The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 29, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the renewed truce talks in Korea, in their fourth day, found Communist negotiators suggesting that 50,000 allied-held war prisoners who did not wish repatriation be sent to an unnamed neutral nation in Asia, and also agreeing to bargain on the time necessary to determine their future, sources of objection based on Communist proposals indicated the previous day. Lt. General William Harrison, chief U.N. negotiator, stated that he thought progress had been made. It was believed that the Communists would nominate India as the neutral nation, and observers predicted that U.N. negotiators would agree. The Communists, however, showed no signs of retreating from their insistence that prisoners resisting repatriation be shipped to a neutral nation or their demand that they be held in Korea pending the decision on their fate by that neutral nation. General Harrison had indicated that it might be necessary to use force to get some of the prisoners to go to a neutral nation and that the Geneva Convention banned such force, whether directed at going to a neutral nation or repatriation.

For the second straight day, the battlefront was largely quiet as the armistice negotiations proceeded. Only a few light patrol clashes occurred between North Korean and South Korean troops, as well as brief contact between American and Chinese divisions on the central and western fronts.

In the air war, heavy clouds and rain grounded nearly all allied warplanes.

U.S. Eighth Army commander, Lt. General Maxwell Taylor, and U.N. supreme commander, General Mark Clark, both denied officially that there was any deliberate restraint being applied to aggressive combat operations while the truce talks proceeded. Such official word had also occurred, however, in November, 1951, but such an order to fire only seldomly had been issued, at a time when resolution of the armistice then appeared possible.

One of the released disabled American prisoners of war this date said that Communist Chinese troops had ruthlessly sprayed 40 truckloads of wounded U.S. soldiers with burp guns, killing most of the 800 screaming men. The enemy soldiers had then bayoneted many of the survivors. The soldier imparting the story, a double amputee who had been only 17 when captured, had been with the 32nd Regiment of the 7th Division during a retreat through numerous Chinese Communist troops on December 2, 1950, during the general retreat following the disastrous MacArthur offensive to the Yalu River in November. He said that two of his buddies had amputated both of his feet with a penknife in a Communist prison camp, after one of his feet had been smashed by a Chinese mortar shell and a rifle bullet had cut through his other leg. By the time they had reached the prison camp, both of his feet were frozen and had turned black, causing him to pass out a couple of times in the 40 below zero temperatures. Two of his buddies had supported him during a death march to the prison camp, as the Chinese shot Americans who could not walk. He did not know why they had not shot him. There were no medics in the camp and during his five months at the camp, there was no medical care and insufficient food, causing him to lose considerable weight. During the fall of 1951, the Chinese, after he had been transferred to another camp, sewed up the stumps of his legs, the first medical care he received from the Communists.

At Travis Air Force Base in California, the first plane-load of released disabled American war prisoners was scheduled to arrive during the morning, with 35 such men aboard. Soon after their arrival, new orders would be issued allowing those well enough to travel to their homes, with those needing further hospital attention being sent to hospitals near their homes if possible.

The Defense Department had decided that U.S. soldiers who had been indoctrinated to Communism while in custody as prisoners, required mental treatment, and so was flying a small group of such men, who had been returned as disabled prisoners, to the Valley Forge Army Hospital near Philadelphia for special consideration and medical treatment in preparation for their return to society. The announcement did not say how long such men would require treatment, indicating that families of the soldiers would be notified upon their arrival and would be encouraged to visit them.

A report from Hanoi in Indo-China indicated that the Communist-led Vietminh troops had raided a training camp for Vietnamese soldiers in the heart of the Red River Delta this date and kidnapped 350 Vietnamese recruits. The recruits had been mobilized for a two-week military instruction course in the Nam Dinh camp, 50 miles southeast of Hanoi. They were part of an attempt by the Vietnamese government to place 54 commando battalions in the field by the end of the year to combat the Vietminh guerrillas. French forces immediately began hunting for the raiders. Meanwhile, in the Laos sector, the French announced that Vietminh invaders had captured Bannambac, a post 40 miles north of the royal capital at Luangprabang, as the guerrillas slowly moved toward that target.

The U.S., at the start of the summer, would have about 13,000 medium tanks on hand, far short of the estimated 40,000 of all types of tanks believed in the possession of Russia. An Army spokesman said that there was no intention or desire to match the Soviet armor, and that in the event of general war, production could be quickly mobilized to keep the Army supplied with superior tanks. The Army also relied on anti-tank weapons, including the recoilless rifle which could penetrate tank armor, and the bazooka and rifle grenade launcher to supplement its tank defenses. The figure also did not include the light tanks which had been in production for more than a year, or the heavy tanks which were just going into production.

Associated Press correspondent John Scali reports that the Administration was reportedly drafting a foreign aid budget calling for about 5.8 billion dollars in new money for the ensuing fiscal year, whereas former President Truman had submitted a proposed budget calling for 7.6 billion dollars. At a meeting the previous day, the National Security Council had, according to unnamed sources, tentatively approved a program of 5.8 billion dollars. A few hours earlier, the same officials had said that the figure would range between 6.1 and 6.3 billion, but that the specific amount was yet to be determined. Mutual Security Agency director Harold Stassen had apparently lost the battle to obtain larger amounts. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire said this date that foreign aid spending had to bear a proportionate share of budget cuts, suggesting that about 2.5 billion dollars should come off the 7.6 billion Truman budget, and that the resulting figure would be enough to guarantee Western security against Communism.

Near San Antonio, a B-29 bomber engaged in simulation of combat, caught fire and crashed, killing ten aboard, after five had parachuted to safety. The plane had originated from Randolph Air Force Base.

In Washington, a U.S. District Court Judge postponed sentencing of Henry Grunewald for his contempt of Congress conviction, until May 14. The U.S. Attorney had asked the judge for the postponement, forwarding a request by the House subcommittee investigating internal revenue scandals, to which Mr. Grunewald was providing information, potentially impacting his sentence.

Stormy weather swept across wide areas of the central part of the country this date, in the wake of the previous day's tornadoes and thunderstorms which had resulted in the death of five persons and injury to several others, Texas having been hit the hardest, with five persons killed at Kilgore when lightning had exploded an oil storage tank.

Put the weather on trial for murder. We are tired of it. It is a reckless, homicidal maniac, a serial killer. Wanted: Dead or Alive.

In Raleigh, as the days wound down toward the end of the 1953 biennial session of the General Assembly, showdown fights were transpiring on the measure to regulate the milk industry and to expand the number of Superior Court judges.

On the editorial page, "Serious Criticism Merits an Answer" indicates that at the recent American Society of Newspaper Editors convention in Washington, a resolution had been tabled regarding taking notice of "serious criticism of aspects of the newspaper coverage of the 1952 Presidential campaign" and "grave charges made against the press by Senators Taft of Ohio and Morse of Oregon". Those criticisms were dismissed as "old stuff" by Walter Harrison of Oklahoma City. A few days earlier, the executive council of the professional journalism fraternity, Sigma Delta Chi, had approved a report of a special committee indicating that "it is not feasible" to examine the fairness of coverage of the 1952 campaign, with only one member of that committee favoring the study and only one member of the council arguing for the survey.

It concludes that the American press could not have its cake and eat it, too, that while many irresponsible criticisms of the newspapers could be dismissed on their face, it was not so easy to dismiss observations of such reliable commentators as Roscoe Drummond of the Christian Science Monitor, Eric Sevareid of CBS, and others. It ventures that a free press should never fear honest analysis and evaluation and that refusal to admit to even the possibility of error did not contribute to public confidence.

"Freedom, Fame and Fifty Grand" indicates that the offer by U.N. supreme commander in Korea and the Far East, General Mark Clark, of $50,000 and political asylum to any Communist pilot who delivered a MIG-15 jet to the allies, with double that amount going to the first such pilot, appeared as a sound piece of psychological warfare. Even if no enemy pilots sought the reward, it would still serve the useful purpose of creating suspicion among their number, as flight leaders would have to keep a close eye on politically unreliable pilots. The only drawback was that a fanatic Communist airman might decide he would rather be a posthumous hero of the Soviet Union than a financially well-off expatriate, thus follow the prescribed route to Kimpo airfield near Seoul, and then suddenly dive into a row of planes on the ground in a kamikaze-type attack. It finds that it was, presumably, that which the military called a calculated risk.

"Progress" indicates that two years earlier, the DAR had been holding its annual convention in Washington, when one of its 2,000 assembled members voted against the annual DAR resolutions which condemned world government, the U.N., internationalism, etc. In 1953, at their annual convention, about a dozen members voted against those same resolutions. One such delegate criticized the members for endorsing the Bricker amendment to add to the requirements for ratification of a treaty, and another criticized the endorsement by the organization of an income tax limitation. It commends those DAR members, whom it regards as the "true revolutionaries among the Daughters of the American Revolution." It hopes that such members might increase in the future, so that the DAR could come "face to face with the twentieth century."

Incidentally, we have to nominate those nuts on the radio out in Texas, based on their positions on the same issues which the DAR supported in 1953, as loyal DAR members, along with their loyal listeners on the radio, notwithstanding their desperate attempts to increase their masculinity through various wonder vitamin supplements. They remain loyal DAR to us—as do most Trumpies, whether male or female. Don't try to pass yourself off as Sons of the Confederacy. You are all DAR, 1953 vintage—in short, a bunch of old ladies.

"A Thoroughly Silly Exhibition" tells of the General Assembly during the week instructing State Auditor Henry Bridges to provide back pay of $3,500 to David Coltrane, who had refused to quit the prior year when he had been fired as assistant budget director by former Governor Kerr Scott, and then was stripped of his duties. It indicates that whatever the former Governor had as reasons for the firing, the decision not to accept his salary was that of Mr. Coltrane, and the checks had been in the Auditor's office the entire time, such that he could have picked them up at any point after Governor William B. Umstead had restored him to his position. Yet, he had stood aloof until the Assembly ordered the Auditor to provide him the checks.

It regards the Assembly's performance as a "silly exhibition", an attempt to attack the former Governor, winding up making itself appear ridiculous. It finds the legislator who had proposed an amendment to the measure, appropriating $25 to purchase a silver platter on which to deliver the checks, to have had the right perspective on the matter.

"A Change of Editorship" indicates that the Washington Post was one of the more dependable and provocative sources regarding national and international affairs, as it was close to those who formulated Government policy and had sources of information not available to newspapers outside Washington. Its editorials therefore usually had an extra dimension which gave added depth and perspective to commentary regarding front-page stories. Since 1940, the newspaper's editorial page had been under the direction of Herbert Elliston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and recognized expert on foreign affairs. Mr. Elliston had suffered a heart attack the previous year and had recently resigned to become a contributing editor, with Robert Estabrook, 34, taking over the editorial page direction.

It indicates that editorial writers from North Carolina who had heard Mr. Estabrook speak at a Chapel Hill conference two years earlier had regarded him as a young man of exceptional intelligence, with a challenging philosophy of editorial ethics and responsibility. He had been writing editorials for the Post since 1946.

It concludes that Mr. Elliston had enabled the Post to be regarded as a great independent liberal newspaper, and it expresses admiration for his successor.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "The Goose Goes Home", references the popular song, "The Wild Goose", by way of indicating that the governments of Canada and Connecticut knew how to deal with a goose which would not go back where it came from. The goose in question had been reported by an official of the Wild Life Registration Foundation after he had seen two geese attempt unsuccessfully to help a third take off from a Connecticut cove as the flock started its flight northward. The third goose, apparently having been winged by a hunter, could not get off the ground and so remained around Greenwich, Connecticut, with the locals having named him Hard-A-Lee because of the disarrangement of his tail feathers, causing him to swim in a circle as a boat with a stuck tiller. The Canadians, hearing of the story, decided they wanted their goose back and started negotiating with Governor John Lodge, eventuating in the Governor turning the goose back to the control of the Canadian Consul General, who named the goose Winnie, after Mr. Churchill.

It indicates that the moral of the story was that an understanding could be reached between Canada and the U.S. regarding a grounded goose and its welfare. It finds that it would be useless to impart the story to the totalitarian representatives at Panmunjom during the Korean truce talks, as they did not understand the concept of negotiating about the best interests of people, that understanding could come only after agreement on values, such as what was best for a goose.

Drew Pearson indicates that for years, the White House had published the names of visitors of the President, but the Eisenhower Administration had refused to disclose the golfing partners of the President, with the exception of an occasional Senator, on the basis that his golfing partners would then be hounded by lobbyists seeking to influence the President through them. Mr. Pearson indicates that golfing partners could influence national policy. He provides the example of William Faricy, president of the Association of American Railroads, who had golfed with the President recently at Burning Tree Club in Washington. He wanted to block construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway because of its competition with the railroads. Since its conception, every President had been in favor of the project, as had leading Republicans, such as Governor Dewey and Senator Taft. But after golfing with Mr. Faricy, the President had told Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, a staunch advocate of the project, that he opposed the Seaway, arguing that it would harm the railroads. Senator Wiley proceeded with hearings on the Seaway, despite the President's opposition. The President had later changed his mind, but only after news of his visit with Mr. Faricy had leaked.

Senators backing the President were not saying so publicly, but many were not happy about the tidelands oil policy of the Administration. Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, for instance, was receiving mail at the rate of 200 to 1 against him because of his support for the bill providing title to the tidelands back to the states. Many of these Senators were concerned, not only because their states did not benefit from the legislation, but also because the President was not taking heed of the advice of some of his own Cabinet members regarding the extent of the tidelands concession. Secretary of State Dulles and Attorney General Herbert Brownell had testified before Congress that the three principal states benefiting from the legislation, California, Texas and Florida, should not have title to more than the historical boundaries, three miles offshore, except in the cases of Texas and Florida, each of which would receive 10.5 miles. Some of the Senators who favored the legislation wanted to extend the rights as far as 100 miles or more offshore, a matter which the pending legislation left vague, to be determined in the future. But the President had ducked the issue and had not agreed with his two Cabinet members, who had based their reservations on the fear that Russia and Mexico might press similar offshore claims in the future , should the U.S. legislation liberalize the extent of the claims.

Republicans were also worried about the Democratic effort to pin on the new Administration the label "the give-away administration". Democrats were preparing a list of such "give-aways", which included the synthetic rubber plants built during World War II after natural rubber was cut off from the Malays and Indonesia, built for millions of dollars, now being sold at about 15 percent of their original cost, the synthetic oil-from-coal plant at Louisiana, Missouri, which was designed to make oil from coal, costing the Government 75 million dollars originally, now to be sold by Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay to private industry for a song, based on the oil lobbies objecting to it. Other such "give-aways" included the tidelands oil, the public lands, which Western Senators were talking about giving to each state, ducks and salmon, based on the firing of the head of the Wildlife and Fisheries Bureau at the behest of certain private game-preserve owners, and power dams, with all appropriations having been cut off to the Rural Electrification Administration, giving private utilities a virtual monopoly on use of the public power resources constructed at a cost of billions of dollars to the taxpayers.

The new Democratic slogan would therefore be: "Republicans didn't believe in Santa Claus when Roosevelt and Truman were helping the underprivileged of the nation. Now they believe in Santa Claus—for their own friends."

And, pretty much, so it remains today, as it has consistently for decades. Remember "Watt's Wrong" from the Reagan era?

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the prospect of Admiral Arthur Radford being named as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to replace General Omar Bradley. Admiral Radford was the singular choice of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, though the President, while respecting Admiral Radford as an able military man capable of the duties, had expressed reservations as to whether his first loyalty would be to the Joint Chiefs or to the Navy. Admiral Radford had been a strong advocate for Navy strength, and had expressed suspicion of the Air Force Strategic Air Command, specifically the B-36. But Secretary Wilson had decided on Admiral Radford during the President-elect's return voyage from Korea in December, with the Secretary-designate meeting with the Admiral and being charmed by him and convinced that he would be the best pick for the position.

The Admiral had expressed little or no patience with mere containment in the cold war, advocated a blockade of Communist China as part of a larger program to make the Chinese Government regret its intervention in Korea. He had shown a strong preference in other ways to bring the cold war to a rapid and complete showdown, differing considerably, therefore, from the caution of the current Joint Chiefs. That quality, opine the Alsops, in addition to his personality and intellectual capabilities, would almost certainly cause his appointment to be a major turning point in military policy.

Others considered for the position were General Al Gruenther, who, because of a desire by Secretary of the Air Force Harold Talbott to have the chairmanship rotate between the services, was disfavored. Secretary Talbott wanted either General Hoyt Vandenberg or General Carl Spaatz of the Air Force, considered two other prominent candidates for the position. The Alsops believe, however, that because Secretary Wilson was very determined in obtaining what he wanted when he wanted it, it was likely that Admiral Radford would ultimately get the nod.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Democrats, as had Governor Stevenson during the campaign of the prior fall, objected that there was a two-party political system in the country but a one-party press, while other Democrats added that the Eisenhower Administration was benefiting from a perpetual press orientation of kindness toward Republicans. But Senator Taft accused most of the commentators and analysts of being "anti-Republican". The editors and publishers, at their recent meetings, had discussed both sets of accusations.

Mr. Childs asserts that a study of the coverage of the late presidential campaign could have provided the kind of critical self-examination which every institution in a free society had to have if it were to remain vital and alive.

The press had a public responsibility, often overlooked, as the newspapers and other press outlets were also businesses having to consider profits and losses. In pre-Revolutionary times, little capital was required to establish a hand press and print truth for fellow citizens, but now that investment was very large and was growing larger. Most publishers had no control over the price of their primary raw material, newsprint, as Canadian suppliers of the bulk of the market had repeatedly increased the price since the end of World War II.

Senator Joseph McCarthy had, several times, sought to intimidate advertisers from placing their ads in publications which criticized him, specifically aiming attacks against Time and the Milwaukee Journal. Increasingly, such pressures were being used against not only the print press but also television and radio, the latter having shown less courage than newspapers, often caving to the first hint of opposition, leaving an atmosphere of "timid conformity". The fear of Communism was being exploited to suppress the slightest variation from rigid orthodoxy in opinions. He posits that if expression of opinion were allowed to be thus constricted, the free press as an institution would have forgone its primary responsibility, becoming nothing more than a merchandising operation, susceptible to Government control and regulation as any other profit-making enterprise.

But, he points out, responsible leaders in the press were focusing on those issues. The previous January, the publisher of the Providence Journal-Bulletin, Sevellon Brown, speaking at the University of Michigan, had insisted that a newspaper had the "right to be wrong". He indicated that it was, in fact, a duty to put forth unpopular individual dissent against overwhelming mass opinion in times of tension and crisis, as well as in normal times. He indicated that the newspaper would not only lose its strength and influence but would die if it forfeited defense of the right to dissent.

The Congressional Quarterly looks at the amendment introduced by Senators John W. Bricker of Ohio and Arthur Watkins of Utah to require more than Senate ratification by two-thirds of the membership for treaties, proposing that for implementation of both treaties and executive agreements, majority approval of both houses of Congress would be required, in addition to the two-thirds Senate approval for ratification.

The Quarterly indicates that under the original Articles of Confederation, the national government could do no more than insist that the states observe national treaties made with foreign countries, such as Britain. To end that troublesome situation, the Constitution, under Article VI, Section 2, made treaties, along with the Constitution and Federal laws, the supreme law of the land—the so-called Supremacy Clause. The Founders had also included the two-thirds Senate ratification requirement, after less than a year before, the Southern states had barely defeated a proposed treaty which would have provided commercial advantages from Spain for the Northern states at the price of closing the Mississippi River to American commerce.

It points out that proposed U.N. treaties, such as the convention on human rights, had revived the controversy over Federal treaty commitments which might invade state, local or individual rights, leaving the issue, as in 1787 when the Constitution was originally put forward to the states for ratification, being the boundary between authoritative foreign relations and the domestic interests which they impact.

A poem, of a sort, appears from the Kingsport (Tenn.) Times, imparting good advice:

"If you've got a fliquor in your tiquor
Stay away from kiquor liquor
Nothing will make you siquor quiquor."

But if you're a dumb sucker,
Cannot resist a bum's pucker,
Go ahead and douse your souse,
As you grouse 'bout the Gov'ment louse.

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