The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 1, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, one North Korean prisoner of war who had refused repatriation was killed and five others wounded this date when Indian guards in the demilitarized zone opened fire on them during a screaming and rock-throwing demonstration inside a compound and hospital. The U.N. Command, which announced the incident, said that six prisoners were wounded, one so badly that he might die. An Indian spokesman added that several Indian officers and enlisted men had also been injured by rocks, after about 500 North Koreans had begun hurling stones and tried to scale a barbed wire fence while demonstrating against a visit by Polish and Czech members of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission. The commander of the Indian troops believed that the lives of members of the Commission were threatened, along with those of his troops, and so ordered his guards to fire five or six single shots initially, followed by another six rounds. An Indian general said that the North Koreans had quieted down after the shots were fired.

The President invoked the 80-day cooling off provision of Taft-Hartley this date, designed to halt the paralyzing East Coast longshoremen's strike, directing a three-man board of inquiry to report to him by the end of October 5, preliminary steps to seeking a court order to end the strike. The strike had been called by the International Longshoremen's Association, recently ousted from the AFL for failure to rid itself of racketeering elements. Except for occasional epithets shouted by rival union groups, there was quiet on the waterfront at the start of the work day, without any man volunteering as the start to work order was shouted at 8:00 a.m. Was Terry there?

The President cited National Newspaper Week, beginning this date, as a time for remembering that democracy and a free press go hand-in-hand, describing newspapermen as "custodians of a majestic trust". He said nothing about "fake news". Of course, there were not the internet buzzards lurking about in those times, seeking to undercut the "mainstream" meteor with their partisan spins on news stories, though there were ample numbers of radio commentators of the time who did much the same thing, even if with a good deal more cogent argument and some degree of discernible fact on their side, skewed though it was by omission of contrary fact and argument. Rarely, however, was it made up out of whole-cloth as much of the internet newsies today tend to be, the Onionized Asinine crowd.

Chief Justice-designate Earl Warren would take his seat on the Supreme Court the following Monday at the start of the new term, and Senators generally predicted that he would be confirmed by the full Senate in January at the start of the new session, the nomination having been a recess appointment. Former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, the 1952 Democratic presidential nominee, praised the appointment as "excellent". Democratic Senator Harley Kilgore of West Virginia, a member of the Judiciary subcommittee, said that he believed the Governor was a "fine man, very capable and very broad-minded". Justice Harold Burton, the only Republican member of the present Court, said that he would make an "admirable Chief Justice" and that he would consider it a privilege to work with him. Senator Irving Ives of New York said that he did not foresee any problem in the confirmation, despite reports that some conservative Republicans were displeased with the appointment. Virginia Senators Harry F. Byrd and Willis Robertson expressed regret at the appointment, favoring instead Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge John J. Parker, but each told a reporter that he would vote for Governor Warren's confirmation when Congress reconvened. Senator Robertson said that Governor Warren was a "very fine man" and he did not anticipate any fight in the Senate. Court observers generally believed that the appointment would not change the ideological balance of the Court, generally perceived as largely conservative. Governor Warren was only the second recess appointment as Chief, the last having been John Rutledge, who had been appointed by President Washington in 1795 and had served as a Justice on the original Court, appointed in 1789, but his nomination as Chief was subsequently defeated by the Senate after it was alleged that Justice Rutledge was mentally ill.

White House press secretary James Hagerty said this date that neither he nor the President had known in advance that the story of Governor Warren's impending appointment as Chief would be leaked to several newspapers. John O'Donnell, the Washington columnist for the New York Daily News, had written this date that Attorney General Herbert Brownell had "summoned 'four old friends' to his Washington home" after returning from a secret conference in California with Governor Warren and had tipped the friends to the story of the appointment. The four were listed in the article as representatives of the New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune, the Chicago Daily News and the Scripps-Howard newspapers. Mr. O'Donnell had written that he doubted that the President or Mr. Hagerty had known of the leak by Mr. Brownell. The President had said the previous day at his press conference, when asked about the selected leak, that he trusted subordinates who might occasionally leak news for purposes they considered proper and that he did not think he would interfere with them in that event.

A picture of James Dean, among others, congratulating the new Chief Justice, is included on the page.

In Dallas, Tex., a posse of about 400 residents, incensed by a series of rapes and beatings of white women, allegedly committed by a nude black prowler, helped the police this date in the search for the killer of a young mother, a murder committed in the course of a rape. She had died from having her throat slashed deeply and was able to provide only scant details before dying en route to the hospital. The attack had occurred at a busstop on her way home from work at around 9:00 p.m. Police believed that the extra patrols in the crowded business-residential area around Lemmon Avenue and Reverchon Park had been productive. An elderly woman had been thrown to the ground by a young white man who was seeking to rob her, and her screams had attracted nearby plainclothesmen, leading to the immediate arrest of the assailant, though a police sergeant said he did not believe the assailant had anything to do with the other woman's death, albeit having occurred within blocks of the murder on Lemmon. The police chief warned citizens each night to be careful in their aim, as men were carrying six-shooters and Army weapons retrieved from trunks and closets. Women slept fitfully, with lights on and beside rifles at the ready, loaded with buckshot.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that there were 10,879 children and adults in North Carolina's mental hospitals, and about 1,000 others on waiting lists, some of whom were being held in jails for their own protection. The patients in North Carolina represented 2.33 per 1,000 of population, compared to a ratio of 2.60 in South Carolina, 3.10 in Virginia, 5.80 in New York, and a national average of 3.42. North Carolina ranked 27th in providing hospital care for mental patients, a dominant factor in the proposal by the 1953 General Assembly for a 22 million dollar bond issue to improve the hospitals, on the coming Saturday's ballot. A study by the U.S. Public Health Service had estimated that the state needed 20,070 mental-hospital beds, compared to the 9,731 presently available. The bond measure would provide for 3,000 of the needed 10,000 additional beds. Those new beds would still, however, leave the state in 17th place nationally.

On the editorial page, "An Able Executive Becomes a Judge" finds that the President could not have appointed a better political leader to become Chief Justice than Governor Earl Warren, that he was a man of "ability, integrity and great personal dignity", was progressive and moderate, achieving both Democratic and Republican support in California. But, he had no experience as a judge, his only experience in law having been as the District Attorney of Alameda County and the State Attorney General, serving in each successive position more than a decade earlier, prior to becoming Governor in 1943.

It suggests that one might ask why the President, in making the appointment, had overlooked experienced judges, such as Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte or Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Orie Phillips of Denver. It finds the answer to the question obscured for the present by the mysteries of politics.

It indicates that Governor Warren was in the progressive, international wing of the Republican Party and that the President may have intended to recognize that wing, perhaps to offset some of the criticism that his Cabinet was too full of men from the conservative, business wing of the party. It might also have been the result of California having a key role in national politics, or from the President simply believing that Governor Warren would make a better judge than any other potential nominee.

It finds, however, that it would appear to many Americans, as it appeared to the newspaper, that the President had yielded to political expediency in making the appointment. It suggests that Presidents Roosevelt and Truman had been justifiably criticized for rewarding politicians with positions in the Federal judiciary, criticism joined by Republicans. It indicates that it had hoped that President Eisenhower would not follow that precedent and would name his Supreme Court appointees from the ranks of competent, experienced judges, expressing regret that he had not done so in the appointment of the new Chief Justice.

The remaining four of the Eisenhower appointees would come from the ranks of judges, Chief Justice Warren having been the last Supreme Court appointee with only political and no judicial experience, although both appointees of President Kennedy had only administrative experience, Byron White as Deputy Attorney General in the Kennedy Administration, and Arthur Goldberg, as Secretary of Labor in the Administration and prior to that, a prominent attorney for organized labor, while one of President Johnson's two appointees, Abe Fortas, had no prior judicial experience, having been a prominent criminal defense attorney and occasional legal adviser to President Johnson prior to the appointment, and two of President Nixon's four appointees, Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist, likewise having only experience as attorneys prior to their appointments, Justice Rehnquist having been an Assistant Attorney General in the Nixon Administration. Of the nine Roosvelt appointees to the Court, six had come from the political or administrative realm, without prior judicial experience, including Justices Hugo Black, William O. Douglas, Attorneys General Frank Murphy and Robert Jackson, former Senator James Byrnes, and Stanley Reed, Solicitor General prior to his appointment, with a seventh, Felix Frankfurter, having been a Harvard law professor without judicial experience, only the FDR elevation of Justice Harlan Stone to be Chief in 1941 and the appointment of D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wiley Rutledge involving a prior jurist. The four Truman appointees included Senator Harold Burton, former Congressman, War Mobilizer and Treasury Secretary Fred Vinson, Attorney General Tom Clark, and former Senator Sherman Minton, though the latter had been a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals Judge, appointed by FDR, prior to his appointment to the Supreme Court.

"All Power Is 'Liable to Abuse'" indicates that in the present issue of The Reporter, historian Henry Steele Commager had issued a stinging rebuke to the proposed amendment to the Constitution by Senator John W. Bricker to limit the power of the President to make treaties by making executive agreements subject to the normal treaty ratification requirement of a two-thirds Senate majority.

The proponents of the amendment had repeatedly quoted a remark made by Secretary of State Dulles prior to his coming into that office, in which he had stated that the treaty-making power was "an extraordinary power liable to abuse". But they had not cited any specific instance in which the power had been abused. Dr. Commager contended that the power was not extraordinary but rather ordinary, albeit admitting that, like all power, it was liable to abuse. He said that it was circumscribed more narrowly than other powers, such as those of Congress, which could destroy the executive power by refusing to approve of appropriations or to confirm nominations, or by impeaching the President because it did not like the way he conducted business. Congress could also destroy the Supreme Court by reducing its membership to one or by increasing it to 100, or by impeaching justices based on their decisions. It could also refuse to admit any Congressman it did not like for whatever reason it chose. He pointed out that Congress had impeached President Andrew Johnson in 1868, had changed the Supreme Court membership, last done in 1869, had deprived it of jurisdiction in a pending case, and had banned duly-elected Congressmen for partisan reasons. But to protect against such abuses and other hypothetical abuses with amendments would clutter up the Constitution so as to make it unworkable. There would always be a certain amount of risk in the conduct of foreign affairs and, said Dr. Commager, chances had to be taken, "trusting in experience, and common sense, and the integrity of our elected officials and the virtue of our people."

Senator Bricker had vowed to take the amendment to the floor of the Senate in the upcoming session of Congress, despite the Administration's opposition to it and that it had been killed in committee. The piece hopes that calmer and more confident minds would prevail, and that the amendment would fail passage by Congress, prerequisite to it being sent to the states, three-fourths of which would have to approve it prior to ratification.

"Talk Does Not a Recession Make" indicates that the Democratic Raleigh News & Observer, never wishing to pass up an opportunity to chide Republicans, had a fine time recently with a speech by the president of the National Association of Manufacturers, who had told a North Carolina audience that the country might talk itself into a needless economic recession and that the main economic problem presently was "fear psychology". The News & Observer had recalled that for the previous 20 years, such persons and other spokesmen for N.A.M. and like organizations had repeatedly said that the country under the Democrats was going to "the damnation bowwows" and that the country needed the economic confidence which would be supplied by the Republicans.

On the same day it had published the editorial, the head of the American Stock Exchange had expressed disagreement with the growing number of pessimists who had come to the conclusion that the economy was skidding and that a severe recession or depression was in prospect. Most business magazines were issuing similar warnings against undue pessimism regarding the economy.

The piece opines that the N.A.M. president and the American Stock Exchange head were unduly upset, as it was inevitable that the Administration's effort to slow or halt deficit spending, reduce the expenditure of Government funds, and end inflation would have the effect of slowing the national economy. It indicates it would have happened, regardless of the party in power. It concludes that the U.S. economy was as strong as it had been a year or two earlier, and that though political partisans might be expected to make the most of any changes, the talk of recession would not bring on a recession any more than the talk of prosperity in 1929 had assured prosperity.

We note that while pardoning Corn and Cob today from having their gobblers cut, the current White House occupant bragged about the N.Y.S.E. hitting 30,000 points for the first time in its history, not mentioning the fact that the markets are on the rebound considerably since the news of the election of President-elect Biden and that a Covid-19 vaccine is soon to be made available, climbing ten percent or 3,000 points since October 30, having gained some 8,000 points by June 9 from its year low of 18,600, occurring March 23, all having nothing to do with the current occupant save his decided defeat, forecast for months in advance by all reputable polls, the markets merely expressing confidence in the incoming Administration to heal the economic decline, at one point freighted with the greatest unemployment since the Hoover Depression, occasioned by the rampant pandemic, unchecked by leadership at the top, with the new Administration promising to bring it under control and demonstrating early signs of solid and open planning to do just that, while assuring in the process no shutdown of the economy or lockdown of the nation's population, as has been wildly claimed will occur by the whacky faux news crowd and their dedicated followers—who, once again in recent days, appear to be cleaning the supermarket shelves of consumer essentials, hoarding for the perceived coming apocalypse, for which they have been plentifully primed by their Leader and his surrogates and augurs of incumbent Democratic-doom during the campaign. You will recognize them this holiday season by their shopping carts crammed full of toilet paper, presumably necessary for scrubbing off the barnyard fertilizer in which they have wallowed and then copiously purveyed with their unmasked loud mouths during the last eight months, even more so than usual, or, alternatively, to serve them as a cheap medium on which to reproduce their individual manifestos explaining their forthcoming rebellion over the "stolen election", orchestrated by Hugo Chavez. You know what you can do with Corn and Cob...

Come to think of it, those would make good nicknames for the two lead attorneys in your "stolen election" legal challenges, one of whom, probably "Cob", is now "practicing law on her own".

A piece from the Arkansas Gazette, titled "A Calm Comment on Court Cases", indicates that in a recent nationwide broadcast, Arkansas Governor Francis Cherry had made a responsive comment to a question about the public school segregation cases presently pending in the Supreme Court, indicating that as a lawyer it was not his place to comment on a possible decision, but that Arkansas would abide by it no matter what it entailed. Governor Cherry was the first Southern governor to say that his state would accept the decision whatever it turned out to be. The other governors had remained silent, or in the case of Governors Herman Talmadge of Georgia and James Byrnes of South Carolina, had threatened to take their states out of public education in the event segregation was held unconstitutional.

The piece indicates that the Court could not do anything to change the prevailing pattern in the South overnight, as its ruling would be confined to the five specific cases combined under Brown v. Board of Education, and no practical results would necessarily flow from it until and unless litigation was begun in each of the Southern school districts. The decision would pose new educational problems for the South, and if the separate-but-equal doctrine were upheld, it was reasonable to assume that it would be done in a way to speed the process of closing the gap in expenditures between white and black schools. Any potentially resultant problems, it offers, would be manageable if the responsible leaders of both races remained calm and approached them in a rational way. It asserts that there was no place, presently or after the decision, for the sort of extreme proposals put forward by South Carolina and Georgia, and finds Governor Cherry's calm statement to be all that was needed.

Presumably, the piece was written by Gazette editor Harry Ashmore, formerly associate editor and editor of The News between 1945 and 1947, who would win a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials on the Little Rock school desegregation crisis during the 1957-58 school year, editorials which were credited with helping to defuse tension and maintain relative order in the community, after segregationist Governor Orval Faubus had come into office in 1955, refusing compliance with the 1954 decision in Brown.

Parenthetically, Chief Justice Warren imparted to Mr. Ashmore at some point that his first book in 1954, The Negro and the Schools, had been used as background for the 1955 implementing decision in Brown. It was that case which held, infamously, that the school districts could implement desegregation "with all deliberate speed", a watch wound up interpreted by many school districts to mean whenever they got around to making up their minds to formulate a plan to do it, resulting in a plethora of continued litigation on the matter for the ensuing 16 years.

John Harden, co-chairman of Public Schools & Mental Care, Inc., provides a look at the North Carolina schools and the state's mental institutions, urging passage of the upcoming October 3 bond issues to provide 50 million dollars for new school facilities and 22 million for improvement of mental hospitals in the state.

He indicates that 1953 fall enrollment in the schools had fallen short by 7,783 classrooms, with a quarter million children crowded into inadequate or substandard facilities, thousands of them attending schools which had no auditorium, no gymnasium, no lunchroom, and with libraries, shops, homemaking and science laboratories available only to some students. He explains that during the depression, there had been a minimum of school construction and maintenance because of shrinking revenues, followed then by war shortages of materials and manpower, extending the gap. There had also been a rapid increase in the rate of births, such that in 1933 there had been 75,000 births within the state, whereas in 1952, there had been 112,480. There had also been a heavy migration of families with children of school age into the state and students were continuing their education through high school in increasing numbers. In 1950, there had been six times as many high school graduates in the state as there had been in 1924. The result of all of those factors had been overcrowding of the school facilities.

Insofar as the mental hospitals, there remained great deficiency in the state, despite much having been done in recent years to improve the situation. North Carolina had been twelfth among the original 13 states to establish mental hospitals, and that slow start appeared never to have been fully rectified. It currently lagged behind in available beds and in curative practices which would restore some of the people to their families and a normal way of life. Too much of the care was only custodial in nature. War and depression had put the state even further behind, and there was also a shortage of personnel at the hospitals. In 1945, the state had 8,300 mental patients in the State hospitals, but now there were 11,300, with waiting lists having grown in the meantime, such that there was a backlog of 920 people awaiting admission. Many of those were currently housed in jails to protect them from themselves or others, with more than 100 persons having been so held during the previous eight years. For a number of years, the applications for admission had exceeded the actual admissions by about 3,000 patients per year.

Drew Pearson indicates that the President had become upset recently when the Foreign Operations administrator, Harold Stassen, had told him that of the 100 million dollars worth of wheat the U.S. had sent to Pakistan, none of it had reached the refugees, as specified by the U.S. as a condition for the aid. Ten percent of the wheat had been stolen and 25 percent had been used by Pakistani officials for speculation. A representative of CARE had related the report to Mr. Stassen, after which he had cabled the U.S. Ambassador in Karachi, who confirmed it. The wheat had been dumped in Pakistan without provisions for its distribution, with only the assurance of Pakistani officials that it would reach the needy, especially the refugees. The refugees were Mohammedan and had fled from non-Mohammedan India after British India was divided between India and Pakistan, the latter Mohammedan. Mr. Stassen had asked the director of CARE whether he could develop a plan with the Pakistani Embassy for more efficient distribution of the wheat, and it appeared that some of the wheat could now be saved. A similar plan had been worked out in Yugoslavia when the U.S. had sent wheat to that country. Mr. Pearson notes that U.S. wheat had frequently been dumped in foreign countries without the American people getting credit for their generosity.

Budget-cutting of the military was out for the ensuing couple of years, and the hard-money policy of the new Admnistration would likely go by the boards. The Federal Reserve Board the previous week had put 110 million dollars of Government money into the market to support the price of Government bonds, when interest rates on Treasury certificates were slightly decreased. The increase in interest on U.S. Government bonds by the Treasury had helped tighten money all over the country. The reason for the end of the military budget cut was concern over Russia having the hydrogen bomb and fear that Republicans would be blamed for cutting defense too deeply, especially in the Air Force. The hard-money policy was being tapered off based on warnings from White House economic advisers that business was set for a downward turn if the policy continued. There would be major efforts to keep the budget in balance, but the means for doing so had not been decided. It was likely that high taxes would continue.

More money would be spent on civil defense against atomic and hydrogen bomb attacks. But it was not clear where the money for it would originate, as Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey wanted to place the Government on a sound financial footing. The latest change in policy by the Administration, predicts Mr. Pearson, would likely cause his quiet subsequent exit from the Cabinet—Mr. Humphrey actually remaining in the post throughout the first term.

Marquis Childs indicates that the view in Washington was that there would likely be no Korean peace conference, based on the present Communist attitude at the U.N. It had been believed during the earlier session, which had set out the ground rules for the conference and determined its participants, that Russia and Communist China desired the conference, but since that time it was believed that the Communists had rejected the conference specified under the terms of the July Armistice. Likewise, however, no one believed that the fighting in Korea would resume, despite South Korean President Syngman Rhee still indicating that he would resume the fighting unless Korea were united by the conference, and had expressed confidence in a recent New York Times interview that the U.S. and the other nations who had fought in Korea under the aegis of the U.N. would join that renewal of the fighting. By unification, he meant actually extension of the authority of the South over the North.

The proposal by the U.S. of neutralization of Korea, the removal of all foreign troops from North and South, had been a trial balloon which was believed to be acceptable to the Western allies to attend the conference, while realizing that the Communists would never agree to it, as to leave the weak, puppet army of North Korea to defend against the 20 well-trained divisions of the South Korean army would not be acceptable to the Chinese.

Washington believed at this point that the peace conference would be only an embittered wrangle in any event and that the chances were extremely high that the only result would be a continuing partition of the country, leaving North and South to face each other indefinitely across the demilitarized zone. Thus, no one was really disappointed that the conference would likely not occur. Maintaining the country in a divided state meant keeping American troops in South Korea at about the present strength for the foreseeable future, with the consequent drain on American manpower, leaving the situation as neither war nor peace, as in Germany, Austria and Trieste, having become "the norm in an abnormal world".

Robert C. Ruark, in Munich, writes in the fourth of a series of seven columns regarding morale problems in the West German occupation forces under the command of Maj. General Kenneth Cramer, that among the more unusual aspects of the trial of Lt. Colonel William Lane, the story of whom he had begun the previous day, was the testimony of the woman with whom the colonel had been charged with having an affair and who had accused him of an assault, two of the specifications of misconduct for which he was dismissed from the Army after his court-martial. She had been granted immunity from prosecution arising from her testimony in exchange for her truthful testimony the prior May, which Mr. Ruark finds to have been polite blackmail practiced in all courts everywhere with respect to key witnesses. If the German courts tried to prosecute her criminally, the U.S. High Commission could simply remove her from the jurisdiction and protect her under occupation powers. If she refused to testify, she could be tried on criminal charges by the High Commission. As a result, she had agreed to testify.

He indicates that the trial was entirely proper, according to the Judge Advocate General's office in Munich, which also said there had been no intimidation of witnesses or irregularity. General Cramer had told Mr. Ruark that he believed they had convicted a guilty man, and, observes Mr. Ruark sarcastically, he had a high sense of moral duty. When an MP had shot and killed an American soldier in a bar when the soldier had come at him with a chair during a drunken argument, the General had refused to authorize a court-martial on the killing, as he had considered the MP to be acting in the line of duty and did not want a court martial on his record. Yet, he had charged Col. Lane with an assault.

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