The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 30, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in the armistice talks at Panmunjom in Korea, the allies warned the Communists this date that they might take a short-cut through the prisoner exchange problem by simply releasing 32,000 North Koreans who did not desire repatriation. Lt. General William Harrison, chief allied negotiator, said that freeing those prisoners in South Korea would follow the pattern set by the Communists themselves. He also instructed the Communists to name a non-Asian country as the neutral state to which 48,000 Communist prisoners who did not desire repatriation could be sent for determination of their fate, that until that choice was made, little else could be accomplished, that the Communists' stated preference for an Asian neutral country was not acceptable for such countries being too susceptible to Communist influence. The 51-minute session, the fifth since suspension of the talks the previous October 8 when the allied negotiators walked out in frustration regarding the continuing impasse over voluntary repatriation, accomplished little. General Harrison repeated his contention that the proposal by the Communists would provide the allied-held prisoners resisting repatriation a choice between return against their will or endless captivity, during numerous months while their fate was being decided.

In the air war, Capt. Manuel Fernandez shot down his 12th enemy MIG-15 jet to tie the record so far for such kills over Korea. He said that it was the "roughest fight" he ever had. After he had flown his quota of 100 missions, he had asked for 25 more, of which he had 14 left. He shared the record with Col. Royal Baker of Texas, who had already departed Korea for home. Two other enemy jets were also destroyed this date, and two damaged. The overall mark for Communist planes destroyed during the war was held by Maj. George Davis, with 14, 11 of which had been MIGs, before he had crashed in Communist territory in February, 1952.

At Travis Air Force Base in California, 12 American soldiers, who had been released as disabled prisoners by the Communists, were being transported to their homes, and more would depart later this date and the following day. Another 63 disabled prisoners, about to be transported across the Pacific in two planes, would soon join the 35 already reaching Travis. A few of those arrivals had been transferred to hospitals for mental and physical treatment. The arrivals ate two-inch steaks, talked with doctors, and caught up on sleep. They had generally indicated their preference not to speak with the press, as they said they had talked enough.

In Tokyo, a corporal from Virginia, who had been released from a North Korean prison camp this date, provided the names of 81 allied prisoners who had not yet been released. The Communists, after releasing a total of 684 disabled prisoners, including 149 Americans, had claimed that there were no more disabled prisoners to be released, a subject the negotiators at Panmunjom were planning to take up the next day with the Communists. The corporal reported that all of those he named were in "pretty good shape" when he left the prison camp on the Yalu River. Another released American prisoner had reported to the Army that he had memorized the names of 50 U.S. soldiers listed as missing or dead, who were actually held in Communist prison camps. The Army confirmed the report but refused to release the names, for concern that it could lead to reprisals against those still being held.

Also in Tokyo, a corporal, a former medic, who had been released, said that one of his buddies had told him during the terrible winter of 1950-51 that he would give him a week to live and would get his boots when they took him to the hill for burial. The corporal said that his friend had been trying to build up his morale. He lasted the week, and his buddy said that he would get his boots in another week, but he continued to live and would not let himself die, said that whenever he got low, he heard his mother telling him to keep his chin up, as she always had. He said that he did not know how he made it but that he had. He was one of less than 40 still living out of 350 U.S. infantrymen who had been captured by the Chinese on November 30, 1950 after being surrounded by the enemy south of the Changjin Reservoir. Once in captivity, his feet had frozen and the flesh had fallen off of his toes. A Korean nurse had snipped off eight of his toes with garden shears, and he had broken off the other two with his fingers. During four attacks of dysentery, his weight had dropped from 150 to 60 pounds. At the time of their surrender, a senior officer had gone to the Chinese to make a deal, whereby the wounded would be sent back to their own lines and the remainder would surrender. The promise, however, was not kept. The Chinese had marched away the 120 men who could walk, and they spent a freezing night in some cabins not far distant, the following morning, were marched back to the place where the ambush had occurred, to find that the men who had been left behind as too wounded to walk had frozen to death during the night, about 230 of them. Of the remaining 120, several had wounds, and he sought to patch them up, but the Chinese had taken away his bandages, tweezers and scissors, though he had hidden his last six shots of morphine in his boots, which he dispensed to those so badly in pain that they could not take it anymore. He supplied one such shot to a soldier from Texas who was "shot to pieces", and he assumed he had one restful night before his death, as the Chinese left him there the next morning to die. They were then marched to the prison camp for 18 days, along a zig-zag course, which he perceived as an attempt to try to break them down. Whenever one of the prisoners dropped out, he was left behind to die in temperatures about 20 below zero at night. When the corporal's feet had frozen during the night, the Chinese had the men out on the road in the morning before he had a chance to thaw his feet.

The President this date sent to Congress a Defense Department reorganization plan which would increase the authority of the civilian heads of the armed forces and limit somewhat the power of the Joint Chiefs. Among other things, the plan called for the appointment of six additional assistant secretaries of Defense and for the abolition of the Munitions Board, the Research and Development Board, the Defense Supply Management Agency, and the Office of the Director of Installations. A staff reduction of 500 would also be sought for the Secretary of Defense. The President said that there had to be clear and unchallenged civilian responsibility in the defense establishment, to provide effectiveness with economy, and enabling the best possible military plans as a contingency for war. He said that with the approval of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, he was revising the so-called Key West agreement of 1948, under which the military high command and the civilian secretaries had agreed on basic principles of military command.

The President also reportedly laid before legislative leaders this date preliminary proposals to reduce by approximately 8.5 billion dollars the budget put forward by President Truman at the end of his term. Those who were present at the White House discussion of the matter said that the tentative cuts would include about five billion dollars in military spending, 1.8 billion in foreign aid, 1.2 billion in domestic spending and 250 million in atomic projects. The President was said to have emphasized that the cuts were only preliminary and would subsequently be reviewed. The Truman budget had called for a total of 78.6 billion dollars, of which 46.3 billion was in defense. He had proposed 2.7 billion for atomic energy and 7.86 billion for foreign aid. Senator Styles Bridges, in attendance at the meeting, said afterward that the 8.5 billion in cuts would allow for balancing the cash budget in the ensuing fiscal year, but would leave about 1.5 billion in imbalance in the regular budget, against the Truman estimate of 68.67 billion in revenues, with some indication that declining revenues would not reach that amount. Senator Taft said only that the proposals by the Administration involved "substantial savings" in defense spending, but there would probably be no announced figures for another two weeks. The President was also reported to have said that action on proposed tax reductions would have to await more definite information regarding the deficit.

The Atomic Energy Commission's research director, Dr. Thomas Johnson, in a speech at the annual spring meeting of the American Physical Society, implied this date for the first time that the AEC had devices in the hydrogen bomb line which released energy on a "large-scale". The AEC had almost never used the word "bomb" but rather referred to weapons being tested as "devices". He spoke of the Commission's interest in research machines such as the cyclotron, linear accelerators and Van de Graaf generators, "atom-smashing" machines, which produced, under controlled conditions in the laboratory, the same reactions which were produced by large-scale release of energy from either a fission or fusion device, the latter being the hydrogen bomb.

In Nairobi, Kenya, British Royal Air Force planes for the first time bombed Mau Mau terrorists, at a suspected hideout located at an elevation of 10,000 feet in the mountains. The planes also fired 2,000 rounds, with the results of the attack not yet known. The British airmen were working in conjunction with ground forces.

In Washington, E. Merl Young was sentenced to four months to two years in prison for lying to Senators regarding his purchase of mink coats and high financing while investigating alleged influence on RFC loans. His attorney had sought for him probation, which the judge denied but said that he hoped that in the interests of justice, authorities would release him after completion of four months of his term. The judge had said that if the defendant had been convicted of an ordinary crime involving human frailty, he would have been inclined to grant probation, but that perjury struck "very deeply at the whole structure of government."

Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield announced that 14 outmoded rural post offices in Ashe County, North Carolina, would be replaced the following day by a delivery system giving direct service to homes, in an effort to save money.

In Raleigh, the State House this date voted to remove from a proposed state milk commission the power to set maximum and minimum wholesale and retail prices of milk. The body also voted for a requirement of a two-thirds majority to nullify that amendment. It also approved another measure to increase the size of the commission from six to seven members and provide the commission with broad powers to regulate the milk industry. The measure would now go to the State Senate for approval of the amendments. A conference committee would reconcile any disagreements. The Senate Committee on Courts and Judicial Districts amended a measure to provide the Governor power to name special Superior Court judges for two-year terms. It increased the number of such judges, also approved by earlier legislatures, from 8 to 12, with half from the Eastern part of the state and the other half from the Western part.

On the editorial page, "President Eisenhower's First 100 Days" remarks that at 12:32 p.m. this date, the President would have been in office for exactly 100 days since taking the oath at his inauguration. It finds that it would be of little use to apply the same yardstick as that measuring the first 100 days of either FDR or President Truman, as the former had been swept into office by an economic disaster and the latter had come suddenly to the office with World War II approaching an end in Europe. President Eisenhower, by contrast, had assumed office at a time when the domestic economy was booming, when world war again threatened and the Korean War continued.

It finds that as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, the new President had not greatly altered defense policy. Containment of Communism as a policy, followed during the Truman Administration, was no longer looked upon with favor in the new Administration, but nevertheless characterized the President's policy of restraining Communist aggression, as in the previous Administration. Psychological warfare had been beefed up, but the idea of "liberation" of Europe, which had circulated among Republicans during the campaign, had been softened in the President's April 16 foreign policy address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, changing to an insistence on freely elected governments within the satellite nations. The President had not sought a quick, dramatic end of the Korean War, as urged by General MacArthur and others. He appeared to reject firmly militarism as a way toward peace. He had appointed few military men to responsible positions, distinct from the appointments of President Truman. He rejected the idea, which had been used in the Truman Administration, that a time of "greatest danger" should be set, having initially been set for 1954, then changed to 1955, with defense plans arranged according to that target date. Instead, President Eisenhower believed in a level of defense which could be supported and continued at that level with allies for as long as necessary.

It suggests that the softening of Communist policy which had resulted in an exchange of disabled prisoners could be credited to the new Administration in Moscow, rather than that in Washington. There had been little change in the worldwide military situation thus far since January 20, not adversely reflecting on the President but rather suggesting his caution and recognition of the necessities which had forged the Truman policies.

In his role as administrator, the President had gathered a capable staff to whom he had delegated considerable authority. It suggests that it was doubtful that any of the staff exerted undue influence on the President. He did not insist that members of his team agree with him, but required subordinates to support policies when finally agreed upon by the Cabinet and the National Security Council. The major appointees appeared to be competent, though some of the sub-Cabinet level personnel fell short of that standard.

It recognizes that President Eisenhower had not been called upon to make decisions as momentous as those early decisions of FDR and President Truman. He had postponed many decisions, such as on the reciprocal trade agreements renewal, change in tariff recommendations, and reorganization of agencies, until studies could be conducted in each area.

He had refused to seek to exert his will on Congress, which it finds to be a striking contrast from his two predecessors. President Eisenhower had disagreed more often than not with members of the Republican Party on many vital issues, but had maintained respect for Congress generally and the views of individual members. Despite disagreements on policy, both with Republicans and Democrats, all were welcomed at White House breakfasts and encouraged to take the initiative in legislation. He believed that the Congress, rather than the President, ought initiate legislation. By adopting that attitude, it ventures, the President had restored dignity to the office lost during the Truman years. He had brought new balance to the concept of a three-branch government with checks and balances. He had also handled Senator Joseph McCarthy with patient firmness, while isolating him from much of his previous Senate support.

It suggests that the President's seeming lack of leadership, which had the newspaper worried for awhile, might turn out to be the soundest of political strategy, as Congress grew in stature to the size of its new role.

By his invitation to all of the governors to meet with him, and by his constant meeting with groups from all segments of the society, as well as the aspirations set forth in his foreign policy address, the President was proving himself "a President of all the people. He has, we think, measured up quite well during these first 100 days."

With all of the foregoing in stark contrast to the first 40 months of the term of the current occupant of the White House in 2020, we wonder what the News, were it still around, might say in an editorial about the Trump Administration. We suspect, despite the newspaper having been Republican-leaning in national politics, that it would take a dim view of the matter in each and every one of its four categories of leadership, as commander-in-chief, administrator of the executive branch, political leader, and spokesman for and leader of the country. We suspect it would count the current occupant as a dismal failure in each such regard, worthy of being turned out on the street sooner than later, along with the dumb scum who are unwaveringly loyal to His Highness.

Perhaps the saving grace is that we have only another eight months to endure of this utter and complete inanity—before Shown N. Sanity and the rest of the Blazing-to-Glory Foxes again revert to being the disloyal opposition...

"A Setback and an Opportunity" indicates that with the appointment of City Health Officer Dr. M. B. Bethel as the acting County Health Officer stopped for the time being because of an adverse recommendation from his own personal physician, hopes for eventual consolidation of the two health departments had received a minor setback. While the temporary appointment had not been explicitly made as a step toward consolidation, it might have led to it.

Neither the County Commission nor the City Council, however, wanted consolidated health departments, for different reasons, which it imparts, despite consolidation cutting out waste and producing greater efficiency in health care. The leaders of the medical profession were aware that they had an educational job to perform, as to both the city and county governing bodies as well as for the residents, as all appeared to ignore the singular fact that health knew no boundaries and that it was to the benefit of people living in and outside the city limits to have the highest possible health standards in both areas, with dual standards not being justified.

It concludes that it had been encouraged by the enlightened attitude of the medical profession and its awakened interest in consolidation, that the coming months, with the County Health Department limping along with an improvised administration, would afford a good opportunity for launching the countywide educational drive.

A piece from the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "'Spring Is No Good' Says the Man", indicates that it knew a man who was against spring, finding that the season about which poets wrote not existing except in the imagination, as it rained most of the time, producing a soggy mess, rather than the balmy weather which it was supposed to bring. It also made the grass grow, causing the homeowner to have to mow it. There were spring clothes to purchase, a garden to plant, and a house to paint. After housecleaning, the friend had to recover his possessions, moved about the house, taking hours to accomplish. The robins sang, but only outside his bedroom window in the early morning hours, awakening him an hour before he wanted. It concludes: "It goes to show that there is always a worst side to the best in life, if only you look hard enough for it."

Drew Pearson tells of Republicans being faced with a serious challenge regarding their symbol, the elephant. An African elephant had been presented to the National Zoo in Washington by the Government of Belgium, but the Administration did not have sufficient money to ship the elephant to the U.S., even though the Belgian Government would pay for the airline flight aboard a Belgian aircraft from the Belgian Congo, home of the elephant, seven years old, named "Maybe". Some had suggested that the female elephant be renamed "Mamie", for the First Lady. African elephants, harder to train than Indian elephants, were scarce in the U.S., whereas the Indian variety was quite common. The Zoo director had indicated that, despite being a Republican, his budget had been cut to the bone, such that he could scarcely afford horse meat for the lions or fish for the penguins. He had been able to collect enough money to house the elephant during its flight from Africa, but not enough for the necessary accompaniment by the elephant's trainer, who had been its constant companion for six years. That latter added cost was $1,000 for the round-trip, plus Western-style clothing. So, the sum of between $1,200 and $1,500 was preventing, thus far, acceptance of this gift, awaiting a generous Republican donor to make up the difference. Mr. Pearson suggests that if the Republicans proved less than generous, the Democrats ought to help. Or perhaps the schoolchildren of Washington might contribute a nickel apiece. He muses that the Zoo director must be thinking wistfully of the days when former Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes had nonchalantly phoned him to ask whether he would like to have $870,000 to build a new birdhouse.

The President, with four brothers of his own, had gotten a big kick out of meeting the four brothers of Republican Congressman Harold Hagen of Minnesota recently, especially when he learned that one of them had played a strategic role in the D-Day invasion in June, 1944, having been a meteorologist who forecast the adequate weather one day before the June 6 invasion date, a tough call as June 5 had been stormy. The President had recalled, in meeting the brothers, that he relied on Norman Hagen's and the other meteorologists' advice on the matter, as he knew that a delay of the attack might extend to a week or two. He regarded the ultimate decision by the meteorologists to have been "the most courageous ever made in wartime having to do with the weather." Another of the brothers, George, an attorney, had been handling Japanese war crime pardon cases for the State Department and said that his stenographer was convinced that the President was economy-minded, judging by the way he conserved ink. She had compared the signature on pardon papers by former President Truman to that of President Eisenhower, finding that the former had signed his full name, while the latter used only the initials "D.E.". Another of the Hagen brothers, Al, was the Mayor of Palmer, Alaska, prompting the President to recall that when he had been in Fairbanks some years earlier, he had played on the northernmost golf course in the world. He kidded the Congressman by telling him that he had heard that the Republicans would lose Congress in 1954, to which Mr. Hagen replied that if anything they would increase their control of both houses—turning out not to be the case, as the Republicans would, indeed, surrender both chambers back to the Democrats.

James Marlow indicates that the bill to provide title to the offshore tidelands to the states for the oil would likely head to the Federal courts after being passed by the Congress, unless first amended. As written, it was so vague that Attorney General Herbert Brownell had urged the Senate to be more precise or expect disputes in the courts for years to come. He wanted the legislation to circumscribe exactly how much the states could develop in the submerged lands, something not yet included in the Senate version of the bill, which said the states would receive title to the land submerged under water but did not provide the boundary, only that they could have ownership to the extent to which they could make a "just claim", presumably referring to historical boundaries. Most states had offshore boundaries up to three miles, but Florida, with no offshore oil within that boundary limit, might extend to 10.5 miles, as Congress had approved of Florida's post-Civil War State Constitution which claimed to that greater extent. Most of the oil off the coast of California was within the three-mile limit, but not the case with Louisiana and Texas.

When Texas had been a republic, its Constitution claimed control of 10.5 miles of offshore territory. Senator Price Daniel of Texas claimed that to be a "just claim" because Congress had approved it when Texas had become a state in 1847. But in 1947, the Texas Legislature had claimed ownership to the edge of the continental shelf, about 130 miles offshore. The amount of offshore oil in Texas was estimated at nine billion barrels, only about 4.4 percent of which was within the three-mile limit, with about twice that in the area between three and 10.5 miles, and the remaining 7.8 billion barrels in the claimed area beyond 10.5 miles.

In the case of Louisiana, officials could not inform the Senate what the offshore boundary was, the state's outermost island being 10.5 miles into the Gulf of Mexico, and in 1938, the State Legislature having claimed a boundary out to 27.5 miles from the coast. But then arose the question of whether the "coast" represented the shoreline, the three-mile typical offshore limit or out to 10.5 miles, thus producing a variance from between 27.5 and 38 miles under the State's own claim, and down to the typical three-mile limit.

Thus, these various issues would wind up, without greater specificity in the legislation, being resolved in the courts.

Marquis Childs discusses the new Department of Health, Education and Welfare and its new Secretary, Oveta Culp Hobby. Ms. Hobby was experiencing conflict with the AMA, as had her predecessor in the Social Security Administration, Oscar Ewing, the latter regarding President Truman's plan for compulsory health insurance, Ms. Hobby, regarding the general suspicion by the AMA of Federal Government power over health, which they equated with the coming of socialized medicine.

Secretary Hobby would have an assistant in charge of health, who would screen all pertinent matters before reaching the Secretary. The AMA had unofficially suggested several names to the Secretary for this position, after Senator Taft had formed an agreement with the AMA to have the assistant selected from among persons who were recognized leaders in the medical field, with non-governmental experience. Ms. Hobby, however, was said to have a feeling of independence about the choice, having said at her first press conference that she had made no decision.

Regarding Social Security, the new Secretary had an advisory committee of six persons, four of whom were on the Social Security Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, thus likely to be business oriented. Her duties, thus, were somewhat circumscribed by these outside influences lobbying Congress.

Among the cuts made to the Truman Social Security budget by the new Administration was a 26-million dollar reduction to appropriations for research into cancer, mental health, heart disease and other such areas authorized by acts of Congress to create various health institutes for research. Popular feeling was strong that if billions could be appropriated for defense, then a few million ought be devoted to research into diseases taking a heavy toll on the population. Previously, both Democrats and Republicans had supported such programs.

Mr. Childs concludes that Secretary Hobby appeared to have a choice between accepting the preconditions of her office or fighting for her own policy.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that everyone he knew was sick of something, even if only of one another. He imparts that such thoughts came to him as he arose shakily from a "bed of pain" with his head rattling from pills of various colors, and his body full of hypodermic needle punctures. The doctors, however, could not determine what his bug was. In recent years, there had been a recurrence of such a bug, which made people weak, tired and nauseated, that as soon as one plague passed over New York, another appeared to strike down its citizens. He had met no one who could boast of a solid year of uninterrupted good health. The closest he had come to consistent well-being was when he had gone on his safari in Africa and was eating six pounds of raw meat per day and walking a dozen miles through rough bush in uncontaminated country.

But then when he returned to New York City, within a day his sinuses were clogged, his ears were "bleary" and he had a headache. In less than two months after the return, two separate bugs had hit him, rendering his body miserable and his mind foggy.

He regards the medical profession as being too active in providing miracle drugs, too frequent use of which rendered weakness of both the drug and the person taking it. Most honest physicians agreed that there was a decreasing amount of diagnosis and more inclination toward providing a "miracle potion" for all complaints save possibly childbirth. "They scarcely tell you to put out your tongue any more. It's bend over, bud, and wham, in goes the needle."

He again reiterates that he could not remember as many people being sick so frequently from as many different things in the past as in the present. He reckons that doctors, to stay in business, had to find new things wrong with patients. "I don't know how you feel, but I feel awful. Kachoo!"


A letter writer from Pinehurst congratulates the newspaper for its April 27 editorial, "Frank Graham's Challenge", regarding Mr. Graham's dedicatory address for the new health center at UNC in Chapel Hill. The writer finds that the address had offered an understanding of the differing philosophies between former Senator Graham and current Senator Willis Smith, that Mr. Graham's "humanity and beliefs in the American way" were "recorded in bright and shining deeds down the years", whereas Senator Smith's "ultra-conservatism is likewise recorded in every public address he makes and in all of his remarks and votes in the U.S. Senate." The writer says that he had never regretted his support of Senator Graham during the 1950 interim election, and that his respect for him had only increased through time. He finds, however, that the newspaper displayed varying attitudes in its editorials, that by comparison to other newspapers he read, it carried more liberal and progressive editorials, as exampled by another editorial in the same edition, "Rep. Goodman on 'Socialism'". But while maintaining that liberal outlook between elections, a metamorphosis appeared to take place every two years at around the time of the elections, with the newspaper rallying to the support of ultra-conservative, sometimes even reactionary, positions. He finds it hard to understand how the newspaper could be so progressive for 20 months and then look backward for four months every biennium. He asks for an explanation.

A letter writer indicates that having known Governor William B. Umstead for 30 years, he doubts that he would agree with the advice of Bill Sharpe, in the latter's editorial reprinted from State Magazine the previous week, that the Governor should not answer whenever someone called him by his nickname, "Bill". He says that the Governor had thousands of friends throughout the country who knew him as Bill and whom he knew by their first names, and none would do anything to harm the dignity of his office. They knew him as a Christian gentleman who was a gentleman and scholar under all circumstances. He could converse with the highest dignitaries in the world on an equal basis and then could sit down with ease on a porch of one of his many thousands of farmer friends and enjoy a conversation. He concludes that if all politicians were like Bill Umstead, the country would be better off.

We hate to use our displaced position of sooth to unfair advantage this way, but we would be remiss not to point out again that Governor Umstead would die in office in another 18 months, and so the inevitable implication of the letter writer's latter point is...?

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