The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Stan Carter, that that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down three MIG-15s this date over North Korea. Fighter-bombers had swept almost to the Yalu River border with Manchuria during the day, hitting enemy supply and troop facilities. B-29s and B-26s also were in action for the second straight day, hitting enemy build-up areas and supply routes.

The Air Force said that Sabres had shot down 12 enemy MIGs during the week ended the previous day, and that two Sabres had been lost in air combat, with three other allied planes also lost during the week, only one of which from enemy ground fire and the other two from other causes.

The Air Force announced that the top ace of the war, Colonel Royal Baker, would fly no further combat missions, after flying 125 missions, when the usual complement was 100. Col. Baker agreed with the decision.

Ground action was very light this date, with allied troops repulsing three small enemy probes on the muddy central and eastern fronts, and allied artillery hitting several large groups of enemy troops who were caight in the open.

In Prague, Klement Gottwald, 56, President and dictator of Czechoslovakia, died this date, according to Prague radio, following his having been stricken with pneumonia and pleurisy the day after returning from the funeral of Joseph Stalin in Moscow. Western diplomats believed that many Czechs would find the death suspicious in such close proximity to the installation of a new Russia regime. Though it was claimed that Mr. Gottwald had been afflicted by the icy winds of Moscow, there were some hints that he might have been purged by the new Russian regime, headed by Prime Minister Georgi Malenkov. Mr. Gottwald had been reported to be in disfavor with the Kremlin for more than a year because of the failure of Czechoslovakia to meet Russian demands on its industry. Observers believed that he had come out on top the prior December when a rival Communist Party boss, Rudolph Slansky, and ten other top leaders, had been hanged in Prague after a mass purge trial, it having been said that he had achieved the top spot through his friendship with Stalin. But the Russians had still not been satisfied with the administration of the country. He had been Premier since 1946 and, in 1948, had forced President Eduard Benes to agree to the formation of a Communist-dominated Government, of which Mr. Gottwald became President in June of that year, three months before the death of Mr. Benes.

In Tokyo, Japan's Diet threw out the Government of Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida this night with a vote of no-confidence, and the latter immediately afterward dissolved the Diet and called for new national elections, though not yet setting a date. He had dissolved the Diet the previous August and held elections on October 1, believing it would strengthen his hand, afterward, however, still holding only a slim majority in the Diet for his Liberal Party. Mr. Yoshida issued a statement accusing his opponents of playing politics instead of discussing legislation.

At the U.N. in New York, a Soviet veto on the Security Council, the 56th registered by Russia since the founding of the organization, wiped out a nine-vote majority on the Council in support of Canada's Foreign Secretary Lester Pearson to succeed Trygve Lie as Secretary-General, the latter having announced his resignation the prior fall. Mr. Pearson had the support of Britain and France. The U.S., however, had wanted Carlos Romulo of the Philippines, but could only muster five votes for him, making it unnecessary for the Russians to exercise their veto, as the vote had failed a majority. Russia wanted the Polish Foreign Minister, who received only one vote, from Russia. After four hours of wrangling, the Council decided to adjourn on the issue until the following Thursday.

The President said this date, in an address to the House of Delegates of the AMA, that his Administration would work with medical groups on the health problem in a spirit of friendship rather than trying to be the "big poobah" of their efforts. He said that he did not like the word "compulsory" and was against the word "socialize", a reference to President Truman's compulsory health insurance plan, which the AMA had bitterly opposed. Senator Taft also appeared on the same program, greeting the President warmly when the delegates gave him a standing ovation. The President drew laughter from the doctors when he indicated that he had a personal problem which he wished to take up with them, a sore wrist, wondering whether he could play golf during the afternoon, saying that he was going to try anyway. Fore...

Look out, neighbor.

The President, according to the White House, would appoint William Howard Taft III, son of Senator Taft, as the new Ambassador to Ireland, and the nomination would soon be forwarded to the Senate.

Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas appealed to Republican colleagues in the Senate to support President Eisenhower's policies and nominations "for the good of the country". Senator Joseph McCarthy had just joined other Senate Republicans in opposition to the nomination of Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to Russia. The opposition said, however, that they doubted there were enough votes to block the confirmation, but were hoping to force its withdrawal. Democrats supported the nomination almost unanimously.

The future status of RNC chairman Wesley Roberts appeared likely to depend on public reaction to an explanation of his role in the sale of a hospital, for which he had received a 10 percent commission of $11,000, to the State of Kansas, when the State already owned the property. Mr. Roberts had told the Kansas Legislature's investigating committee the previous day that he had been proud of his role in the transaction. Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, who had sponsored Mr. Roberts for the chairmanship of the RNC, said that he believed the chairman had acted with integrity in the transaction, but added that he was on trial before the public and that their reaction would have a lot to do with whether or not he would remain in the job.

In Hagerstown, Md., a former Maryland Governor, William Lane, Jr., revealed the previous night how he and two of his wealthy business friends of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. had enabled their company to take from the Communists a top-secret jet fighter plane, through cloak-and-dagger espionage in Eastern Europe. The scheme had begun about a year earlier, climaxing on March 5, when a Polish Air Force lieutenant landed his MIG-15 on Danish-owned Bornholm island, seeking political asylum, saying he could no longer stand the Communist control of his country. The American businessmen had put up about $7,500 of their firm's money to finance the project. One member of the group, who had formerly worked for the O.S.S. during the war, had made at least two trips to Europe to set the plan in motion. The methodology used remained classified, but a member of the spy ring said that the Polish flier had done his part for patriotic reasons rather than money. Western observers who were air experts stripped the MIG of its secrets and the Danish Foreign Office had announced the previous night that a final report would be forthcoming by the weekend. It also said that it would inform Poland the following Monday that it could pick up the no longer secret fighter plane.

In New York, Treasury agents and city police had discovered a moonshine still, which they called the biggest in the East, by following foul-smelling wafts of air which had floated across the water of Upper New York Bay, prompting the start of the investigation three weeks earlier, leading the agents and officers to an abandoned Brooklyn waterfront warehouse the previous day. The distillery had been capable of producing 2,500 gallons of 180-proof alcohol per day and was costing the Government $52,000 per day in unpaid taxes. Two men had been arrested on charges of operating an unregistered still for the unlawful manufacture of alcohol.

A small tornado produced damage through a 20-mile strip of north central Arkansas early this date, injuring three persons and causing considerable property damage. It was said to be the aftermath of tornadoes which had left 17 persons dead in west central Texas and Oklahoma, 14 of the deaths having occurred in three small Texas towns.

In Raleigh, the State Senate passed three bills, discovering that it was a mistake, as the bills were new and had not yet been presented before committees. No new legislation was introduced in either chamber of the Assembly this date, and one local bill was passed by the House and sent to the Senate.

In the N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournament the previous night, Indiana had defeated Notre Dame 79 to 66 in the Mideast Regional final and Kansas had beaten Oklahoma A & M 61 to 55 in the Midwest Regional final. This night, in the Eastern Regional final, LSU would beat Holy Cross, 81 to 73, and in the Western Regional final, Washington would beat Santa Clara, 74 to 62. The national semifinal games would take place in Kansas City on Tuesday, March 17, pitting Indiana against LSU and Kansas against Washington, with the finals on Wednesday night between the East-West winners. Don't blink... They played them in a whirlwind in those days, the entire Tournament, consisting of a 22-team field, transpiring in a mere nine days, between Tuesday, March 10 and Wednesday, March 18.

Meanwhile, in New York, this night, Seton Hall, number four in the final Associated Press top-20 poll of this week, would win the 12-team N.I.T. over number 20 St. John's, 58 to 46, the latter having upset number three La Salle in the quarter-finals, the prior Thursday, 75 to 74. La Salle, led by star player Tom Gola, would win the 1954 N.C.A.A. Tournament. The N.I.T., with a smaller field, continued gradually to recede in prestige versus the N.C.A.A. Tournament, with the latter having the number one, two, five through seven, ten, twelve, and fourteen teams among the A.P. top 15, whereas the N.I.T. had only the number three, four, nine, eleven, and fourteen teams. Also, the scheduling of the tournaments, previously permitting participation in both, as had N.C.A.A. runner-up St. John's the prior year, caused them now to be mutually exclusive.

On the editorial page, "Quick Death, but Not Painless" indicates that while newsmen had forecast the death of the motor vehicle inspection bill, the action by the State Senate the previous day in overwhelmingly rejecting it had come as a shock, ending for another two years the possibility of ridding the roads of unsafe vehicles. The piece cannot understand the attitude on such an important issue, with facts being ignored and the rights of the majority sacrificed for the freedom of the minority.

The facts showed that about 15 percent of all highway accidents were caused by mechanical defects, and it suggests that it was the right of the majority to be free from fear of bodily harm while on the roads, that those rights were denied when careless and irresponsible motorists remained free to "drive their death traps on the public highways." It concludes that the Senate action had not been one of the Assembly's finest hours.

"Cracking the Bottlenecks on U.S. 29" indicates that with the formal opening of the Lexington bypass, another tight bottleneck on the heavily traveled U.S. 29 had been eliminated. Motorists could now travel from Salisbury to within a few miles of High Point on the dual lane road faster and more safely. Highway crews had also begun clearing land in preparation for placing double lanes in the stretch of highway around Kannapolis and China Grove. Many years earlier, the segment had been added to bypass the two towns but had become so cluttered with businesses and intersections that traffic was slowed to a crawl, and by adding the new lane, traffic flow would be considerably improved.

It recommends a similar type of combination boulevard and bypass on the west side of Charlotte, to enable through traffic speedy passage across the city while also improving entrance and exit from the road.

Do that.

"No Defense of State College Hooligans" indicates that an N.C. State professor had said that students resented the invasion of their campus by outsiders who blew their car horns and talked loudly, as it interrupted their studies. He said that they also resented the determination by the College administration to make money at the Reynolds Coliseum, irrespective of what occurred to the school's academic life. They were further angered by the fact that the administration had not taken them seriously.

The piece indicates that two UNC professors had gone to Raleigh the prior week on Thursday for the opening night of the Southern Conference basketball tournament and had their tires deflated by State students, who also placed water and sand in their gas tank, then stood by hooting and mocking the two professors as they tried to start the car.

It finds that if the College administration had made the students secondary to the money raised at the Coliseum, then they had a just complaint against the administration, but not against visitors to the Coliseum. It also finds that the professor's remarks could not be taken very seriously, because were no outsiders on campus, a basketball game at the Coliseum between N.C. State and one of its traditional rivals would produce more than enough noise to rattle any student within earshot. Thus it finds specious the rationale for placing blame on outsiders. It also finds it "plain, unadulterated hooliganism and hoodlumism" for the students to have vandalized the professors' automobile and that the college officials who had tacitly permitted it should be ashamed.

It was also an example of the worst sort of sportsmanship, as the students were rubbing in the fact that the Wolfpack had just eliminated the Tar Heels from the tournament by beating them by 32 points, still, as we pointed out earlier in the week, the largest margin of defeat of a UNC team in a conference tournament game in program history, though, by a stroke of cruel irony, the March 11, 2020 loss by UNC to Syracuse by 28 points became the largest margin of defeat a UNC team has ever suffered in an A.C.C. Tournament game, ultimately proving to be, perhaps fittingly, the last game of that Tournament in 2020 because of Coronavirus U.'s surly, drunken, unsportsmanlike intrusion to our collective salubrious solemnity. Just blame the wolfpack.

By the way, we hear from the nuts on the radio out in Texas, their programming still daily being uploaded to YouTube despite having been "banned" from that platform for routine slander and hate speech a year ago, that UNC and former President Obama colluded together to provide the "man-made" coronavirus to the Chinese three or four years ago so that the Chinese could "unleash" it at the appropriate time to undermine and defeat Trumpy-Dumpy. Besides being laughably ludicrous, bat-soup crazy, neither UNC nor President Obama would need resort to any nefarious tactics, even had they a mind to do so, to undermine or defeat the rather self-undermining and self-defeating Trumpy-Dumpy and his diminishing retinue of supporters. We do, however, appreciate hearing this vile slander as it caused us to look up UNC in relation to the coronavirus, prompting our discovery that UNC is at the forefront in research on the coronavirus and its various strains, and has been for many years, with a breakthrough in ongoing vaccination research potentially on the horizon.

We have warned you before though, you bunch of reading-challenged nuts, and we warn you again...

Insofar as being mistreated by margins of defeat, incidentally, UNC would return the favor to N.C. State, in 1968, in the finals of the A.C.C. Tournament, defeating the Wolfpack 87 to 50, a day after the latter had upset Duke 12 to 10 in a lightning-fast shoot-'em-up, preventing a rematch of Duke and UNC, both national powers that year, UNC ranked number five and Duke, number six in the A.P. poll, after Duke had won the season finale in triple overtime in Durham, 87 to 86, UNC having gone into that game ranked number three in both polls and Duke number ten in A.P. and nine in U.P.I. The margin of victory between UNC and State that year remains a record for an A.C.C. final.

And, don't ever let UNC coach Roy Williams tell you that he could not ever play basketball. Were that so, he would not have ever played on a team overseen by Dean Smith, even if only the freshman team, a difficult row to hoe in those days.

"Ornery Oregonian" indicates that the motivation for Senator Wayne Morse having left the Republican Party during the fall campaign had originally appeared to come from courageous conviction, but now appeared as merely "cantankerous rancor".

Recently, Senator Pat McCarran had proposed that the FBI make a loyalty check on Senate staff members, but before a final vote on the matter, Senator Morse had indicated that there was a double standard being practiced by Congress in that the FBI also ought scrutinize Senators, themselves, just as persons appointed by the President to key positions were investigated for loyalty. The Senate, however, had voted down his proposal without debate. It suggests that the next time a Senator started talking about an official who was not cooperating with loyalty investigations, they might recall their rejection of the proposal of Senator Morse.

"Rough Jolts Ahead for Farmers" indicates that recently the column had noted in an editorial the substantial increase in production of various farm commodities during the previous year, with the cattle population rising by seven percent and milk production by 16 percent. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson wanted cotton production drastically reduced, but market specialists believed the 1953 crop would exceed the previous year's.

In contrast, a survey by the Agriculture Department had shown that farm commodities shipped overseas during the previous year had been 15 percent less than in 1951, with farm commodities comprising a fourth of all exports. Cotton exports were down 24 percent and leaf tobacco, 25 percent. Exports in October were off 25 percent from the same month the prior year, 34 percent in November, and 28 percent in December.

The piece concludes that strict production and marketing controls would be required, though not desired by either the farmers or the Secretary, or large new markets would have to be found for the increased production, requiring selling of the commodities below their cost or making considerable tariff reductions to attract more foreign buyers. Many members of Congress did not like those alternatives. The piece favors tariff reduction, but warns that regardless of which approach was taken, agriculture was in for some rough jolts and the farmers had to brace for them.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Modern Civilization", indicates that television was now more popular than talking on the telephone or taking baths, that it was reported from Chicago that there were more television sets there than telephones and bathtubs in homes. It finds it an imponderable statistic, as it wondered about the impact of the new medium on the habits, attitudes, education and progress of the nation.

Roy E. Larsen, president of Time, Inc., in excerpts from a speech he had provided to the American Association of School Administrators in Atlantic City the previous month, comments favorably on the progress of education in North Carolina. Mr. Larsen was chairman of the National Citizens Commission for the public schools.

He indicates that he had looked at Frederick Lewis Allen's book, The Big Change, to see if he could alter his own conviction that the system of universal education had been an indispensable factor in the development of the country, choosing North Carolina, a poor state at the turn-of-the-century, as his bellwether. Now, the state was one of the leaders in the nation in education, industry and statecraft.

He indicates that he had long admired North Carolinian Walter Hines Page, who had been Ambassador to Great Britain under President Wilson, a scholar, journalist and publisher, as well as having been one of the best friends of public education which the country ever had.

Mr. Larsen had written to the Institute for Research in the Social Sciences at UNC, to the North Carolina Department of Conservation and Development, to the State Department of Public Instruction, and several other sources, seeking figures on the educational, economic, cultural and social growth of the state during the previous 50 years and relates what he had discovered.

Among his findings were that the total value of school property had increased 54 times by 1924 and teachers were paid nine times more than in 1900, with total expenditures for education having increased in the interim by 20 times. By 1950, the value of school property and teacher salaries had quadrupled again and total school expenditures were nearly seven times that of 1924, 133 times the level of 1900. The State had appropriated 108 million dollars to education in 1950, compared to $100,000 in 1900.

He indicates that the type of educational reinvestment had been going on throughout the country during that same period and had produced results very similar to those in North Carolina, with education having a tendency to stimulate growth of cultural outlets, which, themselves, acted as educational agencies.

Drew Pearson indicates that Congressman Daniel Reed was so determined to get his 10 percent tax-cut through Congress that, if he did not get his way, he had threatened to sidetrack Social Security reforms inside his powerful Ways & Means Committee. The President was so upset by that tactic that he had asked Senate Majority Leader Taft and House Speaker Joseph Martin for help, pointing out that he had promised during the campaign to liberalize Social Security so that six million more Americans could be brought under its protection.

Several members of Congress were seeking to oust Congressman Harold Velde from his position as chairman of HUAC, and had conferred with the House parliamentarian on the procedure for doing so. They had disliked his irresponsible statements to the press and irresponsible handling of investigations. His recent threat to investigate the ministers of the nation for their loyalty had been the last straw. Vice-President Nixon, a former member of HUAC while in the House from 1947 until 1951, was asked by Speaker Martin to straighten out Mr. Velde. The Speaker had remarked dogmatically to a reporter that the Congressman was not going to investigate the churches, as he had announced. Afterward, the Speaker came down so hard on Mr. Velde that he immediately put out a press release toning down his proposed probe of the churches. Meanwhile, other members of the House had become so fed up with him that they began exploring the possibility of removing him as chairman. Congressman Francis Walter had gone so far as to suggest privately that it might be better to abolish the Committee than have Mr. Velde wrecking its reputation. The House parliamentarian indicated that the removal would have to come via a vote of the full House, and so the Committee members, alone, could not do so.

Mr. Pearson notes that freshman Congressman Kit Clardy had suggested that HUAC investigate the liberal, anti-Communist group, Americans for Democratic Action.

President Eisenhower had hung former President Theodore Roosevelt's portrait in his office, causing immediate criticism from Republicans who had not forgiven TR for bolting the Republican Party in 1912 and forming the Bull Moose Party, effectively dividing the Republican vote from incumbent President William Howard Taft, leading to the election of Woodrow Wilson. The President had told a group of investors that only in his office did he have the discretion to change portraits in the White House, and had found the portraits of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson hanging from the walls, deciding to replace the Democrats with portraits of George Washington, President Taft, and TR. But a Republican then remarked, upon seeing the latter portrait, that TR had been just like a Democrat, to which the President had said that he was his kind of Republican.

Mr. Pearson notes that President Washington had not been a Republican or the functional equivalent.

Budget director Joseph Dodge was quite unhappy because his pet scheme for reducing Government expenses had just failed. He had planned budget cutting through a voluntary approach, instructing the 18 large independent Government agencies to send him a one-sentence letter by March 2, containing the amount of money each could cut from its 1954 budget. He received the replies from the agencies by March 2, but each had said that they were sorry but could not trim their budgets at all. One head of an agency had said that Mr. Dodge had forgotten that it was human nature not to inflict pain on one's self, that it was up to the Budget director to do so.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the partnership between the President and Congress not working well so far in the sphere of foreign policy. Confirmation of Ambassador-designate to Russia Charles Bohlen had been delayed, despite Secretary of State Dulles having requested urgent action. The resolution proposed by the President to condemn Soviet perversion of World War II Big Three agreements resulting in enslavement of peoples in the satellite countries, had been buried.

Beginning with the President's State of the Union message, and especially his condemnation of the wartime secret agreements, he had not checked with the State Department before issuing his statements, though he had on other aspects of foreign policy. Members of Congress immediately jumped on the proposal and began writing an anti-Yalta resolution which would come close to repudiation of the agreement while satisfying the President's request. Those members were shocked at the mildness of the State Department's proposed language for the resolution, which was careful not to place blame on Democratic Administrations, in the hope of attracting Democratic votes for the resolution, necessary for its overwhelming passage and consequent propaganda effect on the world stage. At a meeting with Congressional leaders, Senator Taft had sided with the President and Secretary Dulles. He only wanted the State Department to consult more readily with the senior members of the House and Senate Foreign Affairs and Foreign Relations Committees. But there was no further consultation before the State Department issued its version of the resolution accompanied by a cover letter from the President. At that point, the Democratic leadership immediately announced their full support of it.

But Senator Taft, not having been consulted as he had asked, caved in to the isolationist Republicans and proposed an amendment which said that the Senators would neither be affirming nor disaffirming the Yalta agreement by voting to condemn Russia's perversion of it. That had been, in effect, an implied condemnation of the agreement. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee then unanimously voted for the Taft amendment, and, on Senator Taft's motion, the Senate Republican policy committee endorsed that action. But Senator Walter George, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, attacked the Taft amendment, saying that he liked the President's language. State Department representatives sought to obtain Senate Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson's acceptance of the amendment, but Senator Johnson mockingly answered that he felt "like he had been invited to a party, but when he got there, the lights were out, the door was locked and the hosts were hiding under the bed." Bipartisan action on the resolution thus was dead.

The State Department legal adviser was reported also to have counseled rejection of the Taft amendment. Efforts at compromise went nowhere, and in the end, the resolution was buried. The chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Alexander Wiley, thought the whole episode was such a joke that he made one of his puns about it—"pacts vobiscum".

Marquis Childs indicates that the statements of General James Van Fleet, former commander of the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea before recently retiring, regarding an ammunition shortage in Korea, had placed in perspective the dilemma of the war, that the General had been deeply frustrated in his goal to bring the war to an end with victory. Returning to America, he had come to realize that most Americans saw the struggle as a great distance away and were irritated that it could not be painlessly ended. The General had said that if more had been done for the forces, the war would have been concluded victoriously. He was looking for someone to blame and punish.

But Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins had understood that there were worldwide responsibilities of the U.S. military, and so informed the Senate Armed Services Committee, as did Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens, both of the latter indicating that there were adequate supplies of ammunition to undertake more active and extended operations in Korea.

A new member of the Committee, Senator Stuart Symington, had been Secretary of the Air Force between 1947 and 1950, just prior to the beginning of the war, and in that capacity, had opposed the economy measures cutting the military establishment, undertaken by former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson. He had said that the Defense Department still suffered from inside competition between the services and that if the Pentagon were to operate under a unification law which provided for efficient business and military administration, the country could have more defense for much less money.

Mr. Childs concludes that if the Senators wanted a scapegoat, an investigation would turn up several, but that a rehash of past errors would not cure the deficiencies which had caused the consternation for General Van Fleet.

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