The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 9, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Marines in Korea had made their way back to the top of "Carson Hill" this date after 300 to 350 Communist Chinese troops had overrun that strategic western outpost in a predawn assault, behind artillery and mortar fire. It was not clear whether the small number of Marines who had held the position had been killed or were able to withdraw from the hill during the initial assault. It was estimated by a 1st Marine Division officer that 220 of the enemy had been killed or wounded in the action, only eight miles from Panmunjom, where negotiations were presently resuming regarding a possible armistice.

B-29 bombers dropped 150 tons of bombs on a large enemy supply dump, which the enemy had been patiently filling with war matériel during the previous several weeks.

Communist China's Peiping Radio had broadcast early this date a report that double jet ace Harold Fischer had been shot down and captured in Manchuria on Tuesday after bailing out of his Sabre jet. Captain Fischer, 27, a native of Iowa, had failed to return from his 70th mission on Tuesday. The radio report claimed that he was shot down over a town near the border with Manchuria. The Communists frequently accused allied fliers of violating the border, though they were prohibited by allied command from doing so. The captain had shot down ten MIG-15 jets in 66 missions. He had commented to a reporter on March 23 that he hated to let the Air Force know it, but that eight of his ten kills had been accomplished by using the same method he would to shoot ducks, "Kentucky windage", leading the target for a distance and then firing, rather than utilizing the sophisticated sights on the aircraft. Two weeks earlier, he had told another war correspondent that he intended to make it back home, that his father was counting on him returning to help him, and he intended to do so.

The Communist negotiators on the previous day quickly agreed to all pertinent points for exchange of sick and wounded prisoners and might sign the agreement this date, clearing the way for the first formal transfer of disabled prisoners, possibly ten days later. The allies had given up on the prospect of the Communists turning over more than the 600 disclosed disabled prisoners, not more than 125 of whom were anticipated to be Americans. The released prisoners were to be delivered at the rate of 100 per day. The allies were preparing to release 5,800 disabled Communist captives, of whom 5,100 were North Koreans and the remainder Chinese. It was hoped that the exchange would lead to a quick agreement on the remaining issue blocking a truce, voluntary repatriation of all prisoners of war.

A Communist correspondent said this date that he doubted that Maj. General William Dean would be among the sick and wounded prisoners exchanged. He said that the commander, however, who had been captured in the early days of the war near Taejon, was in excellent health the last time he had observed him, several months earlier, at which time he appeared unusually active for his age.

Pyongyang radio late the previous night said that the North Korean Government had freed seven British subjects for repatriation to Russian representatives in southern Manchuria. Two of the British subjects were diplomatic personnel who had been in Seoul at the start of the war, and a third was a war correspondent for the London Observer and the International News Service.

Former Secretary of the Army Frank Pace told a Senate Armed Services subcommittee this date that there had been no real production of ammunition for the Korean War until two years after the war had begun, that is from mid-1952. During the interim, ammunition had been withdrawn from stocks remaining from that produced for World War II, with Senator Harry F. Byrd commenting that those stocks had represented the only ammunition available in the event of a third world war. Mr. Pace said that the complaints of General James Van Fleet, former commander of the U.S. Eighth Army in Korea, that there had been dangerous shortages of ammunition, had never reached him as Secretary. He also contradicted testimony the previous day by former Defense Secretary Robert Lovett that he had taken ammunition production away from the Army the previous November and turned it over to a civilian expediter, Mr. Pace indicating that Mr. Lovett had assigned a civilian assistant to work with him but that control had never passed from the Army.

Present Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens had provided the President a report this date on his inspection of the ammunition situation in Korea, following his return from the war zone the previous Saturday. He declined to elaborate to the press on what he had said to the President, but upon his return, had commented that the ammunition supply in Korea was good, in both forward and rear areas.

In New York, new Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold arrived from Stockholm to assume the position this date, accompanying outgoing Secretary-General Trygve Lie to the headquarters building, where they conferred in the Secretary-General's penthouse offices. Mr. Lie observed that the new Secretary-General was taking over the "most impossible job on earth". Mr. Hammarskjold said that he wanted to do a job and not talk about it, not even afterwards, that the Secretary-General should not take a passive role in the developments of the U.N., but rather behave as an "instrument, a catalyst and somewhat an inspirer".

At the U.N., Poland opened debate this date on the general problem of East-West tensions, but failed to produce any new startling solutions, dropping prior Communist demands, however, for unconditional return of all prisoners of war, following the line lately being broadcast by Communist radio stations. The speech was unusually mild and conciliatory, while introducing again an already rejected Communist-bloc proposal for a one-third across-the-board cut of armaments by the major powers and immediate prohibition of the atomic bomb, banning of germ warfare and dissolution of the Atlantic Pact. He said to the political committee that the draft resolution was merely a basis for discussion. In the Polish proposal for settling the Korean War, a major change was included, instead of calling for unconditional return of all prisoners, urging the U.N. to appeal to all belligerents in Korea to do their best to resolve the repatriation issue, in line with the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners.

The White House denied that the Administration had reached any conclusion that a permanent division of Korea was desirable or feasible, or that such a division would be consistent with the decisions of the U.N. Press secretary James Hagerty also said that no consideration had been given by the Administration to establishment of a trusteeship for Formosa. The replies were in response to a New York Times story, which, in addition to the trusteeship matter, suggested that the Administration was willing to accept a settlement in Korea based on a boundary at the narrow waist of the Peninsula, about 80-90 miles north of the present battle line.

In Raleigh, legislation to remove the Prisons Department from control by the State Highway Commission was defeated in the State House Judiciary 2 Committee this date by a vote of 7 to 6. Despite being introduced by Representative John Umstead, brother of Governor William B. Umstead, the Governor did not support the bill, instead favoring a thorough study of the problem of separation of the prisons from the Highway Commission. The League of Women Voters had been urging that the separation be approved. The bill would have established a new state commission to administer prisons. The same Committee approved a substitute measure to deal with the problem of hot rodders. The Governor had recommended a law banning hot rods from the highways, but the substitute measure would make it easier to convict hot rodders of speeding by making ownership constitute prima facie evidence that the owner was driving the car when observed speeding, alleviating the responsibility of officers to chase down the fast-moving vehicles.

In Burbank, California, pilot Joe De Bona took off this date for New York, hoping to produce a new record of 4 1/2 hours for transcontinental speed in a propeller-driven aircraft, aboard a P-51 Mustang owned by actor James Stewart. The pilot had set a record of five hours, five minutes in 1949, beating the previous record of five hours, 53 minutes set the prior year by Paul Mantz. The course of the trip would take him over the Grand Canyon, across Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, into Idlewild Airport in New York. The plane was the same one in which Mr. De Bona had set the record earlier. Mr. Mantz, coincidentally, would die in 1965 while performing a stunt flight for the film "Flight of the Phoenix", in which Mr. Stewart was one of the major players.

In Bedford, Indiana, a promising 15-year old high school basketball player was found hanged from a neighbor's backyard basketball goal the previous night. The coroner reported that he had been upset regarding a high school love affair, and that the matter appeared to be a suicide. He had left a note to his parents saying that he had lost what he really loved that night, and another note, addressed to a girl, which said that he was sorry he could not live up to her expectations.

Maybe he caught her on the rebound. Sorry… What's done can't be undone, as the Gastonia woman who drowned her three little girls said. But, at least in her case, there was still room for an insanity determination by a jury, and, following a decision not to prosecute her in 1955 when she was deemed to have regained her sanity, ultimate freedom after two years and eight months locked up in a mental institution. Just what, if any, moral might be gleaned from the two cases taken together, is beyond us to suggest.

Watch your game, and make sure you don't commit fouls.

In Washington Court House, O., an itinerant jewelry salesman, who had confessed to a double murder, admitted that the whole thing had been a hoax inspired by a television program and he asked police this date to return him to a mental hospital. The police chief said that he would accommodate the man, after they had broken his story following three days of questioning. He had claimed initially the prior Monday that he and a man named Jack had picked up a 10-year old girl who had been hitchhiking from a camp in Connecticut to her home in Wyoming, and that in Arizona, Jack had choked the girl to death, whereupon, the would-be confessor claimed, he had then killed Jack. He later admitted that he had seen the girl's rancher father on a television show two weeks earlier and decided to make up the tale, to accommodate the father's anxiety communicated in an appeal to try to locate his daughter.

He may have also been inspired by that "Dragnet" episode of about two months earlier, in which a man contended that he had killed a woman while they had been hitching a ride on a freight train, only to have police discover that the woman died of natural causes. Or, perhaps he read a synopsis of this night's episode in the new magazine aimed at intellectuals, TV Guide.

In Fort Worth, Texas, panty raiders at Texas Christian University the previous night stopped short of their goals of raiding two girls' dormitories, after "Skipper", the campus night watchman, fired his pistol into the ground when one of the howling students had scrambled up a tree, causing the students to regroup to discuss strategy, while having unkind things to say about Skipper. They then dispersed empty-handed at the point when the dean of men appeared out of the darkness. They said it had been prearranged for a girl to leave her window open for the raiders to enter, but that lack of leadership had caused the plan to go awry. Later, someone called the fire department to dispatch firetrucks to the girls' dormitories, but the girls said that it was a false alarm. Boys should not be tampering with the falsies, lest the real thing occur and it be ignored by the fire department, which might have insufficient hose to extinguish the blaze in any event.

An architect's sketch appears on the page of the proposed "Little White House" to be constructed for the President and wife Mamie, adjacent to the Augusta National Golf Course in Augusta, Georgia. Construction was to be started immediately. Fore...

Look out, neighbor.

On the editorial page, "Forrest Shuford Points the Way" tells of the North Carolina Commissioner of Labor, in a speech at Kings Mountain recently, having pointed out the enigma that North Carolina had not yet been able to resolve the problem of still being ranked 48th among the states in many important categories, despite per capita income in the state having increased by 165 percent in the decade between 1941 and 1951, compared with an increase of 128 percent for the nation, and having a 155 percent increase in manufacturing industries while the nation had increased only by 116 percent in that category. Nevertheless, in 1951, he pointed out, the state ranked 44th in per capita income, 66 percent of the national average, while in 1950, had per capita farm income of $687, 53 percent of the national average.

The piece suggests that there were explanations for the paradox, in that the state had few high-paying industries, whereas other states had a high wage pattern. North Carolina families averaged 4.5 persons, highest in the nation, and such large units reduced the per capita income figure. In addition, 34 percent of the population depended on farming for a livelihood, compared with only 18 percent nationally.

Mr. Shuford had urged a four-point program for producing higher income, development and manufacture of new products by industry, to be produced in higher-paying, diversified industries, further mechanization of farms and diversification of farm products, to produce higher farm income and release of 100,000 or more of the farming population to employment in new industry, full use of human resources, with better training for workers, better managerial methods, development of new working skills and more extensive use of the findings of research, and, finally, "dynamic faith" in the future, embracing a spirit of optimism, with a willingness to adapt readily to the necessities of a new age, wherein there would be cooperative planning by industry, agriculture and government.

The piece finds the message positive and constructive, suggesting a program which was attainable for the state.

"County Option System Is Preserved" finds it appropriate that State House and Senate committees had rejected the proposals for a statewide referendum on liquor, that had the dry forces had their way and statewide prohibition been instituted, the old practices of bootlegging would only have been resurrected as in the era of national prohibition, and that each county ought be permitted to make the choice between controlled sale of liquor and the resulting crime which followed from uncontrolled, illegal sales. It indicates that there was sincere support for each position and that both sides, being so opposed, presented the best proof against change from the current system of local option.

"Dulles Sees the Light" indicates that Secretary of State Dulles had recently criticized the proposed Bricker amendment to alter the treaty-making power under the Constitution, to impose, in addition to the extant two-thirds Senate majority requisite for ratification, the additional requirement that a majority of both houses of Congress approve the treaty before its implementation, plus extension of the ratification requirements to embrace executive agreements. He had said that the resolution would deprive the nation of treaty-making power in large areas, denying to all treaties the force of law and making their enforcement dependent on subsequent action by Congress, and, under one such resolution, also by the 48 states. He found that the additional requirements would subject treaty-making and conduct of foreign affairs to "stifling" impediments.

But a year earlier, before becoming Secretary of State, Mr. Dulles had told the ABA that treaty law could override the Constitution, taking power from the states and giving it to the Federal Government or some international body, thereby impinging on rights provided to the people by the Bill of Rights. The piece thanks the Asheville Citizen for having dug up the latter quote, and thanks Mr. Dulles for having finally come to his senses on the issue.

"Back to the Piano, with Smiles" tells of children across the country practicing piano and liking it, following a 25-year slump in the activity. Piano factories were running overtime, as sales during January and February had been nine percent above those same months in 1950, when piano sales had hit their highest point in more than 20 years. Most of the pianos were going to homes with 7 to 14-year olds in residence. One piano manufacturer, who had been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, said that "any experienced piano merchant will tell you 80 to 85 percent of the pianos sold are bought by parents who want little Johnnie to learn to play." Another said that they could expect a 30 percent increase in the same age group within the ensuing eight years.

It indicates that it initially had thought that it was the result of the selfish desire of parents to have another virtuoso, despite the troubles suffered by Oscar Levant. But, on reflection, it finds that perhaps it was the improved methods of teaching piano which had caused the change, away from the tedious finger drills which preceded any tune-making in the old days. Under the new method, a child learned to play "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" the first day, maintaining interest in the lessons.

It wonders, however, whether the piano industry was doing anything about the taunting of young boys by other boys who believed that playing the piano was "sissy" activity, as opposed to playing baseball or other sports. It supposes that it had not, as it would be a change to "boy nature", which any fool understood could not be done.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Fair Investigation", contrasts two separate inquiries into the State Department's foreign information program, in one, a study of "waste" at the Voice of America, being undertaken by the Senate Government Operations subcommittee, chaired by Senator McCarthy, the emphasis being on imputations of disloyalty and sensational charges leveled by disgruntled former employees, while in the other, by the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee, stressing the program of libraries abroad, the reverse had been true. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper was chairman of the latter committee and had performed in a way not to wreck the program but rather to improve it, treating witnesses courteously and making sure that all points of view were represented in the testimony.

The piece posits that it was a refreshing reminder that under proper procedures, a Congressional investigation could be a constructive effort "to get information instead of a Donnybrook Fair."

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks had done a lot of talking about economy but had not always practiced what he preached, for instance, leaving in the budget $38,000 to pay for personal Government planes to fly him around the country. He had just returned from a weekend flight to Palm Beach, Fla., in such an airliner, costing the taxpayers $1,600 for the plane, whereas he could have purchased a round-trip ticket on a commercial airliner for $129.95. He had scheduled 250 hours for himself in the Commerce Department's special airliner during the ensuing fiscal year, and another 75 hours in a smaller Beechcraft plane, plus 25 hours in charter planes. He had also allowed approximately $235,500 worth of flying time for his top aides, primarily in the plush airliner belonging to the Department, costing $125 per hour to operate.

Former Vice-President Alben Barkley had announced plans to run for the gubernatorial nomination in 1955 in Kentucky, saying that he did not desire to return to the Senate, partly because the Democrats would feel obliged to elect him again as their floor leader even though, technically, he would be a freshman. Being Governor, however, appealed to him as it did not require too much work, was a position he would win easily and had been the only political race he had ever lost, in 1925, having been beaten then badly for the Democratic nomination because of his campaign in favor of prohibition in a state which manufactured the most bourbon. He would be a "wet" in 1955, and expected to win.

Senator Taft had become the Congressional spokesman and mediator for the Eisenhower Administration, as indicated by the inside story of the election of Republican Congressman Sterling Cole of New York as chairman of the Joint Atomic Energy Committee. For three months, the chairmanship had been deadlocked between Mr. Cole and Senator Bourke Hickenlooper. But then the latter voted against confirmation of Charles Bohlen as the new Ambassador to Russia, thus aligning himself with the anti-Eisenhower isolationists. By contrast, Senator Taft had led the fight for the confirmation and Congressman Cole had been an ardent Eisenhower champion in the House. The result was that Senator Hickenlooper had diminished his influence within the Administration, while at the same time, Speaker Joe Martin and former Speaker Sam Rayburn had paid a visit to Senator Taft, arguing that the deadlock between the two men over the chairmanship of the Committee had become ridiculous, and that Mr. Cole deserved the chairmanship, as the Senate had monopolized the key post since the Committee had first been established. Senator Taft agreed and withdrew support from Senator Hickenlooper, urging his Republican colleagues to do the same. Senator Taft had not stepped into the deadlock until after Senator Hickenlooper had bucked the Senate leadership by opposing Mr. Bohlen's confirmation.

Marquis Childs examines the prisoner exchange being worked out in Korea and whether the remaining issue barring a truce, voluntary repatriation of prisoners, could be resolved, finding a permanent peace unlikely. There was optimism that exchange of all prisoners might soon be possible, but the wording of Chinese Communist proposals appeared to hold booby traps for the U.N. negotiators. Chou En-lai's broadcast proposal had been similar to the resolution passed overwhelmingly by the U.N. the previous December, after its proposal by India. But Secretary of State Acheson had fought against the proposal until finally pressured by the other free nations, primarily Britain, to adopt it.

One of the principal proposals to be regarded after the settlement of that remaining block would be the issue of the truce line, settled already on the current battle lines, approximately the original 38th parallel, but not acceptable to the new Administration which wanted a narrow waist established across the Korean peninsula, about 80 miles north of the present line, to afford better resistance against future incursion. The Communists, however, would almost certainly resist such a new line.

Secretary Dulles had to strike a careful balance in directing the peace talks because South Korean President Syngman Rhee had almost as many friends in Congress as did Chiang Kai-shek, and the South Koreans were opposed to capitulation at the 38th parallel. But pressure on President Rhee and Chiang would come from the people of South Korea for the great toll the war had taken on the country, a toll increased sharply by the Communist offensive for ten days prior to the peace overtures, perhaps a calculated gamble by the Communists to encourage peace on their terms.

Moreover, agreement on a truce line would still leave the question of the broader political settlement in the Far East. The Administration wanted an end also to the war in Indo-China, without ending the commitment to Nationalist China in its fight to regain control of the mainland. The Communists would almost certainly demand ending of American support for Chiang in exchange for ending the other conflicts. The fact that most other U.N. allies had recognized the Communist Chinese Government complicated that formula.

Mr. Childs posits that the end of the fighting in Korea would be a substantial accomplishment for the new Administration, engendering great support among the American people. But if it were ended on terms which could precipitate another, even larger war in time, with retreat from orderly buildup of defensive strength in the interim, then the peace would come at a great cost.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the Administration's dilemma as to whether to give greater priority to a balanced budget or national defense. Budget director Joseph Dodge had advised, beginning in early March, that there was no way to balance the budget in the ensuing two fiscal years without sharp reductions in defense or foreign aid spending. Mr. Dodge asked for plans by the National Security Council for large reductions, 13 percent in regular government operations and 25 percent in foreign aid in 1954 and 50 percent in 1955, amounting to between eight and 15 billion dollars of savings in foreign aid spending, and then examination of the results, a plan followed by the Council.

But while that examination was ongoing, it was discovered that the air defenses had been neglected, as well the civil defense program. The new Eisenhower foreign policy also made new demands for foreign aid, especially in Asia, where Secretary of State Dulles wanted a serious effort made to aid the French in bringing the war in Indo-China to an end, as well as an effort to strengthen Formosa against potential attack from mainland China. Any concerted effort to end the Korean War might also result in increased spending.

To try to resolve the problem, seven men were selected, primarily from business, to review the budgetary situation and seek a way out of the dilemma. They joined the regular Council members the previous Tuesday, and partly as a result of their presentation and that of Mutual Security director Harold Stassen, the Administration had reached the decision that foreign aid could be cut below the level which had been proposed by the last Truman budget in January, but not by the large amount proposed by Mr. Dodge. The crucial issue of cuts to defense spending, however, had not yet been resolved.

The tendency to give priority to balancing of the budget had been weakened in the face of these confronted realities, while the argument persisted to control defense expenditures and then later fill the resulting gaps in security, a view said to be held by Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey, Mr. Dodge, and Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, the latter less optimistic about the prospect of deep cuts. Others, as Secretary Dulles and Mr. Stassen, warned against such deep cuts.

The Administration had promised Senate Majority Leader Taft an outline of the new defense program by early May, and so a decision soon had to be made by the President, in reliance on his advisers. Into the deliberations had been injected the Soviet peace offensive, which Administration officials assured would not impact their final decision. But if the fighting were to end in Korea, there would be an obvious weight added toward reduction of defense expenditures.

The Congressional Quarterly discusses the State Department's International Information Agency, which oversaw the Voice of America, the most heavily investigated part of the Government, having undergone six Congressional probes in six years and presently being investigated by two Senate committees, Senator McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee, and a Foreign Relations subcommittee chaired by Bourke Hickenlooper, plus the President's Committee on International Information Activities. Additionally, two non-governmental experts, charged by law with advising and reporting to Congress every six months on the program, also regularly investigated the Agency.

The outcome of the probes would determine the fate of the Agency and the Voice. Congress was expected to be conservative in allocating funds to the Agency, having allocated 500 million dollars to it and its predecessor agencies since 1945. President Truman had sought 114 million dollars as a budget for the coming fiscal year, but President Eisenhower's advisers were revising that estimate.

The purpose of the Agency was to combat Communist propaganda with a "campaign of truth" to be disseminated abroad about the U.S. In addition to the Voice on radio, the Agency also had press and publications, information centers, libraries, exchange programs, and motion pictures. The Agency's funds had been increased in mid-1950 at the start of the Korean War, but in 1951, House Republicans had sought reductions after calling the Voice a "100 million dollar flop", trying unsuccessfully to cut the funding.

During the six Congressional investigations undertaken between 1947 and 1952, the Agency had come under fire for its supposedly subversive radio scripts and for modern art exhibits it sponsored.

A letter writer commends the newspaper for its recent, forceful editorials regarding the pending legislation before the General Assembly to raise the weight allowance for commercial trucks on the highways of the state. He indicates that the House Roads Committee had arbitrarily approved the legislation despite the resulting damage which overloaded trucks would cause and despite the warning of the State's chief engineer. He urges immediate protest to State legislators to oppose the bill.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., argues against trust of the Russians in their new peace initiative, urging that Germany was the prize which the Soviets wanted. He thinks the country's defenses ought continue to be built up, so that the country and its allies would remain strong, suggests that a few more dollars in the pockets of taxpayers would mean nothing if they lost their freedom.

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.