The Charlotte News

Friday, January 22, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, the war prisoners captured by the Communists, originally fighting on the side of the U.N. allies, and who had refused repatriation were released this date by the Indian custodial command after the Communists had refused to accept them back. They included 21 Americans, one Briton and 327 South Koreans. The Indian guards had opened the gates in the compound within the demilitarized zone just after midnight and then departed. The former prisoners said that they would stay on until their food ran out. They staged a sitdown strike in support of the Communist position that they should be held in custody until their fate would be decided by the not yet scheduled Korean peace conference. The Communists again accused the Indian command of completely wrecking the truce terms regarding prisoners of war.

Meanwhile, the U.N. Command liberated as civilians nearly 22,000 non-repatriating prisoners originally fighting for the Communists, after they had been returned by the Indian command on the prior Wednesday. More than 14,000 Chinese former prisoners were already aboard U.S. ships en route to Formosa when the official release occurred. More than 7,500 North Korean former prisoners were in South Korean army reception centers. Some of the freed prisoners had been in stockades almost from the beginning of the Korean War in mid-1950.

In Berlin, Secretary of State Dulles, French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden arrived for the start of the four-power conference with the Soviets, set to begin on Monday. Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov was expected to arrive by train in East Berlin the following day. Secretary Dulles said in a prepared statement that the Western powers hoped to unite Germany by giving the German people the right which civilization treated as fundamental, the right to have free elections to choose for themselves their own sovereign government. He said that if the Soviet leaders arrived in Berlin with a genuine desire to create conditions of peace, they would find the Western foreign ministers open-minded and cooperative and, in that event, much good could be done for Germany and Austria, and for Europe and the whole world. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer expressed the belief that there was a real chance for unification of Germany out of the talks.

Telephone connections between East Berlin and West Berlin, cut off by the Russians 19 months earlier, had been restored this date for the conference, and German communications officials said that 48 lines were available for official Allied use and 20 lines for the world press.

In Vienna, the British high commissioner in Austria said that the British controls over Austrian radio stations in the British occupation zone would be abolished.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee this date approved the proposed constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18, as recommended by the President. Only the three Republican members were present, and all favored it. Both of the Democrats on the subcommittee, Senators Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, had previously indicated their support of the amendment, Senator Kefauver sponsoring it in the Senate, though not present to vote. The amendment would next go before the full Judiciary Committee, where it was expected to encounter opposition.

Parts of the President's proposed budget appeared to be encountering stiff opposition from members of both parties in Congress, with Representative John Taber of New York, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, indicating that the 65.5 billion was too much, and House Democratic Leader Sam Rayburn of Texas expressing disapproval of its reduced defense spending. Many members, however, praised the emphasis on air power and new weaponry, and Mr. Rayburn said it was proper to place emphasis on both. Some Republicans and Democrats commented that the proposed cuts in the corporate and excise tax rates would likely face opposition in an election year. There was also bipartisan unhappiness over the three billion dollar projected budget deficit.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the cost of living had dropped less than one-tenth of one percent in December, indicative, it said, of "continued stability" in the economy. It was the second consecutive monthly drop in the index and a BLS commissioner said that the price trends were not behaving like a business recession.

The Weather Bureau in Washington forecast that from 8 to 12 inches of snow would accumulate in an area from central Virginia into southern New Jersey by late this night.

In Charleston, S.C., residents of the Upper Yadkin River in North Carolina were warned by the Charleston Weather Bureau that a flash flood was expected to send the river six feet over its banks late during the afternoon and this night.

In Charlotte, there was heavy rain and the Weather Bureau forecast no respite before late this night or the following morning. A cold mass of air from the north had descended over the Carolinas and Georgia, expected to produce icy highways and more rain.

In Raleigh, the State Board of Education, meeting in special session, acted quickly this date to relieve school bus drivers of any worries that they might have over operation of the state's new financial responsibility law, adopting a resolution to create a $100,000 bonding fund for the drivers to be placed on deposit with the State Treasurer, satisfying the financial responsibility law. Many school bus drivers had been concerned that they might risk losing their driver's licenses in case of an accident, and the Board believed the only way to remedy the situation was to purchase the liability insurance. Its cost in the marketplace would have been more than most of the drivers would have been willing to pay, as they only received $22 per month for their part-time bus driving. A Board member said that he regarded the action as a stopgap measure until the Legislature could meet and change the law, to provide exemption to the State bus drivers, as the State would pay for damages up to $8,000 resulting from negligence of any of its employees.

In South Bend, Ind., a Memorial Hospital ambulance made three trips to the same corner the previous night and picked up the same man three different times, taking him to the hospital each time, and on the third occasion, he remained. He had fainted at the corner of two streets, was taken to the hospital and treated for scalp lacerations and released. An hour after the first incident, the same thing happened, he was treated for reopened lacerations and again released. Two hours after the second incident, he fainted at the same corner, suffered a new cut on his head and the hospital retained him for observation. Doctors said that he was not drunk and that he had said he had not been ill recently. He lived near the corner where he fainted. Stay away from that corner.

In Carson City, Nev., a woman, who had been freed from prison after three years in custody for a murder which the Nevada Pardons Board ruled she had not committed, was trying to marry a man who had waited for her since 1951, but was prevented thus far from doing so because her divorce from her prior husband had not been finalized. Mystery writer Erle Stanley Gardner and others had collected evidence which convinced the Board that the 72-year old woman whom she was accused of murdering had actually died of a brain tumor. She had been sentenced to 10 to 12 years in prison after being convicted of second-degree murder. The judge who had presided over the trial, the prosecutor and the jury foreman called the Board's action "utterly amazing". Her lawyer said that she would have her divorce finalized by Monday.

On the editorial page, "A Realistic Federal Budget" indicates that the President's budget for the ensuing fiscal year, the first one over which the Administration would have complete control, was more realistic than had been the campaign promises by General Eisenhower during 1952. He proposed to spend 65.6 billion dollars, a reduction of more than five billion off the current fiscal year budget and more than eight billion below fiscal year 1953. He estimated total revenue would be 62.6 billion, five billion less than in the current fiscal year. He predicted that the deficit would be just under three billion. He also said that the statutory debt limit needed to be increased from 275 billion.

The major reduction would be in defense spending, with the new emphasis on greater exploitation of air power and new weaponry for quick retaliation toward any aggressor. Even so, the defense spending still dominated the budget, as it had to do as long as Communism remained a threat.

It indicates that it was more than probable that Congress in a midterm election year would seek to cut spending yet further, to enable the corporate tax rate to drop and wartime excise taxes to expire on schedule. But at this point, the budget was so tight that it was unlikely that substantial reductions would be made. It indicates that if the new defense policy was sound, it would serve well the national security.

It recalls that when General Eisenhower had been running for the presidency, he had expressed hope of making drastic cuts in the Federal budget, and at one point had predicted a 40 billion budget after his first two years in office, but had learned in his first year that he would have to move toward his goal of less Government spending in a more realistic manner.

"Two Sides to Industrial Picture" discusses the report on North Carolina's industrial growth provided to the State Board of Conservation and Development during the week, the director of its commerce and industry division having stated that 144 new industries had been started or were planned in 1953, and that 91 significant expansions of present industries had taken place, resulting in 16,000 new jobs and an investment of some 60 million dollars. Industry was also becoming more widely dispersed geographically and better diversified.

But there was another side to the story, as presented in the current issue of N.C. Facts, citing Department of Commerce statistics which showed that the state was falling behind the national rate of increase in the number of people employed in industry, and the value added by manufacture, the most reliable index of industrial activity. During the five-year period between 1947 and 1952, the state had gained 9.72 percent in persons employed in manufacturing, whereas the rate of increase nationwide was 11.54 percent. During the same time span, the state's rate of increase in value added by manufacture was 22.28 percent, less than half the national rate of 45.75 percent. Although the state still led the South in both categories, several Southern states were gaining faster toward the end of that five-year period.

It concludes that if the state was to keep up with the booming South, more effort by the State conservers and developers, aided by local communities, would be necessary.

"Good for the Country, Good for Ford" indicates that when Henry Ford II turned to international affairs, he came up with ideas which, if implemented, would be good for the country and the world, including producers of everything from automobiles to cotton. He was a Republican businessman but also an ardent free trader and advocate of increased non-military spending overseas by the Government, to the consternation of many other Republican businessmen.

It finds his ideas sound in terms of business. In an address to the Poor Richard's Club in Philadelphia, he had restated some of his ideas and brought forth a new one. He believed in providing technical assistance to foreign nations to build basic facilities such as roads, harbors, dams, power plants and other projects which private capital normally could not undertake, that private U.S. investment overseas, which had been lagging, should be increased, and that underdeveloped countries had to provide some guarantees against risks of confiscation and nationalization of foreign capital. He believed that "trade, not aid" was an oversimplified concept, as economic development required more investment, that economy did not always equate to less spending, for when a market became saturated, business had to build new markets and engineer new products lest the competition would force the business to close. His new idea was that as the country cut back defense spending, a small part of what would be saved should be used to expand development.

The piece indicates that such a program would do a lot to convince foreigners and Americans that the nation had a positive approach to peace, and would counter Communism more effectively than would guns, as well as being good business. It urges the Administration to act on Mr. Ford's advice.

"Aside" indicates that it would leave to the sports department settling of a dispute between UNC basketball coach Frank McGuire and N.C. State basketball coach Everett Case regarding the ethics of the tactics used in the recent UNC-N.C. State game. The large number of fouls committed had turned what might have been a fine game into a "dull and lousy affair". Both coaches had been working hard to build up basketball in the state and, it observes, a few more exhibitions of the type would kill it off.

Yeah, and they said the same thing after Dean Smith, on March 4, 1966 against Duke and coach Vic Bubas, deployed his version of the four-corners, slow-down offense, culled from his former coach, Phog Allen of Kansas, who, in turn, had learned the game from its inventor, designed to offset an opponent's height and talent advantage in extreme cases, as was the case against the final-four bound 1966 Duke team, and to preserve a lead in ordinary cases, and again, after coach Norm Sloan of N.C. State deployed the same offense against Duke on March 8, 1968, both games occurring in the semifinals of the A.C.C. Tournament, with everything on the line in each game, only Tournament winners in those days qualifying for the N.C.A.A. Tournament. The result in 1966 was a Duke win, 21 to 20. The result in 1968 was an N.C. State win, 12 to 10, setting up an A.C.C. finals with UNC the following night, which second consecutive year final-four bound UNC easily won, 87 to 50, while top-ten ranked Duke, which had defeated top-five ranked UNC a week earlier in Durham, 87 to 86 in triple overtime, stayed home from the market. From the partisan fan perspective, both games, that in 1966 and that in 1968, were quite exciting and singularly memorable in the overall context of the sport, especially so for hopeful UNC fans regarding the 1968 affair, even if in the context of the moment-to-moment play, both were as exciting to the casual observer of the sport as watching paint dry. Both coaches, Dean Smith and Norm Sloan, would go on to win N.C.A.A. championships, Norm Sloan in 1974, and Dean Smith in 1982 and 1993. Vic Bubas, despite several great teams, three of which reached the final four, never won one.

Sometimes, the zen of the game emerges in such fashion, placing coaching tactics above raw talent and skill of the players, whereas it disappears in the urge to have a fast-paced titillator for the casually engaged—a kind of Mrs. Robinson affair.

Of course, there were times, as in the 1968 finals against U.C.L.A., where coach Smith decided to have his team slow things down in the first half against the number one team in the nation, who had also won the 1967 championship after the Dayton Flyers had unexpectedly upset volleyball-practicing UNC in the semifinals, depriving the Tar Heels of their vaunted, storybook attempted tenth anniversary repeat of the 1957 championship against Tall Timber, when the results proved not so wise, with the 1968 game lost by UNC by a record margin for a finals to that point of 23 points, 78 to 55, not broken until Duke's 1990 finals loss to UNLV—which we cheered for the relief from the lasting stigma. But Duke then humbled us by proceeding to win the next two N.C.A.A. championships, despite losing to UNC in 1991 in the A.C.C. Tournament finals by 22 points after they split the regular season match-ups, an N.C.A.A. finals showdown between the old North Carolina rivals denied by coach Roy Williams and Kansas, beating UNC and coach Williams's mentor in the semifinals, 79 to 73, albeit Duke beating UNC by 20 points in the A.C.C. Tournament finals in 1992, the 1991 win over Kansas having been Duke's first national championship and prompting a long-distance phone call of congratulations to our old friend who had graduated from Duke and who had, back in 1966, helped us cheer on the Tar Heels as we listened to the ice-over, otherwise known as running the Gauntlet, on radio.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "Hey, Doris, Bigdome!" indicates that it had recently run an editorial, republished also in The News, regarding executives too busy to make their own telephone calls, turning them over to their secretaries, causing the recipient of the call to have to wait interminably while "Mr. Bigdome" found the time to pick up the phone.

It says that the day the editorial had run, one such "stuffed shirt" had pulled the same stunt, and they had hung up, only to be called back 30 seconds later, prompting the editors to mutter things not printable in a family newspaper, then hung on the line. While they waited, they hatched a plot under which the next time one of the "Throttlebottoms" called through his secretary and the secretary urged them to hold, they were going to yell to their secretary, "Hey, Doris, Bigdome!" At that point, the secretary would come on the line and ask the other secretary to hold, and Bigdome would hold until his arm fell off. It assures that there would be a later chapter of the adventures in subsequent columns.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Cabinet was more worried about rising unemployment than it wanted to admit, that the railroads had laid off 18,000 workers and the automobile industry, 16,000, just since Christmas. More than 142,000 persons were out of jobs in Michigan, alone. Labor Department officials believed that the unemployment figure had already hit two million. In New York, Bethlehem Steel had cut production by 25 percent in the previous two months and introduced a four-day work week, and in Ohio and Alabama, Republic Steel had also cut production by 25 percent in the previous two months and introduced the same shortened work week. In Connecticut, Bridgeport Brass had placed 2,000 of its workers on the same shortened work week. Mr. Pearson notes that the Administration had revised unemployment figures by cutting the number of "employable" workers by 700,000, contending that those persons were too old or otherwise physically disqualified to hold regular jobs except in times of peak prosperity, and if those 700,000 were added back to the 1.85 million official count of the unemployed, the total would be 2.6 million.

A bitter backstage battle was taking place in the State Department between two of the Administration's highest advisers regarding recognition of Communist China. One was Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, who opposed recognition, and the other was Arthur Dean, law partner of Secretary Dulles and special ambassador to Korea, who leaned toward an eventual deal with China. Mr. Robertson had gone to Korea and persuaded President Syngman Rhee to go along with the peace talks, and now said that there was no chance that Premier Mao Tse-Tung of Communist China could be persuaded to become the Far Eastern equivalent of Marshal Tito in Yugoslavia, to depart from the Soviet orbit and engage reasonably with the West. Mr. Robertson threatened to resign if the U.S. were to recognize Communist China. But Mr. Dean believed that the relationship between China and Russia had deteriorated, and that sooner or later, the U.S. would have to do business with China, as already Japan, though it operated under guidance by the U.S., was increasing its trade with the Communist Chinese at an accelerated pace. He observes that if the battle were to become any more bitter between the two, one of them would have to resign, and it would likely be Mr. Dean. He notes that at a recent dinner, Air Force General Frank Everest had been asked whether he thought Chiang Kai-shek would be able to invade the mainland, to which he replied that the question actually was whether he could defend Formosa.

Congressman Harley Staggers of West Virginia had rushed to see the President in his office, out of breath, apologizing that he almost did not make it because he could not get a taxi in the snow, to which the President replied that one thing good about the Presidency was that he did not have to wait in the weather if he did not want to do so. Mr. Pearson notes that since the executive offices were in the west wing of the White House, the President did not have to step outside when he moved between his living quarters and his office.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had adopted a policy of concentrating Defense Department contracts in the hands of a few large companies, notably G.M., of which Mr. Wilson had been president before joining the Administration. The policy was receiving increasing backstage criticism. Mr. Pearson observes that Mr. Wilson was not trying to favor G.M. merely because of his former status, but wanted to cut costs, and G.M. frequently came in as the lowest bidder on contracts. Military men were warning, however, against the danger of concentration of production in a few factories in a few cities, more easily susceptible to enemy attack by atomic bombs. They favored establishing dispersed defense plants, even if it cost more money. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, member of the Armed Services Committee, had introduced a resolution for the investigation of the concentration of defense production. Chrysler's production of the M-48 and T-43 tanks was presently scheduled to be switched to G.M. under the Wilson program, the chief cause of concern. Though G.M. had submitted lower bids for those tanks, the military advisers maintained that the Wilson policy was penny-wise and pound foolish.

Marquis Childs tells of the House Ways & Means Committee rewriting the Federal tax laws and that when done, it would amount to probably a thousand pages or more of technical language which only the tax lawyers and experts would understand. The current law had plenty of inequities. For instance, while medical expenses could be deducted, the formula worked out in such a way that the cost of a serious and prolonged illness could not be deducted. The $600 exemption for dependents was inadequate in many respects and particularly that provision which eliminated the exemption if any dependent earned anything over $600.

The Republican majority of the Committee was directing the staff in rewriting the laws, and Democrats would be shown the changes only after they had been drafted. The first 70 pages of the revisions were shown to the Democrats and they were startled to find that more than a billion dollars in revenue would be lost to a change allowing five percent of dividend payments to be exempt from tax in the first year the law would be in effect, ten percent in the second year and 15 percent in the third year, with Committee experts estimating that by the fourth year, the revenue loss would equate to 1.2 billion. In a closed session of the Committee, Representative Aime Forand of Rhode Island, who had worked for years to try to correct tax inequities, demanded to know why taxpayers owning stocks were being singled out for favorable treatment. The arguments for the change were familiar, that corporate revenue was doubly taxed, once as corporate income and then as corporate profits paid to stockholders in the form of dividends. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey advanced the argument that only through that incentive would investors be led to risk investment in common stocks, and that if they were to invest instead in business bonds, one of the elements constituting a dynamic capitalism would be missing.

Representative Forand had indicated that there were many other inequities within the tax laws affecting much larger groups than the six to seven million people who owned stock and received dividends, suggesting that the greater number of people should receive favorable treatment first. He moved to strike the change from the Committee's bill, but a substitute motion to approve it, introduced by Representative Richard Simpson of Pennsylvania, was passed by the Committee by a vote of 18 to 6, with 14 Republicans voting for it.

James Marlow indicates that the late Senator Robert Taft, were he still alive, would likely be pleased at the military strategy and spending being proposed by the Eisenhower Administration, sounding very similar to his own ideas. In a major Senate speech on January 5, 1951, as rearmament was taking place following six months of the Korean War, he cautioned against committing U.S. troops to foreign battlefields, said that an armed forces of about 3.2 million men and military expenses of around 40 billion dollars per year, with the biggest emphasis on air and naval power, would be appropriate.

The President, in his budget message to Congress the previous day, estimated military expenses for the fiscal year 1954-55 at 37.5 billion dollars, with the armed forces, presently constituted by 3.4 million men, to be cut to 3.3 million by the following July and to a little more than three million by July, 1955. The biggest spending would be on the Air Force, with the Navy next and the Army, third. The President said that the budget provided greater expenditures for air power in the ensuing fiscal year than in any year since the end of World War II.

Whereas Senator Taft had said in his 1951 speech that he objected to undertaking to fight the battle against worldwide Communism in Europe or in Asia, where the U.S. would be at the greatest possible disadvantage in a war with Russia, on January 13, 1954, Secretary of State Dulles had said to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York that if the enemy were allowed to pick its own place for aggression, and the U.S. attempted to engage at that point, it would have to be ready to fight on land everywhere, as well as at sea and in the air, but that such a course would not be followed in the future. The previous month, the President had announced that two U.S. divisions would be withdrawn from Korea.

A letter writer replies to an earlier letter which had complained of a dangerous railroad crossing in Charlotte as being a deathtrap, saying that he would not dispute her but believes that ordinary care probably would have saved from injury the young man she had mentioned, that he had appeared not to pay attention to the crossing signs. He finds that motorists still generally disregarded railroad warning signs and that there were hundreds of such deathtraps if motorists ignored the signs on the highways.

A letter writer indicates that he had grown to manhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Mitchell County over 30 years earlier, when people up there lived in "the old-fashioned way". As a boy, he had gone to his grandfather's old waterwheel-powered corn mill, to which people brought their corn to be ground into meal for bread and for making an occasional run of "Mountain Dew". He recounts that the old mill had been a social gathering place for the mountaineers to loaf and talk about politics. He provides further detail and says that sometimes he thought that they would do well to return to the time when people had faith in their God, faith in the future of their country and faith in themselves, not looking to the Government to plan their lives or their economy. "Every individual was a fortress within himself." "The men and women who helped to make America strong and great faced their future bravely without flinching."

They also did so without losing their minds over a quadrennial election and storming the United States Capitol building.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., objects to Congress giving itself a pay raise and instead encourages the members, if they wanted to retain their jobs, to do something for the people, objects to cutting the pay of National Guard units and other armed services personnel, believes that the Congress already received enough pay.

A letter writer, president of the Auxiliary to the Mecklenburg County Medical Society, thanks the staff of the newspaper for its publicity given to nurse recruiting during the first week of January, and particularly expresses appreciation for the editorial on the nursing shortage in the state.

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