The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that four South Korean divisions had withdrawn along the rain-soaked east central front the previous night and early this date as a result of increasing attacks by eight Communist Chinese divisions which had punched holes four miles deep at points in the allied lines. More than 100,000 troops from both sides were involved in the fighting and the outcome was still not clear after 24 hours of hand-to-hand combat in driving rain. Allied air support was sharply curtailed by the weather. Positions, including "Sniper Ridge", "Finger Ridge", and "Capitol Hill", which had been fought over during the previous two years, were in the sector and their possession remained in doubt. Eighth Army commander General Maxwell Taylor said, after a first-hand look at the situation, that the South Korean defenders were yielding some ground as the defense readjusted itself to the new situation. He said that the attack was not unexpected. The actual depth of penetration by the enemy was being maintained by the allies as censored information. At 60,000 to 70,000 enemy troops, it was the largest enemy offensive in more than two years, along a 20-mile front east of Kumhwa to the Pukhan River.

Allied and Communist armistice negotiators met at Panmunjom this date for 39 minutes before adjourning until the following day, with the negotiations apparently stalled by Communist fears that South Korea would honor a truce only for a limited amount of time. Official secrecy continued to envelop the talks, but the Communist Peiping radio broadcast a report that the accord between the U.S. and South Korea, announced the previous day, had placed "another time bomb in the way to an armistice". Communist correspondents outside the hut where the negotiations were transpiring said that the talks were "getting nowhere". The U.N. Command reported that the Communist liaison officers had charged that an allied shell had landed in the Panmunjom neutral zone on Sunday and that allied planes had bombed a prisoner of war assembly area north of Pyongyang on July 10, charges to which reply had not yet been made by the allies.

President Eisenhower reportedly told Congressional leaders this date that he believed the truce was near, despite the massive new attacks by the enemy. The optimism was shared by members of Congress, including Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Senator Alexander Wiley, who said he believed that cracks had developed between the Soviets and the Communist Chinese such that the latter wanted independently to arrange a settlement for Asia. He said that the agreement the previous day between President Syngman Rhee of South Korea and the special envoy of President Eisenhower, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, had paved the way for the cease-fire.

The Big Three foreign ministers of France, the U.S. and Britain were winding up their conference in Washington this date, with indications of agreement that any high-level meeting with Russia would be delayed at least until the following fall. A high British official said that his Government was willing to wait until after the German elections on September 6 for such a Big Four conference, to avoid possible embarrassment to West Germany's Government. Informants indicated that acting Foreign Secretary Lord Salisbury had presented that position to Secretary of State Dulles and French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault and that the three were in substantial agreement on the matter. Lord Salisbury would meet during the afternoon with Mr. Dulles to discuss the Suez Canal dispute with Egypt, with Britain determined that an agreement with Egypt had to cover two major points, permission for British forces to return to Suez in the event of war and arrangements for adequate maintenance of the military installations at the base. The conference remained shrouded in secrecy.

Senator Joseph McCarthy was seeking to investigate the CIA without tipping off its secrets, and had scheduled this date a discussion with CIA director Allen Dulles to develop such a plan. Senator McCarthy said his immediate objective was to question CIA official William Bundy, who was in line for assignment as a liaison official between the National Security Council and the Atomic Energy Commission. The Administration had frowned on the investigation. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma had told the Senate the previous day that such a probe would disclose to the country's enemies information that even the best spy apparatus of the Kremlin could otherwise not obtain. He said that he doubted that Senator McCarthy had a monopoly on despising, exposing and prosecuting Communists and their fellow travelers.

In Moscow, it was announced that V. A. Malyshev, one of the Soviet Union's top engineers and planners, had been relieved of his post as minister of transport and heavy industry, replaced by Ivan Nosenko, who had reportedly spoken out sharply against purged Deputy Premier L. P. Beria.

Off San Francisco, a freighter sunk in minutes to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean after an early morning collision this date, but all crew aboard were rescued. The freighter had been headed to the Far East from the Oakland Army Depot, when it collided in dense fog with an inbound freighter from Hawaii, about 18 miles southwest of the Golden Gate. None of the rescued crew of the sunk freighter had been seriously injured.

It was reported from Honolulu that rescuers this date had pulled burned and mutilated bodies from the shark-infested waters 350 miles east of Wake Island where a Transocean Airlines passenger plane had crashed Saturday night with 58 aboard, 50 of whom were passengers and eight were crewmen. Thus far, 11 bodies had been recovered and three others had been sighted. There was little hope of finding any survivors. The condition of the recovered bodies showed that the plane had plunged into the water already in flames and had exploded soon after impact with the sea.

In Richmond, Virginia Democrats voted this date in the gubernatorial primary, between Thomas Stanley, a former Congressman, and Charles Fenwick, an attorney from Arlington. Both were part of the machine headed by Senator Harry F. Byrd. The fall opponent would be Republican national committeeman Ted Dalton of Radford.

In Hickory, N.C., it was reported that Catawba and Caldwell Counties each had recorded five additional polio cases this date, bringing the two-county total to 167 cases, 117 of which had occurred in Caldwell, with six deaths, four of them in Caldwell. The county health officer for Caldwell had said that it was likely the epidemic had reached its peak and that the inoculations with gamma globulin the prior week of some 14,000 children, designed to provide a four-week immunization to interrupt the epidemic, would speed the decline in cases, even as sporadic cases would continue to be reported through the end of the summer. A similar inoculation program was being planned for Catawba later in the week. Just as in Caldwell, there would be lollipops as inducements for the children to accept the shots without complaint.

Stand up for your rights, kids! Throw those lollipops down and just say no to those mean, evil people who want to stick you with needles. Who cares about polio? Suckers are for suckers, the opiate of the masses. You don't need no shots. You don't got to show them your behinds. You don't got to accept no lollipops. March!

On the editorial page, "Alton Lennon Must Prove Himself" indicates that North Carolinians, based on their confidence in Governor William B. Umstead's judgment and integrity, would be inclined to accept Mr. Lennon as a worthy appointee to the Senate seat vacated by the recent death of Senator Willis Smith.

The Democratic Party leadership in the state was at a low ebb, with neither the Umstead faction nor the faction supportive of former Governor Kerr Scott being overly endowed with leaders of outstanding ability. Mr. Lennon, despite having served two terms in the State Senate between 1947 and 1951, had not been well known over the state prior to his appointment. But he had been an able vote-getter in his native New Hanover County around Wilmington and had also ably organized Mr. Umstead's campaigns in that county for the Senate in 1948, defeated by former Governor J. Melville Broughton, and in his successful gubernatorial race the prior year.

It suggests that the Governor had been looking ahead to the 1954 election when he chose Mr. Lennon, with the probability that he would be facing former Governor Scott as his Democratic primary opponent the following spring. Many in the state had favored State Supreme Court Justice Jeff Johnson instead of Mr. Lennon, on the basis that Justice Johnson had managed the campaigns for the Senate of both Mr. Broughton and Frank Porter Graham, who had been appointed by Governor Scott as the replacement for Senator Broughton at the latter's death just two months after taking office in 1949. It suggests that if those who supported Justice Johnson would now coalesce, along with the other rivals for the position, and join the Governor in supporting Mr. Lennon, he would be a formidable candidate the following year.

As indicated, former Governor Scott would defeat Mr. Lennon in the primary in 1954 and, of course, in the one-party state, win easily the fall election. Mr. Lennon would later be elected to the House in 1956 and would serve eight terms before his retirement in 1973.

"Food Offer—'Deeds Not Words'" indicates that the President's offer of 15 million dollars worth of U.S. food surpluses to the starving of East Germany was more than a humanitarian gesture but would also be an astute propaganda coup. If it had been accepted, it would present the U.S. in a positive light to the people behind the Iron Curtain, and if, as it was, refused, it would convict Russia in world opinion for turning down a humanitarian gesture. After the latter had occurred, the Administration had gone ahead and started shipping the food overseas to draw world attention to the fact that the offer had been made in good faith.

It opines that whether the food ever reached the East Germans or not, the U.S. and its friendly allies would have the satisfaction of knowing that the attempt had been made, saddling Russia with just criticism for turning it down.

"Safe Drivers Get a Break" indicates that there was a buyers' market in used cars and also in automobile liability insurance, as the insurance companies, pressed by competition, were being forced to recognize the injustice of rate schedules which penalized safe drivers. It details the new plans being put forth to alleviate those penalties, using as example Allstate Insurance Company's new rate structure. It suggests that rewarding safe and responsible drivers and penalizing only the reckless was the fair method, even if a bit more complicated for the insurance companies.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "That Press", indicates that it had been the case that the professional "liberals" had attacked the press in the past, but now the opposition was coming from the other side. The previous April, Senator Taft complained that the Washington press corps was putting the crusade of the new Administration in a bad light and intimated that something ought to be done about it. Columnist David Lawrence had charged that "many members of the press corps who have been pro-New Deal and pro-Fair Deal for 20 years" were doing a good job of harassing the new Administration, exaggerating unimportant issues and accentuating normal and natural differences of opinion.

It suggests that the attacks from both sides of the political spectrum suggested that, by and large, the press did a good job. "Or as it was said of the fellow who hated both children and dogs, after all it can't be all bad."

Drew Pearson indicates that the Big Three foreign ministers had done more talking in their meeting about the probable results of the ouster of L. P. Beria than about anything else, and had eliminated the possibility of a Big Four conference including the Soviet Union. It was believed that British Prime Minister Churchill, who had been the prime proponent of a Big Four conference, might soon retire for health reasons. Apart from that, the foreign ministers did not want to provide the stamp of approval to Premier Georgi Malenkov by meeting with him at the present time, thus building him up in the eyes of the Russian people. The foreign ministers' hope was for more division, not unity, within the Kremlin.

There was more trouble expected within the Kremlin, as many of Mr. Beria's friends were bound to flee the Iron Curtain, providing the West in the process with a better view of the truth. Questions among diplomats were whether the Russians would be so busy in disagreement that tension with the West might relax or whether Mr. Malenkov would be so jittery that he would precipitate a war, none of the experts knowing which might transpire.

Mr. Beria and Mr. Malenkov had a running feud for years, as had other Kremlin leaders. Nikolai Bulganin was the only pure Russian among the top leaders of the Kremlin. Mr. Pearson details some of the reported rivalries and how the secret police under the control of Mr. Beria had been almost as powerful as the Red Army.

He indicates that no one would know definitely for a long time what had finally tipped the scales against Mr. Beria, but that probably it had been the East German riots of June 17 plus the Russian atomic energy program bogging down, a program directed by Mr. Beria, in addition to his supervision of the policing of the satellites. When the uranium mines had been flooded and Czech-German workers staged riots and strikes, it had likely given Mr. Malenkov the excuse for which he had been waiting. For some weeks prior to the death of Premier Stalin on March 5, Mr. Malenkov had been fabricating evidence collected by the top branch of the secret police in an effort to liquidate Mr. Beria, while the latter was fabricating secret police evidence to liquidate Mr. Malenkov. Stalin had protected Mr. Beria from Mr. Malenkov prior to the beginning of 1953, but two months before Stalin's death, he had switched over to the side of Mr. Malenkov, during the controversy regarding the prosecution of Soviet doctors for secretly poisoning high military officials, a prosecution which was abruptly dropped following the death of Stalin.

Joseph Alsop discusses Senator McCarthy's targeting of William Bundy of the CIA, based primarily on his having contributed $400 to the Alger Hiss defense fund because he believed that everyone was entitled to a fair trial, and premised further on the fact that he happened to be the son-in-law of former Secretary of State Acheson.

The White House, led by the President's chief of staff Sherman Adams, had determined, with the approbation of the President, to make an issue of Senator McCarthy's hiring of J. B. Matthews as the Investigations subcommittee staff director, after Mr. Matthews had stated in the American Mercury that there were 7,000 Protestant clergymen who were aligned with Communism. The White House invited three telegrams, each from a Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leader, denouncing Mr. Matthews and his statements, giving the President a reason to speak on the matter. Vice-President Nixon had warned the President that Senator McCarthy was about to drop Mr. Matthews from his staff, but the White House reaction was to give the press the President's statement on the matter anyway.

At that point, with Senator McCarthy desiring a diversion, the issue of investigation of Mr. Bundy had arisen. The Senator had also given a list of ten "security risks" within the CIA to director Allen Dulles. It turned out that six of the men were not in the employ of the Agency and the others were respectable officials. Mr. Dulles refused to do anything about the matter and turned to the President for advice, complaining that with Congress looking over his shoulder, his agents could not do their jobs effectively, threatening to resign if the President could not protect the CIA from such investigations. The President promised to provide unstinting support to Mr. Dulles.

Senator McCarthy was warned that the President had taken that position, and he then decided to subpoena Mr. Bundy as an open challenge to the President. At that point, the matter was turned over to the National Security Council which decided unanimously to order Mr. Bundy, under the doctrine of separation of powers, not to respond to the subpoena. Senator McCarthy had since sought to bully Mr. Dulles into submission. Some at the White House were urging a compromise, involving the transfer of Mr. Bundy to a less sensitive position. But, suggests Mr. Alsop, it was hard to believe that the President would again appease Senator McCarthy, after the latter had been allowed to veto the appointment to the Defense Department of Paul Nitze, though the latter had been offered another appointment to the CIA, with the President's approval.

Mr. Alsop concludes that the "real Eisenhower", who had courage and devotion to high principle, would not yield to blackmail and appeared to be taking charge. "If this happens, it will be a very sad day for the junior Senator from Wisconsin."

Don Whitehead tells of the role of Vice-President Nixon in the Administration, primarily acting as the White House liaison with Congress, especially the Senate, a job at which reportedly he was doing an excellent job. His advice was being followed in that regard by the President. He had kept an extremely low profile following the "Checkers" matter of the prior September, in which he was nearly dumped from the ticket because of the $18,000 slush fund established for him by wealthy supporters following his 1950 Senate election.

In this unaccustomed position, Mr. Nixon had come to know more about the goings on in the executive branch than anyone except the President, himself. In the low-profile role, he had been a poor target for critics of the Administration during its first six months in office.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of the proposed amendment to the Constitution regarding the treaty-making power of the President, as sponsored by Senator John W. Bricker, which would extend the ratification requirement of the Senate to executive agreements and require a simple majority of both houses for implementation of treaties, following the existing required ratification by two-thirds of the Senate.

Those organizations which favored the amendment included the ABA and the DAR, generally focused on the fear that U.N. treaties would be used by internationalists to promote socialism, world government and imposition of civil rights on the states.

The opposition, which included a section of the ABA, the New York Bar Association, the CIO, the League of Women Voters, and the ADA, believed the amendment would unduly limit the ability of the President to enter into international accords. The leading opponent in Congress was Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. He had been censured by the Republican State Convention in Wisconsin for not supporting the amendment and was urged to reconsider.

Both sides were busy in last-ditch efforts either to pass or defeat the proposal. Most of the mail and personal contacts were coming from pro-amendment forces.

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