The Charlotte News

Monday, April 6, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Marines had fought 175 Chinese Communists this date just a half-mile east of Panmunjom, where U.N. liaison officers opened talks this date with the Communists to work out the details on the previously agreed exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war. The 90-minute battle left 19 Chinese dead, another 16 possibly killed and an estimated 28 wounded. The enemy had withdrawn after fresh Marines pushed forward to join the original patrol.

On the western front, allied soldiers repulsed 40 Chinese Communists who attacked a U.N. outpost east of "T-Bone Hill", the allies killing an estimated 19 enemy troops. On the eastern front on Sunday night, counter-attacking South Korean troops had failed to recapture an outpost east of the Pukhan River, captured Saturday night by the enemy, the South Korean troops forced to withdraw after a four-hour battle.

Bad weather grounded most U.N. warplanes, but some were able to break through the overcast skies to hit enemy positions. In air action on Sunday night, four B-29's had dropped 140 tons of bombs on two enemy supply areas.

The Defense Department reported an additional 76 Korean War casualties among Americans, of whom 25 had been killed, 47 wounded, two missing in action and two injured in battle-zone accidents.

U.N. liaison officers on Monday had proposed a quick exchange of the sick and wounded prisoners, to occur seven days following agreement on the procedure, and the Communists had offered a plan which might return more allied prisoners than expected. The U.N. Command said that they were prepared to return 500 prisoners per day. The Communists said that they were prepared to repatriate all of the sick and injured prisoners of war entitled to be directly repatriated or accommodated in a neutral country under the rules of the Geneva Convention. Those rules provided that sick or wounded prisoners who might be able to return to the fighting within a year would be accommodated in a neutral country. Thus, the Communists appeared to be indicating that they were willing to surrender the slightly injured or sick, or might be insisting on a neutral nation as a sanctuary for some of the sick and wounded, which could produce a stumbling block to any quick action. A second meeting this date was expected to produce more information.

In Las Vegas, the fourth and largest of the year's atomic blasts was observed across the desert from the Yucca Flat proving ground, its sound wave hitting Las Vegas with a resounding crack, one of the sharpest jolts since the early days of the nuclear tests. This date's test was designed to determine the effects of radiation on mice and monkeys. It was believed by observers that the bomb had been dropped from a plane. Observers noted many planes in the air prior to the flash. As usual, the Atomic Energy Commission would not discuss the type of weapon it was testing. The mice and monkeys were to fly through a radiation cloud, guided by radar, aboard two pilotless drones. Another test of automobiles was also scheduled.

In New York, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer arrived for a visit to the U.S., saying that the country's largess had given Germany a new conception of national standards of conduct. He would confer with the President and other Government officials during his visit, traveling to Washington the following day, and remaining for 13 days.

Secretary of State Dulles told a Senate Judiciary subcommittee this date that he opposed the proposed Bricker amendment to the Constitution, which would alter the requirements for ratification of treaties and would include executive agreements. He said that the Administration would refrain from signing the U.N. covenant on human rights and the U.N. covenant on political rights of women, and that the Administration would consult the Senate more closely on compacts with other nations. He indicated that the proposed restrictions on the treaty powers could be dangerous to peace and security, by delaying the ability of the President to act in an emergency. Attorney General Herbert Brownell would testify the following day, along with a Defense Department representative on Wednesday, and Mutual Security Agency head Harold Stassen, on Thursday.

The President nominated Arthur Flemming to be director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, of which he was presently acting director.

Falling retail prices caused the consumer price index to drop enough since the previous November to assure a three-cent hourly wage reduction for rail workers, whose wages were adjusted each quarter to correspond to rising or falling costs of living. The three-cent loss was the largest since rail wages had first been tied to the index. It left workers with ten cents in accumulated pay increases based on the index. Wages for the rail workers averaged about $1.90 per hour before the adjustment.

The President was planning to fly to Augusta, Ga., on April 13 for at least a week of golf, but would return to Washington for a few hours on April 16 to deliver a major address at the annual meeting of the American Society of Newspaper Editors at the Statler Hotel in Washington. During the return trip the same day, he would stop in Salisbury, N.C., for the 200th anniversary of Rowan County, and would make a brief extemporaneous talk, before returning to Augusta, where he would remain until April 19. Fore...

Look out, neighbor.

In London, Lord Nelson's famous flagship Victory might soon suffer an atomic death ray to save it from wood-eating beetles. The ship was moored at Portsmouth as part of the Royal Navy museum, and had become badly infested with beetles. A heavy dose of X-rays to the ship would wipe out the beetles in time, according to a London X-ray specialist. It would not kill them, but should sterilize them, such that the present generation would be the last.

In Gastonia, N.C., a 26-year old mother told police that she had pushed her three little girls, ages two, three and eight months, into a water-filled quarry the previous day, where they drowned. The bodies were recovered the previous night, with the help of a fireman who had attempted a swim of the English Channel the prior summer. The woman told police that she had argued with her husband, that the baby had begun to cry and he had spanked her, and she had decided that she did not want her children to grow up as she had, and so decided to drown them and kill herself, but had lost her nerve at the last minute regarding suicide. She said that her own mother had died when she was three and she had "lived here, there and everywhere." The two older children were from her first marriage. She had suffered a miscarriage the previous week. She said that it was a terrible thing to have done but that what had been done could not be undone. In talking about the matter with reporters, she was tearless and had a half-smile. A photograph of her sitting in jail is included.

The White House opened its gates this date for the first Easter Egg Roll since 1941, having been cut off by the war and not resumed since. About 500 persons, half children and half adults, entered the grounds to participate when the gates were initially opened, and many thousands more were expected by closing time at 6:00 p.m. One of the early arrivals had been a black and white rabbit led on a leash by a small girl, and another child towed her basket in a tiny wagon. Many of the children were dressed in their Easter finery and most carried Easter baskets well-stocked with colored eggs.

In Bethesda, Md., a four-year old boy, who had been missing since 3:00 a.m., was discovered by the police sleeping under his father's bed, after a considerable hunt for him had taken place. His mother suggested that the Easter excitement must have upset him.

He may have just been reading The News.

On the editorial page, "Senator Bricker's Dangerous Proposal" finds that the proposed Constitutional amendment by Ohio Senator John W. Bricker and 63 other Senators, including North Carolina's Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith, regarding the treaty-making power, to make it a requirement, in addition to the existing requisite two-thirds of the Senators present for ratification, that a majority of both houses of Congress also have to approve the treaty for it to be implemented, and also to embrace executive agreements. The change would also render ineffective provisions of any treaty or agreement which worked to nullify Constitutional rights.

The newspaper indicates its firm opposition to the amendment, that it would endanger the country, setting forth the verbatim sections of the proposed amendment, and its arguments against them. Those arguments roughly parallel that which Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge John J. Parker had set forth in his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, abstracted on the editorial page in the prior three editions.

"$1 Million Will Finish the Job" indicates that a million dollars would finish the new Charlotte Auditorium and Coliseum as planned, that it looked with some disfavor on borrowing that amount, but concludes that there was no other course of action available, as the city badly needed both facilities, not only for the profit and pleasure of its own residents, but also because the city had a unique position in the area and was expected to be the center for educational, recreational, and commercial activities. To stop the project at present would lose the momentum which had resulted from the two-to-one vote in favor of the three million dollar bond issue in 1950, and would end the prospect of the two new facilities. Inflation had caused the increase in the budget, and so it urges voting for the additional bond issue on June 6.

"Our Language" indicates that if you were writing a lone woman who was a comparative stranger, the proper salutation could be either Dear Mrs. or Miss, or Dear Madame. But if you were writing two or three women all in the same letter, Dear Mesdames sounded silly. And if you were writing a girls' school about the admission of one's daughter the following year, "heaven help you."

A piece from the Kansas City Star, titled "Good in Pats or Dips", tells of a sixth-grader disliking the rumors that some of the Government's butter might wind up as pats in his school cafeteria. He had been brought up on margarine, as his father had been unable to purchase butter after the Government had stored two million pounds of it. It indicates that the sixth-grader said that if there had to be too much butterfat, then the U.S. Government ought to return it in the form of ice cream.

This little sixth-grader is kind of a smart-aleck, isn't he? He deserves a pat upside the head.

Drew Pearson provides the background facts regarding the difficult problem of achieving peace in Korea. Former Ambassador to Russia George Kennan, former State Department expert on the Soviets, had advised Secretary of State Dulles in advance that a Russian peace tender was coming, cautioning that Premier Malenkov was nervous over Soviet unrest and was eager to consolidate his new power, and so would issue such peace tenders to convince the world that Russia wanted peace. Secretary Dulles, however, had more or less ignored Mr. Kennan's advice and allowed Russia to get the jump on the peace offensive. The Secretary had also refused to appoint Mr. Kennan to a new post, and he would shortly leave the State Department for Princeton.

Another problematic fact was that the State Department was undecided as to how to counter the Russian peace tenders, as was the White House and the National Security Council. Most members of the Russian division of the State Department believed that Mr. Malenkov genuinely wanted a breathing spell, but the West European and Far Eastern experts believed the peace moves were completely phony.

A third background fact was that the lifting of the naval blockade from Formosa and the proposed use of the Nationalist Chinese troops were not paying off, as Chiang Kai-shek appeared more worried about being invaded from the Chinese Communist mainland than anxious to invade the mainland.

A fourth background fact was that the President badly needed the peace move in Korea, as he had been unable to choose from four alternatives recommended ten weeks earlier by the Joint Chiefs, regarding how to end the war.

A fifth such fact was that the U.S. military men were skeptical about a Korean truce, believing that the Communists might use the opportunity once again to build up their forces behind the Yalu River.

It was likely that out of those facts would come a speech by the President outlining the peace aims and ideals of the U.S., with cautious acceptance of the proposed prisoner exchange and truce terms, provided they were made without a lot of haggling. But it was unlikely there would come out of it a genuine peace, Mr. Pearson observes, unless and until the artificial barrier against people-to-people friendship behind the Iron Curtain was lifted.

Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery of England was presently a guest in the White House, and had been urging the President to give up trying to defend Europe on the ground, urging the building of an invincible Air Force instead. He argued that NATO countries could never raise enough divisions to defend against the Red Army, and so urged the U.S. to spend most of its defense money on an Air Force so powerful that it could devastate Russia, thus deterring a Soviet attack.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that, according to one astute U.S. official, Russian Premier Georgi Malenkov was aware that he could not win a war with the U.S. presently, that he could hurt the country but would, in the end, be clobbered in the fight. He also knew, however, that within a few years, Russia would have the ability to knock out the U.S. and so wanted to make sure that there was no big war in the meantime. It was also the case that a truce in Korea would not end the growing threat to U.S. survival.

Project Lincoln had determined that within about two years, the Soviets would have the atomic capability to cripple the country, one reason for Andrei Vishinsky having suggested at the U.N. the previous week renewed discussions of disarmament and atomic energy control, received in some quarters with nearly the same interest as the potential for a Korean truce. It was the first time that Mr. Vishinsky had not also coupled such suggestions with a call for immediate prohibition of atomic weapons and a one-third reduction in all of the large armaments, suggesting that the Russians might be in the mood for the first time to talk seriously about atomic energy control.

A five-man panel, headed by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, and including Dr. Vannervar Bush, Dr. Joseph Johnson, Dr. John Dickey, and Allen Dulles, the latter, head of the CIA, had taken a new look at the U.S. atomic energy program during an eight-month period prior to the inauguration of President Eisenhower, and had just submitted their final report to the White House and the State Department, the conclusions of which remained secret. The panel had been appointed by President Truman because of the need for studying control of the terrible new weapons, with the first hydrogen bomb test having been imminent in the spring of 1952, with the first atomic explosion the prior November 2 having been a signal for urgency in the task. The success of the test had altered the nature of the world situation, opening the possibility of total devastation of an entire nation, and even of the entire human race.

Marquis Childs indicates that behind an exchange of letters between the President and Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was a dispute in the Pentagon over economy and the defense budget. Three Democratic Senators, Stuart Symington of Missouri, former Secretary of the Air Force three years earlier, Minority Leader Lyndon Johnson of Texas, and Henry Jackson of Washington, had all expressed concern about cuts weakening the country's defense.

The extent of the cuts at present were only known to a small group of specialists at the Pentagon, but the general facts included that the Truman budget had called for 41.2 billion dollars in appropriations for the coming fiscal year for "military functions" of the Department of Defense, distinguished from other spending such as on the Corps of Army Engineers. The figure for actual expenditures submitted by the Defense Department was 45.4 billion dollars, with the difference being funds from previous appropriations. Former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett had reviewed the figures and had been convinced that they were pared to rock bottom. The new Secretary, Charles E. Wilson, had first proposed a cut to 35 billion dollars, excluding the 4.2 billion in prior appropriations. He asked for estimates from the three services on what such a cut would do to the arms program if it were allocated to the Army, Air Force and Navy proportionally. The Army had replied that such a cut would require withdrawal from Korea, that there would not be enough men left in uniform to maintain minimum obligations elsewhere and still wage the war. In consequence, Mr. Wilson had increased the proposed budget to 39 billion dollars, a figure still being considered by the budget specialists of the three military services.

But the Air Force was convinced that such a budget cut would require a reduction in the planned 143 air groups by 1955, already delayed, down to 72 groups. As orders for jet planes and other complex weaponry had to be made months in advance, a program involving serious cutbacks would make such orders impossible. Such cuts for the Army would mean a reduction of divisions maintained within the U.S. to 20 percent of strength, significantly reducing their usefulness as a ready reserve.

A letter writer favors repeal of the law recently passed by the General Assembly, amending prior law which required budget considerations in committee be undertaken only in public hearings, allowing for executive sessions to consider such matters.

A letter writer, anent the same subject, suggests that the press did not need to determine what the people wanted, and that the people had not been clamoring to sit in on committee deliberations in the Assembly.

A letter writer from Albemarle applauds the North Carolina Press Association and The News, and other such newspapers, for the resolution to seek to overturn the law permitting such executive sessions. He hopes that they would be successful.

A letter writer from Greensboro addresses directly the April 2 editorial, "If the People Don't Care, Then What?", and wonders why the people did not stir themselves to oppose the new law, as well as the proposed State Constitutional amendment to limit each county to one State Senator, which would amend the current provision allowing for larger population counties to have two.

A letter writer indicates that the newspaper had acted in the public interest in opposing the new law permitting executive sessions on budgetary matters.

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