaking of basketball, Frank McGuire's new school, UNC, was, at this juncture, 15-4, having just lost to Richmond by five points on February 3, right after rising to number 12 in the most recent Associated Press top 20 poll, and about to lose to Duke the following night in Chapel Hill by six points and to NYU on Saturday by four points, to get much worse, winding up 17-10 for the season, including consecutive 20-plus point drubbings to Wake Forest, N.C. State and Duke to end the regular season, and elimination in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournament by eventual Tournament winner N.C. State, by 32 points. Perhaps, in this first season under coach McGuire, some hotdog shot-rodded their hot rods, but by 1956-57...

A man convicted of conducting an illegal lottery out of Greensboro, with the aid of four police officers, whose convictions had been affirmed by the North Carolina Supreme Court, sought from Chief Justice Fred Vinson a postponement in execution of his 10-year State-imposed sentence and $25,000 fine, pending consideration of his petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On the editorial page, "The Angry Sea's Havoc" indicates that for years, many thousands of Europeans and Americans had visited the Netherlands in the spring, but that this spring and for several springs thereafter, it would have the cruel marks of the recent flooding, the worst since medieval times. One American correspondent, who had flown over the desolated area with a bomber crew which had dropped boats to natives clinging to treetops, estimated that it would take years to make the soil arable again and months even to close up the holes in the dikes.

It finds it ironic that a few days before the flooding had consumed one-sixth of the country, the Dutch had declared their independence from U.S. economic aid, declining further aid, a signal that it had recovered from the war. Now, it was suffering from more damage and destruction than anything brought on by the Germans.

It indicates that Americans would be sympathetic to the plight of the Dutch and would not begrudge aid to the country by the Government as well as by individual citizens and organizations who might help.

"A Visionary but Worthwhile Ideal" indicates that once again the General Assembly had been asked to rescind its 1941 and 1949 "world government" resolutions, which the piece examines, counsels never to drop the visionary goal of peace through international law, which the resolutions advocated. It finds it fitting and proper that North Carolina, which had always been ahead of its time politically, had been the first state in the nation to endorse officially the concept of world government. The opponents who attributed to it evil and subversive intent were spouting hogwash, that by keeping the resolutions on the books and reaffirming them anew, the General Assembly would serve notice that North Carolina was not afraid of new and challenging ideas.

"How Crime Bosses Are Bred" indicates that the North Carolina Supreme Court had affirmed the conviction of a lottery kingpin and four former Greensboro police officers, sending a message to all communities of the state that the numbers racket would not be tolerated. It quotes from the decision, finds that it presented a classic example of a crime boss who had bought his way to power by bribing law enforcement officers, who protected him in his accumulation of wealth and power through violation of the law. Though this particular lottery kingpin and his enablers were out of the way, there would be other communities besides Greensboro which would encounter the same problem, as long as apathetic citizens permitted the existence of such unlawful conduct. It posits that continuous and open violations of the law could only mean that there was either protection through bribery or plain laziness of law enforcement authorities, that in either case, the ultimate responsibility fell on the citizens who failed to demand strict law enforcement.

"One Way To 'Unleash' Chiang" indicates that the suggestion by Senator J. William Fulbright that the U.S. supply Chiang Kai-shek with modern bombing planes was a logical follow-up to the President's new policy toward Formosa, removing the blockade by the U.S. Seventh Fleet. But, as the Alsop brothers pointed out in their column of this date, Chiang had always been free to raid China from the Pescadores and Quemoy, and so there was no "unleashing" in fact, as he had never been leashed in the first place.

It indicates that presumably the new Administration had decided on the types and quantity of military aid which could be spared for the Nationalist forces, and the machinery had been set in motion to provide it to them. Air attacks on Communist Chinese communications by American-built planes piloted by American-trained Nationalist pilots would impose a greater strain on the Chinese economy, thus creating a more useful diversion of Communist strength from Korea, than a few commando raids on the Chinese mainland coast. Such was the plan promulgated by Senator Fulbright.

The President, it suggests, having promised that foreign policy would be bipartisan, ought consider Senator Fulbright's patriotic cooperation in that vein, and it hopes that other Congressional Democrats would respond likewise.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Soldiers Say: Never Enough Letters", indicates that when playwright Maxwell Anderson had been in North Africa in 1943 interviewing troops to collect notes for his play, Storm Operation, he had listened to two captains who were discussing the matter of morale, one saying that they first needed news from home, including newspapers, radios, and news of the world, and the other captain saying that they needed to receive mail, food and drink, and a warm place to sleep, but that mail came first.

It indicates that every soldier who provided his family and friends his APO number, c/o The Postmaster, San Francisco, agreed that there were never enough letters, linking them with all that they loved and for which they were fighting.

Ann Sawyer of The News provides the third of three articles on the proposed consolidation of the City and County Recorder's Courts, indicates that a large number of people favored county-wide lower courts with jurisdiction in traffic cases, misdemeanors and civil matters under $1,000. Again, you can read plenty of excruciating detail about this hot topic if you care to do so.

The North Carolina District Court system, with jurisdiction over misdemeanors, including traffic cases, without a jury, appealable to the Superior Court as a trial de novo, felony matters at the preliminary hearing stage, juvenile civil and criminal and family law matters, and civil cases of any jurisdictional amount, though removable to Superior Court on motion of the defendant, were phased in to replace the Recorder's Courts, between 1966 and 1970 in all 100 counties.

Drew Pearson regards several important moves in the works anent the Far East, in addition to removal of the Seventh Fleet from Formosa. Two U.S. airborne divisions were being prepared for deployment to Okinawa, from which they could be sent to Korea if needed or maintained on reserve in Japan, or, under a remote possibility, might be used on the Chinese mainland. Also in the works was the plan to send major supplies to Indo-China, a carrot which Secretary of State Dulles would hold out to the French to induce them to participate in the Western European army. There would also be a transfer of captive Chinese prisoners from Korea to Formosa if they desired to go, a strengthening of the Chinese Nationalist Navy and delivery of more supplies to Chiang Kai-shek. In addition, Secretary Dulles would go to the Far East in May.

It was believed that the threat of naval raids along the Chinese mainland coast and the possible threat of airborne divisions on Okinawa might prevent the Chinese Communists from sending more troops and supplies to Indo-China.

Mr. Pearson indicates that he had in his files a memorandum which had never been published, dated December 15, 1951, which could now be published because General Eisenhower, in his December trip to Korea, had touched on the same subject, that the whole U.S. Army was plagued with a critical shortage of artillery ammunition, and in the event of all-out war, would only have a five-day supply of such ammunition. The situation had since been improved, but was one of the more worrisome factors which General Eisenhower encountered in his tour of Korea. The shortage made it impossible to send more supplies to Korea and to Indo-China, as well as to other parts of the world, at the same time, as the U.S. would be lucky to have enough for Korea.

Dr. James Conant, former president of Harvard University, had originally turned down his appointment as High Commissioner to West Germany, saying that he could not leave his post at Harvard, until Governor Sherman Adams, the new chief of staff to the President, said that he thought they should make another attempt and that he would approach Dr. Conant, himself, telling him that the new Administration was anxious to get the best men possible and that no part of the world was more important for peace or war than Germany, convincing Dr. Conant to take the post. But now a political storm was raging around him in the Senate debate over his confirmation, illustrating the problem about which President Truman had consistently complained regarding not being able to persuade good men to serve in the Government because of their being subject to Senate attacks. The campaign against Dr. Conant had been well-organized, sending around copies of the Boston Post carrying a large headline against him. Senator McCarthy's researchers had been looking into every phase of his life, with William F. Buckley, Jr., author of God and Man at Yale, helping him.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that a lot of nonsense had been written regarding the President's supposed "unleashing" of Chiang Kai-shek by the President's order to remove the U.S. Seventh Fleet from its neutralization of Formosa, imposed by President Truman at the start of the Korean War in 1950. On the one hand, the conservative, Asia-first Republicans were crowing about this supposed "unleashing", while on the other, Far Eastern and Western Europeana allies, especially Britain, were concerned that it signaled use of Chinese Nationalist troops in Korea, with the threat of broadening the war with Communist China.

But, they indicate, the truth was that Chiang Kai-shek had never been leashed in the first place, that President Truman's order had been a sham, in the sense that Chiang, all along, had been engaging in attacks on the Chinese mainland, launching them from Quemoy and the Pescadores, closer to the Chinese mainland than Formosa and not subject to the U.S. blockade. He had been, however, unable to mount a significant commando raid for want of trained troops, air support and naval support, the latter having to be supplied by the U.S. if the Nationalists were to be effective.

They indicate that even now, the Eisenhower foreign policy had not gotten down to serious policy-making business, and whether to supply the necessary aid to Chiang was one of the things which would need to be considered, though not yet even discussed.

Frederick C. Othman tells of Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana having taken a dim view of the proliferation of private detectives on the public payroll. They were engaged in various investigations by committees of Congress, including Senator Joseph McCarthy's committee investigation of universities, stockpiling of materials of war, and assorted charges of bureaucratic fumbling. There was even an investigation ongoing of which no one, except the Senator, his committee, and the investigators, knew its subject.

The Senate Agriculture Committee was looking into a scandal involving the purchase of Canadian inedible wheat at considerable savings in tariffs, farm prices in general, and the high cost of beefsteak. Other Senate committees were looking into spending by the military, Communists in the Government, and press agents on the Federal payroll.

The House was even busier, looking into why no one except the Government bought butter anymore, alleged skullduggeries in the Department of Justice under the Democrats, and various investigations by HUAC. The House Government Operations Committee had appointed a subcommittee to investigate the discovery of a State Department expert, found hanging by his neck, naked, from a banister in the house he had shared with another bachelor. The Post Office Department was being investigated on charges that it dropped too many mail bags, and the Civil Service Commission was also under investigation.

He concludes that one could see why Senator Ellender was exercised about the number of detectives on the Government payroll.

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