The Charlotte News

Monday, October 5, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission asked the U.N. Command to begin work on both temporary and permanent facilities where the Communist representatives would begin their explanations to the 7,900 Koreans and 14,700 Chinese who had refused repatriation. The interviews would commence within a week at the temporary site. The Communists had demanded 32 permanent structures, to be built by the U.N. Command, and the Communists were building sites for the allies to interview 359 allied prisoners who had resisted repatriation, including 23 Americans and one Briton. The Indian command, in charge of the prisoners on both sides during the 90-day interview process, had taken over ten structures built by the Communists for the U.N. Command interviewers.

South Korea's acting foreign minister threatened again this date that his Government would order the South Korean Army "to fight" the Indian troops if they continued to act hostilely toward them. He had threatened the prior Saturday to drive the "irresponsible" Indian troops from Korea by armed force if the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission and the Indians did not rectify immediately the "evil acts" being committed. The Indian guards had killed three prisoners and wounded ten in two disturbances the previous week involving the Communist prisoners not wanting to repatriate. The South Korean officials said that the acts were clear evidence that the NNRC and the Indians were pro-Communist. His warning on Saturday had been made officially as a protest to the Indian commander, relayed through U.S. Eighth Army commander General Maxwell Taylor, and his statement this date was provided before the National Assembly of South Korea in Seoul.

In Washington, Earl Warren was sworn in as the 14th Chief Justice this date, based on his recess appointment by the President, still subject to Senate confirmation when the Congress reconvened in January. The President and First Lady observed the swearing-in ceremony, in which the new Chief took the oath to administer justice impartially to the poor and to the rich. The other eight Justices of the Court were also present in the Supreme Court chamber at the administration of the oath. At the conclusion, the new Chief took his seat at the center of the bench. The President and First Lady then departed the chamber after being present for only 11 minutes. It provides detail on what the President, the First Lady, the new Chief and Mrs. Warren were wearing. The Court began its new term this date. Justice Hugo Black briefly lamented the death on September 8 of Chief Justice Fred Vinson, saying that he had spent most of his life "in fine public service for his state and his nation, both of which he loved and served with passionate devotion."

At the U.N. in New York, Turkey, with the backing of the U.S., won a seat on the Security Council this date, beating out Poland, supported by Russia. Brazil and New Zealand were also elected to the rotating Council vacancies, without serious opposition. Only the five principal Allies in World War II, the U.S., Britain, France, Nationalist China and Russia, enjoyed permanent status on the Council. Russia had demanded that the U.N. live up to the "gentlemen's agreement" of 1946, under which Eastern European countries, all of which were now Soviet satellites, would be assured representation on the Council. The U.S. had contended that the agreement had been valid for only a year. Regardless of the majority vote of the Council, any of the permanent members had unilateral veto.

Republican unity showed signs of problems at high levels this date, with indications that the President might have to intervene to restore harmony. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire announced during the weekend that the Senate Appropriations Committee would probably call Foreign Operations head Harold Stassen to explain "capricious" job firings from his agency, in charge of dispensing Congressionally authrorized foreign aid. Mr. Stassen's aides had replied that the firings had occurred only in the course of following rules set by Congress. The Bridges announcement was interpreted in some quarters as reflecting animosity on the part of some Republican Appropriations Committee members toward Mr. Stassen, who had been subjected to unsympathetic questioning from fellow Republicans on previous visits before the Committee. Some Republicans believed he was grooming himself to run again for the Republican presidential nomination, and it was said that only Senator Edward Thye of Minnesota, among the 12 Republican members of the Committee, would be sympathetic to such a venture. Senator William Knowland of California, the Majority Leader, indicated that he would oppose a proposal by Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana to make the chairmen of 15 regular legislative committees, members of the Senate Republican Policy Committee. Senator Capehart said that he did not believe it to be any move to cut the Majority Leader's power, but other Republicans said it was viewed as an attempt to distribute that power, in part, among Senators who had not supported the President's nomination in 1952.

The Defense Department indicated that the Army might be the hardest hit of the three branches when budget recommendations would be made for the 1954-55 fiscal year. A report of recommendations by the Joint Chiefs was anticipated within a week or two, and no estimates could be provided until that point.

A Congressional study group reported this date that deeper cuts in the Federal payroll were indicated, but hinted at surprises in store when the number of foreigners hired overseas was disclosed. The report, released by the Joint Committee on Reduction of Nonessential Federal Expenditures, chaired by Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, showed a continuing drop in the officially reported number of civilians employed by executive agencies and the armed services at home and abroad, with a net decline during the month of August of 24,302, after a net reduction of 14,926 the prior month.

In New York, it was anticipated that the special three-man board of inquiry, appointed the previous week by the President with directions to provide him a report by this date on the East Coast longshoremen's strike, would issue that report, triggering the Justice Department in seeking, pursuant to Taft-Hartley, an 80-day injunction of the strike, during which attempts would be made to resolve the wage dispute. Leaders of the striking International Longshoremen's Association had said that they would instruct their members to obey any such court order. An estimated 50,000 to 60,000 members of the union from Portland, Me., to Hampton Roads, Va., were involved in the dispute, which had resulted in the strike beginning at midnight the prior Wednesday. Some big trans-Atlantic passenger liners had been diverted from the strike-bound ports, and it was estimated that the strike was costing New York Harbor 1.5 million dollars per day. The board of inquiry had held hearings on Saturday and spent the previous day preparing its report.

In London, Vice Admiral Gordon Campbell, famous hunter of German submarines during World War I, had died at age 67. He had been awarded the Victoria Cross and two Distinguished Service Orders, Britain's highest military decorations. He had won his fame as a commander of the secret "Q" ships, which were armed submarine hunters camouflaged as freighters.

Also in London, the Countess of Harewood gave birth this date to a boy, who became 14th in line of succession to the British throne. Keep the faith, kid. Only 13 need to predecease you, and you have the royal scepter, replete with all its perqs, to wield. Study carefully Richard III.

In South Hill, Va., an Army sergeant and his wife saw both of their babies die the previous day after returning from an afternoon fishing trip, finding the infant children, ages four months and 17 months, near death in their car, where they had been locked in for safety. By the time they reached South Hill for medical assistance at the Camp Pickett post hospital, both infants were dead. The coroner said that the younger child, a boy, apparently had died of suffocation, and Army authorities said they would investigate the death of the girl. The couple said that they and another couple had locked the two children in the car on the bank of a lake at Kerr Dam the previous day while they had gone fishing, leaving one window of the car open slightly and the car parked within sight of where they were fishing. The sergeant said that he saw the older child moving in the car on several occasions, and then noticed that there was no movement, prompting them to return to the car to investigate.

In Kansas City, the wealthy parents of a six-year old boy, who had been kidnapped the prior week from his Catholic school by a woman who told the nuns that she was the boy's aunt and that his mother had been hospitalized, still were hopeful that he would be returned safely, though having heard no word from the kidnapper. The FBI might officially enter the case this date, as under the Lindbergh kidnapping law, it could do so on the seventh day following the kidnapping, based on the presumption that by that point, the victim had been taken across state lines. The FBI, however, had not indicated its plans. The police had stayed out of the matter, at the request of the parents, who were privately seeking to locate the child.

Hurricane Gail remained almost stationary over the Atlantic this date, nearly 2,500 miles southeast of the Florida mainland, having moved very little during the weekend.

In Raleigh, State officials prepared this date to begin work on the 50 million dollar school building bond issue and the 22 million dollar mental hospital construction bond issue, both of which had passed overwhelmingly in the Saturday election. Governor William B. Umstead and other State officials needed to decide when and how the bonds would be sold.

On the editorial page, "Better Jail Administration Needed" indicates that a coroner's inquest into the death, by apparent suicide, of a man while incarcerated at the City jail had turned up no evidence of foul play, but had raised serious questions about the way the jail had been operated in the past. Four deaths had occurred there recently, indicating lack of adequate supervision. It also finds that it was incredible that the body of the young man who had died had been removed from the jail, taken to a funeral home and embalmed, before an official determination was made by a regular physician as to the cause of his death. A detective, acting as coroner in the absence of the regular physician, testified that he told the ambulance driver to take the body to the hospital for determination of death, but the funeral home representative said that he recalled no such instructions.

It indicates its hope that the special committee presently studying the City Police Department would recommend improvements in the operation of the jail, to provide prompt medical attention for any prisoner in the advanced stages of intoxication, to ensure covering of the overhead bars from which the man in question was said to have hanged himself, and to maintain such a close check on the prisoners that they would have no opportunity to hurt themselves or other prisoners. It indicates that if the committee were to fail to do so, the Mecklenburg County grand jury, on its own initiative, ought conduct an investigation of the four deaths in the jail with a view toward preventing similar deaths in the future.

"Tar Heels Reaffirm Faith in Their State" indicates that the overwhelming margin by which North Carolina voters had approved the 72 million dollar bond issues for public schools and mental institutions the prior Saturday had reaffirmed faith and confidence in the state, even if the total vote was small. The measures had passed by a six to one margin for the schools and nine to one for the mental institutions, proving that the needs of both groups were close to the hearts of North Carolinians. In 1949, the voters had approved a 50 million dollar bond issue for schools, the same amount approved the prior Saturday for schools, and during the ensuing three years, local school districts had voted for an additional 110 million dollars of bond issues. If the present bond issue resulted in the same local initiative, it finds, the gap in school needs would be substantially reduced by 1957.

"No Need for Manufacturers' Tax" indicates that the controversy over possible Administration sponsorship of a national sales tax or of a general manufacturers' excise tax would increase rapidly as the 1954 midterm elections approached. The President's comments on those possible sources of revenue at his press conference the previous week had begun a new wave of speculation regarding them. He had repeated his opposition to a national sales tax, indicating that the Treasury Department believed that such a tax belonged to local municipalities, but did not answer directly the question anent the excise tax, commenting that the Administration advisers were still working on the tax program and that it would be equitable. Democrats were interpreting those remarks as suggesting probable sponsorship of such an excise tax. Republicans were contending that the Democrats were erecting strawmen. The piece finds the back and forth rhetoric indicative of the coming midterm elections.

It suggests that the only difference between the national sales tax and the manufacturers' excise tax was that the latter was hidden, and that there were already too many hidden taxes, thus favoring, if such a regressive tax was required at all, placing the tax on retail products rather than at the manufacturing level. It finds, however, that neither tax ought be necessary, as there were plenty of sources of revenue to be found elsewhere, such as in the oil depletion allowance, giving oil drillers a 27 percent write-off for dry wells. There were also certain types of corporate organizations which ought be first in line for elimination of tax loopholes.

"Effective Weapon against Speeders" indicates that the 1953 General Assembly had passed a new law providing for a mandatory driver's license suspension for speeding in excess of 70 mph, and that now that the law had been in effect for a few months, the results were beginning to show. In September, the State Highway Patrol had reported that 1,199 license revocations and 965 license suspensions had occurred, with the majority of suspensions resulting from the new law on speeding. The Patrol was also planning to use a new type of "double-whammy" to record the speeds of passing cars, which, along with older radar equipment, would extend the coverage of the Patrol.

Patrol commissioner Ed Scheidt, formerly of the FBI, and his patrol officers, it indicates, were to be commended for their intensive efforts to reduce speeding, especially at high speeds, suggests that the driver who traveled at a rate of 70 mph or higher was deliberately and callously putting the lives of other persons in grave danger and that the full measure of the law ought be applied against that driver.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Challenge to Adventure", asks whether future stenographers might be recruited from the ranks of present six and seven-year olds, indicating that they might if a five-year old from Springfield, Illinois, was any indication. The Associated Press had reported that a child had come home from her kindergarten after an hour of attendance, expounding to her mother on her disillusion that they did not teach shorthand or typing, only things for little kids, like blocks and sand.

The piece indicates that it knew a young boy who had returned from his first day of school to report to his mother that he did not care about going back because after a whole day, he had not even learned how to read.

It observes that despite such zeal for learning by youngsters growing up in the atomic age, there were more young students entering the schoolrooms this month than were departing them, with the nation's schools overburdened with 30 million children, reported as the largest enrollment on record, producing a shortage of 70,000 teachers just in elementary schools.

"Yet can this era offer a single adventure more challenging than teaching these young learners—tomorrow's adventurers into space—the indispensable rudiments they must master before they can face an unlimited future?"

Drew Pearson indicates that the Russians were now ahead of the U.S. in at least one phase of hydrogen bomb research, a conclusion reached by U.S. atomic scientists after analyzing air samples from the initial hydrogen bomb detonation by the Soviets the prior August 12. The nature of the development could not be discussed in the column out of concern that it might reveal secrets to a potential enemy. The primary result of the discovery was that the Atomic Energy Commission had drastically revised its previous estimate that Russia was two years behind the U.S. in developing hydrogen weapons. It was now determined that they were not reliant solely on stolen secrets and retracing of the steps of U.S. research, but were ahead. U.S. physicists had discovered a new, cheaper way to produce the hydrogen bomb, to produce the fission trigger for it and to drop it while enabling the dropping airplane to clear the area before the bomb's detonation. The new developments meant that the next hydrogen bomb test could probably be conducted with a B-36 bomber rather than detonated from a tower, as in the Eniwetok test of the previous November 1.

Following Vice-President Nixon's recent speech in St. Louis to the AFL convention, he was given a luncheon by its leaders, at which his reception was cordial, in contrast to the tepid reception of his speech before the rank-and-file. He had been charming, at one point turning to former Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin, who had recently resigned contending that the President had reneged on his pledge to forward to Congress 19 amendments to Taft-Hartley, saying that he and Mrs. Nixon would miss Mr. Durkin and his wife, expressing the hope that when they were in Washington in the future, they could get together. Mr. Durkin replied that it was nice of the Vice-President to suggest such a meeting, but that he had been living in Washington for about 20 years and was still living there.

A scheme to cover part of the desert of Saudi Arabia with aluminum foil had been revealed to Foreign Operations head Harold Stassen recently, and he had fallen for it. The plan was proposed by Reynolds Metals Company, manufacturers of aluminum and aluminum foil, and entailed covering certain areas of Saudi Arabia with foil to reflect the sun and reduce the ground temperature. The company also conceived the installation of an aluminum sprinkler system to water part of the Arabian Desert. It proposed that the U.S. finance the program as part of Point Four technical assistance to underdeveloped countries. Previously, that program had been chiefly one of education regarding practice of new techniques in industry and agriculture, rather than expenditure of large sums of money. Nevertheless, Mr. Stassen had agreed to finance the project with Government money, until his engineers persuaded him to change his mind, pointing out that the salt content of the water in Saudi Arabia was so high that it would soon corrode and clog aluminum pipes in such a sprinkling system, as well as make impractical the spreading of aluminum foil over the desert. Mr. Pearson notes that inside the Point Four program, there was complaint that Mr. Stassen had been sending taxpayer money to promote U.S. business, rather than training personnel in underdeveloped countries. It appeared that Mr. Stassen was willing to back almost any business venture which came along, giving private business the profits while the taxpayers took the risk.

The public's recent loss of interest in odor-killing chlorophyll was a blow to some farmers who had planted heavy stands of alfalfa, a ton of which was necessary to make a few pounds of such chlorophyll. But since the novelty of the product had worn off, chlorophyll output had been drastically cut.

U.S. cotton textile exports had dropped 14 percent below those of the previous year, after the U.S. had been the world's leading exporter of cotton textiles the previous year, now trailing Japan and England, with India being fourth, close behind the U.S.

The threat of a New York dock strike had boosted prices of foreign farm imports, including pepper, coffee and cocoa.

John C. Davis, who had recently resigned as an assistant to Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, had told Wisconsin farmers that the Government would not renew price supports on butter when they expired in March, that he believed the Secretary regarded them as "nonsense". But when asked about the statement, Mr. Benson had replied without comment.

Stewart Alsop indicates that such concern had arisen among European allies regarding the possibility of U.S economic instability that they had been assured by Dr. Gabriel Hauge, special economic adviser to the President, that no serious economic setback was anticipated and that if any threat of a depression developed, the Administration would take immediate and vigorous action to deal with it. Dr. Hauge had been sent by the President to represent the U.S. at a recent meeting of the Organization for European Economic Cooperation, at which he realized that the Europeans were more worried about the danger of a U.S. depression than about Soviet aggression. The British recalled that even a slight decline in the U.S. economy in 1949, hardly noticed by most Americans, had come close to bankrupting Britain, and the other European nations were almost equally aware of the potential for such disaster.

Dr. Hauge was repeatedly asked whether there would be a depression in the U.S., whether the Administration's economic policy was increasing the prospect, and whether, if a depression threatened, the Administration had a plan to deal with it. According to a reliable report, Dr. Hauge had responded that at some point prior to the end of 1954, there was likely to be some kind of "readjustment" in the economy, which meant a downturn, possibly accompanied by a temporary increase in U.S. unemployment, as had been the case in the 1949 downturn. He informed the Europeans that by the end of 1954, it was likely that the economy would again reach a new high, with continued growth, albeit at a somewhat slower rate than in recent years since the war. He was less concerned about a decline in the stock market than by such portents as the reduction in capital investment and, moreover, the decline in farm income. He pointed out, however, that business activity remained at a boom level, and that the prospect of tax cuts would provide consumers more money to spend. He also said that the Administration believed in expansion of the economy and would do everything it could to promote it, that it also did not believe in taxation through steady inflation, but that it would not fight inflation after it was already dead. He said that the Administration had no intention of ignoring a depression threat if it arose. Those assurances had allayed the fears of the Europeans, who viewed a Republican Administration as a possible throwback to the time of President William McKinley at the turn-of-the-century.

Dr. Hauge explained that an easier credit policy, centered on reduced interest rates, was the first line of defense, and if it were not enough, the Administration would fall back on incentive tax and fiscal policies, such as industrial expansion stimulated by large tax write-offs in the defense industries, which had served the purpose in recent years. There was also a backlog of needed public works built up during the war and subsequent years, which could be undertaken to prop up a sagging economy, as during the New Deal.

Mr. Alsop finds that if Dr. Hauge's statements reflected Administration policy, the Administration would not permit the U.S. economy to founder, and his answers had reassured anxious Europeans, and, he observes, ought also reassure anxious Americans.

Marquis Childs indicates that Secretary of State Dulles, shortly after assuming the post, had asked to see regular reports compiled by the CIA, regarding acceptance by the American public of Government policies, for prior years covering the State Department and the policies of his predecessor, Secretary of State Acheson. The reports showed that the acceptance level had never been above 30 percent, and, in consequence, Mr. Dulles took it as his first duty to attempt to rebuild confidence both in Congress and in the public, before trying to establish treaties and the like with foreign nations. His associates believed that he had to say certain things and undertake certain steps to rehabilitate the Department and public opinion during the previous eight months. Many in the Department believed that he had gone about it in the wrong way, but the Secretary's stock was nevertheless rising in the estimate of Americans as well as among Europeans. For instance, the popular triumph recently in the West German parliamentary elections of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer's moderate coalition, with the virtual exclusion of the extremes of both right and left, had provided a big push to the European Defense Community concept of a unified army for West Germany, France, Italy and the Benelux countries, stalled for some time, primarily over the distrust of France for the rearming of West Germany.

Robert C. Ruark, in Munich, in the sixth of seven columns regarding the fall in morale among U.S. occupation forces in West Germany under the command of Maj. General Kenneth Cramer, recalls again the General's troubles at Camp Pickett in Virginia in 1951, when he was publicly accused of underfeeding, underhousing and undercherishing his 43rd Division of the National Guard, which had a fine combat record in World War II. Some of the men had told inspectors and reporters that but for food packages from home, they would have starved, and complained that their leaves had never been longer than 36 hours. Their wives and families were prohibited from entry to the post, and they were required to wear their helmets and sidearms at all times. They blamed General Cramer for the problems.

The General told Mr. Ruark that his division had been rushed into activation, with the admonition to prepare in a hurry for a top-secret mission, and that he had some 10,000 raw recruits to train as quickly as possible. He also explained that he was never the commanding officer of Camp Pickett and never issued the order denying wives and families access to the post, but rather said that there were inadequate facilities for them. Furthermore, the standby orders for overseas combat duty complicated matters. He recalled that when he was a first lieutenant in World War I on the Argonne front, he had been given command of a relief detachment of raw recruits who could not even clean, aim or fire their rifles, leading to large slaughter of the men. He had made up his mind at that point that no man under his command would ever again enter combat without a thorough indoctrination to the realities of war. He had determined at Camp Pickett that morale was less important than proper training unless the men were at the front, and said he was pleased to receive letters from some of the men after they had been sent to Korea, thanking him for his rugged indoctrination of them. He said of the food shortage that it developed out of investigators and reporters visiting his division while on field maneuvers, when the chow was sketchy.

Mr. Ruark indicates that in his interview with the General, he had spoken seriously, as if he thoroughly believed himself, but some had said that his transfer as commander of the 43rd Division in Germany the previous year had resulted directly from the problems he had encountered at Camp Pickett, and that morale under his command in Germany had never been any better. Mr. Ruark says that he had no way of knowing how to measure acts when discipline became tyranny, unless the act was cut more clearly.

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