The Charlotte News
Friday, July 24, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that sources in Seoul and Washington had reported that the truce in the Korean War might be signed either on Sunday or Monday, by the Korean dateline, probably Sunday. U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark had received final authorization, according to officials in Washington, from the President to sign for the U.N., and the belief was expressed that it would occur on Monday. Washington sources said that the time would be set 24 hours in advance and announced immediately so that the world would have notice. The sources in both locations indicated, however, that the signing date could be delayed by some new move by South Korean President Syngman Rhee, who had again denounced the armistice this date, saying that some of the allied promises to the Communists could not be allowed to happen. His new threats brought no immediate reaction at the truce site in Panmunjom, where liaison officers met for two hours and 48 minutes this date and then recessed without scheduling another session. President Rhee had acknowledged that the truce was imminent and said that he was anxious not to follow a unilateral policy if it could be avoided. He accused the allies of giving the Communists pledges which would "render impossible a fulfillment" of some of South Korea's basic understandings with the U.S., including his agreement made with Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, President Eisenhower's envoy who had met several times with President Rhee until returning home the prior week, that no troops from India or any other foreign nation would be landed in South Korea to guard the prisoners of war during the determination of repatriation issues, as well as other problems—which are continued on another page.
Korean sources indicated this date that Marshal Kim Il Sung, "fat boss" of North Korea, was swinging away from Russia and toward closer ties with Communist China, while contradictory reports said that Kim had been purged. While there was no way of checking the rumors, it appeared that political unrest was ripe in North Korea, as Kim reportedly had been turning out Korean Communists who leaned toward Russia, while boosting those who favored Communist China. At least three members of the Cabinet had reportedly been purged, including the Foreign Minister, the Justice Minister and the Vice Premier, Hu Ka Wee. The Foreign Minister, Park Hun Yung, was said to be in a Communist jail after being purged three months earlier, and it was unknown what had occurred to the other two, behind the "Bamboo Curtain". Confusion had developed because Park had favored Communist China. Home Minister Chun Hun Shik said that the chairman of the North Korean People's Supreme Committee, Kim Too Bong, had won the favor of Marshal Kim. There were other reports that Kim was close to L. P. Beria, recently deposed head of the Russian secret police. The reports that Kim had been purged were doubtful as General Clark's headquarters in Tokyo had signed truce communications bearing his name in recent weeks.
In ground fighting, Chinese Communists attacked with about 5,000 men the previous night three hilltop outposts on the western front northeast of Panmunjom, with allied soldiers fighting with bayonets and gun butts against the Chinese who had entered trenches on two of the hills, with the allies continuing to hold about half of the two hills. The two sides had exchanged artillery fire in the battle begun just after sunset, with the enemy having apparently been repulsed two hours before midnight. There had also been desultory fighting on four hills in the area northwest of Kumhwa, one of the hills having been retaken from the Communists by the South Koreans, but the other three remaining in Communist hands despite South Korean efforts. American and South Korean troops had overpowered Communist troops in six of nine other small but savage battles across the peninsula. The South Korean troops suffered the brunt of the final fighting in the three-year war
Senator Joseph McCarthy asked Arthur Eisenhower, the President's brother, to confirm or deny that he called Senator McCarthy "the most dangerous menace to America" and a "rabble-rouser." Mr. Eisenhower had been so quoted the previous night in a copyrighted story in the Las Vegas Sun, published by Hank Greenspun, a critic of Senator McCarthy. The Senator said that he would not believe anything which Mr. Greenspun said, even if declared under oath. He said that even if the quote turned out to be accurate, he would not hold it against the President. Efforts to reach Mr. Eisenhower, who had been in Las Vegas to attend a TWA directors meeting, had been unsuccessful. The full quote was that he automatically thought of Hitler when he thought of Senator McCarthy and believed anything about him, commending the Sun and Mr. Greenspun for taking the stand they had "against this rabble-rouser". He said further that the Senator was a "throwback to the Spanish Inquisition", that he called witnesses and proceeded to make fools of them by "twisting their answers", witnesses who had no rebuttal because they had no outlet within the press, radio and magazines. "It is Nazi-like and what makes it all so much more of a fiasco is that he has never been responsible for the conviction of one—of one, mind you—Communist." He said that after the book-burning episode at the overseas Information Service libraries, which the Senator had instigated, he imagined that U.S. prestige was at a new low in Europe.
The Senate, late the previous day, gave signal that it would approve a bill to support a defense budget of 34.4 billion dollars for the present fiscal year, having by a roll call vote of 55 to 38 rejected an amendment proposed by Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina to provide the Air Force with an additional 400 million dollars to order 200 B-47 jet bombers capable of delivering atomic bombs. It was the first big test of the proposed budget, and Republicans held firm against the increase, picking up nine Democratic votes, with 37 Democrats and an independent, Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, supporting Senator Maybank's amendment. Had the amendment succeeded, other Democrats had planned to propose amendments which would have restored five billion dollars cut from former President Truman's Air Force budget submitted the prior January before he left office. No change had been made to the bill after being reported by the Senate Appropriations Committee, and a reconciliation conference would have to be called to adjust differences with the House version. The Senate bill had cut more than a billion dollars from the proposed Eisenhower budget, which had cut more than six billion from the Truman budget, and reduced by more than 12.5 billion the amount approved by Congress the previous year for defense. The new budget was expected to result in a military force of 3,356,000 men by the end of the current fiscal year, a cut of 3.3 million men, provided a truce was realized in Korea. Recently, there had been 3.5 million men in uniform.
Associated Press reporter Eddy Gilmore, who had until recently spent 11 years in the Soviet Union, provides the fourth in his series of four articles on his experiences, indicating that he did not know whether Premier Georgi Malenkov was in fact running Russia presently, or whether it might be V. M. Molotov, Nikolai Bulganin or Nikita Khrushchev, or some government committee composed of the Communist Party, the Government and the Supreme Soviet. Or, as some speculated, it might be the Army. He doubts whether anyone outside the Kremlin really knew the answer. The dismissal of L. P. Beria, the chief lieutenant of Premier Malenkov, had created confusion. A wise Western diplomat, with many years of experience in Soviet affairs, was not completely convinced by the Beria purge story, explaining that it could be another bit of Russian "make-believe and deception", seeking to confuse the West at a crucial time, that his disgrace might be a "huge hoax". Mr. Gilmore did not agree but admits that his disagreement did not mean very much. He believes that Mr. Malenkov was in charge and had been since Stalin had been stricken, had believed that Mr. Beria had been sneaking up behind him and so felt strong enough or desperate enough to eliminate him. If that analysis was correct, he finds that more people were slated for disgrace and denunciation, as Mr. Beria had a lot of friends and followers as the head of the secret police. The rivalry between Malenkov and Beria had been apparent to a number of Western diplomats before Mr. Gilmore had departed from Moscow, one of whom had commented that Malenkov and Beria were interchangeable. Not much was known about Mr. Malenkov. Mr. Gilmore had seen him several times, having got a good look at him on the Sunday afternoon in mid-March just after the death and burial of Stalin, when the Supreme Soviet met in the Kremlin and elected him chairman of the council of ministers, Premier, with Mr. Beria's endorsement. He contrasts the dour frowning of Stalin, when he greeted the Supreme Soviet, with the manner of Mr. Malenkov—continued on another page.
In Tokyo, the U.S. Navy said that a single shell, a bomb or mine, had exploded this date near a 3,000-ton British freighter in the Japan Sea, but that the ship had been undamaged.
In Athens, the Greek Foreign Ministry announced this date that Greece would sign a 20 million dollar trade agreement with Russia, exchanging tobacco and other farm products for Soviet oil, timber, fish and newsprint.
In New York, two teenage girl gangs had formed battle lines in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn the previous night and had been ready to fight with ice picks and knives when police broke up the confrontation. Police said it was the first time in their memory that girl gangs had prepared for formal combat, although teenage girls had often carried weapons for gangs of boys. The two groups dubbed themselves the "Esquire Debutantes" and the "Cheyenne Debutantes", and had agreed to a battle between them two days earlier, regarding a male gang called the "Mighty Chaplains", which had 100 members from a merger of the "Chaplains", "Frenchmen", "Thunderbirds", "Bishops" and "El Mombo Chicos". A dozen members of the Cheyennes had faced about 30 of the Esquires, when a radio police car drove up, at which point the girls fled, with all of the Esquires having escaped, some dropping their ice picks, switch blades and butcher knives. The police took into custody four of the Cheyennes and through questioning, obtained the names of four others, four having been charged with illegal possession of weapons, conspiracy to engage in a gang fight, and unlawful assembly, and the other four with juvenile delinquency.
On the editorial page, "Will Tar Heel Women Stand for This?" indicates that until State Highway chairman A. H. Graham provided a better reason for firing Ronie Sheffield as director of the Women's Prison, he would invite "scorching criticism" of Governor William B. Umstead and the whole "politics-ridden" prison system which Mr. Graham supervised. Prison director Anderson had praised Ms. Sheffield as having done a "fine job" since she had been appointed by his successor, J. M. Gold of Winston-Salem. The Greensboro Daily News, which had maintained a close watch on prison reform and rehabilitation, had given her high praise, which it quotes at length.
Nevertheless, she had been dismissed without notice and without reason for the discharge, to make room for the promotion of an old-time male prison official who had run the Caledonia Prison Farm for about 20 years. It finds it to be the "rankest political chicanery in the prison system's history", another bit of proof that the state would never achieve a reasonable program of prison reform and rehabilitation as long as the policies and practices of the system were dictated by men who were not penal authorities but rather road-builders and practitioners of political patronage dispensing.
It urges the women of the state through their organizations to demand a fuller explanation from Mr. Graham for his "high-handed action" in an area of government which ought be free from politics.
"Dr. Charlton C. Jernigan" laments the death from a heart attack of the president of Queens College in Charlotte, indicating that he had been youthful and energetic, and had known how to relax from a grueling schedule, working to develop his vision of Queens as a "lively, progressive and modern liberal arts college." His heart had given out under the strenuous program. It finds that the community had been fortunate to have his two years of service and hopes that the search committee for his successor would find someone of equal ability, sympathy, intelligence and understanding.
"Reaffirming a Basic Tenet of Justice" indicates that the City Council had observed both the letter and spirit of the law when it approved the sale of taxicab certificates by a man convicted in Federal court of income tax evasion to a company headed by a man of the same surname, presumably a brother, who was also under indictment for income tax evasion, as the taxicab company qualified as purchaser under the local ordinance. In so doing, it opines, the Council had followed the basic tenet of American justice, that a man was presumed innocent until proven guilty.
"Waiting" indicates that after listening to Republican orators denounce the "secrecy" of the Yalta agreement between the U.S. and its World War II Allies, including Russia, in February, 1945, it was waiting for some Republican to demand full publication of the recent secret agreement between the U.S. and Korean War ally, President Syngman Rhee.
"Give Them a Breather" indicates that the previous year, a select committee of the House Rules Committee had spent $75,000 and several months investigating possible subversion and un-American activities within tax-exempt foundations, and that after an exhaustive investigation, had concluded that some "malodorous individuals" had infiltrated educational foundations but had not obtained control of them, finding that educational foundations had resisted subversives and that grants to alleged subversives had been made under political conditions which were different from those which presently existed. It also found that the foundation was a vital force in American life and an indispensable source of "risk capital" for advancing the "frontiers of knowledge".
Notwithstanding that report, the House Rules Committee, at the insistence of Representative Carroll Reece of Tennessee, former RNC chairman, had reported favorably a resolution which would conduct another investigation of the same subject. It views the new investigation as unnecessary and believes it ought be set aside.
"Drafting Daddy" indicates that the President had ordered that there would be no further deferments for draft-eligible men who became fathers after August 25, a change which was considered unwarranted by the fact that personnel requirements of the military had diminished recently, though the piece considers it a sensible step toward better military personnel policy.
Becoming a father had not been a guarantee against military service, as men with years of service during World War II, despite having several children, had been recalled to duty in Korea while younger fathers, without prior military service, remained home. It was the latter group who would now become subject to service. It was regrettable that some of them had established themselves in business and other walks of life, but it was a fault in the draft system which could be remedied to an extent by universal military training.
John Allen May, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, from Doughton Park in North Carolina, tells of being on the crest of a mountain in Bluffs Lodge tapping away on his new typewriter amid mountain air and next to a cool stream, looking through a window across a meadow fenced by split logs. He goes on providing a description, and encouraging visitors to the Blue Ridge Parkway and little towns such as Buena Vista, Boone and Blowing Rock.
Drew Pearson indicates that Republican leaders did not like to admit the fact that the ailing Senator Taft would be forced to retire within six months, setting off a backstage battle over control of the Senate, held by the Republicans by a slim majority. His successor would be appointed by Democratic Ohio Governor Frank Lausche, whom Democratic leaders had already consulted privately, urging him to appoint a Republican, explaining that they did not want responsibility for the legislative logjam which was building up in the Senate and that Democrats would ultimately receive more votes in 1954 by leaving it in Republican hands until the election. Governor Lausche was therefore considering the appointment of Charles Taft, the Senator's younger brother.
Senator McCarthy was seeking to cover up his association with Ralph Moore, a shady commodity speculator, kicked off the Commodity Exchange. Mr. Moore had been acting as a front for Senator McCarthy on the commodities market. The Senator had collected $10,000 to fight Communists and diverted it to purchase of soybeans in the name of his brother, the applications for which had been made in Mr. Moore's handwriting.
The Senator had hinted that Father Leon Sullivan, a Catholic missionary, had received Communist propaganda while in a Chinese prison cell, after the Father had commented that he would rather return to the prison than see McCarthyism rise in America.
Jewish leaders were outraged over Senator McCarthy's charge that Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma was anti-Semitic, based on the latter's criticism of McCarthy committee investigators Roy Cohn and David Schine. They regarded the Senator as fair-minded and reminded that the professional Jew haters, including Gerald L. K. Smith and others, were backing Senator McCarthy.
Senators reported that their pro-McCarthy mail consisted of unsigned, crackpot letters, railing against Communists and Jews.
Senator McCarthy's strategy had backfired when he threatened to sue the Americans for Democratic Action and the Beacon Press for distributing copies of the Senate report on his finances. To his surprise, they waived Senate immunity attached to the report and invited him to sue.
Senator McCarthy's "crocodile tears" over the three Democrats, Senators Henry Jackson, Stuart Symington and John McClellan, who had resigned his Government Operations subcommittee, had not impressed fellow Senators, remembering how Senator McCarthy had departed the Malmedy massacre investigation after information had surfaced that the Senator's defense of Nazi war criminals had been inspired by German Communists who hoped to undermine U.S. prestige in Germany, as well as how he had sided with Republican Senator John Williams of Delaware after he had quit a Senate finance subcommittee in protest of the chairman's dictatorial tactics, congratulating him for his stand.
The White House had received a confidential report that the President's popularity with voters was waning, the report blaming it on declining farm prices and rising interest rates. The President still had strong support for his economic program, according to the report, but people were afraid that his cut to the Air Force budget had been too drastic.
Idaho Senator Herman Welker had attacked the Air Force as the "bull boys in blue", an attack written at the White House.
The volcano which had erupted in the Aleutian Islands off Alaska was worse than the public had been told, with all air lanes blocked for miles, grounding commercial and Air Force planes in that strategic area.
U.S. atomic energy plants had been consuming uranium so fast that they were forced to use low-grade uranium ore, increasing operating costs dramatically during the ensuing year. To speed up work, the Government would build 11 more uranium processing plants during the ensuing year.
The Bonneville Dam contract turning Government power over to private utilities was being rewritten, with Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay still wanting to go through with the plan but appearing scared of Congress.
Stewart Alsop, in Vienna, tells of the 21-year old Frantisek and Ludek, their last names remaining anonymous to protect their identities, having escaped across the heavily guarded border of Czechoslovakia to Austria on July 4. They had been drafted into a Czech army of political unreliables early in 1952, where they were forced to work at hard labor for ten hours or more per day on an airfield 80 miles from the frontier, while their superiors sat around in the sun drinking beer. About two months earlier, the two had decided to escape to the frontier and faked their passes, making their break on the morning of July 4 on a "borrowed" motorcycle. Their faked passes worked with the police and a fortuitous thunderstorm covered their crossing. They crossed two barbed wire barriers, one of which was electrified, and jumped a third barrier to reach free soil, and were now in Vienna, where they had undergone continual questioning by U.S. intelligence.
Frantisek explained that they had been drafted into a group of political unreliables as a common experience in Czechoslovakia, his father having disappeared in November, 1951. He theorized that he may have tried to escape or been arrested for joining an illegal group. At that point, Frantisek had been taken out of school and put to work in a forced labor camp and his mother sent to a farm collective.
Ludek's father had been a house painter and a member of the town council prior to the Communist coup of 1948, and in 1949, after trying to form a resistance group among railroad workers, disappeared one day. A local Communist leader took possession of the family home and his mother and older sister were assigned to forced labor in a brick factory, and Ludek went to work in a forced labor camp for a time before being transferred to a labor battalion.
They now wanted to destroy the Communist regime in their homeland, which Ludek was convinced would fall within a couple of months. While being provided encouragement by the Americans, they were taken to a refugee camp and there was not much which could be done for them, "or for the millions of other Ludeks and Frantiseks who remain in that other world."
James Marlow sets forth the benefits which had come from the Korean War, including stopping of the Communists in their first post-World War II aggression, enabling the U.N. to meet its first big challenge cohesively, forcing rearmament by the Western world in response to the North Korean invasion of South Korea on June 25, 1950, making the West a harder target to attack subsequently, and the heartening of small countries who saw the rescue by the U.N. of South Korea. That left the U.S. in better condition to handle Russia in the event that became necessary, while Communist expansion was halted for the three years of the war.
He indicates, however, that those benefits might prove illusory and temporary, and could prove in the end to have been wasted, as Korea might yet wind up in the Communist camp. Furthermore, China, able to grow stronger economically and militarily following the truce, might be able to terrorize the rest of Asia into submission without the necessity of direct military attack. The Western alliance could become soft toward the Soviets and move closer to it than before Korea, were there to be a severe economic depression in Western Europe, for instance. The people of the U.S., tired of the Korean War, might become reluctant in the future to move again against new Communist aggression elsewhere.
The Administration, however, could not depend on guesses to determine future action and had the hope that the benefits realized from the war would be true and lasting, for which the Administration would have to work steadily during the remainder of its term. In the peace negotiations with the Chinese, a wrong decision on the part of the U.S. could lead to a disaster and victory for Communism, leading to the Korean War having been fought in vain.
A letter writer provides a resolution passed by the congregation of the Glenwood Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, sent to the City and County School Boards, unanimously supporting the continued teaching of the Bible in the public schools—another of numerous responses to the June 10 petition signed by 26 local Baptist ministers, urging that the program be ended as violative of the First Amendment Establishment Clause, providing for separation of church and state.
Incidentally, we dedicate this next dance number
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