The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 28, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. negotiators this date threatened to break off the renewed armistice talks unless the Communists soon developed a concrete proposal for exchanging prisoners, the only remaining obstacle to a truce during the previous year. Lt. General William Harrison, the lead U.N. negotiator, stated that he did not intend to become involved in "protracted and useless arguments". He warned the Communists that the U.N. command meant what it said. Official sources in Washington, however, were reported to see a glimmer of hope in the fact that the Communists might be moving toward a truce despite the U.N. threat of this date. It was the third session of the renewed negotiations, previously suspended since the prior October 8, when the U.N. representatives walked out in frustration over the prolonged deadlock regarding voluntary repatriation of prisoners. This date, the allies had asked the Communists to name a neutral state which would assume custody of prisoners who were unwilling to return to their Communist homelands, but had received no definite answer, the Communists indicating that they might name Poland or Czechoslovakia, both ruled by Communist Governments, which the U.N. would not accept. In addition to that deadlock, the negotiators were at loggerheads on the length of time after an armistice before prisoners would be released, and whether prisoners would be shipped to the neutral state or held in Korea while their fate was being decided. According to General Harrison, the North Korean chief negotiator, General Nam Il, offered nothing new in a lengthy statement provided this date. The U.N. objected to the nine months or more it would take to dispose of the prisoners, based on the North Korean proposal, and even then the fate of the prisoners not wishing to return home would be consigned to a high-level post-armistice political conference, after the neutral nation had considered the matter. General Harrison again told the Communists that their proposal was neither reasonable nor constructive.

Washington, however, was encouraged by the fact that the Communist proposals, for the first time, recognized that some of the Communist prisoners might never return to their homelands. It was regarded as good enough reason to continue the truce talks. According to State Department information, about 38,000 prisoners held by the U.N. had declared that they did not wish repatriation to either North Korea or Communist China.

Navy planes from Task Force 77 bombed targets in eastern Korea this date, virtually the only action in the war. Gusty winds and gray skies grounded almost all land-based planes, and only a few patrols moved across no-man's land in ground action. Observers said that both the allied and Communist armies appeared stagnant, pending the outcome of the renewed truce negotiations, though there had been no official cease-fire.

This date, 35 disabled American soldiers freed the previous week from Communist prison camps were flown from Tokyo back to the U.S., first landing in Honolulu during the afternoon, and after a rest of about one day, departing for California. Their plane was scheduled to land at Travis Air Force Base, 40 miles northeast of San Francisco, early on Thursday. Another 14 Americans released the previous week were still under treatment at Army hospitals in Japan, and there was no announcement as to when a second plane bound for the U.S. would depart. It provides a list of those prisoners bound for home.

The South Korean Government had decided that too many civilians were wearing military-type clothing, prompting the Ministry of Defense to ban olive drab for civilians after May 1, and seeking the help of the U.S. Army to enforce the order. The Army said that it would cooperate by turning over to Korean police any civilians found wearing military clothing. Millions of Koreans wore the dress because they could not afford or obtain anything better. The Minister of Defense said that civilians would have to dye their clothing another color or alter it.

From Hanoi, a report indicated that the Communist-led Vietminh had captured the mountain post of Pakseng, 42 miles northeast of Luangprabang, in Laos, as the guerrillas continued their effort to close in on the latter royal capital from the north and east, some units having been reported within 12 miles from the north. The exact position of the guerrillas was difficult to determine as they filtered, single-file, through dense jungle toward the ring of mountains surrounding Luangprabang. The French continued to rush men and supplies into the elderly King's hometown this night by airlift, while bombers and fighters hit the enemy wherever troop concentrations were spotted. French and Laotian soldiers dug trenches and constructed barbed wire entanglements around the town of 6,000.

Senate Majority Leader Taft told fellow Senators this date that he would insist upon continuous day and night sessions regarding the bill to turn title of the submerged oil lands over to the states, unless the opponents of the bill agreed to a definite time for a final vote. He again scolded his colleagues for conducting a filibuster to prevent a vote. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, who had set an all-time Senate record for filibuster the previous Friday and Saturday, talking continuously for 22 hours, 26 minutes, responded that Senator Taft was forcing a filibuster by calling continuous sessions. Senate officials said that cots, which had been stored in the basement of the Capitol, would be brought to the cloakrooms just off the Senate chamber at nightfall. With the exception of a half hour vote to extend rent controls, the bill had been under continuous debate for 19 days. The opponents of the bill had lost a test vote the previous day, by 56 to 23, killing a proposed substitute measure by Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, which had added the provision originally proposed by Senator Lister Hill of Alabama, to provide oil royalties for education. Thirty-eight Republicans and 18 Democrats had voted to kill that measure, while 25 Democrats, seven Republicans and one independent, Senator Morse, voted in favor of it. That amendment would have retained the lands under Federal control and provided for a system of leases, with dedicated Federal revenues going to national defense and aid to state school systems. A late bulletin indicates that the Senate had agreed this date to bring the oil lands bill to a vote on the afternoon of May 5.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, speaking before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce convention in Washington, said this date that there would be "no sudden nosedive in defense production", and that there was no reason to fear a general business decline if peace were to come in Korea. He said that there would inevitably be downturns in business activity in specific areas of the economy, but no "old-fashioned depression". He also said that the country should not lower its guard in response to the recent Soviet peace feelers.

Gordon Dean, chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, in a letter to Dr. Norris Bradbury, director of the AEC's Los Alamos laboratory, said this date that he hoped that someday the whole story of the atomic bomb might be told. The letter offered congratulations on the laboratory's tenth anniversary, indicating that during the previous ten years, atomic bombs had "played a major role in the ending of one world war and in the prevention of another", and that the U.S. had achieved and maintained the position of world leadership in the field of atomic weapons. He made no direct mention of the hydrogen bomb.

Former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson arrived in Calcutta, India, this date from Rangoon, Burma, to begin a 17-day tour of India, part of his round-the-world tour, telling newsmen at the airport that he wished to obtain a first-hand picture of India, to see how its agricultural and electric power projects were going.

In Rome, the new U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce, this date visited Italian Premier Alcide De Gasperi for the first time since her appointment, presenting to him her credentials.

Winston-Salem Journal reporter Marjorie Hunter, in a dispatch datelined Raleigh, said that a group of State Senators would meet this night to determine who would inform U.S. Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina that the conservative wing of the state Democratic Party would seek to convince him not to run for re-election, on the basis of their fear that former Governor Kerr Scott would run against him and win. The report indicated that they had settled on State Senator John Larkins as the better candidate, with a greater chance of beating former Governor Scott. Some of the State Senators contacted said that they knew nothing of the plans for the meeting, but others indicated that there was some sentiment for replacing Senator Smith. State Senator H. Pou Bailey of Wake County, said that he would support Senator Smith and hoped that he would run, as he could be re-elected, but he also believed that a large majority of the State Senate believed that he could not. Senator Smith would die two months hence, and former Governor Scott would defeat the interim appointee, Alton Lennon, for the 1954 Democratic nomination. Senator Scott would die in office in 1958, succeeded by B. Everett Jordan.

In Raleigh, the State House Judiciary Committee 2 this date sounded a warning to state regulatory boards, as it killed a bill to grant certified public accountant licenses to additional accountants. State Representative Ed Gavin of Randolph County said that some of the boards regulating professions had been operating "to perpetuate themselves as a closed shop." He said that the Assembly should serve notice that if they did not pay attention to the public interest, the Legislature would do something about it in the next biennial session in 1955. Ed Gavin, incidentally, was the brother of Robert Gavin, who ran unsuccessfully twice as the Republican gubernatorial nominee, in 1960, against Terry Sanford, and again, in 1964, against Dan Moore.

State House Speaker E. T. Bost named a calendar committee this date to expedite work on legislation during the closing days of the session, with the hope that business would be concluded by the following Friday. The House passed and sent to the Senate a local measure to allow an election in two townships in Dare County regarding the question of outlawing sales of beer and wine.

In Louisville, a woman, alarmed because an automobile was following her too closely, stopped the previous night to find out what was going on, discovered that the bumper of the following vehicle was locked to her own, and that the other car was empty. Police towed the car to a parking lot, where it was later claimed by a man who had reported it stolen.

On the editorial page, "Van Every Wins Impressive Victory" indicates that City Councilman Philip Van Every had won the mayoral race in Charlotte over Lonnie Sides, carrying 39 of the 45 precincts in the city and achieving a nearly two to one majority. It finds it a remarkable achievement for a young man who had been in public life for only two years. It indicates that he had exceptional ability, sincerity and integrity, and congratulates him on his victory.

It also congratulates the winners in the City Council race, including three newcomers along with four incumbents, with returns still being tabulated. It also reviews the School Board election.

"Now To Get Down to Cases" addresses the Soviet response to the President's April 16 foreign policy address, indicates that face-to-face negotiations, which the response had favored, had been tried before and failed. But this time, the new leaders of each country had stated their cases in temperate language, thus permitting the expectation that serious negotiations might follow. Yet, the Soviet reply did not encourage optimism that they were yet willing to make substantial concessions on numerous points of disagreement, such as free elections in Korea and Germany, and the freeing of Eastern Europe generally. In Southeast Asia, the Communist attack was being increased at the same time they denied control over the area.

Notwithstanding the pessimistic outlook thus existing, it finds that it would be foolhardy to close the door on any discussions with the Communists. They had finally agreed to the exchange of disabled prisoners in Korea and had printed the President's message on the front page of Pravda, without the usual vituperative commentary. It suggests that the new Soviet regime, because of its difficulties at home, might be pressured to accept concessions to relieve its international troubles.

As Senator Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and retiring U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie had pointed out recently, though compromise might involve a seeming retreat from positions which the public regarded as sacrosanct, such as recognition of Communist China, such might have to be allowed on the condition that Communist China desist from its aggression in Korea. It also indicates, as the Alsops do in their editorial of this date, that successful negotiation proceeded from strength, and that curtailment drastically of defense capability, therefore, would weaken the country in its negotiations. It thus advocates a willingness to compromise while continuing the defense buildup, as the only way to have reasonable hope of successful negotiation of the East-West differences. An attempt at negotiation might have the result of lessening international tensions, even if not completely successful.

"Good News" finds it encouraging that Governor William B. Umstead had appeared in good health and spirits the previous day during his appearance at the head of Durham's centennial parade, his first public appearance since suffering a heart attack shortly after his inauguration as Governor on January 8. It indicates that the state was proud of its new Governor and the way he had fought his way back to health, while continuing to manage his executive duties during the current biennial session of the General Assembly, and wishes him continued and steady progress.

"A Better Security Program" indicates that the system did not matter quite so much as the people managing it, but that as systems went, the Administration's new security program appeared as an improvement over that of the Truman loyalty program, placing primary stress on security rather than loyalty, and applying it to sensitive areas in all agencies rather than just within a few executive departments, as had the Truman program. Its only reservation is that the final appeal in the process would be to the heads of each of the agencies involved, rather than to a board of appeals, as with the Truman Administration program. It suggests that abuse could occur under such limited review, as committees and subcommittees of Congress could exert pressure on the heads of agencies.

It takes no issue with the President's standard that all persons employed by the Government would need to be "reliable, trustworthy, of good conduct and character, and [with] a complete and unswerving loyalty to the United States." He also had indicated that they would receive fair and impartial treatment.

Senator McCarthy had praised the new program as "a tremendous improvement" and "pretty darn good", suggesting that he was willing to relent for awhile and allow the executive department to do its own screening of security risks, a major victory, if so. But, it adds, it would believe it when it happened.

A piece from the Christian Century, titled "A Visitor Meets the McCarran Law", indicates indebtedness to Worldover Press for an apocryphal story which nevertheless deserved circulation, based on a newsletter circulated by a British naval officer, who reported a mythical exchange between a U.S. immigration officer trying to observe the new McCarran law and a recent British visitor to the U.S.

The visitor had said that he had been to see Stalin, had offered him help, had been a radical in the early years of the 20th century, but later changed his mind, believed in the monarchical principle, in kings, especially queens, to which the interviewer had suggested that the visitor had a dubious character, requiring him to report to Ellis Island while MI-5 in London checked his file. When the interviewer had asked for the visitor's name and address, he responded, "Winston Churchill, 10 Downing Street, London."

In fact, it had never happened that way, probably because, suggests the piece, the visitor gave his name and address first.

Frank Graham, former UNC president and former U.S. Senator, has excerpts reprinted from his April 24 address upon the dedication of UNC's new health center. It had been summarized and praised in an editorial of the previous day.

We only say that it is too bad that such good and sound advice reaches only deaf ears at the upper levels of the current Administration in Washington, which places business and the economy far, far above any valuation of human life, obtaining only lip service at best when competing with precious business. You cannot run the Government as a business. Disaster is always just around the corner, as with the Great Depression after twelve years of laissez-faire economic policies under three successive Republican Administrations—and now with the coronavirus pandemic and its disastrous results to health, human life, and, only incidentally, the economy, which takes a tertiary, distant backseat to those first two priorities, without which, there could be no business or economy and we would still be in the caves. The Administration needs to get its priorities straight or get the hell out of Washington, leaving the Government to those experienced in governance, and go back to attending the little millionaire, billionaire businesses from which most of them hailed, where lies in the form of advertising and other such purely feel-good propaganda are the staple daily practices.

We do not like your method of governance, if you want to call it a "method". The great majority of the country does not like your method of governance. Get it through your thick skulls. You cannot govern a country from a minority viewpoint, especially one informed and supported only by ignorance. Actually, you have no viewpoint; you simply hold your finger up to the winds and listen to the howl of the very vocal minority on the far right and echo their sentiments, so that those idiots think that you are speaking what they are thinking, or, rather, emoting. Of course. These idiots told the pollsters what they desire and the Trumpie-Dumpy-Dos simply read the results and formulate policy accordingly—for the sole purposes of perpetuating their personal power and enhancing their already avaricious personal wealth after leaving office.

Drew Pearson indicates that it had been a year since Congress voted to provide 125 million dollars to Spain and dictator Generalissimo Francisco Franco, on the condition that Spain would provide the U.S. air and naval bases in the country. But the money had not been spent and within a few weeks, the appropriation would automatically revert to the Treasury, perhaps saving the taxpayers the money. The whole transaction had suggested a new way of transacting foreign policy, with foreign governments having hired Washington lawyers to exert influence in high places, going over the heads of the State Department and the White House, on occasion being quite successful, as with the China Lobby, and as with the Spanish lobby. The aid to Spain had been approved at a time when the State Department opposed it and when Congress was supposed to be economizing. Yet, Franco had not granted air and naval bases to the U.S. as promised. He believed that his lawyer-agents in Washington were powerful enough to go over the heads of the State Department, the Air Force and Navy Departments. Mr. Pearson provides a history of the operations of certain lawyers for foreign governments.

He concludes that once the money had been made available to Spain, Franco, who had spoken enthusiastically about providing the U.S. bases, suddenly stopped talking and had refused for a year to deal with the Air Force and Navy, was holding out for more money to be spent as he desired. Mr. Pearson posits that such a system might have been the result of the fact that Washington lawyers represented foreign governments and could go over the heads of the executive branch to obtain money from Congress. When someone could get money for nothing, it was only human to hold out for it without giving something in return, such as bases. It was one of the dangers, he suggests, of diplomacy through Washington lawyers and one of the reasons for the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the Soviet response to the President's April 16 foreign policy speech had gone a long way to prove the theories adopted by the more experienced Government officials in private, that the President's peace program would come to nothing unless the U.S. was strong enough to be respected and feared. The Soviet response, unprecedentedly taking up the entire front page of Pravda, had been in the form of an editorial, and, doubtless, had been debated at length and in detail in the Kremlin before being printed. The reference in the editorial to the willingness of Russia to participate in "direct talks" with the West, was a hint that the Kremlin would be willing to engage in East-West negotiations, rather than within the forum of the U.N. The rest of the editorial had been propaganda, indicating hints that the Kremlin would not consider serious disarmament or the other essentials of the President's peace proposal, free elections in Korea and in Germany, and unification of both countries, for instance, as well as an acceptable peace in Korea and in Indo-China.

Meanwhile, there were hints that the debate between balancing the budget and national survival was headed the wrong way, in favor of balancing the budget at the cost of defense preparedness. The Alsops provide examples from the Air Force, striking a compromise between Budget director Joseph Dodge's original defense budget, which would have cut the Air Force from its present strength of 103 air groups back to about 70 groups, rather than the 143 groups, which was the target for adequately meeting strategic and tactical requirements against potential Soviet attack in Europe or at home. At that point, a new order was issued to freeze group strength at approximately the current levels, while, after reviewing the adverse effects on strategic and tactical air strength, an allowance was made for an additional 11 groups, with evidence growing that the 143-group target would be abandoned as being too costly at the present time.

But with civilian control over the Air Force budget thus established, it was difficult to understand how the new 110-group Air Force could become the first class strategic, tactical and air defense commands required for adequate defense. The contracted obligations with NATO and the tactical air command would largely have to be sacrificed, and the improvement in Soviet air defenses could not be matched after such cuts.

Moreover, the peace initiative by the Kremlin might turn out to be only a tactical maneuver, gaining peace in Korea so that the Communists could concentrate on Indo-China.

It was clear that the President's peace plan could not be achieved simply because the Administration desired it. But, the Alsops posit, it was fortunate that the tendency of the Administration to place budget balancing ahead of survival was limited only to the lower echelons, with the final decision, to be made by the President, not having yet been reached.

They point out that as the Pravda editorial was being read in Moscow, the President was telling the Republican women in Washington that for peace to occur, "it is essential that we stand before the world strong and unafraid."

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that reported lobby spending had dropped the previous year to the lowest point since the passage of the Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act, in 1946. The Quarterly's survey showed that 257 groups reported spending 4.8 million dollars in 1952, compared with 8.8 million by 295 organizations reported in 1951. The largest amount of lobby-group spending had been in 1950, by 340 groups, at 10.3 million. The lowest had been 5.2 million in 1947. In 1952, 24 organizations had reported spending more than $50,000 each, accounting for more than 2.8 million dollars of the total expenditure. Business groups were the most numerous of the lobbying organizations, with 96 reporting spending more than 2.2 million dollars.

At the top of the reporting organizations was the National Association of Electric Companies, which advanced from fourth place in 1951, having spent $478,000, a little over $43,000 more than it had spent in 1951. The AMA, which had led the lobbying organizations in spending in 1949 and 1950, came in second, at $309,515, of which more than $39,000 went for its National Education Campaign against "socialized" medicine, the Truman health care program of compulsory health insurance. In third place was the Association of American Railroads, spending $236,000, followed by the National Federation of Milk Producers, spending $220,000. It goes on to list several other groups which had spent large sums, and compares those sums to 1951 and its top spenders. It points out that the AMA, while officially dropping its campaign against "socialized" medicine the previous year, had continued legislative lobbying at perhaps an even higher level. Currently, it was lobbying regarding a bill to set up an orderly system for calling into the Army doctors who were beyond normal draft age, and concerning measures affecting totally disabled persons under the Social Security Act, and pensions for the self-employed.

It also provides the areas of legislative interests of the Association of American Railroads, relating to legislation regarding their competitive industries of trucking, aviation and water transport, and the National Milk Producers Federation, lobbying for adequate price supports for dairy farmers.

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.