The Charlotte News

Friday, March 20, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that South Korean infantrymen had repulsed two attacks by about 100 Chinese troops on the western front in Korea this date, the 1,000th day of the war. The attacks had occurred in a driving rainstorm near "Little Nori Hill", west-northwest of Yonchon. Sporadic patrol clashes only occurred on the central and eastern fronts.

Allied fighter-bombers, for the second day in a row, were hampered by cloud cover in hitting troop and supply facilities, except on the western front.

An Army chaplain with the 45th Division in Korea was returning North Carolina soil home, after it had been taken to Korea by the captain the previous April to make hundreds of soldiers in the division from the state feel at home. He said he had made a lot of friends with his handful of North Carolina dirt, and it had given many a needed boost in morale.

In Bonn, West Germany became the first nation to meet the U.S. demand for "clear and visible" progress toward creation of a two million man European army which would include German forces. The Bundestag, the lower house of the Parliament, ratified the treaty, which authorized recruitment of 500,000 Germans for service in the projected six-nation defense force. It also approved the companion Peace Contract, whereby the Big Three Western powers would renounce most of their postwar occupation rights and grant West Germany almost complete sovereignty, a compact not yet ratified only by France among the Big Three. Secretary of State Dulles said that it was "a truly significant step forward" and that there was increasing likelihood as a result that the European Defense Community would become a reality. The Secretary, during his February trip to the Western European capitals, had warned the leaders that the Congress might balk at voting large amounts for military aid unless there were demonstrated progress by April in bringing the army into being. A spokesman for the French government indicated that the treaty still had to pass the upper house of the West German Parliament, where he predicted the vote would be closer, and then would have to go before the German Supreme Court, where Socialists were attacking the proposal as unconstitutional if approved by less than a two-thirds vote. The measure had passed with only 57 percent support.

Senators Joseph McCarthy and Styles Bridges, who opposed the nomination of Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to Russia, renewed their demands this date for review of the FBI field report on the nominee. Senator McCarthy suggested that if the President examined the FBI summary on Mr. Bohlen, he believed that he would reject him. The previous day, the President had said at his news conference that he believed Mr. Bohlen was a good nominee. Senator Alexander Wiley, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that the Committee was satisfied with the evaluation of the FBI file by Secretary of State Dulles, as offered during testimony two days earlier, saying that there was nothing to arouse the slightest suspicion regarding Mr. Bohlen's loyalty. Senate Majority Leader Taft predicted that only a few votes would be cast against Mr. Bohlen when the nomination was brought to the Senate floor the following Monday.

House Appropriations Committee chairman John Taber of New York said in an interview that there was no chance for the large defense spending bills to be brought to the House floor prior to May 25, and that it would be June before the foreign aid appropriations bill would be ready for a vote. It was also likely, therefore, that the proposed tax cut bill, being urged by House Ways & Means Committee chairman Daniel Reed, would likewise be delayed. Mr. Reed had charged the previous day that the President and others who were opposing early tax cuts were betraying their campaign promises, finding it "unfair, dishonest and gaining office under false pretenses…, a shocking disregard of the will of a sovereign people." The President had said at a press conference several weeks earlier that he had never promised early tax cuts but had only set tax reduction as a goal of his Administration. The President had reiterated at his press conference the previous day that tax reduction should be delayed until a balanced budget was in view.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead said this date at a news conference that the latest information on income tax revenue indicated encouragement, and that additional revenue to finance his legislative program might or might not be needed. He also said that he had nothing to do with the bill which would terminate early the terms of members of the State Board of Elections, clearing the way for him to appoint the entire Board anew. The measure had been passed into law the previous day. He said also that he believed a bill to permit motorists to have their licenses renewed by mail without re-examination was a bad proposal. The Governor, who had been hospitalized shortly after his inauguration in January after suffering a heart attack, continued his recovery, meeting the reporters in his bedroom at the Executive Mansion, with doctors not being able yet to say when he would return to his office.

Near Lenoir, N.C., searchers had found a three-year old girl who had spent the night wandering alone in the frost-chilled Brushy Mountains. She was found by a 15-year old schoolboy, one of about 150 searchers who had combed the woods during the night. She had lost her shoes during her wandering, lasting some 24 hours since disappearing from her family as they collected pine seedlings for replanting at their home about eight miles away, and was scratched badly when discovered. She was rushed to the hospital but her condition was not believed to be serious.

In Lexington, Ky., University of Kentucky basketball coach Adolph Rupp, Ed Curd and gambling kingpin Frank Costello were named as co-defendants in a civil suit filed in Federal District Court, seeking treble damages of more than $573,000 for alleged gambling losses, brought by a woman of Athens, Ga., who contended that she was the sister of one of the losers in gambling operations which she contended were conducted by "Curd and his co-conspirators". She claimed that the actual amount of loss was over $191,000, though not stating in the complaint how many others, in addition to her brother, claimed to have lost the alleged amount. She claimed that the three co-defendants had concocted "a fraudulent and debasing scheme of gambling in schools, colleges and university sports and athletics, and seduced student leaders and players to betray their institutions and devotees of the institutions in college sports." Mr. Costello, who had been a key figure in the Kefauver Crime Committee investigation two and three years earlier, was now serving an 18-month sentence in a Federal prison for contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions before the Committee, and was also under indictment for income tax evasion. Mr. Curd, a former resident of Lexington, who presently resided in Canada, had been charged by Federal authorities in Louisville earlier in the month with Federal income tax evasion. The lawsuit claimed that one of the methods used by the group was "manipulation and fakement" of point spreads in the games. The previous year in New York, three University of Kentucky basketball players had pleaded guilty to point shaving and fixing games after receiving payoffs from gamblers. Two others admitted to a New York grand jury that they had manipulated the scores in games played outside New York. The lawsuit essentially claimed that the three co-defendants had set up the scheme.

It sounds like the plaintiff lacks standing if her only connection to the damaged party was as his sister. The person suffering the loss needs to bring the suit, short of having some representational status legally, as guardian ad litem or administrator of an estate, for instance. (We probably should make room for the possibility, however, that under some once necessary Georgia law, passed in tempestuous times archaic, to meet the beat of Sherman's invaders the menfolk depleting, despite its substantive basis betraying the more ancient law mosaic, allowed the sister a somewhat distorted claim for loss of consortium, in the event, perhaps, that her brother, after his attempted profit from thespians' contortions, had died as a proximate result of his gambling losses, by placing the proverbial pistol to temple and letting what's past become prologue in the tempest's tosses, enabled by the doctrine of Erie Railroad, providing that the law of the state wherein the claim's adjudication was imminent should be applied in the case, assuming Kentucky would allow the locus of the party claiming loss determine the application preeminent, so as to a finding sustain that the alleged kingpins had vicariously stepped on the sister's toes after threatening her brother with being exposed to counteroffers he could not refuse should he seek to complain and turn State's evidence, undertaking to accuse of corruption the underlayered faked court slippage, in disruption, when no spittle, sweat or yellow peel interrupted traction or player fault caused the unprovoked traveling man's infraction, when adjudged by the pale-faced felloe reel, in a last act in interaction with free desperation's throes, as might have been otherwise recorded in an amended complaint's prosaic poesy by some firm feat of linguistic magic from the oldest profession's pros, or not.) Moreover, if the gambling at issue was illegal at its point of origin, the case will be dismissed on public policy grounds as one cannot claim the right to profit from illegal operations, or, consequently, the right to damages from loss resulting from a rigged deck employed in such operations—which may explain why the sister was bringing the case, to try to insulate her brother from being indicted potentially as an accessory to the criminal conspiracy. But that does not work either, as her case appears founded on potential admissions which could incriminate her brother. Both siblings will be better served to drop the complaint and claim that the sister was suffering from a mental delusion when she filed it.

A series of photographs appears on the page, showing, at incremental time stops, the process of the destruction of the house at the atomic test site at Yucca Flat, Nev., resulting from the detonation of the atomic bomb at the site by the Atomic Energy Commission, in coordination with the Civil Defense Office, on St. Patrick's Day, designed to test ordinary home construction and that of bomb shelters and the effect on automobiles, positioned at various distances from ground-zero, the pictured house, with dummies inside, having been the closer of the two homes tested, located at the corner of Elm and Main Streets in the mythical neighborhood of Your City.

We have to admit, though, that one of those dummy younger people resembled greatly Oswald, the one arrested on November 22, 1963, not the husky individual whose photograph was supplied to the FBI by the CIA on November 23, 1963, snapped on some occasion between July and November, 1963 outside the Cuban Embassy in Mexico City and initially identified as Oswald. He may have been one of the dummies in the lean-to shelter in the basement, thus surviving the blast because of his placement.

On the editorial page, "Honor and Integrity at Stake" indicate that the redistricting bills presently before the General Assembly would test the honor and integrity of the legislators, as the State Constitution required redistricting of House and Senate seats based on the 1950 census, constitutionally mandated every ten years. If the legislators lacked honor and integrity, they would reject redistricting. There were members who would vote on the basis of political advantage, despite being good men by many other measures, such as leadership in their communities. But if they failed in their responsibilities on this count, they would become "little men, shifty-eyed, sheepish."

It hopes that such members would be in the minority and that most would remain true to their integrity, as the State Constitution was the most sacred document in the state and for elected officials to ignore and trample any part of it was to diminish the respect of the people for the whole document.

"A Dangerous Precedent Is Established" tells of several reorganization bills having been rushed through the General Assembly session, with the measure ending the terms of office of the members of the Board of Elections having been the most dangerous. State Senator Terry Sanford, future Governor and Senator, had unsuccessfully fought the measure in the Senate, saying it was not a measure favored by Governor William B. Umstead.

But it had been a political bill, one designed to curtail the continuing influence of former Governor Kerr Scott, who had appointed the present Board. It suggests that the Board of Elections ought be maintained above politics, as it had the responsibility of administering the election laws of the state. It disfavors cutting the members' terms short on May 31, when the terms were set originally to expire only at the end of the year. It established a precedent whereby the Board members were expected to reflect the views of the gubernatorial administration in power, and that was unfortunate, it opines, making the Board a political vehicle and destroying its usefulness as an informal, unbiased arbiter of the election laws.

It urges that if the Governor had not promoted the bill, as he claimed, he should have used his influence quietly to kill it.

"Better Health for Everybody" indicates that the movement toward consolidating the City and County health departments merited the support of all county residents who wanted higher health standards. The move had been initiated by the health committee of the Chamber of Commerce and remained in its formative stages, under the leadership of Dr. James Alexander. A speakers' bureau had been formed to explain to residents the benefits of a consolidated system. The newspaper had favored the consolidation since the Institute of Government in Chapel Hill had studied the matter. But the evidence did not support the hope of cheaper service, as there would be no curtailment of services or of personnel in a joint department, and it might even cost more money to bring county health standards up to those of the city.

Yet, consolidation would bring better health services for all citizens of the county and it was on that basis that the educational program was proceeding. Consolidation would largely depend on persons living outside the city limits, historically preferring less service and a lower tax rate, whereas consolidation would give them more service but at a higher rate.

"No More Exiles" indicates that it had never understood why any municipality, county or state had the right to exile undesirable citizens and push them off on unsuspecting other states and communities, and does not see any purpose in it, as it was only a temporary solution in any event. During the week, the State Supreme Court had ruled that banishment from the state as a condition of probation to avoid an active prison sentence was improper. The piece finds that ruling long overdue and hopes it would end the "silly practice".

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Imputations Compounded", indicates that a resolution passed by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States had claimed that members and employees of at least one of the Congressional committees investigating Communism had circulated charges against individuals under committee letterheads without prior substantiation or investigation.

Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, president of the World Council of Churches, substantiated the resolution from his own experience, contending that members of HUAC had accused him falsely of having belonged to the American League against War and Fascism, listed by the Attorney General as subversive.

The piece finds that such a procedure assumed, without hearing or chance for refutation, that because committee files contained information that a person had once belonged to a particular organization, that person necessarily had so belonged, and that because the organization in question was listed as subversive, all of its members were therefore subversive, including the person in question. The Attorney General's list was the result only of an executive order and administrative judgments, not judicial decisions. It had been promulgated by the Attorney General five years earlier, with the accompanying caution that membership, affiliation or sympathetic association with any of the designated organizations was only one piece of evidence, which might or might not be helpful in arriving at a conclusion.

It finds, therefore, that the practice which the church Council impugned amounted to no less than imputations of guilt without solid proof.

Drew Pearson tells of backstage sleight-of-hand by the Administration in granting the recent 300 million dollar loan to Brazil. The diplomats were unaware of the fact that it was the President, and not the State Department, who had finally approved the loan, the assent of the President having been obtained by the new head of psychological warfare, C. D. Jackson, publisher of Fortune.

Secretary of State Dulles had announced some time earlier that the Republicans would push the Good Neighbor policy, initiated by FDR. But he had almost reneged on the Brazilian loan, telling the Brazilian Ambassador that the Republicans were not Democrats and did not buy friendship, to which the Ambassador had responded curtly that Brazil's friendship was not for sale. Undersecretary of the Treasury Randolph Burgess, formerly of National City Bank, a company which negotiated a sour loan of 100 million dollars for Peru in the 1920's, had been one of the chief opponents of the loan to Brazil, finally proposing that Brazil take one-third the desired amount, or 100 million dollars, instead of 300 million. At the same time, Assistant Secretary of State Linder lectured the Brazilians about not letting American oil companies operate in Brazil, while importing 280 million dollars worth of oil each year, that they would never become solvent in so doing.

After those negotiations reached Brazil, the front pages said that the U.S. had abandoned Brazil and some suggested a renewal of Yankee imperialism, wanting oil in return for a loan. At that point, Secretary Dulles met with the Brazilian Ambassador for an hour, the latter reminding that the U.S. had provided a large loan to Argentina, led by dictator Juan Peron, whereas Brazil had allied with the U.S. in both world wars, while Argentina had flirted with the enemy. Mr. Dulles was partially converted by this argument. In the end, Nelson Rockefeller, who knew Latin American problems better than anyone else in Washington, put the facts before C. D. Jackson, who then relayed them to the President, and the President, overnight, approved the loan.

U.S. diplomats and intelligence experts had worked out some theories on why the new regime at the Kremlin had been shooting down U.S. and British planes over Germany, but so far had reached no definite plan for doing something about it. It was probable that the attacks were designed to create the impression inside Russia that the Soviets were being attacked and that they had to defend themselves from the outside world, as well to impress the satellite countries that the new Kremlin was afraid of nothing and would deal ruthlessly with satellite revolt, and to impress the outside world that the Kremlin, while being willing to negotiate, was not afraid of anyone.

The chief danger was that a weak and uncertain Kremlin might blunder into war, though the new Premier, Georgi Malenkov, probably did not want war, as he did not entirely control the Red Army or the secret police. Such a dictator, unsure of his power, could rely on airplane incidents to back him into a war. But on the other hand, the fluid situation in Russia presented a major opportunity for the U.S. to open some diplomatic doors and later expand them—maybe some back channels, such as through John Scali.

Marquis Childs tells of Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay having to face the enormous power which his position held, without having been prepared for it. He had to make policy on the public power program and had to come down on one side or the other, for continued development of public power or more privatization.

The most important case he faced was the development of Hell's Canyon on the Snake River, running along the Idaho-Oregon border. It was deeper than the Grand Canyon and one of the last remaining great dam sites in North America. The Idaho Power Company had applied to the Federal Power Commission to build a series of dams on the river, known as the Oxbow Project. The company argued that by spending 176 million dollars of its own funds, it could generate nearly as much power as a Federal project. Meanwhile, the Bureau of Reclamation in the Interior Department had in place plans to develop a multi-purpose dam at the main site, costing around 450 million dollars.

Former Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had intervened with the FPC, arguing that the Hell's Canyon Dam was essential as another part of the Columbia River system to compensate for the power deficiency in the Northwest. It would produce over one million kilowatts of power, according to Mr. Chapman, and thereby permit development of Idaho phosphate deposits for low-cost fertilizer, whereas the private power company would only produce 106,000 kilowatts and make development of the large site forever impossible.

Former Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan had also intervened to argue for the project, but present Secretary Ezra Taft Benson had acted to reverse Mr. Brannan's position, withdrawing the formal petition of intervention. It was thought likely that Mr. McKay would do the same, and without objection from Government agencies, the FPC presumably would grant the license to the private company.

Mr. McKay was said to oppose the provision in the public power law which granted preference in the right to buy low-cost power to rural electrical co-ops, public utility districts and municipalities with their own power systems. That privilege was prized by the rural co-ops and they exerted strong political influence through the farm bloc in Congress.

Secretary McKay would also have to make a decision in the controversy between the Georgia Power Company and the rural electric co-ops of Georgia, the latter seeking direct access to low-cost Federally developed power. The Georgia Congressional delegation had close ties with these co-ops. Mr. McKay was therefore bound to step on political toes when he took his final stand, and for a former automobile salesman accustomed to pleasing people, it was not going to be a pleasant task. His inclination, therefore, was to move slowly, reluctant to pull the levers of power too quickly.

Robert C. Ruark, in Nairobi, Kenya, tells of starting to wrap up his safari, after encountering fun, strife and considerable fear. For a full week, they had mislaid a five-ton truck with 15 Africans aboard in Uganda, when the anti-Mao Mao police snatched the truck driver, a Kikiyu tribesman, and took him and the truck to an unknown place. They had been following and, assuming that the truck had gone ahead, proceeded for some 800 miles before doubling back, finally finding the truck, with its driver in jail.

He goes on to describe other adventures during the safari, including interruption of service in their hotel earlier in the trip when the Mao Mao chopped off the head of his personal boy, 100 yards from the hotel. One of the hunting cars had broken down in the middle of a herd of elephants, one of which had charged them the previous day, and the carboy had forgotten to put the jack in the car, causing some difficulty in changing a tire. The weather had been wonderful, with rain on the northern frontier where it was supposed to be dry, and burning out the Masai with drought where it was supposed to be wet. One of the members of the safari had cracked up their land rover one night, resulting in the gunbearer suffering a concussion and taking a chunk out of the driver's head. The tsetse flies were active and the dust was awful. He concludes, however, "I never had more fun in my life."

A letter writer comments on the West 5th Street cemetery, the tombstones and monuments of which needful of repair, she had arranged to have remedied by a local marble firm, and paid the bill herself. She brings the matter to attention because a story in the newspaper on March 9 had shown employees of one cemetery system putting some cement under a small broken tombstone, with the impression conveyed that nothing had been done to improve the cemetery except that crude work. She also indicates that some "ghoulish hands" had been throwing away some of the tombstones recently through vandalism, about which families of the dead relatives were greatly concerned.

A letter from Leon Gutmann, president of the Mecklenburg County Association, indicates that a cerebral palsy specialist and he were having dinner in January, at which time Mr. Gutmann asked how much it would cost the county to provide for the exceptional and handicapped children, to which the doctor had replied a million dollars per year. He indicates that in the prior year, Americans had spent around 20 times that amount for candy, soft and hard drinks, and cigarettes. The Easter Seal Campaign in the county had effective leadership and had been broadened to include not only crippled children and adults, but also the hard of hearing, those with poor eyesight and the mentally retarded. He urges, during the season of Easter and Passover, help for those children so that they could rise to health and dignity. "The Israelites crossed the Red Sea from peril to safety. Buy seals that these handicapped may do the same."

A letter writer wonders whether the local editorial page was gradually disappearing from American newspapers, leaving national and international affairs to the syndicated columnists. He finds the prospect problematic, ripe for consignment of the masses of the people to uniform thinking. He compares it to ancient Rome wherein the oracle spoke and the people followed his arbitrary dictum.

A letter writer praises the newspaper for covering all sides of the education issue, but considers troubling a piece which had appeared on March 17 from a veteran school board member who had shown a "supercilious mien" toward a woman who had proposed to modify the limitation of class size in the elementary grades, sarcastically quipping that the woman was not an architect and that amateurs had no right to tell professional educators what to do. She thinks the administrator should have provided the woman with information from experts which would refute her suggested approach, rather than brusquely cutting her off.

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