` Wednesday, October 14, 1953

The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the explanations of each side to the prisoners resisting repatriation would begin the following day in an atmosphere charged with tension. The Communists notified the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission this date that they would start the interviewing process, an effort to convince the prisoners resisting repatriation to return to their native lands. The U.N. Command, who only had to interview 359 prisoners, of whom 23 were Americans and one a Briton, compared to the 22,300 whom the Communists had to interview, said that they were not preparing to begin the following day. It remained a question as to what would occur when the Communist agents came face-to-face with the recalcitrant prisoners, who had already sought to escape and had waged several protests against the Communist observers in the demilitarized zone where they were being held, as well as against the Indian troops who were assigned to guard them during the interview process, set to take place through December 24. The interviews would last eight hours daily.

In Belgrade, thousands of shouting Yugoslav protesters took to the streets in increased anti-Western demonstrations against Britain and the U.S. for their statement earlier in the week that they would withdraw their occupation troops from the northern zone of Trieste, in favor of Italian occupation. The crowd yelled such slogans as "give us rifles", "beat up the Italian thieves", "down with Italy", and "we'll give up our lives, but not an inch of Trieste". President Tito assembled his top lieutenants for a conference the previous night, shortly after it was announced that the Big Three foreign ministers would confer Friday in London. There was no word on what the Cabinet discussed, but it was thought that Tito might be considering sending a special emissary to the conference to put forward Yugoslavia's viewpoint. He had previously called for a four-power conference between the U.S., Britain, Italy and Yugoslavia to reach a solution on Trieste. There was no official reaction in Belgrade to Russia's surprise proposal the previous day at the U.N. that the Security Council quickly name an international governor for Trieste and make it independent, but informed sources in New York said that Yugoslavia's U.N. representatives were indifferent and not too happy about the Russian proposal. High Yugoslav officials continued to warn of serious trouble to come if Britain and the U.S. carried out their plan of withdrawal.

Secretary of State Dulles was flying to London this night for a conference with the foreign ministers of Great Britain and France, with one topic on the agenda likely to be the situation in Trieste. The State Department insisted that the hastily arranged conference, set to begin on Friday, was not the result of any sudden emergency.

The President this date issued an executive order which said that any Government employee who refused to testify before Congressional committees on grounds of possible self-incrimination would be subject to termination for security reasons. Seven reasons for termination had been specified the prior April and this became the eighth such ground. Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens had been sitting in on the closed hearings in New York being conducted by Senator McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee, and the Secretary said the previous day that any civilian employee of the Army who refused to answer questions regarding Communism would be "summarily suspended".

Senator McCarthy said this date that a "top scientist" for the Army Signal Corps had admitted, in executive session before his Investigations subcommittee, taking 43 secret documents from Fort Monmouth in New Jersey to his home for "study", and that the man had described himself as a close friend of executed atomic spy Julius Rosenberg. The Senator said that the witness testified that he had attended meetings of the Young Communist League with Mr. Rosenberg and that the latter had solicited him repeatedly to join the Communist Party. The witness had been recently suspended by the Signal Corps but was not identified by the Senator. The subcommittee was probing Communist subversion in the radar laboratory at Fort Monmouth. The Senator said that a number of top-secret Army documents related to radar had turned up in Russian-occupied East Berlin and were used by the Communists. He declined to specify the number of documents. According to a Chicago Tribune story, Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois had said in a speech in Chicago the previous night that 26 of 57 top-secret documents missing from the Army Signal Corps radar laboratory at Fort Monmouth had been found in the Russian zone of Berlin. During a press interview this date Senator Dirksen said that the number of secret documents should be unspecified. The Army, however, said that it had no information on any such discovery of secret papers in Germany.

The Army announced that 23,000 men would be called up in December for the draft, the same number called up in each of the preceding five months, which would bring the total number drafted since the beginning of the Korean War in June, 1950 to 1,584,430.

Four photographs of Moscow are included on the front page, taken by University of Michigan student editor Zander Hollander, whose report on a two-week recent visit to Moscow by him and several fellow student editors had appeared the previous day.

Rural west-central Wisconsin elected a Democrat to Congress the previous day for the first time in its history, and the Republican candidate who lost said that the results showed that the farmers and workers did not like the present Administration's policies. The special election had been called to replace the late Merlin Hull, a Republican and former Progressive, to be succeeded by Lester Johnson, a small town district attorney and also a former Progressive. The loser was a State Senator who had spent 11 years in the Wisconsin Legislature, and had also been a former Progressive. Mr. Johnson had based his campaign on a promise to vote the same way as had Mr. Hull, and denounced the Administration's farm policy.

In Kansas City, the FBI was seeking to obtain further information from the confessed kidnapers and murderers of six-year old Bobby Greenlease regarding the whereabouts of the remaining half of the $600,000 ransom paid by the Greenlease family, which had actually been paid after the killing of the boy, which was accomplished shortly after the kidnaping on September 28. Teams of agents, working in shifts, questioned both the man and woman of the accused couple. Not quite half of the ransom had been recovered at the time of the arrest of the man. He initially said that he thought he lost the other half while on a drinking spree in St. Louis, but later said he believed his girlfriend, who had initially effected the kidnaping from the boy's Catholic school by a ruse, had lost the money. The remaining money would never be found. The ransom had been hurriedly arranged for the family by the brother of the President, Arthur Eisenhower, a banker who was a family friend. The boy's father was a multi-millionaire, owner of a string of Cadillac dealerships.

Near Frankfurt, West Germany, a Sabena Air Lines plane crashed and burned and all 48 persons aboard were killed. The plane had arrived at Rhein Main Airport from Salzburg and was taking off for Brussels at the time of the crash, an eyewitness stating that the plane had banked in an apparent effort to return to the field, just prior to crashing. The weather was clear. Near the same place, a KLM plane had crashed in 1951, claiming 45 lives.

In Charlotte, the man accused of killing his wife the previous Saturday morning requested through his attorneys that he be bound over for trial in Superior Court, waiving a preliminary hearing, the attorney stating that the defense had not been permitted to enter the apartment since the discovery of the body and had not had sufficient time to prepare its case. He had been arrested the prior Saturday, claiming that he had awakened in the early morning to find his wife dead in a storeroom of their apartment, hit four times in the forehead with a blunt instrument, after he had gone to sleep about five and a half hours earlier when she was still alive. Police had found strips of his pants stuffed into the plumbing of the apartment, and he admitted having worn those pants the previous day, but explained that his wife had told him she never wanted to see the pants again. A 23-year old clerical worker, named by police as the man's sweetheart, was not in the courtroom at the time of the appearance. The prosecutor asked that she be held as a material witness, and the judge complied. Outside police headquarters, a crowd gathered, as television cameras showed the young woman and her father, and also broadcast pictures of the the defendant as he was being transferred from the City to the County jail.

In Raleigh, the Burlington City Attorney had asked for a ruling from the State Attorney General on whether "pyramid clubs", an offshoot of the old chain letter, violated state gambling laws. An Assistant Attorney General stated that he was not certain but was of the opinion that they violated the lottery laws of the state. It explains how the clubs worked, that one would pay two dollars to join, and the names of those who joined would then be placed at the bottom of a pyramid, and after attending a party, each attendee would then bring two additional couples to a subsequent night's party, with each new couple paying two dollars each, and so on, with each participant advancing one step up the pyramid each night until they reached the top, when they cashed in, with club members sometimes receiving several hundred dollars for their two dollar investment. The scheme had all the elements of a lottery, a prize, consideration in the form of the fee, and an element of chance involved in determining the winner.

In Hyattsville, Md., a stripteaser told a police court judge that her act was exotic rather than suggestive, but the judge sentenced her to ten days in jail for indecent exposure, from which she took appeal and was released on a $100 bond. According to the district attorney assigned to the case, the woman had said that she thought that "exotic" meant "when the girl takes her clothes off", that she just walked around and shook.

On the editorial page, "More Trouble in State Prison System" indicates that both the people and the system appeared to be at fault in the death of the prisoner at Raleigh's Central Prison hospital, after it was discovered in the wee hours of the morning that he had cut his arm seriously, and that a call to the prison doctor had resulted in instructions to the non-professional attendants, who were prisoners, as to how to treat the wound, with a call then made to the doctor three and a half hours later that the patient's condition had worsened, prompting the doctor to come to the hospital, after which the patient died some 30 minutes later.

It indicates that it was obvious that the care of the prisoner should not have been left to attendants who were not registered nurses. The doctor had said that he could not be on duty 24 hours per day, pointing out the inadequacy of the system, as he was the only doctor on staff, with one registered nurse. The doctor had been dismissed by the Prisons director, William Bailey, but whether that was warranted, the piece finds questionable, as the doctor had complained that there were no standards currently required by the director for administration of his responsibilities and that he had repeatedly requested through proper channels that additional professional employees be hired and that inmates not be used on the night shift to care for patients. It suggests that a reprimand for the manner of treatment, followed by a conference with Highway Commission officials, with oversight of the prisons, aimed at providing better medical care, would have been in order. The dismissal, coming so close on the discharge of the director of the Women's Prison for political reasons, and the resignation, in protest of that discharge, of the farm superintendent for the Women's Prison, created the suspicion that politics was involved in the dismissal of the doctor.

It finds that the issuance of the directive the previous day, authorizing hiring of three trained nurses at the prison, might help prevent recurrence, but that it would take more than the hiring of more nurses or the change of doctors to correct the antiquated, politics-ridden prison system in the state.

"For Mr. Republican's Seat, a Democrat" indicates that the Republicans would continue to control the Senate despite the appointment by Ohio Governor Frank Lausche of Cleveland Mayor Thomas Burke to succeed the late Senator Robert Taft, giving the Democrats a nominal edge of 48 to 47 in the Senate, but with Senator Wayne Morse, who had become an independent the previous fall, having already stated that he would vote with the Republicans in the event of a close vote which would otherwise give the Democrats the majority, as he had been elected as a Republican, thus producing a tie to be broken by Vice-President Nixon.

It indicates that it was important for the Republicans to remain in control of the Senate for the remainder of the 83rd Congress, as it would give the people a clear-cut choice in the midterm elections, without ancillary issues which would develop if the second session of the Congress had a Democratic Senate.

It tells of Senator Burke having been tremendously popular in Cleveland, winning the mayoralty with overwhelming majorities in 1945, 1947, 1949 and 1951, apparently second in popularity in the state only to the Governor. There was some speculation that a deal might have been struck, whereby Mr. Burke would step aside in 1954 so that the Governor might then run for the unexpired portion of the term, which would run until the beginning of 1957, then enabling Mr. Burke to run for governor. It finds that regardless of who ran in 1954 for the remaining balance of the term, the Democrats would field a strong candidate, making it more difficult for the Republicans to maintain control of Congress during the last two years of the President's first term.

Though the Republican candidate, former Congressman George Bender, would win the seat in the special election in November, 1954, the Democrats would again achieve the majority in both the Senate and the House.

"How Silly Can You Get Dept." indicates that a 53-year old man, who had lost his wife 18 years earlier, had written to Mary Haworth asking for advice on getting married again, saying, "You can't teach an old horse new tricks." The column had responded that the phrase he had used was original with him, a combination of, "You may lead a horse to water but you cannot make him drink," and, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." The column's advice indicated that the fact that he had inadvertently combined the two expressions revealed how completely he feared the experience of remarriage, as if convinced that he had no aptitude for "conjugal congeniality".

It suggests that the phrase conveyed no such sentiment, indicates that it had known a woman from Texas, happily married for about 15 years, who inadvertently disfigured old proverbs all the time, such as, "You can't have your cake and lie in it", or "A bird in the hand gathers no moss," or, "The early bird is worth two in the bush." Once, upset by something, she had snapped, "By golly, I'm going to squelch that in the nip of the bud." It wonders what Mary Haworth would have to say about her.

A piece from the Mattoon (Ill.) Journal-Gazette, titled "Moving in the Stove", tells of an ad in a coal dealer's window which asked, "Are you Coaled?" It reminded that the time for getting in the winter coal supply and adjusting the oil and gas burners was at hand. It points out that the new heating contraptions were very different from the time when the author of the piece was a boy, but that it was pleasant to be able to touch a button on the wall and start a motor which kept the house warm, rather than having to keep the wood-box full for the kitchen and parlor base burner.

It indicates that the parlor stove was tall, nickel-plated, with an isinglass door, which the writer's mother had moved to the back shed each spring, keeping it draped in a worn patch-work quilt, reluctant to return it to the parlor each fall, as it meant dirt and ashes no matter the care taken in filling it. The problem came in fitting the pipe onto the stove after it was adjusted on its base, requiring great patience. But when it was finally set and the fire started, it gave a sense of family unity to sit around it. The writer's father read the farm journals and his mother worked at mending and knitting, with a pan of popcorn and ruddy apples at hand. Moving the stove was a symbol of coming cold weather which was largely gone, but, it comments, there had been a time when it played a major role in the development of the nation.

Drew Pearson indicates that, as President Eisenhower celebrated his 63rd birthday, it was certain that he would not run again in 1956, not just because of his age but moreover because he was not happy in the White House, living in a goldfish bowl, and would prefer to get out. He tired easily, became irritated with his staff, shrunk from criticism, and considered the job of backslapping Congressmen an unnecessary bore. He had told several people, including Mr. Pearson, when he was still in Paris as NATO supreme commander, that he believed he could do a good service for the country by cleaning up Washington, but that it would be a one-term assignment. He had made it clear to his friends since that time that he intended to stick by that pledge.

Trumpies, take heart. Look at it this way, your shining hero deliberately lost, and has been kicking and screaming to the contrary since November 3 just to make it seem that he really, really, really wanted to stay on for your sake and your sake only, but, in reality, signed on for only one term to drain that Swamp. And, wowee! What a hell-of-a-job, 'ey? What would His Highness do for an encore, anyway? Best to leave well enough alone and let him pass into history as the greatest person who ever lived, since Abraham Lincoln or maybe even Jesus Christ. Hallelujah...

The fact that the St. Louis police, rather than the FBI, had captured the kidnapers and murderers of Bobby Greenlease had caused some griping within the Bureau, griping which had been ongoing for some time, with agents complaining that the Bureau had become just a huge interviewing agency, spending most of its time checking on the loyalty of Government employees. Some agents complained that it was one reason why the Boston Brinks bank robbery had not been solved and why the FBI had made mistakes in investigating the Greenlease kidnaping. The office of J. Edgar Hoover had first said that the woman of the couple was the wife of an Oklahoma gunman, with a record for prostitution, then withdrew those statements and said it was the wrong woman of the same surname. Mr. Hoover had said that the man of the couple had confessed to shooting the boy, when he had actually initially tried to blame it on a third person, who ultimately was cleared by his subsequent confession of the shooting. Mr. Pearson notes that it was the plan worked out by Dave Beck of the Teamsters Union of putting taxi and truck drivers on the alert for the kidnapers which helped in catching them, as it was a cabbie who had picked up the man of the couple and became suspicious of his free-tipping, giving the tip to the police.

Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia was still upset with the Treasury because of a practice of which most taxpayers were unaware, that they were supplying much of the money which the banks used to invest in Government bonds without having to pay interest on the money, when the Government paid millions to the banks as interest on its bonds. It amounted to a Government loan to the banks, meaning that taxpayers were paying interest to borrow their own money. Senator Byrd was so upset at the practice that he accused the Treasury Department of paying the banks "bribes" and "subsidies". He demanded that part of the money be withdrawn to reduce the public debt. Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey had admitted to Senator Byrd that between 3.6 billion and 8.5 billion dollars of the Government's money was kept on deposit in the nation's private banks, spread over 11,000 banks, though nearly half of it was in the four large New York banks, including the National City Bank of New York, of which the deputy Secretary, Randolph Burgess, was a former executive.

Before the President had started on his Midwestern farm trip, Republican Congressmen had warned him that farmers were so bitter at Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson that he might have to be fired. The alternative might be a rural revolt against the Republicans in the 1954 midterm elections. But the President remained loyal to the Secretary. The Congressmen had found that the farmers did not blame the President for their plight but rather Mr. Benson. The Farm Bureau, which backed the Secretary's policies, was losing members in droves. The chief complaint of the farmers was that the Secretary would let them down on price supports, based on his speeches that he would remove supports, despite prices being in a downward trend and costs going up. They also argued that if the Republicans were going to start curtailing Government handouts, they ought begin with the tax breaks afforded big business rather than the subsidies to the farmers. They also complained that he was listening to the big growers and marketing middlemen, rather than the ordinary farmers. Secretary Benson was also under fire for running up the public debt by maintaining price supports too high on butter and other commodities. The bill for the farm program had exceeded by a billion dollars the eight billion dollar spending which the Secretary had said in January he could maintain, the excess chiefly resulting from Government purchase of the surplus butter. Delaware Senator John Williams complained privately that the Secretary already had run up the public debt by 1.5 billion by supporting farm prices which he was not required to support. Thus, Secretary Benson was getting flak from both sides, but, Mr. Pearson notes, the President had told visitors that he was impressed with the Secretary's sincerity and integrity, and had confidence in his ability.

James Marlow reviews the first nine and a half months of 1953 in terms of efforts toward establishing the peace, finds only one tangible thing, the truce in the Korean War, but adds that even the Korean peace conference was still fraught with uncertainty as to whether it would take place, indicative of the division between East and West.

The surprise had come on March 5, with the death of Stalin, followed by the hope that his successor, Georgi Malenkov, might change tactics and seek peace. The shock had come in August, with the revelation that the Russians had detonated an hydrogen bomb, which had resulted in an additional sense of urgency in the West to find peaceful solutions to avoid a nuclear war.

While Premier Malenkov had initially indicated hints that the Soviets would seek peaceful solutions, President Eisenhower took an attitude of acts speaking louder than words, as he indicated in his April 16 speech in Washington to the newspaper editors.

In June and September, the Russians suffered setbacks in Germany, as the East Germans rioted the prior mid-June and on September 6, the West German elections had given a decisive victory for Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and his pro-Western approach. In July, the foreign ministers of Britain and France had gone to Washington to confer with Secretary of State Dulles on problems involving the Communists, producing a proposal made to the Soviets to allow Germany to reunite and have free elections. But by this point in time, there had been no concrete response toward that end.

Since the detonation of the hydrogen bomb by Russia, the President appeared to have moved away from his April speech and was talking more softly.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that despite the Federal Government's efforts to end discrimination in its hiring practices, fair employment practices were far from becoming the law of the land. Presidents Roosevelt, Truman and Eisenhower had each taken steps to ban discrimination in Federal hiring and contracts involving Federal money, including within the armed forces, but bills to extend the policy to private employment engaged in interstate and foreign commerce had failed thus far, despite having been consistently brought before Congress since 1944. The Republican and Democratic convention platforms had called for enactment of such legislation, and Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois had predicted it would be an issue in the 1954 session of the current Congress. Southern Democrats, who opposed such legislation, claimed it violated the Constitutional rights of employers and wanted each state to be able to determine its own policy. Twelve states had adopted laws against job discrimination based on race, color or creed. But, by and large, the country still maintained the color line in hiring, based on employment statistics, which it provides.

The Federal policy against discrimination had begun in 1941, when FDR had, by executive order authorized under the War Powers Act, ordered a non-discrimination clause inserted in all Government defense contracts and created a Fair Employment Practices Committee to enforce the provision, extending the clause to all Government contracts in 1943. President Truman issued executive orders in 1948 banning discrimination in the armed forces and in Federal agencies, and in 1951, created a Committee on Government Contract Compliance to study methods of improving the effectiveness of the non-discrimination clause in the Government contracts. On the prior August 13, President Eisenhower had abolished the group appointed by President Truman and created a new committee on Government contracts, giving it more power as it would be the central depository for all complaints about alleged violations of the non-discrimination clause, and was also able to obtain reports from Federal agencies on what had been done regarding such complaints.

Robert C. Ruark, still in Casablanca in French Morocco, tells of running into a crap-shooter from New Orleans whom he had known previously. He had lived in Morocco for 18 months, intending to participate in the construction of the airfields, obtaining a job on the construction of the airfield at Nouasseur, playing craps on Sundays, taking advantage of the full pockets of the construction workers who had little on which to spend their money at Nouasseur. Eventually, the contractor let him go, which saddened him, but he packed up and went to Casablanca, where he could play craps only on Saturday nights, sufficient for his purposes. Mr. Ruark observes that the man deserved a vote of thanks from Morocco's Government and the U.S. because he was a one-man hedge against inflation and high prices, not unleashing a flood of dollars into a depressed area. He indicates that he thought the men back in New Orleans would like to know that one of their boys was serving well in the construction of the foreign empire of defense, even if the contractors were completing the field without him.

A letter from the publicity director of the Golden Years Club in Charlotte indicates that the Club had directed him to extend thanks for the announcement in the newspaper of its meetings each week.

A letter writer comments on the piece reprinted the prior Friday from the Winston-Salem Journal by Pete Ivey, regarding persimmons, finding it improper to have suggested that the waiter would have said "simmon pudding" as an item on the dessert menu, when anyone who said "simmon" would have said "puddin'". He also objects that the piece had indicated that the the pudding was "delectable", when he would have said, "'Hit's real good."

The editors respond, "But 'hit ain't."

Only problem is that the piece never describes or quotes anyone as describing the pudding as "delectable", Mr. Ivey stating that it was "delicious" and the persimmon, itself, a "delectable morsel". It was only the super-header of the piece, added by The News, which describes the pudding as "delectable".

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