The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 23, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Forrest Edwards, that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down one enemy MIG-15 and damaged another this date, with jet engagements taking place over North Korea for the first time since the prior Monday. The Fifth Air Force indicated that during the week ended on Friday night, it had accounted for 28 MIG kills, two probably destroyed and nine damaged by Sabres, the highest weekly total since 31 had been shot down during the second week of September, 1952, and that the total had been achieved despite two days during which air operations were suspended for bad weather and two other days in which enemy jets failed to appear. One Sabre had been lost in air combat during the week, and two others to other causes. Six allied warplanes were reported lost to Communist ground fire.

In ground fighting, South Korean infantrymen killed or wounded more than 300 Chinese Communist troops in small-scale but savage hand-to-hand fighting along the rain-soaked battlefront.

Maj. General Samuel Anderson arrived in Seoul this date from Tokyo to take command soon of the Fifth Air Force, to replace Lt. General Glenn Barcus—who, as Robert Ruark had criticized in his column the previous day, had been flying his own Sabre jet missions and announcing to the enemy his rank and presence, as a propaganda tool.

French President Vincent Auriol announced this date that he would ask Socialist leader Guy Mollet to try to form a new Cabinet to replace that of Premier René Mayer, who had been ousted as Premier the previous Thursday by the National Assembly. The Socialist Party had refused to support the proposed rearmament of West Germany in the drive to establish a unified Western European army. M. Mollet had served as Vice-Premier under Henri Queuille in 1951, and had sought earlier that year to try to form a Cabinet during one of the country's many crises, but had failed to obtain approval from the National Assembly. It was not certain that he would accept the invitation and political experts gave him little chance of success in forming a new Government if he tried.

In Nairobi, Kenya, the Government decided to set up combat units comprised of Asian settlers to aid in the fight against the Mau Mau terrorists, extending compulsory military service to Asians as well as Europeans. The Kenyan Government said that the steps were taken at the request of members of the Asian community, who outnumbered Europeans in Kenya by about 3 to 1.

Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota said this date that he would demand that the Administration remove the country's "blinders" and reveal the names of British ships which had been alleged to transport Chinese Communist troops, as revealed by Senate Investigations subcommittee assistant counsel, Robert F. Kennedy, the prior Wednesday. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas then announced that he would support Senator Mundt's proposal to cancel an order classifying the names of those ships. The chief counsel of the subcommittee, Francis Flanagan, confirmed reports that a letter which the chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Joseph McCarthy, had stated he would send to the President demanding that he state publicly what he thought of the matter, had not been finally sent, that Senator McCarthy wanted first to discuss the matter with the subcommittee membership. The British shipping company which owned the ships accused of carrying the Communist troops had denied the allegation, and the British Government had called for a transcript of Mr. Kennedy's testimony. The British Foreign Office said it was difficult to comment on a report which had not identified the ships, their tonnage, or the number of troops supposedly carried. It said that no goods of strategic importance were shipped to Chinese ports from British sources or in British ships, but that some trade in non-strategic goods continued. Mr. Kennedy had testified that his information indicated that the ships had carried "non-strategic" materials from the British point of view, but materials deemed strategic and banned by the State Department. Senator Warren Magnuson of Washington said, during a speech in Los Angeles the previous day, that Britain was the "villain in the piece", saying that ships of foreign nations considered allies seemed more eager to trade with Communist enemies than with the U.S.

Congressman Gerald Ford of Michigan, a member of the House Appropriations Committee, predicted this date tentative approval without change by a subcommittee of the reduced military budget to 36.1 billion dollars, despite heavy criticism of the five billion dollars in cuts to the Air Force budget. The proposed budget would then be forwarded to the full Committee and then the full House, before a final vote in the chamber. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, was among a number of members of Congress who publicly were questioning the cuts to the Air Force, reducing thereby the previous goal of a 143-wing Air Force by mid-1955 to 120 wings.

The House Appropriations Committee this date recommended a 16.9 percent cut in funds requested by the President for rivers, harbors, and flood control projects of the Army Corps of Engineers for the ensuing fiscal year, recommending that the total budget be reduced by 163 million dollars from the current fiscal year budget to 98.9 million, 39.6 percent below the budget recommendations submitted by former President Truman for the ensuing fiscal year, in his last budget the prior January. Certain projects in Georgia and North Carolina, which another story sets forth, were not included among the projects being cut.

Congress appeared unlikely to undertake further investigations of obscene literature, following a House committee investigation of the matter the previous year regarding the accessibility of such material to juveniles on newsstands, concluding that Congress could not undertake censorship. An effort by one member of the House to renew the probe probably would remain shelved in the Rules Committee, according to its chairman, Leo Allen of Illinois.

They had just probably heard the rumor that Miss Monroe might be showing off her wares under the under, sub rosa, in a new monthly publication to begin the following December and did not want to spoil the fun.

In Detroit, the UAW was applying pressure to the remainder of the auto industry's big three companies this date to gain the same wage concessions which had been obtained the previous day from G.M., asking Ford and Chrysler to alter their five-year wage contracts in the same manner, raising the average wage of G.M. workers to $2.05 per hour. G.M. employees represented about a third of the total UAW members.

At Fort Devens, Mass., where Lt. Sheppard Carl Thierman, an Army medical officer, was undergoing a court-martial for allegedly having falsely stated, at the time of his application for a commission in 1949, that he was not then a member of the Communist Party, was granted a recess this date until the following Wednesday on the basis that certain Government documents were presently unavailable to him. News associate editor Vic Reinemer, 29, had been the only witness the previous day, testifying for the prosecution that he had attended as a reporter a Budapest student festival in 1949, where Dr. Thierman had stated in a speech that delegates who talked with the U.S. legation in Budapest were "finks" and "stool pigeons" who should be expelled, causing many of the 200 American delegates to stay away from the U.S. legation because most of the delegation resented members associating with the "striped trouser" set at the State Department, as referenced by Dr. Thierman in his speech.

The Memphis Press-Scimitar had reported this date that Governor Frank Clement might give up politics to join Reverend Billy Graham on the "sawdust trail of evangelism", as the first assistant to the evangelist. When apprised of the report, the Governor said that he was very fond of Billy Graham but had no comment regarding the accuracy of the report. The newspaper indicated that it had learned that the Governor was not contemplating an early resignation but might consider the future possibility of joining the Graham organization. His gubernatorial term ran until January, 1955. He was a devout lay Methodist and had often addressed church, Sunday school and other religious gatherings, frequently injecting religious subjects into his political speeches. Rev. Graham, reached by the newspaper at his home in Montreat, N.C., also had no comment on the matter, saying only that he was a great admirer of the Governor and knew of no man in the country who had his "platform speaking ability", that he was a "fine old-fashioned orator" and devoutly religious.

In Marquette, Mich., one of seven escapees from Michigan's maximum-security prison had been captured and returned to custody less than 24 hours after their escape, captured by a civilian who thrust his hands into his pockets and claimed he had a gun. The man captured was serving a life term, spotted by the school bus driver near the town's city dump the previous night. The bus driver had stopped his car, whereupon he stuck his hands in his pockets as if reaching for a gun, and the escapee, 61, stepped forward with his hands raised. Authorities did not expect the remaining six escapees, including convicted killers and robbers, to give up so easily. All were considered dangerous, and so it was advised not to stick your hands in your pockets if spotted. They had utilized an acetylene torch to cut bars leading to the front yard of the prison, after overpowering two guards at knife-point and locking them in cells.

In Boston, a 41-year old Siamese twin had undergone major abdominal surgery for removal of a fibrous tumor this date, while her conjoined sister was anesthetized, in a case new to the annals of medicine. Both were said to be in excellent condition after the two-hour operation. The surgeon refused to discuss the exact nature of the surgery but said that he had found no evidence of malignancy.

In Schenectady, N.Y., an expectant father was pacing the floor at a hospital when his name was called, prompting him to run down a darkened corridor where he then kissed a female patient being wheeled from the delivery room, only to discover in better light that the woman was a stranger. Everyone understood and no one demanded an apology.

On the editorial page, "Ike Goes to Source of His Strength" indicates that the President had realized, somewhat belatedly, that more than harmony between the White House and the Congress was needed to obtain his legislative agenda, and so was going to undertake a series of speeches the following month, aimed at convincing the American people that his program was sound. The President had excellent personal relations with members of Congress, but had not been able to push through a single major program fulfilling campaign promises, and, in fact, his programs on taxation, Social Security extension, extension of the reciprocal trade agreements and foreign aid had been met with hostility from Republican members of both houses. He did have responsible and non-partisan support, however, from a majority of Democrats and could expect to get most of his programs passed with their help.

It finds, however, that a coalition with Democrats was not the final answer to the problem, that to maintain a coalition, there would have to be frequent compromises, and that such coalitions had a tendency to break down during election years. He would need a more lasting foundation over the course of his four-year term.

The more reliable observers in Washington agreed that his decision to go to the people with his program was taken reluctantly, following much counsel from his trusted advisers. With a critical Congressional election coming up in 1954, the Administration had to show by then tangible progress toward solving the great issues outlined during the campaign, or public reaction might cost the Republicans control of one or both houses of Congress—as would be the case in both houses.

It concludes that the President had lost none of his tremendous personal popularity with the people, with polls showing him stronger than ever, and it was that great strength to which he would now appeal, with chances of success "very good".

"In the 'Welfare State', a Paradox" tells of the success of the House farm bloc in increasing the Agriculture Department appropriations above the President's requested figure, presenting a paradox, in that virtually every domestic budget request thus far from the new Administration had represented a reduction of President Truman's last proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year, with the House having made even further reductions, except for the budget for the Agriculture Department. Its proposed budget from the Administration was 713 million dollars, just 37 million less than that of the Truman budget request, but then increased by the House by 8.9 million, with indications that other appropriations for agriculture would be approved during the coming fiscal year.

Despite the fact that the American farmer was the most rugged of the country's rugged individualists, he was served with more paternalistic Federal Government support than anyone else. The farm program, in many respects, represented the "welfare state" in its most highly developed form. Thus, a paradox developed in the facts that the tendency toward a welfare state had been halted and reversed, while the most generously favored economic group escaped the budgetary ax, and that despite all talk of loss of individual liberty under a paternalistic state, the farmer continued "as doughty and independent as ever." It concludes: "You figure it out."

"The Young Folks Take Down the Bars" indicates that on several campuses across the nation, college students were rejecting the long-established fraternity convention of limiting membership to white Christians. Columbia University during the current week had determined, consistent with a student referendum on the subject, to withdraw recognition by 1960 from all campus organizations, except religious groups, which denied membership to an applicant based on race, color or religion. Similar bans were already in effect at Amherst, Dartmouth, and the University of Connecticut, with one planned at the University of Michigan. Four local fraternity chapters at the University of Connecticut had already severed ties with their national organizations for maintaining restrictive clauses.

The effort in this regard had been gathering steam since World War II, when veterans returned and resumed or began their college educations under the G.I. Bill. And now, non-veterans in the present college classrooms were carrying on that battle, which extended beyond fraternities to other campus organizations and general admission policies. Black graduate students at UNC had been accepted by the vast majority of white students, and Methodists from all over the Southeast at the Lake Junaluska meeting in North Carolina the previous summer had voted to accept as equal all Christians, regardless of race or color. (But does not that latter limitation insinuate that non-Christians were still, in their eyes, sub-human heathens, unworthy of recognition as equal, not among God's children?)

The president of Phi Delta Theta at Williams College had said, when his chapter was forced to surrender its charter because it had accepted a Jew as a pledge, that they wanted to take in a member who was clearly eligible by every tenet of the fraternity "except the one which is contradictory to the principles our country has established", and that at Williams, they chose men on the basis of individual merit, hoping that the national fraternity would recognize that such was for the betterment of the fraternity as a whole in the eyes of the people throughout the country.

"On the Job around the Clock" indicates that Voluntary Fire Department Week had come and gone without the newspaper going on record as approving enthusiastically the work being done in Mecklenburg County in that regard. It had eight volunteer fire departments outside the City of Charlotte, reducing insurance rates by about $200,000 per year, with still greater savings in the future from five other companies which were presently organizing. Operating those departments cost money, as every property owner outside the city received protection when there was a fire, the money being raised by the sale of voluntary memberships ranging from $5 to $20 per year. It indicates that the men who had started the program deserved full support of the residents of their communities, as they were doing a big and important job simply because they wanted to be helpful, in the high tradition of public service.

A piece of from the Richmond Times-Dispatch, titled "Need a Couple of Aspirin?" indicates that Dr. Franklin Bicknell, a British health authority, had recently stated that the British people consumed ten million aspirin tablets per day, commenting that it was "the picture of a nation which is tired and sick."

The piece finds it inconceivable that the British had more headaches than Americans, and so was not surprised when Dr. John Krantz, pharmacology professor at the University of Maryland Medical School, produced figures showing that Americans took 42 million aspirins per day. When boiled down to relative populations, the British took one aspirin per day for every 4.2 persons, while Americans took one for every 3.6 persons. Thus, if Dr. Bicknell was correct about the British being "tired and sick", then Americans were even more tired and sick, though it seemed improbable that was the case.

Americans, it finds, took aspirin for headaches, caused by stress and strain of fast-paced living, not necessarily because they were tired and sick. It concludes that the British were mere pikers when it came to taking ten million aspirins per day, that Americans had consumed that many each day by lunchtime.

Drew Pearson indicates that a fast-talking airline lobbyist had recently gotten the Civil Aeronautics Board to reverse itself and abandon an investigation of passenger fares, the fourth time in the CAB's history that it had started to probe passenger rates, each time headed off by the airline lobby. Yet, CAB was required by law to regulate airline fares and protect the public from overcharges. The latest investigation had been launched the previous year to determine whether the airlines should be permitted to charge fares based on capital investment rather than actual operating costs, whether the new dollar-per-ticket increase was fair to passengers taking short trips, and whether the airlines ought set aside profits in good years to offset losses in bad years, rather than being dependent on the government to bail them out during lean times. But the airlines had resisted such an investigation to the point that CAB agreed to reconsider it the previous month on the grounds that a new Republican member had been appointed, and on April 10, that new appointee had initially voted with two other commissioners to continue the investigation, with the remaining two, as usual, voting with the airlines. But then Stuart Tipton, the persuasive lobbyist for the airlines, called on the new commissioner, charming him into changing his vote on April 27, such that the investigation was formally ended on May 14. The commissioner in question, Harmar Denny, admitted to Mr. Pearson's staff that it had been Mr. Tipton who changed his mind, arguing that CAB could achieve the same results at less cost through a study rather than an investigation, though it would not have the benefit then of cross-examining the airline representatives or making recommendations of any action. Mr. Pearson concludes that CAB appeared more interested in protecting the airlines than the public, notes that the big airlines received 90 percent of their income from passenger service, while passenger rates had yet to be investigated.

The President's brother, Dr. Milton Eisenhower, president of Penn State and new head of the American Association of Land-Grant Colleges, had been able to save land-grant colleges from budget cuts being imposed from within the Budget Bureau, but had not been able to prevent the House Appropriations Committee chairman John Taber from making those cuts. Since 1935, the Government had been gradually cutting into the aid to land-grant colleges, and the last Truman budget had proposed an allocation of 2.5 million dollars, cut down by the President's budget to half that, 1.25 million. But then the head of the Budget Bureau, Joseph Dodge, hastily revised the budget back to 2.5 million and sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, pleading for restoration of the funds. But the Committee was more impressed with the President's budget and even finally proposed reduction of that to nothing. Mr. Pearson notes that the only hope for land-grant colleges was for the Senate to restore the cut.

Lester Washburn, head of the AFL autoworkers, not nearly so well known as the CIO UAW president, Walter Reuther, might become the labor statesman who would bring the CIO and AFL together. CIO leaders were worried that Mr. Washburn's union might raid the Ford plants and take them away from the CIO, but the two unions were considering the possibility of signing an agreement whereby there would be no such raiding of each other's membership, opening the way for a merger.

G.M., well represented in the Administration, including Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield, was worried about the effect of the tight-money policy on auto sales, but the President could still count on sympathetic support from industrial giants, who were anxious to have the Republican Administration succeed.

Republican economists were divided over the exact timing of their optimistic projection of a "leveling off" of the economy, short of a depression, some predicting it would start in the ensuing fall, while others believed that current prices and wages would continue until 1956, when the defense budget would drop below 40 billion dollars.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that on February 19, one of the most significant meetings in recent American history had been held at the White House, called by the President with principal Congressional leaders from both parties, plus the senior Republican and Democratic members of the Armed Services Committees of both houses. The purpose of the meeting was to brief the leading members of Congress on the most important problem posed by the previous policy paper of the Truman National Security Council, NSC-141. That paper had, in one sense, been a confession of bankruptcy of the Truman Administration's defense policy, arguing that the vast expenditures on defense were not providing reasonable security for the country and the free world, paying special attention to deficiencies in U.S. air defense.

The White House meeting of February called attention to the fact that the Soviet Union would have the power to launch a totally destructive air-atomic attack on the U.S. within two to three years and that the country's air defenses were inadequate to stop it, that it would be necessary to undertake a huge and urgent effort, involving large expenditures not included in the Truman budget, to bring air defense to an adequate level.

The President and his staff appeared to be proposing to consider seriously implementing the air defense program recommended by NSC-141. At the meeting, the high cost of such a program was discussed, with it running as high as 20 billion dollars over a period of years across the globe. The President expressed that the air defense deficiency was one of his greatest worries.

The meeting ended with a suggestion by House Minority Leader Sam Rayburn that the President and the chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, issue a public statement on the matter, with the latter calling it "grim" news revealed by the meeting. Mr. Rayburn subsequently stated in a letter to the President a pledge of Democratic support for any defense appropriations requested for the purpose of bringing air defense up to speed. Later, the President stated at a press conference on the budget that the Soviet air-atomic threat had not been changed as a result of the Communist peace initiatives in the wake of the death of Stalin on March 5.

Nevertheless, as the Alsops point out, the Eisenhower defense program contained no serious provision of any visible sort for solving the air defense problem, such as extension of the air warning net, better communications systems, and improved and strengthened interceptor forces. But if contracts were not formed for those purposes presently, those needed additions would not be in place by the time the Soviets achieved their air-atomic capability with respect to inadequately checked attack on the U.S., as it took time for manufacture of such systems after contracts for them were formed.

They find that the President's budget speech was fine and even very moving, but offered no explanation for the discrepancy between what was said at the White House meeting on February 19 and what was included in the new budget, and, they conclude, such an explanation to the American people was due.

Marquis Childs discusses Martin Durkin, the new Secretary of Labor and former head of the Plumbers Union, who was in a subordinate role within the Cabinet. Whether he remained was largely a function of his own wishes. His selection was largely the result of a determination to try to garner support from the labor movement, taking it from the Democrats, together with his support, consistent with that of the President, for changes in Taft-Hartley to eliminate some of its most hated provisions, pleasing a large part of the AFL leadership. But problems arose in determining what should be amended in Taft-Hartley, and the struggle to achieve a cohesive Administration stance was ongoing.

Both Secretary Durkin and Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, at opposite ends of the argument, were problematic in developing that cohesive approach. Secretary Weeks wanted to return to the days of free enterprise, strengthening, not weakening, Taft-Hartley, while Secretary Durkin wanted to scale it back to a place close to the original 1935 Wagner Act. Without agreement within the Administration, there was little reason for Secretary Durkin to present his personal views to the Senate Labor Committee, which was considering changes in the law. It had been suggested recently that the hearings might be reopened to include Secretary Durkin's views, but Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, who chaired the Committee, said he did not expect that to happen.

A letter from Herman Brown thanks the newspaper for its editorial of the previous Wednesday regarding his plan to have the new Mayor designate and invite a man of the week to sit in on City Council meetings, and heartily agrees that the plan ought be enlarged to include more people from all walks of life, but indicates that he had seen so few people interested in the meetings that he felt it would be a good start to get just one businessman per week to attend. He adds that he had received numerous calls and comments complimenting his proposal.

A letter from the adviser to the Gear Spinners Hot Rod Club, in response to the May 20 front page article and ensuing day's editorial, regarding the Catawba River "hot rod" boater who was arrested and convicted in Recorder's Court for disorderly conduct for driving his boat in a reckless manner, indicates his wish to inform the people of the city that true "Hot Rodders" did not go around showing off, but were safe and sane drivers. He says that the membership of his club did not wish to be associated with "crazy fools" like the individual mentioned in the piece, that such persons were not "Hot Rodders" if they so acted. The true hot rodders enjoyed working on and building automobiles and their engines, and did not like "ripping and roaring around over public streets, roads, or highways", reserving their desire for speed to only police-supervised drag strips, such as an event held at Wilmington on May 15. He indicates that his club was under the direct supervision of the Mecklenburg County Police, and invites staff of the newspaper and the public to one of its meetings, supplies the time and address, in the County Recorder's courtroom.

A letter writer indicates that each visit to another city made him more appreciative of the attractiveness of Charlotte, with its modern business structures, nice homes and green suburbs, new schools, several fine parks and growing recreational facilities, all indicative of progress, but with its most pressing problem being its traffic congestion. By his count, only five cars were able to cross downtown intersections during signal changes, and cars often wound up backed up a block or more during rush hours. Some cities were using a system at such intersections which sped up the cars and reduced the danger to pedestrians, by having all vehicle traffic halted to allow pedestrians to cross, and then pedestrians halted to allow vehicles to cross, suggests such a system at certain busy intersections in the city. He concludes that he was proud of Charlotte for the progress it was making, but hopes that it would make further progress, especially in the areas of traffic control and smoke abatement.

How about integration?

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.