The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the Chinese Communists celebrated their New Year's Day in Korea this date by starting a five-hour battle near "Old Baldy Hill", temporarily cutting off allied troops.

In the air war, a Sabre jet pilot from Texas, Royal Baker, subsequently to become a Lt. General, was credited with downing an enemy MIG, his 10th such kill, making him a double-ace, the kill having occurred in a dogfight between 17 Sabres and 27 enemy jets, near the Yalu River.

Secretary of State Dulles assured that the Administration would consult with Congress and the country's allies before making dramatic moves in the Pacific, taking the heat out of much of the Democratic criticism which had arisen over the President's statement the prior week of intent to remove the Seventh Fleet from Formosa, prompting many Democrats to wonder whether it portended a new Far Eastern policy which might broaden the Korean War to include Communist China. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama, who had raised such concerns the prior week, said that he was now satisfied that the new Administration had slowed down what he had been afraid was about "to develop into a headlong rush into war". He said that the Administration was now displaying "a sharpened sensitiveness" in trying to work out foreign policy with the country's allies. But Senator Wayne Morse had said before the Senate the previous day that the "liberals" had to stop talking about a honeymoon with the new Administration, that the fight was already on "between liberals that seek to protect the American people and reactionaries who seek to exploit the American people for the selfish interests of the few". He exhorted liberals to fight "in the streets, and the alleyways and on the housetops". He said that his comments had been prompted by the appointment of 55 business executives to survey foreign operations of the Mutual Security Administration, in charge of dispensing foreign aid. He quoted radio commentator Frank Edwards, that one of the executives going to France was the vice-president of the First National Bank of Boston, which handled 101 million dollars of MSA funds, that among the group going to Belgium was an executive of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York, which handled more than 421 million dollars of MSA funds, and that a member of the team going to the Philippines was an executive of Bank of America, which handled 388 million dollars in MSA commitments.

Spain was reported this date to have raised its price for an air and naval base agreement with the U.S., after agreements covering development and use of bases in Spain by American forces and providing for U.S. economic and military assistance to Spain on a limited scale had virtually been completed the previous year under the Truman Administration, though negotiations had lagged toward the end of the year and final details had not been completed. It was reported that Spain was now pressing demands previously rejected by the U.S., including that the 125 million dollars in financial aid, voted by Congress, be provided without strings attached, that the U.S. undertake modernization of the Spanish Army, which would entail a large-scale military aid program, and that the U.S. would guarantee Spanish security in a virtual alliance. There was no indication that the Eisenhower Administration was prepared to accept those conditions or to change in any substantial manner the previous U.S. proposals, that the 125 million in aid would be provided in exchange for use of the bases.

In Wiesbaden, Germany, General Lauris Norstad called for "drastic reduction of aircraft accidents" in the U.S. Air Forces in Europe, and ordered all commanders to increase their personal supervision of flying activities. The announcement came following the crash of a C-119 transport plane on a routine mission in Germany the previous Tuesday, in which five airmen had been killed.

In New York, former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, who had been defeated by General Eisenhower in the November election, would make his first major address this night since the campaign, at a $100 per plate Jackson-Jefferson Day dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel to raise funds for the DNC. The theme for his address had not been announced. The speech would be televised over CBS at 9:30, lasting for a half hour, and then would be rebroadcast over the CBS and NBC radio networks. Other speakers at the dinner would include Eleanor Roosevelt, Senator Lyndon Johnson, and former Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn. DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell said that party leaders from more than 30 states and 75 members of Congress from 20 states would attend the dinner. Governor Stevenson had announced the previous night that he would leave on March 2 for an air and sea voyage around the world, hoping to visit Korea sometime in March. He made clear that he would be traveling as a private citizen for his self-education.

In New York, Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Augustus Hand turned down a defense request to stay the executions of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, convicted of providing atomic information to the Soviets, pending another application for Supreme Court review, which had earlier been rejected. Federal District Court Judge Irving Kaufman, who had presided over the trial and sentenced the defendants to death, indicated that he would set an early execution date, possibly within a few weeks, after the first date of January 14 had been postponed pending the petition for Presidential commutation, rejected earlier in the week by President Eisenhower, never considered by President Truman.

Meanwhile, former Attorney General James McGranery confirmed that the Vatican's apostolic delegation had come to him the previous December to discuss communications received from Pope Pius XII, stating that he had received numerous communications seeking commutation of the sentences and that he felt it appropriate to bring it to the attention of the Justice Department, without entering into the merits of the cases. Mr. McGranery said that there was no appeal from the Vatican on behalf of the Rosenbergs, but only a statement that the Pope had received such communications. No papers or records had been submitted by the apostolic delegation.

The Administration the previous day had weakened allocation controls on steel, copper and aluminum, and promised to end them completely, except as necessary for protection of defense requirements, by June 30. Price controls remained on the metals, but all price controls were set to expire on April 30. The new order was greeted with delight by spokesmen for the automobile industry, which was now relieved of a 1.5 million limit per quarter on passenger car production. One informed observer, however, noted that while not much difference would appear immediately, buyers would find more metals on the free market during the second quarter. The controls had gone into effect in January, 1951, about six months after the start of the Korean War.

In San Francisco the previous day, a group of independent retail gasoline dealers raised the price by one cent per gallon, and major oil companies indicated that they would follow suit, in the wake of the removal of price controls on most petroleum products.

Near Tokyo, a fireworks factory exploded this date and Japanese police reported that there were 21 known dead, at least 23 injured, 110 nearby homes destroyed and 150 damaged. The victims were primarily women and girls.

In New York, the 19-year old woman who was the State's star witness against Mickey Jelke III in his trial for having allegedly hired out three high-priced prostitutes, of whom the young woman claimed to be one, to support him while he awaited his margarine inheritance, had testified, according to the defense in the closed trial, that she had attempted suicide at one point the prior May, but the defense indicated that it was the result of an infatuation with crooner Alan Dale, who indicated that he had spurned all of her offers for a date. A suicide note left before she took an overdose of sleeping pills was introduced into evidence the previous day, and testimony indicated that she was in the apartment of comedienne Martha Raye when she attempted the overdose, staying overnight at the invitation of Ms. Raye after a chance encounter at a nightclub. The suicide attempt had once been attributed in published reports to her vain love for the defendant, but the defense indicated that the suicide note made it clear that it had to do with Mr. Dale, who said that he had met her the previous March in Miami Beach when they frequented the same hotel swimming pool, and guessed that she had developed a crush on him.

In Lancaster, S.C., a Methodist minister, 50, shot and killed himself at his home the previous day, according to the sheriff, and two hours after his body was discovered, a female member of one of his congregations also shot and killed herself, following a visit by her husband with the family of the deceased preacher. The minister had been an Army chaplain in World War II, during which he was involved in 13 months of combat duty in Europe. He was a graduate of Wofford College.

In Monroe, N.C., a 19-year old prisoner in the Union County Jail, who had been a trusty, opened cell doors and escaped, along with five other prisoners, shortly after midnight this date. The sheriff, his wife and small son had been asleep in the living quarters of the two-story brick jail at the time. The eight men who had not been freed had begun to cry out and woke up the sheriff. None of the escapees had yet been apprehended. The trusty who had opened the cell doors had been serving a three-month sentence for driving on a revoked driver's license.

In Bismarck, N.D., the State Senate passed a bill the previous day prohibiting sale of candy cigarettes, and another outlawing dancing in the dark, the first bill on the premise that it would eliminate things which tended to encourage young people to start smoking, and the second, on the reasoning that some dance halls were so dark that one could not see who was dancing nearby and that it enabled people to drink without being seen. What if someone next to a dancer in the dark was smoking a candy cigarette?

On the editorial page, "The Monopoly of Mediocrity" tells of the failure of the public school system to provide maximum opportunity for gifted children, having long been a concern of thoughtful educators, stretching as far back as Thomas Jefferson, in 1779, who urged that the "best and most promising" young people in Virginia ought be sought out for advanced education.

Dr. Edgar Knight, Kenan professor of educational history at UNC, had cited other such advocates in his article, "School and Society", including the superintendent of the Elizabeth, N. J., schools, William J. Shearer, who, in 1897, had written in the Atlantic Monthly that the organization of the schools discouraged provision of adequate attention to the more promising children, such that "in chain-gangs are the bright and the slow bound and forced to move at the same pace." Henry Chauncey, president of the Educational Testing Service, had warned in 1952 that "lockstep" procedures in education were delaying the development of critical skills, urged that all pupils be permitted to proceed at their own pace. Dr. Knight had said that educational institutions of all types had to learn that they were not retreating from democratic ideals by paying more attention to the proper education, rather than mechanical training, of teachers, and by providing closer attention to the more able students, the only method of escape from the "monopoly of mediocrity".

It reports that the Central Curriculum Council of the Charlotte school system had begun a study to determine what could be done locally to provide better opportunity for more gifted students, a move which it finds encouraging. It hopes that the members of the Council would not be deterred by any consideration that it was undemocratic to pay special attention to exceptional children, that equality of educational opportunity was not synonymous with identity of educational opportunity, urges that the Council should concern itself with development of the talents of each student to the maximum degree.

"The Shoe, on the Other Foot, Pinches" indicates that one reason the European army pact had not been ratified was that the Belgian Constitution had first to be amended to provide such a European army authority over Belgian troops, a process which required dissolution of the Belgian Parliament and new general elections, in which some legislators would inevitably lose their seats.

It suggests that if the same were true in the U.S. and a European foreign minister then entered on the scene to tell the country to get moving or else, there would be a hue and cry set up in the press and in Congress. Thus, the adverse reaction to Secretary of State Dulles's recent visit to Europe, so urging, was not a surprise.

It points out that 62 Senators had endorsed Senator John Bricker's proposed constitutional amendment which, effectively, would restrict the nation's authority to enter into international agreements, the exact opposite of that being sought in the European pact. It finds, therefore, that the Senators were not practicing what they preached, and that more reflection on the problems posed by a European union should create more understanding in the U.S.

"Britain and Egypt Get Together" comments on the apparent settlement between Britain and Egypt of the problems of the Sudan, which Britain had controlled since 1899 under an arrangement with Egypt, and that regarding the presence of British troops in the Suez Canal Zone, both of which Egypt had wanted clear of British influence for some time. The British had agreed in principle to withdraw all of their troops from the Suez, and in the Sudan there would be a plebiscite, enabling the Sudanese to determine their own future, whether to become independent, to join the British Commonwealth or Egypt.

It finds the two progressive steps to be helpful to the West in its effort to maintain the Middle East within the Western sphere and out of the Soviet orbit. The agreement would remove the two greatest thorns spurring on the nationalist anti-British propaganda in the country, with the chance of ending Egypt's technical state of war with Israel, while strengthening the new regime of Premier Mohamed Naguib. It finds that the new accord would likely help to stabilize political conditions generally in the Middle East.

"Economic Gospel" tells of Tennessee legislators having scrutinized University of Tennessee textbooks, including Theodore Morgan's Introduction to Economics, noting a statement therein that the "expansion of debt at a rate sufficient to absorb the nation's savings" was both "sound and necessary", that it was ridiculous to contend that debt in general had to be repaid, as in repayment of debts, there would be complete economic paralysis.

The piece thinks that the professor's theory was unsound, even though practiced on a bipartisan basis by the Federal Government as if it agreed with such a theory. Democrats wanted to spend and tax, and conservative Republicans wanted to cut taxes rather than balance the budget or reduce the debt.

But the Chattanooga News-Free Press had regarded the textbook quote as an example which should never be taught in a university and urged discontinuance of the text's use. It had allowed that students should be able to study such theories, but not to be indoctrinated by the author's ideas as "gospel". The piece suggests that with a healthy diversity of economic doctrines, from Adam Smith to Marx to Raymond Moley and John Maynard Keynes, college students had enough sense to arrive at thoughtful ideas, and restrictions on the thoughts to which they were exposed would only produce dull citizens and poor economists.

A piece from the Arkansas Gazette of Little Rock, titled "Buzz without Bite", tells of the West Sussex Beekeepers' Association, of Chichester, England, recently having developed a stingless bee which would not swarm, its principal use being for the classroom, to teach beekeeping.

The piece finds the prospect heartening, and proposes, along the same lines, a barkless dog, a howl-less cat and a nagless wife. It finds that there were untold opportunities in the realm and hopes for further developments in the scientific community.

Dr. James Bryant Conant, former president of Harvard, just confirmed as the new U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany, has his first annual report as president of Harvard reprinted, regarding academic freedom and the charges against institutions of higher learning that some faculty members should be fired for what they said or taught. He indicates that charges ranged from there being members of the Communist Party on the faculty and staff to teaching economics in a way designed to convert students to a political doctrine of nationalization of industries or support of socialistic schemes for health insurance. He indicates that he was inclined to think that the proponents of such "ridiculous" charges were receiving a wider hearing than at any other time in recent history.

He suggests that part of the problem was the fact that the public entertainment business, in the form of organized sports on college campuses, had caused public scandals, leading to public suspicion of colleges. Another reason was the deferral of college students from the draft. He had been among a group of college presidents who had proposed in early 1951 universal military service, a suggestion not followed by the Congress. Instead, Selective Service had put forth regulations designed to keep college students in school and provide exemptions to most scientists and engineers, producing popular resentment.

He admits that a few professors in some universities had made foolish public statements, out of an earnest desire for an immediate peaceful settlement with the Soviet Union. To most in the college community, their attitude had been unrealistic, but he counsels realization of the fact that until recently, the U.S. had been allies with the Soviets, and that it had taken a long while for many to become fully aware of the problem with the Communist Party in the United States.

He hopes that the Government would ferret out staff members of universities who were engaged in subversive activities, but that it should not create an atmosphere in which professors would be afraid to speak freely on public issues. Outside of the classroom, professors spoke and acted as private citizens, and what their views might be, whether wise or foolish, were of no concern to the university administration, provided the professor was not acting illegally.

He indicates that he had said many times that he would not be party to the appointment of a Communist to any position in a school, college or university, that there were no known adherents to the Communist doctrine on the Harvard staff, and believes there were no disguised Communists present either. He also indicates, however, that even if there were, damage far greater would be done to the spirit of the academic community by an investigation by the university aimed at finding a crypto-communist, than the conceivable harm which such a person might do.

He admits that some professors did hold unpopular political opinions, but asserts that it would be a sad day for the country for the tradition of dissent to be driven off university campuses. The freedom to disagree, to quarrel with authority on intellectual matters and to think, had made the nation what it was. The present industrial society had been pioneered by persons who were dissenters, challenging orthodoxy in some field, and the global struggle against Communism turned on that very point. The independence of each college or university would be threatened were government agencies of any sort to begin inquiries into the nature of instruction. The colleges of the country had nothing to hide, but their independence was of supreme importance. "One need hardly argue this point in view of the dramatic examples of what occurred under the Nazi and Fascist regimes as well as what is now going on in totalitarian nations."

Drew Pearson, in Paris, indicates that after Secretary of State Dulles had met with French Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, the former had sent an optimistic cable to the State Department, reporting that he and the French, who had previously been the stumbling block to ratification of the united European army pact, had found common ground of agreement. M. Bidault, however, had told members of his own staff that it would be very difficult to secure ratification of the pact. Mr. Pearson goes further, based on his observations in Europe, regretfully predicting that the pact would not be ratified at all unless there were changes so drastic as to practically nullify it. As it was the first priority on the agenda of a foreign policy for the new Administration, such a defeat would be a serious blow, not only to the President, especially since he had spent more than a year in Paris as supreme commander of NATO working toward the goal of unity, but also because it would undermine the potential for peace in the world and the safety of the ensuing generation.

He indicates that there were three main reasons for the setback, the first being that French relations with the U.S. had sunk to their lowest point in years, the second being that both the U.S. and France had failed to prepare public opinion for French-German unity, with the U.S. not having made the French people understand the advantages of a united European army or of burying the hatchet with Germany after 80 years of inimical relations, and finally, that France was going through a period of isolationist debate and introspection similar to the U.S. debate over the League of Nations in 1920, immediately following World War I, and to many Frenchmen, joining the united European army meant the surrender of the nation's sovereignty. The French Foreign Minister who had first proposed the united European army, Robert Schuman, was now out of office and had lost part of his popularity. The Communists opposed the pact, as did the Gaullists, who opposed cooperation with either the U.S. or Germany, as did many sincere members of other political parties who argued that under the pact, France could not even send an army to North Africa or Indo-China without permission of the joint European high command. More important than anything else, the French distrusted Germany, dreaded the prospect that it might seek a return to military power, was wary of Nazism lurking just around the corner.

He indicates that the most serious blow to Franco-American friendship had been a Life magazine editorial which compared Marianne, the symbol of France, to a slattern, provoking an immediate torrid response within the French press, with even pro-American papers blasting the U.S. The reaction had been worse than from General Eisenhower's statement during the Chicago convention the prior July that the French were half atheist. And, unfortunately, the statement in Life had been linked openly to the Eisenhower Administration, as Life writer Emmett Hughes was a member of the White House staff, and sister publication Fortune director C. D. Jackson had been named to the new Commission on Psychological Welfare, while publisher Henry Luce had been a heavy Eisenhower supporter and his wife, Clare, had just been named the U.S. Ambassador to Italy.

In addition, Secretary Dulles had remarked that France had to ratify the European pact by April 23—later amended to April 1, a deadline which actually only assumed progress to be made by the date, not actual ratification—a statement good for home consumption in the U.S. but causing great consternation in France, where the people saw it as an ultimatum.

Had it come to light, incidentally, that Secretary Dulles had told the French that, acting on explicit instructions of the President, aid would be reduced, regardless of progress toward ratification of the pact, unless they first announced publicly that they were conducting an investigation of Governor Stevenson regarding his use of a fund collected by private donors to supplement the salaries of certain appointed Illinois State officials during the early part of his term as Governor in 1949 to attract qualified members of the private sector to public jobs at considerable reduction in salary, well, we could have expected the House to react rapidly with articles of impeachment against the new President, and that any responsible, conscientious Senator would have spared the country a trial in the Senate by immediately going to the President and indicating that, regretfully, his lack of political experience had proved fatal to his Presidency and, for the good of the country, he would need publicly to express a mea culpa and resign, in favor of Vice-President Nixon.

But in 2020, under similar circumstances, with a bunch of morons among the Republicans in the Senate, possibly the dumbest, most short-sighted, purely partisan body of Senators ever assembled at once in the history of the country, no such thing occurred, and the "President" will continue to limp along after his "acquittal" for another eleven months, before finally being turned out of office unceremoniously by the American electorate, that is, provided the Democrats do not snatch defeat from the jaws of victory through too much internal bickering and the rather silly desire to find somebody "new who can beat Trump". Hey, wake up, callow young voter. The Democrats beat Trump in 2016. Don't forget it. The only thing needed this time differently is stress on those traditionally Democratic areas, such as Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan, not carried four years ago for the first time in more than 20 years. Thus, the question for Democrats to determine, unaffected by the irrational gropings of their Trumpie friends, is who among the Democrats will have the broadest appeal to the demographic middle of the country, not who will provide the most extreme opposite positions to Trump, the candidate the Trumpies want most as an opponent. That is, unless the Democrats desire a repeat of 1972.

The difference, dumbbell Trumpies, by the way, between our above hypothetical and that which former Vice-President Biden did in 2015, under the direction of the Obama Administration and with the concurrence of NATO allies and the International Monetary Fund which threatened to withhold 40 billion dollars in aid for the same reason, to be rid of a corrupt prosecutor who refused to pursue corruption in the Ukraine, and between the latter and that which Trump undertook unilaterally in 2019, is not the presence or absence of a quid pro quo, aid dollars for a favor, but rather the presence or absence of corrupt intent by the fact of offering exchange of an official act exclusively for some personal benefit to the official, not, in the particulars of the "favor" sought, in pursuit of any official policy of the State Department or the country's allies in the region. Try to get it through your thick skulls.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that the prior Tuesday would likely go down in history as the first major turning point of the Eisenhower Administration, as the hard fact had come into focus that there was no easy solution to the problems of the Far East. It appeared that the President and the State Department had not foreseen the consequences of withdrawing the Seventh Fleet from Formosa, with the perception that it would "unleash" Chiang Kai-shek, resulting in a lot of wishful thinking about miraculous ways to humble the Chinese Communists and end the Korean War.

As a result of such wishful thinking, the President had instructed General Omar Bradley, Joint Chiefs chairman, to testify before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday, following the statement by Secretary of State Dulles the same day. The latter contented himself with comments regarding his tour of Western Europe, having nothing of substance to say about the potential for a blockade of the Chinese mainland coast. General Bradley had stated that international law forbade a blockade without a declaration of war by Congress against China, which would eventuate in the U.S. fighting alone and the Korean War greatly expanded. He also said that the blockade could not include British-held Hong Kong without a declaration of war on Britain, but could include Port Arthur and Dairen, since those ports, though occupied by the Soviets, belonged to China. He had further indicated that such a blockade would divide the country from its allies and invite reprisals, prompting perhaps the Chinese to increase the air war in Korea, as they were presently capable of doing, possibly bombing Formosa, which had no serious air defense, possibly attack Hong Kong or cut off its supplies, or attack the American bases in Okinawa and Japan, which were weakly defended. Furthermore, Chinese submarines might attack the American blockading vessels, and the Soviets might also intervene openly pursuant to the terms of the Sino-Soviet pact. Additionally, such a blockade would be relatively ineffective if maintained offshore, that only an inshore blockade, cutting off the coastal shipping which constituted Communist China's main internal lines of communications, would have an impact. Finally, and most important, a blockade would inflame the Chinese, and require mobilization of the entire mothball fleet, to maintain such an inshore blockade.

The Alsops point out that Admiral Arthur Radford, who had ostensibly made statements supporting such a blockade, had been grossly misquoted, as he had actually taken almost the same position as General Bradley, that a blockade was a practical expedient but only as part of a much broader effort, appearing to be the predominant military judgment.

Marquis Childs indicates that nothing in a long time had troubled the conscience of the Senate more than the nearly unanimous vote of Republicans and Democrats to deny Senator Wayne Morse his important committee assignments, after he had switched from being a Republican to an independent during the presidential campaign. Senator Morse was unlikely to allow his colleagues to forget that vote.

Northern Democrats, who voted with Republicans and Southern Democrats, were troubled by having violated an old Senate precedent guaranteeing the rebel his rights and privileges regardless of party ties, and Senator Morse had said that was what they had done. Senator Clinton Anderson had argued that a solution fair to everyone would have been for the majority party to assign members of splinter parties to committees on which they were entitled by seniority to serve. To prevent Senator Morse from holding the swing vote in the case of closely drawn committees on party lines, such committees could be enlarged to provide one or two additional Republicans.

Senator Morse might have asked for forgiveness for having withdrawn his allegiance to the candidacy of General Eisenhower and thrown it to Governor Stevenson, but it was not within his makeup to do so. Nor was it conceivable for Senator Taft to hold out an olive branch to him.

By contrast, new Senator Price Daniel of Texas, though he had supported General Eisenhower in the presidential race, nevertheless maintained his status as a Democrat and was given a spot on the Interior Committee, where the off-shore oil question would be of direct concern to Texans.

The Northern Democrats obtained their choice spots on Foreign Relations, Interior and other important committees, before the vote on Senator Morse came to a showdown, resultant of the skillful management of new Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson. Senator Morse accused the Northern Democrats of being under the thumb of the Republican-Southern coalition and surrendering their independence in return for committee assignments.

In the end, Senator Anderson was one of only six Democratic Senators who voted for giving choice assignments to Senator Morse. The other four were Senators Estes Kefauver, Russell Long, Harley Kilgore and Matthew Neely. The lone Republican was Senator Charles Tobey. The final vote was 81 to 7 against Senator Morse.

Senator Morse, who saw himself as a symbol of independent spirit in the Senate, complained that it was the first time since 1871, regarding the case of Senator Charles Sumner, that a similar action had been taken against a member of the Senate.

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