The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 13, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that the U.N. Command this date had provided the Communists with a new plan for an armistice in Korea, including 11 points for exchanging prisoners, the last major block to a truce during the previous year. Under the plan, the allies would free 34,000 North Koreans who refused repatriation and provide temporary custody to a five-nation commission, for a period of 60 days, for the 14,500 Chinese who refused repatriation, the commission to be comprised of Sweden, Switzerland, Poland, Czechoslovakia and India, the five nations nominated by the Communists as the neutral commission for all of the prisoners refusing repatriation. Under the allied plan, India would have to head the body and provide any troops needed to maintain the prisoners. The plan also rejected the Communist proposal that a political conference would ultimately determine the fate of prisoners continuing to refuse to go home after the period of custody by the five-nation commission, during which the Communists could talk to the prisoners and try to convince them that they had nothing to fear by returning to their homelands. The allied plan allowed these talks but warned that any effort during them to intimidate or force prisoners to return home would not be tolerated. The plan also called for release of all other prisoners immediately upon negotiation of an armistice. The Communists called the counter-proposal a "step backward" and said that the allied attitude threatened the prospects of the whole armistice negotiations.

In the air war, nearly 200 U.S. Sabre jets and Thunderjets this date hit a Communist troop and supply center near Sinanju on the Yellow Sea, only 60 miles from the MIG-15 base at Antung in Manchuria, but none of the enemy jets challenged the action. Earlier, Sabres had destroyed two enemy MIGs and damaged a third.

In the ground war, counter-attacking South Koreans won back Outpost Texas and two nearby small hills in brief early morning action, after about 160 Communist troops had overrun the South Korean positions in the second predawn attack in two days on the east-central front. Action was limited to light squad and platoon-sized probes elsewhere on the battlefront.

Congressman Dewey Short of Missouri said this date that Congress was tired of taking "dictation from our so-called allies", joining angry Congressional reaction to statements by opposition leader Clement Attlee in British Commons the previous day, that some Americans did not want to settle the Korean War. Mr. Attlee had also questioned whether the President or Senator McCarthy was actually running U.S. foreign policy, which Mr. Short took as "almost an insult". Senator McCarthy had recalled Mr. Attlee being photographed with Spanish Communist leaders at a review during the Spanish Civil War in 1936-37, with Mr. Attlee joining the group in raising clenched fists. Representative Lawrence Smith of Wisconsin said in a separate interview that he had returned from Europe convinced that the Europeans would not defend themselves against a Russian attack and that the entire NATO buildup was a questionable venture. He also believed that the Congress would not be justified in approving the Administration's requested 600 million dollars for accelerated aid to France and French Indo-China, that such money would only go to support French colonialism. An informant, from closed hearings regarding the foreign aid budget, indicated that a number of influential members of Congress had views similar to those expressed by Mr. Smith, who had consistently opposed European military buildup aid. Congressman Clement Zablocki of Wisconsin, a member of the Congressional group which had returned from Europe, proposed that future aid to Indo-China be conditioned on the promise that the French would grant more independence to the native Vietnamese. He and the other Congressmen in the group were convinced that neither the French nor the Americans enjoyed the support of the native populations in Indo-China. The subcommittee had recommended that more aid be channeled directly to the Vietnamese instead of through the French.

Congress was prepared this date to pass the final version of the bill to provide states title to submerged oil lands, as top Republican leaders and some Democratic leaders agreed on arrangements for a quick resolution of the bill. The Senate had already approved the bill and the House was set to approve it this date. It was similar to bills which President Truman had twice vetoed. The bill continued Federal control of lands beyond the historical boundaries of the states, which extended 98 to 125 miles from shore in the Gulf of Mexico, roughly 50 miles along the Atlantic Coast and 3 to 5 miles on the Pacific Coast. The Senate version of the bill deleted a House version provision which had authorized the Secretary of Interior to develop the resources of the outer shelf, cooperating with adjacent states in conservation matters. The Senate bill contemplated handling the problems of those lands in separate legislation.

A six-point increase in normal corporate taxes was reported to be under consideration by the Treasury this date, as a possible alternative to the expiring excess profits tax. Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey arranged to talk with Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, chairman of the Finance Committee, regarding what might be a preview of the Administration's new tax program, which Secretary Humphrey said would be set before Congress the following Tuesday. One unnamed Senator said that Treasury studies had indicated that it would be necessary to raise the limit on regular corporate taxes from the present 52 percent to 58 percent, to equal the revenue to be lost from the expiring excess profits tax.

In Cairo, Lt. Colonel Gamel Abdel Nasser, chief of staff to Premier Naguib, said this date to the editor of the Bangkok Post that unless Britain evacuated the Suez Canal Zone within two or three months, the temper of the people would not allow the existence of the base to continue, the first such ultimatum for evacuation. He said that neither the statements of Prime Minister Churchill nor the visit by Secretary of State Dulles would have any effect on the Suez situation as long as British troops remained there. Talks between British and Egyptian officials over the demand for withdrawal had ended the previous Wednesday when British negotiators demanded that about 5,000 British technicians be permitted to remain to keep the vast military installations in readiness, the Egyptians responding that only 500 British technicians were necessary for that job. Col. Abdel Nasser discounted Suez as a defense base, saying that there was nothing in the way of a defense line to halt any enemy, such as Russia, from sweeping down through Iran and Iraq into Egypt, to take over the base, which he estimated could be performed by Russia within 15 days. He said that the installations constituted only a rear supply base and that the Arab nations were prepared to raise 16 divisions to aid in defense of the area, to be integrated with other forces, which he did not specify, assumed to be Western.

In Nairobi, Kenya, 17 Kikiyu tribesmen were sentenced to death this date for their part in the massacre by the Mau Mau of 150 men, women and children at the village of Lari the prior March 26. More than 1,100 persons had been killed since the Mau Mau had pledged to drive white men from Kenya the previous year. The terrorist group recruited most of its members from the Kikiyu. The 17 Kikiyu sentenced this date were charged specifically with the murder of the wife of a headman.

In Waco, Texas, search parties working all night by floodlight had found ten additional bodies inside the rubble of buildings twisted by tornadoes the prior Monday, bringing the death toll to 88 in Waco and 97 throughout Texas. Nearly 300 persons had been injured in Waco and another 100 at San Angelo, where an additional nine persons had died. Rescue workers in Waco continued to dig through the rubble in search of bodies, with faint hope of finding any survivors. Flood dangers from the swollen Brazos River appeared to have passed, as the river had crested at 26 feet early this date, two feet short of the flood stage, and began rapidly subsiding. Damage to Waco had been estimated at 25 million dollars. In the northern Texas Panhandle at Dalhart, there was a snowstorm, as the temperature dropped below freezing, and stockmen were warned to look after their animals. Dust storms hit Midland, Wink, San Angelo and Big Spring, with visibility lowest at Wink, at a half-mile. (Stop winking and you can see a full country mile.) More tornadoes had been sighted in the vicinity of Sherman, Gladewater, and San Antonio, but no damage had been reported. Heavy rains poured up to five inches on Huntsville, Nacogdoches and Jacksonville, in East Texas.

The President nominated James Major Baley, Jr., of Marshall, N.C., as U.S. Attorney for North Carolina's Western District. Confirmation was expected within two or three weeks, including three other nominees in other states. Mr. Baley was one of the best-known Republicans in the state, had been chairman of the party throughout the political convention the previous year and had directed the statewide campaign on behalf of General Eisenhower. He had figured prominently in recent weeks in a series of conferences and meetings among North Carolina Republicans to settle their differences over receipt of patronage, as between the supporters of Senator Taft and those of General Eisenhower during the 1952 campaign. He was from Greensboro and attended UNC as both an undergraduate and for law school. He had served in the Navy for four years during the war and was a lieutenant commander in the Reserve.

In Raleigh, the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina this date adopted a program budget for 1954 of $171,515, including funds for clergy salaries, guaranteed to be a minimum of $3,000 per year for unmarried ministers and $3,600 per year for married ministers. The convention voted to set up a study committee to investigate Camp Delaney, a camp for black Episcopalians, to determine whether the camp would be continued. The person making the motion indicated that the report should state to the convention the following year whether the camp should be discontinued or developed into an adequate camp. The convention the previous day voted in favor of non-segregation of the School of Theology at the University of the South in Tennessee.

On the editorial page, "Highway Shuffle Needs an Airing" indicates that when Governor William B. Umstead had asked the 1953 General Assembly to increase the number of highway divisions from 10 to 15, the legislators had dodged the issue, ultimately authorizing the Governor to appoint a special committee to study the matter, leaving the final decision to the Governor and that committee. Most observers expected the committee to agree with the Governor, and, in fact, the committee had recommended 14 highway divisions, and the Governor promptly had appointed the new division commissioners. The report, however, had not disclosed facts or figures supporting its recommendation, referring vaguely to the "public interest", a sentiment echoed by the Governor.

It indicates that the people of the state were entitled to more information on the reorganization of the Highway Commission. While the new appointees appeared generally capable, no case had yet been made for increasing the number of divisions. It might have been the case that the vastly expanded postwar building program for secondary roads had so expanded the work of the Commission that it was difficult for non-salaried commissioners to keep track of the projects in their area, requiring the expansion, or it may have been the case that the Governor wanted to break up the factions which inevitably formed within a "semi-political kingdom". But whatever the reasons were, it advocates stating them fully and publicly.

"Joint Chiefs Join the 'Team'" indicates that the new appointees to the Joint Chiefs left the newspaper with some concern about political pressures in the Pentagon and the future role of the Air Force, while it recognizes the ability of the new members named by the President the previous day, including General Matthew Ridgway, the new Army chief of staff, Admiral Robert Carney, the new Naval chief of operations, and General Nathan Twining, the new Air Force chief. It also finds that the new chairman, Admiral Arthur Radford, had almost too good a record as a Navy man to qualify for the new job, based on his leadership against the development of the B-36 heavy bomber versus the supercarrier a few years earlier. He would have a hard time proving that he had moderated his views on the relationship between the Navy and the Air Force, as had been reported to be the case.

There was presently before Congress a reorganization plan of the Defense Department which would increase the power of the Joint Chiefs chairman, giving him responsibility to manage the Joint Chiefs Staff and authority to pass on the 210 officers chosen by the services for the Staff. The reorganization plan had a worthwhile feature in decreasing the administrative work of the Joint Chiefs, leaving them more time for strategy and planning, and increasing the authority of the civilian defense secretaries. But in providing this new authority to someone, such as Admiral Radford, considered hostile to the Air Force, it would likely become controversial. That Senator Taft and other leading Republicans had demanded new Joint Chiefs, despite the fact that Admiral William Fechteler's tenure as Naval chief of operations still had two years remaining, would increase the suspicion that political considerations were given undue emphasis in the selections. It indicates that it was not to say that such a suspicion was well-founded, but that the President or Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson should allay such skepticism if they could.

"Country Club Atop the Courthouse" indicates that county officials might be "unworried" over the blacklisting of the County Jail by Federal authorities, as a news story had indicated the previous day, but the people of the community would not take it so casually as had the head jailer.

Eb Bailey, affable and popular, had gotten into trouble with the Federal Government over alleged failure to pay taxes, and was holding court in a special cell in the jail, receiving a string of visitors, including several policemen, at all hours, whenever the jailers were not busy. He made telephone calls late at night and at least one of his visitors had brought whiskey to him. But then, following his conviction, Mr. Bailey had to move to a Federal penitentiary where the officials operated on the basis that violators of the law lost certain privileges, along with their personal freedom. Mr. Bailey had bragged to the Federal authorities about his fun time in the county jail, prompting the investigation.

It indicates that the Sheriff should put in place rules and regulations at the jail and tell the head jailer to enforce them or else. If the Sheriff lacked that resolve, then the grand jury ought wake him up.

"In the Finest Judicial Tradition" supports the recommendation of the Mecklenburg County Bar Association of the appointment of Francis Clarkson as a special Superior Court judge, to fill one of four such special judgeships to be appointed by Governor William B. Umstead, as a result of the recent reorganization of the State's judicial system by the Legislature. It praises Mr. Clarkson's legal acumen and character and indicates that he would be a worthy companion jurist to the other regular Superior Court judge in Mecklenburg, William Bobbitt.

A piece of from the New York Times, titled "On Nonconformity", indicates that there were too many people in the present times "with wits dulled by ignorance or by fright, who seek safety and security only in what they think is the narrow pattern of the past". Such were contrary to the nonconformists who had expanded the nation westward and had settled civilization generally. It was not the pattern of the ancestors who had taught "to dare, to experiment, to explore and not to fear". It was contrary to the "best tradition to equate nonconformity with treason, and orthodoxy with disloyalty." Yet, that was the state of mind which some of the public figures now appeared to be trying to establish, which, it indicates, was "unimaginative" and "un-American".

So it was particularly happy to see someone receive a prize for unorthodoxy in the Lord & Taylor awards provided to five distinguished men the prior Monday for original and nonconformist thinking in their respective fields, though not embracing politics. "Free spirits and unbridled minds are too rare even in a free society. They deserve encouragement. The worship of conformity, of orthodoxy, of authority should be left to the Communists and the other totalitarians of left and right. It is not for us."

Drew Pearson tells of the most important conference on Secretary of State Dulles's itinerary during his Middle Eastern trip being with Prime Minister Nehru in India. He would talk with him about building the Prime Minister up as the chief bulwark against Communism in Asia. Thus far, though anti-Communist, Nehru had not been a crusader against Communism. The 361 million Indians whom he governed had strong sympathies with the Chinese and were suspicious of Western "imperialism", had a standard of living which was near the point of starvation and so formed a natural breeding ground for Communism. Secretary Dulles had proposed to his State Department advisers before leaving Washington that he would attempt to convince Nehru that the most important leader in Asia was Mao Tse-tung in Communist China only because no one had challenged his leadership, and that Asia was looking for another great leader who would demonstrate a non-Communist path to better living, that Nehru could become that leader. If he accepted that role, the U.S. would provide him all the backing it could, and if he did not accept, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, including India, were almost certainly eventually to become Communist. It was believed that Nehru would accept the role. If he did, one of the first American steps would be to send to India several million bushels of surplus wheat presently stored in old Liberty ships in the Hudson River, believing that the wheat would help to stem the tide of Asiatic Communism, which, while costly to the taxpayers, was better than letting it rot in storage.

Bob Hope had been kidding President Eisenhower at the 28th annual dinner of White House correspondents recently, saying that when he had been at Burning Tree golf course with the President recently, the latter had gotten set on the first tee and then missed the ball, got set again, again missed, at which point Mr. Hope heard two ants in the grass say, "We'd better get up on that ball or we'll get hit."

It is too bad they were not mosquitoes, for then they might have been able to say something about D.D.'s tee being not on the ball when addressed by the P's club, and so they could take refuge pleasingly under the P's tee-resistance.

Prior to the Roosevelt Administration, the American public had carefully scrutinized the Interior Department, but when it was under the leadership of Harold Ickes and the man he helped to train, successor Oscar Chapman, the people pretty much had forgotten about it. Now the Interior Department was again coming in for scrutiny because it was seeking to give away Federal control of resources to private interests. Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay was attempting to sell for a few cents on the dollar the Government pilot plant which was making oil from coal. The State of California was trying to trade 26,000 acres of state-owned land in California for the same amount of Federally-owned land in California. The land being sought in the trade would benefit Pacific Gas & Electric Co., which wanted to run a pipeline to pump natural gas from New Mexico to the San Francisco Bay Area, for if a pipeline crossed public lands, it had to serve as a common carrier for all gas producers who wanted to use it, whereas if it were run only over state land, the California Legislature might be convinced to provide a monopoly to PG & E, banning its competition. The swap could also serve as a precedent for the long-discussed drive to get public lands turned over to the Western states. Previously, such an exchange of land between the states and the Federal Government had to be based on equal valuation, rather than an equal number of acres, with the value determined by timber and mineral wealth, requiring extensive geological surveys. But in the presently proposed swap, California wanted to trade off a barren tract near the southern Nevada border for a corridor of arid Federal land of the same acreage in the Mojave Desert, with neither tract being worth much. Mr. Pearson concludes that it would be interesting to see what precedent the Interior Department set in the matter of public lands.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of President Truman's Point Four program of development of underdeveloped nations being likely to continue under a different name as part of the new Administration's foreign policy. General Eisenhower had mentioned it during the 1952 campaign, when he said that the country "should intensify the extension of technical assistance to underdeveloped nations." He had made mention of it as President during his April 16 speech to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, and in his May 5 message to Congress, requesting authorization for 1954 foreign aid funds, noting that the request included approximately 550 million dollars for "technical, economic and developmental purposes".

President Truman had first mentioned the program in his 1949 inaugural address and it was authorized by Congress in 1950, with appropriations for fiscal year 1951 having been 34.5 million dollars, for 1952, 147.9 million and for the present fiscal year, 155.6 million. Actually, the U.S. had undertaken technical cooperation programs in Latin America for nearly ten years before Point Four, with a wartime cooperation program having been initiated in 1942, which was so successful that it continued after the war. Point Four also operated in the Near East and in Africa, as well as in South Asia, including Indonesia. It was estimated that about half the people of the world lived in those areas, and that eight out of ten were undernourished, and seven out of ten chronically ill and illiterate. Point Four sought to help those people help themselves by showing them how to increase food production through modern agricultural methods, to save food through modern storage and processing, to fight disease by sanitation and preventive measures, and to spread literacy through public education.

The aid was given only at the request of the government receiving it and only after the two governments had entered into a general agreement, whereby technical experts worked out details of jobs to be accomplished and the contribution to be made by each government monetarily, in personnel, services and equipment. The program operated in 35 countries, 19 of which were in Latin America, in Afghanistan, Burma, India, Indonesia, Nepal and Pakistan in Asia, and in Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya and Saudi Arabia in Africa and the Near East.

Iran was the first country to enter into a general agreement for technical cooperation, in October, 1950. Since that time, projects had been initiated in agriculture, health and sanitation, education, development of natural resources, and development of industry and trade, with the U.S. having provided 35 million dollars in aid to Iran in those fields. Expenditures in most countries receiving the aid had run well below that amount, with the amount provided Iran reflecting its needs and the extent of the Communist threat.

Marquis Childs tells of Senator George Aiken of Vermont, after he had voted against the tidelands oil bill to restore title to the states, having said that the public was becoming fearful that national natural resources were being given away, the greatest political danger which the President faced. He said that powerful, professional lobbyists were working to obtain administrative and Congressional approval for turning over to private interests the timber, minerals, and public lands.

Conservation was actually a Republican cause, stemming from the efforts of President Theodore Roosevelt and Gifford Pinchot, underscoring the need for the Administration to take a strong stand in the face of threats and rumors of the threats to the American heritage.

The Department of Interior had great power over the resources of the West. Secretary of Interior McKay had made that plain when he awarded to a private power company Hell's Canyon on the Oregon-Idaho border, perhaps the last great power site undeveloped in the West.

During the last year of the Truman Administration, then-Undersecretary of Interior Richard Searles had overruled experts in the field and the director of the Bureau of Land Management in Washington, and awarded water rights to a large-scale farming operation in Arizona. The applicants had included the State attorney general and several close political allies of former Democratic Senator Ernest McFarland. But the city of Tucson, expanding rapidly in recent years, had also filed for rights to the water under the Federal lands, a cause championed by the editor of the Arizona Daily Star, William Mathews, who explained Tucson's urgent need for more water. After the action by Mr. Searles had come to the attention of Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, he had reversed the decision and determined that the experts had been right. Currently, Secretary Chapman's decision was being appealed to the new team in the Interior Department. The new Assistant Secretary, Orme Lewis, who ordinarily would determine the matter, had turned the decision over to others in the Department because he had been attorney for Mr. Searles. Conservationists were suspicious of Mr. Lewis because his law firm in Phoenix had represented cattle and other aggressive interests pressing for changes in Federal land policy. Cattlemen had been long in conflict with Federal agencies regarding demands to graze a greater number of cattle on public lands.

Some conservationists were arbitrary to the point of wanting to lock up all the resources of the Federal Government, while those who were more reasonable, including the majority of those who followed the TR conception of keeping a base of land and water for future generations, understood that controlled development was essential. Thus, the national parks constituted a great asset enjoyed by millions, but timber cutting in those parks was carefully limited. Mr. Childs indicates that it was that great body of conservationists who would be watching what the new policy would mean.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that his heart had sunk when Superior Court Judge Alfred Stein in Newark had recently ruled that the payment of alimony to a man was against public policy and that such payment was illegal. The decision interrupted his plans to hijack his wife at some future time to obtain all of her money and live high off the hog. The woman in question had paid alimony to her former husband for 17 years, amounting to $60,000, which the judge had ruled was inappropriate.

He goes on about the matter, rather confusingly, per his most usual course, citing hypotheticals which might justify the payment of alimony by the female spouse to the male spouse. He thinks women ought be forced to toil some after divorce, that there ought to be equality in payment of alimony. He finds that the only fly in the ointment was that it was hard to find a woman who hated a man so much that she would pay him to divorce her, and now the New Jersey judge had wrecked even that small possibility. "Fie, I cry, and for shame."

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