The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 17, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, bitter squabbles had arisen between allied and Communist officers this date, as all except nine of 430 Chinese non-repatriating war prisoners interviewed this date had refused the attempts of the Communists to convince them to return to their homelands. The explanations process, in its second day, would not go on the following day. One of the prisoners had been forced to listen to Communist explanations for almost three hours, during which he occasionally cursed and kicked. A Communist representative kicked the leg of a Chinese-American observer for the U.N. Command. Another Chinese-American stood toe-to-toe with a Polish representative of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission and screamed curses at him. The prisoners reacted with the same violence as they had on the first day of the interviews on Thursday, but this time offered no resistance to being moved to the facilities where the explanations took place. When they erupted in anger while being interviewed, Indian guards would physically restrain them. Most of the interviews had lasted only a few minutes.

In the Jordan sector of Jerusalem, Jordan appealed to Iraq for troops, planes and arms this date and issued orders to its Army to shoot on sight any Israeli troops crossing the border, with the Jordanian Cabinet entering an emergency session to plan the next step in the border crisis, which had arisen when an Israeli raid took place on three Jordan villages. A Jordanian spokesman said the previous day that 56 Arabs had been killed in the attack, but unofficial reports estimated the death toll at 70. Britain called the attack "apparently calculated" and British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden asked the Big Three foreign ministers, meeting in London, to cite Israel before the U.N. Security Council. The three foreign ministers postponed action on the request. There had been no official explanation by the Israeli Government for the attack, but Israeli newspapers said that it was in reprisal for a border raid by Jordanian forces on an Israeli village earlier in the week, in which three Israelis had been killed.

In Rome, Premier Giuseppe Pella, speaking before the Italian Senate, warned Yugoslavia this date that Italy would not be intimidated regarding Trieste, stating that Italy's forces were sufficient to guarantee the defense of the "fatherland". He accused the Soviets of hampering a solution of the dispute over Trieste, claimed by both Italy and Yugoslavia. The Senate gave him an overwhelming vote of confidence, based on a show of hands. Belgrade radio had said this date that Marshal Tito of Yugoslavia intended to stand firm on his proposal for a four-power conference to deal with the dispute, prompted by the British and American announcement earlier in the week of their intent to withdrew their occupation forces from the northern zone, encompassing Trieste City, leaving it to the Italians. Yugoslavia occupied the southern zone.

In London, the U.S., Britain and France agreed this date, according to informed sources, to discuss the East-West security system with Russia as part of a final German peace settlement. Secretary of State Dulles, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, and Foreign Minister Georges Bidault and their advisers met for a fourth session this date, in the three-day conference set to conclude the following day. According to a source, among the topics discussed was the inception and makeup of the Korean peace conference, scheduled by the Armistice to begin by October 28. They also considered agreeing to the Communist demand that neutral Asian nations be allowed to participate and discussed the possibility of Communist China eventually being admitted to the U.N., as well as discussing the war in French Indo-China. Trieste was also on the agenda, as was the Israeli attack on the Jordan villages.

Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma said this date that Attorney General Herbert Brownell, in finding that Senator Joseph McCarthy had broken no fraud or election laws, was giving "a clean bill to all the ugly features of one of the dirtiest political campaigns in recent history", referring to Senator McCarthy's activities in the 1950 Maryland Senatorial campaign, in which incumbent Senator Millard Tydings was defeated by the Republican candidate, aided by Senator McCarthy. Senator McCarthy's income was still under investigation by the Treasury, according to Mr. Brownell, but the Justice Department had concluded its investigation and would seek no grand jury action. Senator William Benton of Connecticut, whom Senator McCarthy had accused of campaign fund irregularities after Senator Benton sought his ouster from the Senate for his various false charges imputing to many of his critics and political opponents Communist affiliation or sympathies, had also been cleared. Senator Monroney, in 1951, had headed an investigation into the 1950 Maryland campaign and found it to be a "despicable back street" affair, that the Attorney General was excusing the concealment of large sums of money which had been spent and the distribution of a fake composite photograph of Senator Tydings and former American Communist leader Earl Browder, among other things.

In Boston, a Navy pilot died in the hospital this date after having been seriously injured in an explosion aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Leyte. Before he died, he described to reporters what had occurred aboard the ship prior to the explosion. He had been burned over 90 percent of his body, but, according to doctors, was not in great pain because his nerve endings had been burned. He was one of 36 who had lost their lives in the explosion, which occurred in the Naval shipyard. There had been 1,400 Navy men aboard and about 60 civilians at the time while repair work being performed had nearly been completed when the blast occurred. It was the worst Navy explosion in peacetime since 48 men had died aboard the battleship U.S.S. Mississippi off the coast of California on June 12, 1924. Naval intelligence and FBI investigators were probing the interior of the aircraft carrier for causes of the explosion.

Pleasant weather was predicted around the country for football games this date, with only light rain falling in sections of eastern Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin, as well as in areas of North Dakota and in the southeastern Great Plains.

Elizabeth Blair of The News tells of the possibility of a lawsuit against the City and industrial firms apparently dumping industrial waste into Sugaw Creek. Homeowners in the area, many houses of whom had been damaged the previous Thursday night by brown stains emanating from the creek, which, according to the City and County health officer, had been produced by a chemical reaction from the discharged industrial wastes acting on the lead in the paint on some of the houses, were planning to meet this afternoon to discuss the possibility of legal action. One of the homeowners estimated that between 30 and 50 of the white houses in the area had been stained, while some of the houses close to the creek were not colored brown by Sugaw's discharged waste.

On the editorial page, "The Field for Liberals in Raleigh" indicates that it might be time for people to consider whether they or their neighbor ought to run for election to the 1955 General Assembly, that state governments throughout the country had been deteriorating for years, as summed up by an article in the current issue of Harper's, by a member of the Oregon State Senate, Richard Neuberger. It lists the several problems which the article had pointed out.

In North Carolina, rural members dominated the Assembly disproportionately because of the Legislature's refusal to redistrict, as required every ten years by the State Constitution. As a result, urban problems, such as urban redevelopment, traffic congestion, and mental health, often received little attention, forcing recourse to the Federal Government.

It indicates that it would be too late if people waited until after the beginning of the following Assembly to complain about it, that the present was the time to impress one's views on prospective legislators and for those who wanted to clean up the mess in State Government to get busy.

"How To Grow Old Despite Cars Dept." indicates that on the prior Sunday, the State Highway Patrol had started operating its new whammy on Wilkinson Boulevard, catching 17 speeders very quickly. Two had pleaded guilty and were fined, and the others forfeited bonds ranging between $15 and $25. The Patrol had also started a technique of saturation on seven of the state's highways, with the presence of several patrol cars serving to reduce violations and accidents. The previous day, the commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Ed Scheidt, began a campaign against the driver who drove too slowly, with the Patrolmen stopping those drivers to remind them of the hazards of that practice.

A private organization had been formed with the aim of promoting driver training and informing its members of the activities of the State Legislature affecting highway safety, as well as working for lower insurance rates and opposing unjustified increases in taxes on automobile owners.

It suggests that those encouraging developments in highway safety had brought to mind an idea which service station operators might wish to consider, to check motorists' automobile lights during stops for service. It indicates that the wise motorist would pull off the highway before dusk and perform the task.

"A Proper Concern for Oil Conservation" indicates that a visit to an oilfield would produce knowledge of one of the most colorful jargons in the nation, including such terms as "leasehounds", referring to the person who leased mineral rights on land, "roughnecks", the workers on the drilling rig, and "Christmas tree", the gadget installed on the wellhead of a producer to channel the flow. Oilmen who started talking about fractionating towers, catalytic cracking, rectifying columns, and the science of petrochemistry soon lost the lay audience.

"Conservation", however, was understandable to all, and that was the theme for this Oil Progress Week. Oilmen bore a heavy responsibility for the conservation of oil. Presently there was an oversupply. Iran recently had announced that it was ready to return Iranian oil to world markets, having ceased its production after the nationalization of the British oil properties and consequent refusal of the British and other nations to deal in the expropriated oil or to operate the refineries. Other nations had filled the resulting gap, such that there had been no noticeable drop in world production. New fields were presently being exploited in Asia, and in the U.S during the previous two years, development had begun at a vast new field, the Williston Basin of North Dakota and Montana.

Despite the present abundance of supply, war and technology had in recent years made record demands on petroleum resources, with demand up 50 percent over that of 1945. The President's Materials Policy Commission had recently warned of the urgency of conserving those resources. The oil industry had been practicing conservation, using a mixture of water, clays and chemicals to prevent a well from blowing out, making the gusher an exception. Dead fields were being brought to life through new techniques of bringing oil to the surface, previously not available. Well spacing and the capture and use of gases which formerly were wasted were other conservation practices which also formed good business.

It concludes that the more the oil industry attended to conservation, the less the public needed to scrutinize it.

A piece from the Lynchburg (Va.) News, titled "Anybody Like Tomatoes?" indicates that the Greensboro Daily News had asked why Virginians pronounced tomato as if it were spelled tomawto. It indicates that most of them did not so pronounce it, as most Virginians did not follow a pattern, but pronounced it as they pleased or as their parents and school teachers had pronounced it. Some few pronounced it as the radio commentators did, raising the danger of conformity in everything.

It responds to the inquiry by asking why North Carolinians pronounced tomato as if it were spelled tomayto. It indicates that if the answer was that it was the way they liked to pronounce it, then that was sufficient, but they had to provide others with the same freedom of choice without comment.

But did anyone up 'ere in Vir-ginya call it "tomata"?

Drew Pearson, in Springfield, Mo., indicates that in 1948, the farm belt believed it had won the battle of Government storage of grain, and one reason the farmers were presently so angry at Republicans was that during 1953, they had to fight the storage battle yet again. A Republican-controlled Congress in 1948 had passed a provision whereby the Agriculture Department was not permitted to "own, lease or acquire" storage for grain, with the result that private grain elevator operators either raised rates or depressed the grain prices they offered to farmers, causing the angry farm belt to re-elect President Truman. The previous June, the Midwestern farmers, who had voted enthusiastically for General Eisenhower in 1952, found that the new President was not on their side regarding grain storage. Undersecretary of Agriculture True D. Morse had stated in Des Moines on June 3 to farm leaders that there would be no more Government storage. The Des Moines Register, pro-Eisenhower, that day headlined the story, raising a hue and cry among farm leaders. Later in the day, Mr. Morse went back before the same group and denied having made the statement, even though it had been in the written text of his speech. The farm editor for the Register said it was the only time he had ever heard anyone deny their own statement before the same crowd to whom he had made it.

But then the Department of Agriculture did little to carry out this reversal of policy, with Secretary Benson initially authorizing Government storage of 50 million bushels of corn in eight states, despite the fact that Iowa's corn crop was alone estimated at 50 million bushels. Subsequently, the amount of storage was increased to 90 million bushels, but the amount needed for the entire nation was accommodation for 250 million bushels, not including wheat. Meanwhile, the Department was so far behind in storing wheat that farmers were dumping it on the ground in the Southwest, with special permission from the Secretary. And Senator James Murray of Montana was demanding that corn storage bins be diverted to Montana to take care of its expected 113 million bushel wheat crop. The effect of inadequate storage was to depress the price of wheat more disastrously than at any time in the previous three years.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the reason why farmers placed so much importance on grain storage was because the farmer could not obtain the benefit of Government price supports unless he was able to store the grain produced. The private grain elevator operator sometimes charged whatever he wanted. Many farmers had taken a loss of 80 cents per bushel on wheat the previous summer because they could not store it at any reasonable price. The grain elevator operators knew that the farmer was in a pinch, could not take the wheat or corn any other place to store it, and so gouged the farmer regardless of the support price.

Joseph Alsop, in Seoul, indicates that Kimpo airfield, where the Marines had landed during the Inchon offensive of September, 1950, was now designated Seoul City Airport. He describes the present setting within the city and that extant at the time of the Inchon offensive, finding the contrast "not inspiring", as at the earlier time, the Americans in Korea and the U.S. Government were showing a type of courage which made one proud, whereas at present, "the drama of Seoul is a comedy—the American government anxiously shuffling its feet and making appeasing gestures, before the embarrassing, the really too upsetting, the half lunatic but still altogether too convincing displays of the courage of [South Korean President] Syngman Rhee."

The truce had settled nothing and no one in Seoul believed that the political conference would settle anything, if it were to occur at all. The Communists were strengthening their position north of the truce line and working to rebuild the North Korean Army. The U.N. allies had withdrawn to defensive positions, and the buildup of the South Korean Army continued at a high rate and at great expense. Along the truce line, the non-repatriating prisoners against whom the U.N. allies fought were in obvious jeopardy.

The best rice harvest in decades was present in South Korea and the hope of American aid in the sum of a billion dollars to rebuild the ruins were bright spots. But the country had almost no resources except people, rice and scenery, and so Mutual Security Administration head Harold Stassen had a tough job ahead.

The major item of discussion was what would President Rhee do. He still had his Army, which he absolutely controlled, and though the smart young commanders of the South Korean divisions did not wish to renew the attack on the enemy, they would likely do so if ordered. They had been placed on short supply rations by the Americans, just in case, but they had plenty of ammunition and fuel for an initial move, and so President Rhee could break the truce if he so chose. No one would hazard a guess as to what he might do if, as was likely to be the case, the political conference did not yield the unity of Korea which he had demanded. General Maxwell Taylor, head of the Eighth Army, and Ambassador Ellis Briggs were just as puzzled about the matter as everyone else.

Marquis Childs indicates that many Republicans generally believed that the defeat in the Ninth Congressional District of Wisconsin of the Republican candidate for the first time in history, might become a blessing in disguise, if the warning were heeded and the party leaders started doing what was necessary to win back the loyalty of the farm vote. Those Republicans had been warning of complacency in Washington and that a revolt on the farms in the face of falling farm prices and the continuing increase in costs was in the making. The RNC, however, had, up to this point, believed that the so-called farm revolt was either exaggerated or nonexistent, even though private polls were showing otherwise. The Wisconsin loss appeared to predict the possible loss by the Republicans of both the House and the Senate in 1954—as would occur.

While there were some extenuating circumstances in the Ninth District race, the result could not be explained away only by that fact, as what was occurring in the Midwest had been apparent to some Republican leaders for a long time. Governor Dewey, during a recent visit to Washington, had spoken to friends regarding the subject, saying that the election had been lost in 1948 to President Truman because the farmers did not believe they could trust the Republican Party, and now, the Republicans appeared to be doing everything they could to convince the farmers they were right at that earlier time.

A letter from the chairman of the Charlotte chapter of the American Association of Social Workers indicates that at a recent meeting of the Association's Charlotte chapter, the group had voted to endorse the recommendation of the Mental Health Society board to use County hospitalization funds for the indigent who suffered from alcoholism. It indicates that they recommended to the County Board of Commissioners the suggestion that alcoholism should be recognized as an illness which was treatable by hospitalization, as other illnesses.

A letter writer from Pittsboro indicates that recently one of his friends had written him asking if he ever hoped to be on the winning side, referring to the outcome of the State school bond election, which he had opposed as being premature, before the outcome of the Supreme Court desegregation cases was known. He indicates that he was often on the losing side of public questions. He says that in the October 13 edition of the newspaper, there had been an editorial on the apparent change from "sound" money to inflation, and he thinks that while the country was confronted with problems at home, those abroad were more difficult and dangerous, that the country was losing the cold war while Russia was getting stronger. He favors not giving Russia evidence of U.S. hostility, which might provoke an attack. He favors not only insisting on a non-aggression pact between Germany and the other nations, but also dismantling of all hostile airbases surrounding the U.S. He favors ultimately looking at the situation from the point of view of the Russians, in the hope of avoiding war.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., indicates that the previous year, he had paid 95 cents for five gallons of coal oil, while at present he was paying $1.06, finds it the result of Congress giving the offshore tidal oil lands to the "oil kings" within the states. He suggests that those farmers and working people who had voted for General Eisenhower in 1952 were now getting their rewards. He indicates that he had voted for Governor Stevenson because of his experience in government and would do so again. He feels confident that the farmers and workers would not return the Republican Party to power.

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