The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 27, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that allied warplanes had attacked Communist supply routes and front line positions along the frozen western front in Korea, and outnumbered U.S. Sabre jets had damaged two enemy MIG-15s in a battle between four Sabres and 20 MIGs. For the second consecutive day, F-84 Thunderjet fighter-bombers attacked the Communist supply route from Pyongyang to Kaesong, a route of late being used to supply front-line troops.

There was only light ground action, with the sharpest action occurring northeast of the "Punchbowl" area on the eastern front, where a South Korean patrol skirmished with a reinforced North Korean platoon for 13 minutes, and then withdrew as allied artillery began hitting the enemy. On the central front, U.N. tanks destroyed or damaged 40 bunkers, 13 caves, 13 gun positions, 11 observation posts and a tunnel.

Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins began his seventh tour of the battlefront, accompanied by U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark and retiring Eighth Army commander, General James Van Fleet, whose successor, Lt. General Maxwell Taylor, had departed Washington for Tokyo this date.

The President this date nominated Roger Kyes to be Deputy Secretary of Defense, a top aide to the new Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, confirmed the previous day by a Senate vote of 77 to 6, approved by 47 of the 48 Republicans and 30 of the 46 Democrats. Among those voting against his confirmation were Senators Willis Smith of North Carolina, Olin Johnston of South Carolina, and Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had renounced his Republican Party membership during the campaign to become an independent. Mr. Kyes, as with Mr. Wilson, had promised to sell his shares of G.M. stock, as well as stock in other companies. According to Senator Taft, talks were still transpiring with Secretary of the Air Force-designate Harold Talbott and Secretary of the Army-designate Robert Stevens, as they, thus far, had not agreed to divest their stock holdings.

The President issued his first executive order this date, providing official status to a three-man committee to study ways to streamline the executive branch of the Government. Future New York Governor and Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller, a former Assistant Secretary of State, was named chairman of the committee, and the other members were Arthur Fleming, president of Ohio Wesleyan University and former chairman of the Manpower Policy Commission, and Milton Eisenhower, president of Penn State and brother of the President. The previous day, the President had appointed a strategy board to plan psychological maneuvers in the Cold War, consisting of eight members, New York investment banker William Jackson as chairman, C. D. Jackson, publisher of Fortune, Siguard Larmon, president of a New York advertising agency, Gordon Gray, president of UNC, Barklie McKee Henry, John Hughes, and Abbott Washburn, the latter three from big business. The President continued to suffer from sniffles and remained in his room at the White House this date.

House Ways & Means Committee chairman Daniel Reed of New York told reporters this date that the Committee would definitely approve on February 16 a bill which would cut income tax rates by 11 percent starting on June 30. He said that he would not allow House leaders to postpone action on the bill until May or June, as had been reported they desired. He planned to hold no hearings and to disallow amendments from the floor to the bill, which would give taxpayers their first reductions since four tax increases had been passed during the previous three years.

The Eisenhower Administration this date delayed for 90 days a grand jury investigation into an alleged world oil monopoly, to permit new Attorney General Herbert Brownell time to give further consideration to the case. A U.S. District Court Judge signed an order, requested by Government counsel, putting off the grand jury investigation.

In New York, former Government economist William Remington was convicted this date in Federal District Court of perjury for denying that he ever provided secret Government data to admitted former Soviet spy Elizabeth Bentley for relay to Russia. He was convicted on a second count of perjury for falsely denying knowledge of the existence of a unit of the Young Communist League at Dartmouth College when he was a student there in the 1930s. Mr. Remington was shaky on his feet following the verdict. He could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison and $4,000 in fines. He was acquitted on one of the five counts of the indictment, charging perjury for his statement that he had never recruited anyone into the Communist Party. The jury hung on two other counts. His defense counsel indicated that they would move to set aside the verdict as being contrary to the law and the evidence. A previous conviction had been reversed on appeal.

In Pusan, a crowded ferry boat sank off the west coast of Korea the prior Sunday and, according to Korean newspapers, 30 Koreans had drowned and 20 others had been seriously injured among the 100 passengers on the ferry. Police said that the crew and operators of the ferry had been arrested.

In Morgan City, La., Army artillerymen planned a high explosive barrage this date on a multi-million dollar gas well fire out of control, ten miles off the Louisiana coast in the Gulf of Mexico. The well was operated by the Pure Oil Co., a spokesman for which indicated that the Army planned to shoot the control valve structure from atop the two burning wells, allowing the flames to shoot upward from the point at which the pipe emerged from the water to enable air to circulate downward to keep the lower parts cooler. Presently, the flames were shooting to one side.

In Aiken, S.C., a gas explosion occurred in an electrical store this date, spreading fires through five buildings in the business district, with conflicting reports indicating that at least ten persons had died and many more injured. Firemen indicated that the explosion had been caused by gas leakage at the electrical store. Six persons had been present in the store at the time of the explosion. An investigation had been taking place at the time of the blast regarding a leaking gas line serving the store.

In Raleigh, a Senate Judiciary Committee this date voted to disapprove a proposed State Constitutional amendment to increase the jurisdiction of justice of the peace courts. The Committee turned over to a subcommittee proposed measures to increase penalties for speeding, reckless driving and drunk driving, and a bill to permit scientific tests of persons accused of drunk driving to determine their blood-alcohol level.

At a U.S. airbase in northern Japan, William C. Barnard reports that the Air Force this night had reported that on March 29, 1952, a bright, cloudless day, a small, metallic, disk-shaped object making a controlled, sweeping pass at an American jet fighter-bomber, had been observed at a proximity of about 30 to 50 feet by another pilot for about ten seconds. The pilot said that it was about eight inches in diameter, very thin, round, and as shiny as "polished chromium", with no apparent projections and leaving no exhaust trails behind. The other pilot had not seen it. On January 21, the Air Force had disclosed the sighting in the same area by several American pilots of "rotating clusters of red, white and green lights" over northern Japan, close to Soviet territory.

In Saarbruecken, The Saar, the Swedish film "Summer Dance", which included a scene showing two young lovers bathing nude in a lake, had been banned from theaters this date by the Government Film Review Commission, which objected to the way the film portrayed an evangelical minister.

On the editorial page, "Industrial Research Pays Off" indicates that in Florida, materials which had once been discarded in phosphate mining were being used as a source for uranium ore, that in Birmingham, paper was being made from discarded telephone poles and railway ties, that in Virginia, wallboard was being made from sawdust, and in Florida, mountains of pulp and peel, once discarded by citrus juice concentration plants, were being turned into cattle feed. Those were just a few of the research projects summarized by William K. Polk in the Greensboro Daily News, demonstrating to the South how to use its by-products and to discover new uses for untapped resources.

An experiment at N.C. State indicated that the state could save eight million dollars per year by using native clays and limestones for cement.

The State Advisory Budget Commission had budgeted $100,000 each year during the ensuing two years for industrial development research, $80,000 per year more than that requested by the Department of Conservation and Development. Whether the money would be spent through colleges and universities or through a separate State research agency was not yet known, but the piece indicates its enthusiastic support of the idea to keep the state competitive with other Southern states in the area of industrial research, to enable diversified and expanded industry.

Eventually, that trend led to establishment of the Research Triangle Park between Chapel Hill, Durham and Raleigh in 1959.

"The Turn Indicator Is Here To Stay" tells of the U.S., while being the motoring capital of the world, not always taking the lead in developing auto safety devices. Whereas the turn indicator was required equipment in many foreign countries, it was still an optional accessory in the U.S. A State Representative had proposed a new law in the General Assembly requiring that all cars built or assembled after January 1, 1954 and sold in North Carolina, be equipped with turn signals. It proposes the passage of that measure as turn signals were not expensive and would not cause the cost of cars to increase substantially, while being a key safety factor.

"Economy at the Junior Executive Level" indicates that John Cramer, who covered the Federal-employee beat for the Washington Daily News, had uncovered some variations on the theme of bureaucrats who typically padded their budgets at the end of the year with questionable spending so that they could justify their budgets for the ensuing year. He had found that planes destined for the junkyard had been repeatedly painted, simply to keep a large group busy, that a concrete roadway at a military base near Washington had been reinforced with expensive brass tubing, that the Office of Price Stabilization had sent 200-word telegrams to mayors of all the cities of more than 100,000, including four cities which did not exist, and other such similar examples.

Mr. Cramer had suggested as a remedy that every Government agency ought give every individual supervisor at every level his own simple working budget and challenge that individual to cut it. He estimated that only about 5,000 of the 100,000 Government supervisors had their own budgets, which were often regarded as minimums. One example he cited was in the Treasury Department, where a section chief asked the division chief to approve the purchase of an electric typewriter which would be good for cutting stencils, when it turned out that less than a dozen stencils were cut per year. An alert supervisor had saved the money.

The piece suggests that the present Administration would have more economy-minded supervisors than the Truman Administration, but that the incentive to cut waste had also to exist at the lower levels of the bureaucracy if substantial cuts were to be made. It urges Mr. Cramer's solution.

"An Outlet for Frustrated Editors" indicates that James Reston, the "diplomatic correspondent" for the New York Times, had recently spoken before the New York state publishers, telling them that Eisenhower headquarters often dealt with them instead of reporters, and asking them to let the reporters be the point of contact with the Government. During the campaign, General Eisenhower's advisers liked the advertising-agency approach to public relations, having contact with the front office rather than the reporters. The fact that the new President recently had indicated he would have traditional press conferences would likely allay the concerns of Mr. Reston.

But he had raised the issue of how editorial writers would treat the new Administration, given the fact that for the prior 20 years, the majority of publishers and editors had been critical of the Democrats as the party in power. The question now was whether they could switch to constructive criticism of the Republicans as the party in power.

Palmer Hoyt, publisher of the Denver Post, had stated that if he had to choose between a newspaper weak on opinion but strong on facts, and one which was strong on opinion and weak on facts, he would choose the former. It indicates that it believes in newspapers with strong opinions, as long as they were limited to the editorial page. It suggests that for those who found it difficult to provide approval in the same doses in which they had provided disapproval, Mr. Hoyt's advice of spending more time getting facts than registering opinions would prove valuable, resulting in opinions which would have a ring of truth and conviction.

Drew Pearson indicates that the new President, after two days in office, had asked an aide what day it was, and then exclaimed surprise that only two days had passed. He had been so busy getting the new Administration going that he had not had time to sit down alone with his wife and talk over private matters. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower had solved the problem by writing him notes and leaving them on the mantel.

The First Lady had only one complaint so far about the White House, that it had insufficient closet space. At the inaugural ball, she had sent a special request to orchestra leader Guy Lombardo to play the tunes that she and the new President had enjoyed when they were courting, "Let Me Call You Sweetheart", "Down Among the Sheltering Palms", and "Sweetheart of Sigma Chi".

Mr. Pearson indicates that when he had talked to General Eisenhower the previous year, he had received the definite impression that he planned to be a one-term President, and those around the White House appeared to confirm that idea. Were he to announce that prospect, his hand would be strengthened with the Republican Congress as it would put in check Senator Taft, who was perceived still as his opponent. Senator Taft appeared to be aiming his efforts at Attorney General Herbert Brownell, suspected of being Governor Dewey's man at the White House in preparation for a Dewey run for the Presidency in 1956, if President Eisenhower did choose not to run again. That was resulting in the prospect of more opposition from the Taft wing of the Republicans than from the Democrats. But if the President were to let the public realize that he was interested only in doing the best job he could without seeking re-election, his popular support would likely beat Senator Taft at his own game.

Dr. Ernest Gruening, who had been the Governor of Alaska longer than any other person in history, dropped in to see his new boss, Secretary of the Interior Douglas McKay, whom he had known as a fellow Governor of Oregon. Secretary McKay suggested that he assumed Governor Gruening would be tendering his resignation, to which Governor Gruening responded that he was not planning to do so as he held office for a fixed statutory term, which did not expire until March. Secretary McKay then made a public announcement that the Governor would remain until April.

Senator Joseph McCarthy had thrown an all-night party at Washington's fashionable Mayflower Hotel recently and over 100 special guests, including a number of millionaires, had attended, having their choice of dozens of whiskeys and wines from midnight until dawn. The wife of Senator Herman Welker of Idaho exclaimed at one point that it was just like Paris.

Inaugural ball attendees had consumed 8,000 gallons of punch, the most non-alcoholic beverage which had flowed in Washington in a long while. At private parties across town, however, refreshments were not non-alcoholic.

The new Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson had not consumed any alcoholic beverages.

Friends of former President Truman had arranged to provide an office for him in New York as part of the headquarters for the Truman Library, to be located in Grandview, Mo. It would put the former President close to Washington, but not close enough to be constantly in President Eisenhower's hair. It would also place him close to daughter Margaret, who had an apartment in New York. Former First Lady Bess Truman had made her first and last speech in Washington after the inauguration, at a gathering at Dean Acheson's home when the Cabinet wives presented her with a 200-year old platter, causing her to choke with emotion and say, "I can't make a speech, but this is terribly sweet of you people." Mrs. Truman had remained completely in the background for the entire term of the President, with Margaret typically handling the traditional duties of the First Lady.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that now that Secretary Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson appeared to be out of danger of not being confirmed, following his divestiture of his G.M. stock and bonus holdings, he would have a difficult task in performing his job which would, for success, necessitate obtaining better military strength for less money, one of his two slogans for approaching the job, the other being to leave the military side of matters to the military and production to the Department of Defense.

As to the first major problem, it would require more than trimming waste from the military budgets to reduce defense spending. The Alsops cite three examples, the first being that there were 10,000 men to each of the 95 combat wings of the Air Force, when each wing comprised only 30 to 75 airplanes. The second example was that there were 60,000 men per combat division in the Army, whereas the Soviets had only 22,000 men per division. The third was that the Air Force had ordered a gadget called an "intervalometer" for $180,000 per plane, designed automatically to trigger a reconnaissance camera aboard the plane to take continuous pictures of the ground below. During World War II, the same device had been aboard reconnaissance planes, but was triggered manually by the pilot and only cost $80. The Alsops indicate that the automatic device would obviously be more efficient than the manual device, but question whether it was worth 2,000 times the cost.

They indicate that Mr. Wilson and his subordinates would have to find a way to reduce that kind of excess and unnecessary spending by the military for there to be effective defense cost reduction. But Mr. Wilson's second slogan, to leave the job of the military to the military and the production to the Defense Department, would pose a problem in that regard, as the military branches would always seek to maximize their manpower strength and order gadgetry which would maximize efficiency. The only way to achieve economy, therefore, in defense was to take the approach of former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, and reduce armed strength. Moreover, the bitter rivalry between the services would always lead to enormous waste and prevent national-minded strategic planning. In his final report, Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett had proposed a remedy for those problems in the form of drastic reorganization of the defense structure.

Frederick C. Othman tells of having acquired the flu which was going around, having started overseas in Europe. He indicates that the first symptoms involved a loss of appetite, followed by a heaviness on his feet and a loss of interest in doing his job amid chills. When he went to the Senate gallery to observe the business of the day, all of the Senators appeared in double vision. He even had difficulty removing his ballpoint pen to begin to take notes. Nor could he clearly understand the proceedings before him. Once he returned to the office, he had trouble typing his report. Finally, his wife called to ask how he was and she agreed to come pick him up, take him home and put him to bed with some castor oil or a reliable substitute. He thus finishes his report, reliant on his copyreaders to correct its mistakes.

A letter writer from East Laurinburg, N.C., finds unfair the editorial titled, "Cold Shoulders in Raleigh", regarding the proposed bill for a bonus to be paid the state's veterans. As he understood the bill, it only proposed a referendum on the matter and he thinks the people ought decide the issue.

A letter writer finds the previous letter writer who had described Billy Graham as a "mountebank" to have been "more than indiscreet", as the reference was not merely criticism of ideas but slander. A responding letter writer, however, he suggests, had not helped the matter by calling the prior writer a "yellow-livered cur"—actually, "yellow-livered crackpot", which could be decisively different from a "yellow-livered cur". He suggests that everyone had the freedom and choice to believe and express their opinions but not to hurt others with different beliefs, that name-calling was a negative force regardless of who was doing it.

A letter writer from Gaffney, S.C., pastor of the West End Baptist Church, responds to a letter writer of January 23 who had asked for the connection between consumption of alcohol and murder, in response to a letter writer who had suggested that if prohibition laws were to be denounced as not preventative of consumption of alcohol, then murder laws also ought be removed from the books as ineffective. He cites several statistics, including one developed by the Business Men's Research Foundation, which found that for every dollar spent by Federal, state, and local governments in taxes from liquor, five dollars were spent on crime caused by liquor. He argues that the problems caused by liquor were not confined to those who drank and so the prior writer's argument that it was a personal choice was specious as society had an interest in prohibiting drinking.

While on the surface valid, the late Al Capone's minions will be greatly enthused by your argument, which provides the rub when it comes to societal prohibition of alcohol. Education of the ill effects of alcohol consumption, rather than prohibition, is the answer.

A letter writer from Marion, N.C., responds to the same prior letter, which had stated that the argument of the drys was specious, this writer suggesting that his arguments had been spurious, suggesting similar reasons to that of the immediately preceding writer.

A letter writer suggests that it should not be hard for the City Council to undertake a retirement plan for the policemen and firemen of the community, by taking a little money out of the "squander pot" and putting it into the retirement fund.

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