The Charlotte News
Wednesday, June 24, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Milo Farneti, that on the eve of the third anniversary of the start of the war in Korea, fighting on the ground front was quiet, following heavy fighting the previous day on the central front, where 6,000 or more Chinese Communist troops had attacked and were repulsed by U.S. and South Korean infantrymen. Early this date, the only engagement reported in the usually dangerous pre-dawn hours had been a clash between 75 Chinese troops and South Korean troops on the central front. Some fighting remained near "Jane Russell Hill" on "Triangle Hill" by mid-afternoon, but the Army had indicated that relatively few enemy troops were involved. An enemy attack on "Sniper Ridge" which had begun shortly after midnight and extended into the South Korean trenches at some points, aided by a dense fog, had dissipated before noon, after reinforcements had been rushed to the front, forcing the retreat of the enemy, with only a single enemy platoon remaining by mid-afternoon.
In the air war, Sabre jets reported shooting down six enemy MIG-15s and damaging a seventh.
An emissary from Washington, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, had arrived in Tokyo this date, set to have talks with President Syngman Rhee regarding his insistence to continue to fight the war utilizing only South Korean troops if a truce were signed by the U.N. allies and the Communists which left Korea divided. Mr. Robertson carried a note for the President from Secretary of State Dulles, and was expected to proceed to Korea the next day to speak with him. Meanwhile, President Rhee served official notice on General Mark Clark, U.N. Supreme commander, that he would pull his 16-division South Korean Army from the U.N. Command if an armistice were signed on the present terms. He said that he was saying no "not out of defiance", but rather with "deep humility". He said that he would let General Clark know when that action would have to take place, and hoped that the directive of withdrawal would not need be made. Mr. Robertson, accompanied by Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins, remained confident that rapprochement on the issue was still possible. The leader of the Democratic Nationalist Party, opposed to President Rhee, was severely beaten in his home by four young men, whom he had described as "hoodlums", following his speaking out against the South Korean President's defiant stand on the truce, terming the release of the North Korean prisoners who did not wish repatriation to have been "unwise" and that the actions might isolate South Korea from the free world. Others had then ransacked his home. It was anticipated that the largest anti-truce demonstration yet in South Korea, with more than a million expected to participate, would occur on the third anniversary of the beginning of the war, the following day. In Pusan, the Government dubbed the following day "Northward Advancement Unification Day", referencing the rallying cry to proceed north to the Yalu River to unify the country, and ordered 200,000 Koreans to rally in the city plaza for demonstrations, parades and speeches. South Korea's Ambassador to the U.S., Dr. You Chan Yang, said in a radio panel discussion in Washington that the removal of President Rhee would not ease the split between South Korea and the U.N., that the entire nation would have to be deposed.
The President asked Congressional leaders to back him at the July Big Three conference with a foreign aid program approved without major cuts, to provide confidence to Britain and France that Congress supported the Government's policy of continued foreign aid. Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin said this date that he would sponsor an amendment to increase the President's authority to transfer funds from one area to another, though not appearing still to support the unlimited authority to shift aid as he had suggested the previous day following a meeting with the President. Senator Taft objected to the discretionary authority as being too broad, saying he did not believe the full Senate would agree to unlimited authority of the President to shift the funds, but would agree to limit it to about a billion dollars in European aid until the Western European countries ratified the European Defense Community treaties for formation of a unified army. The House had voted to restrict the aid until the treaties were approved by the six nations, France, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries, only West Germany thus far having ratified the treaties.
In Berlin, the Western Allies demanded anew this date that the Russians lift martial law in East Berlin, and rejected as unworthy of consideration Communist charges that American officers had incited the rioting in East Germany the prior week. East German Prime Minister Otto Grotewohl told Communist Party workers that many Germans arrested during the riots were being released but that the "genuinely guilty" would be punished severely. His statement was seen as an effort to placate simmering resentment among the workers, still under martial law eight days after the riots. Western sources reported that as many as 16,000 workers in the Soviet Zone had been jailed, with another 4,000 in East Berlin prisons, and 27 summary executions by Red Army riflemen having taken place, with East German local courts considering the same capital punishment in a few cases. The East German Government had invited airing of grievances in public discussions, a move to prevent the situation from exploding further.
The President and Republican Congressional leaders this date decided to utilize every possible means in an effort to force action on the blocked bill to extend the excess profits tax, held up by House Ways & Means Committee chairman Daniel Reed, who was keeping the bill in the Committee to avoid a floor vote in the House. House Speaker Joseph Martin, after conferring with the President on the matter, said that they would seek to force a Committee vote by getting a majority of the 25-member Committee to petition for a meeting of the full Committee, which he said could be achieved with assistance from Democrats on the Committee, which he predicted would occur. If such a majority were mustered, a session would have to be held within seven days. The excess profits tax was set to expire on June 30, unless extended by Congress, as sought by the President for an additional six months. A majority of the Committee was believed to be in favor of recommending the bill to the full House, where it was anticipated it would pass.
The House Government Operations Committee, chaired by Congressman Clare Hoffman of Michigan, this date voted 16 to 14 to submit the President's plan to reorganize the Defense Department to the full House for debate, while condemning it as "another step on the road toward control by the military." It criticized the plan as setting up a Prussian-type chief of staff, with increased authority of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs. The reorganization plan would go into effect the following Monday automatically unless either the House or Senate voted to disapprove it in the meantime.
The Air Force this date canceled all its contracts with Kaiser, Inc., for the production of transport aircraft, including contracts involving construction of the "Flying Boxcar" and C-123 aircraft at the Willow Run, Mich., plant operated by Kaiser. The Air Force said that the cancellation was independent of hearings presently occurring before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee, chaired by Senator Styles Bridges, in which the chairman had protested payment to Kaiser for more than five times as much for a Flying Boxcar as the same plane cost from Fairchild Aircraft in New Jersey, which had originally developed the Boxcar or C-119 during World War II. Henry Kaiser had testified that the plant operations at Willow Run could not be compared to the Fairchild plant, as the former was being operated at low capacity while the latter was at full capacity. Kaiser officials had also complained of troubles with subcontractors.
Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay this date asked the President to withdraw the nomination of Tom Lyon to be director of the Bureau of Mines, after Mr. Lyon was reported by Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah to have just requested that his name be withdrawn, following testimony the previous day in which he admitted drawing a $5,000 annual pension from Anaconda Copper Mining Co., raising a potential conflict of interest for the position to which he had been appointed.
The President chose New York financier Lewis Strauss, a member of the original Atomic Energy Commission, to be the new chairman of the Commission. The appointment would be for a five-year term. He would succeed Gordon Dean, whose resignation was effective on June 30. Mr. Strauss had served on the Commission from its inception in 1946 until April 15, 1950, resigning to return to the private sector.
In London, it was reported that the Polish sea captain, Jan Cwiklinski, who hauled fugitive former reputed top Communist in the U.S., Gerhard Eisler, to a Communist haven, had become a refugee from the Communists this date, as Britain was expected to grant him political asylum. The captain had been decorated by the Communist Government in Poland for his part in the escape of Mr. Eisler from the U.S. some years earlier, but had stayed ashore with his ship's medical officer when the ship sailed from Britain the prior Saturday.
In Salem, Ore., it was reported by the warden of the State Penitentiary that 50 inmates had become ill with food poisoning from inadequately cooked pork, but all were expected to recover.
In Honolulu, Harry Bridges, head of the West Coast longshoremen's union, opened a special convention this date, designed to fight against the conviction of the union's Hawaiian leader, Jack Hall, as a Communist conspirator. Some 24,000 union stevedores and sugar and pineapple plantation workers had ended the previous day a three-day walkout in protest of the conviction of Mr. Hall and six co-defendants for conspiracy to teach and advocate the violent overthrow of the Government, pursuant to the Smith Act.
On the editorial page, "Impeachment Bill Merits Swift Death" indicates that a House Judiciary subcommittee had set a hearing for the following Tuesday on a resolution introduced by Representative William Wheeler of Georgia to impeach Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas for the latter's issuance of a stay the prior week of the executions of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg, a stay overturned by the full Court two days later. It finds the effort without substance, as Justice Douglas had been acting pursuant to his appropriate authority in issuing the stay and that the point raised by the counsel for the "next friend" of the Rosenbergs, not actually retained by the couple, had been worthy of consideration by the Court, as to whether the 1946 Atomic Energy Act penalty provisions had superseded the 1917 Espionage Act penalty provisions, under which the Rosenbergs had been sentenced to death following their conviction under the Act for conspiracy to provide the Soviets with critical atomic bomb secrets. Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter had also favored, in the end, continuing the stay so that the lower courts could consider the issue in due course. The Court had decided, 6 to 3, out of expediency to go ahead and look at the issue, finding it without merit, and thus overturned the stay.
The piece concludes, quite rightly, that there were no "high crimes and misdemeanors" involved in the episode. It also states that there was no provocation for Congress to threaten the independence of the judiciary by such a "hasty, thoughtless, untenable coercion."
The previous day, in his weekly column in the News, Representative Charles Jonas had placed the issue in proper perspective by saying that he had received scores of telegrams and letters urging him to support the impeachment resolution, but that while he personally believed that Justice Douglas had acted unwisely in issuing the stay, he did not believe it involved high crimes and misdemeanors, and did not understand how a judge could be vested with discretion to undertake such tasks as stays of execution, and then face impeachment for exercising that discretion. It finds that Mr. Jonas was upholding a fundamental precept of the bar, as stated in the American Bar Association Journal recently, that advocates believed in the system of justice, not in their clients' political or personal views, in according an able defense and a fair trial to everyone. The Christian Science Monitor had recently said that the defense of liberty, as with the defense of free speech, often had to be fought on "dubious frontiers" to preserve and protect the rights of everyone who might be falsely accused.
It suggests that Justice Douglas would only have been guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors had he failed to grant the stay after concluding that the point of law was substantial enough to warrant examination. (It uses the word "re-examination", but the very reason why Justice Douglas issued the stay was that the legal point in question had not been previously considered or raised in the courts.)
"What Happened to 'Liberation' Policy?" indicates that when Joseph Stalin had died March 5, the Eisenhower Administration was caught flat-footed, as it had no plan of action to take advantage of the subsequent confusion and unrest in Russia. Now, the uprising in East Germany had transpired for more than a week, with, thus far, no significant reaction from the U.S. Government calculated to inspire confidence in the satellite nations that the West was behind any effort they might make to overthrow Communist domination. That was made all the more paradoxical because of Republican campaign promises of "liberation" for the satellites, promises which were later qualified and toned down, but which had already set off the spark of hope in the oppressed peoples of Eastern Europe.
The President, it suggests, could not be blamed directly for the failure of the Government to anticipate those two great developments in the Soviet Empire, the death of Stalin and the revolt in the satellites, as he had been preoccupied with other things, such as maintaining the Republican Congressional right-wing in line, while trying to cut spending, balance the budget, fill his Administration with able personnel, repairing ruptured relations between the White House and Congress, restoring dignity to the Presidency, and a thousand other things, after the Republicans had been out of power for 20 years. Though he was ultimately responsible for foreign policy, he had to rely on Secretary of State Dulles for guidance, and the Secretary had proved a "weak read indeed in these two situations."
It urges the President to ponder the anomaly that while the East Germans had been burning Russian plants and factories, Secretary Dulles and the State Department had been burning books in the overseas Information Service libraries. It asserts that it was long past the time for the President and Secretary Dulles to cease obeisance to Senator McCarthy and reassert boldly their authority in the field of foreign relations, that a wide crack had developed in the Soviet structure and that they should be doing everything within their power to pry it further apart.
"Federal Grants Face Critical Study" indicates that after some months of delay, the Administration was preparing to take a close look at Federal grant-in-aid programs. The President had asked Congress the previous March 30 to authorize a commission to study the relationship between Federal, state, and local governments, specifically suggesting a study of overlapping taxation and a survey of the Federal grants, to clear the lines of authority. On May 6, the Senate had responded with a bill authorizing the studies, followed by the House on June 4.
The grant-in-aid program had become big business, as in the prior fiscal year, there had been 48 separate programs, with the Federal Government sharing in the cost to the extent of 2.4 billion dollars, the remainder of the money coming from state and local governments. The argument for Federal participation was that it enabled standardization of services among the 48 states under formulas in effect to take account of the needy, with the less wealthy states receiving larger per capita grants. But despite that argument, there was question whether the Federal Government ought to take part in the programs, with the President believing that in many cases, the Government had entered areas which, under the Constitution, were properly the province of the state and local governments.
It suggests that states' righters would applaud the new approach to the Federal grant-in-aid program, but it was well for them to bear in mind that in many cases, Federal intervention had been triggered by the failure of the states properly to exercise their responsibilities. If the Federal Government withdrew completely from some of the programs or reduced its contribution in others, the states would then need to step up and decide whether to drop the services in question or find new revenues to support them.
"Performers A-Plenty" indicates that Margaret Truman, former First Daughter, was not a great singer or beautiful, though was not unattractive, particularly when compared with other television personalities, and did have talent. "She can keep up with Tallulah in repartee, if not in revelry, moves with easy grace both on and off stage."
It had generally been thought that her performing contract, which had ended in November, 1952, at the time of the election, would be her last, and that she would fade from the stage with her father. But she had since fooled the cynics, and had been signed by NBC to a new contract with increased pay. It indicates its happiness for her and wishes her success, that the new contract ought scotch rumors about her running for Congress, as there were already "too many performers" in that body.
You have not seen anything, yet.
A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Of Pigs and Girls", indicates that things had been tough for Virginia, which had practically admitted that North Carolina women were more beautiful than those from that state, as it had voted two North Carolina natives as beauty queens, one for Clarksville's Water Pageant and the other for Tidewater's Spring Festival.
At the same time, Smithfield, N.C., had informed Virginia that its famous hams were not peanut-fed, as imparted by a farm agent who said that it would take $86.24 worth of peanuts to make a $46 hog, prompting admission by the editor of the Richmond Times-Dispatch that there was truth in the matter. The fact was that it did not make any difference what the hogs were fed, as the secret to a good ham was in its curing and aging. "A beneficent Providence has decreed that you can feed a pig terrestrial slops and get a celestial ham out of it all."
It concludes that it did not know what made North Carolina girls prettier than those in Virginia, that it did not believe it was the feeding or curing, or the aging, but rather was perhaps a matter of heredity and environment, a conclusion it would rather not take on faith but by eyewitness observation.
Drew Pearson indicates that when the President had stated in the commencement address recently at Dartmouth College his admonition to the students not to engage in book-burning, but to go to the library and read all types of books, the Voice of America had been stopped from broadcasting the address overseas. Normally, every speech by the President was automatically broadcast by the Voice as mere routine, and in this case, with so much criticism having been directed at the State Department Information Service libraries abroad for having in them books with Communist sympathies, the Voice considered it especially appropriate to broadcast the speech. But just as it was beginning to prepare for the broadcast, word had come to suppress the speech for "policy reasons". State Department officials were still in the dark on the matter, and it was assumed that the President, himself, had become nervous about the speech, as partly indicated at his press conference two days later when he had hedged on his remarks at Dartmouth and indicated that he was in favor of taking off the shelves books which urged Communist doctrine.
Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay, visiting his old hometown of Portland, dropped into his favorite barbershop, where the patrons and barbers gathered around to greet him. He answered various questions regarding how things were in Washington, imparting of his fancy office which was almost as long as a bowling alley, equipped with a special dining room, a bedroom and a shower. He said that one of the first things he had wanted to do was to get a hold of the rug supposedly belonging to former Interior Secretary Harold Ickes, reputed to have a Democratic donkey woven into it with the words, "We are Here to Stay". He said that his ambition was to stomp all over it, but his immediate predecessor, Oscar Chapman, had thwarted him by ruling that it was the personal property of the Ickes family and provided it to the widow of Mr. Ickes.
The former head of the foreign aid program, Averell Harriman, had suggested to several Senators that it was time to call for the resignation of Secretary of State Dulles, concluding that the latter had been to blame for the narrow victory in Italy of pro-Western Premier Alcide De Gasperi, that the loss of 20,000 votes out of 25 million cast in that election meant political chaos in Italy rather than a stable, friendly government for the ensuing five years, for the fact that 20,000 additional votes for the center coalition party of the Premier would have ensured, under Italian law, that more than 60 percent of the lower house of the parliament would have been controlled by the Premier's coalition. But without those additional votes, he was now relegated to an unmanageable majority of only five seats out of nearly 600. The situation, asserted Mr. Harriman, had resulted from the Administration's ineptitude in Italy, where there was resentment over the threats and lecturing by Secretary Dulles in January prior to his visit to Rome, which did not cure that resentment. Moreover, Ambassador Clare Boothe Luce had been appointed to replace Ambassador Ellsworth Bunker, who, by all accounts, had gained the confidence of the Italian Government and was widely respected by the people since his appointment in the spring of 1952 by President Truman. The appointment of a woman was also regarded in Italy as a slight, and Ambassador Luce was regarded by the Italians as an ultra-conservative, creating among them the impression that the U.S. was presently dominated by that thinking. Mr. Harriman also stated that McCarthyism, in the name of anti-Communism, was driving many European friends over to the Communists. Republican businessmen and others had reported that McCarthyism had shocked the Italians, just as it had the British and Germans, providing them evidence that the U.S. was moving toward reaction and away from the sympathetic attitude which the American people had previously shown to the Italian people since the war. Mr. Harriman had concluded that the person most responsible for that shift in opinion was Mr. Dulles, both for his own actions and for his surrender to Senator McCarthy.
Marquis Childs indicates that the harm which President Syngman Rhee had done to interfere with the truce went beyond the truce, itself, endangering the collective security in a world menaced by the prospect of atomic warfare. He suggests that many Americans would react with anger and disgust at such a result after three years of war, with 150,000 American casualties and not less than between 20 and 25 billion dollars spent directly on the war. The mode of thinking was that if that was what happened when the country went to the rescue of friends, then it should never do so again. That feeling was exacerbated by the fact that 90 percent of the burden of manpower and money, other than by the South Korean forces, had been borne by the U.S.
President Rhee's action in freeing the North Korean prisoners who were against repatriation had also resulted in a diminution of the prestige of the new Administration, at a particularly inopportune time, when a contrast might have been presented between a truce in Korea and the workers' riots in East Germany, signaling a major revolt against the Communist dictatorship. It appeared that nearly every blunder had been made in handling the Korean situation.
The New York Times reports, the most complete out of Korea, showed that the U.N. Command had been amply warned that President Rhee would undertake the action, though it was considered a bluff. Mr. Childs suggests that it was doubtful that precautions could have been undertaken to prevent the escape of the prisoners, but that, in any event, no precautions had been taken. The freed prisoners were evident in the streets of Pusan, as they were generally in better physical condition than most of the residents, beset by hunger, and also had short haircuts and ill-fitting clothes. But the U.N. Command appeared unwilling to do anything to try to identify them and round them up, despite that being a new condition of the truce laid down by the Communists, for the fact that the prisoners were receiving the solid support of the civilian population.
The one point which could be advanced in defense of President Rhee's action was that a considerable number of the 25,000 prisoners released had been South Koreans who had been seized by the Communist armies when they had overrun most of the Korean Peninsula early in the war, having been forced to fight with the Communists. Those prisoners would have been released anyway under the painstakingly negotiated terms of the truce, the very reason for the prolonged negotiations over the course of more than the prior year since the conditions of the truce had boiled down to only the repatriation issue.
It had been said that it was a blunder not to have released those South Korean prisoners as soon as they were captured and identified as such, but it also showed the intent of the U.N. Command to stick strictly by the international rules governing prisoners of war, in the hope that the Communists would do likewise with respect to the U.N. prisoners.
He concludes that no one at present could see how to resolve the situation. It had become far more difficult to fight the war. But the U.S. could not now guarantee that President Rhee would live up to a truce.
Robert C. Ruark expresses some sorrow for the 17-year locusts, the cicadas, who were just now emerging from their nap started in 1936, having missed all of the intervening history, which he proceeds briefly to review so that they might be able to catch up. In the process, he chucks in every one of his pet peeves covered from time to time in his column, regarding social welfare programs, the New Deal, the Fair Deal, and especially the Truman Administration.
"There are so many things I could tell you about, locusts—Dagmar, Milton Berle, Christine Jorgensen, Joe McCarthy, Marilyn Monroe, Mickey Mantle, Mickey Jelke, Mickey Rooney—you know Mickey Mouse already, and a fine, decent chap he is—Bill O'Dwyer, Frank Costello, Lucky Luciano, and a host of other good fellows.
"But I don't think I will. Why don't you just be a smart bug and burrow underground again, for another 17 years? Maybe we can clear up some of the stuff and give you a neater world in 1970."
Don't bet on it. For in 1970, the current Vice-President, after a series of disturbing and tragic intervening events, will be in the White House, and whether that meant that the world was better off or worse off would likely depend on where your perspective lay in 1953. In any event, Mr. Ruark, you will have been in the grave for five years and will not get to see it.
A letter writer proposes that Charlotte establish a free telephone booth in the heart of the downtown business district so that anyone would have free access to the telephone, as other cities had done. He thinks it a good idea for a civic organization to undertake. The Rotary Club of Greene, New York, had done so, and he enclosed a photograph of that telephone booth, which is duly printed with his letter. He suggests that Charlotte set up four such booths.
Now, thanks to the proliferation of those damned smart phones, made by slave labor in China, one cannot find a pay phone anywhere, which is troublesome if one runs out of gas or the like, and does not believe in having one of those damned smart phones, at least until they stop making them with slave labor in China. They are also conducive to inattention to more important matters than involving one's self constantly in a phone, such that the phone becomes one's god and chief companion, enabling shutting out of the world immediate, chief help-mate in time of trouble, though often leading to more trouble than they prevent, to the point of utter and complete moronic absurdity. Take your damned smart phones and throw them in the lake. Stamp on those, rather than getting out your aggressions by pulling down and stamping on statuary, one of the most moronic sights we have ever seen in modern times. What in hell do you think you are really accomplishing except appearing to most people, who are not out there with you, as morons?
Sculpt your own statues and seek proper authority to have them placed in the public square, but, otherwise, leave the existing statuary where it is until the proper authorities either decide to remove it or leave it, in which case, you must accept that decision as the voice of the people, or elect new public officials in your particular local area, or move somewhere else where the people will agree more readily with your politics and views of history. Meanwhile, take your ropes, your fire, and your destructive tendencies and shove them where the moon does not shine. That is the way a democracy works. You do not get your way by demanding it. That is fascism, totalitarian tactics. You are behaving as little children, not as men and women.
The same can be said of those who would erect, in protest of removal of the statuary, Confederate battle flags on private property next to an interstate highway. If Burke County, N.C.
A letter writer indicates that she had been concerned and much in prayer about the effort to remove the Bible study program from the public schools, believing it was wrong. She finds that, "In these closing days before Jesus returns, we must contend for the faith."
A letter writer from Great Falls, S.C., finds that there should be no difficulty in concluding that the Bible should not be taught in the public schools, that the forefathers of the country had been wise in providing the Constitution, with its Establishment Clause, keeping religion separate from the state. They had foreseen, he says, "confusion, dissatisfaction and discrepancy" were religion permitted to be taught in the public schools, that it was important to maintain individual freedom of worship and that no one should be forced to accept a faith in which they did not believe. They also realized that with the many denominations in existence in the country, there would be insufficient funds to provide teachers for every denomination. Thus, they believed that it was best to leave religion to the churches and the teaching of the Bible to the Sunday Schools of those churches. He therefore agrees with the 26 Charlotte Baptist ministers who had signed a resolution urging the City and County School Boards to end the Bible teaching program in the public schools as being violative of the principle of separation of church and state.
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