The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William C. Barnard, that a battalion consisting of about 750 Chinese Communists troops had struck the South Korean Capitol Division on the central front early this date, repulsed by the sharpshooting South Korean troops with deadly artillery and small-arms fire, killing 53 and wounding another 75 enemy soldiers following a 40-minute fight. Elsewhere along the front, there were scattered patrol clashes.

For the second straight day, U.S. Sabre jets did not encounter any enemy MIG-15s. Fighter-bombers hit enemy supply, troop areas and rail bridges.

Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens completed a survey of ammunition supplies in Korea with an inspection of rear area installations this date.

Communist negotiators in Korea provided to the U.N. command their latest proposal for ending the fighting, suggesting a meeting at Panmunjom the following Monday to discuss plans for exchange of sick and wounded prisoners, on which the U.N. agreed. The Communists also said that they were ready to set a date for resumption of the truce talks, which had been suspended the prior fall when the U.N. negotiators walked out in frustration over continued deadlock regarding the issue of prisoner repatriation. U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark had made it clear, however, that the allied truce negotiators would return only after arrangements had been completed for exchange of the disabled prisoners. An allied spokesman said that the businesslike tone of the Communist communiqué delivered this date was heartening, as it lacked the usual propaganda accompanying such messages. He cautioned, however, against unbridled optimism regarding the truce talks.

Responsible officials and Western diplomats in Washington increasingly voiced the belief that the new Kremlin peace offensive was a major Soviet aim, creating a critical problem of leadership for the Administration, which had to be ready to join in negotiating settlements with Russia while maintaining the military power enabling negotiation from strength. Some authorities believed that if the Soviets lost their momentum of aggressive postwar expansion for a substantial time, they might not be able to resume it, offering the opportunity for America and its allies to create a stability which would subsequently be difficult to upset. Russia's latest maneuver had been to submit to the U.N. the previous day new disarmament proposals similar to those previously made by the West but rejected by the Soviets. Among other things, they had indicated a willingness to engage in a balanced reduction of armed forces instead of demanding a percentage cut which would leave Russia with an over-balance of forces, compared with the West. That willingness, combined with the proposals to end the Korean War, afforded another piece of evidence that the Kremlin was acting in accordance with a master plan with several possible objectives, one of which might be to reverse the process of the counter-forces which had been built up by the U.S. and its allies in response to Communist force and threats of force since the end of the war.

NATO supreme commander General Matthew Ridgway warned this date, in a speech celebrating the second anniversary of the NATO supreme headquarters, that Russia's threat against the Western allies had not diminished "one iota", that Russia continued to increase its military capacity. He did not mention the recent Russian peace tenders. He made a strong appeal to the Western allies to bring West German troops into the defense of Western Europe, to strengthen the whole Allied Command and reduce proportionally the burden of cost of the defense. He urged ratification of the controversial European Army treaty by the six participatory West European parliaments, designed to put about two million troops into one uniform and under one command. Only the West German lower house had thus far approved the treaty, with France, Italy and the Benelux countries having not yet done so. General Ridgway said that present forces would be inadequate if put to the test in Western Europe and would sustain heavy losses of life and arms, which could be greatly reduced by present timely action. He said that he had no intention to match Russia plane for plane and division for division, but that the requisite military strength for accomplishment of the mission which the NATO governments had assigned, doing so at the earliest practicable time, even at the possible cost of temporary curtailment of some material well-being of those nations, was the overriding duty of those governments.

In Berlin, the U.S. and France accepted a Russian invitation to join current Soviet-British talks regarding air safety over Germany, an effort to avoid further incidents involving Soviet aircraft shooting at or shooting down U.S. and British aircraft along the border areas. Nothing had been made public thus far regarding the talks, and the British officials said no communiqué would issue until the talks ended.

Also in Berlin, Russian zone border guards virtually abandoned control of the East-West express highway to Berlin this date, enabling inter-zonal traffic to speed along at an unprecedented rate. Giant trucks, hauling as much as 12 to 15 tons of goods to West Berlin, were not subjected to the usual customs inspections at the border. German and Allied passenger cars reported being treated with courtesy and speed not previously seen in passing through the frontier. West Berlin officials also reported speed in processing permits in the Soviet zone office for goods consigned to West Germany. Through the years since the war, the Russians had used stalling tactics along the highway, and particularly in the trade permit office, to damage the West Berlin lifeline.

The President sent to Congress a plan to reorganize the Office of Defense Mobilization, intended to achieve the maximum degree of mobilization readiness at the least possible costs by merging the functions of the ODM with those of the National Security Resources Board, and giving permanent status to the ODM, which theretofore had been a temporary emergency agency.

The President backed up Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks this date by accepting the resignation of Dr. Allen V. Astin as director of the National Bureau of Standards, fired the previous week by Secretary Weeks because the Bureau had not been "sufficiently objective" in its testing methods, in addition to other undisclosed reasons. Dr. Astin had denied the accusation and said that the Bureau had to stand by its scientific findings regardless of "pressures". Secretary Weeks had specified the Bureau's decision that a battery "dope", consisting of epsom salts designed to strengthen aging batteries, had been useless—a matter explored at some length previously by Drew Pearson's column. Mr. Weeks said that the dope performed as it should.

The National Milk Producers Federation told a Government conference, called by Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson this date, that it would oppose making the dairy industry a "guinea pig" for trial of a "self-help" program for dealing with surplus butter, cheese and other products. It expressed the willingness to cooperate on an equal basis with other segments of agriculture in developing and carrying out farm price stabilization programs which would require less government aid than presently provided. Production of butter, cheese and dried milk had been greater than the quantity consumers would buy at support-level prices, causing the Department of Agriculture to have to purchase the surplus, amounting to about 143 million pounds of butter, 74 million pounds of cheese and 212 million pounds of dried milk.

Eighteen of 19 U.S. Rubber Co. plants across the nation were idle this date, involving 35,000 workers, because of a strike over a new contract. The strike had been postponed for 24 hours pending further negotiations and when no agreement had been reached, the walkout began, but a company spokesman expressed optimism about an early settlement, believing the strike would last no longer than two or three days.

In Raleigh, the General Assembly's Joint Appropriations Committee had been told the previous day by Revenue commissioner Eugene Shaw that it would have 6.9 million dollars less available for State spending during the ensuing two fiscal years than had been expected. A proposed State constitutional amendment to hold General Assembly sessions every year rather than only every two years was approved by a House committee this date, and included a raise in pay of legislators by $450 for each biennial period. Present pay was $15 per day for 90 days and the proposal was to provide a flat $1,200 for the first session in the two-year term and $600 for the second. Passage of the measure in a statewide referendum would be required for ratification.

In Chicago, the Illinois State Athletic Commission approved a postponement of the heavyweight title bout between champion Rocky Marciano and Jersey Joe Walcott, scheduled for April 10 at the Chicago Stadium, postponed until May 15 because of a nose injury suffered by Mr. Marciano during training.

In Marion, Mass., a six-year old boy consigned himself to the doghouse for several hours the previous day for staying out late, being afraid to go home, resulting in Marion's police force and 15 firemen joining in a search for him.

He might also suffer a nose, or at least a backside injury during training.

On the editorial page, "If the People Don't Care, Then What?" indicates that one of the newspaper editors who had attended a meeting of the newspapermen in Raleigh during the week regarding the secrecy law rammed through the General Assembly, permitting committees to consider budgetary matters in executive session, formerly prohibited by state law, had made the observation that despite his newspaper having extensively covered the matter, it had received only one letter on the subject, whereas a recent dog-muzzling ordinance in his town had caused a spate of angry letters. It indicates that it had been roughly the experience of The News as well, and questions how long the people's rights would endure, if the people did not care what happened to them.

The newspaper representatives who had met in Raleigh the prior Tuesday had not only re-examined their own position, but also that of the General Assembly regarding the claimed necessity of secret budget deliberations to protect from press abstraction of statements out of context made during those deliberations, thus giving a false impression to constituents back home before a matter had the opportunity for a full airing, but had nevertheless reached the conclusion set forth in their resolution that secret deliberations were inappropriate for protection of the rights of the people to be informed as to how their money was being spent. It reiterates that position.

"No Fair Play at All" indicates that the State Constitution had reversed the ordinary bicameral legislative process whereby one house represented the geographical units of the constituency and the other the people on the basis of population, such that the State House had one seat for each of the 100 counties in the state and 20 seats based on population, while the Senate was based entirely on population. The 1950 census had determined sufficient population in Mecklenburg, Guilford and Forsyth Counties for each to have two Senators rather than one, and the State Constitution provided that the Legislature had to redistrict based on the decennial census, not done by the 1951 Assembly or yet in the 1953 session.

But a bill had just been adopted the previous day in the House to amend the Constitution to prevent any county from having more than one Senator, which, if ultimately approved by the Senate and the people, would result in popular representation being permanently denied to the more populous counties.

It finds it "unfair, undemocratic, self-perpetuating" of the extant majority dominated by the small, rural counties, unless either the State Senate or the people refused to go along.

"The Bricker Resolution" indicates that Senator John W. Bricker's resolution to amend the Constitution regarding the treaty-making powers of the Government, purportedly to safeguard individual liberties, would actually make it more difficult to effect agreements between nations at a time when more effective international agreements were badly needed to solidify the free world against the onslaught of Communism. The editorial posits that the newspaper believed the proposed amendment posed one of the most momentous constitutional issues ever faced by the country, and because it was co-sponsored by 64 Senators, making its approval quite possible, the newspaper would subsequently have quite a bit to say on the topic, but for the time being, commends to readers the abstract on the page of Judge John J. Parker's testimony on the subject before the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous week.

"Up, Up, Up Go the Truck Weights" finds it curious and disturbing that the House Roads Committee had ignored warnings of competent officials of the State Highway Commission and approved heavier axle loads for trucks. The warnings, from the State's chief engineer, had been that the roads were deteriorating rapidly enough without adding to that deterioration by allowing additional weight, that aside from weather, trucks were the principal cause of road damage, and that the bill before the Committee would accelerate that damage.

It indicates that the State was spending many millions of dollars trying to rebuild its primary roads, questions whether it was wise to jeopardize that investment by increasing the weight limits, finding the answer self-evident.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "Science? It's Wonderful", after starting the piece with a quote from Confucius, tells of scientists at the University of Illinois having invented a machine called a "time compressor", which was a recording device to speed up words or music, enabling the speaker or singer to put 75 minutes worth of output into an hour of time by chopping up the words or sounds into strips and discarding those not essential to make sense or melody in the presentation. Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-a My House", for example, had, without change in the singer's pitch, been compressed by 30 percent.

It speculates as to what could be done to compress a Wagnerian opera to an hour's duration, "with the louder parts muted so a fellow can get a measured nap." Another suggested use was cutting a long editorial to a pithy sentence or two.

"Great thing, science. Confucius say, 'Science is golden'? Could be case."

Drew Pearson tells of House Speaker Joseph Martin being the easiest man in Congress to get along with, but also having certain ideas on how job appointments should be handled. At a recent Monday morning White House conference with the President, the Speaker had reminded him that it was customary to let Congressmen and Senators know in advance before a job was to be filled in their state so that they could get credit for helping make the appointment. He had tactfully made the statement through a Socratic exchange with the President, which Mr. Pearson sets forth. The result was that the President had told his chief of staff, Sherman Adams, somewhat irritatedly, to tighten the appointment liaison with Republicans in the Congress.

Congressman Clare Hoffman of Michigan, 77, was one of the "stormiest" Republicans in the Congress, attacking both Republicans and Democrats, just as likely to tangle with the Republican leadership as anyone else. Mr. Pearson, during a previous vacation, had once allowed Mr. Hoffman to get even by substituting for him in a column, of which the Congressman took full advantage by attacking Mr. Pearson, a column which was then published, calling Mr. Pearson a "deceiver of the people" who pretended "to give exclusive information which has already appeared" and was a "giver of effluvium colloquially known as stink." Thus, Mr. Pearson comments, he should not have been surprised when, on a recent morning, he was provided a subpoena to appear ten minutes later before Congressman Hoffman's special committee investigating undue influence in small business. Mr. Pearson admits having gotten the Congressman's district in Michigan mixed up with another and apologized for the error, so did not object to being hauled on the carpet by the Congressman. But other members of the committee did object, including Charles Brownson of Indianapolis, a Republican, and Frank Carsten of St. Louis, a Democrat, both objecting to the sudden subpoenas being issued without notification of other committee members, as well as to the establishment of special subcommittees to pry into anything which Congressman Hoffman wanted to do without a vote by other members. Subsequently, Speaker Martin also objected and told Mr. Hoffman to call off such activities. Mr. Martin feared that bringing newsmen before the committee would set a precedent for other committee chairmen to subpoena anyone who wrote a story critical of Congress. He had also heard that Congressman Hoffman had planned to investigate CIO influence in a Democratic convention in Michigan in 1950, far too tangential to probing Federal spending, of which his committee had oversight, and so determined, along with Republican floor leader Charles Halleck of Indiana, that it was time to act, informing Mr. Hoffman that if he did not stop the practice, funding for his investigations would be cut off.

Chief Judge John J. Parker of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in excerpts from testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee the previous week, says that the proposal to amend the existing treaty-making power of the President, with the advice and consent of two-thirds of the Senators present, to require, in addition, a majority of both houses of Congress for a treaty's implementation, including executive agreements, had gained its strength from the perception that treaties could be used to impair the liberties of the people, but, he believes, there was no sound basis for that fear, as basic liberties were guaranteed by express provisions of the Constitution, and that it was well-settled that any treaty, as with any act of Congress, in conflict with express provisions of the Constitution was, ab initio, void, needing only the courts then so to rule.

In addition, the fact of the necessity of two-thirds of the Senate to ratify any treaty served as protection against any such consequent derogation of liberty. Furthermore, treaties could be abrogated by the Congress at any time through affirmative legislation.

Regarding executive agreements, the Judge indicates that they were subject to control by Congress under present constitutional provisions. The President, as commander-in-chief of the Army and Navy, had power to make such agreements, and, incident to the power to see that the laws were faithfully executed, had the power to enter into agreements with foreign countries, necessary to their enforcement. Yet, even the exercise of that power was subject to control by Congress through its powers to declare war, make peace and regulate commerce with foreign nations, as well as by the fact that all money necessary to carry out such agreements had to come from appropriations authorized by Congress. He indicates that the greater number of executive agreements were made pursuant to Congressional authorization or were made expressly subject to Congressional approval or implementation.

Problems had arisen in connection with those agreements, such as whether Congress should be required to approve changes in tariff rates made pursuant to such agreements, or whether certain agreements made pursuant to them which performed the function of treaties should require ratification by two-thirds of the Senate. Those problems, he indicates, would probably require additional legislation for their satisfactory solution, but should not require the hamstringing of the executive by requiring executive agreements to be subjected to the limitations imposed on treaties.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that the President's problems with Senator Joseph McCarthy were likely to start again soon, should the Senator's statements of his own intentions prove trustworthy. The Senator had confided to one of the ablest Washington reporters, during the recent controversy over the confirmation of Charles Bohlen as Ambassador to Russia, that he would be heavily defeated on the matter, but that they were going to "get Dulles's head." The Alsops find, therefore, that the Senator was intent on playing the same role vis-à-vis President Eisenhower which Huey Senator Long of Louisiana had played vis-à-vis FDR during the early to mid-Thirties.

The President, behind the scenes, had been angered by the Senator's recent opposition to Mr. Bohlen and the criticism of Mr. Dulles, but had, nevertheless, made commitments to him which might prove embarrassing in the future. Senators Taft and William Knowland had borne the brunt of the Bohlen controversy in the Senate, but had not enjoyed doing so, and reportedly had complained to the President, who promised them to avoid making further requests which would likely divide the Republican Party in Congress, assuring even closer coordination with the Congressional leadership to ensure no repeat of the Bohlen controversy. But the President could only buy peace within his party at a "shocking price", as long as Senator McCarthy wanted to pick a quarrel. Senator McCarthy and the other anti-Eisenhower Republicans were strongly entrenched in the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by Senator Styles Bridges, and the next step in getting at Mr. Dulles would likely be an attack on State Department and foreign aid appropriations via that Committee.

Senator Taft might advise heavy cuts in those appropriations to maintain peace in the party, and, in that event, the President would have to choose between honoring his semi-commitment to Senator McCarthy or maintaining his foreign policy. If the President maintained peace within the party, Senator McCarthy would likely find a way to emphasize his victory, making himself appear bigger at the President's expense. Nothing less, the Alsops venture, could be expected from the Senator, especially in light of his recent attempt to grab public credit for the State Department's long and laboriously negotiated agreement with the Greek Government to prevent shipments of contraband goods to Communist China via ships sailing under the Greek flag.

A letter writer thinks that the March 28 editorial, "One-Way Streets Are Safer Too", had been guilty of non sequitur, that the statistics quoted were prima facie evidence that traffic problems had been intensified rather than alleviated by the new one-way streets in the city, that there was nothing good about an enormous increase in traffic volume unless accompanied by a decrease on the more congested nearby streets, indicating that those streets were suffering four times the traffic along what was tantamount to a "macadamized goat-track reminiscent of a back alley in a Mexican village."

A letter writer indicates that he had been interested in the amount of money needed to build a new Coliseum and Auditorium and wonders why it was necessary to burden the already-burdened taxpayers with that additional amount at present, as the Armory-Auditorium, which had served its purpose for many years, already existed. He believed that the Coliseum and Auditorium ought be put on the back burner for a few years.

A letter writer suggests that the Mecklenburg County Republican Party could be called the "Under-Wraps-Party" for its return to its old ways after having waged a campaign the prior year to develop a two-party system, now announcing the same old local persons as candidates for local offices, as "crusading" Republicans were awaiting appointments of Federal judges or U.S. Attorneys, and so he questions where was the two-party system. He offers that it had lasted but three months and that even then was only on paper.

A letter writer from Stokesdale expresses weariness in dispensing make-believe sympathy for UNC athletic teams in recent years, that it was true that coach Carl Snavely of the football team had been victimized by circumstances beyond his control and that it was equally true that new basketball coach Frank McGuire had been correct in saying that he would need at least two years to build his team to the point where they could hope to challenge N.C. State and other college powers. But he finds that no one had shed any tears for coach McGuire, as his players had played well until the middle of the season, even with the mediocre talent inherited from former coach Tom Scott, but then ran out of inspiration and faith in themselves toward the end—having been 15-3 at the end of January, only to wind up 17-10, including two drubbings by State, the latter in the first round of the Southern Conference Tournment in Raleigh. Even so, they had beaten eventual conference champion State in the first match-up and Wake Forest, and had a winning season for the first time in three years. He warns that other teams and coaches should beat the Tar Heels while they could.

As to the basketball team, his advice would prove prescient, as would the prediction of coach McGuire, whose next two teams would post records of 11-10 and 10-11, respectively, before rebounding to an 18-5 record in 1956, and the rest... And, assuming we have a college basketball season next year in 2020-21, a considerable assumption at this point, we say to those other coaches and schools that you had your chance and made the best of it this past season, but look out for the next, as you will suffer for having stepped on our shoes.

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