The Charlotte News
Thursday, October 15, 1953
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, Chinese Communist prisoners resisting repatriation to their homelands rejected by a ratio of 49 to 1 the first Communist attempts to coax them home, at the start of the explanations period, to last through December 24. Only 10 of the first 500 Chinese interviewed this date had changed their minds and decided to return to their homeland. To obtain compliance with the mandatory interview process, the Indian troops guarding the prisoners on behalf of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission had to gain compliance from the demonstrating Chinese in their compounds by resorting to threats of force. The Indian commander said that they had used "patience, persuasion and firmness" to do so. Many of the prisoners shouted and sang in the faces of the three-man Communist interview teams, and the Indian guards, utilizing sticks, had to restrain some of them. A few danced defiantly on the wooden floors of the interview tents. The explanations had begun, in consequence of the protest, seven hours behind schedule. Initially, the Commission forced the prisoners to listen to the explanations for five minutes, but the time was cut to one minute, after a U.N. representative protested. The explainers reminded the prisoners of their homes and family and told them, "Father Mao wants you back." Many of the prisoners had replied with obscenities. One American observer was ordered out of the explanation facility by the Commission after he repeatedly protested that he was seated out of sight of the prisoners, his protests overruled. An Indian spokesman said that Communist teams would interview an additional 1,000 prisoners the following day, including at least 500 North Koreans.
In London, Secretary of State Dulles arrived for a conference with the British and French foreign ministers, respectively Anthony Eden and Georges Bidault, set to begin the following day, regarding Trieste and other Cold War problems.
In Defiance, O., the President, speaking at the laying of the cornerstone for Anthony Wayne Library at Defiance College, said that education was the means to bring about necessary international understanding. It was the first stop on a trip through the Midwestern farm belt to address farm issues and bolster waning support for the Administration among the nation's farmers.
Senator Joseph McCarthy said this date that an unidentified German radar scientist, who had fled a Russian laboratory, had provided American officials with reports of top-secret documents stolen from Fort Monmouth in New Jersey and used by Communists, and that the scientist would be called by his Investigations subcommittee. The Senator said that the scientist had worked at a Russian-controlled laboratory in East Germany and had fled to West Germany more than a year earlier. The scientist had provided a detailed account to Air Force intelligence officers regarding the use which the Communists had made of the documents in question. The scientist, said Senator McCarthy, was still in West Germany and the subcommittee would request that Army Secretary Robert Stevens assist in having him returned to the U.S. as quickly as possible. The Senator had previously disclosed that testimony had been received by the subcommittee, sitting temporarily in New York, regarding top-secret radar defense documents removed from the Army Signal Corps laboratory at Fort Monmouth and winding up in East Germany. The Senator said also that the subcommittee expected to call an unidentified general who had commanded Fort Monmouth several years earlier, at the time the documents had disappeared. The previous night, a story was printed in the Chicago Tribune under the byline of Willard Edwards, that an unidentified German scientist had said that U.S. radar defense secrets had been flowing to the Soviet Union and that the Russians could get anything they wanted from Fort Monmouth. Apparently, the scientist in question was the same to whom Senator McCarthy referred this date.
Representative Robert Chiperfield of Illinois, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who had just returned from a brief visit in Moscow, said this date that the Soviet Union was devoting its major industrial effort to military strength, with a resultant low standard of living for the Russian people. He said that he visited the Russian foreign office and was provided a conducted tour of the Kremlin and the city, and attended a ballet. He also asserted, based on visits also to England, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Switzerland and France during a month-long trip in Europe, that ratification of the European Defense Community agreement, providing for a common army for France, Italy, West Germany and the Benelux countries, was brighter than at any time during the previous two years.
In Richmond, Va., a lower court decision which had awarded $251 in compensatory damages to a black bus passenger, traveling interstate, who had complained that he had been wrongfully removed from a bus for refusing to change his seat, was affirmed per curiam the previous day by the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case had originated out of Rocky Mount, N.C., in September, 1950. The Court of Appeals held that it appeared that the plaintiff, who had been prosecuted criminally for refusing to change seats, had originally been seated in accordance with existing regulations of the bus company, requiring segregated seating, and refused to change seats when seats to the rear, originally occupied by black passengers, had become vacant, and that the bus driver had applied the regulations in an unreasonable manner by requiring the passenger to change his seat during an interstate journey, after he had been properly seated in the first instance. The attorney for the bus company said that the decision was equivalent to a victory for the company because the Court had tacitly upheld the right to the segregation regulations of the bus company. The attorney for the passenger also found it a victory. The Court did not reach the Constitutional issue of racial segregation of bus passengers traveling in interstate commerce, but cited Henderson v. U.S., decided by the Supreme Court in 1950, prohibiting discrimination in interstate railroad travel pursuant to the Interstate Commerce Act, rather than importing the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution, as there was no direct state action involved except as might have been alleged by virtue of state licensing of the railroad, or as might invoke the rule of Shelley v. Kraemer, decided by the Supreme Court in 1948, prohibiting the courts from enforcing discriminatory private covenants as involving state action violative of the Fourteenth Amendment.
In Stockholm, Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill was awarded the 1953 Nobel Prize for literature, for his his multi-volume memoir-historiography, becoming the first historical figure to be awarded the Nobel Prize for reporting on history. Previously, heads of state and other government figures had been awarded Nobel Peace Prizes, rather than for literary accomplishments. Among the other 24 candidates for the prize had been Ernest Hemingway, Carl Sandburg, Graham Greene, Alberto Moravia and Albert Camus.
In Nairobi, Kenya, 12 Kikiyu tribesmen were hanged for their participation in the Mau Mau murder of the wife of a tribal headman at Lari the prior March 26. The executions were the first exacted among 119 death sentences meted out for the massacre, in which at least 150 loyal Kikiyu men, women and children were killed.
In Richmond, Va., a ranking member of the Democratic machine of Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sidney Kellam, was indicted by a Federal grand jury for income tax evasion. Mr. Kellam had managed the successful campaign of Governor John Battle four years earlier. He declined to comment on whether he might resign his current position as campaign manager of former Congressman Thomas Stanley, running in the 1953 gubernatorial campaign.
In Chicago, authorities were scheduled to return a man and woman to North Carolina this date for questioning in the death of the woman's husband the previous April 19. Both individuals were originally from Wake County and had been living in an apartment in Chicago when arrested on the out-of-state warrant. The victim had been a sharecropper on the farm of the arrested man.
In Dallas, Tex., more than 1,000 teenagers lined both sides of a suburban Oak Cliff street for several blocks the previous night, in a large fight between two schools, requiring ten squads of policemen to arrest 11 of the juveniles for throwing eggs, and one father who protested to police about the arrests, after a pair of brass knuckles had been discovered in his pocket. The question in the latter arrest is whether the officers had probable cause to conduct a search of the man, assuming he had done nothing prior to the search to give them probable cause to believe that a crime had been or was about to be committed by him, obviously not the case if he was only resorting to his right of free speech to protest the arrest of the juveniles and was not actively interfering physically with the arrests.
Oak Cliff, incidentally, was the
neighborhood in which Lee Harvey Oswald was rooming in November,
1963, after going to work in early October at the Texas School Book
Depository, on the recommendation of his Russian-born wife's friend,
Ruth Paine, who had been active in working with Russian immigrants to
the U.S. The Texas Theater, in which Mr. Oswald was arrested about 80 minutes after the assassination, was located in the same neighborhood,
about eight blocks from the fatal shooting of Dallas police officer
J. D. Tippit, occurring about thirty minutes prior to a call to the police by
the theater ticket-taker regarding a man having slipped into the theater
without paying for a ticket—though there has been an issue
raised by the theater concessionaire
In New York, a shipment of gold bullion, valued at $50,000, had been stolen early this date from an Idlewild Airport cargo warehouse, according to police. Fifteen bars, weighing 632 pounds, had been flown in from Miami the previous night and stored in the warehouse of an airline, after coming from El Salvador to Miami. The gold had been mined by a mining company in El Salvador.
In Hong Kong, a traffic defendant charged with driving without lights indicated that he had pushed the button on the car but that the lights had not come on. The magistrate, however, said that the defendant was not a woman, who sometimes had cold cream on her hands, causing them to slip off the button, and so fined him $10. It appeared the defendant had a short in his wiring, perhaps, and so was in need of an automotive electrician, not a lecture about women's cold cream from some moron who obviously did not understand the vicissitudes of automobiles very well. If one is going to sit in judgment of traffic cases, one should be very familiar with the mechanics of automobiles in the event of such cases, and if not, learn to take the word of defendants who offer reasonable excuses, which might be tested at the scene by the citing officer. But, perhaps there was more to the story than indicated. If so, and if the officer tested out the explanation of the defendant and found it wanting, or if the explanation only came in court and not at the scene, we duly apologize to the magistrate.
Resigned State Insurance commissioner Waldo Cheek arrived in Charlotte this date to resume his private insurance business, making it clear that he did not intend to leave politics permanently. Governor William B. Umstead had thanked him for his service.
In Raleigh, Governor Umstead said this date that unless there was a change in the agricultural picture, Democrats might be able to take control of the House in 1954, criticizing Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson for his farm policies. He said he believed that the defeat of the Republican House candidate in a Wisconsin district in which there had never previously been a Democrat elected had been the result probably of the dramatic decrease in farm prices under the new Administration.
Near Spring Hope, N.C., two Franklin County men, one recently discharged from the Korean War, were killed early this date when their car overturned on a rural road. No cause of the accident is indicated.
In Wilmington, N.C., a prospective juror was not in court when his name was called out for jury duty, and so the judge sent the sheriff to locate him, the sheriff finding him at home, saying, in response to the sheriff's question as to whether or not he had received a telephone call asking him to report for jury duty, that he thought he had won a prize and had been waiting all day for them to deliver it. The judge, finding it the most original excuse he had ever heard for avoiding jury duty, excused him.
On the editorial page, "Profit, Perhaps, from Wisconsin Defeat" indicates that both the Democratic victor and the Republican loser in the special Wisconsin election for a House seat of a deceased Congressman, had been former Progressives, in the tradition of the LaFollettes. McCarthyism, Wisconsin's more recent contribution to the political world, had not figured substantially in the campaign, which was fought along party lines, between a liberal Republican who supported the Administration and a liberal Democrat who did not believe he would become the first Democrat to win in that district, which had voted for General Eisenhower the prior November by a margin of almost two to one over Governor Stevenson.
Most political observers of the special election believed that farm policy under the new Administration was the chief cause of the defeat of the Republican, and it indicates that, while it was difficult to assess motivations of thousands of voters in any election, it hopes the result would prompt the President and Secretary of Agriculture Benson to speak out on farm issues, that until the latter took a stand for or against high price supports and other farm issues, he was not exerting the leadership expected of him. It suggests that if he were to speak out publicly on these matters, as he had privately, supporting flexible price supports, he would feel better and the farmers would feel better. It concludes that if the Wisconsin election forced the Administration to take a stand on farm issues, Republicans might profit from the defeat.
"Two Measurements of Charlotte Wealth" remarks on an article in Look Magazine which said that Charlotte was the leading Southeastern city in average family income, looking closer at the figures on which the assessment had been based. The figures had been culled from 1949 income in the 1950 census and so might be outdated, and only 12 cities in the seven Southeastern states were listed in the survey. Baton Rouge, for instance, just outside the Southeastern region specified, had an average family income of $250 more than the $3,346 listed for Charlotte.
It also finds average income to be misleading, that median income, the middle of the range of income, provided a useful measurement. In 1949, the median individual income in Charlotte was $1,876. It suggests that part of the reason that Charlotte's family income was high relative to other Southeastern cities was because the incidence of females in the workforce was higher than any other city in the Southeast.
It indicates that only 510 of the 27,220 black citizens of Charlotte over 14-years old had made more than $2,999 in 1949, suggestive of reasons to the businessman who wondered why he did not have more trade and to the police officer who had to deal with crime, and to the social worker who had to reckon with the results of poverty generally.
It points out that Charlotte also had a fair number of wealthy people, who raised the average income, as well as a large number of very poor people, who depressed the median income, suggests that both measurements were more accurate than using only one.
"And the Change Goes on in Washington" indicates that the Federal Government was in for a shake-up, as indicated by the Congressional grilling recently of IRS head Coleman Andrews by Representative Dan Reed of the Joint Congressional Committee on Taxation, who wondered why the IRB had been changed to the IRS, to which Mr. Andrews had responded that it was to provide the agency with its correct name, as to attach tax collection to a "bureau" was to connote opprobrium. In addition, Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson was avoiding use of the word "surplus" and substituting the euphemism, "excess reserves". Harold Stassen was now in charge of the Mutual Security Administration, which dispensed foreign aid. Oveta Culp Hobby, the first Secretary of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, had recently indicated that the first name she had proposed for the newly created Cabinet-level Department was the "Department of General Welfare", but that had been nixed by the late Senator Taft, who asserted that "welfare" was what he had been trying to get away from, resulting in the eventual name of the Department.
The trend had been ongoing, as in 1947, the War Department had been changed to the Defense Department as a part of the military unification.
It suggests the possibility of several other name changes of agencies and bureaus in the same vein, concluding that it bet that a "service" would be just as opprobrious as a "bureau".
It would find the change of HEW to the Department of Health and Human Services, after the separate Department of Education was formed in 1979, consistent with its analysis.
Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly, in a piece titled "The Ultimate Cause", tells of an article he had read in a newspaper the previous week informing of motorists in the Goldsboro area equipping their cars with a gadget intended to beat the speed-detecting whammy, but that the effort had flopped as the gadget had not performed as anticipated. He advocates holding drivers responsible for violating the speed limit, as they endangered themselves and others when they did so, and authorizing more severe punishment than just a fine of a few dollars when the driver attempted to evade the law by equipping his vehicle with a device designed to circumvent the detection device.
He indicates that few discussed the undeniable fact that most accidents were the result of the high power of automobile engines, as it was well established that the principal cause of accidents was excessive speed, which was produced by the powerful engines being manufactured in Detroit. He suggests that if engines were manufactured so that the top speed of automobiles would not exceed 55 mph, deaths and injuries from accidents would be reduced by many thousands per year. He finds that the motorists around Goldsboro had been only supplementing the work of the manufacturers of the increasingly powerful engines.
Drew Pearson indicates that House Speaker Joe Martin not only preached economy but practiced it. He was getting ready to sail to Europe to look over Germany, Italy and France, but was not using excuses to make the trip official such that the taxpayers would foot the bill, despite having been asked by the State Department to do a couple of special favors for them during the trip, and having obliged, gratis.
The Justice Department was working on a number of indictments which would be revealed at the beginning of 1954, including against a number of Democratic lawyers who had once worked for the Government and who had taken cases against the Government on behalf of clients they had once prosecuted. The trial of former Democratic Congressman Vincent Quinn of New York, who had been an Assistant Attorney General during the Truman Administration, would soon begin, as he was charged with taking a case against the Government while still a member of Congress. The roll-out of the cases was being timed for January, when the Democrats were expected to begin to take a more aggressive stand against the Administration in advance of the midterm elections. Republicans intended to answer with prosecutions of former members of the Truman Administration.
Among the cases on which the Justice Department was working were the tanker deals in which some Government-owned oil tankers were transferred to foreign registries—which, as previously noted, would include an indictment against Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, which had already been handed down by the grand jury in late September, but remained sealed until the following February.
Also on the list of possible prosecutions was the author of a letter written during the 1952 election campaign, in which Vice-President Nixon was said to have received $50,000 from an oil company in 1950 when he had first been elected to the Senate. The Justice Department believed that the letter was a forgery and subordinate officials had recommended that the author be prosecuted, but higher officials had shied away from the prosecution as it might open up the September, 1952 "Checkers" affair once again, regarding the Vice-President's $18,000 slush fund to cover private expenses, created for him by wealthy contributors in the wake of his 1950 Senate campaign.
Among the Democratic lawyers who were possibly going to be prosecuted was a former Assistant Attorney General who had represented some of the companies which he had prosecuted while in the Government.
Senators Mike Monroney of Oklahoma and Thomas Hennings of Missouri, who had spent months as members of the Senate Elections Committee probing the attacks of Senator Joseph McCarthy against former Senator Millard Tydings in the Maryland re-election campaign of Senator Tydings in 1950, which the latter lost, wanted to know why there had been no action on the lengthy report they had sent to the Justice Department. Some Democratic Senators also were raising questions about Senator John W. Bricker's law firm, which received large fees from the Pennsylvania Railroad.
Joseph Alsop, in Panmunjom, tells of the chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Committee, Indian Lt. General Thimmaya, having recently held his first full press conference in a tent crowded with Communist and U.N. journalists, causing Mr. Alsop to observe that it was hard to believe that after so many months of hard fighting, the principle of human freedom was at stake before that Commission, overseeing the non-repatriating prisoners of war from each side. General Thimmaya had responded in the affirmative to a question whether the rosters of the prisoners, given to the Indian custodial force at the time the prisoners were turned over to it, were provided to the Commission. But that meant that U.N. Command warnings had not been heeded, resulting in the Poles and Czechs on the Commission having lists of the prisoners by compounds, such that when each compound was called up before the Communists for their explanations to the prisoners to try to convince them to come home, the prisoners could be threatened with hints of reprisals to their families if they did not change their minds.
The General responded to a question regarding whether the explanations were compulsory, requiring the prisoners to attend several such sessions of explanation, by first indicating that the explanations were not compulsory, only then to be told quietly something by his political advisers, at which point he changed his answer to say that attendance at the multiple sessions of explanations would be required but that the prisoners had the privilege of not listening. Mr. Alsop notes that the Communists would thus have an opportunity to engage in something like brainwashing.
The General responded to a question about the violence in the camp containing the prisoners in the demilitarized zone, explaining uncomfortably that the prisoners tended to become violent in the presence of "some members of the Commission", presumably referring to the Poles and Czechs. Several had been shot during the outbreaks in the camps and one had been perhaps beaten to death in the hospital. The General said that he had talked to some of the leaders of the prisoners and he hoped they better understood things.
Mr. Alsop comments that if the situation worsened, great numbers of the Chinese and North Korean non-repatriating prisoners might in the end feel bullied into changing their minds and going home to face sure death. Part of the problem was the makeup of the Commission, with Poland and Czechoslovakia represented, to which the U.S. had agreed in its eagerness to obtain a truce. Meanwhile, the West had no representative per se, as Switzerland and Sweden were truly neutral nations and would not plead the cause for either side. He finds that another part of the problem was the fact that India was not a neutral nation, but rather "neutralist", which he says would take too long to define precisely, but in the present case, meant that the Indians were determined to treat Poland and Czechoslovakia, not as Soviet satellites, but rather as neutrals hardly differing from Switzerland and Sweden, explaining the decision to give the prisoner lists to the Communists.
Another part of the problem was from the U.N. side, that the U.N. Command had to persuade the non-repatriating prisoners of the U.N. to go to Panmunjom, and in the process, potentially inflamed their existing suspicions of the Indian troops. There were American "psychological warriors" in the Army who viewed the Indians as being similar to the Communist secret police. There was also pettiness involved in the way the Army dealt with the Commission, with Indian officers having to beg correspondents to bring them such simple necessities as toilet paper, while Army warehouses just across the line had such provisions in plenty. Both former U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark and Secretary of State Dulles had condemned the Indians from afar, instead of arranging face-to-face negotiations of differences.
The Indian neutralism was worsened by U.S. tactlessness and the "psy-war" mentality of the Army. The result could be very bad, but a good result was still possible, provided the calm and sensible General Hull, the new U.N. Commander, and the able U.S. Ambassador, Ellis Briggs, would replace the "psy-warriors" and seek to present the U.N. view in an orderly and friendly manner. Mr. Alsop suggests that one might blame the Repatriation Commission, but it was also proper to bear in mind that part of the blame was with the U.S. and the U.N., for approving such a packed Commission and for irritating the Commission into wrong action.
Marquis Childs indicates that Prime Minister Churchill, even at 78, and even though he had suffered an illness which would have removed most men of his age from the scene, could not be discounted, as he spoke out of a "whole heart in which one overwhelming desire is dominant", to break the stalemate between East and West and to take at least the first steps toward peace. Just as the Prime Minister, at the beginning of his first tenure in 1940, had spoken the hopes and passionate longings of millions in the West, he did so again in 1953 to those who dreaded the horror of an atomic war.
Mr. Childs notes that it might be fruitless to negotiate a pact with the Soviets which would guarantee peace, as Washington believed, but a Big Four conference, as had been proposed the previous May by the Prime Minister, would at least give the sides an opportunity to break the ice and better delineate their points of agreement and difference. But, as Secretary of State Dulles believed, the advantage of such a conference probably was with the Soviets, as he asserted that such a meeting would be exploited by the Kremlin to underwrite the Russian hold on the satellites. Mr. Childs quotes an unnamed Western diplomat as expressing the dilemma by stating that he agreed with Secretary Dulles that no substantial gain for the West would come from such a meeting, but that his government did not agree with him as the sentiment for such a meeting was too strong.
While it had been assumed in Washington that the Communists would nix the Korean political conference, such skepticism was now tempered by the fact of a reply from Communist China to the third U.S. request for discussion of details of the conference. The U.S. did not want its allies at the U.N. to believe that the U.S. disfavored a conference, something which would fuel Communist propaganda that the U.S. did not really want peace, with the other side of world opinion being that the U.S. considered war with the Soviets inevitable, especially frightening to Europe.
Mr. Childs concludes that one of Mr. Churchill's greatest strengths, evident in his recent speech, was the way that he bridged the past with the present.
James Marlow indicates that Attorney General Herbert Brownell had stated the previous day that he would support a pending Congressional bill, provided it was changed somewhat, which would afford immunity to witnesses testifying before Congressional committees so that they could not avoid testifying by claiming the privilege against self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment. If the bill were passed, it would be tested in the courts, a fight which might become prolix.
He recaps the fall, 1947 cases of contempt of Congress against the so-called "Hollywood 10" for their refusal to testify to HUAC regarding whether they were or ever had been Communists, some taking the Fifth Amendment, while others asserted the First Amendment. All of them had been convicted, and their convictions upheld by the appellate courts, holding that the First Amendment protections of political belief and freedom of association did not shield them against such testimony before Congressional committees. But in subsequent cases, the courts were upholding claims of privilege under the Fifth Amendment on the ground that admitting to membership in the Communist Party might subject the person to prosecution under the Smith Act for advocating the overthrow of the Government by force and violence, as 11 top U.S. Communist Party officials had been found guilty under the Smith Act and several second-rung officials had also been indicted.
A law passed in 1857 indicated that testimony provided to a Congressional committee by a witness could not be used as evidence in any criminal proceeding against the witness. But, nevertheless, that did not prevent prosecution based on evidence arising out of the admissions made before a committee, as long as the particular statements were not introduced into evidence against the witness. Thus, the Fifth Amendment was still deemed properly asserted.
The pending legislation would completely immunize the witness from prosecution in Federal court for any crime admitted before the committee, thus dispensing with the ground for assertion of the Fifth Amendment. But a problem potentially might arise from the notion that evidence discovered from admissions made in such immunized testimony might still lead to other crimes committed by the witness, which were not shielded by the grant of immunity.
Mr. Brownell wanted the decision to grant or deny immunity left to the Attorney General rather than to the Congressional committee.
A letter writer indicates that columnist Drew Pearson perhaps had, in his statements critical of the appointment by the City Council of a three-man commission to look into the Charlotte police department and in his revelations indicating that the Police Chief, Frank Littlejohn, had once had ties with two Miami gamblers connected with gambling kingpin Frank Costello, given Council member Basil Boyd an opportunity to use every worn out cliché he had rehearsed in his years of attempting to catch the public eye. The writer wonders when Mr. Boyd would stop using the newspaper as a means to distribute his speeches and stop acting as a "poor man's Joe McCarthy".
A letter from former News columnist Dorothy Knox praises the "News Pictorials" regarding automobiles safety, which had briefly replaced the editorial cartoon on the editorial page, finding it one of the best features she had seen regarding safety. She suggests letting the public suggest ideas for the editorial page.
Links-Date — Links-Subj.