The Charlotte News

Friday, October 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, Indian guards armed with guns and clubs killed two Chinese prisoners and wounded five others this date, in the second mass breakout attempt since that of the previous day, in which Indian guards had killed one prisoner and wounded five others. An Indian spokesman said that order had been restored and that this date's outbreak lasted only a few minutes. The riot had started when five hospitalized prisoners demanded that another prisoner, taken to the post hospital after attempting suicide, be returned to the compound. When the Indian guards refused, the five prisoners rushed from the hospital and shouted at a compound housing 500 men, whereupon the others began chanting for the return of the prisoner and scaling the barbed wire fences. The guards had repeatedly warned the prisoners to stop and when they continued to scale the barbed wire, the guards tried to push and beat them back with sticks, but they had kept coming. The guards then fired a warning shot in the air, which had no effect, and then fired six more shots.

The U.N. Command formally protested that the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission favored the Communists in developing rules of procedure for both sides to explain to the prisoners resisting repatriation that they could return home. The Commission had selected sites for reconstructing the centers in which the explanations would take place, potentially enabling the process to begin by the following Monday. Five North Koreans who had told the Commission that they had changed their minds and wanted to return to their Communist homelands were delivered to the Communists. More than 100 of the 22,600 prisoners of war who had indicated a desire not to repatriate had changed their minds and been delivered to the Communists.

At the U.N. in New York, the General Assembly was still awaiting an answer from Communist China regarding arrangements for the Korean peace conference, set to begin by October 28. The Assembly's special committee, faced with a new Russian demand to admit 14 countries, set debate on the matter for the present afternoon. Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina, former Secretary of State and a member of the U.S. delegation, was expected to make his first speech early the following week, and would support a Peruvian proposal for a three-member committee to seek a way out of the membership deadlock. An American spokesman said that the committee would likely adopt the Peruvian resolution, but acknowledged that it would not accomplish much. The U.S. was still against Russia's offer to withhold the Soviet veto from nine countries whose admission was supported by the West, in exchange for U.S. support of membership by five Russian satellite nations, Albania, Outer Mongolia, Bulgaria, Rumania and Hungary, and urging a majority of the Security Council to support them. The nations favored by the West had previously been vetoed by Russia.

Officials in Washington believed that at long last, the European army, which had been stalled for some time, was finally on its way to being formed. The State Department believed during the summer that it was essentially dead, but now was optimistic about the chances of saving the plan, which had to be ratified by the six countries involved, France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries, thus far only ratified by West Germany. U.S. ambassadors in Western Europe had met recently in Luxembourg with Assistant Secretary of State Livingston Merchant and reviewed the prospects for creation of the unified army, and it was reported that they had found the outlook encouraging.

Former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, the Democratic presidential nominee in 1952, said that his lunch and conference with the President the previous day, reporting on his world tour earlier in the year, had revealed that the President was giving close study to the possibility of offering to Russia a non-aggression pact, not considering it any form of appeasement. Mr. Stevenson had proposed the pact in a speech the previous month in Chicago before a meeting of Democrats. He urged that the President consider it.

In New York, the waterfront, paralyzed by a strike of longshoremen, was quiet this date, as the strikers awaited the formation of a board of inquiry, ordered by the President the previous day pursuant to Taft-Hartley. The board would meet the following day in open session, hearing witnesses expected to include top officials of the International Longshoremen's Association and the New York Shipping Association, the two principal organizations involved in the wage dispute which had led to the strike. The board had to report to the President by midnight the following Monday, before the Government could seek a Federal court injunction to require the longshoremen to return to work for 80 days, during which efforts would be made to settle the dispute. The ILA said that it would abide by any formal no-strike order. The ILA had been ousted from the AFL because it had failed to rid its ranks of racketeers, and was being contested by a rival affiliate of the AFL, ILA-AFL.

In Washington, former Secretary of State Cordell Hall, who had served from 1933 to the end of 1944, celebrated his 82nd birthday this date.

In Pitkin, La., the second dynamite explosion in five days had occurred the previous night, eight miles from a strike-beset paper mill town, the latest explosion occurring 200 yards from the local high school gymnasium where about 500 persons had been attending a fair and rodeo. No one was reported to have been injured.

In Greenville, N.C., Congressman Herbert Bonner told a meeting of the Greenville Veterans of Foreign Wars the previous night that a terrible mistake had been made in cutting Air Force appropriations for the current fiscal year. He stated that infantry and artillery were still necessary but that the striking power of the Air Force could not be neglected, especially in light of the Russians now having the hydrogen bomb.

This week was National Newspaper Week, a time traditionally when newspapers took a critical look at themselves and re-evaluated their part in making democracy work. It indicates that in a time when the Iron Curtain ringed much of the globe, it was essential for newspapers in a democracy to be fully understood and appreciated, that without full information, the people of a democracy could not govern themselves intelligently, that they had to have facts as well as an interpretation of the facts, both by the government and by those who disagreed with the government. The press, it urges, had an obligation beyond merely reporting the news about government, but also to report the facts which put together the "face of the age", from the rise in the cost of living, the newest films and books, the raising of the hemline, the marriage of a divorced movie star, the latest advance in the war against cancer, etc. Newspapers also needed a philosophy and convictions, plus the courage to state its beliefs forthrightly even though popular opinion might be running against it. It indicates that The News had many guiding principles, belief in the importance of civil liberties, a belief that what happened elsewhere in the world was of vital importance to the people of Charlotte, a confidence in the collective wisdom and staying power of the American people, a faith in a Superior Being who was guiding mankind's destiny, the belief that the human race would eventually succeed in shaping a world without war, plus other beliefs. It indicates that those who worked for the newspaper were acutely aware of their shortcomings, as newspapers were put together by human beings and thus had the faults of human nature.

In Winston-Salem, a magistrate freed a man from criminal charges arising from the fact that his eleven-year old son had a pet squirrel, but ordered the man, a resident of nearby Lewisville, to turn the squirrel loose unless he could get a special permit from the State to keep it. Wildlife laws of 1953 deemed every person who, without a special permit, possessed a pet squirrel or rabbit, even a tame, white rabbit, to be in violation of the law, subject to fine or jail. The man's son had picked up the injured squirrel in the woods earlier in the year and nursed it back to health, and so the magistrate found that because of the special nature of the case, he would dismiss it. The game warden protested the decision, saying that the boy had time to turn the squirrel loose after it got well. But the magistrate countered that people all over the state had squirrels in cages and nobody did anything about it. The game warden sounds a little bit nuts.

The new phonebook had arrived in Charlotte, with greater volume than the old phonebook, longer, wider, but thinner, as there were now three columns per page rather than the traditional two, making it easier to handle. Whether Navin R. Johnson was listed is not related.

In Oklahoma City, a milkman returned to his truck after making a delivery, finding it gone. A man then informed him that he had taken it and parked it astride some railroad tracks, and then hit the milkman in the nose. The milkman filed a complaint against the man, who told police that he was angry at the milkman for double-parking.

On the editorial page, "A Final Word on the Bond Issues" again looks at the bond election coming up the following day, for 72 million dollars worth of bond issues, 50 million for new school facilities and 22 million to improve the state's mental institutions. It again provides its arguments and recommends voting for both.

"Footnote on a Judgeship" again indicates that while it found Governor Earl Warren suited to become Chief Justice in terms of his overall integrity and bipartisanship as Governor of California, it objects to the fact that he lacked judicial experience. The current Supreme Court was already lacking in that regard, with only Justice Hugo Black, appointed to the Court in 1937 by FDR, having 18 months as a police judge, and Justice Sherman Minton, appointed by President Truman in 1949, having eight years on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

It indicates that when President Truman had appointed Senator Harold Burton to the Court in 1945, the New York Times had commented that there had been a time when judicial experience was regarded as a first prerequisite for nomination to the Court, but that President Roosevelt had changed that trend. The piece finds that promoting lower court judges who had proven their ability to be a sound policy from which it hopes that the President would not depart again, save under the most exceptional circumstances. As indicated, President Eisenhower's remaining four appointments to the Court would all be men of prior judicial experience.

"At 17 Months, the World Is His Oyster" indicates that a 17-month old toddler who was taken on a ride from home was dependent on his parents to take him from one place to the next, awakening as if to say, "Well, what burg are we in today, pop?"

"Yet, upon returning home, he takes up the old toys and returns to his old games as unconcernedly as though he had only been out for a walk. And his parents decide that they are the least cosmopolitan members of the family."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Sheffield Case: More To Come", tells of Louis Smith, a farm superintendent for Woman's Prison, having resigned in protest of the prior treatment of Ronie Sheffield, who had been fired by the Highway Commission director as head of Woman's Prison, after having undergone a rumor mill designed to undermine her authority. It finds that the original drive to destroy her and her administration at the prison had originated in politics, and presently the struggle was designed not only to destroy her regime but also her personal reputation, splitting apart certain factions in the Administration of Governor William B. Umstead. It indicates that the newspaper had determined that the old guard ring which first instigated the character assassination against Ms. Sheffield could rest assured that the fight it had started was not over.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Joint Chiefs held a significant secret meeting the previous week to determine the basic questions of military preparedness against the hydrogen bomb, with the result that they determined to have a balanced force between the Army, Navy and Air Force, more or less dividing evenly appropriations between the three branches. Air Force chief of staff General Nathan Twining had argued that the Joint Chiefs could not start allocating men and materials to the three services until they decided the overall concept or strategy, while realizing that Russia now had the hydrogen bomb, which had to change drastically the concept of 1954 military needs. He was, however, met with protests from the Army and the Navy, with Army chief of staff, General Matthew Ridgway, arguing that the country could not give up traditional, tested old weapons for untested new weapons. Joint Chiefs chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, agreed, arguing that atomic weapons might eventually be outlawed, just as mustard gas had been outlawed following World War I. In the end, General Twining had been overruled and the Joint Chiefs fell back on the old solution, evening out the services in terms of men and materials. Mr. Pearson notes that Robert Nathan, the genius of the old War Production Board, had once remarked that battling with generals was like a tailor cutting up a bolt of cloth, using as much for sleeves as for pants, unlikely therefore to stay in business, but finding that the military had been doing as much for years.

Britain's joint chiefs had taken the lead in junking the balanced forces concept, instead putting more of their appropriations into air power and atomic weaponry, one general indicating that it would bankrupt Britain to keep all three services at the same size. Since the Russians had no Navy except for submarines, there was no sense in spending a fortune on building up the British Navy, except for submarines. The British pointed out that the French generals had been caught napping in World War II when they placed too much reliance on the Maginot Line, which turned out to be ineffective against the German blitzkrieg, enabling the 1940 conquering of France within a few days. The British joint chiefs therefore indicated they did not want to get caught relying on the tactics of World War II to meet the threat of the hydrogen bomb. They posited that the nation which would dominate the air would dominate the world.

Yet, Secretary of Defense Wilson had taken most of the cuts in the defense budget from the Air Force, and then sought to tell the public the "fantastic myth" that the Air Force would be stronger than ever, despite having five billion dollars less to spend. Mr. Wilson had gotten his advice from Army generals and Navy admirals, not realizing that those two branches had always stuck to their traditional weapons. It was usually Congress which insisted on a change toward modernization, some examples of which he cites.

Mr. Pearson notes that in Europe, General Al Gruenther, supreme commander of NATO, leaned toward the British viewpoint of an unbalanced force, though not having officially expressed himself. A recent Administration speechwriter, Emmett Hughes, had been unhappy and left the White House, returning to his old job at Life, because he was called on to write a speech justifying Secretary Wilson's cut from the Air Force budget.

Marquis Childs indicates that the selection of a Chief Justice was a matter of importance second only to the nomination and election of a President. He also finds that during the previous 20 years, the Court had suffered from the struggle for power between the three branches of government, and that in the appointments of President Truman to the Federal judiciary, he too often had failed to put forth nominees who met the standards for impartiality and objectivity, as set by some of his predecessors.

He finds the nomination of Governor Earl Warren as Chief Justice to be meeting with general approval, as he had repeatedly demonstrated as Governor his appeal to both Democrats and Republicans in California as well as establishing his integrity as a public servant, moderate and sensible in his views. Because he had frequently taken a liberal stance on matters, he was denounced by the reactionary right of the Republican Party, who were determined to block him for the Republican presidential nomination in 1952.

There had been no haste about naming the successor to Chief Justice Fred Vinson, who had died on September 8, as everyone was aware that the last Chief Justice named as a recess appointment had been in 1796. Governor Warren had been named most prominently among the possible nominees, with New Jersey Supreme Court Chief Justice Arthur Vanderbilt having also been mentioned as a prominent possibility. But the previous Saturday night, Attorney General Herbert Brownell had flown to Sacramento to have a secret meeting with Governor Warren and then flew back to Washington on Monday, going directly to his office in the Justice Department. He recommended Governor Warren, and no one else, to the President. Word leaked of the recommendation directly from Mr. Brownell to some members of the press and the fact then hit the newspapers, making it practically impossible not to make the appointment without embarrassing Governor Warren.

Don Whitehead indicates that the President and his advisers were engaged in a great guessing game regarding Russia's intentions, whether for war or peace. It was now especially important as the Russians had the hydrogen bomb. Their goal of world revolution and domination had not appeared to change. As a former military man, the President was aware of the importance of two main facets of intelligence, the enemy's capability and the enemy's intentions, the latter being now assessed. It was known that the Russians had an air force capable of delivering bombs to distant targets, as well as the scientific and industrial knowledge of war.

The Korean War had demonstrated what could happen when Washington made a mistake regarding the enemy's capabilities and intentions, with the U.S. having been wrong on both counts in assessing the Chinese Communists early in the war. A mistake had been made in the estimate that the Chinese would not enter the war, and that error was compounded by underestimating their capabilities. The Tokyo command had estimated early in the war that the Chinese Communists had the ability to supply no more than 50,000 to 60,000 troops south of the Yalu River, an estimate provided by General MacArthur to former President Truman during their Wake Island conference of October, 1950. In actuality, the Communist Chinese had forced the retreat of the U.N. forces, utilizing more than 300,000 troops, increasing that force to about a million.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson indicated that he had doubts that the Russians would start a war presently, but at the same time he had avoided making predictions which would result in deep cuts to the military.

Mr. Whitehead concludes that U.S. leaders were therefore watching eagerly for any concrete evidence that the Russians wanted peace, but wanted those intentions expressed in actions and not merely in words. Until Russia made known its intentions, the deadly guessing game had to continue.

William Henry Chamberlain, writing in the Wall Street Journal, explores the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination as invoked by many witnesses appearing before Congressional committees. The courts had upheld, within certain limitations, the general rights of witnesses to invoke the Fifth Amendment without thereby necessarily incurring a citation for contempt of Congress.

There was an argument being waged as to whether or not one could conclude from invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege that the person doing so was guilty of some misconduct, while at the other extreme, there were those who argued that no unfavorable inference should be drawn from the fact. There had been some move toward trying to enact legislation which would nullify, evade or water down the Constitutional safeguard afforded by the Fifth Amendment privilege. Mr. Chamberlain finds both reactions to be based on false assumptions and that the Fifth Amendment ought be maintained in full force as a shield for the occasional innocent person who might be wrongly convicted on the basis of his or her own statements otherwise. At the same time, he suggests that a person who sought refuge in silence when their loyalty to the United States was being questioned could not reasonably complain if subjected to a certain amount of suspicion.

Thus, he asserts that teachers and college professors, for instance, who pleaded the Fifth Amendment privilege when being questioned about their loyalty should find in it no protection from being dismissed as a result, as character as well as scholarship counted as a reasonable qualification for teaching. It would not be appropriate to force the thinking of teachers and professors or anyone else into a narrow mold of conformity, but it was not appropriate to insist that membership or affiliation with a movement hostile to American ideals and institutions and blindly devoted to an alien dictatorship should not be grounds for disqualification, to enable honest and effective teaching. He concludes that a person who took the Fifth Amendment under such circumstances regarding questions of loyalty had no right to a position involving public trust and confidence.

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