The Charlotte News

Friday, January 16, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that according to the Fifth Air Force commander, Lt. General Glenn Barcus, if the Chinese Communists were to place into combat the aerial armada which was now assembled just across the Yalu River in Manchuria, the allies would need help, that at present, allied warplanes were making the war in Korea both bloody and costly for the enemy, while holding no illusions about the air war ending the stalemate. He said that by using masses of human labor, the enemy had been able to maintain a shaky rail and highway system of supply for the front. He also said that morale among the Air Force pilots was high, that they had to be restrained rather than urged to fly missions. He indicated that while the enemy was changing and improving their MIG-15 jets, the U.S. was also improving continually the Sabre jets, and that if the enemy committed the assembled air force on the other side of the Yalu, they would lose a lot of it to the allied planes.

The President, in his television and radio broadcast farewell address to the nation the previous night, had predicted that Russia's aggressive schemes would eventually collapse under the growing weight of the free world's defenses, leading to a new golden age of peace. He said that the U.S. had no will to provoke any conflict which would end civilization, by providing ultimatums or using atomic weapons. "Starting an atomic war is totally unthinkable for rational men." He called for complete support of President-elect Eisenhower.

A few hours earlier, at his last press conference, the President urged the new President not to give up press conferences, despite their being tough, as the people were entitled to them. He read a formal statement which upheld the right of the press to ask a chief executive, on behalf of the nation, all sorts of questions in open meeting. "This kind of news conference where reporters can ask any kind of question they can dream of—directly to the President of the United States—illustrates how strong and how vital our democracy is. There is no other country in the world where the chief of state submits to such unlimited questions."

Someone, we have to remark, ought clip that statement and send it to the present occupant of the White House. We note that President Truman said nothing about "fake news" or suggested that certain news organization were to be disfavored while others, run by billionaires favorable to the White House and possessed of toadying mouthpieces willing to espouse and justify as just dandy and appropriate any old thing the chief executive says and does for the sake of maintaining their large salaries to spew propaganda for the White House, were given exclusive access.

A special Presidential committee named a year earlier to study Federal agencies and their enforcement mechanisms, accused many of the agencies in a report released this date of failing to enforce the ban against racial discrimination contained in nearly all Government contracts. The committee said that if those clauses were honored, bias in employment would be a problem of the past, as Government contracting was so widespread that millions of Americans in every trade and occupation were brought within its protective scope. Yet, discrimination in Government contract work continued. Most agencies apparently had viewed the absence of complaints as assurance of compliance, while, in fact, effective execution of the non-discrimination clauses had been absent. The committee recommended several new, remedial methods of enforcement, including court injunctions and blacklisting from further Government contracts those businesses not in compliance. It suggested designating the Labor Department as the agency to receive complaints of violations and that if it failed to obtain compliance, it refer the case to the particular agency which had granted the contract. It also recommended posting of notices of the requirement of non-discrimination in the plants under Government contracts, insisting on practice of anti-discrimination policy in all state programs financed by the Federal Government, and requiring non-discrimination among contractors supplying the District of Columbia.

The President this date issued an executive order setting aside submerged offshore oil lands as a Naval oil reserve, saying that it would be "the height of folly for the United States to give away the vast quantities of oil contained in the Continental Shelf and then buy back the same oil at stiff prices for use by the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force in the defense of the nation." Congressional critics, in response to the President's announcement of the intention to do so at his press conference the previous day, had described the move as "outrageous", "an illegal power grab", and being for "personal spite". The President had distinguished at the press conference the offshore oil lands from the tidelands, indicating that he was making no order relating to those lands and the claims to them made by California, Texas and Louisiana.

The Senate Labor Committee recommended this date confirmation of Secretary of Labor-designate Martin Durkin. Senator Taft, chairman of the Committee, who had criticized the appointment for the fact that Mr. Durkin, a Democrat who headed the Plumbers Union, had criticized Taft-Hartley, offered no word of protest. The Senator had ascertained from Mr. Durkin during the confirmation hearing that he had already resigned the union presidency and would represent the public and not any particular organization. The Committee unanimously approved the appointment, announced by Senator Taft.

The Armed Services Committee was still considering the appointment of Secretary of Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson, following his disclosure that he intended to retain 2.5 million dollars worth of stock in General Motors, the company which he headed and the largest recipient of military contracts. He had also disclosed that he would receive $40,000 per year in pension from G.M. and $635,000 in bonus plan payments, plus 1,800 additional shares of stock.

The President-elect this date named Robert Burgess as director of the census, and Robert Watson, as commissioner of patents. Both posts were in the Commerce Department, to be headed by Sinclair Weeks. Both appointees were Republicans.

Two former Army intelligence servicemen who were accused of spying for Russia, arrested in Vienna, Austria, earlier in the week, appeared in U.S. District Court in Washington this date, but their formal arraignment was postponed until the following Monday to afford the defendants opportunity to study the indictment against them and consult counsel. The Court set bond at $50,000 for each defendant. At least three others were being detained by U.S. officials in Vienna as part of the same espionage group.

In Berlin, East Germany's spreading purge of Communist officials and their collaborators involved this date Foreign Minister Georg Dertinger, arrested for high treason as a Western spy. Shortly afterward, it was announced by West German radio that Max Keilson, chief of the Soviet department of the Foreign Ministry, and his wife had also been arrested. Herr Dertinger, the most prominent member of the East German Government to be involved in the purge begun with the conviction in Prague of Rudolph Slansky and 13 other once-powerful Communists, had been a founding member of the Soviet zone's Christian Democratic Union, one of the four "non-Communist" parties collaborating with the ruling Socialist Unity Party in the East German Government. Herr Keilson was a member of the latter party. Herr Dertinger's duties at the Foreign Ministry had only been perfunctory, with the real power wielded by Anton Ackermann, a Moscow-trained Communist who was state secretary.

In Washington, Henry Grunewald pleaded not guilty to 31 counts of charges of contempt of Congress, brought by grand jury indictment. His trial was set for March 16 and he was continued at liberty under $2,500 bail. He had refused to answer questions and to produce subpoenaed records the previous year before a House committee investigating tax scandals.

In Hong Kong, the U.S.S. Kearsarge, flagship of U.S. carrier Division Five, left for northern waters this date after being on leave from Korean War duty since January 10. The Kearsarge would later be involved in the helicopter recoveries in 1962 and 1963 of the last two manned Mercury 7 capsules and their pilots, astronauts Wally Schirra and L. Gordon Cooper, part of the first manned U.S. space program.

In Washington, plans for the inauguration had not included the traditional top hats for the dignitaries, President-elect Eisenhower opting instead for homburgs. At the President's last press conference the previous day, reporters sought to obtain his opinion as a former haberdasher, but the President would only say that he would wear anything which would "conform to decency"—which, presumably, would include a cloth coat and pants not cut too short or too long, as under the Soviet speed-up plan. One reporter sought to make it easier for the President to answer by asking whether he would wear the type of hat worn by Abraham Lincoln or that of Dean Acheson, but the President continued to demur from the controversy. The previous night, Vice-President-elect Nixon had told a California State Society dinner about his top hat, which he said he had bought for $35, only to learn later that the President-elect had decided to adopt homburgs. He also related that Senator William Knowland, who would administer the oath of office to the new Vice-President, had purchased a top hat, morning coat and striped trousers for the event.

If, after the inauguration, anyone should forget their hat and leave it behind or have it mistakenly taken by someone else during the process of moving in or out of Washington, the transitional caretakers can send the extraneous hats, be they toppers or homburgs or fedoras, along to Los Angeles for safe storage and pick-up later.

A seven-year old of Syracuse, N. Y., stricken with cerebral palsy, had to turn down an invitation offered by the Republican Inaugural Committee to attend President Eisenhower's inauguration the following Tuesday, on the basis that his mother believed the crowds and excitement would be too much for him. He had suffered from the disease for three years, and had met General Eisenhower during a whistle-stop in Syracuse the prior October, at which point Mrs. Eisenhower had given the boy a part of her bouquet.

In Statesville, N.C., former House Ways & Means Committee chairman Robert Doughton, who had retired from the Congress at age 89 in January, after serving 42 years in the body, entered the hospital with pneumonia, with his doctor reporting that his condition was satisfactory.

In Raleigh, the Advisory Budget Commission proposed to the General Assembly a budget calling for the appropriation of $637,898,757 for operations of State Government during the ensuing two fiscal years. Stories on the page delineate the various large items of the budget, the bulk of which would be devoted to operation of State agencies, institutions and public schools for the ensuing two years, with 45 million dollars added to the appropriations for the current fiscal year.

On the editorial page, "Convenience before Safety" tells of a State Representative having proposed elimination of personal examinations antecedent to renewal of driver's licenses, for the convenience of drivers, permitting them to make a sworn statement every four years as to their continued mental and physical condition since the prior examination, and that they had not been involved in any major accident in the interim.

The piece suggests that, as the Assembly had previously ended the automobile inspection program because it had inconvenienced motorists, it might provide serious consideration to such a bill, but hopes that it would not, advocates tightening the requirement of road tests prior to issuance and renewal of driver's licenses, as well as requiring answers to routine questions and a check of vision. It regards these examinations as crucial to better driver safety, though not absolutely ensuring of same. It urges keeping the re-examination law as it was, restoring a workable auto inspection law, and providing funds for driver education courses in every public high school, as recommended by Governor Umstead in his inaugural address earlier in the month.

"The Scope of Educational TV" indicates that the previous month, a group of educators had met in Atlanta to consider the potential for educational television, that which they called an "electronic blackboard" available potentially to teachers. They regarded it only as a potential supplement for classroom education, not designed to supplant traditional instruction through teacher-pupil relationships. They advised that it could bring better living to rural areas, to adults whose formal education had prematurely ended, to invalids, to teachers and professional persons who wished refresher courses, as well as to people in special industries.

Governor Umstead had asked the 1953 General Assembly to authorize the appointment of a special commission to study the question of educational television, an urgent task, as the availability of the presently reserved educational channels would expire the following June. The request had been moved swiftly through the Assembly during the week and was now law. The piece regards the action as appropriate and remarks that anything less than such decisive action would sacrifice a tremendous opportunity for the state to have educational programming on television. It promotes the idea that such programming would afford every citizen access to information and ideas upon which they might exercise independent judgment, making it a better democracy, and that the opportunity to afford such programming should not be lost through inaction.

Through the decades, especially in the 1970's and 1980's, there was a move afoot among some conservative Republicans, led by Senator Jesse Helms of North Carolina, to withdraw Federal funding of PBS on the notion that it was "too liberal" in its programming. That was another example of confusing a liberal, broad-based education, as distinguished from a narrow-minded, purblind approach to education, with the distinction between liberal and conservative politics. Moreover, such conservatives, we have observed through time, are never happy unless all programming on television is devoted to their conservative dogma, which is not limited to traditional economics normally associated with conservatism, but rather extends to all manner of individual social issues and whether the example under debate is sufficiently respectful of traditional religious views and mom and apple pie. The operative word is "confusion" in their ideas about culture and education, the desire to regiment and instruct in particular dogma, rather than providing the student with the choice, untainted by value bias, a tough concept for such social conservatives to embrace without fear that their children will become suddenly indoctrinated with Communism or its functional equivalent, not realizing that their own home-preached dogma, a concatenation of sentimental gibberish parroted from television melodrama and melodramatic actors, translated into some form of "religion" consisting primarily of America First nationalism, sprinkled with homilies supposedly derived from Biblical interpretation, more likely the invention of barely working television screenwriters for special appeal to the uneducated, has already transformed them into young Fascists, incapable of thinking for themselves save in the most perfunctory manner involving the selection of clothes or hairstyles and the like, and unwilling to listen to anyone else's viewpoint or debate same in any manner resembling objective dialectic, only emoting with vituperation and vitriol toward perceived enemies to their "way of life".

"New Instrument" indicates that former FBI agent Robert E. Lee had been hired as a member of the permanent staff of budget analysts for Congress, something, it offers, which was sorely needed and long recommended by the newspaper. The goal was to provide the members of Congress with accurate data with which to corroborate or refute the necessity of the budget requests of the executive branch. It posits that this group of staff members could become an effective means for intelligent pruning of the budget.

"Clark Is the Man" indicates that Attorney General James McGranery had reported that in 1944, a Topeka, Kans., grand jury had returned an indictment against 11 individuals and two corporations, charging violations of the Securities Act of 1933 and mail fraud, in a scheme to defraud bondholders in Panama City, Fla., by means of the mail, the case then having gone to the Justice Department, which dropped it in 1946. The case had now been resurrected, with the Attorney General stating that it was one of the largest mail fraud cases ever to be filed by the Government. He was turning it over to the House committee investigating the Justice Department, before his departure from office the following Tuesday.

The piece regards it as another case which had been buried during the tenure of Attorney General Tom Clark, a Justice of the Supreme Court since 1949. It was also during his tenure that the Kansas City vote fraud case had become lost after the files, along with files of other cases, had been transferred directly to the Attorney General's office in Washington. The committee had charged that Attorney General Clark had withheld from his then-Assistant in charge of the criminal division, Lamar Caudle, files on cases over which Mr. Caudle had responsibility. The piece concludes that Justice Clark ought to testify before the committee to provide the full story on irregularities in the Justice Department.

Louis Graves, in the Chapel Hill Weekly, in a piece titled "One Man's Beloved Buttons", indicates that many years earlier, Gertrude Stein had written Tender Buttons, about which Mr. Graves could only remember the title, which he was borrowing for the piece. The buttons to which he referred were those on his radio, one for switching on or off the device and the other for changing the stations. He tuned in to the five-minute news segment broadcast several times each day from Raleigh on behalf of an oil company, which sold gasoline which he was in the habit of purchasing. He had already been convinced of the merits of the gas years earlier and did not care to hear any more about it, and so was glad to have the ability to use one of the buttons to switch stations or cut it off.

The Raleigh News & Observer had recently recalled that former Senator Edward Everett had spoken at length at the dedication of the Gettysburg National Cemetery in November, 1863, while President Lincoln had made his subsequently famous address in only a couple of minutes. The News & Observer had stated that despite that shining example, the country still tended toward the verbose, not just on the radio.

Mr. Graves indicates that thousands of listeners had to be bored and irritated by the excessive length and repetition of radio advertisements, suggests that the advertisers realize that such "stuff" wore away rather than increased the good will of the public, observes that some did.

That, of course, has never changed, with the advertisers' absurdities and corn to which they resort to grab attention of the viewer or listener becoming increasingly more grotesque as time passes. As for repetition, big companies obviously never met an ad they did not like to have repeated thousands and thousands and thousands of times, just to keep their product before the eyes of the public, even if the ad, itself, has no or very little proven connection with stimulating sales of the product. Of course, in that repetition and appeal to the lowest common denominator of taste, must be accounted the receptivity of the average audience, the morons who not only watch the stuff but are also influenced by it in the purchases they make. Thus proceeds the redundant appeal to those morons in a vicious cycle downward.

The process is not, of course, unlike the appeals made by former President Nixon, also greatly influenced by marketing techniques, eclipsed in the persistent employment of such a technique and its inevitable appeal to morons by the present occupant of the White House, who operates on the public mind as no other before him, akin to P. T. Barnum, obviously operating on the same premise regarding the "sucker".

That the Super Bowl and its supposed "iconic" ads each year is nearing is perhaps not coincidental with this short diatribe on the subject, though, at the risk of appearing un-American, we readily admit to watching the Super Bowl only rarely, thus also managing to skip the supposed commercial iconography appealing to morons, though hearing about it for days afterward becomes inescapable unless one lives in a cave in the wilderness.

Drew Pearson indicates that it was now possible to report the chief highlights of the meeting between Prime Minister Winston Churchill and President-elect Eisenhower in New York and of the other meetings which Prime Minister Churchill had with the President and others in Washington. Mr. Churchill had urged Anglo-American cooperation regarding atomic energy to the President-elect, who remarked that one of his problems would be to keep the committees of Congress advised, to which Mr. Churchill responded that FDR had trouble advising those committees, as had President Truman, causing the Prime Minister to have to advise them, himself.

The talks regarding serious topics had been inconclusive, with Mr. Churchill virtually paraphrasing Governor Stevenson's advice that the solution to the Korean War was in Moscow and that the new President should not take his eye off the Soviet capital, that he should think seriously about accepting the suggestion of Joseph Stalin to have a joint meeting, at which the Prime Minister would desire to be present. The President-elect appeared sympathetic. Mr. Churchill had objected vigorously to plans for using Chinese Nationalist troops in Korea and to the idea of blockading the Chinese mainland, arguing that it would spread the war to the mainland. The President-elect indicated that he had not definitely decided on his policy, or whether there should be a new offensive launched in the spring, though it was under consideration. He believed that some new strategy had to be developed quickly to end the stalemate in the negotiations for a truce, stating that there would be no new offensive undertaken without prior consultation with the U.N. allies, including Britain. Details of a proposed offensive were discussed but could not be revealed by the column.

Anent the Far East generally, the Prime Minister expressed concern over the economic threat posed to Britain by Japan, that cheaper labor might knock the British from world markets and that they might therefore want stronger trade barriers against both Japan and Germany, hinting that if such help were forthcoming from the U.S., the British might be more helpful in defending Europe. He also wanted England, as well as France, India or Indonesia, included in the Far East defense arrangement between the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.

Regarding the atomic bomb, the Prime Minister told of Britain having spent a large amount of money developing atomic energy and argued that it was senseless for the free world to drain its resources by such duplication, thus emphasizing the importance of exchange of atomic information. But the new President would be bound by law not to disclose that information with any other country, absent Congressional approval.

Regarding the Middle East, the Prime Minister urged cooperation, especially with respect to Iran and the dispute over nationalization of the British oil properties. He urged a compromise more acceptable to the British, being secretly negotiated in London. He suggested that U.S. troops should patrol the Suez Canal along with the British.

Insofar as Western European defense, the President-elect only listened to the Prime Minister, but during the latter's talks with Secretary of State Acheson, who, the previous spring, had saved the strained European army concept under NATO with his eloquence and stature, the Secretary of State urged the Prime Minister to assume new and vigorous leadership on the Continent, as the election and the change of governments in France had again put the unified European army in serious jeopardy. He had said that Mr. Churchill could make the difference in Europe regarding whether there would be a war or permanent peace, suggesting obliquely that the British not be stubborn with regard to the oil investments in Iran or regarding the Egyptian Sudan, formerly a part of the British Empire. Mr. Pearson indicates that Mr. Acheson had made an eloquent plea to Mr. Churchill.

During the Prime Minister's dinner at the British Embassy in Washington, at which the President was present, he discussed such matters as American and British slang and its etymology, appearing to be especially interested in the origin of one of President Truman's pet phrases, referring to a portion of the anatomy. (We thought it regarded the male offspring of a dog.) The President told the Prime Minister not to be surprised if he showed up in London soon, and after he had played a couple of his favorite pieces on the grand piano at the Embassy, the Prime Minister had quipped: "I wonder if General Eisenhower can do as well?"

Frederick C. Othman regards Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had renounced his Republican membership to become an independent during the late campaign, and his contention that he should have seats on the Senate Armed Services and Labor Committees, to which the Republicans had objected and eventually refused to allow. Ordinarily, based on seniority, Senator Morse would have been entitled to those seats.

Mr. Othman observed the debate on the issue, which had droned on for hours, to the point that Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana had sought recognition, saying that he believed the whole thing was "silly", wondered if he might form his own independent party whenever he wanted, prompting laughter from his colleagues, who had otherwise been deadly serious.

Some of the Senators, when it came time to vote on the issue, wanted to use a secret ballot so that they would not be compelled to announce their vote on colleagues who would otherwise be bumped off the two Committees to seat Senator Morse, to which Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had responded that the Senate did not do business in secret, on which Senator Taft, the Majority Leader, agreed, saying that he believed the best way to proceed was to have each Senator announce the names of those he would like to see seated on the two Committees. But when a Senator objected to the time that would take, Senator William Knowland of California suggested that each Senator right down the 14 names acceptable as members of each Committee and provide it to the Vice-President, following which there was debate over whether the Vice-President should make the names public.

Eventually, a vote was taken, with 81 Senators voting not to put Senator Morse on the Armed Services Committee. The Senator then did not seek his old seat on the Labor Committee, declaring that it would be a waste of the Senate's time.

Robert C. Ruark, in Thomson Falls, Kenya, tells of his friend who hunted on safari with him having come to his hotel to collect him for a trip to the center of the Mau Mau violence, wearing a .45-caliber pistol on his hip, which Mr. Ruark regarded initially as a bit of Hollywood bravado, until he got to Thomson Falls, where everyone, including women, were armed, where people ate dinner with guns and rifles at hand. It was not possible to move after dark without running into a roadblock or a curfew. He finds the conditions to remind of the days of the American frontier, when women had babies "with one eye peeled for the redskins and rifles standing handy". The fear came from a series of frightful murders in the area, including that of the husband of a beloved doctor and her maiming by their house boys. The result was tension in the farming village.

The area around the town, in the Aberdares Hills, had been rife with Mau Mau atrocities since the Mau Mau movement was all Kikuyu and the land was never originally Kikuyu property, but rather Masai land, having become fallow when the Masai were resettled on their own land to the south.

After seeing and hearing things, Mr. Ruark, when the party camped out a couple of nights later, decided, himself, to wear a gun on his hip and to sleep with it under his pillow. The following night, a radio report indicated that two farmers had been murdered just a few miles away while having dinner, after their servant had let in the mob, who then proceeded to hack them to bits.

Mr. Ruark recounts that he recalled the land as dreamy and peaceful, but now he slept with the pistol and had Mau Mau nightmares.

A letter writer indicates that he had been elated over the selection of what appeared to be fine men to the new President's Cabinet, but was alarmed by Drew Pearson's recent column, which had indicated that there would be a bar set up near the Capitol, intruding on the writer's belief that the new leaders would set a "good moral example". He suggests that, rather than building a bar in which to "drink and swear", they had better build a "house to go to and pray". He regards it as shocking that a person as John Foster Dulles, whom he had thought was so fine, would "stoop so low" to donate $500 to the bar. "Lord help us to see the light before it is too late."

Don't you worry. Dick and his staff will ensure the instilling of high morals in the new Administration, through surveillance and wiretaps.

A letter writer finds that Governor Umstead was running true to Democratic form, asking for more bond issues. He thinks that the state ought be able to build some schools and roads with the millions of dollars of interest it paid on the bonds, putting everyone in the state under a mortgage of about $4,000 each, an onus to extend to subsequent generations.

Leave the roads dirt and the schools, one-room shanties in the woods. Let's go back to the good ol' days, when Amurica was grate, and a person were free to drive his or her buggy down the road at any damned speed he done desired, while being as ignorant as an old stick, without risk of obloquy or objection.

A letter writer from Hamlet finds that Prime Minister Churchill had used the American people repeatedly in furtherance of his own purposes and the interests of England. He thinks that the evidence suggested that Mr. Churchill had helped engineer the attack on Pearl Harbor so that the U.S. would have to enter the war, that he had thought up the Marshall Plan so that the U.S. would have to foot the bills for devastated Europe, had tried to incite the U.S. to action against Communist aggression with his 1946 "iron curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri, and had succeeded thereby in involving the U.S. in the cold war. He wonders what he had hatched with the new President. He finds American reaction too docile to such "entangling alliances", against which George Washington had warned.

A letter writer asks readers to inform as to why so many of the older trees, even the pines, were dying in the town and in rural areas.

Maybe it is pollution from all of that new industry and all of those new automobiles speeding down the roads and byways.

A letter writer indicates that she was originally from New Jersey, but had visited Charlotte every winter for the previous four or five years, and taken part in the Golden Years Club, starting about two years earlier, which she had found very enjoyable and congenial. She recommends it to other older members of the community.

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