The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 24, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied Sabre jets had destroyed at least four enemy MIG-15s this date, with at least two others damaged. Late Friday and early Saturday, B-26 light bombers had hit an enemy supply line, destroying 60 trucks, three locomotives and ten boxcars. Ten B-29s had struck an enemy supply target and a troop-billeting center near Pyongyang.

The Fifth Air Force announced that the week of January 17 to 23 had been its most successful for the Sabre jets since the week beginning November 21, with 16 MIGs destroyed, one other probably destroyed and 16 others damaged. The enemy had downed only one Sabre during the previous week, the first Sabre lost since the week ending December 26. Three other U.N. planes had also been downed by enemy ground fire during the week.

General James Van Fleet, turning over his command of the Eighth Army the following month to Lt. General Maxwell Taylor, indicated this date that he would say his farewells to his troops "with a heavy heart". General Taylor was scheduled to meet with the President in Washington this date and leave by plane for Tokyo on Monday, and after conferring with U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark in Tokyo, would arrive in Korea in early February. General Van Fleet would retire from the Army on March 31. General Clark gave high praise to General Van Fleet, and the latter praised General Taylor as a "great soldier and leader". General Taylor, in October, 1962, just before the start of the Cuban missile crisis, would be named by President Kennedy as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, replacing General Lyman L. Lemnitzer. He would become chief of staff of the Army in mid-1955, serving in that capacity until mid-1959.

This date, the new President discussed the Korean military situation with General Taylor. The President was also scheduled to meet with William Jackson, a New York investment banker, and C. D. Jackson, editor on leave from Fortune magazine, with an authoritative source having stated earlier in the month that William Jackson, who had served in the CIA, had been asked by the President to head a planning commission which would review U.S. psychological strategy in the Cold War, and that C. D. Jackson would take part in that study. The President planned to meet with Republican Congressional leaders on Monday to set a time for the State of the Union message, probably to occur later the following week.

The Senate Republican policy committee this date gave its support to confirmation of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense, with Senator William Knowland of California, chairman of the committee, telling reporters that the recommendation was unanimous, following Mr. Wilson's indication that he would divest himself of General Motors stock and other benefits. Senator Knowland said, however, that his four top assistants might be in for trouble in their confirmation unless they also divested their holdings. Debate on the nomination had been delayed until Monday, following unanimous recommendation of confirmation by the Senate Armed Services Committee late the previous day. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had renounced his Republican Party membership and become an independent during the late campaign, stated this date that he would vote against the confirmation, indicating that "big business has stolen the Republican Party". He said that the nomination of Mr. Wilson was "shocking and unconscionable", finding that the Eisenhower Administration, being dominated by big business, would be "very reactionary".

The new President appointed Allen Dulles as the director of the CIA, and intended to appoint Lt. General Charles Cabell, present director of the joint staff of the Joint Chiefs, as deputy director, the post presently held by Mr. Dulles. The nominations would be forwarded to the Senate as soon as the body confirmed General Walter Bedell Smith, present CIA director, as Undersecretary of State. President Kennedy would fire General Cabell as deputy director in early 1962, a couple of months after the President had fired Allen Dulles as director, the firings primarily resulting from the inadequate advice and intelligence provided the President in advance of the April, 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion, seeking to overthrow the Castro regime. The General's brother, Earle Cabell, had become Mayor of Dallas, Tex., in 1961 and continued in that position when President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas on November 22, 1963.

Ernest Vaccaro reports from Independence, Mo., of the arrival back home of the former President and Mrs. Truman, returning to their simple routine of a small Midwestern town. The President, accustomed to 17-hour days for the previous eight years, was not having an easy time settling down to a life absent crisis. His prime interest at present was the initiation of construction on his 1.5 million dollar library, cultural and research center on the family farm at nearby Grandview, where relatives still resided. The former President had taken reporters to visit the farm the previous day, and those present were impressed with the nearly 600 acres and the diligence of the President's nephew, who milked 50 cows, attended 100 hogs and fed 30 steers, in addition to raising wheat and corn. They enjoyed coffee cake and freshly-baked white bread cooked by the President's sister-in-law.

In Rome, an American priest, Monsignor John O'Grady of Washington, warned, in a speech this date before a meeting sponsored by the Italian Catholic Migration Committee, that complete disillusionment with the new McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, passed over President Truman's veto, seriously threatened to drive many Italians into the Communist ranks. He had served on President Truman's Commission on Immigration and Naturalization the previous year. A general Italian election, the first since 1948, was scheduled for the following spring, in which Communists would be vying for power, seeking a coalition with the pro-Communist Socialists.

In Centerville, Iowa, a 15-year old boy was held on an open charge this date after the fatal shooting of his father with a rifle which he had received from his parents for Christmas. The County Attorney said that the boy had told him that he had fired a .22-caliber bullet into his father's head because his father had been shouting bitterly at his mother.

Perhaps, he had seen the "Dragnet" episode a week prior to Christmas, also involving a .22 rifle as a Christmas gift from a boy's parents, and figured that he, too, might inherit the Christmas gifts of his victim after humbly expressing contrition for the act.

A picture on the page from St. Louis shows another man who might also have been influenced by a "Dragnet" episode, which had aired the prior September 11, also turning out in that case with a happy ending, at least for the nonce. The beat goes on...

At West Point, the U.S. Military Academy announced that the Army versus Notre Dame football series, suspended after the 1947 season, would be resumed in 1957. Both schools had suspended the series because the game "had grown too big".

In Raleigh, State Representative John Umstead, brother of Governor William B. Umstead, said in a radio interview that he planned to introduce a bill in the General Assembly which would separate the Prisons Department from the Highway Commission, a plan which he said he was not sure had the unqualified support of his brother. He said that the separation would take the Department out of politics and enable to move forward its rehabilitation program, which could not be carried out by the Highway Commission, concerned with building roads.

More wet weather, but absent severe cold, was in prospect for wide areas of the country during the weekend. More snow had fallen in the Midwest, with accumulations of five inches in parts of northern lower Michigan. The weather was fair in Texas, following a snow and ice storm which had closed schools and stranded hundreds of motorists. Wind and rain storms the previous day had caused heavy property damage in parts of Mississippi and Alabama. The weather was mild in Southern California, with Los Angeles reporting a high of 84, a record for the date. It was 87 in Glendale and 81 in San Diego.

Time to hit the beach...

On the editorial page, "Will Eisenhower and Dulles Be Bold?" indicates that the President, in his inaugural address, had asked Europeans "to strive with renewed vigor to make the unity of their peoples a reality." Several recent developments in Europe had slowed progress toward European union, and the new French Premier, René Mayer, had come to office with the promise of delaying the European army treaty until it had been modified and the Franco-German agreement on the Saar concluded.

Progress had been made on the economic and political front, however, with the Schuman Plan to establish a common market for coal and iron set to go into effect on February 10 and the common steel market, on April 10.

The reason for slow progress militarily, qualified observers agreed, was the general perception that Germany would quickly achieve a dominant position in a European community, especially distasteful to the Benelux and Scandinavian countries, as well as to France. They wanted Britain and the U.S. to participate in the union to counterbalance Germany, warning that if that were not the case, the NATO countries would drift even further apart, proving the cynical prediction of Stalin that the union of democracies would fall of its own weight.

The piece indicates that the Truman Administration and the Congress had followed the policy that if Europe would unite, everything would be all right, confidence in which, the piece believes, had been misplaced, that unless foreign policy conflicts between the U.S. and Europe were decreased and trans-Atlantic trade barriers also decreased, there could be no decrease in the rifts over military policy. It finds that as Europe became stronger through federation, it could also become more isolated from the West, and, in consequence, more tied to the Communist bloc economically. Communists had been offering lucrative commercial contracts to Europeans in recent months, some of which had been accepted.

It concludes that one of the greatest hopes offered by the Eisenhower Administration was the fact that the new President and Secretary of State Dulles had previously recognized the need for an integrated Atlantic community, and could obtain Congressional support for that concept which President Truman and Secretary of State Acheson could not. It indicates that it was hopeful of bold moves by the new Administration.

"It Won't Take Long" finds that the order issued by the President to Cabinet members after their initial meeting the previous day to remain mum in the face of reporters' questions would not last, as inevitably, Drew Pearson would publish a column the following week full of inside stories from that meeting, showing Administration officials that they could not maintain secrets about non-secret matters, leading inevitably to the veil of silence being lifted.

As President, a few years down the pike, Vice-President Nixon, who had confirmed to reporters the previous day that all at the meeting were sworn to silence, would undertake, with his plumbers unit, to plug all the leaks, leading, however, as we know, to the dam eventually bursting at the Watergate, offsetting any "bold moves" by the Nixon Administration in the field of foreign policy.

The present occupant of the White House, obviously emulating President Nixon in the worst sort of ways, has sought to invoke the same kind of confidentiality and secretiveness with regard to the people's business, which is one reason he has been impeached and is now standing trial before the Senate. May enough Republican Senators understand their duty to the people, all of the people, during the coming week and, at very least, insist on receiving testimonial and documentary evidence refused by the White House to the House during its investigations last fall. Ultimately, it is the right of the people, not just the Senators, to hear all of the pertinent evidence.

We remind again that there has never been a contested impeachment trial in the country's history, whether of a President or some other Federal official, where there has been no evidence presented beyond a summary of the evidence presented in the House, leading to the initial vote of impeachment.

"The Wilson Affair" indicates that Secretary of Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson was now fulfilling the law by his divestiture of his General Motors holdings and would now likely be confirmed the following Monday. It regards one of the objections by Senators, that he had not shown them proper deference during the hearings, to have been invalid, but his attitude had considerably changed the previous day in the second hearing, after it had been announced by the White House that he would divest his holdings.

It indicates that while the law preventing Government officials from doing business with companies in which they had even an indirect interest might appear too stringent, it was necessary to prevent abuses or the appearance of abuse through conflicts of interest. The fact that it might keep qualified persons from serving in Government was a problem which could only be dealt with by raising the salaries of the officials. Despite all the policing of the matter during Senate confirmations, it was still possible that Government officials might provide a contract to old friends and even obtain a commission on the side, while technically abiding by the letter of the law. It recommends vigilance on the part of the public, the press, and Government officials to avoid such circumstances.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Encouraging the Artist", indicates that playwright Robert E. Sherwood had been commissioned by NBC to write nine plays to be presented on television, without pressure from sponsors regarding content, except that none of the plays could concern religion. The piece thinks it a worthy experiment in trying to raise the quality of the medium from the lowest common denominator, inevitable in commercial competition and rushed writing of scripts, and hopes that Mr. Sherwood, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, with such earlier entries as Abe Lincoln in Illinois, There Shall Be No Night, and The Petrified Forest to his credit, would be able to pull it off.

Mr. Sherwood would die in late 1955, apparently before bringing the project to fruition.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson had listed more stock holdings than just his controversial G.M. stock during his first appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee, including millions of dollars worth of oil and bank stocks, and real estate. He had said that it would to be too much of a sacrifice to give up his holdings to take the position of Secretary, that if there were a clean way to sell everything he had without taking too much of a loss and place it in Government bonds, he would do so, but that the penalty would be too great. He considered it penalty enough that he was giving up a $600,000 per year job as the president of G.M. Senator Lester Hunt of Wyoming had said that the Senate had always required Government personnel, even those at much lower levels than that to which Mr. Wilson had been appointed, to divest themselves of stock ownership. His most controversial statement, however, had been that he would not disqualify himself from passing on G.M. contracts, saying that he knew a lot about G.M. policies and that the corporation was not seeking to make a lot of money out of the defense program presently and had not during World War II. Mr. Pearson proceeds to list the holdings and assets which Mr. Wilson had divulged to the Committee.

That which upset the Senators was his attitude about his wealth and position. He had said at one point during questioning, in response to statements that he would be criticized by the columnists, that he would not allow columnists to run the Defense Department, to which Senator Ralph Flanders had remarked, sarcastically, that none of the columnists had been presented to the Committee for approval.

Marquis Childs indicates that it was generally agreed that one of the ablest men nominated by President Eisenhower to the Defense Department had been Robert Ten Broeck Stevens as Secretary of the Army. He was a successful businessman who had governmental experience in the early days of the New Deal and subsequently during World War II. Yet, there appeared to be an insuperable obstacle to his confirmation based on his ownership of one-third of a family corporation which had approximately 125 million dollars worth of defense contracts. He had made a good impression on the Senate Armed Services Committee, unlike Charles E. Wilson, who had not done proper obeisance to the Committee and was sharply reminded of that fact when hesitancy developed over his confirmation—since resolved with his divestiture of his G.M. stock and other benefits.

Mr. Childs, apparently writing before the resolution of the Wilson matter, indicates that perhaps the Senate would resolve the snafu regarding conflicts of interest, but it posed a paradoxical situation in which qualified persons from the business world would have difficulty being confirmed if they had any kind of direct or even indirect interest in corporations with Government contracts.

In the past, Congress had found that in some instances, the Government had been buying automotive spare parts through a chain of three or four companies, each making profits on the transaction, whereas purchase from the original supplier would have eliminated a considerable amount of the cumulative profit. In reply, others, both in industry and government, had declared that even if some of that profit had been unjustified, it would be recovered by the Government either through renegotiation of the contracts or through the excess-profits tax. But staff experts of the Congressional committee pointed out in response that in renegotiation of contracts, each firm involved in a transaction was allowed a "reasonable profit". They issued a report saying that the individual companies would retain the unnecessary costs and profits and the Government would not recover them through renegotiation. This study had shown the perils of having interested parties within the Government.

Frederick C. Othman indicates that the Interstate and Foreign Commerce Committee was unanimously of the opinion that the Pennsylvania Railroad should not allow its locomotives to plow through the Union Station in Washington, as had recently occurred after the train's brakes had failed. It was not yet clear why the brakes had failed, but the investigation had brought out that there had been several futile attempts by members of the crew to pull the emergency brake, as the train began moving toward the station at a too fast rate of speed.

The conductor testified that he had been locking the washroom doors on the train when he noticed that the train was traveling too fast, and, hearing the train's horn blowing, sought to pull the emergency brake, without result. The front brakeman had been talking to the conductor about locking the washrooms but had heard no horn, had also grabbed the emergency brake without result. When Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, chairman of the Committee, had inquired as to why they were locking the washrooms, the brakeman indicated that it was an old custom to lock the washrooms when the train was in the station. The Senator indicated that had it not been for that task, they might have been able to pull more emergency brake valves and stop the train in time, that washrooms should be left open at all times.

There had also been some talk about the possibility of sabotage, but nobody had any definite ideas on the subject, and the hearing had ended before the air-brake manufacturer had an opportunity to explain, with slides, how his mechanisms were designed to cope with any emergency.

Mr. Othman indicates that they had not solicited his opinion but he believed that the train needed a much louder whistle than the "beep-beep" horn.

A letter writer says that she had read some of the letters to the editor regarding Billy Graham and finds it dangerous to try to hurt a man who was going around the world praying for lost souls. She indicates that when the Rev. Graham had gone to Korea, God had been there protecting him and was with him when he had laid down on his face and prayed for a wounded soldier. She wonders why people would throw stones at "God's people", and is certain that if there were more such persons as Rev. Graham, there would be less crime and more boys and girls prepared to meet God.

A letter writer, who had previously written a letter referring to Rev. Graham as a "sin-shouting, yammering mountebank", provoking in the process considerable response from readers finding it objectionable, indicates that he was not Catholic, as had been charged, but rather was raised as a Protestant, and quite often attended Catholic, Hebrew or Greek Orthodox churches, finding God equally as present there as in the churches of the Protestant faiths, though many Protestants vehemently disagreed. He indicates that his objection to all evangelists was that they engendered in their followers a blind, unreasoning devotion, which, as European and American history had demonstrated, ultimately would get out of control and become a large blot on the historical page of Christianity.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its editorial against merger of the County Police Department with the Sheriff's Department as a cost-cutting measure, cites numerous statistics showing that the County Police Department was quite efficient in utilizing its budget while providing good law enforcement, with a chief who had graduated from the FBI National Police School.

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