The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 8, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Chinese Communist troops had hit allied defenses on the western and central fronts in Korea this date, but battle-toughened U.S. Marines and Belgian infantrymen had repulsed them. The Chinese had stormed up "Bunker Hill" on the western front with about 175 men, blocked by a Marine combat patrol after only 11 minutes of close-quarters fighting. Northeast of Chorwon on the central front, another enemy company had hit the main line positions of a Belgian battalion attached to the U.S. 3rd Infantry Division, and the Belgians had killed 21 Chinese troops and wounded 40 others in fighting which at times had been hand-to-hand, lasting about 80 minutes. Chinese troops held a central front outpost at "Teas Hill", which had changed hands four times the previous day, with South Korean troops knocking the enemy off twice, only to lose it back each time, in fighting which transpired the previous night and early into this date.

The Defense Department this date reported that 1,039 additional U.S. battle casualties in Korea had occurred during the prior week, the largest weekly increase since the previous November 12. The additional casualties represented the battles for the western front hilltops, and raised the total number of American casualties in the war to 132,967. Of the week's total, the 1st Marine Division had over half of the casualties, 554, including 95 of the 183 killed in action or dead of battle wounds. The Army had 440 of the casualties, largely from the Seventh Division fight for "Old Baldy" and its supporting heights. Marine action had largely been centered in the "Bunker Hill" area. There were also 41 Navy and four Air Force casualties. The additional toll brought to 21,097 the number killed in action thus far in the war, 98,775 wounded and 13,095 missing.

Communist representatives indicated their readiness to send home 600 disabled prisoners of war, including 150 Americans. The chief allied negotiator, however, responded that the figure was "incredibly small" and asked to have the figures reviewed, but later said he had no reason to believe that the Communists were not acting in good faith. The U.N. Command offered to return 5,800 sick and wounded Communist prisoners, 5,100 North Koreans and 700 Chinese, about seven percent of the 83,000 pro-Communist prisoners held by the U.N. and four percent of all of the prisoners held by the allies. The 600 prisoners to be turned over by the Communists represented five percent of the 12,000 to 13,000 U.N. and Korean prisoners which the enemy said that they held. Staff officers were appointed to work out details of the exchange.

Plans to formulate a permanent peace in Korea and perhaps negotiate with Communists on other Far Eastern issues were beginning to take shape in Washington. One idea receiving official consideration was to include as part of any truce in Korea the establishment of a narrow waist of the peninsula about 80 miles north of the present battle lines, to make the line more easily defensible against future incursion. But under provisions already worked out as part of the proposed armistice, it would become effective along the present battle lines, though some authorities at the Pentagon believed such would not be a workable division of the country for a prolonged period of time. The present battle line was generally north of the 38th parallel, which had divided North and South Korea prior to the war. It was assumed that the Communists would object to any northward shift in the proposed line, but that the South Korean Government would accept a border at the Korean waist, as it would then have control of approximately 85 percent of the country, reducing, however, the North Korean position to a minimum, just short of extinction, while leaving a buffer zone between South Korea and Manchuria and Siberia. There was some belief that the Communist Chinese and Russia might be amenable to moving the line northward, but no one was able to speculate on what terms they would impose for doing so.

Former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee this date that there had been a "definitely unsatisfactory" performance on ammunition production for the Korean War and that he had taken it from the Army's control after his patience had become exhausted. He said it was impossible to determine exactly who in the Army was personally responsible for the problem, and so he assigned responsibility to the Army as a whole. He said final responsibility had been his as Secretary of Defense. He indicated that the first sign of an ammunition shortage in Korea had shown up in September, 1951, five months after General James Van Fleet had taken over command of the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea. He said that the previous December there had been two or three times more ammunition in the Far East than the Americans had in June, 1944 during the invasion of Normandy. The ammunition which had been in shortage was that for the large howitzers and mortars.

At the U.N. in New York, Soviet delegate Andrei Vishinsky, speaking before the General Assembly this date, urged Western countries to meet the Soviet Union halfway "just as the Soviet Union" was endeavoring to meet them halfway, in an effort to reach agreement on the question of disarmament. The Assembly's political committee had defeated a Russian resolution calling for immediate prohibition of the atomic bomb and a one-third reduction of arms by the major powers. It was the first time in the history of the U.N. that Russia had failed to revive a defeated proposal and was also the first time that a Soviet spokesman had discussed disarmament without coupling it with a verbal attack on the U.S. Mr. Vishinsky urged the committee to adopt two amendments which the Soviet Union had proposed to a majority-supported Western resolution, calling for the U.N.'s Disarmament Commission, established the previous year, to continue its efforts to work out an agreed solution to world disarmament and genuine international control of atomic energy, with due inspection.

The Atomic Energy Commission said this date that a program to encourage private investment in nuclear power had been adopted by the AEC and approved by the White House, and that details would be provided Congress when the joint Senate-House Atomic Energy Committee would begin hearings after the President sent the recommendations to Congress.

In Peoria, Ill., a woman alderman was elected for the first time in a municipal election the previous day, leading a field of 16 candidates.

In Raleigh, bills which had called for a statewide referendum on the liquor issue were buried by two legislative committees this date.

In Charlotte, James Glenn, president of J. O. Jones, Inc., a menswear retail dealer and prominent in various civic affairs, had been elected executive vice-president of the Chamber of Commerce this date. Mr. Glenn indicated that he would resign his position as president of the company on May 1. He was taking over from Floyd Kay, who was resigning to become executive director of the Tennessee Tourist and Development Association in Nashville.

On the editorial page, "What Are Our Cold War Objectives?" indicates that the time had come for the President to tell the American people what objectives the country would insist upon should the Soviet peace tenders produce a substantial reduction of world tension. The continuing Korean War, its tax demands and that of defense generally, the atomic weapons program, and the continued sending of increased foreign aid, had all built up pressures on the American people for the prior three years, and it was only natural that they wanted to be rid of it. Thus, an armistice in Korea might produce public demand for demobilization, as had occurred after World War II.

Yet, an armistice would not change any of the basic issues in the East-West struggle, but would merely shift emphasis from one theater to another, with the cold war continuing.

It thus urges the President to come before the American people to put into perspective the current Soviet moves toward peace, and to outline what terms and conditions the Administration would insist upon before relaxing the country's vigilance.

"State's Budget System Needs Overhaul" indicates that State Representative David Clark of Lincoln County had introduced a bill for annual sessions of the General Assembly, causing the newspaper at first to believe that the Legislature did enough damage biennially without having annual sessions. The State House, not surprisingly, had voted down the bill the previous day.

It indicates that such an assessment was not entirely fair as there were many good men in the Assembly and it was not entirely their fault that they drifted along without forceful leadership or any apparent program beyond approval of Governor William B. Umstead's legislative agenda, or as much of it as present taxes would permit.

It suggests that there might be something wrong with the budget-making process and urges a better system, plus basic State Constitutional and statutory reform to free the Assembly of the mass of local legislation which bogged it down in each session.

"Behind the Gobbledygook, a Clear Issue" indicates that the Government had recently asked scientists at MIT to evaluate a powder developed by a California manufacturer to determine whether it prolonged the life of electric storage batteries, as the inventor claimed. After MIT turned in its report, the Senators had to hire another scientist to evaluate it.

The piece defers to the technical expertise in evaluating the battery additive, which was determined not to live up to its claims. But the forced resignation of Dr. Allen Astin, as head of the National Bureau of Standards, resulting from the controversy, left, it finds, several questions unanswered. Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, who had discharged Dr. Astin, told a Senate committee that scientists in the Bureau had worked closely with individuals and organizations who might have had an interest in the outcome of the tests of the additive, concluding that the Bureau had not been sufficiently objective. He was referring to two veteran employees of the Bureau who had resigned not long earlier to take positions with firms making electric storage batteries.

The piece wonders whether the two scientists had deliberately skewed the tests to make the additive fail in its claimed prolongation of battery life, and, if so, whether Dr. Astin had personally been involved in any such rigging, and if so, whether he should be permitted to "resign" rather than being fired outright or even prosecuted. It wonders whether or not statutes were not in place which would make any such rigging a criminal offense. Those questions, it posits, had not been answered, and if Secretary Weeks was correct in his assertion that Dr. Astin had been willfully negligent, formal charges ought follow. Otherwise, the Secretary ought clear Dr. Astin's name.

"When Is a Lobbyist Not a Lobbyist?" tells of Raleigh Attorney J. C. B. Ehringhaus, Jr., having made a radio broadcast on March 30 attacking newspapers of the state and defending the General Assembly in its amendment of the law to allow holding executive sessions of the appropriations subcommittee. A column in the Raleigh News & Observer on April 3 had explained that Mr. Ehringhaus, as a lawyer and lobbyist for the North Carolina Optometric Society, the North Carolina Hotel Association, some cemetery owners and lumbermen, nightly provided a radio editorial on WRAL and often appeared before legislative committees as a lawyer for various groups. All newspaper and radio reports, the piece had gone on, had opposed the action of the Assembly regarding the secrecy bill, with the exception of Mr. Ehringhaus, who was the only commentator who doubled as a lobbyist. The manager of the radio station had been so proud of him that he had the broadcast transcribed and sent around to newspapers, which was why the News had become aware of it.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "'None of the Men Were...'" tells of a scholarly New York legislator having discovered a phrase in a law's heading which read, "Who To Be Cited", whereupon he introduced a bill to change the "who" to "whom", so written when passed and signed into law by Governor Dewey, who observed, however, that the bill was wholly unnecessary, though he praised the "laudable erudition" displayed in correcting the grammatical error in the section heading. The piece suggests that a million schoolboys would understand how the Governor had felt.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Irving Ives of New York being prepared to introduce legislation to increase Congressional salaries, a matter which would prove unpopular to many of his constituents, but which would be supported by the President as an important step for better government. While everyone else's salary and wages had increased, along with the cost of living, the salaries of Senators and Congressmen had remained stagnant. It was largely the result of timidity, as no member of Congress wanted to face the prospect of re-election after having voted for an increase in salary. Mr. Pearson notes that he had repeatedly urged the increase of Congressional salaries and that the Justice Department at the same time crack down hard on the type of funds which had been created for Senator Nixon to pay expenses, as well as salary kickback schemes employed by other members of Congress, utilizing bogus staff members to receive salaries which then went to the member of Congress. Senator Ives was planning to seek an increase from $15,000 to $25,000. He was in a better position to present such a bill than other members, as he planned to retire at the end of his present term.

Henry J. Kaiser, the auto and airplane manufacturer, was recently having lunch at the Pentagon with Roger Kyes, formerly of General Motors and presently Undersecretary of Defense, the latter, following the lunch, excusing himself to find the office of the Undersecretary of the Navy, and subsequently running into Mr. Kaiser again, explaining that he was lost, could not find his destination within the labyrinthine Pentagon.

The Army was admitting that it had been responsible for a mistake which had cost the lives of many Colombian troops fighting with the U.N. forces in Korea, when they had gallantly defended "Old Baldy" recently. A battalion of Colombians, backed by a company of U.S. troops, had been defending the hill, when, just at the wrong moment, the Americans had been pulled out by mistake, leaving the Colombians to be ripped to pieces by the attacking Chinese, with first estimates of the Colombian losses having been 200 troops. The action resulted in the U.N. troops practically being pushed off the strategic hill and finally being completely withdrawn, permitting the Air Force to plaster it with bombs at the rate of four every 15 minutes until the top of the hill had been practically blasted away, with some few Chinese troops miraculously surviving and clinging to the hill.

The Wall Street Journal, in an editorial, indicates that for 20 years the country had Federal executives who appeared to operate on the theory that they were not doing their full duty unless they were "'the bride at every wedding and the corpse at every funeral.'" There had been a gradual encroachment on functions historically left to the states. A generation was raised during those 20 years which had never known any other sort of executive government, and it had therefore come to be viewed as normal.

It suggests that what President Eisenhower did was being judged largely by what Presidents Roosevelt and Truman would have done under similar circumstances, despite the fact that President Eisenhower did not want to be as his predecessors and was intending to be different. During the Roosevelt Administration, there had been a series of crises, leading reporters to have the feeling that they were participating in the making of history, with a commensurate increase in perceived self-importance, a marked departure from previous Administrations.

President Eisenhower, who genuinely had not wanted to seek the presidency, believed that the country had been losing its ability to settle its problems by calm, sensible discussion and adjustment of conflicting viewpoints, that men and factions took extreme positions from which they shouted derogatory names at one another, and he hoped to end that process. Since becoming President, he had put those ideas into operation, seeking to unite the Republican Party, bringing Senator Taft onboard with constant consultation. He did not adopt the "dictatorial dominance" which President Truman had with respect to Congress. President Eisenhower had also resisted advice that he should slap down Senator McCarthy. Whereas President Truman believed that he always had to have a ready answer for any problem, leading to improvisations, which inevitably led to flawed statements, President Eisenhower left himself in the position to study and consult before he acted or made pronouncements.

It indicates that it was not arguing that President Eisenhower should not be subject to criticism, that it was quite permissible to disagree with his philosophy, but it makes the point that he ought not to be criticized for not doing things which he clearly had stated he never intended to do. It finds therefore that some of the present criticism of the new President was coming from people who misunderstood where he wanted to go. Thus, it was not a valid criticism that he did not issue daily marching orders to Congress or had not tried to assume the dictatorship of his party. Neither was it a valid complaint that he had not yet produced a balanced budget, or a completely new plan of defense, each requiring time for study and consultation.

It concludes that government in present times was too much at center stage and that the test of good government administration was not how many controversies could be stimulated, or how many "crises" could be developed.

You had better tell Vice-President Nixon about your theory, because he is going to be the royal perpetrator of "crises" in government, as if you did not already have at your disposal adequate evidence of that fact.

Candidly, from an historical perspective, this editorial is rather worthless and pointless, and is whipped up out of largely Republican-biased imagination.

Marquis Childs tells of C. D. Jackson, the head of psychological warfare, having discussed recently some of his problems with friendly Senators, asking what could be done about Senator McCarthy. One Senator had replied that the sideshow had opened and was doing a lot of business while the big tent had not yet opened. It suggested that, with a few minor exceptions, the President, his Cabinet and principal advisers did not have among them a seasoned and experienced politician. The businessmen who had put him into office had proved themselves to be able administrators, but their view of what was essential in public relations was limited, as it was a function they normally delegated in their businesses to a public relations specialist.

But in politics and public life, one could not ignore the press and public, as if answering only to a board of directors or group of stockholders or even consumers. The public insisted on accountability in stewardship, with their demands often being capricious and unreasonable. One of FDR's great political assets had been his ability to give the impression that he was talking to each individual citizen via radio. Mr. Childs suggests that what he might have done with television challenged the imagination. Senator McCarthy, likewise, had been able to convince many Americans that he had their interests as his first concern, something which some might call demagoguery, a term applied to both FDR and Senator McCarthy. But on another level it was the art of politics, more akin to art than business. Throughout his career in public service, President Eisenhower had never previously had to resort to any such method.

Following the election, some associates of the President-elect had suggested that he might not be able to endure the questioning at a press conference, and it was reported that he might decline the open questioning which his two predecessors had fielded. But in his weekly press conferences beginning in mid-February, he had shown that he was capable of coping with all of the questions with great skill. Press conferences, however, were not enough. The longer the sideshow remained open, the greater was the likelihood that it would be taken as the main event. Mr. Childs suggests that a few more acts like the McCarthy unilateral negotiations with the Greek shipowners, getting their agreement to refrain from shipping between and into Communist ports, could produce widespread confusion as to who was in charge.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of around 30 religious organizations with offices in Washington acting as a lobby to alert Congress of the positions of their churches on legislation and keeping their memberships informed of legislative trends, wielding thereby a potent force. Nearly every major denomination presently had a representative in Washington, whereas 20 years earlier there had only been a few. They stood together on some major issues, such as revising immigration policy, strengthening civil rights, and bolstering U.S. participation in the U.N. They disagreed on some matters. For example, most Protestant and Jewish groups opposed use of tax money for parochial schools, while Catholic organizations favored it.

Officials of nearly all of the organizations had registered at one time or another under the lobbying law. One of the best-known of the lobbyists was E. Raymond Wilson, executive secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation, the Quaker organization. He had been credited with coordinating the campaign against Universal Military Training and was presently drafting a resolution on disarmament, which he hoped to have introduced in Congress during the year.

The piece goes on to list several other representatives of prominent religious lobbying organizations and their primary concerns, including Catholic, Jewish, and Baptist representatives, and those of the National Council of Churches of Christ and a temperance bloc, plus a representative favoring separation of church and state.

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