The Charlotte News

Monday, April 27, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the renewed armistice talks had again deadlocked this date as the U.N. Command flatly rejected a Communist proposal regarding prisoner exchange, which offered only return to Communist rule or "endless captivity" for Communists who refused repatriation. The session lasted 52 minutes, with each side suggesting that the other take another careful look at its proposal. It was the second meeting of the renewed negotiations, ended by the allies the prior October 8, in frustration over the deadlock over the same issue of prisoner voluntary repatriation. Another session was scheduled for the following morning. The allies threatened again to suspend the talks unless the Communists showed a willingness to negotiate constructively, but senior allied delegate, Lt. General William Harrison, said that it was far too early to consider such a move, that it was not yet clear that the Communists would not negotiate in good faith. He said, however, that the six-point proposal made by the Communists the previous day was "unreasonable and obstructive". The latter proposal had called for repatriation, within two months following the armistice, of those prisoners who wanted to return home, and within another month, sending to a neutral state, to be chosen by the negotiators, all who refused repatriation, with six months granted by the representatives of the homelands of those prisoners refusing repatriation for making their case to return home, as well as other points, continued on another page.

Meanwhile, the Communists indicated that the release the prior day of 84 disabled allied prisoners had ended their delivery in seven days, at 684, including 149 Americans, 471 South Koreans, including a woman, and 64 from other nations. The Communists had originally promised 605. A U.N. spokesman said that "considerably more" sick and wounded Communists would be returned over than the 5,800 originally promised by the U.N. Command, but did not state how many. The U.N. Command later indicated that it would deliver 491 North Korean prisoners the following day, raising the total returned thus far to about 4,500, at the rate of 500 per day.

In Tokyo, a U.N. spokesman indicated that the first released Americans would be flown to the U.S. during this week, probably in the ensuing couple of days.

In the air war in Korea, 12 U.S. Sabre jets flew dive-bombing missions in close support of ground forces this date, for the first time during the 34 months of the war. Heretofore, the Sabres had been utilized only to do battle with the Communist MIG-15 jets. The Sabres were joined by 24 U.S. Marine Panther jet fighter-bombers, which hit an ammunition factory with 50 tons of bombs, while Corsairs hit a weapons and storage area at Haeju. Various air activity had also taken place the previous day.

In ground fighting, on the eastern front, near the "Punchbowl", U.S. 45th Division infantrymen repulsed a predawn 35-minute attack by 150 North Koreans close to the main allied line, killing or wounding 26 of the enemy. Four smaller enemy probes were also stopped, including one against allied listening posts near the Panmunjom truce site.

The U.N. Command this night offered a $100,000 reward to the first Communist flier who would bring a MIG-15 or other Russian-made jet to the allied lines, the reward offer having been broadcast over the allied radio and announced in leaflets dropped by the Air Force over North Korea. The offer also indicated that political asylum and resettlement to a non-Communist country would be included. It also said that after the first such pilot, other pilots who would likewise bring in such jets, would receive $50,000. It provided the route to be followed and suggested a flight altitude of 20,000 feet, presumably to distinguish the surrendering aircraft so that it would not be shot down by allied planes. The Command said it was an unprecedented offer, was part of the psychological warfare effort, and that the technical knowledge to be gleaned from such a plane would be invaluable.

Secretary of State Dulles returned from the Foreign Ministers Council meeting in Paris this date and was set to report to the President and Congressional committees. He said to reporters that they had "accomplished some good, hard, practical results", which were in the interests of American security. He said that the foreign ministers had been so busy with their own work that they did not have time to give very much consideration to the press statement out of Moscow issued the prior Saturday, generally rejecting the President's recent peace plan enunciated in his speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, but also stating the Russian willingness to engage in talks with the Western powers.

In Bonn, West Germany, Chancellor Konrad Adenauer abandoned this night his plan to get the European army treaties signed without the approval of both houses of the West German parliament, the lower house having already ratified it. He had announced previously that he would provide the treaty and its companion pact, a peace contract for West Germany, to the President for signature the following day, despite the upper house not having yet approved it. He had planned to meet with the anti-rearmament Socialist leader during the afternoon to try to win approval of the treaty and contract, but without explanation, reversed his course after announcing that the meeting would not take place this date.

The Eisenhower Administration would put into effect on May 27 a new security program, designed to prevent "the disloyal and the dangerous" from being employed by the Federal Government. Attorney General Herbert Brownell outlined the plan at a White House news conference this date, a few hours after it had been discussed with Republican Congressional leaders at the regular Monday conference with the President. The program would replace the old loyalty-security tests utilized during the Truman Administration, and focus the test instead entirely on security; but Mr. Brownell indicated that the criteria for security were broad enough to include loyalty. The test would be applied to sensitive positions in all agencies, as well as to the few departments which had been covered by the former Truman program. President Eisenhower had set forth the program in a lengthy executive order. It set up procedures for hearings and for ultimate appeals to the heads of the various departments and agencies involved. Those agency and department heads would be the court of last resort, instead of the Civil Service Loyalty Review Board, which acted as review tribunal in the Truman Administration. The story quotes from the executive order. The Attorney General had told a radio audience the previous night that the new program would provide "fair, impartial and equitable treatment … to all employees".

Roger Kyes, Deputy Secretary of Defense, indicated this date that the Administration would review the whole munitions picture and weed out high-cost arms plants to keep the country strong during peace and wartime. In a speech prepared for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convention in Washington, he said that some of the planning by the Truman Administration had been "fantastic", issuing the strongest criticism of the former Administration thus far in the new Administration, regarding the rearmament program.

In Paris, in municipal elections, the voters turned their backs on General Charles de Gaulle's Rally of the French People, while the Communists held their own in the working-class districts of the large cities, but lost votes and control of some town halls in rural areas. The biggest gains were registered by the independents, who had rallied around former Premier Antoine Pinay in their opposition to the Gaullists. The Gaullists had begun their rise to political power in the 1947 municipal elections, capturing 27 percent of the vote to equal that of the Communists, and had maintained their popularity in national elections in 1951, but since had been hampered by General de Gaulle's refusal to cooperate with other anti-Communist parties. The decline of the Gaullists had been predicted. Returns were still being tabulated and few final results were yet available, though the incomplete figures confirmed the principal trends.

In Japan, Mt. Aso on the island of Kyushu, the southernmost island of the country, erupted this date, killing at least six of 400 schoolchildren who had been looking into its depths at the time. Another 100 children were reported injured in the eruption, the volcano's first in 20 years. The full volcanic crater contained 11 farming villages, with nearly 60,000 people, but they were not considered in danger. The erupting crater was on one of the five peaks. The full crater had erupted in prehistoric times, but only minor eruptions had occurred on the five peaks in recorded history, the last having been in 1933, which had resulted in no casualties.

In Vatican City, Valerio Cardinal Valeri, 70, who was ill with pneumonia, continued to worsen this date, and there was fear for his life. He was one of the 24 new Cardinals created the prior January by Pope Pius XII. He had a high fever this date following a relapse, and had been provided the last rites of the Church and a special blessing from the Pope.

In Raleigh, the Speaker of the State House, E. T. Bost, told the membership this date that it was time to adjourn the 1953 General Assembly, and urged therefore the members not to engage in lengthy debate during the week, so that they could reach an adjournment by Friday, if not sooner. The House enacted a State Senate amendment providing truckers with a 1,000-pound axle weight tolerance in loading their vehicles, while increasing penalties for overloading. There was also another effort to revive the previously killed statewide liquor referendum.

Also in Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead, during the afternoon, was scheduled to make his first public appearance since suffering a heart attack shortly after his inauguration as Governor on January 8. He was scheduled to ride in the lead car in a parade celebrating Durham's centennial, but was not scheduled to make any speeches.

In London, W. T. McGill, master of the Incorporated Guild of Hairdressers, Wigmakers and Perfumers, stated at the annual meeting of the Guild that "woman was made beautiful mainly by man", that she was an "illusion he created", making her clothes, creating her hat fashions, making her jewelry and cosmetics, and styling her hair. "In the animal kingdom, the male struts around with fine feathers, and the female animal is the dowdy partner. The human female is just about as dowdy as her animal counterpart." Some of the members of the Guild speculated informally on whether they should hire a bodyguard for Mr. McGill.

In New York, the Army offered for rent a one-family house with a one-car garage, which the service had never used but which stood on Army property, the address being Long Island National Cemetery.

Perhaps, the Army could enhance the market by advertising, as an added attraction, the prospect of holding at the site an annual Zombie jamboree.

On the editorial page, "Frank Graham's Challenge" indicates that Mr. Graham's address dedicating the new UNC health center had painted a "vast panoramic sweep of civilization" for his audience, showing how and why great human institutions developed. The central themes of the address, tracing the slow and often interrupted progress of medical science through the great civilizations of the past, were that freedom of the human mind and spirit, the interaction and cross-fertilization of ideas and culture from many lands, a disposition for philosophy, a zest for investigation, experimentation and publication, and the presence of scholars, teachers, artists, scientists, physicists and philosophers "reverently devoted to finding the truth, teaching youth, and helping the individual to develop the good life and the people to build the good society" were constants contributing to that progress of medical science through time and enabling advances to flourish. He indicated that whenever the zeal for original investigation cooled, or when free minds became circumscribed by "a curtain of conformity", when values and standards of the past rather than the challenges and opportunities for the future, became the arbiters of society, the great centers of learning declined.

The piece suggests that the trend in the country presently was to prevent entry of ideas from other lands which did not conform to the "American Way", and to exalt U.S. history and institutions instead of trying to write better history and make better institutions for the future. That was even more amazing because of the previous decade which saw international cooperation result in the atomic revolution. Mr. Graham had pointed out that the country ought be forever grateful for the "the free minds of the refugees and visitors from many nations who rallied by the side of America in a desperate hour" to create atomic energy, which was now opening up great vistas in medical science. He had gone on to say:

"In gratitude to them, from many lands, and in loyalty to the sources of our heritage of freedom and hope, may America, our beloved country, the haven of refugees, with no fear and a great faith in the days of her infant weakness, not now become, in the later days of her vast power, the stronghold of bigots with little faith and a great fear."

The piece finds that the dedicatory speech had been much more than just that, but had issued a challenge for the new health center to preserve freedom of the mind and encourage the interaction of ideas, attracting people dedicated to seeking truth, teaching youth, and serving mankind, resisting currents which would limit those objectives. UNC president Gordon Gray had accepted that challenge "in a moment that North Carolina will long remember and treasure."

"Playing Politics with the Courts" refers to a lengthy letter on the page by local attorney Fred Helms to the chairman of the State Judicial Council, objecting to the proposed judicial redistricting plan, as being unfair to the Eastern half of the state, where most of the cases arose, yet establishing equal numbers of judicial districts in each half of the state, leaving those in the Western half underworked and personnel wasted. The piece agrees and urges the State House to reject the State Senate's bill, politically motivated, and keep the current redistricting plan worked out by the Judicial Council and previously approved by the House.

"6:30 Deadline" indicates that readers had until that deadline to vote in the local biennial municipal primary, to express their choice in the mayoral election and to pick seven candidates for the City Council, all of whom are listed, as well as selecting two School Board members, the candidates for which it also lists. It urges readers not to miss the opportunity to be a good and useful citizen.

"Rep. Goodman on 'Socialism'" indicates that so many irresponsible and untrue things had been said regarding the urban redevelopment program during the State House debate the prior Friday, that it was pointless to try to answer all of them, but one such comment, by Mecklenburg County's Representative Arthur Goodman, did require refutation, that being that the program amounted to "socialism".

The urban redevelopment program had been authored by Senator Taft and endorsed by the National Association of Real Estate Boards, had been approved by a majority of both houses of the Congress and backed by the Eisenhower Administration. In North Carolina, the enabling act had been drafted by the League of Municipalities and a committee of the State Real Estate Board, and had been approved by the 1951 General Assembly, activated in Charlotte by the City Council and the Planning Board, backed by Police Chief Frank Littlejohn, Fire Chief Donald Charles, Health Officer M. B. Bethel, and Welfare Superintendent Wallace Kuralt, as well as being supported editorially by both the Charlotte Observer and the News. It thus suggests that it was ludicrous to frame it as "socialism".

Recently, Mr. Goodman had voted in favor of a resolution which demanded that the press present the news fully and fairly and refrain from "sensational, trivial, and partisan" reporting, and from spreading "half-truths, untruths, or hatred", suggests that he should have reread the resolution before labeling urban redevelopment "socialism" and claiming that the people of Charlotte did not want it.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "End to Back-Seat Driving?", tells of a new pill which scientists claimed to have a built-in awakening device, with three layers, first to put a person to sleep, second to maintain the sleep, and then to wake the person after eight hours. It suggests that its potential was endless, enabling those around such a person to have peace and quiet for its duration, suggests that it might be the cure for a spouse's back-seat driving, provided the duration of the pill could be adjusted to shorter time periods, for instance the length of whatever trip one might be taking, then providing it to the back-seat driver for that period. It notes that science, however, had not found a way to get backseat drivers to take the pill, but that one of its psychologist friends had suggested stressing to wives that science had developed this new sleeping pill which they should not take under any circumstances.

Drew Pearson indicates that the most important move which the U.N. could make with regard to Korea would be to call the exchanged prisoners to New York and have them relate their stories of their treatment at the hands of their Communist captors, confronting the Communist delegations at the U.N. Since it was a United Nations war in Korea, the released prisoners ought to report to the U.N. and not to Congress. A Congressional investigation would help some Senators grab headlines for their re-election campaigns, but Americans were interested in getting the facts across abroad as well as at home. Most of the released prisoners were South Koreans in the heterogeneous U.N. Army. Such an international force had the advantage of mobilizing world opinion against a large nation which picked on small nations, the reason why the U.N. had elected to send a force to Korea in the first place, in latter June, 1950, at the time of the North Korean attack on South Korea.

White House advisers wanted to get the President to slow down his pace and take more trips to Augusta, Ga., for golf and relaxation, having come to that conclusion after his food poisoning incident on the day he had spoken to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington, during the one-day interruption of his week-long golfing vacation. He came down with the indigestion prior to the speech, while resting in the White House, and was too weak to see Secretary of State Dulles, who had just returned from Canada, upsetting the Secretary, as the White House staff did not explain to him why the President could not see him, prompting him to believe that the President was still upset with him because of his statement to the press the week before that there was under consideration placing Formosa under a U.N. trusteeship and that the U.S. would be amenable to establishing a truce line 80 miles north of the current battle line, along the waist of the Korean Peninsula.

Toward the end of the President's speech before the Society, his doctor had noticed that he omitted whole paragraphs of the speech in an effort to finish it in a hurry. The doctor sent an aide to the platform in case something happened. After the speech, the President was taken to an anteroom where he stretched out in a chair while his doctor gave him some black coffee. He had still not been feeling well during his return trip to Augusta, including during the stopover in Salisbury, N.C., to help celebrate the bicentennial of Rowan County, but had snapped out of the illness shortly after his return.

Democrats were privately praising Republican Congressman Clarence Brown of Ohio, whose publishing company in Ohio had recently burned down, destroying thousands of dollars worth of uninsured newsprint, a new, expensive color press, and all of the printing equipment in the plant, leaving him with an uninsured personal loss of over $100,000. Nevertheless, Mr. Brown had been worried most about the welfare of his 30 employees, all of whom were out of work, and stated that he wanted to make sure something was done for them. A Democrat stated that his party often made a big show of helping the underdog, but action spoke louder than words, and Mr. Brown, who seldom talked about helping labor, was going to do more for his employees than 90 percent of the Democrats would have under the same circumstances. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Brown was presently in Bethesda Naval Hospital recovering from a serious but successful surgery.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the hope lingering that the Soviets and Communist Chinese were genuinely eager to ease world tensions, though the optimism had waned somewhat during the previous few weeks because of the Communist guerrilla invasion of Laos in Indo-China. That invasion could be connected with the Soviet-Chinese initiative which had led to the resumption of the Korean truce talks, and might have been planned sometime earlier, prior to the March 5 death of Stalin. Both the Chinese and Indo-Chinese Communists had begun a new propaganda theme prior to Stalin's death, reminiscent of Japan's mid-1941 plan for a Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere, which it sought to establish in World War II. In the case of the Communists, the effort was to establish a Greater Thai Area, consisting of Northern Burma, Laos and Thailand, with Laos being the key entry point to both of the other countries, enabling control of Southeast Asia by flanking both the rest of Burma and Indo-China, making the British position in Malaya nearly untenable, ultimately potentially giving the Communists control of the vast untapped mineral wealth of that region. The Communist invasion of Laos was a logical first step in that drive, as Laos was virtually indefensible by the weak, indolent forces of the Laotians, despite the French trying to reinforce their garrison in Laos, little more than a corporal's guard, but with reinforcements available only by air, and the rainy season about to begin, transforming the airfields into a sea of mud.

There was a risk to the Communist forces in that invasion, in that the French and loyal Indo-Chinese might be able to cut off their supply lines at the base. But control of Laos appeared to the Communists to be worth the risk, to permit the invasion of Thailand or Burma. Were they willing to wait, the Communists would likely be able to soften from within both the Burma and Thai governments, and their impatience suggested a connection to the Korean peace initiative. The Chinese Communists had been stopped in Korea and their allies in Indo-China had been stopped in Vietnam, thus the Laos initiative appearing as a process of flowing around the obstacles, a common Communist technique, as had been pointed out by former State Department chief planner and former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, George Kennan, and others.

A Korean truce would free up the Chinese Communists for their drive on Southeast Asia, and it was likely hoped that pressure would be increased on the French, who were weary of the Indo-Chinese war, to agree to some kind of truce in Indo-China, simplifying the Communist effort in seizing control of Southeast Asia.

Marquis Childs indicates that the theory which had developed during the fall campaign that Republican power would bring to the party responsibility had undergone considerable strain since the beginning of the new Administration, with the antics of Senator McCarthy hitting the front pages nearly every day. But, nevertheless, there had been signs of progress among several Republican leaders.

Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, chairman of the Banking & Currency Committee, had been fighting for standby economic controls in the event of an emergency, despite having been intractable and surly when he was the ranking opposition member of the Committee and having forced through an amendment to the controls bill passed in the wake of the Korean War, which had enabled manufacturers to add many costs to their Government contracts via the so-called "cost-plus Capehart Amendment", criticized by many groups, especially the unions. The present standby controls bill was not as strong as the Democrats wanted, but it did provide for a 90-day freeze on rents, wages and prices in an emergency.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had also been trying earnestly and conscientiously to obtain bipartisan support for the Eisenhower foreign policy. His primary problem was with the Senators of his own party.

Even Senator William Jenner, who, prior to the new Administration, had been second only to Senator McCarthy as a "wild man", was showing signs of restraint, in one instance recently having told a witness who was ready to reveal several names before his investigating committee as being suspected Communists, that the witness should refrain if his statements would harm innocent persons.

Mr. Childs concludes that those were examples of the Republicans having realized that they could no longer afford the luxury of irresponsibility as the opposition party. He suggests that such examples ought be contagious, with the midterm elections only a year and a half away.

A letter from Charlotte attorney Fred B. Helms, president of the State Bar and a member of the Commission for the Improvement of the Administration of Justice in the state, objects to the proposed judicial redistricting bill, addressed to Judge M. V. Barnhill, chairman of the State Judicial Council, indicating that the proposed bill would equalize the number of judicial districts at 16 for both the Western half of the state and the Eastern half, when the greater volume of cases existed in the Eastern half, and so would produce an imbalance in court case loads and an unnecessary number of courts in the Western half of the state.

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