The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 18, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Sabre jets had this date destroyed seven enemy MIG-15s while screening two air attacks by 379 fighter-bombers against an enemy tank and infantry training center near Pyongyang. During this date and the previous four days, 35 MIGs had been destroyed or damaged, with 14 destroyed, five probably destroyed and 16 damaged.

Along the frozen front, there was little ground action, with only brief skirmishes in below-zero temperatures.

Associated Press correspondent Olin Clements reports from aboard the carrier U.S.S. Valley Forge that the Navy had maintained an effective blockade all along the entire Korean east coast. In response to his asking whether such a blockade of the coast of mainland China would work, the men of the Navy indicated the belief that it would harm Communist China's war potential, as there were hundreds of Chinese junks, plus vessels of foreign origin, delivering war materiel to Chinese ports and that the Navy could probably interdict the bulk of the traffic. The Nationalist Navy, with only 80 small warships, was not sufficient for the task. The Nationalists had proclaimed port closure of the mainland coast three years earlier, but it had been ineffective. The blockade of Korea had completely suppressed coastal traffic, according to the commander of U.S. Carrier Division 3 in the Sea of Japan. Yet, the Communists were still able to provide tremendous supplies to front lines via land routes. Korea, prior to the war, had a network of good highways and railroads, and the enemy had used that network to good advantage. Communist China, by contrast, had few good roads and rail lines, with the bulk of its shipping done by sea, river and canal. Thus a coastal blockade would hurt the Communist Chinese badly. Communist China had no navy of any consequence, but, as warned by the Navy commander, the Russians might provide them with submarines, as they had planes and guns.

The progress achieved by medical science during the years since World War II was reflected in the Korean combat zone, according to two noted U.S. surgeons, Dr. Paul Sanger of Charlotte and Dr. Edward Churchill of Boston and Harvard University, who had just completed a two-week inspection tour of military medical installations. The two physicians had served together in the Mediterranean-North African theater of operations during World War II, both achieving the rank of colonel, and compared care during that war with the current war in Korea, finding that surgeons were now well-trained, that there was an adequate supply of blood for use early in the recovery process, and that there was rapid evacuation of battle casualties by helicopter, plus adequate supplies of antibiotics. They especially praised commanders for their support of the military medical program in Korea and were especially impressed by the U.S. Navy hospital ships and the ship supplied by the Danish Government, which served as floating forward mobile hospitals, rather than merely as a transport service for the injured. They also commented on the use of longitudinal insertions of pins in fractured bones, and the transplanting of veins and repair of arteries, which had greatly reduced the toll of amputations.

At the U.N., Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., called a strategy conference of the U.N. allies in Korea, apparently to discuss plans for a U.N. General Assembly meeting the following Tuesday, excluding India, which had only a medical unit in Korea. Some allied diplomats commented that discussions on Korea were long overdue, that the U.S. had been taking too long to inform its allies of its plans for the Assembly, at which the war in Korea would be a top issue.

The President this date named James Dunn, who had been Ambassador to France since the previous March, and prior to that Ambassador to Italy, as the new Ambassador to Spain, and Karl Rankin, as the Ambassador to Nationalist China, the latter having been in charge of the Embassy at Taipei since August, 1950.

Senator Joseph McCarthy told his Senate Investigations subcommittee this date that Eleanor Roosevelt had helped to arrange Government circulation of some writings by leftist author Howard Fast. The Senator called Mr. Fast as a witness before the subcommittee, and the writer then refused, on the basis of his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination, to say whether he was or had ever been a Communist. The Senator also said that Secretary of State Dulles had countermanded an order issued by a subordinate on February 3, which the Senator said directed that "special credibility" should be placed on writings of Communist-endorsed authors, including Mr. Fast, in overseas anti-Communist propaganda broadcasts by the Voice of America. The Senator also said that some of Mr. Fast's writings had been given distribution by Army services and the State Department, in addition to the help provided by Mrs. Roosevelt. A Voice of America official, Stuart Ayers, assistant head of the Voice's Latin American division, had testified to the subcommittee that he suspected, but could not prove, that there had been a "premeditated, planned attempt" to remove the teeth from anti-Communist propaganda broadcasts by the Voice to Latin America.

The Administration lifted price controls on milk, butter, ice cream and other dairy products, as well as on drugs, cosmetics, coal and most service charges, such as those for automobiles, and radio and television repairs. Price Stabilizer Joseph Freehill said that those items decontrolled in the new list affected about 10 percent of the cost-of-living index. Tobacco products were not included, though the previous day, the Office of Price Stabilization had indicated that they would be decontrolled, but instead decided to substitute milk, dairy of products and margarine.

The Senate Agriculture Committee this date decided to ask Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson to testify soon on farm policy. He had been under attack by some Democratic Senators for inaction in the face of falling farm prices, but was defended by Senator George Aiken of Vermont, chairman of the Committee, who said they wanted to clear the atmosphere.

The House Ways & Means Committee voiced disagreement this date with the President's policy of placing spending cuts ahead of reductions in taxes, saying in a report to the full House that a tax-cut had to precede budget reductions to avoid economic consequences. The previous day, at his first press conference, the President had again urged the opposite, though not saying whether he would veto a tax-cut bill. He did say, however, that he would not tolerate a cut in Government revenue without substitutes. Sources on the Committee said that they had heard that the Treasury was considering asking for a temporary increase of two percent in the regular income surtax on corporations, as a substitute for the excess profits tax, set to expire at the end of June. Chairman of the Committee, Congressman Daniel Reed, however, said that there would be no tax increases of any kind during the year. The report of the Committee also stated that the excess profits tax should be allowed to expire on schedule.

In Raleigh, bills were introduced in both the State House and Senate to make it illegal to join a secret society, secret political society or secret military society for the purpose of "resisting or circumventing the laws of the state". It would forbid any person over the age of 16 from entering any road or public way or public property, or to enter the home of any person, while "wearing a mask, hood or device" to conceal the person's identity or disguise their voice. It would also forbid disguised persons from holding demonstrations or meeting on the property of others without obtaining a permit from the owner and filing it with the register of deeds. It would further forbid the burning of crosses on another person's property without permission. Violation of the law would be a misdemeanor, punishable at the discretion of the court. The law was obviously designed to get at Klan activity, after a reign of terror by the Klan had been uncovered in Columbus County in 1951 and 1952, consisting mainly of floggings. The law had been drafted by Solicitor Clifton Moore, who had directed the prosecution of Klan members in that county, saying that existing law did not cover a lot of the problems they had faced in the prosecutions.

State Senator Fred McIntyre of Mecklenburg County proposed a measure to the State Senate, under which the same depletion allowance for mines and gas and oil wells would be allowed in the state as under the Federal tax system, that is 27.5 percent of gross income from oil and gas wells, 10 percent for some minerals and 15 percent for others in mining, with a cap of 50 percent of gross income.

Bob Hope indicates why laughter had power, saying that he had once been in Shreveport, La., when a minister offered him his pulpit to deliver a sermon on "God and Hollywood", prompting him to explain that in his business, success was measured by "yocks" versus "boffs", explaining that the former were little laughs and the latter, great big ones, that if he got up in front of the minister's church, he might unconsciously be seeking the boffs. They let the matter drop, but afterward, during a nightmare, he found himself in a pulpit wherein the laughs were "rolling down the aisle shaking the dignified old rafters." He told a friend of the dream and his friend had asked what was wrong with it, that laughter had spiritual value, as observed by John Donne 400 years earlier, when he said: "Religion is not a melancholy, the spirit of God is not a dampe!" Mr. Hope indicates that he had a point, that laughter had a constructive power, transforming unbearable tears into something bearable or hopeful. In 1944, during U.S.O. Camp Shows overseas, he and Frances Langford had seen humor lift a whole ward at the service hospital at Pearl Harbor. A nurse had related that one airman, who had been pulled out of a B-17, had not spoken a word for weeks, and so when they got to that end of the ward, he said that Ms. Langford would sing them a song, and that it was for the individual pointed out by the nurse, whose eyes were hidden by bandages, at which point Ms. Langford began singing "Embraceable You". As she moved closer to the man, she realized that he had no arms, and she stopped singing. For a moment everyone stood silent, stunned. A couple of the patients laughed when Mr. Hope tried to create a diversion with humor. Then, the patient, who had not spoken for weeks, said to Ms. Langford that it was okay and not to worry about it. Mr. Hope suggests that laughter could overcome self-pity, self-justification, and self-importance, restoring the will to live. He says that the comedian could not take much credit because people insisted that they were funny, as the comedian became a habit. Sometimes people laughed at Mr. Hope before he opened his mouth, even if they could not see him, as they would laugh at somebody at the mere mention of their arrival, if they had laughed at them previously. The audience wanted new jokes but not too much change. When he entered a service hospital with men harnessed to contraptions, they expected him to say, "Don't get up, fellows." "The power of laughter lies in its ability to lift the spirit. For laughter cannot exist with clipped wings. It cannot be dictated to. It must be spontaneous and free as the air you breathe." He concludes that it was the special property of free men in a free land to be able to laugh at anything or anyone, especially themselves.

On the editorial page, "We Need a Better Driver Insurance Law" indicates that North Carolina was one of six states which had grossly inadequate financial responsibility laws for motorists, with two out of every three vehicles being driven by persons without liability insurance. The law provided that a driver had to furnish proof of financial responsibility only after the driver's license had been suspended for failure, during a period of more than 60 days, to pay a judgment of more than $50 arising from an accident, or after the driver's license had been suspended or revoked for certain serious infractions. But there was no way to ensure financial responsibility before the driver got into trouble.

It proposes that the remedy was to have either a universal plan, in force only in Massachusetts, whereby every car owner was required to have liability insurance before registering the vehicle, or the "security" plan, in force in 41 other states, with the provisions of the North Carolina plan, plus the requirement that every uninsured motorist, after an accident, had to deposit security with the commissioner of motor vehicles in an amount sufficient to satisfy judgments for damages. In those states which had adopted the latter plan, the number of insured motorists had risen from between 30 and 35 percent to as high as between 85 and 90 percent.

The previous week, a State Senator had introduced a bill to adopt in the state the "security" system, and the piece finds it a considerable improvement over current law, but observes that even under such a system, there would still be a considerable percentage of drivers who would be unable to provide financial responsibility in the event of an accident, as they might not have adequate assets to provide the necessary deposit. Thus, it favors the system under which proof of liability insurance was required prior to vehicle registration. There were problems, it points out, with this system, in that damage awards might be increased by juries, knowing the extent of insurance coverage, thus increasing insurance rates, but that some of those problems might be met with limits on the amount of damages which juries could provide.

"A Frank, Reassuring News Conference" indicates that the President had acquitted himself well the previous day in his first press conference. He had not once resorted to "no comment" to dodge questions, had, on at least one occasion, told reporters that he would have to look up the answer to a question before providing it, which he promised to do subsequently in writing, and did not put his foot in his mouth. During a 13-minute question and answer period, he answered every question put to him. Many of the reporters present wanted to prolong the session, because there had been no press conference by Mr. Eisenhower since the previous September during the campaign. But if they had been unhappy by the brevity of the session, they had to be impressed by the President's quick grasp of large issues, in great contrast to his fumbling and stumbling job while a candidate.

It believes that the President's performance had reassured several groups, those who had been disturbed by recent speculation that a blockade or embargo of China might be imminent, which the President indicated was not presently being considered by him; farmers, by his recognition of the seriousness of the problem of declining farm prices; and those who had been concerned about the prospect of a too quick tax reduction, with the President saying that he continued to urge Congress not to lower taxes until the budget was first balanced. He had left the impression that the excise taxes and other taxes slated to expire during the year had to be renewed or replaced to preserve the revenue thus lost. The previous day, the Administration had announced that Democratic members of Congress would be invited to sit in on both foreign and domestic policy talks.

It concludes that, in sum, the Administration appeared to be laying a sound foundation after less than a month in office.

"It's Good for Ford, and the U.S.A." paraphrases, with respect to Ford, that which former G.M. president Charles E. Wilson, now Secretary of Defense, had said of G.M. regarding U.S. defense, as G.M. was the primary defense contractor. It bases the assertion on Henry Ford II's recent statements in Chicago to the Inland Daily Press Association anent trade and the need for elimination of all tariffs as quickly as possible, with some gradual reductions in hardship cases involving industries which would be seriously affected by the move. He proposed complete abrogation of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act and the outmoded Reciprocal Trade Agreements, riddled with exceptions. He also favored abandonment of the quota system, under which only a fixed amount of product could be imported into the country, the Buy American Act, and the enactment of a workable law for simplifying customs procedures, all with an eye toward increasing international trade, bringing billions of dollars to foreign countries by just a two percent increase of U.S. imports, meaning far less U.S. aid necessary abroad.

Mr. Ford indicated that increased foreign competition was good, forcing, for instance, U.S. contractors to squeeze the gravy out of their bids on Government contracts, translating to savings for taxpayers.

He also favored removing the ten percent tariff on foreign imports of automobiles.

His grandfather, Henry Ford, had followed the same philosophy of free market trade, when in the 1920's, at a time when automobile dealers were protected by allowing them to have restricted areas to which they could sell, Mr. Ford had removed those artificial barriers and allowed the Ford dealers to sell to any and all customers, with the result of increased competition and increased sales.

The piece concludes that the Ford philosophy worked, and would work on an international scale if the new Administration and Congress would apply it.

Robert M. Hallett, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, indicates that there was continuing religious persecution of Protestants in Colombia, with one group, representing 17 Protestant mission groups, reporting more than 150 cases of religious persecution in that country during 1952, including the murder of seven Protestants, destruction of three churches, bombing of six churches and missionary residences, stoning of 12 churches, imprisonment of 40 Protestants and closing of 12 schools by the Government. The group had indicated that Catholic priests had been involved in 35 percent of the cases while Government officials and police were involved in 58 percent.

A prominent U.S. Catholic leader had suggested that three American social scientists be selected to investigate the charges that the Catholic Church in Colombia was engaged in widespread persecution of Protestants and missionaries, that they spend 3 to 6 months in Colombia making a study of the situation. Another group had suggested a conference between Catholics, Protestants and the Colombian Government, with attendance by representatives of the U.N., the U.S., Britain, Canada and the press. That organization had criticized the attitude of the State Department for failing to take a stand on the matter because it was considered an internal Colombian affair. But it was pointed out that the State Department had taken a stand announcing the persecution of Catholic priests and laymen in Bulgaria and had arranged a conference between Protestants and the Italian Government during the recent closing of churches in Rome.

Some Colombian Catholics attributed the incidence of persecution to response to fanatical missionaries and overzealous converts. According to a member of the Colombian hierarchy of the Catholic Church, every case of persecution involving a priest had been investigated by the highest ecclesiastical authority, and thereafter, there was no record of a priest being implicated a second time. Colombian Protestants conceded that some of their missionaries arrived in the country without sufficient knowledge of Latin patterns of thought and that their evangelical zeal at times contributed to misunderstanding. But a respected Presbyterian churchman in Colombia said that the hostility of the state church against his denomination was as strong as against the more militant evangelists. The Board of Missions of the Methodist Church charged that some of the persecutions had been fomented by priests, and indicated its readiness to cooperate with other groups to bring the matter to the attention of the U.N. and the State Department.

The American Catholic lay Journal, Commonweal, in an editorial a few months earlier, had condemned both the Colombian persecutors and their apologists in the U.S., that no matter what the provocation was, there was no room for persecution. The secretary for Latin America of the Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions had recently said that the Catholic Church's paradoxical position on the question of persecution served only to weaken the cause of freedom all over the world and hurt the interests of the Catholic Church as well as that of all churches.

Drew Pearson reports on General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of NATO, who had the unenviable task of trying to pull the organization together and have it meet its 50-division military goal. But in the way were so many American diplomats that they often worked against one another, and that if the Western Europeans did not like General Ridgway's demands for arms cooperation, they would go over his head to NATO Ambassador William Draper, and that if they did not like the latter's advice, they would go to Deputy Ambassador Frederick Anderson or to Ambassador Livingston Merchant, in charge of NATO political problems, and so on down the list, playing one diplomat off the other. There was also the problem of a divided French Army, split between loyalty to General De Gaulle, who was not in command, and the French Government, which was in command. In addition, there was the problem of allied representatives on the NATO Council, especially the British, constantly muddying the defense waters. When General Ridgway had made a speech before the Council, urging greater speed in building airbases, barracks, radar installations, and other such facilities, Lord Ismay, the British representative on the Council, along with other civilian chieftains, refused to let him publish it, as they did not want European populations to know how drastically they were cutting General Ridgway's proposed budget on such essential installations for the defense of Europe.

General Ridgway's tough and realistic policy had been a sudden change from General Eisenhower's charm and diplomacy, after the latter's departure from the position the previous June to run for the presidency. It took someone like General Eisenhower to bring the European nations together, but it also now took someone like General Ridgway to make them face facts. The General had been sending discouraging reports to the Pentagon, pointing out some of the glaring deficiencies in European defense. These messages had been carefully worded so as not to reflect on General Eisenhower, but he reported that while the NATO nations were recruiting 50 combat divisions, no provision was being made for service troops, so that in the event of a Russian attack, it would be left to the individual 14 member nations to furnish supplies over extremely tangled supply lines. He also reported that the supply centers were wide open to air attack, and that no provision had been made for handling refugees who had clogged military routes and bogged down defending armies when Hitler had attacked.

Mr. Pearson concludes from his observations, during his recent trip to Paris, that the 14 NATO nations were definitely working together in an effort to pool their armies and were stationing foreign troops on their soil, unprecedented in peacetime, and that despite all of the problems, such cooperation could lead to complete cooperation for peace and, should it happen, war.

Marquis Childs indicates that the efforts of the Eisenhower Administration to effect a return to normalcy were taking the form of gradual elimination of price controls and complete elimination of wage controls, with some allocation controls on production removed, except for those necessary for defense. Yet, running counter to this notion of freeing up the economy was the increasing threat of a third world war, as noted by intelligence estimates and by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who had an uncanny knack for predicting war, as he had in the years just prior to World War II.

The new estimate was partially based on Russia's recent campaign of anti-Semitism, as recently manifested by the Soviets' termination of diplomatic relations with Israel, ostensibly triggered by the bombing of the Soviet Embassy in Tel Aviv, injuring several Russians, but actually having transpired over the course of time, as demonstrated by the recent indictments of several doctors in the Soviet Union, most of whom were Jewish, on the charge of having allowed certain Russian officials to die. The reason for this policy was to try to drive the West out of the Middle East and its rich supply of oil, while appealing to the Arab states. The Middle East contained up to 100 billion barrels of oil reserves, the greatest in the world, five times that of the U.S. Without it, Western Europe could not exist, unless all of the oil reserves in the U.S. were devoted to propping up that region, which would mean that all U.S. automobiles would have to leave the road.

In August, 1939, when the Soviet-German non-aggression pact was formed between Hitler and Stalin, the latter had imposed one condition, that Russia would have a free hand in the Middle East, the violation of which had broken the pact in 1940.

A diplomat who was familiar with Communist maneuvers and machinations had indicated, in the wake of the November U.S. election, that the Russians viewed the election of President Eisenhower in the same way as when General Kurt von Schleicher had been elected through a conservative coalition as Chancellor of Germany in 1932-33, just before the rise of Hitler and his plan of world conquest. To the Russians, the new President was in the same role of General von Schleicher. Though the concept seemed inconceivable to Americans, it reflected the distorted view which the Communists had of the U.S.

The Eisenhower Administration was trying to move forward toward a peacetime economy, but the danger signals across the world had to produce some anxious reflection even as the controls were being lifted.

Frederick C. Othman indicates that ultrasonic sound was now being used for a whole host of tasks, including cleaning of clothes, cutting of grass, killing of mosquitoes, mixing of paint, pasteurization of milk and scraping of burnt pans. The $39.50 supersonic clothes washer was being manufactured in Chicago and people who had observed it had come away amazed. It worked on the principle of sound vibrations in the water, at the rate of 400,000 per minute, knocking the dirt from the fibers of the clothes. The Detrex Corporation of Detroit produced an industrial cleaning machine to take grease off nuts and bolts and remove scale from steel plates, based on the same principle, using an electrical transducer made of a special ceramic.

The military had long been conducting supersonic experiments, and had mentioned the possibility of using ultrasonic sound to cut grass by spraying it with sound or to kills mosquitoes.

Mr. Othman summons his dog, on whom his ultrasonic whistle had never worked, to take a supersonic bath.

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