The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 22, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the U.N. command had sought a meeting with Communist liaison officers the following day, this night Eastern Standard Time, "to discuss matters in connection with the current repatriation operations", involving the sick and wounded prisoners. Speculation ran that the U.N. command wanted to discuss with the Communists the reports from released U.N. prisoners that there were other sick and wounded U.N. prisoners not being released by the Communists.

Reports from the released U.N. prisoners suggested that as many as 1,500 allied prisoners had been killed in the Communist stockades and during brutal "death marches".

Meanwhile, the Communists were exploiting the release of Communist prisoners by parading them before newsreel cameras and suggesting that they had been "mutilated, emaciated wrecks" upon release from the U.N. prison camps. Many of the prisoners had ripped away their U.N.-issued garments and appeared before the cameras in rags, one individual throwing away his crutches and limping to the reception center. It was plain that the prisoners had been coached as to what to do and say, as many of them sang songs of Communist praise as they gained their release.

The prisoners released this date by the Communists consisted of 100 South Koreans, and the 500 U.N. prisoners released included 150 Chinese, bringing the total Chinese prisoners released to 700, the total Chinese out of the 5,800 Communist prisoners to be released, the remainder being North Koreans. Thus far, 65 Americans had been released, with 14 more set to be released the following day.

In Paris, the NATO Foreign Ministers Council meeting convened this date. The American delegation, led by Secretary of State Dulles, would seek to bring German troops into the proposed two-million-man European army. The meeting was set to last three days. Mr. Dulles was accompanied by Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, Mutual Security Agency director Harold Stassen, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley. One scheme being considered was to bring West Germany directly into NATO, but it was unlikely that the American delegation would want to put such strong pressure on European allies at the present time and it was more likely, according to an observer, that the U.S. would wait until after a series of imminent elections in France, Italy and Germany. Even after ratification of the European Defense Community by its six constituent nations, France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries, it would take from 15 to 18 months before the first German division would be ready for action. Of the six nations, only the lower house of the West German parliament had thus far approved the agreement.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, summoned top State and Defense Department officials for an investigation of atrocities against U.S. prisoners in Korea. The Senator requested Undersecretary of State Walter Bedell Smith to appear with top advisers during the afternoon, to be followed by top ranking Defense officials. The Senator said that the questioning would take place in executive session.

Senator Sherman Cooper of Kentucky, a member of the Armed Services Committee and former delegate to the U.N., said this date that the Administration had to be prepared to risk adverse public opinion and make limited concessions in exchange for real peace with the Communists in Asia. He further said that the Chinese Communists were likely to seek many concessions to which the U.S. could not agree during negotiations of a truce in Korea, but if the Administration did not yield on some points, there was little hope of a permanent settlement. Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said, as did Senator Cooper, that the reported failure of the Chinese Communists to return all sick and wounded U.S. prisoners had dimmed hopes for a truce. Senator Mansfield said that in dealing with the Communists, the country had to hope for the best but expect the worst, and that the latter appeared to be what the U.S. was getting.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan said this date that the President had so reduced his foreign aid requests and curtailed military spending to allow for the prospect of a balanced budget and early tax cuts.

Senate Majority Leader Taft told the Senate this date that he would move to force a test vote this night on the tidelands oil issue, regarding whether to return title to the submerged lands to the states from the Federal Government. He predicted a 20-vote margin in favor of sidetracking the proposed substitute measure to provide for Federal control of the lands. Opponents agreed with the Senator's prediction, but said that their debate would continue in opposition to the bill to provide title to the states. If the Senator's motion proved successful, there would be an immediate vote on the principal bill, unless its sponsors in the Administration withdrew their amendment. The debate had been ongoing for three weeks.

The House refused this date to appropriate money for the Government's normal 1954 payment to the Civil Service retirement fund, defeating an amendment offered by Representative George Miller of California and supported by most Democrats, but opposed by nearly all Republicans present. Mr. Miller called the action "a phony if there ever was one", saying that the failure of Congress to pay the Federal contribution to the retirement fund on an annual basis would place "an unparalleled load" on some future Congress. The Republican chairman of the subcommittee which drafted the bill insisted that there was no annual matching obligation of the Federal Government, but only the responsibility to pay its share into the fund as needed. Federal employees contributed 6 percent of their pay annually to the fund.

Another controversial bill before the House was a Republican recommendation that no new public housing projects be started after July 1, with Representative John McCormack of Massachusetts suggesting the previous day that the position of the President on the matter be ascertained, after which White House press secretary James Hagerty said this date that he had not seen such a request and would not comment upon it.

In Naples, Clare Boothe Luce arrived as the first female Ambassador to Italy, aboard the Italian liner Andrea Doria, accompanied by her husband, Henry, publisher of Time-Life, Inc.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported this date that the cost of living had gone up slightly, by two-tenths of one percent, between mid-February and mid-March, reversing a three-month downward trend, moving the index to 113.6 percent of the average cost registered between 1947 and 1949. The index stood about a half percent below the record established the previous November, with the cost of living having changed very little since the previous fall. The Bureau indicated that the removal of Government price and wage controls had little effect on retail prices thus far. There had been sizable increases in the retail prices of cigarettes, coffee, gasoline and fuel oil, but on no other important items. Food, clothing and household furnishings were generally at lower prices than a year earlier.

In New York, Liggett and Myers Tobacco Co. the previous day reported that sales for the prior quarter had totaled 141.5 million dollars, compared to just short of 132 million dollars during the same period a year earlier. Net income for the quarter had been 4.77 million or $1.13 per share of common stock, compared with 3.9 million or 91 cents per share during the first quarter of the prior year.

In Raleigh, dry leaders and legislators this date reversed their customary roles as a State House committee approved liquor referendums for Lake Lure and Valdese, over objections from dry forces. Legislation to amend the tax laws of the state, in an effort to make them more attractive to new industry, was approved unanimously by the State House this date and sent to the Senate.

In Newton, N.C., Federal District Court Judge Wilson Warlick this date denied the motion of E. M. Beaty, a Charlotte taxi company operator, to remain free on bond while awaiting the outcome of a petition for writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Judge also denied the defendant's motion to suspend his sentence and place him on probation. He was set to surrender the following Friday to begin serving a three-year sentence for income tax evasion.

In Charlotte, a fire had erupted on the roof of the Liberty Life Building early in the afternoon, causing hundreds of office workers to evacuate the 20-story building. News reporter Tom Fesperman, who reached the scene minutes after the firemen, reported that the fire was confined to an area of about 12 feet in diameter on the roof, apparently caused by the ignition of a tar pot being used to tar the roof of the building. The fire was quickly brought under control and there were no injuries. Someone was not minding the temperature gauge, for when that sucker reaches flashpoint, you had better get out of the way. Always have a spotter for the pot.

On the editorial page, "A New Asset for North Carolina" indicates that seven years earlier, in 1946, a committee of national medical experts had surveyed the health needs of the state and recommended the expansion of the University's Medical School from two years to four years, and the creation of a medical center to include basic sciences, research, a teaching hospital, and the allied schools of nurses, public health, dentistry and pharmacy. The report had caused controversy, with a minority report of two members opposing the expansion of the medical school and stating that if a teaching hospital were built, it should not be in Chapel Hill. A third member had denounced the whole idea of such integration. The majority, however, persisted, and with the backing of the Medical Care Commission, the General Assembly, and the University administration, the Division of Health Affairs had been established.

During the current week, four of the new structures, Memorial Hospital, the School of Dentistry, the School of Nursing, and the new four-year School of Medicine, would be formally dedicated, inaugurating a new era in medical education in the state. It finds it a great new asset for the people of the state, one which would serve them well.

"New Role for NATO" indicates that for nearly a year, little official or public notice had been given to NATO. General Eisenhower, because of his personal magnetism and then-prospective presidential run, had focused attention on NATO as its supreme commander through the previous May. As the campaign got underway, many NATO decisions were delayed until the new President was chosen and had a chance to become familiar with the job. The organization's accomplishments during the previous year, under the command of General Matthew Ridgway, had been far from impressive.

The following day, the NATO Foreign Ministers Council would convene in Paris for the first time in 1953. European members would be particularly anxious to hear what Secretary of State Dulles would propose as U.S. policy toward NATO, having indicated a prospective major shift in U.S. aid from Europe to Asia. Thus far, the attitudes toward NATO had not been detailed by the new Administration.

The previous day, a group of 200 prominent citizens from NATO countries, including General Marshall, Judge Learned Hand, Henry Ford II, Dr. Carl Compton, Bertrand Russell and the president of the French National Assembly, Eduard Herriot, had urged the Council to propose immediate steps to lower tariffs, eliminate quotas and other trade restrictions, simplify customs proceedings and free currencies so that the NATO nations could eventually become one financial and trading community, to promote absorption by NATO of the separate functions of international agencies, create a North Atlantic Consultative Assembly, composed of representatives of the peoples of the 14 NATO countries, and set up a central agency to coordinate Allied policy and planning in all vital areas where "imperialist Communist aggression" threatened peace.

The piece indicates that the first suggestion was only an elaboration of the recommendations resulting from several comprehensive studies made earlier by Gordon Gray, current president of UNC, Daniel Bell and the Mutual Security Agency advisory commission, and William Draper, President Truman's special representative in Europe. But the other three recommendations involved a fundamental rethinking of NATO's future role. Thus far, the organization had been officially viewed as a kind of holding corporation for a loosely-knit army, but the new concept had it as a keystone of the free world's defense, with emphasis on non-military as well as military problems. It suggests that the latter role was its proper one, for if the Communists, despite their recent peace offensive, did not waver from their goal of splitting the free world, then NATO was the logical vehicle to promote unity among the allies, and, it concludes, the organization deserved more attention than it was getting.

"In Defense of Presidential Yachts" indicates that it was understandable that a former General of the Army who had recently become President was not particularly at ease on a yacht, but it could not understand his decision to put the Presidential yacht Williamsburg into the mothball fleet on the basis that it was, with upkeep of $75,000 per year, a "symbol of needless luxury".

The piece wonders whether the President assumed that the Democrats might soon return to power and want to reuse the yacht, thus not opting to sell it. It is opposed to the mothballing of the vessel, not only because it was a good place for the President to get away from the pressures of office and hold quiet talks, but also because it wants the President to be able to enjoy vacations, finding a cruise more relaxing than playing golf. It suggests that the President, if he had to play golf, should hit his balls from the deck of the yacht, and then would have an excuse for some of his poor drives, would not have to classify his score.

The piece does not mention that apparently Dead Man had been the source of the latter information regarding classification.

John Allen MacLean, writing in the Fellowship Messenger, thanks the Lord that he was a North Carolinian and not either a Virginian or South Carolinian, and, further, that he was from Eastern North Carolina, as no gentleman had ever been born west of the tidewater. He especially thanks the Lord that he was a Southerner and not a Yankee, that he was a North American and not a South American, and that he was born in the U.S. and not among the "gringos" of Mexico or the "canucks" of Canada. He expresses thanks also that he was an Occidental and not an Oriental, as he had never liked "slanting eyes or the wrong shape of nose". He further thanks the Lord that he was a Gentile and not a Jew, recognizing that Jesus had been born a Jew and that many Jews had been princes in Israel when his ancestors had been Nordic barbarians, but that it was unnecessary to bring up such ancient history.

Perhaps you get the idea, as he goes on thanking the Lord for various and sundry things he was and was not, including the fact that he was a Presbyterian and not an Episcopalian, a Baptist or a Methodist.

"I thank thee, Lord, that I am a Southern Presbyterian, yes, an Eastern North Carolinian, North American, Occidental, Scottish, Gentile, white, civilized, Protestant, Southern Presbyterian! What a Man!"

Drew Pearson indicates that Senators who served on Senator McCarthy's Investigation Committee but who were seldom consulted about its "helter-skelter probes", were curious regarding the reported European antics of its two lead investigators, Roy Cohn and David Schine, both sent to Europe by the Senator to investigate the Voice of America, but having been reported to have used special planes at taxpayer expense and engaged in a brawl reportedly at the Hotel Adler. They had denied that Mr. Schine had hit Mr. Cohn over the head with a rolled-up magazine in the hotel corridor or that the chambermaid later found their room turned topsy-turvy. But the prior year, something of the same sort had occurred at the Boca Raton Hotel in Florida, owned by Mr. Schine's father, after the younger had jumped on Mr. Cohn, who wanted to leave, convinced to stay, however, by Mr. Schine's parents. The two had become the laughingstock of Europe.

The London Financial Times, one of England's most conservative newspapers, had said in a column by Viscount Bracken that the two were "brash young men", "scummy snoopers" and "distempered jackals". The News Chronicle said: "Let McCarthy's two precocious youngsters … be made familiar with the British hatred of bullying honest officials to serve the ulterior purpose of a fanatic in authority. McCarthyism has done more to bedevil Anglo-American relations than any other single factor." Lord Beaverbrook's Daily Express had similarly stated, "McCarthy is seeking to promote bitterness between Britain and America," thus playing "Malenkov's game."

The Frankfurt Abendpost, a conservative nonpolitical newspaper, stated: "The first impression of these two in Bonn was received by High Commission officials partly with humor and partly with annoyed disappointment. McCarthy's two chief investigators … came to Bonn from Frankfurt at 11 o'clock Sunday evening. On this same evening, they interviewed James Hoofnagle, a public affairs officer, at the Hotel Adler in Bad Godesberg during the course of a dinner which lasted for more than two hours. The dinner cost more than $25. The two investigators said they had come to Europe in order to study 'waste and mismanagement in the American information program.'" The piece had gone on to explain that the two had not asked the High Commission anything about costs and personnel regarding the Voice, were present supposedly to investigate books with Communistic tendencies contained within the American libraries. After telling the personnel of the High Commission to make themselves available at 8 o'clock the following morning, they were three hours late. Then, at 12:30, Mr. Schine announced that he had put on the wrong trousers and a driver was dispatched to the hotel to pick up the correct ones, whereupon Mr. Schine put them on and discovered that his notebook was missing, causing him to return to the hotel with Mr. Cohn to look for it. It was at that point that Mr. Schine was observed in the hotel lobby hitting Mr. Cohn over the head with the rolled-up magazine, at which point both disappeared into Mr. Schine's room for five minutes, after which the chambermaid found ashtrays and their contents strewn all over the room and furniture overturned. After lunch, the piece continued, the two investigators had interrogated the deputy chief of the MSA special mission in Bonn, asking him and others what their goals were, what was European integration and what did Western orientation mean. Afterward, they held a press conference with American newspaper correspondents, at which Mr. Cohn introduced Mr. Schine as a management expert, the latter indicating in response to a question that he had studied in the field, to which Mr. Cohn added that Mr. Schine had written a book about the definition of Communism. It had become evident, however, that the "book" had actually been a pamphlet, consisting of eight pages, published and distributed by Mr. Schine's own hotel company, of which he was president and manager at the age of 26. Mr. Cohn had contended that the two had questioned representatives of the German public, but had failed to state that those "representatives" consisted of a chauffeur, two hotel janitors, and a barman. During a 45-minute interval between the press conference and their departure for Berlin from Bonn, the two had interviewed three persons associated with the Voice. They had begun their investigation in Berlin shortly before noon the following day, but were not finished early enough to take the regular American courier plane to Frankfurt in the afternoon and so had to charter a special flight costing $300.

The Abendpost piece had continued: "Despite all this, the visit from Washington has provided an inexhaustible supply of material for satire in exactly the same way that Senator McCarthy's hunt for Communists and traitors actually appears in reality."

Marquis Childs indicates that in the aftermath of the prior November election, the President had appointed many able persons to his Cabinet, most from industry and finance, appointments which had won approval, appearing to demonstrate the President's determination to live up to his campaign pledge to find the best persons for big jobs in the Government. Yet, old guard Republicans in and out of Congress carped at the fact that the appointees were not regular Republicans who had worked at the grassroots level. Many Republican Congressional leaders had voiced their demand for approval of the President's appointments, resulting in subsequent appointments seemingly at variance with the earlier high standard.

For instance, a lame-duck Congressman, Albert Cole of Kansas, who had opposed nearly every public housing bill while in the House, had been appointed Housing administrator. Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, chairman of the Interior and Insular Affairs Committee, was credited with initiating several appointments in the Department of Interior, one of the most unusual having been that of William Strand, to become director of the Office of Territories. Mr. Strand, the executive city editor of the Washington Times-Herald, owned and published by Chicago Tribune publisher Col. Robert McCormick, would replace James Davis, a career officer with wide experience in territorial and foreign administration. The office had jurisdiction over Alaska, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa. Senate confirmation for the position was not required. Mr. Strand had worked for the Tribune for a decade following 1937, including time as a war correspondent and receipt of the Purple Heart. At the Department of Interior, his appointment was explained by his interest in Alaska, where he visited in 1947 to perform a "hatchet-job" series for the Tribune regarding Alaskan politics. He then became managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner in 1948 and had remained in Alaska until coming to Washington in 1950 to go to work for the Times-Herald.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the prospect of debate in Congress on the issue of free trade versus tariff protection for home industry. Foreign countries were buying more from the U.S. than they sold, resulting in a dollar gap, causing curtailment of purchases from the U.S. to try to bring the gap into balance. Those countries wanted the U.S. to relax import barriers so they could sell more of their products in the U.S., preferring more trade with the U.S. to foreign aid.

Meanwhile, those urging tariff education to increase imports contended that U.S. industry could and did hold its own in the world market, that more imports meant more exports and that an increase in two-way trade would help the economy, result in lower prices in the U.S. and abroad, while raising living standards. Such would act as a major weapon against Communist expansion, according to the advocates of freer trade. They also believed that harm to American industry through foreign competition would be small and that most displaced business could recover, perhaps with Federal help, by shifting to other product lines.

The advocates of continued protection argued that because of high wages paid in the country, American industry in many cases could not compete with foreign production, which employed cheap labor based on lower standards of living. Increased imports, they further contended, could set off a chain reaction of unemployment and business cutback, ending in a depression. They believed that other means, such as foreign return to prewar markets, could be found to solve the world's trade problems.

It points out that throughout American history, this debate had been waged, British interference with free trade having led, in colonial times, to the Boston Tea Party. After achieving independence, the U.S. had erected a tariff wall to protect its budding industry and subsequently retained those protectionist policies. Then, in 1930, Congress passed the highest tariff in the country's history, the Smoot-Hawley Act. Four years later, the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act was passed, allowing the President to reduce tariffs in return for similar concessions by foreign nations. Since 1934, when it went into effect, the average rate of U.S. tariffs had been reduced by half.

Currently, tariff policies centered on whether there would be an extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements, set to expire the following June 12. On April 7, the President had asked Congress to extend the law for a year, pending a thorough re-examination of tariff policy. The piece indicates that Congress, however, might cut the President's powers to make concessions, even if it did extend the Reciprocal Trade Agreements for another year.

A letter writer indicates that there was no mystery about the tombstones found recently in the care of Mercy Hospital, as when the hospital's site had been acquired a number of years earlier, it had included the Spratt graveyard, a private cemetery. The owners of the land had made a list of the names on the tombstones and then directed the stones to be buried on the site, after which excavations by the hospital had unearthed the stones. The writer had a list of the names on the tombstones, and indicates that it was the general opinion that the stones should be reburied in the location of the ashes of the persons they commemorated.

A letter writer from Miami Beach indicates that the greatest sufferers under an inflationary economy were those on fixed pensions, including retired Civil Service employees, and therefore it was heartening to learn that Senator George Smathers of Florida had introduced a bill to help alleviate the situation in which the retired pensioners found themselves. The bill would exempt from payment of Federal income tax all income, up to $2,500, received annually as a retirement annuity or pension. He believes that the exemption would help those on fixed pensions and urges readers to write their Congressmen to urge its passage.

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