The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 30, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the acting prime minister of South Korea had threatened the previous day to pull South Korean divisions from the U.N. Command, freeing them for independent military action should negotiators sign an armistice based on the latest allied proposal, which provided for a divided Korea. He had also told journalists that South Korea was prepared to use its army to block any landing of troops from the five neutral nations assigned to guard the Communist prisoners refusing repatriation, held by the U.N. Command. He said that they would be willing even to shed blood in fighting for the purpose. U.S. diplomats and officers within the U.N. Command were said to be deeply concerned about the bitter South Korean revolt, with one source indicating that allied officials were making every effort to placate the South Koreans before negotiations resumed the following Monday. President Syngman Rhee had flown to a South Korean naval base near Pusan with U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Ellis Briggs on Saturday to attend naval academy graduation exercises.

The revised proposal of the allies, not yet officially made public, had been revealed in part by the South Koreans, reputedly providing that all of the 48,500 North Korean and Chinese prisoners who refused repatriation would be turned over to a commission comprised of India, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland and Czechoslovakia, after which the Communists would be provided 90 days to try to change the prisoners' minds about returning home, with a post-armistice political conference ultimately to determine the fate of those still refusing repatriation, and if that conference did not succeed in resolution of the issue, the prisoners remaining in custody would be turned over to the U.N. General Assembly. No time limit for the political conference had been announced, but a resolution adopted the previous December by the U.N. Assembly had set a 30-day deadline.

In ground fighting, Communist Chinese troops continued to hold three battered outposts near Panmunjom this date, as allied big guns and warplanes poured tons of explosives and napalm on the hills. The Chinese had taken the three outposts from U.S. and Turkish infantrymen in a division-strength assault beginning Thursday night along a five-mile front 30 miles north of Seoul, protecting the historical route into that city. Fighting continued also on the east-central front where the Communists had taken several outposts the prior Wednesday night in a 6,500-man attack along a 20-mile front defended by South Korean infantrymen. There had been no official casualty reports from either battle yet, but losses on both sides were believed to be high. Turkish officers had estimated that the Chinese had suffered 3,000 killed and wounded during the 28-hour battle for the low hills guarding the Seoul invasion route and the main allied defense line. Lt. General Maxwell Taylor, Eighth Army commander, said that the Communist capture of the three outposts had not threatened the U.N. main line, that the attacks were thus far only local engagements rather than a general offensive.

In the air war, Fifth Air Force fighter-bombers and twin-engine B-26 bombers dropped about 200,000 pounds of bombs on the western front during the morning. Fourteen B-29s dropped bombs on a North Korean dam north of Pyongyang the previous night, in an attempt to break the dam and flood the main Communist supply routes. Sabre jets did not encounter any enemy MIG-15s over northwest Korea.

Senators Lister Hill and Allen Ellender called on the President to clarify his Administration's position on a proposal to cut off U.S. funding to the U.N. if it should seat Communist China. The President was said to have discussed the possibility at a Cabinet meeting the previous day. The Senate Appropriations Committee had approved the proposal, which Senators Hill and Ellender, along with Senators Harley Kilgore and Theodore Green, had voted against.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, in an address prepared for Memorial Day services at Arlington National Cemetery, indirectly criticized Senator Taft by saying that those "who would divide us from our allies and who are blind to the consequences of the act" should be condemned. Senator Taft, earlier in the week, had a speech read by his son in Cincinnati in which he stated that the U.S. ought to abandon any idea of working with the U.N. in the Far East. Senator Wiley asked for preservation of the U.N. as an instrument for working out the ills of a "sick world".

Senator Karl Mundt said this date that the State Department had promised to help seek the former secretary of the International Monetary Fund, Frank Coe, who had tried in 1949 to block an Austrian currency revaluation opposed by Communist interests. Mr. Coe had been a key figure in testimony heard by a Senate Investigations subcommittee the previous day, but his current whereabouts were unknown. The subcommittee agreed to ask for a Senate warrant for Mr. Coe's arrest and for FBI help in locating him. He had refused the previous December to tell a Senate Internal Security subcommittee whether he was a Communist, after which, under pressure, he resigned from his IMF job. Two former U.S. foreign aid officials had told the subcommittee the previous day that they had received instructions from Washington to break off negotiations being conducted in 1949, aimed at setting an exchange rate for the shilling which would prevent Soviet "exploration" of the Austrian economy.

Senator Mundt also stated that the subcommittee had information that 100 ships, many of which were British-owned, were still carrying strategic supplies to Communist troops in Korea, and suggested writing a ban against providing aid funds to countries participating in such trade. He also expressed hope that the British would take action regarding the reports from the State Department that two ships owned by a British firm in Hong Kong had transported Chinese Communist troops during the Korean War in 1951 and 1952. The British, however, contended that the Chinese Communists had taken over the ships prior to that time.

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that two key members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Wiley, the chairman, and Senator William Knowland, had reported that the Committee would study closely a recommendation to liquidate the Mutual Security Agency and place all foreign aid responsibility within the State Department. The change was supported by current MSA director Harold Stassen.

From Istanbul in Turkey, it was reported that the largest Communist air force training center in Eastern Europe was under construction at Budaors, Hungary. Information indicated that it would be under Soviet direction and would train air force officers from other satellite countries in addition to those of Hungary.

In Tokyo, Eleanor Roosevelt this date narrated the story of "Peter and the Wolf", as the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra played Sergei Prokofiev's music for 2,600 Japanese high school children.

The President was set to place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery this date, to commemorate Memorial Day, but would not make a speech.

At Gibraltar, all British warships and Naval establishments lowered their colors to half-mast this date in honor of U.S. Memorial Day.

Individual Confederate flags were placed over Confederate graves for the first time at Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois, where the Confederate soldiers had been buried after dying as prisoners during the Civil War. In Battle Creek, Michigan, German flags were placed on 26 graves of Germans who died as prisoners of war at Fort Custer during World War II.

In Tripoli, Libya, U.S. Minister Henry Villard this date laid a wreath on the graves of five unidentified U.S. Marines who had died on the shores of Tripoli 149 years earlier in the campaign against the Barbary pirates.

A hot and humid Memorial Day was forecast for wide areas of the Eastern half of the nation, with some wet spots to occur in the West, western New York State and north central Pennsylvania. Tornadoes had struck areas of North and South Dakota the previous day, killing at least two persons and injuring about twenty.

Traffic accidents across the country accounted for 22 deaths since 5:00 the prior afternoon, with six of those fatalities having occurred in one head-on collision in Maine involving maritime academy cadets, one of the worst traffic accidents in the state's history. One person had drowned and four others died from other types of accidents since the start of the holiday period.

In London, Queen Elizabeth danced until 4:00 a.m. at a pre-coronation ball at Hampton Court Palace, where King Henry VIII had held his revels 400 years earlier. By accident, the lights had gone out in the Palace just as the Queen arrived, causing the formal entrance ceremony to be moved to another section. About 20,000 wildly cheering Britons had gathered outside Buckingham Palace as the Queen left for the ball with the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret, but only about 100 remained in the cold dawn to cheer when she returned.

In New York, Lola De Witt Stewart, a 25-year old television singer and former model, was sentenced to 30 days in the Women's House of Detention for assaulting a patrolman, after being found guilty of third-degree assault for scratching, kicking and biting the patrolman the previous February 12 after he attempted to arrest her for refusing to stop smoking in a New York theater. Unfortunately, Ms. Stewart's troubles with the law were not over.

In Los Angeles, an attorney representing actor John Wayne's estranged wife asserted during a hearing on her petition for temporary monthly alimony of $9,350 that the actor had filed an estimate of his 1953 income tax with the IRB which was "too low" and clearly violated the tax code. The income tax estimate declaration on March 15, tax day, had been for $72,000, but, according to the attorney, Mr. Wayne's accountant had given the court a balance sheet estimating his income tax liability at $178,000. The accountant said that the March 15 estimate was subject to revision later and had been approved by Federal officials in Washington.

A bicyclist, a 21-year old Marine corporal, arrived in New York the previous night after a bit more than two weeks on the road, trekking from California, completing the 2,962.8-mile journey in 14 days, 11 hours and 50 minutes. It beat the old record of 20 days, seven hours and 29 minutes by nearly a full week. The new record-holder used three bicycles during the trip and said that the final leg to New York was practically non-stop from a town in Ohio—the name of which is mangled in the print, presumably Zanesville. Or perhaps, we misunderstand, and there was once a town named ZeZnZeZZsvZille, and the residents eventually decided it was too complex to pronounce.

On the editorial page, "Auditorium-Coliseum Funds Needed" indicates that the following Saturday's election would regard the question of issuance of an additional million dollars in bonds to complete the auditorium and coliseum as originally planned, with the actual question being whether to build the complex or not. If approval were given, there would be enough available for an auditorium seating 2,500 persons and a coliseum seating 10,000. If unfavorable, the whole project would probably be canceled, as the only alternative would be to draw up new plans for smaller facilities which could be built with the three million dollars originally available from bond issues. But it would be costly and time-consuming to revise the plans and smaller structures would be a poor investment for a city growing as rapidly as Charlotte.

The newspaper recommends support, therefore, of the additional bond issue, indicates that the absence of adequate facilities for community cultural and recreational activities was one of the city's greatest handicaps, and so it needed both the auditorium and coliseum badly. A lot of money had already been spent on the site and the design for the buildings, and so it urges residents to support the bond measure the following Saturday.

"A Better Farm Balance Is Needed" indicates that statistics from the Department of Agriculture periodically told the same story about North Carolina, that its agriculture was not balanced, with farm prosperity too dependent on cash crops, livestock production too low, and cash income per farm inadequate. S. H. Hobbs, Jr., of the UNC News Letter, had produced statistics showing that the state ranked 42nd in cash income per farm, 46th in cash income from livestock, and 47th in percentage of farm income derived from livestock.

The State Department of Agriculture, county agents, farmer organizations, and Federal agencies had all championed crop diversification and livestock production in the state for many years, but North Carolina farmers had not yet heeded the advice, still too much bound up in the one-crop system from which the farmer and the state suffered.

"Rep. Jonas on the Spoils System" indicates that an exchange of correspondence between a Charlotte businessman and Congressman Charles Jonas of Charlotte had come to the newspaper's attention recently, presenting the Congressman's views on the patronage system, and so it had sought permission to quote from that correspondence, which it proceeds to do at some length.

It finds Mr. Jonas's position on patronage sensible, as there were many public servants on the Federal payroll who worked at their jobs with devotion, fidelity and competence. To turn it into one huge patronage system, to be overturned with each change of administration, would scare off qualified applicants who might want to make careers in public service, leaving only the "hacks and misfits" who could not find decent employment in the private sector.

"As Maine Goes, Etc." indicates that Maine, having been a political bellwether for many years, promised to lead in another direction, as its Legislature had informed Congress that it should ignore its earlier resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to limit income taxes to 25 percent.

The piece indicates that if Maine, being one of the more conservative states, opposed the amendment, then it was inconceivable that three-fourths of the states would ratify it. It finds that it was an appropriate position, as the scheme had been cooked up by a small group of strategists and slipped through many state legislatures with little or no publicity, with other states, in addition to Maine, having repealed their resolutions after finding out that the proposed limit on income tax would handicap the Federal Government in time of crisis or place a larger share of the load on ordinary taxpayers.

A piece from the Smithfield Herald, titled "Must We Fear the 'Controversial'?" indicates that the State Department had decreed that American books in foreign information programs written by "Communists, fellow travelers, or persons who might be considered controversial" were not to be accepted. The Department had asked book publishers who submitted books for the purpose to certify that they had no such influences. The piece regards it as one more nail being driven into the coffin of freedom.

"If this official trend is maintained we can look forward to the time when an American citizen will be a kind of neuter, blank in the head and carrying a vacuum where knowledge and judgment are ordinarily expected."

After reciting the history of the Revolution, it wonders whether the country had become so afraid of Communist opinion and doctrine that it cowered in the face of controversy lest it lead to Communism. It indicates that the State Department had once been regarded as one of the most solid Government institutions, but now appeared to be suffering from a "tendency toward nightmares and a temptation to see hobgoblins on dark nights". It wonders what had become of the Uncle Sam who once was pictured as "a fearless figure with a square jaw".

Drew Pearson indicates that Democratic Senators had shown remarkable teamwork since the start of the Eisenhower Administration, but had split during the week regarding whether to allow former Republican Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had become an independent, to be restored to his previous committee seats after he had been punished by the Republicans and denied those seats in the majority. A majority of Senate Democrats had appointed Senator Lister Hill of Alabama to discuss the matter with Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson, but the latter was in Texas and so Senator Hill could not see him. When the matter came up the previous Monday in the Democratic steering committee, Senators Herbert Lehman of New York, Paul Douglas of Illinois, Henry Jackson of Washington, and Clinton Anderson of New Mexico urged that Senator Morse be given back his old seats on the Armed Services and Labor Committees. Senator Anderson argued that there was no reason that the Democrats should help the Republicans discipline Senator Morse, with Senator Douglas adding that he would be the chief speaker at the Jackson-Jefferson Day dinner for the Democrats in Oregon, and Senator Jackson indicating that the DNC committeeman from Oregon was in Washington presently urging that Senator Morse receive Democratic support. Senator Matthew Neely of West Virginia indicated that the next Senate could easily wind up tied between the parties in membership, making Senator Morse the decisive vote.

Senator Johnson, however, explained to the steering committee that he had made a deal with Senator Taft regarding committee assignments and demanded that Democrats support that deal. Senator Willis Robertson of Virginia supported Senator Johnson out of fear that he might lose his seat on the Appropriations Committee should Senator Morse be given back his committee assignments. Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee said that if Senator Morse got his committee assignments back, Senator Gore would insist on being on the Appropriations Committee. In the end, the Democrats voted 23 to 16 against supporting Senator Morse's return to the committees. Among his opponents were Senators Stuart Symington, John Pastore, John F. Kennedy, and Mike Mansfield, all friends of Senator Morse. Senator Mansfield had told Senator Morse that he had done a fine job on the Armed Services Committee, but that Senator Johnson had made it a matter of party loyalty to oppose the reassignments.

Senator Anderson concluded that the Democrats were helping the Republicans discipline a former Republican who had helped the Democrats, while Democrats who deserted the party took the lead in helping Republicans.

Mr. Pearson notes that Senator Johnson had provided only tepid support for the presidential campaign of Governor Adlai Stevenson the prior year, while Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, who had helped fight against Senator Morse's reassignment, had gone to Venezuela the previous fall and refused to make a speech for Governor Stevenson.

He next lists several groups of people across the country who were working hard at people-to-people friendship among Europeans, "while Senator McCarthy and the isolationists are blasting our old allies".

Marquis Childs indicates that Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had told the President recently that he was expendable and that if the President disapproved of what he was doing, he would be happy to step aside. The statement was surprising to the President, as Mr. Humphrey was considered the ablest member of the Cabinet, and so responded that he was completely supportive of the effort to keep taxes at their present level until more economy could permit a balanced budget a year hence.

Secretary Humphrey was quite friendly with Daniel Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, and they discussed the tax problem together. But Mr. Reed only needed passively to allow the excess profits tax to expire at the end of June and the ten percent reduction in individual income taxes to take effect at the end of the year, already the law. Mr. Humphrey refused to believe that most of the Republicans and Democrats would not go along with a plan to keep present tax rates through 1953, allowing 12 billion dollars in economy measures to be realized against the present spending level of 74 billion, down to 62 billion. The Secretary was convinced that at that lower level, national security could still be assured.

Mail from the people in response to the President's recent nationwide radio address regarding national defense and the budget could be influential on Congress, and Mr. Childs's check on available Republican members of the Ways & Means Committee had revealed that mail had been negligible or negative on the topic. Most of the mail had come from heads of small businesses, against many of whom the excess profits tax worked a great injustice. The large corporations, who paid 75 to 90 percent of that tax, had advantage over small businesses through a long-established base of profits on which the excess profits tax was computed. Democrats on the Committee reported for the most part that their mail had reflected little change since the President's speech. They also resented the building pressure that it was their responsibility to save the Administration from the Republicans, and had not yet accepted that responsibility.

With only a month remaining before the excess profits tax expired, no Republican member of the Committee had introduced an Administration bill, even if the Committee would hold hearings grudgingly on the proposals by the Treasury.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the real question about the Administration's controversial defense program was not whether earlier defense planning was practical or not, or wasteful or not, but rather whether Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson was following the rule that adequate and reasonable defense had first priority. There was a lot of evidence that the first priority had been balancing the budget, reducing taxes and bringing the "wild chaos" of the Pentagon under managerial control. That conclusion, however, was not yet clear, as the Secretary may have done everything he could through cuts to render a more efficient defense.

The so-called Kelly report, recommending a U.S. air defense program, was presently being considered by Secretary Wilson and Undersecretary Roger Kyes. One of its primary recommendations was that the people of the country be acquainted with the hard facts, and to that end, a draft summary of the air defense problem had been submitted to the Secretary and Undersecretary for consideration for publication. If they decided to sweep it under the rug, however, it would appear that they were more interested in the other aims than in the security of the country.

The present air defenses were worthless vis-à-vis Soviet air-atomic capability, able to destroy the country within four years unless significant changes were made. Project Lincoln out of MIT had first warned of the air defense problem, though its recommendations had been criticized as being overly ambitious and experimental. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett had chosen the men who prepared the Kelly report on the basis that they would provide a practical assessment of the problem, with its leadership provided by Dr. Marvin Kelly of Bell Laboratories, and other members being Robert Wilson of Standard of Indiana, Frederick Hovde, president of Purdue, and professor Charles Lauritsen. They had spent five months weighing every relevant fact, and the report could not be brushed aside as impractical or only theoretical, as with the Lincoln Project. The compromise they were recommending was known to be moderate and careful, not urging immediate expenditure of large sums on equipment not adequately proven, but rather urging making a start on building an effective air defense system around the equipment which had been fully tested. Early warning nets could presently be built and warning on the seas could be organized, with a proper air defense communications system which would not break down under saturation attacks. In addition, all-weather fighters could be produced. All of those things were essential components of an improved air defense system.

A force of fighter-interceptors also had to be built up to supplement the warning system, requiring large appropriations above those presently requested in the proposed budget. Otherwise, the warning system would be worthless.

Hal Boyle, in London, indicates that many Americans believed that the following week's coronation of Queen Elizabeth would be the last in British Empire history, and some Britons held the same view. As the Queen was young and would have a long reign, the question was whether the throne would survive after her. "After all times are changing, and we are changing with them," was being heard in Britain. Many were asking whether the crown was worth the cost.

Emrys Hughes, a Laborite Welshman, had proposed in Commons the previous summer that the monarchy be abolished and Buckingham Palace turned into an apartment house. The shocked Conservatives went ahead anyway and voted the usual annual royal budget of 1.3 million dollars and refused a Labor demand that the yearly allowance of the Duke of Edinburgh be cut from $112,000 to $28,000. M.P. Hughes was so annoyed by the coming coronation festival that he refused to remain in London during the week and stormed off to Scotland, saying he would not return "until this jamboree is over."

London was so crowded that they had arranged for a floating hotel aboard a Spanish liner, the largest vessel ever to enter the port of London, to provide for visitors who could not find lodging on shore.

Despite the efforts to abolish the crown, it remained firm in the hearts of most Britons, with every thoroughfare well decorated with banners in preparation for the celebration. In the back streets as well, the working people had decked out their homes with portraits of the Queen in the window, along with the legend, "Long May She Reign".

In one block, 40 families had put out 750 flags and raised $325 for decorations, in homes which had average rents of $2.80 per week, where wage-earners among the residents received an average of $25 per week.

They were very proud of the show to come, unlike any American celebration. Each Briton felt that they had a part in it and most took personal pride in the Queen. A pub owner had asked rhetorically what they would have to replace the royal family, recommending that the U.S. have a royal family to knit the people together, saying that with all the money in America, there could easily be two royal families.

President Nixon sure tried to create One, starting 16 years hence. It did not quite work out for him. Fortunately, we do not have Kings and Queens in America. Nor do we want any. Sorry, but that is the way it is and has been since 1776. We fought a Revolution to convince you Britons of the fact, and then fought you again in 1812 through 1815. You would find the sales pitch a hard one to make, except to dolts, who would fancy themselves as having royal patronage in the bargain. Those dolts wanted to make Trump their King, and the resultant mess, from insouciance and plain incompetence, leaving aside the unlawful conduct and consistently divisive rhetoric, has been quite astounding.

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