The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 3, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Tehran, new tensions had arisen as fanatical Moslem leader Ayatollah Kashani had ordered his followers to boycott a Parliament meeting at which Premier Mohammed Mossadegh had been expected to demand a vote of confidence. The Ayatollah claimed that the Premier's newly appointed Army chief of staff, who had appointed a new chief of the guard at the Parliament, had left the deputies without proper protection. The directive had caused the failure of a quorum, and by noon, no meeting of the Parliament had occurred. Tehran appeared relatively calm following the weekend of street fighting, with only scattered Communist demonstrations. A Communist-front organization had called a mass rally for the Parliament square during the afternoon.

The President was being kept informed regarding the strife in Iran, as disclosed by press secretary James Hagerty in response to questions of reporters.

The President reported this date that he was seeking to bring the State Department and Congress together on the wording of a resolution to condemn Russian enslavement of peoples living behind the Iron Curtain. Reportedly, the President had overruled Secretary of State Dulles in his contention that a pending resolution before Congress was adequate. Senator Taft wanted the measure revised to make it clear that Congress was not affirming the wartime agreements made between either FDR or President Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin, those concluded at Tehran in November, 1943, at Yalta, in February, 1945, and at Potsdam, in July, 1945. The President was reported to have directed Mr. Dulles, during a White House conference with legislative leaders, to get together with the chairmen of the Senate and House Foreign Affairs Committees to work out new wording. A late bulletin indicates that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had approved this date, by a vote of 8 to 6, a revised resolution condemning Russia for perverting the World War II agreements and enslaving peoples in derogation of them. The House counterpart had already approved the original resolution submitted by Secretary Dulles. Democrats had indicated that they would protest any effort by Republicans to repudiate the Big Three agreements. Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa had proposed that all reference to the World War II agreements be stricken, and that the resolution simply condemn the enslavement of peoples in Europe by the Soviets. Testimony taken by the Senate Committee the previous day during confirmation hearings of Charles Bohlen, Ambassador-designate to the Soviet Union, had indicated his support for the wartime agreements and his belief that the Soviets had violated those agreements, indicating that the map of Europe would be the same had the agreements not been made. Mr. Bohlen had served as FDR's interpreter both at Tehran and at Yalta.

At the U.N. in New York, diplomats ruled out chances of any new action regarding Korea during the current General Assembly session, following the uncompromising stands of both the Soviet Union and the U.S. Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, the previous day, had told the Political Committee that the only way to cease the fighting in Korea would be to accept the Russian formula for peace, which had already been rejected by an overwhelming majority of the Assembly. He also accused the Eisenhower Administration of "borrowing from the Truman-Acheson book", but otherwise provided nothing new. U.S. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., said that the U.N. allies would not budge from their demands for an "honorable settlement in Korea". No delegate had shown an inclination to introduce any new proposal to end the deadlock. Mr. Vishinsky hinted that he might reintroduce his old, rejected resolution, which had called for an immediate cease-fire and an international conference on the questions of prisoners of war, reunification of Korea and other Far Eastern problems.

The House Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs this date approved statehood for Hawaii, by a vote of 21 to 5, but defeated, by a vote of 14 to 13, an attempt by Representative Clair Engle of California to add to the bill a provision for statehood for Alaska, with Democrats on the Committee supporting the amendment. Senate Majority Leader Taft indicated that he anticipated there would be about a week of debate after the Senate took up the measure, and believed it would pass. Republican leaders in the House also believed it would pass in that chamber.

Clare Boothe Luce was sworn in this date by Supreme Court Chief Justice Fred Vinson as the new U.S. Ambassador to Italy, amid unusual fanfare, with photographers, television and newsreel cameramen recording the event. The State Department said that she would begin her duties in Rome in about six weeks. The present Ambassador to Italy, Ellsworth Bunker, would leave Rome early in April.

General James Van Fleet arrived in Washington from Korea this date, following his retirement as U.S. Eighth Army commander, and went to the White House for a conference with the President and top-ranking military leaders, including Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, Army chief of staff General J. Lawton Collins, and Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens. General Van Fleet told a meeting in San Francisco on the prior Wednesday that he believed it was safe to leave the decisions on Korea to President Eisenhower.

In San Francisco, a private first class brought his twin brother's body home from Korea the previous day in a casket, after he had been fatally wounded on "Heartbreak Ridge" on January 3, exactly one year after both twins had been inducted into the Army. The private was taking his brother's body home to Rock Island, Ill. He recounted that when his brother had been hit, he taped a bandage to his bloodied chest before learning who he was treating, and then looked into his brother's dying face.

In Buenos Aires, a powerful bomb planted in the luggage checkroom of the railway station exploded the previous day, a few minutes prior to El Presidente Juan Peron's return by special train from his state visit to Chile. His car was halted about 100 yards from the site of the explosion, which had ripped a large hole in the checkroom wall and shattered windshields of cars parked outside. The only injury reported was of a boy who suffered facial cuts. As the station had been cleared of all persons except officials, anticipating the arrival of El Presidente, there were few people in the station at the time. In an address to the welcoming crowd, El Presidente made no reference to the explosion, and called on other Latin American nations to join in the new Argentine-Chilean alliance to eliminate trade and economic barriers, a treaty which he had signed with Chilean President Carlos Ibanez Del Campo on February 21.

In New York, the International Union of Electrical Workers asked G.E. this date for a 21-cent per hour wage increase for 71,000 employees at 60 G.E. plants. The union president said that wages for most jobs at the plants lagged behind the wages paid by G.E.'s competitors. Current wages averaged $1.83 per hour.

In New York, at least six persons, including five women, perished in a quick flash fire at a Bronx furniture factory this date. Firemen indicated that there might be more loss of life. The fire had originated in the storeroom, but its cause had not been ascertained.

In Raleigh, dry force leaders contended that legislative committees had "gagged democracy" by refusing to approve a statewide liquor referendum, to determine whether there would be prohibition in all 100 counties or ABC-controlled sale of liquor, beer and wine in all counties. More than 1,500 persons had turned out for a hearing before the House Committee on Counties, Cities and Towns, making it necessary to hold the hearing at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium. A minister representing the Allied Church League said that they had come to believe that they might as well be living in Russia, regarding the liquor question. Another minister representing the dry forces made similar remarks. Many in the large audience interrupted with bursts of applause and cries of "amen". A Campbell College student, who was red-haired and carried a red-covered Bible, told the Committee that he had observed some of the members "sleeping, and not paying attention" to the dry speakers. He also accused them of taking money from the liquor crowd. Catcalls and laughter erupted at the appearance of an 84-year old Presbyterian minister who spoke on behalf of the wet forces, advocating legal control, saying that the dry forces' argument that a referendum would eliminate liquor was "one of the biggest blanks that's ever been told."

In London, as part of punishment for stealing another man's wife, an automobile dealer had agreed to buy back a car he had sold to the woman's husband. The husband had won a divorce the previous Monday on grounds of misconduct by his wife with the automobile dealer, and the court approved the settlement, whereunder the dealer would repurchase the car for its original sales price, the equivalent of $8,960, and pay the husband the equivalent of $2,800 in damages for the loss of his wife, plus $2,205 in court costs.

He paid $8,960 for a car in 1952? What was it, a Rolls? Whatever it was, it appears to have been worth more than three times the value of his wife.

Also in London, the joint undersecretary for Scotland informed a committee of Commons, eliciting cheers in the process, that the British herring industry had produced a new boneless kipper for sale in the U.S., calling it Edinburghers.

In that event, there will no longer be need for this event, undoubtedly producing the loud cheers.

On the editorial page, "Firing of Campbell Needs an Airing" indicates that Mecklenburg County residents had told the Board of Commissioners the previous day that they did not like the way a veteran County school employee had recently been fired, suggests that they had made a valid point but in the wrong forum. L. D. Campbell, who had been a shop foreman and school bus supervisor for 26 years, had been fired secretly without a bill of particulars. While those who took exception should have gone to the County Board of Education, not to the Commissioners, at least they had brought the matter into the open.

It indicates that without any facts on which to assess the firing, it could not make a determination of the matter. But the manner of the firing had done little credit to the members of the Board of Education, firing a man with Mr. Campbell's experience without setting forth the charges against him or affording him opportunity to answer them.

It trusts that the parents of the schoolchildren would maintain pressure on the Board until the matter was brought into the open.

"A Better Tax Plan" indicates that the poll tax had netted the City and County Governments $66,000 the previous year, only one percent of the total tax revenue, and the dog tax had produced $16,000. A tax study committee had recommended that the poll tax be abolished, as there was no way of collecting it equitably, and that the dog tax also be abolished in favor of dog licensing.

The editorial indicates support for both recommendations, which it had supported for many years.

It takes exception, however, to a third recommendation, that personal property be assessed at a flat 10 percent of the value of residential property and that land be assessed separately from dwelling units on property, with the taxpayer able either to accept the 10 percent flat tax on personal property or demand a detailed assessment. The piece finds it equitable and enforceable, and that if the County Commissioners found that the committee's recommended plan was legal, it would not object. The committee had emphasized that the Commissioners should not use the change as a device to collect more taxes from personal property, which currently raised only 2.9 percent of total revenue. The piece considers it, at that level, hardly worth the bother.

The State Constitution was not clear regarding personal property taxation, indicating that the General Assembly could exempt personal property up to $300 for each taxpayer, but did not appear to require county governments to levy taxes on personal property.

It compliments the members of the tax-study group and its chairman for their painstaking efforts.

"Into the Hands of the Enemy" indicates that for eight years, Albert Cole of Kansas had served in the House and had voted to eliminate the public housing section from the Housing Act, before voting against the entire bill in 1949, had voted against Federal loans for middle-income housing cooperatives in 1950, had voted to limit the public housing program to the bare minimum of 5,000 units per year in 1951 and 1952, and had voted against Federal rent control between 1949 and 1951. According to the Wall Street Journal, he had been an outspoken advocate of higher interest rates on FHA and VA home mortgages, which he had termed "realistic". He had been defeated in the 1952 election, with the district which he represented electing a Democrat for the first time in history. Nevertheless, he was now nominated to be the administrator of the Federal housing program—as further explained by Drew Pearson this date.

The nomination, it asserts, would be embarrassing to Senator Taft, who had authored and sponsored the Housing Act of 1949, and would cause great apprehension among the millions of Americans who believed that a moderate amount of public housing for low income groups, combined with slum clearance, was essential to modern urban life. It concludes that if the Administration wanted to scuttle the entire Federal housing program, it had selected the right man to do it.

"Van Every Breaks the Thin Ice" tells of Philip Van Every's announcement that he was running for the mayoralty of Charlotte having been predicted for a long time and so had come as no surprise in the city. During his stint on the City Council, he had brought ethics, high integrity, courage and determination to the job, and deserved a chance to become mayor. The piece expects competition for the post, such as Lonnie Sides and Tom Bird.

It indicates that it had more concern about the Council race, for the fact that there was only one candidate thus far declared, and the Council-Manager form of municipal government demanded the best city manager and the highest caliber council to perform efficiently. Currently, the City had a top-notch City Manager, and, after the spring campaign, it hopes also that there would be a top level City Council.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "One Rule the Bus Driver Didn't Break", tells of a Birmingham bus driver, with 14 years of experience, having winked at the rules of his company, tooting his horn to rouse heavy sleepers on his route, stopping to pick up laundry and medicine for busy housewives, and even babysitting children left on the bus by mothers who needed to go shopping. When it rained, he would drive off of his assigned route to drop passengers at their doors, and on dark nights, he waited at the bus stops to make sure female passengers safely got home.

Recently, one of the steady customers nominated him for Birmingham's man-of-the-year award, though wrestling with her conscience when she sent in the letter of nomination because of her fear that revealing the number of rules he had broken might get him into trouble. Instead, he had won the award, and the piece finds it a good thing to honor an humble man who might break 100 rules but had never broken the golden one.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of the registered foreign agent being a different type of person from that depicted in the movies, that he sought to influence U.S. opinion rather than steal secrets, and was registered with the Department of Justice, which he advised of his activities. A survey conducted by the Quarterly had shown that there were 234 such agents in the country, using every trick to influence U.S. opinion in favor of foreign political and commercial interests. Some of them concentrated on the U.N. They came from different backgrounds and trades, a few examples of which it points out.

The law firm of former Assistant Attorney General Thurmond Arnold, former Undersecretary of Interior, and future Supreme Court Justice, Abe Fortis, and Paul Porter, former head of the Office of Price Administration, served as legal adviser to the diplomatic mission of West Germany. The former law firm of Dean Acheson, Covington & Burling, was the sole legal adviser for all matters brought by Greece to the attention of the U.N. Security Council. Former assistant and speechwriter for President Truman, Clark Clifford, presently headed a law firm which had represented the Republic of Indonesia.

Drew Pearson indicates that slum clearance in public housing was receiving attention again in the Congress, with Senator Taft having estimated that public housing should comprise 10 percent of all new housing construction each year to keep pace with slum clearance. That would require a minimum of 100,000 low-rent units per year, while Congress had provided funds for only 35,000 units. Former Congressman Al Cole of Kansas, defeated in the recent elections, had been appointed head of the Housing & Home Finance Agency. Mr. Cole had been the only Republican Congressman defeated in heavily Republican Kansas in many years, and was defeated in an election overwhelmingly won by President Eisenhower. When he had been in Congress, Mr. Cole had been such a bitter foe of public housing and a friend of the real estate lobby that even such Eisenhower-friendly Senators as Irving Ives of New York would probably vote against his confirmation. Mr. Cole had delivered a speech against the Taft Housing Act in June, 1949, the same program he was now asked to administer. He then claimed it tended to destroy private homes and private business and the American form of government, represented a step toward Government control of family life, comparing it to the Soviet system. Mr. Pearson indicates that Senator Taft, however, appeared to believe that crowded, unhealthy city slums were even worse breeders of Communism than the Communist political platform.

Mr. Pearson notes that in Los Angeles, there was a campaign afoot to defeat Mayor Fletcher Bowron, who was a long-time champion of slum clearance and a foe of the real estate lobby.

The President had been irritated at his second press conference by reporters who sought to bait him into a quarrel with Congress, complaining afterward regarding the problem.

In chatting with Democratic Senators at a private luncheon, the President had mentioned his experiences in shooting wild turkeys, to which Virginia Senator Willis Robertson asked whether the practice was not against the law. The President said he did not know whether it was or not, prompting a discussion wherein it was decided that the President was guilty.

A backstage battle was simmering between the Administration and Congressman John Taber, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the outcome of which would determine the problem of tax reduction during the year. Mr. Taber wanted to cut up to 10 billion dollars from the budget, without regard to what the White House advocated. The chief victim of the cut would be the Pentagon's military budget, considered essential to national defense. Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson had recently warned Congress that it would be difficult to reduce military expenditures, which Mr. Taber only took as a challenge. He told Congressional colleagues that he had been cutting budgets for years and knew where the bureaucrats padded their budgets, saying that he did not care what the White House, the Pentagon, or anyone else believed. He was determined to cut Government spending, even if the Congress had to remain in session all summer.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the Administration would come to grips during the week with the problem of foreign economic policy, with the visit of British Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler. The President was, at heart, a free-trader with no sympathy for the Republican tradition of high tariffs, but he also had to consider Congress, where Senate Majority Leader Taft and Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado were both protectionists. They had reluctantly determined to extend the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, as requested by the President's State of the Union message, and might be willing to reform the antiquated customs regulations. But, otherwise, as Senator Millikin had said, financing of diplomacy should be from taxes and not by undercutting small businesses in the home market.

Secretary of State Dulles wanted Treasury Secretary George Humphrey to take the lead on the issue. Commerce Secretary Sinclair Weeks believed in moderate protectionism to enforce fair competition. The Treasury's economic expert, Dr. Randolph Burgess, had always been a moderate free trader, and Undersecretary of the Treasury Marion Folsom was a leader on the Committee for Economic Development, which, following a study of Britain's economic difficulties, had just recommended gradual but relatively complete abandonment of protection. Both Mr. Folsom and Dr. Burgess were probably studying the difference between economic theory and political practice, while Secretary Humphrey appeared to have an open mind on the subject.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Butler was determined to free Britain's international trade, cautiously but progressively, from existing controls, by moving cautiously toward convertibility of British sterling. The British Commonwealth finance ministers had promised, at a conference the prior November, to help him in that regard. The Commonwealth countries had to sell more goods for dollars to balance their books with the U.S. The sterling bloc, for which Britain was the banker, needed much more hard-money reserves to carry through times of bad business, leading to Mr. Butler's decision to make sterling convertible, a decision supported by the President. For that to occur, British and Commonwealth goods had to be more freely traded in dollar-paying markets, through the lowering of U.S. tariffs, and the sterling bloc's hard-money reserves had to be backed up, probably by freeing and enlarging the International Monetary Fund.

The British were operating on a very narrow economic margin and under the slightest stress, such as a mild recession in the U.S., the worst kind of trouble could result. One of Mr. Butler's experts had phrased it to the Alsops by indicating that if the U.S. stopped buying Jaguar sports cars, the British would stop buying breakfast.

Frederick C. Othman indicates that the annual bill to the Federal Government for damages caused by it totaled 13.2 million dollars. Francis D. Patton of Puerto Rico, for example, had imported a tablecloth via mail order at a cost of $5.34, and when Mrs. Patton filed a claim after she eventually received the tablecloth on February 10, 1952, only to discover it had a hole in it, the collector of customs was unsure how to classify it and so sent it to the appraiser's office. Eventually, the matter was forwarded to the President, who forwarded it to Vice-President Nixon, who presented it to the Senate, which would take up the matter at a meeting of the Appropriations Committee, after which the whole Senate would vote on the matter before sending it to the House. If it was finally determined that the Government was responsible for ruining the tablecloth, Mrs. Patton would receive her $5.34. But the tablecloth would wind up costing the taxpayers several hundred dollars in bureaucratic costs.

Mr. Othman indicates that other damages caused by the Government were equally as ludicrous and considerably more expensive. Careless drivers of Federal vehicles all over the world had caused extensive damage. He relates of another example in which a man lost 200 kid goats worth $1,555 after "Operation Longhorn" in Texas had smashed his fences and started shooting, frightening the kid goats into bolting. In Temple, Tex., the Army moved some heavy guns through town on a wet day, causing 1.75 miles of asphalt to collapse, producing a bill of $1,782. A man from Pennsylvania had moved into an Army-operated hotel in Japan, which burned down the same night, prompting the man to claim more than $1,252 for lost baggage. The Navy had inadvertently fired a torpedo in Narragansett Bay, R. I., which had headed straight for a tugboat chaser and smashed it up, causing $1,657 in damage.

As the list would go on considerably, Mr. Othman suggests that the Government be more careful as they were ruining him.

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