The Charlotte News

Monday, February 9, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied warplanes had hit Communist front line positions and supply arteries in Korea the previous night and early this date.

Ground fighting had tapered off to small-scale patrol clashes.

U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark said that the Pentagon had authorized a two-division increase in the South Korean Army, but said that the addition did not indicate that U.S. divisions would be released from front line duty in the immediate future.

The Defense Department listed 20 additional casualties in the war, including four killed, twelve wounded, one missing and three injured.

Secretary of State Dulles arrived in Washington from his ten-day fact-finding trip through Western Europe and went straight to the White House to provide a report to the President. He and Mutual Security administrator Harold Stassen, who had accompanied Mr. Dulles on the trip, told journalists upon their arrival that they were "encouraged by what we have been told by leaders". Mr. Dulles said that he knew nothing regarding any proposed blockade of Communist China as part of the President's order to end the neutralization of Formosa by removal of the Seventh Fleet.

Senator Taft said, after a conference with the the President at the White House this date, that the Administration apparently was not considering a "frontal attack" on the Communists in Korea. The Senator said that he had favored the plan of General MacArthur to bring pressure against the Communists by bombing Manchuria and blockading of the Chinese mainland. He said, however, that he understood the difficulties in working out a blockade with the Western allies, fearful of an extension of the war. He indicated his belief that if the Truman Administration had adopted the MacArthur plan two years earlier, there would be peace presently in Korea.

Top Congressional Republican leaders said this date that they had reached an agreement with the President on a wide program of legislation, with Senator Taft indicating that they were shooting for a July 4 adjournment and that the goals for the session would be reorganization of executive departments and agencies, appropriation bills to be prepared by the Senate not later than May 15, statehood for Hawaii, amendments to Taft-Hartley, limited extension of some controls and allocations in critical areas, legislation regarding tidelands oil ownership, extension of the Reciprocal Trade Act, action to simplify customs procedures, extension of the old age and survivors insurance to cover groups presently excluded, extension of aid to schools in critical areas, and the addition of two commissioners for the District of Columbia.

At the Pentagon, there was a debate ongoing as to who would succeed General Omar Bradley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs when the latter retired the following August, with both the Navy and the Air Force believing that it was their turn to provide the chairman. Rumors were that Admiral Arthur Radford, who appeared close to the President, would be the successor, but the Air Force believed that General Hoyt Vandenberg, chief of staff of that branch, should be the logical candidate, as he was the next senior member, in terms of length of service, among the Joint Chiefs.

General Bradley was being questioned by Senators of the Armed Services Committee this date, meeting in executive session, regarding alleged "fabulous waste" in overseas planning, as reported by Senators Russell Long of Louisiana and Wayne Morse of Oregon in a statement filed with the Committee. Senator Long said that he had a number of questions regarding the airbase at Thule in Greenland and about a costly plan for duplicating communications facilities. The two Senators had filed a report after visiting the base at Thule and other overseas installations, finding some waste on actual construction of a lot of the projects but "fabulous waste" in the high-level planning. They believed that a smaller installation would suffice for defense needs. Senator Long praised Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson for halting any new defense projects until they were justified, having asked the three services to list partly completed projects which were no longer needed.

The President and Mrs. Eisenhower the previous day attended the dedication of President Lincoln's handwritten first draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, presented to the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, where Mr. Lincoln had worshiped.

Press secretary James Hagerty indicated that the President would vacation from time to time at the Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia, and did not intend to establish a summer White House at Colorado Springs, as had been rumored.

In Moscow, the new Ambassador to Argentina, Dr. Leopoldo Bravo, quoted Prime Minister Stalin as saying that war could be avoided if countries did not meddle in the internal affairs of other countries. The Ambassador, granted a rare interview with the Russian Prime Minister, said that he had delivered to him the cordial greetings of El Presidente Juan Peron and extended the hope for strengthening relations between the two countries.

In the Netherlands, new blizzards brought further hazards to the flood-besieged country, a fourth of which was under water. Wind-whipped water, snow and ice complicated repairs to broken dikes, necessary to accomplish before the next flood tides of February 16. The rough weather threatened to ground Dutch, American, and British supply planes as well.

In Tehran, the Iranian lower house of Parliament approved unanimously a bill which required Premier Mohammed Mossadegh's Government, within six months, to ban the manufacture, import, sale or purchase and consumption of all alcoholic beverages, opium and opium derivatives, and to bring about the cessation of cultivation of poppies within two years.

In New York, the striking tugboat crewmen and their employers had agreed on the primary issue of the demanded wage increase but had not yet reached agreement on whether a crew could be made up of fewer than three men, causing Federal mediators to call the two sides together to try to resolve the matter. The strike was in its ninth day.

In Pittsburgh, the 1.1 million members of the United Steelworkers Union the following day would formally elected David McDonald as their new president, succeeding the late Philip Murray, who had been president of the union since its founding in 1936.

In New York, a judge ordered the press and public barred from hearing prosecution testimony in the trial of margarine heir Mickey Jelke III, charged with hiring out three high-priced prostitutes to support him while he awaited his inheritance. The judge indicated that he took the action in the interest of "public decency", that the defendant's right to a public trial did not supersede the interests of not gratifying the morbid curiosity of the public. The defense objected and the press called it censorship. Won't he even allow the public to hear testimony about how much margarine the young man is going to inherit?

In Canton, Mass., a bus with 14 passengers aboard crashed through a guard rail after a collision with an oncoming car the previous day and stopped at the edge of a 75-foot precipice, with its right front wheel over the edge. Another car then hit the rear of the bus. No one in the bus was injured but five persons in the two cars suffered non-serious injuries.

An American freighter had run aground near the entrance to Beaufort Inlet, N.C., shortly before midnight on Saturday and remained in that state this date, as efforts were being made by two Coast Guard cutters to refloat it. The ship was seeking to refuel at Morehead City when it ran aground.

On the editorial page, "These 'Allies' Are Worth Cultivating" counsels that while the Democrats, led by Senator John Sparkman, had been out of line in demanding a public accounting by the President regarding the intentions with regard to use of Nationalist Chinese troops in Korea or support of attacks on mainland China, a disclosure which would take away any psychological warfare advantage from the President's recent announcement of intention to remove the Seventh Fleet from protection of Formosa, Senator Sparkman had made a valid point by complaining of lack of consultation before making the decision on the Seventh Fleet. It reminds that President Truman had consulted the Republicans before taking action in Korea, in Europe and the U.N., had appointed many Republicans to key positions, including Robert Lovett as Secretary of Defense, Robert Patterson as Secretary of War, Paul Hoffman as Marshall Plan administrator, John J. McCloy as U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany, and as Ambassadors, John Foster Dulles, Warren Austin and Lewis Douglas. Without Democratic support of Administration policy, the President's program could find trouble when Republicans, under Senator Taft's leadership, decided to balk.

"Jury Law Needs Clarification" indicates that the State Attorney General's Office had raised an important question in the case involving the black man convicted of assault by leering at a white girl from a considerable distance: whether the Caswell County Board of Commissioners had selected jury venires properly by selecting from the voter lists rather than from a list of persons who were not on tax lists as well as from a list of those who were, so as to include all adults, the law having been amended after women were allowed to sit on juries. It finds the issue one of concern which ought be considered by the State Supreme Court in the case.

As indicated earlier, the State Supreme Court would reverse the decision, holding that the trial court should not have denied the defendant's motion for nonsuit on the ground of insufficient evidence to support the charge, that assault could not be accomplished by leering from a distance. Having reached that decision, the Court did not reach the issue of whether blacks had been systematically excluded from the jury, but did provide advice to the Commissioners that they should follow the State statute prescribing the manner of jury venire selection, finding that the Commissioners, by relying only on the tax rolls, had not done so.

"Culture Comes Hard, but It's Trying" finds that with all the talk about girly books and semi-lewd literature, the proliferation of comic books, the virtual desertion by the reading public of poets and poetry, a recent review of 200 American artists in Paris resulting in the decision that none of their paintings were worthy of exhibition, Senator Karl Mundt having frowned on Dr. James Conant, former president of Harvard, for being too "bookish", and some 31 million voters having turned down the "egghead" in the general election the previous November, American culture was of concern.

As for television, there was an occasional great show, such as Edward R. Murrow's "See It Now", but only 15.8 percent of television viewers in the time slot, according to the Nielsen ratings, were watching it. Earlier in the winter, when the program was on opposite Walter Winchell and Roy Rogers, it came in third, with Roy attracting 36.7 percent of the viewers.

But, with those grim notes came positive word from the vice-president of a recording company that the country was in the midst of "the biggest classical record boom the industry has ever seen", that whereas seven years earlier, classical music had only accounted for 15 percent of all records sold, their sales now accounted for 35 to 40 percent, and the number of firms producing classical recordings had increased during the previous four years from less than a dozen to 170. The Wall Street Journal had found two principal factors causing that trend, that the cost of classical records had dropped considerably with the introduction of LP's, and since the war, high fidelity equipment had considerably improved, such that the higher trebles and lower basses which formerly were not capable of being recorded now could be reproduced and played in the home. It had also been observed that the buyer with the most children in the household bought the most classical recordings.

It suggests that perhaps, therefore, in a few years, children would be whistling Sergei Rachmaninoff's pieces in the same breath with popular tunes, and that non-poets might begin to listen to the poets again. It also ventures that with planned new libraries for Mecklenburg County and the propensity for motorists to smash each other up, the book-to-car ratio might even up.

But it laments the fact that on a quiz program the prior Friday night, the "Triumphal March" from Verdi's Aida had been played, and when the quiz master asked the contestants to name the opera, one had stammered for a moment and stated "Metropolitan". "Open the tomb, Mr. Verdi—the rest of the cast wants in."

Incidentally, the above-linked "See It Now" segment regarding the award of the Pulitzer Prizes to Willard Cole, editor of the Whiteville News Reporter, and Horace Carter, editor and publisher of the Tabor City Tribune, aired May 10, 1953. Mr. Murrow was originally from the Greensboro area, though leaving the state with his family at age six.

Vermont Royster, also mentioned in the above-cited report from the Robesonian as a recipient of a Pulitzer for editorial writing for the Wall Street Journal, of which he would become editor in 1958, would, after his retirement from the Journal in 1971, become a professor of journalism and public affairs at UNC, his alma mater. He would win a second Pulitzer in 1984 for his regular weekly syndicated column, "Thinking Things Over".

"Mandate" finds that the Gallup poll had asked respondents whether they would favor first balancing the budget or reducing income taxes, if Congress found that it could not do both during the current year, finding that two-thirds had said to balance the budget first, while only 26 percent had favored initially cutting taxes, with the remainder undecided. It concludes that it appeared as a mandate for balancing the budget.

A piece of from the Milwaukee Journal, titled "Make Them Self-Supporting", indicates that the U.S. rehabilitation service had reported that in the previous fiscal year, 12,000 vocationally disabled persons, who had been on relief during treatment and retraining, had been restored to independent earning power, at a cost of six million dollars, or $500 per case, whereas the cost of maintaining them on relief would be 8.5 million dollars or $700 per case, and, in addition, they were now positively earning 22.5 million dollars, or $1,875 each.

It thus finds the program to be a bargain and rehabilitation, a valuable service, both economically and socially.

Drew Pearson, traveling to Berlin and Paris to check on developments there and report on the progress of Secretary of State Dulles in unifying the allies during his trip to Western Europe, says that he was going to Europe for the sole reason that it appeared that Adolf Hitler's ghost was walking again, including anti-Semitism, German energy, British apathy, French suspicion and American boredom, all of which had combined to produce Hitler and the Nazis in the first instance. Those factors were present again and increasing, while the Russians looked on and smiled. He indicates that wars did not occur overnight, but rather the conditions which spawned them arose gradually, through suspicion, isolation and public boredom with problems of the world.

He indicates that he did not believe that the war began on September 1, 1939, when Hitler invaded Poland, but rather ten years or more earlier, with bickering, suspicion, public discouragement and loss of hope. He believes it had actually begun with the depression of 1930-31, when the U.S. had withdrawn its economic support from Europe, followed by the closing of the banks of Vienna, Berlin and Paris and the bitter jockeying for power in France and Germany.

Mr. Dulles had traveled to Europe in 1926 to urge, on behalf of the bankers, the continuation of loans to Europe, about which the Coolidge Administration had been skeptical. The American public subsequently realized that the loans were virtually worthless, resulting in financial aid being terminated, followed in consequence by the depression in Europe and the resultant problems.

In more recent times, the country had been more realistic, giving the aid money to Europe rather than loaning it, sharing the burden among all of the taxpayers rather than foisting it only on the investment community. He indicates that aid, while not capable of being maintained indefinitely, had to be cut off gradually, in such a way that it did not leave the recipient countries dangling economically.

Now, Mr. Dulles was telling the Western Europeans that if they did not unite to form the Western European army, then U.S. aid would be potentially reduced. If Europe called his bluff, then not only would the united army not come to be but also the allies would be left without financial props, resulting in economic dislocation, political recrimination, increased Communism and perhaps eventual war.

Mr. Pearson indicates that powerful elements within France and even in England wanted to see that happen. The French Communists were still the largest party in France, and the Gaullists, also, to an extent, wanted to see the cessation of positive relations with the U.S. There were also left-wingers in the Labor Party in England who wanted to see the demise of Anglo-American relations. Thus, he concludes, Mr. Dulles was not dealing with predictable factors but rather with human emotions and volatile public opinion, making his mission both difficult and important.

On the positive side, Europe was presently nearer unity than at any time in its history, France and Germany having been intermittently at war for the prior 90 years, but now were discussing combining their troops under the same NATO flag, a tremendous milestone toward unity.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the Eisenhower Administration, principally the President and Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, would soon be faced with a difficult decision as to what to do about the budget, foreign policy and taxes, in terms of balancing the three. They posit that the Administration had essentially three choices, to abandon all but a rudimentary pretense of creative foreign policy while dismantling national defense to reduce taxes and balance the budget; continue with what was needed in the foreign aid and defense programs, while also yielding to pressure on tax reductions, thus ensuring the continuance of a large deficit; or to economize where safely possible, maintain taxes at their present level, and thereby work gradually toward a balanced budget.

But a problem arose in the fact that the Congress could do nothing and allow 7.7 billion dollars in presently available revenue to expire within the ensuing 14 months, including the excess profits tax, expiring the following June 30, the 11 percent emergency increase in personal income tax to support the Korean War, expiring at the beginning of 1954, and the special five percent corporate profits tax and emergency excise taxes, set to expire April 1, 1954. As it stood, the loss in the 1953-54 fiscal year would be 2.7 billion, with the full 7.7 billion in the following fiscal year.

The Congress might sacrifice the excess profits tax, but then there would be a cry that, with the corporations taken care of, it was the turn of the average taxpayer, leading to abandonment of the 11 percent special income tax. And if all of the taxes were allowed to expire, the President would have to find a way to cut Government spending by 15 billion dollars to come anywhere close to a balanced budget in fiscal year 1954-55. President Truman, in his budget message to Congress before leaving office, in estimating a 10 billion dollar deficit for the coming fiscal year, had included the 2.7 billion in expiring taxes in calculating that deficit.

The Alsops indicate that members of Congress paid no attention to the problem because many of its ablest members had come to believe that the world situation was a figment of the imagination of former Secretary of State Acheson, a dangerous illusion, "as dangerous as the illusion of the gathering swine."

If the President were to place national security as first priority, which the Administration, based on reliable information, appeared intent on doing, with reduction of the deficit second and reduction of taxes last, then he would have to accept huge deficits in the event the taxes were allowed to expire, or be bold in his tax policy and balance the budget the hard way. It appeared, indicate the Alsops, that the President's advisers were inclined toward the latter course.

Frederick C. Othman indicates that investigators for the Treasury Department had looked carefully into the past income tax payments by Caroll Mealey, once head of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the IRB, whom Treasury now claimed had concealed more than $40,000 of his income over the course of five years. He was now refusing to talk to Congress or much to the Treasury Department investigators. They had determined how much he had spent in each of the previous five years, much of it having been in cash, to reach a conclusion that he had spent more than twice what he reported in earnings, even figuring his expenditures conservatively.

Mr. Othman warns the reader not to let the Treasury Department investigators ever start interviewing one's butcher.

The Congressional Quarterly examines the issue of admission of Hawaii to statehood immediately and Alaska under an "equitable enabling act". Some Republican leaders were predicting action on Hawaiian statehood during the present Congressional session. In the past, the House had approved bills to admit both territories, but the Senate had let the bills die. Senator William Knowland of California, chairman of the Senate Republican policy committee, had predicted statehood for Hawaii at an early date, and Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, which handled statehood legislation, also spoke favorably of it, though he had opposed it in the past. Southern Democrats also appeared supportive, though having blocked the action in the past as diluting of Southern power in the Senate. Senator George Smathers of Florida predicted early passage.

Most of the Senators said that the prospect of statehood for Hawaii, which became a territory in 1900, was much stronger than that of Alaska, which became a territory in 1912. Seventeen petitions for statehood for Hawaii had been presented to Congress since 1903. The first vote on Hawaiian statehood had been in 1947, when the House passed a bill by a vote of 195 to 133, but the bill was not reported in the Senate. In 1950, the House again passed a bill for statehood for Hawaii by a vote of 261 to 111, but again the Senate did not act. The first statehood bill for Alaska was introduced in 1916, but the first floor action had not come until 1950, when the House passed the bill 186 to 146, and in 1952, the Senate debated a statehood bill for Alaska for several months, after adopting a motion instructing the Interior Committee to consider giving the territory commonwealth status, which would have allowed it to elect its own governor and officials, vote in presidential elections and have a full voting delegation in the House, plus a non-voting Senator.

Bills were presently pending in both chambers, proposing statehood for both territories, the sponsors of which it lists.

As indicated, Hawaii and Alaska would not be admitted to the union until 1959.

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