The Charlotte News

Friday, January 30, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down a twin-engine Russian-built bomber off North Korea's west coast near Sinanju this date and destroyed one enemy MIG-15 and damaged another. The engagement had involved four Sabres and 26 MIGs. It was only the second time during the Korean War that allied fighters had engaged with enemy bombers, in this instance a lone TU-2. The last previous such engagement had occurred November 30, 1951, when Sabres destroyed seven TU-2s.

In the ground war, activity was limited to patrol clashes amid sub-zero temperatures, the lowest of the season, 16 below on the western front and two below on the eastern and central fronts.

General James Van Fleet's headquarters said this date that it was "grossly unfair" to describe "Operation Smack" as anything other than a soundly conceived and carefully planned combat operation, after at least two Congressmen had questioned whether the operation had been merely a showpiece or was a necessary military operation. Associated Press correspondent Forrest Edwards, who had watched the operation, said that three Americans had been killed and a few wounded seriously. The Army would officially release no casualty figures, but said that at least 60 percent of those wounded returned to duty the following day. Maj. General Wayne Smith, the division commander, indicated to Associated Press correspondent Stan Carter that he was surprised at the commotion the operation had caused in the U.S., indicating that fewer American soldiers had been killed in the raid than he had expected and that he considered the operation to have been of tremendous value, as a large number of bunkers and caves had been destroyed and a number of the enemy had been killed or wounded. Reconnaissance material regarding the terrain, traffic ability of tanks, mass bombings and use of air cover also were obtained.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, predicted that three diplomatic appointments of the Administration, Mrs. Oswald B. Lord, as U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Commission, succeeding Eleanor Roosevelt, Winthrop Aldrich, as Ambassador to Great Britain, and Herman Phleger, as legal counsel to the State Department, would be confirmed quickly, all three having been approved by the Committee the previous day. There had arisen some quiet opposition to General Walter Bedell Smith as Undersecretary of State and James B. Conant, former president of Harvard University, as High Commissioner of West Germany Senator Wiley stated that he expected at least exhaustive questioning of the two, when hearings began the following Monday. Some Roman Catholic groups had attacked Dr. Conant for a speech he had made the previous year, which they considered unfriendly to parochial schools. The nature of opposition to General Smith was not disclosed.

Senator Lyndon Johnson of Texas said this date that Republicans had been thrown for a political loss "and great damage has been done to the country" in the Senate controversy over Department of Defense appointees, regarding their initial failure to divest themselves of stock holdings in companies which might be dealing with the Government, primarily G.M., the leading contractor with the Defense Department. Senator Johnson said that "some fellow who doesn't get a contract he wants will be yelling about 'big business'." He added that he believed the appointments of Charles Wilson, former president of G.M., as Secretary of Defense, and the other big businessmen to other key Defense Department posts, had been a mistake. Senate Majority Leader Taft, however, indicated his belief that any political setback for the Republicans would be offset if the appointees performed well at their jobs.

Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Mutual Security Agency head Harold Stassen left this date on a special mission to Europe, carrying with them some last-minute suggestions and guidance from the President. They were scheduled to visit seven Western European nations prior to their return on February 9.

In Washington, a U.S. District Court judge ruled this date that it was unconstitutional for the Government to require registration of persons engaged in lobbying activities because it provided for penalties, including a fine, imprisonment, or both, and prevented a person convicted under it to influence legislation for a period of three years after the conviction, the judge holding the provision to be violative of the First Amendment right to petition the Government.

In Savannah, Ga., a B-50 bomber crashed and burned at Hunter Air Force Base this date with seven crew members aboard, first reports indicating no survivors. The crash occurred south of the main runway. A similar plane had crashed and burned near the Isle of Hope a couple of weeks earlier during takeoff.

In Chicago, a man's paycheck for 26 hours of part-time work at the University of Chicago had amounted to $8,000,031.70, only $31.70 of which he had actually earned. A new check was made out to him for the correct amount. The supervisor of the payroll department theorized that someone had leaned against the automatic check-writing machine while it was making out the check and pressed down the wrong keys.

In Raleigh, legislation backed by Governor William B. Umstead, to provide the Governor power to replace the entire membership of the State Board of Conservation and Development, had been introduced in both houses of the General Assembly this date, providing that the terms of all 15 members of the Board would expire the following June 30, enabling the Governor then to appoint a new Board. The State Senate enacted into law the bill proposed by the Governor to replace the single paroles commissioner with a three-member Paroles Commission.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that North Carolina Republican leaders held urgent conferences this date in an effort to end an intra-party fight which had divided the Republicans into two embittered camps. Some top-ranking Republicans who had campaigned for the nomination of Senator Taft were accusing the chief Eisenhower supporters of closing the patronage door to the Taft supporters, claiming that the Eisenhower leaders who had the best connection with Administration officials in Washington had made it clear that the question of whether appointments would be made would be decided on pre-convention allegiances.

On the editorial page, "There Is, After All, a GOP President" indicates that it had long been its understanding that President Eisenhower had as a principal objective reorganization and streamlining of the executive branch, and that many of the voters who cast their ballots for him anticipated such changes. It also had assumed that the members of Congress, particularly Republicans, shared that objective.

But during the week, House and Senate committees on government operations had voted to restrict the President's power to reorganize and streamline agencies and bureaus, despite a plea for that ability from Office of Budget director Joseph Dodge. Under existing law, which would expire a few months hence, plans for reorganization submitted by the President went into effect 60 days after submission unless the constitutional majority of either house voted against it, the legislative veto. President Truman had used the procedure to put into effect several recommendations of the Hoover Commission, such as the reorganization of the IRB. The Eisenhower Administration had only sought to extend that authority. But both committees had changed the bill to require only a simple majority of those present and voting in a quorum, rather than the previous requirement of a constitutional majority of the entirety of either house.

Reorganization plans usually were vigorously opposed as they cut out excess jobs and agencies, causing pressure on members of Congress to keep them. Under the revised bill, Mr. Dodge had told the House Committee that it would almost be impossible for the President to pass any reorganization plans. Only 14 Democrats on the House Committee had voted against the change. The solid support for the change by Republicans on both committees showed the extent to which they had forgotten their responsibility of leadership, especially with a Republican now in the White House.

A Democratic member of the Senate committee, John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, reportedly was planning to offer an amendment to restore the provision for a constitutional majority when the measure reached the Senate floor, a provision which the piece deems essential if the President were to have power to reorganize the executive branch.

"Improve the Presidential Primary Bill" indicates that State Senator Terry Sanford—future Governor, from 1961 to 1965, and Senator, from 1986 to 1993, and president of Duke University, who served in the State Senate from 1953 to 1955—had introduced a bill which would establish a presidential preference primary in North Carolina, something which only one-third of the states presently had. They were held on different dates and some were binding on delegates and some were not. They gave the voters a chance, nevertheless, to express their choice as to a party nominee, and the expression had an influence on convention delegates even where the choice was not binding.

It hopes that the Assembly would weigh the bill carefully and improve on it, as it required that a petition be signed by at least 5,000 voters from at least 80 of the state's 100 counties to enter a candidate on the ballot. In addition, each candidate was required to pay a $200 filing fee. Write-in votes would be permitted. The results would not be legally binding on the delegates. It would cost little, would be held close to the time of the convention, and the filing fee would deter crackpots and lightweights from entering the race. It finds the petition requirements, however, not to be useful and recommends they be deleted.

It favors following the pattern of the State of Washington, which had provided that delegate votes would be apportioned according to the primary vote for each candidate, instead of the winner-take-all formula for the leading candidate. Washington's delegates also were bound by the primary results, unless a candidate received less than 10 percent of the total vote or until he released his delegates.

It also favors allowing independents to vote in the primary.

Senator Sanford had said that the bill was a step in the right direction, but the piece thinks it did not go far enough, that if properly amended, however, should be passed.

The first presidential primary in North Carolina was not held until 1972, won on the Democratic side by Guv'na George Corley Wallace, runnin' on the issue of busin' up in 'eya.

"Whose Mandate?" indicates that the House Republican campaign committee had produced some election figures which, it finds, spoke volumes, that the Republicans had won control of the House by a margin of eight seats, despite the fact that the votes for Democratic House candidates exceeded the total for Republicans by 239,271. President Eisenhower, however, had received 5.6 million more votes than had Governor Stevenson in the election, suggesting that the figures showed that the outcome of the election had been a tremendous personal victory for General Eisenhower and that he, rather than the Republican Party, had received a mandate from the American people.

"The Story of a Good Town" indicates that the research divisions of seven Southern universities had recently indicated the local factors which largely determined the choice of a site for new business or industry, lists those 11 factors, and suggests that Charlotte and its surrounding metropolitan area were richly endowed with all of the qualities, as indicated in the Annual Business and Pictorial Review section of this date's edition of the newspaper.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Dog or TV?" indicates that the Tryon Daily Bulletin had studied the tax structure of Polk County and concluded that, in terms of taxes, it was cheaper to own a television set than to own a dog. It suggests that a television set could not chase rabbits, bark a warning or do tricks, but also did not track mud into the house, redistribute fleas or knock over garbage cans. It could also be turned off all night without a whimper. But it was also not Man's Best Friend, which also could be said of the Republican Party. It would protect the household, even if not bringing one's favorite comedian or news commentator into the home, nevertheless twice as amusing and four times as lovable.

"You pay your taxes, and you take your choice. Maybe you better list both of them."

Drew Pearson tells of former Governor of Oregon Douglas McKay, the new Secretary of Interior, set to preside over the 65,000 employees of the Interior Department. As with every predecessor Secretary of Interior, he would be reluctant to ride herd over bureaucrats who had been in office for many years. He had observed Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman during the last days of the Truman Administration, and had created a stir in the Department cafeteria by balancing his own tray and having lunch with the commissioner of Reclamation, Mike Straus, the most controversial figure in the Department, having fought the big power interests, the big landowners, and most of the policies championed by the conservative wing of the Republican Party.

Mr. McKay was friendly and energetic, would probably get along well in Washington, understood government far better than Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, who had spent his career as a businessman, heading General Motors. Mr. McKay had been the largest Chevrolet and Cadillac dealer in Oregon, and had sold a lot of cars to the State. He still had a lot to learn, as he had asked of someone in the Interior Department who ran Wake Island, at the time when General Eisenhower had stopped there in December on his way back from Korea and Japan, being informed that the Interior Department ran it. But he was unlikely to make major mistakes as he was too smart and too cautious. He had been slow to fill Department jobs, awaiting signals from the President as to whom he wanted in the Government. He had said to the Senate Interior Committee during his confirmation hearings that he believed private power companies and public power utilities should cooperate.

The Department of Interior, while headed by the late former Secretary Harold Ickes during the Roosevelt era, had been considered so unexciting as far as honesty was concerned, that the press seldom pried into it, an insular status which had continued under Secretary Chapman. But prior to that time, during the Administrations of Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge during the Twenties, the Department had come under great scrutiny in the Teapot Dome scandal, involving Secretary of Interior Albert Fall, who went to jail for taking kickbacks to lease to private companies public oil lands. The Department was now probably more important than it had been 30 years earlier during that scandal, and except for the Defense Department, was the largest dispenser of Government contracts, attracting a great number of lobbyists.

Mr. Pearson concludes that it was doubtful whether Secretary McKay realized the extent of his new power, as no other single person held such a position of influence over the development of the West as he did. He promises a subsequent column on how he would probably use that power.

The North Carolina League of Women Voters provides an analysis of the General Assembly authority structure, starting with Lt.-Governor Luther Hodges, who presided over the Senate, and House Speaker E. T. Bost, who presided over the House. The Senate also elected a president pro tem who presided in the absence of the Lt.-Governor.

Each house had similar administrative officials, positions which it lists, starting with the principal clerk, the reading clerk, sergeant-at-arms, the chaplain, the pages, and the individual committee clerks, the functions of which it provides.

Neither house used Robert's Rules of Order, as a few general rules were prescribed by the State Constitution and the General Statutes of North Carolina, though most were adopted by each house at the beginning of the biennial session.

It lists the order of business for each house, distinguishes between a public bill, a local bill, and a private bill, explains what a standing committee was, of which there were 36, and what a select committee was, that the Lt.-Governor selected committee members for the Senate committees, and the Speaker, for the House committees, distinguishes between public and committee hearings, explains what an executive session was, lists the 13 major committees of the Assembly, provides the functions of the Appropriations Committees of each house, explains what the Biennial Appropriations Bill was, provides the duties of the Finance Committees of each house, the functions of the Calendar Committee, that of the Conference Committee, and explains the gag rule, the focus of much controversy. Finally, it explains what "engrossment" meant, and provides a list of supplementary material available from the office of Thad Eure, Secretary of State of North Carolina.

Should you desire to know more detail, you may read the entire piece, which takes up most of the page this date.

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