The Charlotte News

Friday, February 6, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that snow and low-hanging clouds across Korea had brought the war to a virtual standstill this date, with only light patrol activity reported on the ground, and U.S. Sabre jets being the only planes in the air, reporting no contact with enemy MIGs.

In Bonn, West Germany, according to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warned European statesmen this date that unless there were "clear and visible signs by April 1" that the European army treaty would be ratified, the Congress would balk at voting for continued large-scale military and economic aid to Western Europe. Previously, Mr. Dulles had indicated a date of April 20 as the deadline reportedly provided in talks to the Italians, French and British.

The Secretary arrived in the Netherlands this date for first-hand observation of the damage resulting from the nation's flood disaster, the worst since medieval times, and its impact on European defense planning. He assured the Dutch of American aid for their recovery and extended American sympathy for their plight. A fourth of the nation's arable lands had been ruined by encroaching salt water, with more than a million people in distress and damage estimated at around a billion dollars.

The President issued an executive order ending all wage and salary controls this date, and ordered price controls lifted from a wide range of consumer goods, including all meat products. The economic controls had been imposed by President Truman in an effort to stem inflation after the outbreak of the Korean War in June, 1950. The wage-price control law was set to expire on its own on April 30 and the President announced the previous Monday that he would not seek its renewal.

A survey of cities showed that prices on meat, however, were generally below those extant prior to the Korean War in most sections of the country, choice sirloin generally selling in a range between 75 and 79 cents per pound, although in certain cities, commanding a much higher price than earlier, with Los Angeles butchers charging $1.29, in Atlanta, 95 cents, Boston, 89, and Washington, 83. A year earlier, consumers had been paying in most cities 95 cents to $1.08 per pound.

The National Production Authority removed all controls over the use, sale, shipment and accumulation of tin, indicating that improvements in tin supplies had enabled meeting both military and civilian needs.

Senators Everett Dirksen of Illinois and Karl Mundt of South Dakota, both members of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee, urged this date the new Administration to crack down on persons responsible for reported strange disappearances of embarrassing letters from State Department files. Senator McCarthy said that this date would be the last day of hearings in the present phase of the inquiry, but that there would be other sessions in about a week or so. He contended that officials of the State Department during the Truman Administration had condoned "looting" of the files. The subcommittee had heard testimony the previous day regarding the disappearance of a report of a suspected Communist in the U.S. Embassy in Ecuador and other reports on male employees of "unusual morals". Senator Mundt said that he thought the two days of testimony before the subcommittee had shown that "pinks and punks" were protected either through "incredible negligence" or by design in the handling of the files.

A photograph appears of Senator McCarthy chatting with C. David Schine, the 25-year old New York hotel chain executive who had been appointed without pay as chief consultant of the Senate Permanent Investigating Committee which Senator McCarthy chaired. Mr. Schine would become a focal point in the Army-McCarthy hearings the following year, regarding whether Committee counsel Roy Cohn had used improper influence to get preferential treatment from the Army for Mr. Schine, who would be drafted later in the year, in the background of which questions would arise regarding whether Mr. Schine had engaged in conduct involving "unusual morals" in connection with his pal, Roy.

The leader of a tugboat strike in New York which had hampered New York Harbor shipping ordered this date pickets withdrawn from most piers, in compliance with a State court order based on the picketing being an illegal secondary boycott against the passenger and freight shipping lines not involved in the tugboat operators' demands for higher wages. Longshoremen had honored the tugboat operators' picket lines, preventing ships from being loaded or unloaded. The tugboat operators intended to appeal the ruling.

In New York, the press and public were barred from the trial of Mickey Jelke III, 23, accused of employing three high-priced prostitutes to support him while he awaited his margarine inheritance, as the State's first witness, a 19-year old woman who claimed to have been one of the three prostitutes, began her testimony. The judge barred the public and press because of the age of the witness.

In Huntington, W. Va., the City Council and Mayor wanted to know whether its large fire truck, with a 100-foot extension ladder, could tip over, before appropriating $35,000 to buy a second truck, thus held a controlled demonstration, wherein the ladder was extended 90 feet at a 30-degree angle, whereupon the truck tipped over, causing $3,000 worth of damage. The fire chief, however, stated that the ladder would never be used at a 30-degree angle to fight a fire, that it would typically be hoisted almost straight in the air.

Lubricate that sucker with some margarine.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead left the hospital in Durham and returned to the executive mansion in Raleigh, after his mild heart attack suffered just three days following his inauguration on January 8.

Also in Raleigh, legislation to provide the Governor power to reorganize the State Board of Conservation and Development, to make the terms of all 15 members expire the following July 30, thus enabling the Governor to appoint all of the members anew, passed the Senate this date while the House received a resolution backed by the Governor to have a commission study reorganization of the State Government in general.

In Charlotte, a man held up a service station on the outskirts of the city early in the afternoon and escaped with $120 in cash, fleeing in a faded blue 1941 or 1942 Chevrolet. The man was described as being 25 to 30 years old, black, and wearing overalls. He had used a revolver to commit the robbery, then cut the telephone wires. The service station attendant stopped a motorist to ask him to report the robbery to the police. It was the second holdup of a service station in the area during the prior three days. This time, however, the robber did not employ a false nose, as in the earlier holdup.

On the editorial page, "A Better Lower Court System" regards the three-part series presented during the week by Ann Sawyer on the page pertaining to the proposed consolidation of the City and County Recorder's Courts, explains a proposal by the City Solicitor that there be a criminal court to try misdemeanors and hold preliminary hearings and felonies, a traffic division for traffic cases, and a small claims court, to hear civil actions under $1,000. It indicates that the proposal would not save money but would provide more uniform justice and enable speedier trials, more convenient to defendants, witnesses and lawyers, and keep the Superior Court docket in civil cases clear of hundreds of small claims cases presently cluttering it.

As indicated, the District Court system in the state was implemented to replace the Recorder's Courts between 1966 and 1970 in all 100 counties, embracing those matters presented by the Charlotte City Solicitor, with judge trials only in criminal and traffic cases, appeals therefrom available in the form of a trial de novo to the Superior Court, and also all civil cases of any jurisdictional amount, subject to removal to the Superior Court by the defendant.

"Much Ado about 'Hot Rods'" finds that while there might be some justification for the bill which had been recommended by Governor Umstead and introduced by State Representative Joseph Branch of Halifax to ban automobiles which had been altered to make them go faster than intended by the original manufacturer's specifications, there were no statistics presented to back up the claims of a Highway Patrol troop commander, Captain Charles Speed, and the Police Chief of Winston-Salem, both of whom had claimed to a legislative committee during the week that hot rods were a serious menace to highway safety. The Motor Vehicles Division had never sought any factual information on the role of such automobiles in highway accidents, and until someone proved the case, the piece indicates it would not get terribly excited about the proposed measure. It indicates that American boys were "great tinkerers" and that they would continue to "jazz up" their cars whether the bill passed or not.

It adds that it could see little difference between the hot rod engines and those equipped on new cars with their tremendous power, both capable of going well beyond the safe speed limit, tempting drivers to make use of the reserve power. It finds that the proposed hot rod bill merited little attention, as it was relatively unimportant in the grand scheme of highway safety.

"You're Never Too Old…" indicates that a man, who had resisted being convinced by the people conducting the county-wide chest X-ray survey for tuberculosis that the disease was capable of being caught, had been wrong, that the disease was communicable. Likewise, some believed that a person could become too old to catch tuberculosis, also a false belief. The piece indicates that if anyone was of the latter belief, they should also consider that the chest X-ray survey could detect lung cancer as well, a disease which was increasing at an astonishing rate, according to the vice-president of the American Cancer Society, who also said that 88 percent of all lung cancers occurred in individuals after age 50. It urges again members of the community to participate in the free X-ray survey.

"The Poll Tax" finds little virtue in the proposed Constitutional amendment to abolish the poll tax as a requirement for voting, finds that it would be better to have an amendment than an act of Congress, which would be of dubious constitutionality, but that the best solution would be to allow the five states which still retained the poll tax to abolish it on their own without compulsion from Congress in any form, enabling thereby the South to answer better its critics while assuaging its own conscience more completely by eliminating this "unfair voting requirement without outside compulsion."

A piece of from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Quarter of an Hour", tells of 15 minutes having played an important role in two recent cases involving murder, one in New York, where a man awoke one morning convinced that he had murdered a female acquaintance by strangulation, then attempting suicide by gas, smelled by his neighbors, who revived him 15 minutes short of death, thereafter prompting his confession to murder, when in fact an autopsy proved that his companion had died of natural causes.

The other case had occurred in England, where two young men, one 19 and the other 16, had attempted an armed robbery, the older of the two having been caught by the police 15 minutes before the younger had shot and killed another police officer, both then having been tried for and convicted of murder, with the younger defendant, who had actually fired the fatal shot, escaping a death sentence because British law forbade capital punishment to anyone under 18, while the older, who had no gun and was in custody at the time of the killing, was hung as an accessory.

It finds that these two examples of what 15 minutes could do to two lives, one saved, one hanged, proved "once again that man can spin the wheel of fortune but he cannot call its numbers."

Drew Pearson tells of the new Secretary of the Interior, former Oregon Governor Douglas McKay, having encountered delay in appointment of his top assistants after sending a list of names to the White House, where they remained for a week before being returned, prompting Mr. McKay to visit the President and demand that his chosen men be appointed. The President had yielded to a considerable degree, one reason for reluctance in sending on the appointments to the Senate having been that one of the appointees on the list had been a protégé of Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, who had strongly supported Senator Taft, and another having been a former Congressman of North Dakota, opposed by Senator William Langer of that state for having been the latter's opponent in the Senate race in which he had been a heavy critic of the Senator. The former Congressman had also published an open letter in opposition to General Eisenhower for the presidency, vigorously supporting Senator Taft. Mr. McKay had telephoned Senator Langer in advance of his White House visit, however, and obtained his approval of the former Congressman.

Mr. Pearson notes that one of the proposed appointees was one of the few anti-public power men in Nebraska, a state which had developed public power extensively.

He next indicates that one of the reasons that President Truman had suddenly relented regarding his bitter enemy, Senator Pat McCarran, and appointed, just a week before the end of his term, the Senator's man as U.S. Attorney for Nevada was that Senator Lyndon Johnson, the new Minority Leader, visited the White House and asked the President as a special favor to appoint Senator McCarran's man, as the Democrats needed to bargain with the Senator regarding the organization of the closely divided Senate, needing his Democratic vote on the point. The President, who had held up the nomination since the previous July, confirmed by the Senate at the behest of Senator McCarran before it had even been submitted by the White House, thus acquiesced. The President had said to Senator Johnson, in doing so, that "if that old so-and-so doesn't produce, you bring it back to me."

The Congressional Quarterly examines the fight between the Federal Government and the states regarding ownership of tidelands oil, back before the Congress, with competing bills having been introduced on either side of the issue. President Truman, in one of his last acts in office, had issued an executive order declaring the offshore oil lands part of the Naval oil reserve—though not including the disputed tidelands oil, at least according to the President in his last press conference, only that beyond the three-mile limit.

It was possible that President Eisenhower might revoke the order, and the new Secretary of the Navy, Robert Anderson, was a Texas oil man. The Federal Government and the states agreed that the actual tidelands area, between the low and high-tide marks, belonged to the states, the issue being the rights to that which was beyond the three-mile limit from the mean low-tide mark, as established by the Geodetic Survey of the Department of Commerce.

Some of the proposed measures before Congress would provide to Florida and Texas rights to the submerged lands up to 10.5 miles beyond the mean low-tide mark, as that had been the limit of the boundaries of those two states when admitted to the union.

The dispute had first come before Congress in 1937, and the Congress passed state ownership bills in 1946 and 1952, each time vetoed by the President and sustained in 1946, with no attempt to override in 1952. Support in the past for such measures had come from most Republicans and some Democrats, especially those from Texas, Louisiana and Florida, which, along with California, were the primary states involved in the dispute.

The Supreme Court had ruled against California, Louisiana and Texas in three separate decisions handed down in 1947 and 1950, establishing paramount rights for the Federal Government in the areas.

The piece lists several organizations which had provided the heaviest pressure on Congress for state ownership and those urging Federal control.

It reviews some of the proposed legislation, one bill having been introduced by Senator Price Daniel of Texas, another by Senator Spessard Holland of Florida and 14 other Democrats and 25 Republicans, with another proposed by Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, the latter giving the Federal Government complete control of the lands beyond the three-mile limit and joint control of the submerged lands to that three-mile limit, with the states receiving 37.5 percent of the revenue from the latter, to be effective for five years. An amendment to that latter bill had been submitted by Senator Lister Hill of Alabama and 17 Democrats, three Republicans and independent Senator Wayne Morse, which would set aside Federal revenue from offshore oil for aid to education, including primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee and four other Democrats, two Republicans and Senator Morse had introduced a measure to establish a commission to assist in making proper and fair settlement of the issue anent submerged lands. Representative Craig Hosmer of California, a Republican, had introduced a bill to set aside President Truman's executive order.

Marquis Childs tells of the President's decision to withdraw the Seventh Fleet from the neutralization of Formosa, originally ordered by President Truman in 1950 at the start of the Korean War, being a propaganda weapon against the Communists, who were left to guess at the implications of the move.

The Chinese Nationalists had for some time been conducting raids from islands near the mainland, such as Quemoy, but with reportedly high losses in proportion to the number of men involved. U.S. intelligence sources reported that trained Chinese Communist military forces numbering as many as 400,000 were still stationed on the mainland opposite Formosa, and the threat of larger raids by the Nationalists might compel the Communists to enlarge that force, draining off some of their reserve available for Korea, also potentially helping to relieve the threat of Chinese intervention in Indo-China, where the French had suffered serious losses for more than five years. British intelligence reports, however, did not agree, indicating that the Chinese Communists had removed most of their troops from the area opposite Formosa after discounting the danger posed by the Nationalist raids.

The British attitude toward this new move by the President was complicated by many factors, one being the British interests in Hong Kong, a large investment, with the fear being that any significant move by the Nationalists would be countered by the Communists with a threat to Hong Kong. Thus, the President's announcement regarding Formosa had shaken the Western alliance, with additional fears being that U.S. military support and financial aid would be deflected to the East, away from Western Europe. For if the Nationalists were to have any effect against the mainland, they would require U.S. assistance, especially in terms of expanded naval and air support.

But, Mr. Childs finds, the harm done in Western Europe could be repaired as long as the new policy was maintained in the sphere of psychological warfare and not carried over into actual U.S. involvement in a large-scale war on the mainland of China.

Presently, without U.S. support, the Nationalists could do no more than transport perhaps a company of men to the mainland, but the questions were whether, if Chiang Kai-shek asked for military support from the U.S., would it be forthcoming and would it result in a large war with Communist China. Some were suggesting that any such change in status would require the approval of Congress, but, he notes, Congress had not approved the police action in Korea—though it had been first undertaken by resolution in the U.N., the Charter for which, ratified by Congress, called for united action by the membership to prevent or put down any action which threatened world peace.

Chiang Kai-shek, intent on restoring his authority over the mainland, understood that it could not be accomplished with only his present forces on Formosa, and skeptics believed, even with U.S. aid, it could still not be accomplished, short of large-scale American involvement on the mainland. Thus was the President's difficult role to appraise the competing pressures from Formosa and from the Western European allies.

Frederick C. Othman tells of some private detectives in Chicago having sneaked up on houses of hundreds of widows on relief late at night and early in the morning to discover that 6.4 percent of them lived with husbands who were listed on the relief rolls as dead or divorced, a tale told by Senator Joseph McCarthy and his official investigators, uncovered during their investigation of the Federal Security Agency, which provided more than a billion dollars per year in relief to the aged, the blind, the crippled, and families of destitute widows. The assistant counsel for the committee said that the first hint of a problem had occurred in New York in 1946 when a woman in a mink coat came in to collect her relief check. He said that the Government hired only 45 social workers to cover the entire country to ensure that the billion dollars was being handed out appropriately. He estimated that a loss was resulting of about 100 million dollars per year, and recommended that the Government hire 36 accountants to review the program.

Senator Henry Jackson of Washington, who had been a social worker, urged that the only solution was to have a swarm of Federal investigators check the individual cases, that the whole problem of relief was thorny, that in his state, for instance, some families on relief lived on farms where they had a cow, and when the cow went dry, they were eligible for relief, whereas when the cow again started producing milk, they became ineligible, a result which had actually occurred.

The Senators heard from the director of Public Assistance, who said that her inspectors were not doing a very good job, but that Congress had not appropriated enough money for the agency so that she could hire more people to check on such matters as the widows and divorcees no longer eligible for relief. Mr. Othman concludes that she would have to make do with what she had for now, as long as Congress was in the mood to cut the budget.

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