The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 18, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Forrest Edwards, that 27 B-29s had virtually wiped out the Communist supply and troop center at Pungha on the southern border of Manchuria this date, in the fourth largest bomber strike of the Korean War. It was the first time that the facility, three miles southeast of Sinuiju, had been hit and one airman said that it went up at once, as if someone had spilled gunpowder over the area and lit it. The bombers were so close to Manchuria that enemy anti-aircraft guns inside China had fired on them.

In ground action, Dutch and South Korean troops teamed to smash seven Chinese attacks on two advanced positions in the western sector. The Eighth Army reported that 80 enemy troops had been killed or wounded in the action. Six other small enemy probing contacts had been repulsed during the previous night and early this date. Behind the lines on the eastern front, four unidentified aircraft strafed allied positions, but there had been no casualties. The Air Force indicated it was investigating the incident.

Correspondent Stan Carter reports from the western front of a fight on "Little Gibraltar Hill" on Tuesday morning, wherein hundreds of Chinese troops had attacked the main line shortly after midnight, crashing through the barbed wire and bursting into the allied trenches. Fighting in their own bunkers and trenches, soldiers of the U.S. Second Division's Ninth Regiment clubbed the Chinese troops with rifle butts and killed them with bayonets and grenades in a battle lasting nearly eight hours. One black soldier guarded the entrance to a bunker and held off dozens of attacking Chinese troops until help had arrived. A lieutenant-colonel who was a battalion commander took over a platoon after the leader was hit, leading it into battle and then was struck three times by enemy grenades. Doctors at a mobile Army surgical hospital a few miles behind the front worked from morning until midnight at four operating tables tending to the wounded of the action. A Puerto Rican boy had lost both legs at the knee and was groaning in pain or despair. Such battles were called skirmishes, according to a tired American nurse, who observed that people at home did not know how bad it was, as she pointed to the stumps where the boy's legs had been. The battalion commander said that one of the heroes of the battle had been the black soldier guarding their bunker against enemy intrusion, that he did not know who he was, but that the Second Division was trying to find out for him, as the soldier had held off the enemy at the entrance to the bunker for at least an hour and was the "bravest man" he had ever seen. The black soldier was identified this date as Private Courtney Stanley of Mansfield, La., who had saved not only the colonel's life but also those of two other men in the bunker. Private Stanley said that he had killed eight Chinese troops who attacked the bunker and suffered only a few scratches from enemy concussion grenades, remaining on duty this date on "Little Gibraltar Hill".

At the U.N. in New York, the U.S. challenged Russia this date to demonstrate in the current debate over disarmament that the new Prime Minister of Russia, Georgi Malenkov, sincerely wanted to settle world problems peacefully, as he had indicated in his inaugural address the prior Monday. U.S. delegate Ernest Gross led off the debate on disarmament before the Assembly's 60-member political committee by indicating that he hoped Mr. Malenkov's use of the word "peace" had the same meaning as the word was understood by the rest of the world. He said that an opportunity to demonstrate it would come on the question of disarmament, expressing the hope that the Soviets were ready to negotiate in good faith.

The U.S. this date, in a diplomatic note from the State Department, demanded that Russia discipline the Soviet jet fighter pilot who had attacked a U.S. weather reconnaissance plane the previous Sunday, 25 miles off Kamchatka. It asked for measures to prevent a repetition of the incident, which had involved an American B-50 bomber, flying from Alaska, being tailed by two Soviet MIG-15s, one of which had opened fire, at which time the B-50 returned fire and the Soviet plane withdrew. No damage was apparently done to either plane. The note indicated that the plane was at least 25 miles from the nearest Soviet territory at the time of the attack.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as anticipated by Majority Leader Senator Taft, gave its approval this date to Charles Bohlen as the new Ambassador to Russia.

Senator Taft said this date, in an interview, that a four billion dollar cut in former President Truman's budget for the ensuing fiscal year might be enough to balance the Federal budget, that 1.5 to two billion dollars could be cut from the cost of civilian activities but that the remainder would have to come from defense. The former President had said before leaving office, in a report to Congress, that the estimated deficit between revenue and spending in his proposed 78.6 billion dollar budget would be about ten billion dollars, but Senator Taft said that he doubted spending would rise much, if any, above the current rate of 72 billion per year.

The President nominated Walter Robertson of Richmond, Va., an investment banker and Eisenhower Democrat, to be Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern affairs. The President also nominated Lt. General Laurence Kuter to be commanding general of the Air University at Montgomery, Ala. In addition, the pending nomination of William Howard Taft III, the son of Senator Taft, to be Ambassador to Ireland, had been sent to the Senate this date.

Congressman Harold Velde, chairman of HUAC, awaited word from the House Rules Committee this date on whether he would receive requested permission to have a vote of confidence before the entire House to continue as chairman of HUAC, to clear a resolution presented by Representative Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., of New York, seeking his ouster as chairman, accusing Mr. Velde of several things, one of which was that it was possible he would undertake a probe of churchmen in search of subversives. A supporter of Mr. Velde, Congressman Donald Jackson of California, said that one Methodist bishop had been to Communism what "Man O'War" had been to thoroughbred horse racing. He also alleged that a Birmingham clergyman had said that he was in the church to get people organized for Communism, that he had said publicly that he was politically a Communist. The Methodist bishop he had named responded that Mr. Jackson had "used the floor of the House to broadcast a lie." The Birmingham minister could not be reached for comment.

The National Association of Real Estate Boards this date called for absolute decontrol of rents, without any standby authority to restore ceilings, contending that rents had only risen modestly in areas where controls had already been removed. It said that Federal designation of critical areas for rent control could be accomplished by local communities without the expense of maintaining the Federal bureaucracy and the harassment caused by it. The Administration planned to retain rent control in critical areas of defense housing, beyond the present expiration date of April 30 for all other rent controls.

In Raleigh, before the General Assembly, Charlotte bankers, appearing before the State House Committee on Banks & Banking, sought permission to close banks on Saturdays, running into opposition from three representatives of retail merchandising companies who argued that Saturday was still an important trading day on which they needed to do business with the banks. The bankers had indicated that they would extend banking hours on Friday afternoon and early evening to compensate for the Saturday closings. The opposition said that such a schedule would close banks to farmers, who could only come to town on Saturdays, and that industrial workers and teachers also performed banking and shopping on Saturdays. The banks had complained that they had great difficulty in hiring personnel because they could not offer a five-day work week. The Committee took no action on the bill this date.

Also in Raleigh, a bill intended to ban parking meters in the state was placed before the State House this date, while the State Senate was passing unanimously a bill backed by Governor William B. Umstead to reorganize the State Personnel Council.

The State Supreme Court in Raleigh this date held that a judge could not banish a person from the state as a probationary condition of a suspended prison sentence. The defendant before the Court had been sentenced in Edgecombe County in 1951 to two years in prison, suspended on condition that he leave the state for two years, subsequently being charged with violating the terms of probation, resulting in imposition of the prison sentence. The Court said that such a sentence was effectively a banishment or exile for two years, providing the defendant no opportunity to avoid serving the road sentence except by exile, and that it was unfair to force him into another state where North Carolina could not exercise any restraint on him, and, moreover, was not sound public policy, making other states a dumping ground for the state's criminals. The court remanded the case for resentencing.

In another case, the Court affirmed an award of $6,000 to a man for the death of his seven-year old daughter, who had been killed by a school bus in Mitchell County in April, 1951.

The story provides a full list of cases decided this date and a short statement of the action taken.

In Charlotte, two persons were injured during the afternoon when a church school bus and an automobile had collided at Hawthorne Lane and East 4th Street. Two persons had been pinned under the bus, but they were quickly removed and rushed to the hospital. Police did not immediately indicate the cause of the accident.

Not on the page, this night in Kansas City, beginning at around 10:00 EST, the national championship game of the N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournament would take place between defending national champion Kansas, ranked number five in the last Associated Press top-20 poll of the previous week, and number one ranked Indiana, a rematch of the 1940 national championship game which Indiana had won easily by 18 points. The game would be back and forth throughout and Indiana would finally come out on top by a single point, 69 to 68, the first time in 15 N.C.A.A. championship games since 1939 that the title had been decided by such a narrow margin, the previous closest title game having been in 1944, won by Utah over Dartmouth in overtime by two points, the next closest having been three-point wins, in 1946, by Oklahoma A & M over UNC, and in 1950, by CCNY over Bradley. It would continue as the closest title game until 1957, when UNC would beat Kansas in triple overtime by a single point, still the only triple overtime title game in N.C.A.A. history. After an Indiana player, Bob Leonard, had made the second of two free throw attempts to take a one-point lead with 27 seconds remaining, Kansas, following a timeout, was unable to capitalize on its only remaining shot opportunity, coming at the buzzer. Future UNC head coach Dean Smith was a member of the Kansas squad, in his senior year. He played in the title game, as a center, scoring one free throw and committing a personal foul.

Here's a riddle: Who is the only N.C.A.A. defending national champion in men's basketball two years in succession, though only having won one championship? Here's a hint: "The Purloined Letter".

The News presents its annual Garden Section in this date's newspaper, edited by Cora Harris, widely recognized garden authority, providing answers to all gardening problems.

We have a problem with disarranged hydrangeas. What shall we do?

On the editorial page, "On Windows and Fresh Air" indicates that four years earlier, Governor Kerr Scott had caused a hue and cry to erupt from the conservative wing of the state's Democratic Party when he had announced that he was going to open up the windows around Raleigh and "let in some fresh air". His critics had charged that he was going to get rid of a lot of the holdovers from earlier conservative gubernatorial administrations. They had turned out to be correct, as Governor Scott had "let the breeze blow until the whole capital city was thoroughly ventilated and refreshed."

Now, conservative Governor William B. Umstead was outdoing Governor Scott in the same vein, to the cheers of the conservatives who had criticized Governor Scott. The new Governor's supporters in the General Assembly had passed bills to reorganize the Paroles Commission, the Highway Commission, the State Ports Authority, and the State Board of Conservation & Development, permitting the Governor to make fresh appointments to those agencies, and was considering doing the same with the State Personnel Council and the State Board of Elections. In some of those agencies, the terms of the members were staggered, on the theory that no single governor should be permitted to appoint the entire membership, but now Governor Umstead would be able to do just that, thanks to the efforts of the Assembly.

It indicates that this precedent was risky, as a subsequent governor might be of less integrity and a subsequent Assembly less trustworthy than the present ones.

It adds that Charlotte attorney Haywood Robbins had effectively resigned from the Board of Elections rather than be forced by the Legislature to resign as of May 31, so that the Governor could appoint a new Board, when his term normally would have run through the end of the year.

"Urban Redevelopment Change Needed" hopes that five members of the Mecklenburg County legislative delegation to the General Assembly would support the amendments to the Urban Redevelopment Act which had been introduced the previous day by the delegations from Guilford and Cumberland Counties. Most of the changes were of a technical nature, but one went to the very heart of urban redevelopment. Under existing law, a single structure within a blighted area which did not conform with the definition of "blighted" could cause the entire project to fail, whereas the proposed amendment would permit redevelopment of an area, provided two-thirds of the structures within it were considered "blighted".

It indicates that the amendment was vital to urban redevelopment in the state and without it, the redevelopment commissions could not function properly. Thus, before the Legislature was the question of whether to continue urban redevelopment, as the Legislature had set on course two years earlier, or to abandon that course, leaving the law as it was.

Mecklenburg County had been a leader in the first truly practical national program of redevelopment and elimination of slums, and, it suggests, therefore, that the Mecklenburg delegation should be at the forefront of the battle for the amendment.

"No Presidential Primary for N.C." indicates that the current session of the General Assembly, after almost 90 days, had not yet received a single bill to give voters a chance to express themselves in a presidential preference primary, despite the popularity of the concept elsewhere in the nation. It suggests that it was easier for an entrenched political machine, as were the Democrats in North Carolina, to operate through conventions to control delegations at the national convention, but that process left the people with little voice in picking their candidates.

Two bills had been introduced before the Nebraska Legislature, generally conforming to the model primary law of the State of Washington, and a national movement to have Congress set uniform rules and establish a nationwide primary was gaining strength. The main problem with a presidential primary was the lack of uniformity of governing rules and that they were held over a long period of time, with the leading candidates only sometimes on the ballot.

It suggests that the presidential primary would come to the South, in all likelihood, only after it had become entrenched elsewhere and after establishment of a two-party system. But as long as the voters remained indifferent, the politicians would not disturb the status quo, which was why the General Assembly was unlikely to make any move in that direction during the 1953 biennial session.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "Anyway, the Farmers Are Happy", indicates that the battle lines were set, with the scientists on one side and the Chlorophyll Industry Committee, representing the chlorophyll manufacturers who produced products to make people fragrant, on the other, with the issue to be decided before the end of the year as to whether chlorophyll was properly a deodorant.

The piece proposes to take no side on the issue, but observes that such an issue could only have arisen to international proportions in an age when people were easily mesmerized by the sellers of ointments and pills of various types which promised to make them better than they were. At the moment, it finds, the scientists had the better of the argument.

The British Medical Journal had published a report on experiments with chlorophyll undertaken at Glasgow University, with a research team pitting chlorophyll against vile gases, skunks, garlic, chopped onions and a number of perfumes, reporting that chlorophyll had lost and that in one experiment, when it was mixed with chopped onions, the resultant odor was so offensive that the experiment had to be abandoned.

But manufacturers of chlorophyll products dismissed the findings, including those of the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research, the head of Johns Hopkins University's Department of chemistry, and the chief of the National Bureau of Standards, all of whom had asserted that chlorophyll had nothing to do with deodorization. But the industry had been producing about 100 million dollars worth of chlorophyll products per year for the previous five years. The beneficiary was the alfalfa farmer, whose product served as the basis for extraction of chlorophyll, with the boom in chlorophyll dog soap, pills and other such products the previous summer having caused an increase in the price of the highest grade of alfalfa from $60 to $100 per ton.

It observes that the farmer might wonder why the scent of his cows was not more pleasant if chlorophyll had an ameliorative effect, but that, no doubt, he hoped that the bonanza would last.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Joint Chiefs were having to consider a budget cut of 4.25 billion dollars suddenly thrown at them by Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. The most significant saving which they could accomplish, that of super aircraft carriers, would also be the most controversial. That question had helped to bring about the resignation of former Defense Secretary Louis Johnson under the Truman Administration. It was a fact, however, that defense cuts could not be accomplished by merely trimming every item. It would have to be cut by drastically trimming the least needed weapons a lot, a category in which the supercarrier was shown by secret studies to belong. It was not only inessential of itself, but also took too many vessels to protect it, as established by a report of the British Joint Chiefs after the NATO naval maneuvers in the Baltic the prior year. That report had been held up in Europe by the office of Vice-Admiral Arthur Davis, but it could now be revealed that the British claimed that it would be "suicidal" to throw naval aircraft against Russia's superior land-based planes, and that carriers were needed mainly to protect shipping.

In addition, the U.S. Navy had suppressed vitally important facts about the poor showing of carrier planes in Korea, eliminating embarrassing statistics by labeling them "top secret", concealing those flaws from the public and from Congress, perhaps even from those in the Defense Department seeking to cut the budget. Mr. Pearson indicates that, after omitting details which might be of help to the enemy, he was able to reveal that from the beginning of the Korean War through the beginning of 1953, slightly less than 75 percent of U.S. combat aircraft had been land-based, and yet had flown 83 percent of the total offensive missions, only 17 percent having been flown by carrier-based planes. The Navy's land-based planes, constituting but four percent of all combat planes based on land but flying only a tenth of one percent of the missions, did not measure up to those of the Air Force, whereas the Marines, with 12 percent of the land-based planes, had flown 15 percent of the missions, with the remaining 18 percent flown by U.N. allies. The Navy had assigned seven carriers to the Korean War and yet the average number of carriers actually on duty had been less than four, the others ferrying back and forth or tied up at Pacific bases for repairs, with even the four on duty having to interrupt flight operations about half the time to take on supplies and make repairs. In addition, a fourth of the Navy's combat sorties had been restricted to circling over the carriers as protective cover. Finally, of the 615 MIG fighter planes shot down over Korea, the Navy had bagged only seven, the result of the Navy having inferior planes and thus having ordered its pilots to avoid engagement with the faster Russian-made jets.

A carrier force cost seven times more and required nine times more manpower, using 13 times more fuel, than an equivalent group of Air Force bombers, taking into account the land base and all its facilities and defenses for the Air Force planes. Yet, not even the most economy-minded experts were arguing that carriers should be eliminated, as small carriers were vitally important to hunting down and destroying enemy submarines.

Marquis Childs regards the delay in confirmation by the Senate of Charles Bohlen as the new Ambassador to the Soviet Union—whose nomination was approved this date by the Foreign Relations Committee. Mr. Bohlen had served in Moscow previously and understood the Communist world, making him highly qualified for the position. There was good reason to believe that he had been the President's personal choice, affirmed by Secretary of State Dulles, as Mr. Childs had heard the President speak of Mr. Bohlen in glowing terms regarding his expert knowledge of the enigma of Russia. Mr. Childs thus questions why there should be any issue regarding his confirmation.

But Republican Senators did not like his views on the Tehran and Yalta and agreements of 1943 and 1945, respectively, when Mr. Bohlen was President Roosevelt's interpreter at both conferences. He had told the Senators of the Foreign Relations Committee during his confirmation hearings that there was nothing wrong with either agreement, that any ceded territory to the Soviets was already on the verge of being taken by them in any event and had strengthened the Western position at the time, it being necessary to obtain Russia's cooperation in the final fight against Japan.

But Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan was facing re-election the following year and there were a great many Polish-Americans in the large industrial centers of Michigan, thus making it expedient for him to run against the Yalta agreement as having been a betrayal of Poland. Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire was also up for re-election in 1954 and also opposed Mr. Bohlen's confirmation. He was close to the China-Firsters who helped finance the effort to defeat his New Hampshire colleague, Senator Charles Tobey. Such "vindictive extremists" wanted not only to change the course of American foreign policy, but also to rewrite the history of recent years.

Some believed that Senator Bridges might face the formidable opposition of the former Governor of New Hampshire Sherman Adams in 1954, Mr. Adams currently the chief of staff for the President.

Mr. Childs observes that events had moved so fast that it was hard to realize that just a year earlier General Eisenhower had vanquished Senator Taft in the New Hampshire primary, despite the latter having stumped the state tirelessly and the General at the time still being in Paris in his position as supreme commander of NATO, forced to rely on surrogates to conduct his campaign. Anyone who was not familiar with the election results might think that a Democratic Administration was still in the White House, given the level of opposition in Congress to the Administration's policies and appointments.

Mr. Bohlen had been smeared a few years earlier, presumably because of his realistic stand on Communism, the charge having been made that he was related to the Krupp von Bohlen family of Germany and that therefore he must be pro-German. Now, Mr. Childs observes, he was facing another smear at the other end of the political spectrum.

James Marlow tells of the Eisenhower Administration having arrived in Washington eager to cut the budget and aware that everybody was watching them. For the prior 20 years, the Republicans had complained about Democratic overspending, and now they had their chance to do something about it. But already there was a difference of opinion inside the Administration, with Budget Bureau director Joseph Dodge wanting to trim far more from the Interior Department budget than did Interior Secretary Douglas McKay.

Before he had left office, President Truman had prepared a budget for the ensuing fiscal year of 78.5 billion dollars, which Congress then had to examine and try to find areas to cut. That budget looked too large to the Eisenhower Administration and it had gone to work on its own estimates. Congress was still awaiting a report from the new Administration on the budget.

Mr. Dodge had thought the Interior Department's budget could be reduced by 200 million dollars against that estimated by President Truman, based on figures of former Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman. But Secretary McKay, former Governor of Oregon, could not see how he could perform his job adequately with more than a cut of 54 million dollars. That difference of opinion within the Administration was the only one which had thus far come to light, but there probably would be others, most likely, observes Mr. Marlow, in the Defense and State Departments.

A letter writer from Mallard Creek, N.C., indicates her interest in the firing on February 10 of L. D. Campbell from the Mecklenburg County school bus system, after a report of the firing had surfaced in the February 18 edition of the newspaper. She indicates that it was inappropriate for the County School Board to conduct such firings in secret. The Board had eventually determined that Mr. Campbell could receive a bill of particulars to which he would be given the opportunity to respond, a hearing having been set for March 10 and then postponed because of an illness of the chairman of the Board. She had then called the chairman to see when the meeting would be held, and he had informed her that there would be no "mass meeting". She had called the head of the State school bus transportation system about the matter, and he had told her that Mr. Campbell's record had been good and that when she found out why he had been fired, he would also like to know. She wanted to know whether "we still live in America".

A letter writer from Hamlet thanks the State Senate for defeating the proposed vehicle inspection law, indicating that only 15 percent of accidents had been caused by mechanical defects, suggesting that the other 85 percent were caused by late model vehicles being driven carelessly or by drunk drivers.

A letter writer originally from Oregon, now of New York City, responds to the recent editorial, titled "Ornery Oregonian", on Senator Wayne Morse, indicating that Oregon had been "ornery enough" in the past to give the U.S. the direct election of Senators, the direct primary, the initiative and referendum, and the recall from public office of "ornery scalawags". He indicates that Oregonians thought for themselves. Passing through Charlotte for a day, he had observed that the citizens were "ornery enough" to have their own ideas about operating a city, and he had not seen anything so inspiring anywhere in the world, not even in Oregon.

A letter writer from Rock Hill, S.C., finds the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act to be a law of exclusion and not immigration, inconsistent with traditional American concepts of democracy. He points to an editorial of November 14, 1952, in the New York Times, quoting therefrom, indicating that whereas the old law had barred not only Communists but also Nazis, Fascists and Falangists, the McCarran Act contained no such provision, with the result that one type of totalitarian was excluded while others were welcomed. It pointed out that estimates had come from Frankfurt, Germany, that more than 4,000 Germans with a Nazi stigma on their records would become eligible to apply for visas to the U.S. and that more than two-thirds of those applications would be approved under the new law. The writer points out that the President had made a speech in Newark during the campaign the previous fall, in which he had said that the Act needed to be rewritten, in a way which would "strike an intelligent, unbigoted balance between the immigration welfare for America and the prayerful hopes of the unhappy and the oppressed."

A letter writer also comments on the McCarran Act, with specific reference to a previous letter which had responded to the letter of Harry Golden, this writer indicating that the opposition to the Act by Protestant clergy was based on the Scriptures. She finds the Act "one of the most ungodly and un-American acts" legislated by the country. She indicates that with the exception of Indians, all Americans were immigrants, leaving behind the tyranny and persecution of the Old World and coming to America for religious, political and economic freedom. But now, the country was saying no one else could come in if they had anything questionable in their past associations. She urges not forgetting that the land was God's and that all men were God's children, that the citizens of the United States were merely stewards of that land. She asserts that the greatest danger to the country was not Communism but the lack of the fear of the Lord.

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