The Charlotte News
Tuesday, August 4, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Secretary of State Dulles had arrived in Seoul this date to begin talks with South Korean President Syngman Rhee regarding the upcoming post-armistice peace conference, set to begin in late October. He said that he hoped the talks would enable transforming of the Korean truce into "an honorable and lasting peace". He said that the two would concentrate on a common effort toward unification of Korea by peaceful means. The Secretary was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., who would sit in on the discussions to enable his full awareness of the South Korean position when he headed the U.S. delegation to the August 17 special meeting of the General Assembly.
The Secretary had announced to a group of diplomats the prior Saturday a plan to use American troops to speed rehabilitation of Korea, as a showplace of the free world. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee responded in a speech before the Senate the prior day that use of American troops as forced labor in rehabilitation work would not be tolerated. The assistant press secretary at the White House clarified late the previous day that the President wanted U.S. forces to provide technical assistance to the South Korean Government to accelerate the reconstruction process, but that combat units would not be used in labor. Other Government officials said that the bulk of U.S. troops in Korea would not be engaged in the reconstruction work, that only Army technical training and equipment would be used.
At Panmunjom, 400 allied war prisoners, 70 of whom were Americans, would begin their initial steps home within a few hours, as part of "operation big switch", the exchange of war prisoners between the two sides. The Communists would deliver 12,763 prisoners, of whom 3,313 were Americans, 8,186 South Koreans, 922 British and 342 from nine other allied countries. Some of the prisoners had spent nearly 37 months in captivity in North Korea. The allies were freeing 74,000 prisoners, 69,000 of whom were North Koreans and 5,000, Chinese.
In Seattle, the President and members of his Cabinet met with 44 governors this date at the governors conference, with the President only listening the previous night as Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey spoke before the conference, defending what he had called the Administration's "honest dollar policy", with higher interest rates benefiting everyone, not just a few bankers, and saying that the Government was going to do the best it could to get by on the present 275 billion dollar debt ceiling until January, and if it could not, would call a special session of Congress to address the issue.
At midnight the previous night, the Congress ended its first session, leaving quite a bit of unfinished work for the beginning of the 1954 session—which is further elucidated in an editorial below.
Welborn Mayock, former counsel for the DNC between 1944 and 1948, said to the press this date that he had given the Democratic Party $30,000 of a $65,000 cash fee he received in 1948 for obtaining a favorable ruling from the Treasury in an income tax matter. He was scheduled to testify later in the day before a House Ways & Means subcommittee, before which the previous day, a drug manufacturer from Katonah, N.Y., had testified that he had paid Mr. Mayock $65,000 in cash after the favorable tax ruling. The subcommittee was investigating charges of undue influence on tax cases by high Treasury officials.
Frank Carey, the Associated Press science reporter, indicates that tissue taken postmortem from Senator Taft's body had shown the primary site of the spreading cancer which had killed him the prior Friday, the report showing that the malignancy had first been diagnosed in a hospital in Cincinnati during the week of May 27, and had been suspected as one of three possibilities from the point at which the Senator had undergone medical observation in Washington on April 29. The Senator had been informed of the malignancy from the time it was diagnosed in Cincinnati, and had been, according to a doctor, "a swell patient" who followed all of the recommendations of the medical staff. He had informed his wife of the malignancy during the second week of June. He had received blood transfusions at the rate of about twice per week since late April, even as he continued his Senate duties as Majority Leader. Early in June, tests confirming the malignancy had been made at New York Hospital, never previously made public. The Senator had stepped down from his duties as Majority Leader on the advice of his doctors at that time.
In Berlin, more than 6,000 Communists, including women, had invaded West Berlin this date and made three attacks on food stations in an effort to break up the free distribution of food provided by the U.S. to East Germans, unable to purchase food in the Communist zone. West Berlin police called out reinforcements who beat back the gangs with clubs and water guns in street battles. Dozens of heads were cracked and about 150 Communists, including seven women, had been arrested. Police indicated that they expected more attacks and reinforced their guards around the distribution centers, moving mobile water guns up to strategic sectors. The attacks had occurred in two boroughs of the U.S. sector and in one industrial borough of the French sector of West Berlin. U.S. High Commissioner James Conant wrote to Soviet High Commissioner Vladimir Semyenov this date, inviting Russia to submit proposals to unfreeze East German funds in American banks for the purpose of purchasing the relief food for the 18 million Germans of the Eastern Zone. The letter had been prompted by a speech the prior Wednesday by East German Premier Otto Grotewohl before the East German parliament, rejecting the President's offer of the 15 million dollars in food as a gift and attacking the U.S. for blocking Soviet Zone funds in the U.S. since 1951, saying that if the funds were released and other conditions met, the East German Government could purchase 15 million or even 50 million dollars worth of American food.
In northern Iran, an estimated 265 persons had drowned late the previous week in a series of flash floods which swept away a village in the mountainous areas.
In New York, where subway and bus fares had been increased from a dime to 15 cents, about one out of ten former riders had found alternative means to get about town. The city transit authority the previous day reported a 10.4 percent decrease in ridership compared with the same week a year earlier. But it had collected more than a million dollars more in fares than in the same period a year earlier.
In Charlotte, a five-inch kitchen knife was discovered near the area where the practical nurse had been stabbed to death late on Sunday night a couple of blocks from the Presbyterian Hospital on Elizabeth Avenue. There were still no suspects in the murder, though police were interrogating two black men and one white man who had been picked up as "suspicious characters". The knife was being checked for bloodstains or fingerprints. A neighbor in the area had reported hearing someone cross a gravel path near her home at a late hour the previous night, near where the knife was found. The coroner had indicated that the fatal wound was inflicted by a knife of the switchblade variety. The woman had stated in her barely audible dying breaths that she was being chased by a black man whom she believed had not caught her.
In Greenville, S.C., a mother jumped 45 feet down a well, located on the back porch of the family home, to save the life of her 19-month old boy who had fallen into the open well, after his mother had opened it in preparation for washing clothes. She said that she reacted, not knowing what else to do, for if she had waited for the emergency personnel to arrive, he would have drowned in four feet of water at the bottom. Both mother and child were brought to the top safely by fire department personnel. There is a part missing to this story, as to how she avoided landing on her child's body. Perhaps, she instead quickly climbed down the well rather than simply jumping in. But jumping four and a half stories sounds more spectacular and heroic, we suppose. Someone might have questioned why she had allowed her infant to be near an open well in the first instance. But we quibble. It is best to believe everything you read, just as it is written, and not be so skeptical.
On the editorial page, "Republican 'Trial Run' Is Now Over" indicates that to the casual student of government, the first session of the 83rd Congress, which had ended the previous night, might appear to have accomplished little, as it had not passed significant legislation on controversial issues. Nonetheless, it suggests, there had been reasons for the slow pace, as the President had little experience in civil government and party politics, and had chosen as his advisers other politically inexperienced persons from the business world. In addition, the Republican margin in the Senate was only by one seat, and the Republicans in Congress were divided into the same two factions which had battled between General Eisenhower and Senator Taft at the previous summer's nominating convention. Furthermore, only a handful of Republicans in the House and none in the Senate had ever served under a Republican President and so had become so accustomed to being the opposition that they were having trouble adjusting to the new role. Another reason for the sloth was that the new Congress was spending a lot of time studying the past and inventorying the present before trying to slow the growth of the Federal Government.
Thus, such important issues as revision of Taft-Hartley, extension of Social Security benefits, admission of Hawaii and Alaska to the union, adoption of a new farm policy, a complete overhaul of the tax structure, development of the St. Lawrence Seaway, increase in postal rates and lifting of the debt ceiling would have to await the following year.
It suggests that the Congress had, however, made a good start toward achieving some of the President's objectives, extending the excess profits tax for six months to keep revenues up and avoid larger budget deficits, approval of ten Presidential reorganization plans and setting up a new "Hoover Commission" which would again study Federal functions with an eye toward reducing the budget and making operations more efficient, reduction of the defense budget to 34.5 billion dollars, extending foreign aid to allies, renewal of the reciprocal trade agreements for a year, rejection of a measure which would have increased tariffs, and passing a revision of the restrictive McCarran Immigration Act, allowing into the country 214,000 refugees, about half of whom would come from Iron Curtain areas, over and above the usual European quotas. The Congress had also continued the many investigations started under the Democrats and had conjured up a few new ones. (It might have noted that the investigations had actually started in the Republican 80th Congress, in 1947 and 1948, and it was only prudent for the Democrats in the 81st and 82nd Congresses to continue them or appear to be covering up matters which had occurred in the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations, most of which matter had nothing to do with corruption, but rather the fact that Russia had been an ally during World War II, that alliance having given rise to matters which, in hindsight, adjudging the past by the present, appeared to the soft of mind, who could not reflect beyond the end of their noses, the typical Republican constituent to whom the likes of Messrs. McCarthy and Nixon appealed, to be some sort of reflection of Commie sympathy.)
It concludes that the first session had produced neither the calamity nor the chaos which had been predicted by the Democrats the previous summer, but also neither the "new crusade" promised by the Republicans. The real test, it posits, would come in 1954, when the final judgment would be made on Republican stewardship of the nation's affairs—which would be resoundingly rejected in the midterm elections, even if, in 1956, President Eisenhower's personal popularity with the electorate would continue unabated against a second attempt to litigate the matter by Governor Stevenson.
"Allies Need Not Fuss over China's Bid" indicates that another serious rift was occurring between the U.S. and its allies, principally Britain, regarding the question of admission of Communist China to the U.N., that question having been moot as long as Communist China was aiding North Korea in the Korean War, but now loomed again.
It ventures that if reason prevailed, it should not disturb allied unity as there was no fundamental difference between the British and American positions, the British favoring admission, and American officials, when speaking candidly, stating that eventually China ought be admitted, the question being one of timing. The British favored immediate admission as part of the upcoming Korean peace conference, but Secretary of State Dulles objected to it occurring so soon after the aggression in the Korean War. The other objection would be that if it were exchanged for a unified Korea, it would enable a country to shoot its way into the U.N. Another general objection was to admission of another Communist nation, as those members had proven their willingness to be obstructionists. (Indeed, the only reason that the resolution for united action in the U.N. against the aggression by North Korea against South Korea in June, 1950 had passed was the fact that the Soviets were boycotting the Security Council at the time because of the refusal to admit Communist China in place of Nationalist China. Otherwise, undoubtedly, Russia would have vetoed the resolution.)
Mr. Dulles had said in his book that the U.N. would best serve the cause of peace if it was representative of the world as it actually was and not merely of the parts the U.S. liked.
It regards the compelling argument against admission to be that China had not yet proved itself during a reasonable period of good behavior and that it would be foolish to rush its membership and then have it renew the Korean War or participate in aggression elsewhere in Southeast Asia. It suggests that if China remained on good behavior for a year or so, then its demand might be taken seriously. Such a position by the U.S. would be understandable to both its allies and foes. Unless China were placed on the Security Council in lieu of Nationalist China, where it would then have unilateral veto, its vote as a member of the General Assembly would be of little consequence. It suggests that as a member of the Security Council, however, its veto might prove more consequential than that of Russia.
China, it ventures, likely considered increased trade and access to Southeast Asia as more important than membership in the U.N. and only kept up the refrain of its demand for membership to have a divisive effect on the West. It concludes, therefore, that the West would be better served by indicating that it would be glad to consider it in the near future, and then getting on to other, more salient matters.
"Polio Resolution Was in Order" indicates that the Board of Conservation & Development was within its rights to voice concern over the effect of nationwide publicity regarding the state's polio epidemic in Caldwell and Catawba Counties, which had utilized the second and third trials of gamma globulin as a temporary inoculation procedure to interrupt for a month an epidemic, the Board being concerned with the adverse publicity's effect on the tourist trade. As the press and radio wire services generally treated whole states as polio areas when certain local areas were infected, it was possible for people elsewhere to glean the impression from reports that the entire state was suffering an epidemic, not just the relatively small three-county area. The resolution had been merely a plea to the news media to report on the polio situation accurately and fairly, which it regards as a reasonable request from that agency, tasked with the duty of conserving and developing the tourist industry, among other things.
A piece from the State magazine, titled "Better Than an Imitation", indicates that after summer stock had disappeared from the scene, professional theater had practically vanished from North Carolina, reappearing to some degree in the form of the summer outdoor pageants, starting with "The Lost Colony" in 1937.
The Vagabond Players of Hendersonville then appeared a few years later, a professional summer stock company which was having its best season in 1953, playing to sold-out audiences and apparently increasing in its popularity. It indicates that it had succeeded because of hard work and the merits of its performances.
It suggests that if television
killed off radio as radio had killed off movies and 3-D eventually
killed television, then the old time theater might resurface to kill
off three-dimensional presentations. "After all, three-dimension
is said to present a very fine imitation
A piece from the Sanford Herald, titled "Generation Will Be a Slatless One", indicates that a spring manufacturing company in Hickory, according to an item in the papers, was introducing "permanent-slats—a new and revolutionary type of bed slat that will eliminate falling, warping, splitting and breaking." It was made of metal and locked into the bed rails in all four directions, was adjustable and would fit full-size or twin beds.
It indicates that it would eliminate
one of the oldest practical jokes among the "gay blades",
loosening the slats
It concludes that the next generation would not know what the old man was talking about when he said that the widow down the street was built like a slat.
They will just assume that it is a euphemism or simply misspeak for "slut" and go about their business.
Drew Pearson covers the same ground with regard to cancer research which is covered below by Marquis Childs, except that Mr. Pearson relates that HEW Secretary Oveta Culp Hobby had been responsible for the cuts in the budget, urging the Senate not to restore cuts made by the House, which, nevertheless, were restored to the extent of about two-thirds of the cut, with Congress eventually approving 20.237 million dollars for cancer research, about 1.8 million less than that proposed by former President Truman in his last budget. The rationale by Ms. Hobby had been that allocating less would encourage private resources to invest more. But Mr. Pearson points out that private fund-raising for medical research generally had not been adequate. Walter Winchell, who had faithfully campaigned for cancer research for years, had only been able to raise in that time five million dollars, whereas the Government had allocated about 20 million per year.
The official U.S. attitude toward Russia was that it had entered a period of moderation and was desirous of reducing friction with the rest of the world while consolidating its position behind the Iron Curtain.
Outgoing Joint Chiefs chairman, General Omar Bradley, had stressed at the recent Quantico meeting with the President that the Chiefs were supposed to stick to military matters and not involve themselves in policy-making, intended as a hint to his successor, Admiral Arthur Radford, who had been talking in a speech about U.S. policy in the Far East.
Nationalist China leader Chiang Kai-shek wanted to provide a pension to his overage soldiers, by getting the U.S. to pay for it. Thus far, the military mission to Formosa had responded in the negative.
The death of Senator Taft had revived the question, discussed often since the death of FDR, regarding physical examinations for candidates for the presidency and vice-presidency. Following the death of FDR in April, 1945, it had been charged that those close to him were aware that his health had been failing and that he possibly could not last for the entirety of the fourth term to which he had been elected just the prior November. It was claimed that the big-city bosses, aware of the fact, had maneuvered to put their friend Harry Truman into the Vice-Presidency. Senator Taft had not been in the same category, as no one had imagined that he was so seriously ill. He appeared to be in excellent health while campaigning for the Republican nomination the prior year. His death was more akin to that of Wendell Willkie, who had died suddenly in the fall of 1944, four years after he had been the Republican standard-bearer. Mr. Pearson ventures, however, that if the Senator had undergone a thorough physical examination prior to the Republican convention, it might have been possible to detect his cancer at an earlier stage and thus perhaps to have saved him.
It had been suggested the previous summer that both General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson ought undergo physical examinations by doctors from the Public Health Service, so that the voters would know if there was any great likelihood that their running mates, Senator Nixon or Senator John Sparkman, might have to accede to the Presidency in the coming four years. It had been known by a few, but not by the public generally, that General Eisenhower had a heart condition which required him to be careful. Since entering the White House, the President's doctors had ordered him to take long weekends and play golf three times per week. (The President would suffer a heart attack in 1955, and there was in consequence talk at the time of Vice-President Nixon having to assume the duties of the Presidency as well as talk of substituting him on the ticket in 1956 out of concern for the same prospect. President Eisenhower would suffer a stroke in late 1957, connected with his heart trouble.)
Mr. Pearson indicates that the strain on any person in the White House was so great that in recent years the life expectancy of Presidents had decreased, which was why the sudden death of Senator Taft had again brought the question to the fore of requiring all candidates for the presidency to undergo a thorough physical examination, with the results made public prior to the nominating conventions.
Again, we urge that, added to that requirement, ought be a rigorous mental competency exam, not something given simply to identify senility, but an overall examination which would eliminate any chance of the President being non compos mentis—a condition with which, we fear, the present occupant of the White House, given his innumerable tweets and rambling musings into the realm of complete dissociation with reality, daily struggles. Indeed, after he is roundly defeated seven weeks from now, that would be the only reason, his general lack of mental competency, which we would allow in mitigation for him being pardoned for his many crimes in office and in the 2016 election cycle. Perhaps, at the first debate in a couple of weeks, former Vice-President Biden can pose his own mental competency exam for the present occupant, without the latter even being aware that he is being examined, the best type of mental competency exam.
Marquis Childs indicates that the death of Senator Taft had taken from the scene a man who had devoted himself to politics, not merely by the appointments route, but rather at the retail politics level, the ward, the precinct and the state. His knowledge of the political system in the country had been rivaled by few, and so he would be missed in Washington, where he knew what could and could not be done within partisan politics.
Mr. Childs relates that he had a long talk with the Senator shortly before he left for his stay in New York Hospital, where he had died the prior Friday morning. He had talked of the difficulties in the way of the Eisenhower legislative program, the tasks facing the Congress in the coming 1954 session and the fortunes of politics and war. He said that it was unlikely that there would be a special session of Congress in the fall, adding, as almost an afterthought, "And besides, my doctors tell me I won't be here." He did not press the Senator as he never liked to deal in personal sentiment. The report had already circulated that he had cancer and that the doctors had told him he had a short time to live, though that had not been made public.
He was the fourth Senator in two years to die of cancer. The first had been Senator Arthur Vandenberg of Michigan, the veteran leader of bipartisanship in foreign policy, whose role had never been filled. The second was Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, whose grasp of the problem of atomic energy was unequaled in Congress, as chairman of the joint Committee on Atomic Energy. The third had been Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, who shared Senator Taft's knowledge of the practicalities of politics.
Mr. Childs relates that 250,000 persons died each year of cancer, but there remained only a relatively small amount spent on cancer research, which seemed especially pitiful alongside the hundreds of millions of dollars for research on new weaponry, such as guided missiles, and billions spent on atomic development, most of which was for weapons of mass destruction. The National Cancer Institute at Bethesda, Maryland, received annual appropriations from Congress for research. But in the last budget for the current fiscal year submitted by former President Truman the previous January, only 22 million dollars was allotted for the purpose, and in the budget of President Eisenhower, that amount had been cut to 15.78 million. Part of the cut had been restored by the Congress, with a final appropriation of 20 million, of which 13 million would be for research. The restoration of the additional five million was in response to repeated speakers testifying regarding leading scientists urging additional funds to support research.
Senator Taft had never been sympathetic to the use of Federal funds for such purposes, in 1949 having moved on the Senate floor to kill an amendment which would have added 15 million dollars for cancer studies, taking a month to get the amount restored, all except four million of which was eventually lost in the reconciliation committee between the two houses. In 1950, an addition of 17 million dollars was proposed and defeated by a vote of 48 to 36, the nay votes including Senator Taft.
Believers in medical research had spent weeks crusading to get Congress to approve the current appropriations, and, Mr. Childs ventures, if the colleagues of Senator Taft wanted to memorialize him, they should start the search for a cancer cure.
Robert C. Ruark indicates that the Germans had bounced back remarkably well from the horrors of war, except possibly in Berlin, where they were having revolution on one side and a film festival on the other. "That would ever be the pattern of Russian emancipation—on the East, starvation, inflation and strife; on the West, a film festival."
In cruising around Europe lately, he relates, wherever one went, one saw Germans, with heavy presence in France, Spain and Italy. They drove large cars and were evidently affluent. In Munich, the streets were crowded with vehicles, the biergartens, bierstubes and gasthausen, crowded with customers. There also appeared plenty of new construction. He surmises that it was possible that all of U.S. aid had only reached the top levels in the society, while the masses were starving.
Prior to World War II, a car had been a very rich man's luxury, but no longer, despite the price of gasoline being quite high and cars taxed by their horsepower, with nationalized cars being prohibitive in cost. He swore that the highways, nevertheless, were more crowded than in the U.S., and the cities were nightmarish in their traffic jams.
The Germans did not like to remember the war. At Dachau, where there had been atrocities, one of the former inmates was conducting tours, selling souvenirs on the side. He was removed by the authorities, however, as they did not like to remember Dachau. They also did not like to talk about war. "All the blond Aryans in their lederhosen, whizzing by on their motorbikes and volkswagen, do not remember war. In Munich they clink steins in the Hofbrauhaus, that Hitler made famous, and listen to the schmalzy music, and appear on the surface as victors." The streets were free from beggars, as much so as during the reign of Hitler, one of his proudest boasts. On the surface, it appeared that there were fewer shabby people than observed in New York. In the countryside, the fields were green and yellow, with fat cattle grazing, and the little towns were as clean and pretty as in any pastoral operetta. The peasants did not remember war, or that they had started it and had tried by every desperate means to win it.
Mr. Ruark supposes that it was a good thing, bringing back the appearance of peace, suggestive that the Allies had succeeded in the efforts not to be beastly to the Hun. "I feel that we have succeeded when I observe the bristling arrogance of the blond ex-Africa Korps lad on the motor scooter, or the fat burger at the bar." He suggests that perhaps it was the way to avoid another war, or at least avoid Germany tending toward Communism. But he recalls the words of the cashier of a café in Munich: "I am so glad we lost the war. Think how horrible it would be if we'd won it. Just like England. Poor England. How sad to win a war it is these days."
He concludes, "On mature deliberation she might be right."
A letter writer from Marshville,
N.C., indicates that he had noted with interest the number of
churches which had passed resolutions in favor of continued teaching
of the Bible in the Charlotte public schools—prompted by the
June 10 resolution of 26 Baptist ministers favoring its termination as
violative of the First Amendment Establishment Clause. He inquires as
to what Bible the resolutions referred. It was unclear to him whether
they wanted to teach the Hebrew Old Testament, the Protestant King
James or the Catholic versions of the Bible. He finds that it must
have given parents a sigh of relief as now they could relax with
their children and "enjoy each evening's TV crime syndicate
A letter from Representative Charles Jonas responds to an editorial of July 28, "Guns for Soldiers, No Milk for the Kids", especially regarding a statement therein that the House Appropriations Committee had killed a provision for nine million dollars for UNICEF to feed hungry children of the world. He corrects that the Committee had not killed that request but had included five million for the program, which remained in the bill which passed the House. He indicates that he had then asked the Committee chairman at the time the bill was on the floor to ascertain why the request for nine million had been reduced to five million and the chairman had explained that UNICEF operated on the basis of a calendar year rather than the fiscal year, and the Committee had felt that five million of new money, added to funds already available, would be sufficient for the remainder of the 1953 calendar year. UNICEF was presently set to end at the end of 1953, he informs, but it was anticipated that it would be renewed when the U.N. met during the fall, and so further funding could await 1954. He indicates that he was in favor of the program and would support efforts to provide additional funds when the program was renewed.
The editors note that the facts on which the editorial had been based had come from a dispatch from the Geneva correspondent of the New York Times and that the newspaper regretted any error.
A letter writer indicates that a man who was interviewed for a story by The News appearing July 30, regarding the subject's long years of service to the Equitable Life Assurance Society, had stated that when he had come to Charlotte in 1910, there had only been one hotel, where Efird's Department Store was currently situated. She informs that perhaps he had inadvertently overlooked the Selwyn Hotel, the Central Hotel, and the Buford Hotel, the latter two of which had existed for many years prior to 1910.
It might be noted that the Selwyn was where the always frugal W. J. Cash made his residence for the first several weeks in Charlotte after joining the staff of The News in the fall of 1937 as associate editor, until eventually moving to the Frederick Apartments downtown. His consistent frugality was cited at the time of his death in Mexico City as giving rise to further suspicion of why he had checked into the quite expensive and modern Reforma Hotel suddenly in the late afternoon of July 1, 1941, a few hours after which his body was discovered dead, hanging from a hook on a bathroom door by his necktie. But, that was twelve years ago.
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