The Charlotte News

Monday, May 11, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied truce negotiators this date asked the Communist negotiators to put forth a plan for final determination of the fate of war prisoners who refused repatriation. The U.N. Command said that the eight-point Communist proposal for prisoner exchange still left the threat of indefinite captivity hanging over the 48,500 North Korean and Chinese Communist prisoners held by the U.N. who had indicated a desire not to repatriate to their homelands. It also indicated that there was no guarantee that a political conference, as favored by the Communists, could settle the question. Lt. General William Harrison, chief allied negotiator, told reporters after the less than one-hour session that only one of his questions he had put to the Communist negotiators about their proposal had been answered, that being that a majority vote among the five neutral nations they had proposed as custodians of the prisoners would determine any differences. But left unanswered thus far was the question regarding what would happen if the political conference the Communists had proposed failed to settle the issue, as well as the other questions General Harrison had posed the previous day, including the proposed size of armed forces to be sent to Korea by the five neutral nations and to whom the commanders of each such armed force would be responsible and who would pay their expenses. As General Harrison had addressed these questions, a North Korean interpreter sat across the room blowing smoke rings.

In the war, driving rain and fog halted most air and ground action this date, after 30 B-29s had dropped 500-pound bombs on a 1,000-building Communist supply center in northwest Korea. Only weather reconnaissance aircraft took off after the rains began.

Captain Manuel Fernandez became the world's leading jet ace pilot the previous day, destroying his 13th enemy MIG-15. Other American pilots had shot down two other MIG-15s on Sunday.

In London, Prime Minister Winston Churchill said this date to Commons that he favored a high-level conference of the leading powers without delay, a point on which the House cheered loudly. He also said that the Communist truce proposals in Korea should be given "sympathetic and patient examination". He urged that West Germany needed to be incorporated into the Western defense program and that Britain intended to stand firmly behind its commitments to West Germany. He said that a piecemeal solution of problems with Russia would be better than no settlement at all, interpreted as mild criticism of President Eisenhower's recent peace plan which was all-inclusive.

Congressman Harold Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, expressed amazement that the Administration had run up the "white flag of surrender" regarding the goal of a balanced budget. He said that the spenders seemed to have taken over.

Former Ambassador to India Chester Bowles said to reporters at the White House this date, following a 45-minute conference with the President, that the fight against Communism in Asia was going better from a military standpoint than it had a year earlier. He said that the basic problems, however, were not military, but rather economic and political. He indicated that Asia was teetering between Communism and free world democracy, and that the process would probably continue for several years to come. He believed that India, in particular, had to receive economic and financial aid from the U.S. or the danger to it from Communism would increase. He advocated 200 million dollars annually in U.S. economic aid for India, whereas it was presently receiving only about 50 million dollars. He declined comment on the present situation in Laos, and its invasion by Vietminh guerrillas. Mr. Bowles had just returned from his service as envoy to India during the Truman Administration and spent six weeks on his way back touring Southeast Asia and Japan. He had given the President a report on the situation, but said it would not be proper for him to relate their conversation.

The President, in a letter to the president of the National Housing Conference, Inc., said this date that Americans of all parties should accept the "moral obligation" of providing decent housing for those presently living in slums. He said that the country should look to the work of citizens groups for constructive and long-term solutions to those problems. The letter made no mention of the Administration's request that Congress continue the controversial Federal low-rent housing program at 35,000 new units during the coming fiscal year, the same rate as the current fiscal year. The House had voted to deny all funds for that program for the ensuing year, but the Senate, in an Appropriations subcommittee, had acted to restore the funds at the previous year's rate, a decision which the full Appropriations Committee would consider this date.

The Senate Judiciary Committee this date approved a bill sponsored by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, increasing salaries of all members of Congress and Federal judges by $10,000 per year, and also raising salaries of U.S. Attorneys to a maximum of $20,000 per year. Salaries of all members of Congress would be raised under the bill to $25,000 per year, from the current $12,500 salary plus $2,500 in expense money. Under the bill, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would also obtain an increase of $14,500 per year, to $40,000, to place him on the same salary level as the Vice-President and the Speaker of the House, both of whom currently received $30,000 plus a $10,000 expense allowance.

In Grand Marais, Mich., the Great Lakes freighter Henry Steinbrenner, laden with iron ore, sank off Isle Royale in Lake Superior early this date, and 16 of the 31 men aboard had thus far been rescued, with one known to be dead. High winds had caused the vessel to founder, after it struck a reef.

Swirling black tornado funnels made a path of destruction across parts of five Midwestern states and Arkansas during the weekend, leaving 11 persons dead and more than 100 injured, with widespread property damage. Areas hit were southern Minnesota, western Wisconsin, southeastern Nebraska, north-central Iowa, west-central Arkansas and southeastern Kansas. Eight of the dead were in Minnesota, including six members of a Spanish-speaking migrant farm worker family from Texas, when the tarpaper and clapboard house, in which they were living on an asparagus farm, was destroyed. The three other dead persons were in Wisconsin.

Up to six inches of snow had fallen this date from Lake Superior to the Rockies near the Canadian border. At Great Falls, Mont., six inches had fallen and the storm was continuing.

In Charlotte, Dick Young of The News indicates that the City Government changed hands this date as the new Mayor, Philip Van Every, and seven members of the City Council were sworn into office. Outgoing Mayor Victor Shaw merely expressed his gratitude for those who had been associated with his four-year Administration, speaking only briefly.

On the editorial page, "The Balanced Budget—An Elusive Goal" indicates that it was increasingly unlikely that the Eisenhower Administration would be able to balance the budget for the ensuing fiscal year, even if taxes remained at their current levels. The President had made an attempt to cut appropriations by 8.5 billion dollars, but it was a different matter to cut actual spending, as there was a large carryover of funds previously appropriated for the new fiscal year.

Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey had testified the previous week before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that there was no prospect at all for anything except an increase in the national debt, that the budget should not be balanced during the coming year as there would be too many risks to national security as a result. It indicates that it was a realistic position, despite many self-appointed experts proving that it was possible to reduce taxes and balance the budget, starting with the tax cut.

It indicates that such advocates often lost sight of the fact that Congress had to reduce appropriations before Government spending could be reduced, and that to reduce spending drastically meant inevitably cuts to defense, at a time when there continued to be a great danger to the nation from the Soviets, despite their current peace offensive. It thus considers the approach of the Administration, which was "proceeding calmly and logically to straighten out the financial mess inherited from the Truman Administration", to be appropriate and, given time, would enable balancing of the budget and reduction of taxes.

"Birds of a Feather" indicates that the withdrawal of the seven large schools from the unwieldy Southern Conference, set to form the Atlantic Coast Conference, was a logical step. There had been 17 schools in the Southern Conference, its size made worse by the fact that the schools were not of the same size, with the same interests, or producing teams of the same caliber.

Such Southern Conference schools as West Virginia, George Washington, VPI, VMI, Washington & Lee, Richmond, William & Mary, Davidson, The Citadel and Furman could not typically compete athletically with the likes of Duke, UNC, Wake Forest, N.C. State, Clemson, South Carolina and Maryland, the seven schools which were departing. (In speaking of "large" schools, it presumably referred to the size of funding available, as Wake Forest had a student body size comparable to that of Davidson.)

Thus, it finds the new conference to be formed, which it dubs the "Big Seven", to become the "Big Eight", if Virginia decided "to go in for unadulterated professionalism", was realistic in its approach, but "the net effect may well be a disastrous overemphasis of athletics and underemphasis of more important educational functions."

Was the writer of the editorial, presumably editor Pete McKnight, a Davidson alumnus, by use of a bird aphorism, making some demeaning, caustic statement about the departing schools? given that the only birds involved were the Gamecocks of South Carolina—unless one counts the Gobblers remaining in the Southern Conference.

The question now is how long will the current configuration of the Atlantic Coast Conference endure, with 15 members in basketball and 14 in football? breaking up many traditional rivalries into only occasional contests once every several years in football. It is much too big and much too dispersed geographically to be much of a family any longer. Since when were Louisville and Notre Dame in Atlantic coastal states? We think that ten members is quite sufficient. But, of course, money always rules the day over logic and reason.

"For Better Living in Mecklenburg" indicates that it had not been so long earlier when the washboard, the kerosene lamp and the icebox were standard equipment on the farm, that modern farm women had modern kitchens, as much so as did their city neighbors. They also were aware of new farm and home techniques making chores easier. Much of the improvement came from the expansion of the Rural Electrification Administration, the building of better secondary roads, and the long duration of high farm prices. Another important contributor, it notes, was the home demonstration program and its agents, which had been quite effective in Mecklenburg County, where there were 1,600 home demonstration club members, involved in programs ranging from improvement of kitchens and bathrooms to helping the needy, planting trees and study of international affairs.

It especially recognizes Helen John Wright, the home demonstration agent for the county, and her co-workers.

"The Case of the Canned Hamburger" indicates that the president of a small packing company in San Francisco had complained that he could not comply with Army regulations regarding canned hamburgers. He had several thousand dollars tied up in the commodity, which the Army had rejected. Being a small businessman, he could not afford to lose the money and so he related his story to a Senate Small Business subcommittee, indicating that the Army wanted him to cook the burgers until they had shrunk 30 percent and then lay them flat in a can, horizontally, with the major planes toward the end of the can. He complained that one could not lay a round ball flat because there was no flat surface, and that Army hamburgers were not edible anyway, that the Army would not accept any deviation from the 30 percent shrinkage requirement, and that they had directed him to pack 18 cans to the case, an odd number, as, typically, 12 or 24 or 48 comprised a case, but never 18. After he had sought direction from the Army as to how to shrink hamburgers precisely by 30 percent and how to pack a round hamburger ball flat in a can, he had given up and was heading back to California.

"Gastronomically bad and geometrically impossible, the Washington story said. Which is as fitting a description of the Army's burgers as we can think of."

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "On Making Up His Mind", indicates that after 47 years as a railroad worker, a man of Stevens Point, Wisconsin, had decided he did not like railroad work and so at age 64 had quit to pursue a calling he really liked. He had adjusted himself through the decades until diesel locomotives came along, apparently accumulating his distastes until he at last had the courage to quit. It remarks that at least he would not be accused of being impulsive.

Drew Pearson indicates that former Congressman William Lambertson of Kansas had parlayed a $14 investment into a lifetime Government pension of $2,160 per year, despite not having contributed anything toward his own retirement until after he departed Congress, after serving 15 years. At that point, another Congressman from Kansas, Wint Smith, put Mr. Lambertson on the Federal payroll for a month in January, 1947, just long enough for him to pay $14 into the retirement fund, making him eligible for retirement benefits and able, under a loophole in the law, to take credit for his full 15 years of Congressional service. Both Mr. Lambertson and Mr. Smith had voted consistently against social benefits for others, but, remarks Mr. Pearson, apparently believed in Government handouts for themselves. Mr. Lambertson was also drawing another Government salary as a county commissioner, while he also owned a 200-acre farm in Kansas. Mr. Lambertson did not want to discuss the matter with a representative of the column, but admitted that he had never paid any money into the pension fund while in Congress.

Democratic Congressmen were so alarmed over rising interest rates that they were drafting legislation to curb Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey's power to boost rates. Democrats charged that Secretary Humphrey was soaking the taxpayers and enriching the banks by raising interest rates on the bonds which the Government sold. They pointed out that the increased interest on the national debt would cost the taxpayers several billion dollars before it was paid off. Small farmers, home builders and installment buyers, whose interest rates were forced up by higher Government rates, were the worst hit.

Mischievous Senators were kidding the Senate's most eligible couple, Senators Richard Russell and Margaret Chase Smith, concerning a possible romance between the two. Senator Smith had counseled, behind closed doors of the Senate Armed Services Committee, that Senator Leverett Saltonstall, who had initially referred to Senator Russell as the "distinguished former chairman whom we all love", then immediately corrected the latter word to "admire", not make the change, prompting other Senators on the Committee to begin ribbing Senator Smith for having gone on record as favoring love for Senator Russell, a bachelor.

Through an inadvertence, Congressman August Andresen of Minnesota was confused in a recent column of Mr. Pearson with Congressman Herman Andersen of the same state, both Republicans. It had been Congressman Andersen, he clarifies, who had scolded Iowa's Congressman Jensen for bowing to the private utilities.

Mamie Eisenhower preferred to have her husband called "Mr. President" or "Mr. Eisenhower", rather than "Ike", which she believed too undignified.

How about "D. D."?

Marquis Childs tells of Senator Joseph McCarthy's new campaign to attack the press frontally, as opposed to his prior efforts which involved convincing advertisers to boycott newspapers and magazines which had attacked him. Under the pretext of wanting to question witnesses regarding authored books reported to be in U.S. information libraries abroad, the Senator had summoned James Wechsler, editor of the New York Post, questioning him about his editorials in that publication, but hardly at all touching on the subject of the hearings, books he had authored in overseas information libraries. He primarily stressed Mr. Wechsler's membership in the Young Communist League when he had been between the ages of 18 and 22. Mr. Wechsler indicated that he had become disillusioned early on with Communism and then attacked the Communist conspiracy consistently. But Senator McCarthy wanted to know why he had never supported HUAC and whether it was not possible that he had put on an anti-Communist front while secretly continuing to support Communism.

After these hearings ended, the Senator had announced that he was hiring Harvey Matusow, the former Communist who had made various allegations of dues-paying Communists on the staff of the Sunday New York Times, Life and Time, and in the New York Bureau of the Associated Press. (As indicated, Mr. Matusow would, in 1955, publish a book titled False Witness, in which he admitted falsifying all of the "evidence" he had provided to Congress as a professional witness, and having become quite disenchanted with Senator McCarthy in the process—as well as with his friend, later a friend of Mr. Trump (Mr. Dee Jay, for short), Roy Cohn, another consummate professional liar.)

Mr. Childs concludes that Senator McCarthy had made manifest his intention with respect to the press, that critics of the Senator would be investigated by Mr. Matusow and brought before the Senator's investigating committee. "This is intimidation in a crude form. You be a good boy and play with us or at least you keep quiet and you will be left alone."

Mr. Dee Jay has taken that premise to a level in the White House not seen since Mr. Ram In was in there.

It brings to mind a suggested slogan for the Trump 2020 re-"election" campaign: "The Wall's best P is you-know-Who, Dee Jay Tee." Yeah, dig it.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop suggested that the French High Command in Indo-China might have learned from a Mr. Ferguson, the former High Commissioner of the Shan States in Burma, that mountainous regions, such as those ostensibly guarding Laos, did not serve any real protection at all. Mr. Ferguson had pooh-poohed the idea during World War II when the British War Cabinet's special representative in the Far East, Duff Cooper, had suggested that the Japanese could never cross the mountains into Burma. Mr. Ferguson had responded scornfully, saying that he crossed those mountains every week of his life and that if he could do it, so could the Japanese, that they would cut through Burma like a knife through butter.

The Alsops comment that as long as nothing except mountains separated Communist China's 3.5 million men under arms from "the rich and tempting military vacuum" which was most of Southeast Asia, the Ferguson doctrine would still hold, even if the fight in Laos ended in a victory for the French and native allies.

A letter writer from Hickory indicates that the Eye-Bank for Sight Restoration, Inc., in New York City was undertaking a nationwide crusade, seeking public support for its drive to help the blind in the country to see again through corneal grafting. It collected and redistributed eyes to doctors who performed the operation, and hundreds of blind persons, including war veterans, had benefited from the surgery. The Bank was seeking potential donors, who would provide permission to use their eyes after death.

A letter from the president of Pioneers, Inc., developers of the Battery AD-X2 additive, recently a point of controversy after the National Bureau of Standards said it was useless, indicates that despite five years of "obstruction and flagrant disregard of fact" by the NBS, the company still regarded it as a necessary agency, employing many great scientists, that they had simply been misinformed on the subject of the battery additive.

A letter writer from Concord indicates that the three black candidates for office in the town had been defeated, including the letter writer, a minister. He indicates that four or five people in the community were responsible for deceiving blacks of Concord into voting for other than black candidates. He says that even after his defeat, he had used his car to transport voters to the polls in the mayoral and other city official elections, while the opponents who had defeated him were nowhere to be seen. He finds it an unhealthy attitude. He appeals to the officials who were elected to see to it that a cemetery was dedicated in the city for blacks, a prime reason for which he had sought office, plus better sanitation facilities and streets in black communities.

A letter writer from Belmont, director of public relations for Belmont Abbey College, thanks the newspaper for its coverage of the College's 75th anniversary celebration the previous week.

A letter writer from Gastonia finds that when he wrote letters to Traveler's Aid, the Red Cross, the welfare department and even the FBI, asking those agencies to do things which were "slightly off the regular type of work they do", but only barely so, most of the time his letters would not be answered. He thinks they could have at least been polite about it.

You are probably under investigation by the FBI, if not the CIA. You know very well that the FBI does not clean latrines.

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