The Charlotte News

Thursday, October 8, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a message from the U.S. State Department, dispatched through the Swedish Government, sought to obtain from Communist China and North Korea a commitment on whether and when they would be prepared to begin the political conference on Korea, that an early reply was "imperative" if the conference was to take place by October 28, as set by the Armistice. The note said that the Communist efforts to have the U.N. General Assembly reconsider its decision against inclusion of neutral nations had been rejected and that there was no reason for the Communists to refuse to get on with the conference, that the U.N. side in the war was ready to proceed in good faith as soon as the Communists agreed on preliminary arrangements.

The U.S. and Britain jointly announced this date that they would turn over their occupation zone in Trieste to the Italian Government for administration "at the earliest practical date". The State Department said that the disclosure was made to stop recent deterioration in the relations between Italy and Yugoslavia, both making claims to the entire free territory of Trieste. Since the end of the war, American and British troops had occupied the zone including the city and port, while Yugoslavia had occupied the remainder of the area.

In Georgetown, British Guiana, British troops landed this date and formed a guard at Government headquarters and at the sugar estates outside the capital, where labor troubles had occurred. Sugar was one of the colony's chief sources of revenue. Leftist Prime Minister Cheddi Jagan, head of the People's Progressive Party, called it a show of force and accused the Governor of the colony, Sir Alfred Savage, of calling for the troops without consulting his elected ministers. The PPP held 18 of the Assembly's 24 seats and the party had been accused by the British of Communist intrigues against the colonial Government. The party was demanding greater self-government for the colony and reduction of the Governor's powers. The Prime Minister denied, in a speech to the Assembly, that the party was plotting against the established rule.

The Agriculture Department this date estimated that the year's cotton crop would be 15,596,000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight each. Officials had said that a crop of more than 12 million bales would create a surplus, requiring Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson to invoke rigid marketing quotas on the following year's crop. The Secretary had to make decision by October 15.

In Kansas City, the FBI continued the search for an alleged accomplice of the two confessed kidnapers and slayers of the six-year old boy, Bobby Greenlease, whose body had been discovered the previous day in a shallow grave behind a house occupied by the two arrested kidnapers after he had been missing for nine days since his abduction from his Catholic school on September 28. The FBI had not yet charged the third person. The FBI was also searching for the missing half of the $600,000 ransom paid by the Greenlease family, as arranged by friend of the family Arthur Eisenhower, brother of the President and Kansas City banker. Some $294,000 had been discovered at the time of the arrest of the male kidnaper, who confessed having conceived the kidnaping plot but claimed that the murder had been committed without his knowledge by the alleged accomplice. He would later confess the killing.

In Maiden, N.C., the search continued for the pair of bank robbers who had robbed the Northwestern Bank branch the previous day, getting away with $2,664. The FBI was now handling the case. This report indicates that the men had escaped in a black Ford. The previous day, conflicting reports said it was either a 1947 Ford or a 1953 Chevrolet. Perhaps, police had shown witnesses pictures of the two very different looking automobiles and narrowed it down to the whalebacked Ford.

In Raleigh, traffic began moving on the new 14-mile section of the U.S. Highway 1 bypass of Wake Forest, Youngsville and Franklinton.

In Moscow, it snowed for the first time during the season and children began playing in it, until it turned to rain.

On the editorial page, "Alcoholism Is an Illness" indicates that while doctors, social workers and persons who had suffered from alcoholism understood it as a disease, communities had been slow to recognize that aspect of it, instead relegating alcoholics to a night in jail, a fine and public ridicule, which only aggravated the problem. A special committee on alcoholism from the Mental Health Clinic Board had appeared before the Mecklenburg County Commission during the week, with the purpose of educating the community to the problem, proposing specifically that a revolving fund of $4,700 be set up to rehabilitate alcoholics. It would be used to send alcoholics to the Butner Rehabilitation Center and to Wilmith.

It points out that similar programs had been put into operation in over 60 North Carolina communities of comparable or larger size and it hopes that the County Commission would favorably consider the recommendation.

"For Greenlease Killers, a Swift Death" indicates the inevitability that the confessed kidnapers and killers of six-year old Bobby Greenlease of Kansas City would receive the death penalty, along with a third implicated accomplice. As indicated, by December 18, after a Federal jury had recommended the death penalty, and the Federal Judge had followed suit to implement it, the man and woman, who eventually pleaded guilty to the kidnaping and murder, were executed. As it turned out, the third individual was not actually involved, but was implicated by the mastermind of the kidnaping because of a prior interpersonal gripe, in an effort to deflect responsibility for the murder.

"A Corruption of American Democracy" indicates that Hartford, Connecticut, with a population of 177,000, had two representatives in the Connecticut Legislature, while the town of Colebrook, with 592 residents, had the same number. Within the U.S., 36 percent of the people lived in rural areas, and yet had 75 percent of the representation in state legislatures, while the 64 percent of the population living in cities only had the remaining quarter.

Congressmen from some states represented unequal numbers of constituents, with Michigan's 12th District, for example, containing 178,000 people, while the 16th District contained 525,000, and in Georgia, the 9th District contained 246,000 people, while the 8th District contained 807,000.

A recent issue of the CIO's Economic Outlook had detailed the inequity caused by the failure of legislatures to redistrict in accordance with the population every ten years. Less than two centuries earlier, the American colonists were upset with Britain for imposing taxation without representation, but that, the piece asserts, had paled in comparison to the present taxation without representation. In New Jersey, for instance, 13 rural State Senators represented only 20 percent of the population, regularly outvoting the eight Senators who represented the remaining 80 percent. That pattern was repeated in many states which disregarded the redistricting requirement. North Carolina's General Assembly had failed to do so in the previous two sessions.

It finds admiration for a recent Florida Governor who had recalled the Legislature into session after it had failed to redistrict in accordance with Florida law. It hopes that Governor William B. Umstead might follow suit. It instructs that failure to undertake those responsibilities ought prompt the people to refuse to return to power those officials who were party to that corruption.

Speaking of representative democracy and its problems, every Trumpie who has a problem with acceptance of President-elect Joe Biden's 7.1 million vote popular majority and 306 to 232 electoral college victory should read this affidavit of a former 40-year State election official in Michigan, assigned as a special adviser to the Wayne County Clerk's Office for the purpose of advising on the 2020 general election procedures, especially paragraphs 18 through 20, in which he explains many of the supposed "irregularities" observed by amateur poll watchers, without proper understanding of Wayne County or Michigan election procedures. He took his time to explain all of the inconsistencies which the amateur poll watchers thought they had observed on November 3 and afterward, explaining them away, one by one, as normal procedures. That same sort of explanation, undoubtedly, accounts for all of the other observations across the country of supposed "irregularities", especially in the other five Trump-contested states, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Georgia, Nevada and Arizona. But when people are recruited as amateur poll watchers and primed with months of stern admonitions by their Fearless Leader to be on the lookout for rampant voter fraud in the election and that the only way he would lose would be if the Democrats stole the election, such persons will read into the most innocent of activity the most sinister of motives governing it, because that was what they were told to expect to see.

For instance, in Pennsylvania, where a popular hue and cry has been raised regarding supposedly only 1.8 million mail-in ballots having been sent out by the State, while 2.6 million voters voted by mail-in ballots, it turns out that this vaunted claim is referring apparently to the mail-in ballots sent out for the June primary election, not the general election, or the number of mail-in ballots requested only by Democrats, both of which numbers were in the vicinity of 1.8 million, 1.94 in the latter category. The Pennsylvania Governor's website stated on October 27, a week prior to the election, that about three million mail-in ballots had been sent out in response to requests for same. And by the way, if you Trumpies are still wondering and waiting for some miracle finish in Pennsylvania, in which the State Legislature would enter the mise-en-scene as the deus ex machina at a stroke before midnight bells to save the day, Mighty Mouse fashion, by overturning the will of Pennsylvania voters in response to a fascist drive in the Legislature to present a last-minute resolution for same, sponsored by 20 members of the State House and five State Senators, a small minority of the General Assembly, comprised of 203 House members, of whom 113 are Republicans, and 50 Senators, of whom 28 are Republicans, then you can stop holding your breath. For the Republican leaders in each body announced on November 30 that they were not going to call the Assembly back to consider any further legislation because the State Constitution requires at least five legislative days to consider any new joint legislation and the legislative term expires by state law on December 3. Surely, the legislators who manufactured this publicity stunt knew that fact last week when they proposed the legislation on November 27, after the "hearing" two days earlier before a small group of Republican legislators, assembled unofficially by those legislators for the purpose of hearing Trump's lawyers' assembled "witnesses" to election fraud, primarily consisting of statisticians who claim that probabilities suggest... Which might include that, at the current rate of progress of the time-space continuum, the universe will fly apart in a few billion years down the road. The sum total of a bunch of zeroes remains zero.

Only five days left, Trumpies, until "safe harbor" day on December 8. Better hurry if you still intend to try to trump the will of the people with your corporate-state induced theories of a "stolen election". Surely you can find one witness in response to that $10,000 or $25,000 or million-smacker reward for verifiable instances of voter fraud, who can withstand the test of scrutiny for five days...

And, incidentally, even actual voter fraud or deliberate tampering with votes, while criminal, is not tantamount to "treason" and thereby subject to the death penalty. Treason is a specific offense defined in Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution as either levying war against the United States, as, for instance, the Confederacy during the Civil War, or giving aid and comfort to a declared enemy—the reason, for instance, that the Rosenbergs were tried in 1951 pursuant to the 1917 Espionage Act and not for treason, as Russia was not a declared enemy but an ally at the time they allegedly passed atomic bomb secrets to them via a conspiracy in 1944 and 1945. Try reading the Constitution, for a change, before speaking off the cuff, based on reckless lies from White House press releases and statements of the Fearless Leader, loose talk which could wind up getting someone hurt or even killed by the loose cannons of the Trumpy-Dumpy-Do gun-toters. Such wild and utterly false statements, especially as stated by a "reporter", border on advocating or inciting violence and thus infringement of the "clear and present danger" boundary to freedom of speech.

If these Trumpie-Dumpy-D'oeuvres cared half as much about getting rid of the antiquated electoral college, no longer serving any of its original purposes, compounded in its anti-democratic underpinnings by the failure of the Congress to expand the House, and hence the number of electors, in accord with each decennial census since the year before the sinking of the Titanic, as they do about supposed election fraud in 2020, then we as a country might actually begin to progress toward a true one-person, one-vote democratic republic. But of course, as we have heard or read voiced among the D'oeuvres, if California and New York are removed from the popular vote, Trump would come close to winning, and that certainly seems logical, democratic and fair, to exclude the votes representative of 50 million of the 320 million people in the country.

A piece from the Shelby Daily Star, titled "Grandma by Proxy", indicates that it always had respect for Grandmama and Grandpapa, "the best friends a child ever had." But it confesses that it had never thought so much of the possibility of a two-way arrangement, as suggested by Dr. Hans Hoff, Vienna psychiatrist, who had told the sixth annual Conference for Mental Health in Vienna that the elderly felt old only when they had no contact with youth, and that given a chance to mingle with youngsters, they soon forgot their years, that when children drifted away from the home, older people lost their sense of belonging. In consequence, in Vienna, there was a program to have single rooms and small apartments for elderly people built near large family apartments in the city's housing projects, enabling children quickly to learn that the elderly next door had more time to give them than their busy parents, were more ready to answer questions and take part in their games, facilitating friendship between the two age groups. The program had worked well to stabilize the mental health of the elderly and also had benefited working parents and their children.

It suggests that the next best thing to being a real grandparent was to be one by proxy, and that next to having one's own grandma to cherish, was to have a neighbor who acted like one.

Drew Pearson indicates that former Congressman Donald O'Toole of New York had made no secret of the fact that he was from Brooklyn and a fan of the Dodgers. But when he had visited the Vatican the previous year, he had not gone out of his way to advertise the fact, not mentioning it when he was granted an audience with Pope Pius XII. But the Pope had been told in advance that the Congressman was from Brooklyn, as he was informed of the hometown of all of his visitors. The Pope then asked Mr. O'Toole what was wrong with the Dodgers, to which the Congressman explained that the Dodgers were as good as ever but had gotten some unlucky breaks and also had powerful competition from the Yankees.

The President would personally respond to Democratic criticism of Republican farm policies in an October 15 address to the Future Farmers of America in Kansas City, his first major farm speech since taking office. He would strongly support Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, who had been having a tough time trying to cope with unrest among farmers regarding falling farm prices, as well with attacks coming from former President Truman and former Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan. The White House wanted to quell the fears of Republican Congressmen from farm states, who were concerned about their prospects for re-election in 1954. The opposition to Secretary Benson within the farm belt had led to speculation that he might be replaced and his farm policies scrapped, but the President intended in his forthcoming speech to put the quietus on those rumors. He wholeheartedly endorsed the Benson program of fewer Government controls and more self-help programs for the farmers. The President would also point out, however, that he did not favor any abrupt elimination of the controls needed to guard against declining farm prices and further recession in the agricultural states. Mr. Pearson points out that Mr. Benson would have a tough time getting any legislation through Congress which was intended to trim price supports, as Republican members of the House Agriculture Committee were as strong for 90 percent parity support as were the Democrats.

It was a good bet, he suggests, that the Supreme Court would become more liberal than conservative under new Chief Justice Earl Warren. Deceased Chief Justice Fred Vinson had been veering rapidly toward the right prior to his death on September 8. Mr. Pearson suggests that Chief Justice Warren would follow in the form of Chief Justice Harlan Stone, who, though a former law partner of John Foster Dulles and originally appointed to the Court as a Justice by President Coolidge, had become one of the most liberal Chief Justices, following his elevation by FDR in 1941, in the nation's history.

Federal Judge Thurman Arnold had recently issued a judicial decree requiring General Electric to dedicate its incandescent lightbulb patents to the public, an action which the Judge had begun 12 years earlier when he had been head of the Justice Department's antitrust division.

Attorney General Herbert Brownell had ordered a wide probe of monopoly in the liquor industry, including his old client, Schenley, which had hired Mr. Brownell when he had been campaign manager for Governor Dewey in 1948, anticipating that he would become the new Attorney General at that time in a Dewey Administration.

George E. Cruikskank, writing in the Wall Street Journal, tells of the Republican platform in 1952 having pledged to restore "sound money, freely convertible into gold coin." The Senate Banking Committee, to that end, was scheduled to start hearings in January on a bill introduced by Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire to restore gold convertibility. That program had been abandoned in 1933 at the beginning of the Roosevelt Administration, in the wake of the Depression and the hoarding of gold, further weakening the dollar. Since that time, gold had not been available in exchange for paper currency, and in 1933, the owners of gold were ordered to turn it over to the Treasury. Subsequently, the U.S. had gone on an international gold bullion standard, whereunder foreign governments and central banks were allowed to turn dollars into the Treasury in exchange for gold, to encourage international trade.

Top officials within the Administration indicated sympathy for the program of returning to gold convertibility, but argued that the present was not the time for it, with Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey and his deputy arguing that before the gold standard could be revived, confidence in the dollar had to be restored through a balanced budget and a more manageable national debt, that to restore gold convertibility first would risk that people lacking confidence in the banks would begin converting their dollars to gold and hoarding it. William McChesney Martin, Jr., chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, was in agreement with the Secretary.

Those officials also argued that in times of international crisis, the U.S. would want to mobilize its 22 billion dollars worth of gold to help finance a war, enabling purchase of the necessary commodities and services from other countries on credit. If gold were made freely available to Americans, the fear of war-induced inflation might cause them to hoard it, making it difficult, if not impossible, for the Government to gather its gold stocks, and with less gold available, unable to obtain as much credit from other nations, forcing payment for foreign goods with the country's domestic production.

Opposition to gold convertibility was also present in Congress. Senator Paul Douglas had headed a committee which studied the question in 1949 and rendered a negative recommendation. The previous year, Representative Wright Patman of Texas had headed a committee which came to the same conclusion. The present Republican chairman of the House Banking Committee, Representative Jesse Wolcott of Michigan, did not want the U.S. to go on a new gold standard alone, but instead had called for an international convention at which he hoped all major friendly nations would unite to back gold convertibility.

Those who would support the bill sponsored by Senator Bridges would argue that convertibility had to be made available if the people were ever to regain control of the public purse, that the people's check on Government spending policies had been lost when convertibility had been terminated. Mr. Cruikskank quotes from an NYU economics professor and the leading proponent of a gold coin standard, Walter E. Spahn, in support of such a theory. But Allan Sproul, president of New York's Federal Reserve Bank, had reminded that there had been an embarrassing practical experience with such convertibility in 1933, when lines of people stormed the Federal Reserve Banking system seeking gold in exchange for their dollars, bringing the entire banking mechanism to a halt. Such convertibility, he said, was no longer exerting a stabilizing influence on the economy, but rather having a perverse effect, exhibiting distrust in management of money by the banking system.

Charles F. Barrett discusses the two opposing views within the Administration regarding defense against Russian atomic bombs. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had told a press conference the prior Tuesday that the Administration planned no new multibillion-dollar air defense system stretching from the Arctic to U.S. soil, as some had proposed, that instead, there would be a build-up in continental air defense, costing about 500 million dollars the following year. He had asserted that Russia would not have the bombs, or planes with which to drop the bombs, to initiate sustained atomic warfare for about three additional years, and that the U.S. was three years ahead of Russia, such that Russia would not start a war it was foreordained to lose.

Furthermore, many other defense officials suggested that no amount of defense would render invulnerable the U.S. from a hydrogen bomb attack, with its devastating potential for destruction.

Some scientists had called for tiers of radar warning networks, guided missiles and interceptor fighter planes, to subject any enemy bombers to constant attack for hundreds of miles before they could reach the U.S., a system with an estimated cost of between 30 and 90 billion dollars over a period of years. They claimed that such a system could be effective in knocking out between 85 and 95 percent of invading planes. But military officials had said that such a plan was based on weaponry which had not been perfected or tested. They questioned the 85 to 95 percent kill rate, and warned that even with the remaining planes getting through, the devastation would be potentially crippling of any U.S. retaliatory effort. They also contended that even if the U.S. were made relatively impregnable, the remainder of the free world would still be vulnerable and the U.S. did not want to be left alone, surrounded by an aerial attack force. They also complained that by the time such a defense was implemented, the jet bombers it was designed to intercept might become obsolete in favor of the potential for guided missiles, submarines or other means of delivering nuclear strikes. They further criticized the plan on the basis that its economic drain would subtract from a retaliatory striking power and development of new offensive weaponry, with consequent heavy deficits, rapid inflation and economic controls.

Those who supported such a continental defense plan contended that no expense was too great to provide the protection of the country. Representative W. Sterling Cole of New York, chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee, had said the previous Sunday on "Meet the Press" that if people knew what he knew, they would not be worried about balancing the budget and lowering taxes but would be willing to pay ten billion dollars more per year to improve air defense. Thus, Congress might decide to nullify the plan put forward by Secretary of Defense Wilson.

Joseph Alsop, in Hong Kong, indicates that Communist China was seeking to imitate the Soviet Union's remarkable feat of turning a backward country into an industrialized power. But China, with its over-population, had neither the empty spaces nor the surplus resources which Russia had. The problems had become manifest, with China's hundreds of millions, who had once welcomed the disciplined Communists as a relief from the disorder occasioned by the Nationalists, now understanding that efficiently administered greed leading to hunger and death was even worse than the previous regime's ineffective practices.

Nevertheless, China had begun a national development program, with its first attention to internal communications and public irrigation works, the latter already in advanced stages on the Huai and Yellow Rivers, with the ruined irrigation system of the rice bowl along the middle Yangtse region having been repaired. There had also been an immense program of road and railroad construction, including repair of the old Burma Road, the railroad from Yunnan Province to the Indo-China border, and the road and rail approaches from Kwantung Province to Indo-China, in some cases including improvements. There had been, in addition, military roads constructed into the wastes of Chinhai and the wild mountains of Sikang Province, the latter, notes Mr. Alsop parenthetically, where the favorite hors d'oeuvre of the half-savage local tribespeople had once been new-born baby rats. Those roads, plus the military roads being built in Tibet, would place the Chinese in a position close to the borders of Nepal and India. In addition, much work had been performed on the Chinese links of the two new Trans-Asiatic railroads which the Soviets were building, to parallel the Trans-Siberian railroad to the south. Trains might be running within two years into Peking from Ulan Bator in Mongolia. The link from Sinkiang Province in central Asia to Chungking at the headwaters of the Yangtze had to cross the difficult terrain of the Tien Shan mountains, and so would take longer to construct.

As that construction program was ongoing, the Communist regime had been conducting an intensive geological survey of its huge land mass, in an effort to locate new resources. Official claims on those prospects could not be trusted, but it was also foolish to repeat the old cliché that China had no natural resources except men. Oil, iron, and coal were present in large quantities, with copper, lead and other vital minerals having been newly discovered or being extracted more intensively than earlier.

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