The Charlotte News

Friday, February 13, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied soldiers had repulsed seven enemy attacks and killed or wounded 200 enemy troops across the front this date in Korea.

In the air war, three B-29s followed up a Naval strike with 30 tons of bombs dropped on Wonsan, on the east coast. Planes from the carriers U.S.S. Kearsarge and Philippine Sea reported destruction of eight supply buildings and damage to four others at Wonsan the previous day. U.S. Sabre jets encountered no enemy MIGs in northwest Korea this date.

The Senate Foreign Relations Far Eastern subcommittee questioned Secretary of State Dulles on the Administration's new Formosan policy this date, under a tight lid of secrecy. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, the subcommittee chairman, issued a statement saying that there would be no announcement as to what had taken place in the executive session.

Mr. Dulles, on nationwide radio and television broadcasts the previous night, stated that "there is a good chance" for formation of a European Defense Community, and that he hoped that "concrete evidence" of progress would be forthcoming promptly. He had cautioned that the alternative to formation of European unity was considered weak by the President, that the security of Europe and to some degree, that of the U.S., against Russia depended upon the successful accomplishment of the undertaking.

The Senate Armed Services Committee awaited the return of General James Van Fleet, who had just retired from command of the U.S. Eighth Army on Tuesday, to obtain details of his impressions of whether a general offensive would succeed in Korea. He had told journalists earlier in the week that he believed such an offensive would succeed at the present time and would not broaden the war beyond Korea.

In Coral Gables, Fla., a mother who was notified that her son was missing in action had written the President and the Florida Congressional delegation urging to get the boys home, saying that she hoped that other mothers throughout the nation believed the same thing and would join in a letter-writing campaign to their Congressmen. The woman also had another son in service, stationed in San Antonio, Texas.

In southern Japan, an Air Force amphibious air rescue plane crashed, killing all eight Americans aboard, including an Army sergeant, his wife, a nurse and five crew members. The plane crashed into the side of a hill or mountain, the cause not yet having been determined.

In Britain, Belgium and the Netherlands, the effort continued to combat high tides this date as Britain, aided by the U.S., airlifted sandbags to shore up critical levees on the east coast. Many of the coastal areas had been evacuated after the flooding which took place between January 31 and February 2, and elaborate warning systems had been put into place. This time, however, numbing cold accompanied the threat of high tides, which would reach their peak the following Monday afternoon, the threat to recede at the end of the following week. The strengthened walls were withstanding the sea thus far in Britain in the danger areas of Kent, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Yorkshire and Lincolnshire. Ice and snow continued to hamper road and rail traffic in northern England and Scotland. The French port of Le Havre had its third snowfall of the winter, the first time that many had occurred in 50 years, with snow falling as far south as Marseille.

In Vatican City, it was reported that Pope Pius XII had intervened on behalf of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg to try to stop their execution following their 1951 convictions for giving atomic secrets to the Russians. President Eisenhower had declined on Wednesday to commute the sentences, and a new date for execution at Sing Sing Prison was expected to be set within a few days. An Italian Communist Party newspaper had printed an article asserting that the Pope had been indifferent to the matter, and the statement in response by the Vatican newspaper stated that the Pope had intervened to the extent he could, given that there were no official relations with the governing authorities in the U.S.

In New York, the 19-year old woman, who claimed to have been one of three high-priced prostitutes hired out by defendant Mickey Jelke III to support him while he awaited his margarine inheritance, told reporters this date that the defendant had beaten her scores of times but that she would not leave him because she was very much in love with him. Her flamboyant, aging lawyer had told reporters that it amounted to hundreds of times, but when a reporter suggested that such a number would average more than one per day during the entire time she was together with the defendant, he gruffly corrected himself, saying that it would be scores of times. One of the lawyers for the defendant said that there had been no testimony regarding beatings, and that the defendant denied ever laying a finger on her, as she was twice his size. Meanwhile, five New York newspapers and two press associations were seeking before the superior court to have lifted the judge's ban from the trial of the press and public.

The U.S. Parole Board announced this date that it had denied parole to Benjamin Davis, one of the convicted top 11 American Communists, serving a five-year sentence, following his conviction under the Smith Act. He had become eligible to seek parole after completion of one-third of his sentence.

The Eisenhower Administration was expected to start this date dismantling production and materials controls, with the Office of Defense Mobilization slated to announce an easing of the allocation controls on steel, copper and aluminum.

In Raleigh, teachers and State employees who had been hopeful of obtaining retroactive pay increases during the ensuing few weeks received bad news from the Governor's office this date, that they likely would not obtain a 10 percent salary increase until after the end of the current legislative session. The Governor had recommended such an increase retroactive to the prior July 1, and there had been some sentiment among the legislators to grant the raise immediately rather than forcing the teachers and employees to have to wait until the end of the session when the regular appropriations bill was passed. The Governor had informed the General Assembly, however, that a special appropriations act before passage of the regular spending bill would violate the executive budget law unless there were an emergency, which the Governor said could not be justified.

A bill to propose a statewide referendum on whether the State would pay a bonus to North Carolina war veterans was introduced in the State House this date, albeit with the legislator introducing the bill saying that he would not fight for its approval. Sentiment in the Legislature, as well as among veterans groups, had been cool to the idea. The bill included a one percent per bottle tax on soft drinks and a one dollar per gallon increase in taxes on beer, wine and whiskey, as a means to pay for the bonus.

In Valentine, Nebraska, Mrs. Nebraska Valentine, a schoolteacher in Baughman, Ky., was contacted by a committee planning the annual Valentine's Day celebration, after it had seen her name in a college alumni list, indicating that the committee was preparing a special Valentine for her. The town had, per the usual annual glut, received 4,000 incoming pieces of mail, to obtain the town's postmark, which consisted of a heart shape with the words, "Saint and city greetings from Valentine, Neb."

On the editorial page, "An Appraisal of the New Administration" finds that most of the appointments by the President appeared excellent, having a combination of administrative ability and intellect. It assesses the Administration's approach to decision-making as good, as there had been no attempt toward turning back the clock, and in the field of Social Security, there was a plan to expand coverage. While recognizing the progress of the past two Administrations, the new Administration also intended a critical re-examination of the social programs and the bureaucracy which had grown up in Washington to administer them. There had been a solid swing away from Government paternalism, in such areas as the release of economic controls, reassessment of defense contracts, and ignoring of pressure groups.

Foreign policy decisions thus far promised dividends in the future. The recent announcement of secret portions of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements would not change the position of the Soviet satellites or cause Russia to evacuate Dairen or Port Arthur, and it was unlikely that Secretary of State Dulles had managed to hasten union of Western Europe, having repeated only what Secretary of State Acheson had said many times, even if in somewhat stronger language. Yet those moves, including the release of the Seventh Fleet from protection of Formosa, had provided the country a psychological advantage in the Cold War. The Soviets, for the first time in the Cold War, did not know what the U.S. intended. But it was also necessary to realize that the Russians might initiate some action at any point in the world, again placing the U.S. on the defensive.

One of the most heartening developments was the improved relations between the White House and Congress, as the partisans of both left and right had recognized the authority of the President, at least for the time being. The Administration's new loyalty program had, for the nonce, partially taken the steam out of Congressional investigations. Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and several of his liberal colleagues had endorsed a mild Fair Employment Practices Commission proposal, which could find majority support. And there might be a middle ground found on numerous other proposals.

It posits that part of the reason for this new attitude by Congress was the restoration of the dignity of the Presidency, dragged down by the "petty actions" of President Truman, in his "bitter feuding with small men", detracting from the dignity and authority of the office, despite his "heroic deeds" otherwise.

It concludes that time and events would test the new President, and that it was too early to compare his performance of a few weeks to that of his predecessors, but finds it a good start.

"New Urgency to Middle East Problem" indicates that Russia's decision to break off diplomatic relations with Israel, based on the bombing the previous Monday in Tel Aviv at the Soviet Legation, had come as no surprise to the world's diplomatic observers. The bombing, apparently the work of anti-Communist terrorists, had been denounced by the Israeli Government as a "dastardly act", and also by the Israeli press. The Government had quickly rounded up suspects in the bombing attack. Yet, the Russians, in their diplomatic note, disregarded these apologies and charged the Israeli Government with falsehoods and double-dealing, saying that it had systematically fanned hatred against Russia.

Most students of Communism agreed that the current wave of anti-Semitism in Russia was a repetition of the process adopted by Hitler, finding a scapegoat for the ills of the country, a way of diverting attention from the problems and failures of the Kremlin. It was also designed to curry favor with the Arab nations. Israel, with 2.5 million Jews still behind the Iron Curtain, had tried to steer a middle course in the East-West impasse, to avoid suffering by Jews in the satellite countries and Russia. The policy had not worked because it did not suit Russia's purposes. The new turn of events gave new urgency to the formation of a positive policy toward the whole Middle East, which would prevent further Communist infiltration of the region, a crossroads through the centuries of military conquest.

"Judicial Firmness Will Pay Dividends" opines that the certainty of punishment was a greater deterrent to crime than the severity of the punishment, but that certainty plus severity ought provide an even superior deterrent.

Since the beginning of the year, the City Recorder had handed out stiff roads sentences totaling 50 months to six reckless drivers and provided 21 suspended sentences, plus increased the average fine. The judge had been lenient with first offenders unless they were were grossly negligent, but had thrown the book at repeat offenders.

The piece agrees with the approach, as reckless driving had become a major problem in producing accidents, with injury or death resulting. It thanks the judge for undertaking the vigorous new policy.

"State Ranks Low in Farm Telephones" indicates that with 90.4 percent of the farms in the state electrified, it was ahead of the national average of 88.2 percent. But on April 1, 1950, only 8.1 percent of the farms in the state had telephones, second only to Mississippi, with 6.5 percent, as the lowest in the nation. In Virginia, 23.7 percent of farms were equipped with telephones, and in Tennessee, 18.8 percent, with the national average being 38.3 percent in 1950.

The University of North Carolina News Letter, citing those statistics, found that the situation did not make sense, as the state's population, both rural and non-rural, was among the most dense in the country, and public utilities generally profited as population density increased. It posits that it was time for the Utilities Commission to find out what the issue was retarding rural telephone service.

Murray Robinson, writing in Collier's, tells of the comic strip "Pogo" having vaulted into the top ten in the previous two years among the syndicated strips. He provides some details of the story line, for those who follow Pogo. We don't and never have, so you may read it if you do or did.

Drew Pearson, in Paris, indicates that if a vote were taken presently on the united European army pact, it would not be ratified by the French Chamber of Deputies despite the recent trip by Secretary of State Dulles, trying to convince the Western European leaders to ratify it. The fact of French recalcitrance was not a happy prospect, as it was the number one policy goal of the new Administration and was seen as the sine qua non for peace in Europe for years to come.

Mr. Dulles's remark in Bonn, that Germany's borders should not stop at the Oder River, gave the prospect of ratification a bad setback in the Chamber of Deputies, where it was estimated that the remark cost a minimum of 30 votes.

It was believed, however, that the situation might be rectified before the April 23 deadline laid down by Mr. Dulles for substantial progress toward ratification. (He had actually said April 1 toward the end of his tour.) Mr. Pearson suggests that there should have been an educational campaign undertaken to convince the French and German people of the advantages of military cooperation, as the two nations had been inimical to one another for the previous 80 years.

Mr. Pearson had told young French officials, who were discussing their problems with Germany, of having interviewed young Germans who had just escaped from the Communist Eastern zone, comprising the largest group of the refugees. He had told them that they were leaving because they did not wish to join the army and did not want to fight, which came as a surprise to the young French officials, who ventured that there had to be a way to get them interviewed by French radio, to enable the French people to realize that they felt the same way as the French. Mr. Pearson had suggested that the French had a great ally in Berlin, that Mayor Reuter had been so much opposed to war with France that he had been jailed by Hitler, had finally escaped and spent the entire war in exile, similar to many of the men presently running Germany. He had suggested that the French ought invite Mayor Reuter to Paris for an official visit and let the French Government become acquainted with him. The French officials had admitted that the public had no idea that anti-Nazis were currently guiding the affairs of Germany, and agreed that cultural relations, while the most important aspect of alliance, had been the most neglected in foreign affairs presently.

At the last meeting of the NATO information chiefs, the Italian delegate had proposed that the NATO nations combine to intensify their propaganda against Communism, and the previous October, Italian Premier Alcide de Gasperi had personally initiated such a program. The effort had been postponed, however, until revived by the Premier's deputy. But the British had put the brakes on the matter, repeatedly opposing united propaganda efforts to educate the European masses regarding either the goals of NATO or the evils of Communism. What had been surprising was that the representative of the State Department had agreed with the British stand on the issue. Both President Eisenhower and Secretary of State Dulles were in favor of an active propaganda campaign behind the Iron Curtain, the latter having criticized Secretary Acheson's containment policy toward Communism as being too passive. Nevertheless, the State Department information chief had emphatically sided with the British against the Italian proposal.

Marquis Childs indicates that the New Deal had been accused of having continued in power through a formula of "tax and tax, spend and spend, elect and elect," words attributed to Harry Hopkins, FDR's right-hand man, though Mr. Hopkins had denied having made such a statement. Mr. Childs suggests that the Republican formula for remaining in power might be "dig and dig, expose and expose, and elect and elect." Many Republicans would be happy to adopt that motto.

The Senate Armed Services Committee, for instance, was preparing to dig into waste in the Truman Defense Department, involving inefficiency and duplication, not corruption.

When chaired by Democratic Congressman Frank Chelf of Kentucky, the House Judiciary Committee had dug into considerable corruption exposed in the Department of Justice, involving Lamar Caudle, the former Assistant Attorney General in charge of first the criminal division and then the tax division, who testified that he took his orders from then-Attorney General Tom Clark, appointed as Justice of the Supreme Court in 1949. Mr. Caudle had testified that the Kansas City vote frauds case had been called off by Attorney General Clark.

The new Republican chairman of the Judiciary subcommittee, Representative Kenneth Keating of New York, would shortly open hearings again anent the Justice Department, expected to deal with the case of Roy Crummer, who had been indicted in Kansas in 1944 on a charge of mail fraud and violating the fraud provision of the Securities and Exchange Act, involving several million dollars in municipal bonds, the losers on which had been elderly Kansans. The preliminary investigation had shown that the case had been dismissed in Washington after a challenge in 1946 to the validity of the indictment by Mr. Crummer's attorneys had failed on appeal. Mr. Caudle would be recalled to testify regarding what he knew of that case and why it had been dismissed. Mr. Crummer was reported to have influential friends among both Republicans and Democrats, but Mr. Keating had shown in the past that he would resist political pressure.

R. F. Beasley, writing in the Monroe Journal, indicates that Bill Sharpe, in the State Magazine, had provided some enlightening comment on the use and meaning of the word "common". He had given several meanings of the word, some being opposite to one another based on context. Mr. Beasley indicates that the word was one of his favorites because an old friend would sometimes drop in to see him and when he asked how he was doing, he would respond "just common". Thus, for years, Mr. Beasley had adopted the same reply when people asked him how he was doing. But of late, he had found himself defending his use of the term against the perception that he was saying that he lacked social standing or good manners.

He says that the most frequent usage of the word was in relation to a whole people's habits or customs, and only secondarily meant ordinary or vulgar. He does not propose to know how the latter definition came to be, as in England, there was the House of Commons, certainly not referring to anything low or vulgar. Most English statesmen had been born commoners, including Winston Churchill. In America, when reference was made to the common people, it did not mean to refer to a class, but rather implied the great mass of people who claimed no special distinction by virtue of wealth, education, social standing or accomplishment. "And if by chance or talents a man rises to distinction and still retains the mental and social habits of the every day people, we compliment him by saying 'he is common just like everybody else.'"

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