The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the Communists this date rejected the allied plan for exchanging war prisoners, and neither side gave indication of yielding on any points regarding this last issue blocking an armistice. The Communists said that the allied counter-proposal intended "to overthrow the basis of negotiations of both sides". U.N. chief negotiator, Lt. General William Harrison, answered those charges by indicating that the Communists had taken U.N. prisoners across the Yalu River into Manchuria and had used others for labor, in violation of the Geneva Convention. He said the Communists had reduced warfare to a "new viciousness" by impressing some 50,000 captives into the Communist armed forces, rather than releasing them at the front, as the Communists had claimed. He wanted to know about the "awakened patriots" serving in the Communist military forces, the personnel sent to "peace camps" in Manchuria, and those sent to "reform camps" in Manchuria. Allied officers had said that many prisoners, Americans and others, had been taken to "indoctrination" camps in Communist China. The Communists said that General Harrison's charges were "utterly groundless and irrelevant … unworthy of refutation". But General Harrison said that he had "irrefutable proof" that the camps existed.

The principal differences between the Communist proposal and the allied proposal were that, under the allied plan, there would be no determination finally by a high-level post-armistice conference of the fate of those prisoners who refused repatriation, and the 34,000 North Korean prisoners who refused repatriation would be released immediately after the armistice, while the 14,500 Chinese Communists would be placed in the temporary custody of the same five-nation commission proposed by the Communists, during which, for a period of two months, the Communists could speak with the prisoners and try to convince them that they had nothing to fear by returning home, provided, according to the allied proposal, that there was no coercion used to induce them to repatriate.

Nearby, the Communists tore down the tents they had used for exchanging sick and wounded war prisoners, indicating that they were done with the process, while the U.N. center still stood.

In the ground war, sharpshooting South Korean infantrymen killed or wounded at least 400 enemy troops in a series of close-quarter battles along the front this date.

In the air war, U.S. Sabre jets destroyed three enemy MIG-15s and damaged two others, as nearly 100 Sabres and other fighter-bombers hit supply targets in North Korea and along the front lines. Among the three pilots credited with the kills of MIGs this date was Lt. Edwin Aldrin, Jr., of Montclair, N.J.who would, on July 20, 1969, become the second man to set foot on the lunar surface after the Eagle had landed, part of the Apollo 11 first lunar landing mission.

Well, as we have fallen a full moon behind in rendering these summaries for you, we must move along with dispatch.

The President, at a press conference, said this date that he had no objection to a conference of top leaders of the major powers, but that he would first like to see some evidence of good faith from the Soviets, of which, thus far, he had seen none regarding their stated desire for world peace. He also said, in response to the statements made in Commons by opposition leader Clement Attlee that some persons in the U.S. did not desire peace in Korea, that he had met no one in the U.S. who did not want peace. He said that he did not believe the rift between Britain and the U.S. regarding Russia and the policy in Korea was as wide as it might appear. The President also announced that he would make a nationwide radio address the following Tuesday night regarding the security of the nation in light of the proposed Federal budget and taxes. He indicated that he would probably make a nationwide report on television a week or so later, reviewing what had occurred thus far during his Administration. He emphasized that his appointment of new Joint Chiefs was not intended to imply criticism of those presently serving, that Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson had felt that he should have an entirely new team, and that he agreed with him on the point. He endorsed a proposal in Congress to raise the pay of members by $10,000 per year, saying that the time was approaching when it would be difficult to find well-qualified persons to seek jobs in Congress on the current pay scale, and that the people should have the best qualified persons serving in Congress. (He did not say anything about Checkers, or whether the Vice-President should keep her.)

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had urged the President to speak out in an effort to win British support for a firm policy toward the Communists in Korea and in other parts of Asia, and that the statement should show that U.S. policies did not coincide with those of Prime Minister Churchill and Mr. Attlee. Senator William Knowland of California the previous day had denounced as a "Munich" type of appeasement, inviting World War III, the suggestions by Prime Minister Churchill and Mr. Attlee that a conference of the world leaders from the West and the Soviet Union take place. He stated his particular objection to any truce which would leave Korea divided and would lead to admission of Communist China to the U.N. In a separate interview, Senator Richard Russell, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said that he believed U.N. negotiators already had yielded too much to the Communists in the Korean truce talks.

Senator Joseph McCarthy said this date in a Senate speech assailing the remarks of Mr. Attlee as a "cheap" attack on the President and the American people, that a "sizable number of ships" flying under the British flag and trading with Communist China were actually owned by Chinese Communists. He said that part of the trade involved war matériel used by the Communist Chinese to kill American young men in Korea. He demanded an apology from Prime Minister Churchill and a statement of whether he agreed with what Mr. Attlee had said.

In Vallejo, Calif., Air Force deputy chief Lt. General Thomas White said this date that Russia probably would have an atomic bomb stockpile large enough to endanger the security of the free world within one year. He said that the U.S. strategic bombing force had to receive a major share of the country's resources to be able to strike back effectively. He said that a system of guided missiles might enable U.S. defenses to shoot down as much as 60 percent of an attacking bomber force, that 30 percent was an optimistic estimate with conventional anti-aircraft guns and interceptor planes. He said that the buildup of the Air Force to the 143-group goal set two years earlier was about 70 percent complete, making no reference to the President's recently announced decision to reduce Air Force strength to an interim level of 120 wings.

In North Carolina, the CIO's Communication Workers of America halted operations at three Western Electric plants this date, as the union ordered 5,200 workers off their jobs in a strike for higher wages. The strike had come after five weeks of negotiations for a new contract to replace the one which had expired on May 4. The Western Electric plants at Greensboro, Burlington and Winston-Salem produced secret electronic equipment for the armed forces. The strike was reported to be nearly 100 percent effective in all of the cities. Present wages in the plants ranged between $1 and $2.10 per hour and the company had offered an increase to a range of $1.03 to $2.18. The union was insisting that the increase follow that given in Northern plants, ranging from seven to eight cents per hour.

In Raleigh, the Presbyterian Synod of North Carolina this date voted to set up a special judicial commission to hear and decide a complaint over the dismissal of the pastor of the Chapel Hill Presbyterian Church.

Cold, drizzling rain fell on search parties who worked all night probing ruins from the tornado which hit downtown Waco, Texas, the prior Monday, as the death toll stood at 104 after four additional bodies had been discovered since midnight, with more wreckage still to be searched. Damage was estimated at 50 million dollars. At San Angelo, where another tornado had struck shortly before those in Waco, the death toll was at ten.

In Laurinburg, N.C., the widow of a Fayetteville policeman testified this date in court that her husband had his hand on his head just before he was shot at a dance at the Laurinburg-Maxton Air Base the prior Christmas night, refuting the claims of the defendant, Harry Howell, that he had fired in self-defense at the off-duty police officer, Larry Graham, as the latter allegedly reached in his pocket as though he were drawing a weapon. The victim's wife said that he had put his hand on his head to brush his hair back, just before the shot was fired. A defense witness had testified the previous day that the victim had knocked the defendant down and the defendant had then fired as he was getting up from the ground. A sergeant from Fort Bragg had testified this date that he had pulled that defense witness off of the victim, but the witness, recalled to the stand this date, denied the sergeant's testimony that he had taken part in the fight. Another prosecution witness had testified that five men had jumped on the victim, knocking him down twice and that one of them had shot him as he was returning to his feet, that the victim had said he would fight the group one at a time. The victim's wife said that the fight had begun when the men had cursed at her husband. The judge in the case denied a defense motion for a nonsuit on the charge of first-degree murder after the conclusion of the testimony. Final arguments to the jury began this date.

Ann Sawyer of The News tells of a 17-year old boy who had departed Superior Court in Charlotte during the afternoon with only a probationary sentence, after he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the slaying of his father on May 2, utilizing a crowbar. He was placed on probation for five years. The previous September, he had been placed on probation for three years for a forcible trespass at Harding High School, and the new probationary period would run concurrent with the remaining two years on the previous probation. Detectives had indicated that the defendant had told them that he killed his father during an argument in their home. A coroner's report showed that the father had been intoxicated at the time of his death. Witnesses indicated that the father had abused the family on occasions and had been a heavy drinker. A former neighbor said that the father drank liquor almost every weekend and abused the boy and his 60-year old mother. One witness said that on a recent occasion, the boy and his mother had come to the witness's home at 3:00 a.m., saying that the father had run them from their home. The father had been arrested not long prior to his death on charges of hitting his son. A minister testified that the boy had come to him sometime earlier and stated that he was disturbed about his personal life, that things were not going well at home. The boy had told the judge that his father was not armed when he struck him three times with the crowbar, an admission which the judge found compelling in its candor, concluding that the case could almost be ruled an excusable homicide.

In Buffalo, N.Y., police in a suburban community searched for two hours the previous night for a six-year old boy, before his mother informed them: "Never mind, he was asleep in his bed all the time. Nobody thought to look there."

On the editorial page, "Negro Hospital Should Be Built" tells of the Mecklenburg County Medical Society and the Chamber of Commerce the previous day having advocated the establishment of a new black hospital in Charlotte, focusing attention on a serious deficiency in the community's health facilities, as the city's black citizens required more health facilities than could be provided at Good Samaritan Hospital.

The death rate from all major causes of death, except cancer, was greater in the black population than in the white population of the city, with the tuberculosis death rate being five times higher. While birth rates were about equal, death rates were nearly twice as high among blacks as among whites. One of every 6,000 white mothers died in childbirth, compared to eight of every 6,000 black mothers. The black infant mortality rate was twice that of whites.

But despite these disparate statistics, the black community had access to only 110 hospital beds at Good Samaritan, which had inadequate laboratory facilities and was overloaded with emergency and acute medical cases, enabling it to provide little of the outpatient clinical services which enabled a hospital to serve as a health center. The Episcopal Church, which owned and governed Good Samaritan, shouldered the responsibility which properly belonged with the community.

It agrees therefore with the Medical Society and the Chamber that the community needed to build a black hospital, requiring the raising of a large amount of money locally to match available Federal and state funds. The health standards of the entire community would thus be raised and the new hospital would attract young doctors of both races to the city and fit into the state's expanded medical training system.

Of course, the better, more sensible, and cheaper approach for the community would have been simply to integrate the hospitals—but that radical concept was still a few years away.

"Farmers Need Not Fear This Plan" indicates that a battle over the administration of the Agriculture Department was shaping up in Washington, with Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson, the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report and other advocates of the President's reorganization plan for the Agriculture Department on one side, favoring the empowerment of the Secretary to make certain administrative changes in the Department, while on the other side were some members of Congress, led by Senator Richard Russell, who feared that such power, if granted to the Secretary, would lead to the destruction of desirable farm programs.

The piece indicates that its reading of the plan showed that it would result in no substantial savings of money, would afford the Secretary needed powers to consolidate the Department to eliminate waste and overgrowth, and would abolish none of the soil conservation, price support or other popular farm programs. It believes, therefore, that the farmer would gain better service from the proposed change, without losing the established programs, and that the taxpayers would not lose anything, and after a few years, might gain. It thus favors passage of the reorganization plan.

"A Cure Worse Than the Ailment" recommends that Congress move slowly on a bill to grant immunity to witnesses who testified at committee hearings, as its potential harm could outweigh any potential good. The motive for the bill was understandable, as during the first four months of the year, more than 100 witnesses had taken the Fifth Amendment before committee hearings, and that Congress had ceased issuing contempt citations as 103 of 108 recalcitrant witnesses cited in 1950-51 had been freed by the courts.

It recognizes that investigations were a necessary function of Congress, but that in performing that function, the Congress was often stymied by "waterfront goons, racketeers, suspected Communists and their ilk", evading questions about their activities and their friends.

The first version of the bill reported out of the Senate Judiciary Committee lacked safeguards against the abuse of immunity, allowing witnesses to immunize themselves from future prosecution by simply telling their story in full to Congressional investigators, a practice which had transpired when a similar bill had been passed in 1893, the reason why it was subsequently repealed. At the suggestion of Senator Estes Kefauver, the current bill had been amended to require a week of advance notice to the Attorney General regarding any plans by a committee to extend immunity to a witness, providing the Department of Justice an opportunity to examine its files and inform the committee whether the Department objected to the extension of immunity, though the committee would not be bound by the Department's decision.

It indicates that even with that safeguard, immunity for such witnesses was risky, that compelling someone to testify against themselves, either through threats or promises, was a tactic employed in totalitarian states, that the ends of democracy would be better served by preserving the basic freedoms, even if occasionally abused.

"How the Other Half Lives" indicates that in Milwaukee, events other than the success of the Braves baseball team were taking place, as reported in a recent bulletin of the Public Administration Clearing House. Recently, Milwaukee voters had approved a $750,000 bond issue to help finance a large slum clearance program, and with a 2.5 million fund earmarked by the Federal Government for Milwaukee, plus a cash fund of $500,000 set up by the City Council for rehousing families to be displaced by redevelopment, the city had 3.75 million for slum clearance and redevelopment over the course of the ensuing two years. The bond issue had the support of the city's builders associations and board of realtors.

It indicates that it made note of those facts in a spirit of gloom because the North Carolina General Assembly had shown little sympathy for urban redevelopment, as one State Representative had denounced the program as "socialistic" while Senator Fred McIntyre of Mecklenberg had refused to support it, and most North Carolina real estate agents had either opposed or done nothing to support the program, leaving the cities with a weak, cumbersome law which would keep them from doing anything more than chipping away at the slum problem. "Progress elsewhere … and decay at home."

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "State Your Name", tells of Vermont Connecticut Royster, editorial writer for the Wall Street Journal, who had recently won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, having a couple of unusual names, that while many people were named for one state, few obtained their name from two. Virginia was the most popular of the state namegivers, while Georgia was another popular name. It wonders why so few were named for West Virginia. St. Louis had a poet named Florida Watts Smith, and then there was playwright and author Tennessee Williams, nightclub hostess Texas Guinan, wrestler and movie star Bull Montana, former heavyweight champion boxer "Jersey Joe" Walcott, tenor saxophonist Illinois Jacquet, who had played with Count Basie, and, as recalled by the Post-Dispatch theater reviewer, Myles Standish, there had been a press agent in New York named George Alabama Florida.

It suggests that in a few years it expected to see any number of Alaska Smiths trying to keep up with the Hawaii Joneses.

It left out the showtopper, Miss Kentucky-Illinois-Missouri....

News editor Pete McKnight had, along with a group of 350 editors and writers from all over the country, attended a preview of the Ford Motor Company's 50th anniversary in Detroit, and provides a view of the new Ford Archives and Henry Ford Museum, which showed the progress of the country over the previous half-century. He indicates that Mr. Ford, more than any other single individual, had put America on wheels and produced change in the land.

Mr. Ford had disliked publicity, preferred to conduct his business in secrecy and hide away either at Fair Lane, his 56-room castle on the banks of the Rouge River, or on hunting and fishing trips with Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and other friends. When he had died in 1947, the world knew little about his personal life, and only after his wife Clara had died three years later, had the story been told. When stock had been taken of the family estate, it was discovered that the couple had thrown nothing away over the years, with rooms piled high with cardboard boxes containing letters, documents, bills, photographs, gifts, etc. Thus, it was decided to establish the Ford Archives at Fair Lane as a monument to Mr. Ford and a source of information for writers and historians. Mr. McKnight provides a glimpse of some of the oddities within that collection.

He tells of having strolled through the gardens and stood on the bank of the Rouge, near the bend where Mr. Ford had built his hydraulic powerhouse, and having begun to understand how important it was to the company, to all American industry, and to the American people in general that the doors should be opened on his life, as Mr. Ford had an idea, combined with unusual mechanical and business skill, plus the courage, determination and imagination to understand the opportunity to benefit himself while benefiting his fellow man.

A photograph is included of a Model T loaded with 50 boys, weighing 3,492 pounds, motoring in high gear through the streets of Payne, O., in 1912, as a publicity stunt for the car's durability and capability. The photograph was one of 25,000 contained in the Archives.

Mr. McKnight indicates that the next day's installment would look at the industrial future.

Drew Pearson indicates that after a year of diplomatic wrangling, the U.S. was concluding an agreement with Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain for air and naval bases on Spanish soil, after promising the dictator an additional future 400 million dollars, on top of the 187.5 million already authorized by Congress. Part of the dictator's motivation was the knowledge that 125 million dollars of the appropriation by Congress was about to expire on June 30. A year earlier, both the State Department and the White House had informed Congress that they did not want or need bases in Spain, that it was all the country could do to equip the bases in France, England and Western Europe under the NATO pact, that the country was already short on artillery and munitions, that if supplies were provided to Spain, not a member of NATO, it would create ill will in Korea and among the NATO Allies, to whom deliveries had already fallen behind schedule. It had also been pointed out that Franco was not willing to use the Spanish army outside of Spain, that arming of Spain would make it appear to France and England that the U.S. was going to abandon them in case of attack by the Soviets and move to Spain, watching the fight from there.

But Congress had appropriated 125 million dollars for Franco anyway, as a result of the influential Spanish lobby and Franco's two attorneys, Charles Clark and Max Truitt, the latter the son-in-law of former Vice-President Alben Barkley. Mr. Clark had been paid large sums by Franco in 1951 and 1952, while Mr. Truitt received substantial amounts but far less than Mr. Clark in those two years. Mr. Clark had helped to influence Congressional speeches and fraternized with key Congressmen to obtain the money for Spain. The process had caused Franco to refuse his promises of naval and air bases, assuming he could go over the heads of the White House and the State Department again, based on the Washington system of foreign affairs being practiced by influential attorneys. Mr. Pearson observes that it appeared he was right, as another 400 million dollars was now promised to Franco in exchange for the bases.

Marquis Childs discusses Secretary of State Dulles's whirlwind 2 1/2 week trip to 12 countries in the Middle East and Asia, to troubleshoot what needed to be done to ward off Communist threats and improve Western ties. The trip would show that the U.S. had interest in these countries and would also improve the Secretary's understanding of the regions.

His critics believed he had placed allies on the spot when he had earlier visited the NATO capitals in Europe, indicating repeatedly that unless they ratified the European defense community plan soon, there would be a shift in American foreign policy. Many of the Allies' representatives believed that the Secretary was acting as if he were a Sunday school superintendent taking the teenage class to task.

The problem with the current tour was that it left him only one to two days for each country, not enough time to obtain a detailed understanding of the problems in each. Egypt, for example, was faced with a clash between Arab nationalism and the determination of the British to hold a vestige of power which they had once exercised, with the British contending that they wanted to maintain an orderly Suez Canal Zone. The British needed to preserve the Government of Mohammed Naguib, the only hope to avert chaos and Communism, but the Premier was under tremendous pressure to produce results by getting the British to leave.

India was faced with a problem of personality, as Prime Minister Nehru was also inclined to give lectures but did not take well to being lectured by others, and had deep suspicions of the West. His advisers encouraged him to believe that the Chinese Communists were different from the Soviets.

The exacting schedule of the Secretary would not permit him to examine such model communities as Faridabad in India, where the standard of living was being raised on a comparatively small investment of technical help, demonstrating that a minimum of U.S. aid could go a long way in teaching people to help themselves under the Point Four program of President Truman. The project at Faridabad had grown out of the idealism of a young Indian rural development expert who had been a disciple of the late Mahatma Gandhi. He was presently in Washington seeking to persuade Republican Senators of the value of such a community development. Out of it might come similar experiments in Latin America, the Middle East and South Asia.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Major League Baseball commissioner Ford Frick having issued an injunction against gambling by baseball players and consorting with bookies. There had been a rumor that some of the farm team members were gambling, with one rookie having lost his $9.95 paycheck and then asked the club president for a loan of $25 so that he could eat, until they gave him a raise to $12.75.

New York Giants manager Leo Durocher had issued a special injunction against gambling and association with gamblers, allowing only small stakes card games.

All baseball players lived in "an approximation of North Carolina and Oklahoma, with a mortgage, cows to feed, and hungry parents." They cherished their money and sought after dollars, sometimes playing pool for a penny per game and suffering over games of hearts and perhaps nickel poker. But a two-dollar bet at the racetrack caused them consternation, as did a five-dollar deficit in a "canasta orgy". Not that many played canasta, however, because it required concentration.

Mr. Ruark wishes to apprise Mr. Frick of a gin mill in New York which was a hangout for "sporting-type" people, of which Mr. Frick was a regular habitue. He warns that he might rub shoulders with ticket brokers and editors, who might give anyone a bad name.

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, though without its usual prefatory "In Which..." statement:

"You will find a new delight.
Sometimes staying home at night."

And people who take to the streets to burn and loot,
Are no less wrong than those who first shoot,
Ask later whether deadly bullets equal a taken Taser.

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.