The Charlotte News

Friday, April 10, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Stan Carter, that South Korean infantrymen had returned to the top of "Texas Hill" on the central front this date, after Chinese Communist troops had made three attacks against the key outpost and overrun it, utilizing 250 men in their latest assault on the hill, which had changed hands more than a half-dozen times during the previous week. A spokesman for the South Korean forces said that the first Chinese assault had been wiped out, and the South Korean troops had finally withdrawn, regrouped, counterattacked and sent the enemy scurrying back to their own lines. The enemy had fired 4,280 artillery and mortar shells into the South Korean lines before launching the attacks. The enemy also continued firing on "Carson Hill", not far from Panmunjom, where truce talks were resuming. The Marines had retaken the latter hill after losing it on Thursday.

U.N. warplanes bombed enemy supply and troop areas and engaged briefly with enemy MIG-15s, with U.S. Sabre jets claiming two enemy jets damaged.

The U.S. Eighth Army estimated that enemy casualties totaled 1,982 during the week ending on Tuesday, the lowest number since mid-February.

The Communists agreed this date to trade sick and wounded prisoners beginning about April 21, and also proposed resumption of the long-stalled armistice negotiations. Both sides were expected to sign the agreement this date, which would provide for the exchange of 5,800 sick or wounded prisoners held by the U.N. allies and 600 allied prisoners held by the Communists, of whom 120 were Americans. The Communist officers, however, gave no sign of yielding on the principle of forced repatriation of some 50,000 prisoners who, according to a survey conducted previously, did not want to return to either North Korea or China. The impasse over that issue had caused the U.N. representatives to walk out of the truce talks the prior October 8. The Communists still refused to accept that there were any prisoners being held by the U.N. who did not want repatriation. The statement had come in reply to a letter of April 5 addressed to the Communist command by General Mark Clark, the U.N. Far East commander, asking for clarification of Premier Chou En-lai's radio broadcast of March 30, which had proposed a prisoner exchange program, appearing on its surface similar to that proposed the prior fall by India and overwhelmingly adopted by the U.N. General Assembly the prior December, but omitting detail on the issue of voluntary repatriation, only suggesting that an unspecified neutral nation be appointed to receive questionable cases regarding repatriation and then have that nation's representatives make a "just" determination of each such case. The Communist reply had included a statement that the Communists would provide "explanations" to prisoners who were hesitant to return home, indicating that the reason for their apprehension was that they had been subjected to intimidation and oppression by the U.N. allies and that the Communists' "explanations" would dispel that apprehension, "thereby attaining just solution to the question of repatriation."

Looks like we may have about 20 more years of this war.

At the U.N. in New York, the U.S. warned the free world this date against abandoning the policy of strength and unity in response to the conciliatory gestures of the Soviet Union of late. U.S. delegate Ernest Gross told the political committee that he deplored the reintroduction of the omnibus Polish peace package and said that the U.N. had already rejected all of its major points, and specifically regretted Poland bringing up the Korean problem again at the U.N., saying that the organization should avoid any action which could jeopardize the peace talks at Panmunjom. The Polish proposal had called for an immediate ceasefire in Korea, and Mr. Gross responded that there could be no ceasefire if it were based on forcible repatriation of prisoners. He also said that the speech the previous day by Andrei Vishinsky had demonstrated that the Soviets had reverted to their old ideas which would scuttle peace talks, including the demand that the Atlantic Treaty be abandoned and repudiated by its signatory nations. Mr. Gross said that such a proposal could not be taken seriously, that everything being done by NATO was aimed at preservation of peace, that the members were merely building the minimum forces required for protection against attack.

Associated Press correspondent John Scali indicates that top U.S. officials this date saw little chance for Russia's acceptance of an American-German challenge to permit genuinely free elections in Communist-ruled East Germany. The President and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, visiting Washington, urged Moscow to agree to such free elections and to free some 300,000 German war prisoners still being held by the Soviets. The joint American-German appeal was made in a formal communiqué announcing the results of three days of intensive talks between the President, Secretary of State Dulles and a German delegation headed by Chancellor Adenauer. The Chancellor was leaving by plane this date for San Francisco, to begin a nine-day cross-country tour before returning to Germany. During his visit in Washington, he had received a pledge that the U.S. would supply guns, tanks, planes and other military equipment needed to arm 12 German divisions for the six-nation European army, and a promise that the U.S. would consider providing financial aid for West Berlin and thousands of refugees flocking into the Western zones from East Germany. In return for those promises, Chancellor Adenauer had agreed to tighten controls aimed at cutting off strategic materials to Communist nations by barring transshipment through Germany, and that West Germany would seek early agreement with France to settle the dispute over the future of the industrial Saar.

Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia said this date, following the testimony of Army Secretary Robert Stevens before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee that ammunition supplies in Korea presently looked good, that if the military leaders were to conduct everything as they had the ammunition shortage, the country could have no confidence in its security. General James Van Fleet, retired Eighth Army commander in Korea, had said that the shortages hampered his operations during all of his 22 months of command. Senator Byrd praised Secretary Stevens for the manner in which he had investigated the ammunition problem, including his visit to the Korean front, but criticized former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett and former Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, both of whom had testified earlier, saying that he believed the latter two were at fault in not asking that all matters of serious consequence be submitted directly to them. Secretary Stevens said that the only two types of ammunition which were not yet up to 90-day supply levels were 81-mm. mortars and 105-mm. howitzers, each of which, however, had at least 72-day supplies and, he anticipated, would shortly reach the 90-day supply levels.

The President this date nominated Frederick Lawton, former Budget director in the Truman Administration, to be the Democratic member of the Civil Service Commission, to succeed Frances Perkins, former Secretary of Labor during FDR's terms, who had resigned from the three-member commission.

The President also forwarded to the Senate the previous appointment of Air Force Lt. General Charles Cabell to be deputy director of the CIA.

The RNC this date unanimously elected former Representative Leonard Hall of New York as its national chairman and accepted, with regret, the resignation of C. Wesley Roberts of Kansas, who had only recently become the chairman but had faced controversy in Kansas regarding his having earned a ten percent commission on the sale in 1951 to the State for $110,000 of a veterans hospital, already owned by the State.

In Chicago, an 18-year old boy was electrocuted the previous day when he attempted to retrieve a quarter which he was flipping on the platform of a Loop subway station, after it fell onto the tracks, prompting him to jump from the platform, whereupon he slipped on a wet spot and fell with his legs across the electrified third rail and another rail, completing the circuit. His three companions risked their lives to pry him from the rail with boards and then gave him artificial respiration, but he was dead on arrival at a hospital.

Near Hamlet, N.C., two automobiles carrying Whiteville High School students to an Asheville convention of the Beta Club, an organization of high school leaders, collided with another car early this date, resulting in four persons being killed and four others injured. One car had sideswiped another, carrying some of the students, and then, traveling on the wrong side of the road, hit head-on a third car, also carrying students and their chaperons, 250 feet from the first collision, on a bridge over the Seaboard Air Line Railway in the rural community of Old Hundred. One man in the car which had initially sideswiped the other car was killed, along with a mother and son and a 17-year old girl in the car which was hit head-on. One of the injured, a 16-year old girl, was in critical condition. The sideswiped car had already cleared the bridge when the other two cars collided, and had continued on without its occupants being aware of the accident. The investigating officer said that he would charge the driver of the car, which had sideswiped the first car and then hit the other car head-on, with drunk driving and manslaughter.

In Marysville, California, the town's new fire truck had finally arrived the previous day, four days late, after being unreported following its passing through Denver, on its way from Elmira, N.Y. The fire chief, however, was so elated at the arrival of the new truck that he did not bother to ask questions, asserting that he assumed it had just been delayed. Make sure it has adequate hose for the tallest edifice in the area.

In Decatur, Ill., a woman who had worked at a rummage sale discovered that her coat had been sold by another helper for 50 cents. The coat contained her keys, her driver's license and a small amount of cash. The woman said that she hoped to get the keys back but that if the coat was worth no more than 50 cents, she figured she needed a new one.

In Raleigh, compromise legislation to allow increased truck axle weights was approved by the State House this date and sent to the Senate.

On the editorial page, "A Blow to Health Consolidation" indicates that the City Council had refused to share its health officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel, with the County for the ensuing three months, a serious setback to the movement for a consolidated countywide health department. The reason for the refusal was that the County Medical Society had made the proposal and the County Health Board had acted upon it without first consulting the City Council as to whether it would permit its health officer to take on new duties.

It indicates that health services in the county area were inadequate and the professional standards of the county health department were not up to the desired levels, a position which appeared to be shared by the majority of the Medical Society members. It finds that until the citizenry demanded a single, unified health department with high professional services for the whole county area, matters would not be improved. The City Council's rejection of the County Health Board's plan, it suggests, might boomerang by giving impetus to such a movement, in which case good health and good government would, after all, be served.

"The Danger of German Unity" indicates that for the first time in history a German Chancellor, Konrad Adenauer, was visiting the United States. Despite his bearing and background being remindful of authoritarian Germany of the past, he had proved himself to be a genuine democrat, having led West Germany from occupation to virtual self-rule while winning for the country concessions which appeared fanciful only a few years earlier, promoting an international Europe rather than a nationalistic Germany, making great progress in restoring the war-shattered economy.

The question of United European defense and the dispute over the Saar would present many problems which German and U.S. officials would try to work out during the Chancellor's visit. The question of German unification would also be placed in issue by the recent Soviet peace tenders, and no successful West German politician was against unification, the desire of most Germans in both East and West. If the Communists were to propose all-German elections under conditions previously set by the West, it would be difficult to reject that offer. But if such an election were to occur, it would be unlikely that Chancellor Adenauer and his moderate colleagues would gain the strength necessary to govern, and the Communists would be placed in a good position to disrupt or wreck the increasingly close ties between West Germany and the West, seriously impacting all Western nations, as Germany was the keystone of the European Defense Community. It hopes that the Chancellor would cope with the situation with his usual acumen, and that U.S. policy planners were anticipating the likely overtures from the Communists regarding Germany.

"From One Big Job to Another" praises the directors of the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce for their choice of James Glenn as the body's new executive vice-president, indicating that he was amiable and had a keen and analytical mind, with a strong sense of civic responsibility. The only regret was that Mr. Glenn had felt it necessary to give up his duties on the City School Board, where as a member for six years and chairman for the previous two, he had a major role in planning the huge postwar educational expansion program, which had been managed well in the face of obstacles.

"Rowan Makes New History" tells of General Eisenhower, during the presidential campaign the prior September 30, having come into Salisbury aboard a train early in the morning, seeing a crowd outside and stepping onto the platform in his pajamas and a robe, and then summoning Mamie, who also was wearing pajamas and her dressing gown, resulting in a memorable photograph.

It suggests that perhaps because the people of the town had not gotten much of a chance to see the General and because he wanted to hold together his strong ties with the South, or perhaps because he liked people, the President the prior week had said that he would stop in Salisbury again during a flight to Augusta, Ga., the following Thursday, to help celebrate the bicentennial of Rowan County. To accommodate the visit, the celebration was changed from the 2,000-seat venue at the local high school to a 7,000-seat stadium at Catawba College. It would be the first speech of the new President outside Washington since his inauguration and would provide Rowan County with another event in its colorful history.

Be sure and give him some Cheerwine.

The area, incidentally, was originally explored on behalf of Spain by Juan Pardo, who established forts in the area in 1567. Sr. Pardo, patriarch of a family of fertile octogenarians, was, as is well known, the great-great-great-great-great uncle of Don.

Drew Pearson tells of Secretary of Interior Donald McKay having a tough time making up his mind about the largest remaining hydroelectric project in the country, Hell's Canyon, between Idaho and Oregon. During the presidential campaign, General Eisenhower had almost taken a stand on the project, but had not, and still had not. Opponents of the private utilities, including brother Milton Eisenhower, had been busy backstage, inspiring several newspaper editorials warning the President that the question of public power versus private utilities was rife with political problems. As a result, the President had so far sidestepped the issue. Gracie Pfost, a Democrat running for Congress in Idaho, had met the issue head-on, supporting public power, and had been elected on that basis, the only Democrat elected from Idaho, defeating an incumbent Republican.

Meanwhile, the Idaho Power Co. had asked the Federal Power Commission for a license to build the Ox Bow project, a smaller dam on the Snake River, which would be swallowed up and flooded if the larger Hell's Canyon dam were built. That application thus put Secretary McKay on the spot, as he had to make up his mind soon and inform Congress of his decision prior to May, a decision on which he was looking to the White House for direction.

The full significance of the firing of Dr. Allen Astin as the director of the Bureau of Standards, regarding alleged unfairness in tests of a battery restorative determined to be worthless, was only appreciated when one understood that the Bureau provided the standards for industry, from which came the national standard meter to determine the foot, the yard, and some 700 other standardized measurements. To meet the standards, the measuring device had to be placed in an air-conditioned, humidity-controlled room for 48 hours. The Bureau thus had to be nonpartisan and accurate. The man responsible for firing Dr. Astin, Assistant Secretary of Commerce Craig Sheaffer of the fountain pen company, had told friends that one of the first things he intended to do in Washington was to shake up the Bureau of Standards, which had been high-handed with him in testing a Sheaffer pen, demanding more information about the pen than he was willing to provide as he believed it might reveal secrets to his competitors, deciding then to withdraw the pen. A further check on that matter had shown that the trouble had really begun in the Federal Trade Commission rather than in the Bureau, involving the claim of Sheaffer that it was manufacturing a pen which would last a lifetime, while some of the purchasers complained that they had to get the pen repaired at their own expense, leading to the FTC investigation, the testing for which was performed by the Bureau. Mr. Pearson concludes that it may have supplied the reason for Mr. Sheaffer firing Dr. Astin.

William Henry Chamberlain, writing in the Wall Street Journal, tells of most European statesmen saying that they favored closer European union but that West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had put action to his words. Since taking over the war-shattered country in 1949, he had accomplished a lot in terms of bringing Germany into the community of free nations and promoting the rebuilding of the nation. He had pushed through the German Bundestag the Schuman plan to share coal and steel in the Ruhr with five other nations, and the ratification of the European Defense Community plan to form a single army for the six nations. The Government had worked out a settlement of Germany's prewar debts after negotiations with creditors, making it possible for Germany again to enter the market for foreign credits. The German people had also recognized the moral obligation for the war crimes of the Nazis, including an agreement to pay in goods substantial compensation to Israel over a period of years.

Chancellor Adenauer's tenure had been marked by two strong convictions, that Germany was not strong enough postwar to stand alone in isolation and that the West had more to offer Germany than the East. The country was no longer that of the Kaiser Wilhelm or of Hitler, now much more dependent on trade with the outside world for elementary subsistence. The better opportunities for trade lay with the West. East Germany, by contrast, had only access to Iron Curtain markets. West Germany had fared much better economically than the East, as proved daily by the exodus of thousands of East Germans to the West through Berlin.

It was still not clear whether France would ratify the European Defense Community and the Saar remained a source of dispute. There was still great hardship in West Germany in spite of the recovery. Chancellor Adenauer also had to face re-election later in 1953. That he had undertaken the hard task of leadership under the harsh postwar conditions and won the success he had was a measure of his stature as a patriot and statesman. Were he to fail in making Germany a sound partner in the Atlantic community, Germany, Europe and the U.S. would suffer in different ways.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of the President having moved slowly in asking Congress for legislation, having submitted 19 specific proposals and promised recommendations on four others. By comparison, during the first quarter of 1949, President Truman had submitted 51 legislative proposals. President Eisenhower had won approval of two matters, with unfavorable action on one, compared to five under President Truman in the first quarter of 1949, without any unfavorable action. By further comparison, President Roosevelt, during his first 100 days in office in 1933, won quick approval of more than a dozen emergency measures to deal with the depression. Both former Presidents, however, met stiff opposition in Congress subsequently.

One of the approved matters sent to Congress by President Eisenhower was the reorganization of executive agencies and the other was the replacement of the Federal Security Agency with the Cabinet-level Department of Health, Education and Welfare. Statehood for Hawaii had won partial approval—though destined to fail. Bills to provide the states with title to offshore tidelands oil had also been approved by House and Senate committees, with passage by the full House. The President's proposal to condemn Russia for violation of "secret" World War II agreements with the U.S. and resulting enslavement of populations had been blocked after Republicans insisted on an amendment which would have said that the Congress did not intend by the resolution to express tacit approval of the World War II agreements, primarily Yalta and Potsdam in 1945, the resolution having been set aside by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after being approved by the House counterpart.

The piece lists several other Eisenhower proposals undergoing hearings, including amendments to Taft-Hartley and extension of certain economic controls. It also lists several proposals not formally considered by Congress during the first quarter.

Robert C. Ruark favors exploration of the Russian peace tenders, even if probably another hollow gesture. He favors continued vigilance and maintenance of defense preparedness. He also counsels against being so gloomy about the prospect of peace—all of which he cloaks in his usual metaphor-ridden language so that it can take up a whole column to say very little of substance, and he can return to the bar to finish his drink.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.