The Charlotte News

Monday, March 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied infantrymen the previous night had repulsed a 750-man Chinese Communist assault against the main U.N. line on the western front in Korea, routing the enemy in a 3.5-hour close-quarters fight, with U.S., French and Thai infantrymen joining in the battle, supported by British artillery. The Chinese had penetrated the U.N. defenses at one point near "Little Gibraltar Hill", west of Yonchon, and had partially overrun a U.S. platoon, who had nevertheless stood their ground and repulsed the enemy. About 200 Chinese troops had been killed or wounded in the action, the heaviest in over a month.

Rain and wet snow had fallen across the front after the retreat of the enemy, turning the scene of the previous night's battle into a quagmire and making it difficult to communicate with front lines. The overcast skies grounded U.N. warplanes.

In Tokyo, Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida threatened this date to dissolve the Diet after the House had agreed to consider a motion of censure against his pro-American Administration. A spokesman for the dominant liberal party said that the Prime Minister might be forced to invoke a law requesting Emperor Hirohito to dissolve the Diet, a request, if made, which the Emperor could not deny. The House had moved to censure the Prime Minister for calling a rival a "stupid idiot". The Prime Minister's deputy told newsmen that the passage of the motion by the committee illustrated the unstable political situation but would not cause the Prime Minister to resign. The Prime Minister dismissed the Agriculture Minister this night on grounds that he had been uncooperative, being a leader of one of the factions threatening to split the liberal party. The Minister had led a group of 30 dissident liberals in boycott of the vote on censure during the morning, thus assuring that it would be sent to the committee. Opposition spokesmen protested against the threat to dissolve the Diet, indicating that national elections had been held only the previous October and were very expensive for both the Government and the candidates. The Prime Minister had dissolved the Diet the previous August after a feud with the Speaker of the House. An emergency meeting of the Cabinet was called by the Prime Minister this date to study the situation. If the Prime Minister were to suffer a vote of censure in the House, he would almost certainly be forced to resign. The vote to consider the motion of censure had been 191 to 162.

In Tehran, mobs shouting anti-American slogans stoned American cars and homes this date as part of continuing riots, initially aimed the prior Saturday against Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, whose supporters now appeared to be gaining the upper hand in the demonstrations, which had alternately condemned and defended him. The Premier sought to re-establish his hold on the Government following the attack on his home the prior Saturday, which had forced him, while wearing pajamas, to the traditional sanctuary of the Parliament building. The Government arrested 70 Army officers, accusing them of inciting the riot against the Government. The Premier also fired his Army chief of staff, accusing him of not acting promptly to check the anti-Government riots. An anti-Mossadegh mob raided the headquarters of the nationalist pro-Mossadegh Iran Party, smashing furniture and windows. Generally, this date's riots favored the Premier, replacing the tone of the Saturday riots, which had included the rallying cry, "death or the Shah", with the rioters now shouting, "death or Mossadegh". One Iranian student had been stabbed to death in a fight between the supporters of the Premier and members of the outlawed Communist Tudeh Party, who had been trying to join a demonstration backing the Premier. The enraged mob carried the body of the student, who was a supporter of the Premier, to the Parliament square and paraded it above the crowd, who had grown to an estimated 8,000 persons. The crowd became so threatening that police dispersed it by shooting into the air and firing tear gas bursts. U.S. Point Four and consular offices in the city were closed, and Embassy personnel ordered to stay off the streets, in light of the anti-American turn of the rioting.

In London, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said to Commons this date that he would be ready to join a conference with President Eisenhower and Prime Minister Stalin, but that the talks would have to be on a basis outlined by the President. The statement came in response to a statement by the President during his February 25 press conference, in which he said that he would be willing to meet with Stalin at any reasonable place between Washington and Moscow at any time the President thought it would be beneficial to facilitating world peace, provided that such a meeting would only take place with full knowledge of U.S. allies.

Charles Bohlen, Ambassador-designate to Russia, was facing questioning this date from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee regarding his confirmation, the questions related to the World War II agreements involving the U.S., Britain and Russia, those at Tehran in 1943, Yalta in February, 1945, and Potsdam in July, 1945. The President had asked Congress to join him in denouncing the Soviets' perversion of the agreements made in those documents, and their actions which had led to the enslavement of peoples living behind the Iron Curtain. Senator Homer Ferguson of the Committee and others in Congress had made it clear that they did not want Congress to approve those agreements, even by implication, that the agreements, themselves, were problematic. The Senator had asked Mr. Bohlen what Russian demands had led to the agreements. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama cautioned against Republican calls for a tougher resolution than that sought by the President, that going too far in repudiating the agreements of the prior two Administrations would risk loss of Democratic support for the resolution. He warned that if the debate continued, questioning the validity of the agreements because they had never been submitted to Congress, the Russians might attempt another blockade of Berlin, the four zones of that city having been created in the wartime agreements. Senator Sparkman said that he would, however, not object to proposed language by Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, that in denouncing Russian denial of freedom and self-determination in the Iron Curtain countries, the Senate was not saying that the agreements, themselves, were either good or bad. Senator Taft hoped that the resolution would be approved in the full Senate by the following Friday, after Committee approval the following day.

Attorney General Herbert Brownell told the Senate Interior Committee this date that he believed the states should receive the mineral resources from submerged coastal areas but that he would not provide them quitclaim title to those areas. The Committee was considering bills which would provide the coastal regions of the coastal states to those states. Mr. Brownell indicated that his view intended to minimize or eliminate the constitutional issue raised by witnesses who had testified before the Committee, but that he did not intend to cast doubt on the constitutionality of the quitclaim legislation.

Senator Taft indicated to newsmen, following the regular Monday meeting between Congressional leaders and the President at the White House this date, that the President would probably send to Congress a reorganization plan the following week, seeking Cabinet status for the Federal Security Agency, currently headed by Oveta Culp Hobby, who also attended the conference. He and House Speaker Joe Martin said that the conference also dealt with Hawaiian statehood and legislation to recognize state titles to the submerged coastal lands, which the Administration favored. The President had returned the previous night from his long golfing weekend in Augusta, begun on Thursday night. Fore...

Look out, neighbor.

Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana, renewing his plea for standby controls on wages, prices and rents, said this date that such power would be "a little economic penicillin" against "economic plague—come a war, God forbid." The Senate Banking Committee was beginning hearings, scheduled to last two weeks, regarding controls legislation, with some 60 witnesses expected to testify. Several proposals were being considered regarding extension of controls beyond their current expiration date, some set to expire on April 30 and others in June. Other proposals would allow the availability of standby controls favored by Senator Capehart.

Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson was planning a house-cleaning of some Department personnel he believed were actively in opposition to his farm program. He said that attacks on him and his programs had originated from inside and outside the Department and that the attacks were aimed at misrepresenting his farm policy and confusing the farmers in a period of price decline. In an interview during the weekend with Associated Press correspondent Don Whitehead, the Secretary said that he was a strong believer in price supports and always had been, that he would recommend inclusion of price supports as part of any new program, while also believing that rigid price supports at high levels encouraged inefficiency and wasteful surpluses on the part of farmers, and would thus favor flexible price supports rather than supports fixed at 90 percent of parity as required by the present law for basic farm commodities, not including perishables. He said that price supports to prevent distress and disaster were useful, but that flexibility was needed in their application.

Donald Tydings, IRB official under investigation before a House Ways & Means subcommittee for receiving preferential treatment in his position for being the cousin of former Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, testified before the subcommittee this date that he had once sought to borrow $2,500 from a nightclub operator whose alcohol tax case had been under his jurisdiction, admitting that it was irregular and that he had not been disciplined for it. He had been the assistant supervisor of the Atlanta regional office of the Alcohol Tax Division until the prior December, on leave since that time.

In Coral Gables, Fla., Hartwig Baruch, 84, oldest of the four well-known brothers, of whom financier and adviser to several Presidents, Bernard, was one, died this date.

A storm, carrying snow, strong winds, freezing rain and sleet from the Rocky Mountains to the Virginia coast, continued into its third day, while there were signs of clearing in the Southwest. A belt of blizzard conditions nearly spanned the entire continent, from eastern Montana and northern Nevada through the Great Plains, into the Mississippi and Ohio Valleys, bearing winds ranging up to 40 mph. Accidents from the storms had taken six lives in Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Illinois. As much as 12 inches of snow had fallen in one town in Nebraska, 8 inches at St. Joseph, Mo., and 7 inches in central Illinois. Snow fell in the mountains of Southern California and the Highway Patrol limited travel in some sections to cars with chains.

In Amersham, England, a study by the British Ministry of Agriculture determined that dormice playing football with nuts and apples had caused a disturbance in the attics of the town at night. Since they only appeared at night, people rarely saw the dormice and had thus tended to blame ghosts for the thumping overhead which they heard during the wee hours. The Ministry's pest expert explained that when the weather became cold, the dormice sought shelter in houses, especially attracted to attics when apples or nuts were stored there. They also played with the food in a kind of soccer game, producing the noises. He said that they were not the common native dormouse, the size of a regular mouse, but were instead of the bushy-tailed European variety, as large as a small squirrel and known commonly as a giant dormouse.

Now, the Ministry of Tourism will have to step in and run interference with the soccer game, so that Amersham's trade in haunted spectacles will not be diminished by the report attributing the sounds to mundane origins.

On the editorial page, "Piecemeal Tax Revision Is Risky" indicates that on the following Thursday, a joint subcommittee of the State House and Senate Finance Committees would hold a public hearing on the North Carolina intangibles tax, which it proceeds to delineate in a table, showing that total collections of the tax were a little over 4.2 million dollars. The State Government, while collecting the tax, retained only 20 percent of it, with the balance refunded to local government units, resulting in the State netting only $845,577 in the previous fiscal year from the tax, with the remaining 3.4 million going to the cities and counties. The tax therefore was a windfall for the local units but of little consequence to the State. Were the local units to lose the intangibles tax, they would need to make up the revenue from other sources.

It suggests that, nevertheless, each unit of government ought collect its own revenue, as otherwise, the citizenry had difficulty keeping up with the cost of government. Also, the fact that the State Government collected the tax without receiving most of its benefit provided a distorted picture of the State's tax structure to out-of-state businesses. In addition, the intangible property presently taxed comprised dynamic wealth of either actual or potential producers of income, such as shares of stock, potentially discouraging the widespread ownership of corporations.

It suggests that in its study of the intangibles tax, the joint Senate-House subcommittee ought maintain those points in mind while also bearing in mind the whole State-local revenue structure, that a tax lost from one source had to be made up from another or the services to the people reduced.

It hopes that the General Assembly would authorize the creation of a special commission to examine the whole tax picture in the state, that a piecemeal approach could create as many inequities as it eliminated.

We note that we do not ordinarily devote so much detail to editorials dealing with such arcane information from so long ago, but are feeling generous to our readers today—as we have finally caught up to you in 2020 after being a day behind for the past year, you Leapers.

"McCarthy's Disservice to Mr. Dulles" indicates that the President would sooner or later have to face the issue raised by Senator Joseph McCarthy's probe of the Voice of America, whether the new Administration was to have the opportunity to put its house in order without dictation from the legislative branch. Since the Administration had only been in power for about 40 days, it was just beginning to undertake the large job of surveying the executive branch to determine what functions should be changed or abolished and what personnel should be retained or fired.

Secretary of State Dulles and the President had been seeking to shift foreign policy to a more dynamic and positive basis, but the Secretary had been forced to devote his attention to the sidelines clamor stirred up by Senator McCarthy's investigation of the Voice. The Secretary had repeatedly given ground to Senator McCarthy, with directives having been issued and then withdrawn, personnel having been discharged and then rehired. The result was the kind of executive branch disorder and confusion which the President said in the State of the Union would be the basis for legislative inquiry, having been caused by the premature legislative inquiry.

It suggests that the President would soon have to exercise his authority to police the executive branch rather than allowing it to be performed by Senator McCarthy and others of his stripe, who would only compound the disorder and confusion.

"Let's Keep the Banks Open Saturdays" indicates that the Charlotte Clearing House Association had proposed a new law, applicable only to Charlotte, which would authorize banks to operate on a five-day week, remaining closed on Saturdays. The piece does not favor the change, as banking hours were already irritatingly short, with all banks except the Bank of Charlotte, which operated on a 9 to 5 basis six days per week, being open only 23 hours per week, 9:00 to 1:00 weekdays and 9:00 until noon on Saturdays. The bankers argued that the proposed law would only be permissive and that most banks, to compensate for closing on Saturday, would probably stay open on some of the usual bank holidays, of which there were 12 in North Carolina.

The piece is not persuaded by the other argument of the bankers, that the city was so metropolitan that its residents could perform their banking during the week, as many tradesmen, factory workers, schoolteachers and farmers found it difficult to get to the bank on weekdays. Late afternoon hours one day per week would help but would still pose an inconvenience to many. The piece acknowledges the personnel problems of banks but also believes that as a public service enterprise, the already short banking hours should not be further curtailed to the inconvenience of the public.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Senators as a Delicacy", tells of Abidjan being a town in the Ivory Coast, part of French West Africa, located around the equator, and delivering up bad news. The Ivory Coast was entitled to representation in the French Assembly, including a Senator. Senator Biaka-Boda of that nation had gone out into the African bush in 1950 on a stump-speaking tour and then disappeared, with rumors being that a pile of bones had turned up where he had last been seen directing harangues at the savage bushmen, still not considered evidence, however, of his death. But the Ivory Coast had no Senator and could not elect a new one until the former Senator was officially declared dead. As a result, A. L. Sulzberger of the New York Times had mused that "you cannot have your Senator and eat him too."

The piece indicates its hope that the U.S. electorate did not undertake such a diet of consumption of Senators in such a literal way, that Americans were always chewing on their Senators, some of them being tough and some full of filibusters, a few, tender and juicy and hollering when a knife was stuck in them, while others were not worth maintaining in cold storage.

It wonders what Senator Biaka-Boda had been saying in his stump speeches.

That's simple. He probably invited the course on himself, and they took him too literally.

Drew Pearson tells of Dr. Wilson Compton, former head of the Voice of America and the State Department's information program, having been a lifelong Republican and one of three famous brothers, each of whom was a college president, and having worked with the Democrats but nevertheless believing that the country was in better hands under Republican leadership. His oldest brother, Carl Compton, was the president of MIT and his younger brother was president of Washington State College. Two years earlier, he had consented to take over the information program at the State Department and the Voice of America, picked for the position by Secretary of State Acheson for his executive experience and because he was a Republican. Mr. Acheson had probably been responsible for the appointment of more Republicans than Democrats in the Department, helping to form bipartisan foreign policy. Recently, Dr. Compton had received an emergency call from the State Department, indicating that Secretary of State Dulles wanted to see him at once. The U.S. Advisory Committee on Information, the chairman of which he was having lunch with at the time, had just issued a report lauding him for his job with the Voice. But Mr. Dulles told him that his tender of resignation on January 1 was being accepted, though he wished him to remain until a new person could be found to replace him, after which Dr. Compton mused to a friend that he probably should have been a Democrat as he had been looking forward to a Republican Administration.

Secretary Dulles was so upset by the McCarthy probe that he made snap decisions, ignoring the advice of Undersecretary Walter Bedell Smith, experienced in government. The previous weekend, Alfred Morton, head of the Voice of America in New York, had sent a proposed directive to Washington regarding the question of quoting from Stalin, Karl Marx and other Communist leaders, winding up, for unknown reasons and despite being routinely coded, reaching Senator McCarthy before it reached its intended recipient at the State Department. Since the code was that used by the Army, Navy, State Department and the CIA, the leak was serious, subjecting Senator McCarthy or his staff to prosecution under the Espionage Act. The leak, however, was of less concern to Secretary Dulles than the fact that Mr. Morton appeared to differ with Washington regarding the subject of quoting Communists, despite Mr. Morton, a former NBC vice-president, having been in the radio business for years and having a long record of anti-Communism. In consequence, Mr. Dulles suspended him for differing over Washington policy, even though it turned out that Mr. Morton was only suggesting a proposed directive, on which he had been seeking the advice of the State Department, and was intending it as a means to refute the words of Stalin or Marx by quoting them. In the end, Mr. Morton had been reinstated, but the ban against the quotations remained, and there had still been no explanation as to how Senator McCarthy had obtained a copy of the coded teletype message prior to the intended recipient at the State Department.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President having been unprepared for the business-political pressures which abounded at the White House. They cite the example of the Balboa case, a decision by the Civil Aeronautics Board regarding which domestic airlines would combine with airlines serving South America to provide through-service with domestic destinations. Eastern Air Lines and Pan American wanted to join for the purpose, but if those two large airlines did so, the smaller competitors would be squeezed out. Two of those competitors, National Air Lines and Braniff, also served South America. The previous year, the CAB had unanimously ruled that Eastern could join Braniff to supply the service to South America, while National would join with Pan American for the same purpose, thus eliminating the problem of two large airlines combining to eliminate competition. But at that point, Presidential advisers John Steelman and Matt Connelly intervened with President Truman, who then sent the decision back to the Board with a request for reconsideration, after which the Board unanimously again reached the same decision, at which point the President pigeonholed it from the previous summer until just before the end of his term and then sent the decision back unsigned a second time. The Board then voted the same way a third time and now the decision rested with President Eisenhower, resulting in a large amount of lobbying around the White House and the CAB.

That which was at stake was the pattern of power in a great industry and a basic principle under which the Government could either support the large companies, which were generally more efficient and better financed, but which also had powerful political connections, or could support the principle of maintaining competitive balance in the Government-subsidized airline industry.

Another example of the sort of pressure was in the case of the Federal Power Commission. Senator Charles Tobey, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, had recently written a memo to the President, saying that the producers in the oil and gas states wanted to obtain control of the membership of the Commission for the purpose of obtaining gas prices to their net benefit. Those interests had succeeded in doing so at the end of President Truman's term, with an administrative ruling by the Commission reversing the President's veto of the gas deregulation bill sponsored by Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, the Senator being a partner in Kerr-McGee. The ruling increased the value of the holdings of Philips Petroleum by an estimated three-quarters of a billion dollars, with corresponding costs to consumers reaching untold sums. Gas-dependent communities such as Detroit, Kansas City and the state of Wisconsin had immediately appealed the ruling to the courts. The producer interests, meanwhile, were determined to ensure their control of the Commission by lobbying the President in the appointment of two new members.

The Alsops conclude that the money stakes in these obscure struggles, in little-known Government agencies, were immense.

Marquis Childs indicates that the free-trade advocates in the Administration wanted tariff regulations removed to expand markets for American goods and enable foreign nations to earn dollars, with the aim of taking those nations off U.S. aid. But whether it could be done, with the pressure coming from various interests, was another question. Agricultural interests advocated strong trade barriers against competing products from foreign countries, and even the existing framework of the expiring Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, were it to be extended, could be used to shut out foreign competition and upset further the lopsided trade picture.

In August, 1951, Congress had raised the trade barrier against imported cheese, to which several countries had raised protest, particularly Denmark with its highly developed dairy industry. New Zealand beef had recently made news by selling across the counter in the U.S. at 39 cents per pound, and the Senate Agriculture Committee appeared poised to investigate a deal regarding New Zealand cheese, illustrating how trade, aid and domestic price supports related. The Agriculture Committee had been informed in 1949 that the Kraft Co., a subsidiary of National Dairies, had imported ten million pounds of New Zealand cheddar, which was processed and ready for sale on the American market. The secretary of the National Milk Producers Federation told the Senate Committee that the importation of cheese would mean that the Government, under the price-support program, had to buy cheese produced in the U.S. at the higher support price. Currently, the Commodity Credit Corporation held 22 million pounds of cheese, which it had bought and stored.

Under the new set-up in the Department of Agriculture, the powerful producers were well represented. The complexities were not limited to price relationships, but also involved competing products, such as butter and margarine, the latter, since producers had been permitted by the Government to use artificial coloring to cause it to resemble butter, now outselling its competitor by about 100 million pounds per year, resulting in the Agriculture Department buying between one million and 1.5 million pounds of butter per day at 67.75 cents per pound, more than twice the retail price of margarine, to take it from the market. The best of margarine was made from coconut oil imported from the Far East, but coconut oil competed with cottonseed oil, of which the CCC had about 50 million dollars worth bought as surplus from Southern states, whose Senators did not intend to be left out in the cold and without cottonseed-based margarine.

Thus, Mr. Childs concludes, it was a vicious circle. If other countries could not sell their products in the U.S. and thereby earn dollars, they were unable to buy U.S. products or begin paying their own way for the defense which would help the free world in resisting the Communist conspiracy.

A letter from the State commissioner of Labor in Raleigh finds the editorial, "A State's Tax Structure Is Just One of the Factors That Attract Industry", of February 20, to have been an interesting and convincing piece, and that its conclusion appeared irrefutable. He commends the newspaper for a splendid job.

A letter writer from Chicopee, Mass., says that she had a sister living in Charlotte for many years but had not heard from her for the previous 20 years, that their father, 68 and blind, had hoped to hear from her. He had been very ill for the previous six months and the writer was hoping that her sister would see the letter in the newspaper and respond, as she did not know her sister's address or married name.

Close family.

A letter from the superintendent of the Charlotte Park & Recreation Commission says that during the previous four years, the newspaper and its staff had played an important role in the successful development of the program, keeping the public informed of what the Commission was doing, and he expresses his gratitude for the service.

A letter from the commander of the North Carolina Department of the Veterans of Foreign Wars indicates, on behalf of about 20,000 members of the North Carolina VFW, appreciation for the story in the newspaper which had appeared February 20 regarding the unemployment compensation benefits for Korean veterans, indicating that the story accurately portrayed the returning veterans as substantial citizens who desired as useful service to their country as civilians as they had in uniform.

A letter from Campobello, S.C., observes that many high school students in the community had failed to enter college, and that many were turned down for physical or mental reasons from entering the armed forces as well, regarding which he wonders why. He posits that it was because there were too many things going on to "attract and detract our way of thinking", that citizens had to learn to think and that they had to read while concentrating on what they were reading, including works by Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe and The Lady of the Lake, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline and William Cullen Bryant's "Thanatopsis", among others. "Now when we shall have done this we are ready for the fourth and last suggestion. We must learn to move, not to sleep on the job."

But with all of that reading during spare time, you know that there is bound to be a little sleeping on the job. Yet, infused with the spirit of the novel and the poem, the employee, no doubt, will be that much more efficient, and, moreover, more humane, with both their fellow employees and customers, than they would be as an ignorant slob who is, every day, right on time to work and then leaving promptly at the final whistle, caring less about that which happened in between—for that employee had not reflected or thought enough about his or her role in life and their being, the very meaning of their existence, understanding very little more about the latter than the average dog or cat, reliant entirely on instinct.

We must suggest, however, to the writer that perhaps he meant "distract" rather than "detract", a common mistake, detracting from an otherwise salutary piece of advice, with distracting imprecision in the userages of the English language.

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