The Charlotte News

Monday, January 18, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, Indian Lt. General K. S. Thimayya, chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, told the U.N. Command again this date that it would violate the Armistice if it freed the 22,000 non-repatriating Chinese and North Korean prisoners being returned on January 20 by the Indian custodial command, which had acted unilaterally to decide to release back the non-repatriating prisoners to both respective sides on that date. The U.N. Command had indicated that it would go ahead and free the prisoners to civilian status at midnight January 23, in accordance with the Armistice, but the General insisted that their fate first had to be decided by agreement between the allies and the Communists or by the Korean peace conference, which had yet to be scheduled. The Communists insisted that the peace conference had to settle their fate.

Meanwhile, efforts to reopen preliminary talks to establish the start date of the peace conference had gotten nowhere as liaison secretaries deadlocked for the third time, apparently on the question of striking Communist charges of perfidy against the U.N. Command from the record, the Communists having charged in December that the U.S. had conspired with South Korean President Syngman Rhee in his release of 27,000 Chinese and North Korean prisoners the prior mid-June.

In Berlin, experts for the scheduled Big Four foreign ministers conference, to start January 25, began work this date on security and housekeeping details after a compromise the previous night had been reached on sites for the conference, assuring that it would open on schedule. After 10 days of debate over the site of the conference, the four representatives agreed that the foreign ministers would meet for the second week in the Soviet Embassy in East Berlin and during the first and third weeks in the building in the U.S. sector formerly used by the Allied Control Council. Thereafter, the place of meetings would depend on the course of the conference. It would be the first major four-power meeting in Berlin since the 1948 Berlin blockade by the Soviets. The primary aim of the conference was to discuss German unity and an Austrian peace treaty.

The President soon would ask Congress for authority to use up to a billion dollars worth of surplus farm products to help strengthen the economies of friendly nations, as disclosed this date by Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson in a statement before the Senate Agriculture Committee, in which he outlined the Administration's new farm program. He said that surpluses in the possession of the Government now exceeded 5.5 billion dollars, and would be in addition to the 2.5 billion dollars worth of surpluses which would be "insulated" from regular commercial supplies for special uses such as disaster relief, the school lunch program and stockpiling for national emergencies.

The President proposed this date, in his special message to Congress on health care, that the Government would bolster private insurance plans as a step toward improving the health of all Americans, seeking 25 million dollars to start his system of Government re-insurance of private plans, to help take care of extraordinary expenses beyond those presently covered. The President also proposed a five-year plan for expansion of the program for rehabilitation of the disabled, under which 660,000 disabled person would be returned to places of full responsibility. The plan rejected "socialization of medicine" and called for continuation of present public health service programs, a new, simplified formula for grants-in-aid to the states for health purposes, and an increased program of construction of medical care facilities. The plan said that the total private medical bill of the nation presently exceeded nine billion dollars per year, an average of nearly $200 per family, and was still rising. It said that the emphasis needed to remain on private care, but that the Government could and must help.

The Atomic Energy Commission this date approved use of atomic fuel for a low-powered nuclear reactor to be built by Penn State University, described as a "swimming pool" reactor because its uranium fuel was suspended in a pool of water to shield radiation. School funds would pay for its estimated $250,000 to $300,000 construction costs. Another AEC grant of fuel had been made to UNC's privately owned reactor, which had begun operation on September 5, 1953.

A Japanese newspaper in Tokyo said this date that General MacArthur had used Japanese coast guard minesweepers in a landing operation during the Korean War at Wonsan on October 26, 1950, and a former top commander of the Japanese coast guard was quoted as saying that the General had violated international law in doing so, as the Japanese Constitution had renounced war after World War II. The newspaper said that the incident had been maintained as secret and all members of the coast guard had been told to say nothing. The story said that one commander of a coast guard unit had resigned in protest of their role in the operation and the top commander of the outfit had also resigned to take responsibility for the refusal of some of his men to obey the occupation order. The story said that one minesweeper had hit a mine and sunk, killing one Japanese crew member.

In Pensacola, Fla., a woman was killed the previous night, and a woman whom the victim had accused of having an affair with her husband was arrested on a technical charge of manslaughter. A sheriff's investigator and a detective were investigating reports that the arrested woman had started her car suddenly and dragged the victim to her death while the victim had a tight grip on the arrested woman's hair. The victim's husband had witnessed the accident but refused to cooperate in the investigation, refused to identify the driver of the car or admit that he knew the arrested woman. The victim had been driving to church with her young son and her landlady when they saw the arrested woman and the victim's husband kissing in a parked car, at which point the victim exited her car and grabbed the arrested woman's hair, whereupon, according to the victim's landlady, the arrested woman started the car suddenly, causing the victim to be jerked into the air and slammed against the pavement.

In Muskegon, Mich., 70 stranded fishermen rode an ice floe for three hours the previous day on Bear Lake after waves from a passing Lake Michigan oil tanker caused an ice break-up, before police, firemen and volunteers brought the fishermen to shore in rescue boats, with none harmed.

In Milwaukee, a man, who had lost a leg in World War II, was in a veterans hospital with a shattered face, unable to see after he had been blinded in an auto accident on Christmas Eve when his car crashed into the side of a passing train at a railroad crossing, causing him to be thrown against the windshield and his face struck by the protruding iron step of a tank car. Doctors told him that the optic nerves had been pinched when bones in his face were broken, and surgeons had operated the previous Friday to pull forward the broken bones and remold his face. He still maintained hope of regaining his sight. His wife was by his side, as she had been after he suffered the wounds in 1944 from a German shell, causing him to spend four years in hospitals convalescing, meeting him during that period because she had heard that he never had any visitors. They were then subsequently married. In February, 1948, his right leg had been amputated and he began learning use of an artificial limb, eventually being discharged from the hospital and taking a job as a service man at an appliance store.

In Raleigh, it was reported that across the state 14 persons had died on Saturday night in a period of only 100 minutes, one of the bloodiest in the history of North Carolina automobile accidents. Four persons had died on U.S. Highway 29 near Salisbury, and around 45 minutes later, two automobiles were involved in a head-on collision on U.S. 1 near Cameron, leaving seven dead and two critically injured, one of whom was not expected to live. Then, 55 minutes later, two cars collided near Washington in Beaufort County, leaving three dead and three injured.

Near Godstone, England, a 17-year old boy was brought to safety by a slender piece of string early this date out of a passage of a chalk cave, after he had been reported separated from two other youths while the three were exploring in the caverns. Rescuers did not find him, but the boy had encountered one of the lengths of cord which police had spun out as they groped through the caverns and he followed the string to the entrance.

In Charlotte, a lone gunman had walked into an ABC store on S. Tryon St. during the afternoon, took a little more than $500 from one cash drawer and then escaped on foot. It was the third hold-up in the midtown area of Charlotte within two months. A description is provided, should you see the man.

Moscow radio reported this date, according to a story from London, that a Soviet horticulturalist had developed a rose which changed color, from white to pink to yellow to light brown and finally to pale red, in the course of a single week, and the horticulturalist had named it "flory of peace".

On the editorial page, "The Constitution, Not Treaties, Is the 'Supreme Law of the Land'" indicates that those supporting the proposed Bricker amendment to the Constitution on treaties had convinced many Americans that treaties took precedence over the Constitution and its amendments, as well as acts of Congress, while in fact Article VI, Section 2 of the Constitution provided that the Constitution, the laws of the United States made pursuant thereto, and all treaties made under the authority of the United States were the "supreme law of the land", notwithstanding anything to the contrary in the Constitution or the laws of any state.

It indicates that the Constitution did not provide that a treaty was in any way supreme to the Constitution, itself, or to the laws of the United States, that all were the supreme law, and, in accordance with several Supreme Court cases, from which it quotes, the provision had been interpreted to mean that the Constitution was the only "supreme law of the land", that neither an act of Congress nor a treaty which conflicted with the Constitution was legal.

Thus, it concludes, treaties could not be considered supreme law over the Constitution or over a subsequent act of Congress when they involved domestic law, and could not be repealed or modified at the pleasure of Congress. It asks why the sponsors of the Bricker amendment were trying to peddle such a foolish notion that treaties were the supreme law, appearing as a smokescreen designed to obscure the real issue, which it promises to explore further in an editorial the following day.

"Lambert Schwartz, 1953's Young Man" congratulates Mr. Schwartz for being named Charlotte's Young Man of the Year on the prior Saturday night, indicates he had served the community capably in a variety of ways, which it proceeds to list, congratulating him and finding him a worthy selection.

"Traffic Violators Get the Velvet Touch" indicates it has no quarrel with the City officials who worked out a plan to reserve two spaces on Alexander Street so that people who wanted to pay their fee for parking violations could have a place to park. It wonders, however, about the persons who had other business at City Hall or the County Courthouse, suggests that the two bodies give other citizens some consideration, that parking violators did not merit special favor.

A piece from the Nashville Tennessean, titled "They're Off", indicates that by accepting the suggestion of a Tennessean that the Army quit buying brooms with holes in the handles, the Army estimated it would save more than $15,000 per year, the man who made the suggestion explaining that when he had been in the Army, he had never seen a broom hanging from a nail, that they were always placed in racks to dry.

The piece indicates that the Army could save even more money if it quit buying the nails to hang the brooms and mops, as well as the hammers used to drive the nails, and the toolboxes in which to keep the hammers, etc.

Drew Pearson indicates that one of the interesting things about the new session of Congress was that the President's chief opposition in the Senate, aside from Senator McCarthy, was coming from Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, whose record was vulnerable. He had opposed the President on the St. Lawrence Seaway, drummed up a nationwide drive to hamstring the President's treaty-making power with his amendment, and was spearheading the confirmation of a McCarthy man, Robert E. Lee to the FCC, which some White House advisers would rather have vetoed. Senator Bricker had voted in 1948 on the key Interstate Commerce Committee to pigeonhole the Seaway project, whereas Senator Taft, also of Ohio, took the opposite stance, as had the 1948 Republican Party platform. The Pennsylvania Railroad, which opposed the Seaway, paid the Bricker law firm a total of $128,000, including $25,000 in 1948. He admitted that he was being paid $69,000 by his law firm during that same period. Every Republican President or candidate for the presidency had favored the Seaway, including Governor Dewey in 1944, on whose ticket Senator Bricker had been the vice-presidential nominee. But the Senator, despite coming from a state which could benefit from the Seaway, had consistently voted against it.

He examines the Senator's support for the amendment on the treaty-making power, which Marquis Childs also regards this date at length.

He further indicates that Frank Holman, an old friend of the Senator from Seattle, had done nothing to discourage extremist support for the Senator, and had actively embraced it, several examples of which Mr. Pearson provides. He suggests that this extremist support had been used to mobilize public opinion in favor of the Bricker amendment.

Stewart Alsop discusses the Administration's farm program, indicating that the President would have to fight to get it passed by Congress, with Senator Milton Young of North Dakota vowing to block the flexible price support aspect of the program, indicating that he had the support of at least 49 Senators, including Southern and border state Democrats, plus a few from the Midwest and farm states, and at least 13 Republicans. Mr. Alsop provides a list of the Republicans, indicating that it was interesting, as most of them had denounced "giveaway programs" and "the welfare state", while the 90 percent parity fixed price support program qualified as a welfare program for farmers. The list included Senator McCarthy, who had stated recently to other Republicans that the issue of Communists in the Government would not win the midterm elections, that he was foreseeing a loss by the Republicans unless they could retain the farm vote, and so supported the 90 percent parity program.

The President had been persuaded to favor the flexible farm supports because he had been warned by many experts, including his brother Milton, that a rigid support system would soon break down, as storage facilities for crops were already bulging and soon there would be no storage space available at all, as predicted by Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, former Secretary of Agriculture under President Truman. Already farmers were being forced to sell their crops below 90 percent parity because they had to have storage space before they could receive the 90 percent price support, and none was available for many of the crops. Thus, the President was convinced that if the Republicans continued the 90 percent parity fixed price support and it turned out to be illusory because there was no storage space available, the farmers would reject the Republicans anyway.

Marquis Childs discusses the proposed Bricker amendment to the Constitution to add the provision that executive agreements made by the President would have to be subject to the same ratification requirement as treaties. The Administration believed it had worked out a compromise with Senator Bricker recently whereby he had agreed to drop the clause at the heart of the proposal, that a treaty could not supersede the laws of the states. But it turned out that the Senator had not agreed to that compromise and instead said that the clause had to come to a vote in the Senate, where he was confident he had 63 votes for it.

Senator Bricker argued that the amendment would not interfere with treaties at the international level but would only ensure that treaties and Presidential agreements covering such matters as divorce and crime, matters left to the states, would not take precedence over state laws.

Constitutional authorities, however, agreed with the President and Secretary of State Dulles that the proposed amendment would produce a serious limitation on the conduct of foreign policy.

One of the most zealous advocates for the amendment, Clarence Manion, former dean of the Notre Dame University Law School, had sought to whip up support from the American Legion posts around the country. Mr. Childs indicates that the President may not have known that fact when he picked Mr. Manion to be chairman of the commission surveying the Federal-state relationship. Mr. Manion had been told recently by Administration officials that it would be desirable if he went about his work on that commission and spent less time speaking on behalf of the Bricker amendment. There were other influential backers of the amendment, including Seattle lawyer Frank Holman, whom the White House credited with persuading Senator Bricker to resist any compromise.

The President intended to stand firm on his position, and his associates indicated that he might consider carrying the issue to the country in a major speech.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that when he had been a sports reporter, the toughest months for him were January and February, because he never could write up basketball or ice hockey, both of which sports and the players of them he did not like. He did not like indoor track or skiing either. He found boxing the easiest of all sports to write about except perhaps baseball, but indicates that boxing in the winter was a paltry subject as the promoters withheld the major boxers for the outdoor arenas.

"This is the time of year when the sports-writing men separate easily from the boys, and hoary virtuosos like Joe Williams and Red Smith earn triple blood-money while suffering terrible torture. Me, I was never much good at it, which is why quit sports. I couldn't stand January and February, and it sure came out in the copy."

Maybe if you put the beer down while you were writing the copy, you could have enjoyed basketball, at least, a little better. Trying to follow the fast action through an alcoholic haze would be rather difficult, we imagine—which is why you found baseball so easy to cover.

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