The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 7, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Forrest Edwards, that South Korean infantry had twice won and twice lost a strategic central front hill this date, with 50 enemy troops killed and 50 believed to have been wounded, among the 100 to 180 enemy troops taking part in the attack. Other South Korean troops all but destroyed a Communist force which had attacked "Anchor Hill" on the eastern front prior to dawn this date. Enemy artillery and mortars had fired more than 1,000 shells into the South Korean defenses at the latter location.

U.S. Sabre jets shot down two enemy MIG-15s, probably destroyed another, and damaged seven in aerial action this date.

The U.N. command and the Communists agreed this date to exchange all sick and wounded prisoners taken during the war, who desired repatriation. The mechanics of the exchange still had to be determined, but there were only minor disagreements. The Communists indicated that they would report within the following day or so on how many disabled prisoners they would deliver for exchange, and the process could start within a week after the plans were completed. Civilian internees would also be included. The exchange would take place at Panmunjom.

In Tokyo, the Far East Command this date reported tentative plans for handling the names of Americans released at Panmunjom, pursuant to the agreement to exchange wounded and ill prisoners of war. It was estimated that about one to two hours would elapse between the prisoners' arrival in Panmunjom and release of the names in Tokyo.

The President said this date, in an informal talk at the annual meeting of the United Defense Fund, Inc., which raised money for USO programs, that even if peace were to come in Korea, U.S. troops and those of the U.N. allies would have to remain in the region for quite some time. He said that the agreement to exchange sick and wounded prisoners was "encouraging".

At the U.N. in New York, Russia, through delegate Valerian Zorin, speaking before the General Assembly's political committee, appealed to the U.S. this date to drop its demand for an impartial investigation of Communist charges that American troops had waged germ warfare in Korea. He urged the U.S. instead to ratify the Geneva Convention against bacteriological warfare, that doing so would close the matter insofar as Russia was concerned. The U.S. had indicated previously that it had no intention of ratifying the Convention because it was not enforceable.

In Taipeh, Formosa, the Nationalist Chinese Government staged its most extensive air raid test during the afternoon, highlighted by a simulated attack by 300 paratroopers. All of Formosa's air and ground forces had taken part.

Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, said, following a conference with the President this date, that Federal spending could be cut all along the line, including in defense, without impairing efficiency or national security. He said that he was speaking only for himself and not the President, but said that he was not prepared yet to estimate how much the cuts would be. Earlier, Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois had indicated that if there were a truce in Korea, there would have to be substantial cuts made to the defense budget, to enable balancing of the budget.

Attorney General Herbert Brownell told the Senate Judiciary Committee this date that it would be against the best interests of the country to restrict the treaty-making powers at a time when the world was fraught with peril, commenting on the proposed Bricker amendment to the Constitution to make it necessary for the implementation of a treaty for both houses of Congress to approve, after the extant requirement of two-thirds of the Senators present was met for ratification, requirements which would also be applied to executive agreements. The Attorney General praised the motives of Senator Bricker and those of the other 63 co-sponsors in the Senate, but argued that making such a change to the Constitution would imperil the U.S. proposal for control of atomic energy under a system of international inspection and otherwise pose a danger to the security of the nation. Secretary of State Dulles had testified similarly the previous day.

In Baltimore, George Grammer, convicted the previous October of first-degree murder of his wife the prior August 20, his motive having been to marry a U.N. stenographer, was sentenced to hang. The former nurse, who had come to Baltimore to care for her dying father, had been found dead in her sedan after it careened down a hill in the northeast section of Baltimore, initially appearing as an auto accident, but subsequently determined by the coroner to have been the result of a prior murder, with her body moved into the automobile postmortem.

We still say that he got that notion from one of the cop shows, but we have yet to put our finger back on it. Cop shows can be deadly in the wrong hands.

The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the December conviction of Charlotte businessman E. M. Beaty for income tax evasion, for which he had been sentenced to three years in prison and a fine of $15,000.

In Atlanta, the Plantation Pipe Line Co. this date announced that it would extend its 14-inch pipeline from Charlotte to Greensboro, a distance of 82 miles, at a cost of approximately 4.5 million dollars, scheduled for completion later in the year. The pipeline carried refined liquid petroleum products for six Southeastern states. The holding tanks have been visible for decades alongside I-40, near the Greensboro Airport.

In Raleigh, State Senator Terry Sanford, future Governor and U.S. Senator, urged an investigation of the fact that gambling kingpin Frank Costello had been mentioned in connection with the operation of two dog tracks in North Carolina. Senator Sanford was one of several sponsors of a measure aimed at outlawing the dog tracks in Morehead City and Moyock, considered a lure to the young Marines in training at Cherry Point and Camp Lejeune. Senator Sanford said that so much money was being channeled into the hands of private operators of the dog tracks that it could corrupt politics.

Also in Raleigh, a proposal to amend the State Constitution to provide for annual sessions of the Legislature, as opposed to the present biennial sessions, failed of passage in the State House by two votes, which required a supermajority of 60 percent of the total membership. The vote on the third reading of the bill had been 70 to 39.

How many members did the State House have? Were there more than the peppers picked?

On the editorial page, "Did They Murder Joe Stalin?" indicates that the editors of the newspaper were intrigued by the current speculation regarding the possible murder of Joseph Stalin by his successors to power. For reasons which were not yet clear, Soviet tactics in the cold war had been sharply reversed, and Soviet policy appeared to be pursuing a genuine peace initiative. One of the chief reasons for that change appeared to be that the prior tactics of aggression had not been working. The offensive in Korea had failed its original objective, and was now costing Russia and China heavily in arms and manpower. Being bogged down in Korea prevented expansion into more valuable areas of Southeast Asia. The economy of the free world had not collapsed under the strain of the defense buildup, as the Soviets had hoped. Soviet pressure had united the free nations, rather than producing rifts. It was now clear even to neutrals that the objective of Communism was world conquest. And the arms program of the West had continued apace and production facilities had been vastly expanded. There were other reasons for this change of policy, but those would suffice, it suggests, for illustrations.

It questions whether it was not possible that the younger Russian leaders had seen that Premier Stalin had committed himself to his chosen course, from which it was difficult to reterat, and so had eliminated him so that a reversal of the unsuccessful Soviet policy could transpire. It indicates that it questions the matter not because it had answers, but rather to keep the recent developments in better perspective. It finds that Soviet aims at world conquest had not been abandoned but that new tactics were deemed necessary for its achievement, even if it had entailed removal of Stalin as the symbol of Communist imperialism.

"The A-Bomb's Big Brother" indicates that W. L. Laurence, of the New York Times, writing in the current issue of Look, had provided information about the vast power of the hydrogen bomb, saying that it could completely destroy Washington and injure populations 30 miles distant, that it would vaporize the people in the city and that fires would erupt 35 miles in every direction. Such vast destruction would occur from a relatively small hydrogen bomb, encased in steel, and were it to be encased in cobalt, might produce results carried by prevailing winds for thousands of miles, destroying all life in its path. Mr. Laurence had asserted the belief, however, that the very destructive power of the bomb might prove a deterrent to war, that no nation would dare use it for fear of retaliation.

"A Good Start" indicates that the proposed new three-deck parking garage, invented by Dennis Myers, ought do big business in communities across the country, and it hopes that Charlotte would be one of those communities.

"Kay Handled Well a Tough Assignment" indicates that Floyd Kay, who had just resigned as executive vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce to become executive director of the Tennessee Tourist & Development Association, had served the community well in the five years since his arrival from Spartanburg, S.C. The Chamber had grown in size and expanded its philosophy during the time of his service. It wishes him good fortune in his new position.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "3-D Movies—What Next?" suggests that the advent of three-dimensional movies on the big screen might put an end to violence in movies, as an audience could take only so much battering. But even if so, an audience might not be willing to shiver through a polar expedition or wallow through a Roman banquet. (But would they wallow in Watergate in five dimensions?) If things were taken too far, it suggests, the average viewer might prefer to stay home and read a good book about the atomic bomb.

Drew Pearson indicates that when Senator McCarthy had discovered that Mr. Pearson's column had exposed the Greek shipping scandals two years earlier, the Senator had become amenable suddenly to calling off his probe in return for a Greek pledge not to carry cargoes to Communist countries. Mr. Pearson believes that the Senator had been correct in probing the Greek shipping scandal and that he should proceed with it vigorously, investigating the shipment of strategic supplies by the Chinese Nationalists to Communist China, their presumptive enemy. He indicates that the shipping scandal was worse than previously reported and suggests additional facts which Senator McCarthy ought investigate carefully.

He indicates that certain Greek shipowners had managed to resist deportation, protected by Congress in the instance of one family slated for deportation in 1951. The same shipowner had, the previous month, sent one of his ships, which had been sold to him by the U.S., to help undermine the country, by entering the Communist port of Dairen in Manchuria, after having stopped in Formosa.

He indicates that it would have been relatively easy for the Government to have tied up many of those Greek ships immediately after the column had exposed the matter two years earlier, as there were clauses in several of the contracts permitting the Government to recapture the ships if they did not pass inspection, and the Coast Guard could harass merchant marine ships on the basis of safety violations. Instead, the Government permitted the same shipowner to violate safety rules with impunity.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the speculation that Stalin may have been murdered by a power clique within the Kremlin, his successors to power. Russian experts in the State Department and intelligence services had been amazed by the rapid reversal of Stalin's policies, topped by the exoneration of the Kremlin doctors who had been arrested and accused of the murder of top-level Soviet generals, not long prior to Stalin's death. Pravda had announced a hint that evidence against the doctors had been coerced by torture.

The Alsops review the changes in policy since Stalin's death, including the proposal by Chinese Communist Foreign Minister and Premier Chou En-lai to resolve the Korean War truce deadlock over prisoner repatriation, and the support of that move by Andrei Vishinsky at the U.N. and by Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov. The Russian Government at home had also been restructured, with a new ruling triumvirate comprised of Premier Malenkov, Security Minister L. P. Beria, and War Minister Nikolai Bulganin, with Mr. Molotov apparently stripped of state power while directing foreign affairs. Mr. Malenkov was hardly more than the equal of the other members, as shown by his prompt handing over to Nikita Khrushchev the party secretariat and vital control of party patronage.

An amnesty had been announced which liberated hundreds of thousands of petty offenders from jails and work camps, and prices of consumer goods were sharply reduced, incidentally suggesting that there was some slowdown in Soviet war preparation.

The release of the doctors from custody had been a complete surprise departure from Stalin policy, and suggested at least the possibility that he had been done in by his successors.

The Eisenhower Administration would likely consult former Ambassador to Russia George Kennan, as he had predicted such shifts in policy the prior fall before leaving Moscow, indicating that a group within the Kremlin wanted a change, believing that Russia was dangerously overextended in the Far East and losing ground in Europe.

The posthumous deification of Stalin had been dropped by the Soviet press since his funeral and the transformation of Mr. Malenkov into a god on earth, begun shortly after Stalin's death, had abruptly ceased after the transfer of the party secretariat to Mr. Khrushchev. Orders were presently being issued in the name of the Party Central Committee instead of from Mr. Malenkov, personally.

They conclude that Stalin's death had opened many new vistas in Russia, and that perhaps they might be hopeful vistas, but that the U.S. had to bear in mind that such changes might be freighted with even more danger than the prior Stalin policies.

Robert C. Ruark tells of veterans of Korea beginning to return home wanting out of the services rather than a lot of ceremony and free entertainment, if the latter meant an extra ten minutes on the ship the veteran had grown to hate, to which the 2,200 veterans who had arrived in New York had attested by complaining that they were retained on board for an extra 16 hours by a USO-type troupe of entertainers to make them happy, such that many were concerned they would miss their home furloughs. Mr. Ruark says that all they had really wanted was to get off the ship on which they had been sailing for three weeks so that they might greet their families or girlfriends. He finds that having retained the men aboard so that a "big public relations event" could be had regarding their return had been "nothing short of sheer cruelty".

A letter writer from Lincolnton comments on the April 2 editorial, "If the People Don't Care, Then What?" indicating that the newspaper's support of the state Democratic ticket the previous fall should not have produced any surprise with a "dishonest party that has gerrymandered the state's districts", that they would do any better in the General Assembly in following the rules and laws. He indicates that Democrats would do anything to get elected and anything afterward to remain in office. He says that he had voted Democratic at times, but would never do so again.

A letter writer comments on the same editorial, seeks to explain from his perspective the apathy of the people. He suggests that people had been disenchanted by the Yalta agreement. He was against the exclusion of the press from meetings of the Assembly's committees, and believes the press should fight the battle for the citizens in that regard.

A letter writer responds to another letter of April 2, which had opposed the building of the new Coliseum and Auditorium, having indicated that the current Armory-Auditorium sufficed. He begs to differ, suggests that the existing Auditorium reflected adversely on the community and that the new project had to be seen to completion.

A letter writer indicates that the current peace offensive by the Russians was the greatest threat to the free world as well as presenting the greatest opportunity for effective action for world order by the U.S. since the end of World War II. He believes that the current strategy of Russia was to undermine the world position of the U.S. by lulling the country and its allies into complacency. The country could not reject the peace tenders as it would then appear that the Kremlin was seeking peace and not the U.S. He thinks the solution would lie in the establishment of effective world law under the U.N., amending the Charter to provide for universal disarmament under law and providing the U.N. adequate power to enforce it. He posits that the Soviets could not reject such a proposal without being condemned by the world.

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