The Charlotte News

Monday, May 4, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the allies had agreed to accept Pakistan, one of four countries nominated by the Communists, as a neutral caretaker country for the 48,000 U.N.-held war prisoners who had expressed a desire not to repatriate to the Communist countries, and warned the Communist negotiators that time was "fast running out" in the Korean armistice talks. The Communists did not immediately respond, instead seeking and obtaining a recess until the following morning. Chief U.N. negotiator, Lt. General William Harrison, informed reporters that the situation was really no different from the previous summer, after which, on October 8, the allies had broken off negotiations as the Communists continued to stall on the issue of voluntary repatriation, the only remaining issue blocking an armistice. He said that no time limit had been set on the current resumption of armistice talks, but he had warned the Communist negotiators that if they had named the four alternative Asian neutral countries on Saturday only as a propaganda move and were not amenable to acceptance of Pakistan, then the question of their sincerity and the justified continuation of the talks would arise. North Korean General Nam Il, the chief Communist negotiator, had answered General Harrison by stating that he believed the first order of business should be to agree that the prisoners unwilling to repatriate would be transported physically to a neutral nation, whereas the allies had stood firm on their insistence that the prisoners remain in Korea during the time of consideration by the neutral nation.

In the war, the U.S. Navy's big guns and bombs burned or flattened 228 Communist buildings on the northeast coast the previous day, in one of the Navy's heaviest blows of the war. The carriers U.S.S. Princeton and Valley Forge launched scores of planes into the attack on supply areas around Hungnam and Hamhung. The battleship New Jersey fired its 16-inch guns, destroying 23 buildings and damaging eight.

Overcast skies slowed air action this date and U.S. Sabres reported no engagements with enemy MIG-15 jets, but other fighter-bombers blasted a command center near Pyongyang, destroying nine buildings. Air attacks had also proceeded the previous night.

In ground action, only patrol clashes were reported Sunday night and the morning of this date. In one such patrol clash, a South Korean patrol fought a North Korean platoon for a half hour near the "Punchbowl" on the eastern front. On the previous afternoon, Canadian troops had repulsed 750 to 1,000 Chinese troops in a 2 1/2 hour battle inside allied lines on the western front, northeast of Panmunjom.

In Tokyo, two military transport planes left this night, bearing 38 repatriated U.S. war prisoners back to the U.S. The passenger list was not disclosed and the prisoners would first go to Travis Air Force Base near San Francisco, from which they would then be transported to their homes.

Ten of the repatriated disabled prisoners who had been transported to the Valley Forge, Pa., military hospital told the press this date that they had not been tainted by Communism while prisoners in North Korea. They were bitter and made it plain that they had a reason to be, because the Pentagon had ordered a veil of secrecy around their flight based on the assertions of the Army and others that the men might have been misled under conditions of duress and hardship during their period of captivity, leading to their transport to the Valley Forge hospital for treatment. They and ten others on the flight had reached the hospital late the prior Friday night, had rested for a day, then were asked whether they were ready to meet the press, and ten had said they were anxious to do so, four others refusing bitterly and the other six being either too ill or not wanting publicity. Two of the ten appearing at the conference said that they had gotten "a dirty deal" in being labeled possible Communist sympathizers. One of the two had his right arm amputated by the Chinese after a machine-gun wound received at the time of his capture in November, 1950. He said that he found no reason to accept Communist indoctrination, saying that they had shown the best they had but that it was nothing. He said that he would be ready to go back to Korea to fight again were it not for the loss of his arm. Another of the ten said that the Communist label made them feel like criminals, that they were all completely innocent, that he had never even heard the term "brainwash" until he returned home.

But isn't it true that you landed in San Francisco the previous week, at about the same time that the National Council of State Garden Clubs was meeting in convention at the Fairmont Hotel?

In Bombay, an attempt to assassinate India's Prime Minister Nehru by putting a live bomb on the railroad track over which he was traveling had been foiled this date.

In Nairobi, Kenya, the anti-white Mau Mau terrorist society had sent some 300 men against a remote Kikiyu outpost this date, burning and hacking to death 19 members of the pro-British unit. Only one member of the home guard post escaped to tell the story. All of the others had perished after their ammunition had run out.

The Supreme Court completed its opinion session this date without handing down decisions in any of the pending school segregation cases, subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education. There was also no ruling on the pending appeal by convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, whose executions had been postponed pending the outcome of their final petition. The next opinion session would be on May 18.

In New York, bandleader Artie Shaw testified to HUAC investigators that as far as he knew, he had never been a Communist, although he had attended meetings conducted by Hollywood Communists. He was the first witness of about 45, many prominent in theatrical and other entertainment fields, who were scheduled to testify at the hearings. HUAC chairman Harold Velde said that he expected the hearings to last all week, possibly through Saturday, held at the Federal Building in Manhattan.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date that a tightening of U.S. tariff barriers against imports would push other free nations toward trade with the Communists, and urged the House Ways & Means Committee to kill a bill which would bolster tariff protection for American industries against competition from cheaper foreign goods. Mr. Dulles said that adoption of the bill would have serious international repercussions and would be injurious to the best interests and welfare of the U.S., causing U.S. allies to be unable to live without increasing association with and dependence on the Communist world. The bill was backed by Committee chairman Daniel Reed of New York and other veteran House Republicans, but was opposed by Representative Robert Kean of New Jersey, who said it would put foreign policy in a "straitjacket". The bill would extend the Reciprocal Trade Act for one year but would amend it with numerous provisions designed to curb imports of foreign goods. Secretary Dulles urged that the present law be extended without change, until a special commission to be appointed by the President to study foreign trade and other economic problems could make its recommendations. He noted that Premier Stalin, in his writings between 1924 and 1952, had based his plan of Communist expansion on a theory of free world nations eventually turning to economic and trade warfare, asserting that such warfare was inevitable. The Secretary warned that mistakes regarding foreign trade could cause Stalin's predictions to come true.

Forty-five governors of the states and the governors of all five territories conferred this date with the President and other Federal officials, on what the President described as issues pertinent to the overriding question of the peace and security of the country. He said the purpose of the sessions was to share with the governors some of the information which the Federal Government had and some of the plans they were making regarding national security. Governors William B. Umstead of North Carolina and Dan McCarty of Florida were unable to attend the conference because of illness, and Governor Gordon Persons of Alabama had sent word that state business would keep him from attending. White House press secretary James Hagerty said that the President had told the opening session that it was the fourth time the governors had met with a President to discuss problems of grave national importance, the first having been in 1908 when President Theodore Roosevelt and 38 state governors had discussed conservation of national resources, the second having been in 1919, during the Wilson Administration.

In Helena, Mont., a boat bought only hours earlier with borrowed money for a celebration, had flipped over the previous night, drowning nine of its ten occupants, all of the same family plus one neighbor. One of the dead, age 70, had held onto the capsized boat in the frigid waters for more than two hours, until just shortly before the rescue, but had finally said that he could hang on no longer and slipped under the water. The family was celebrating the return of the surviving mother's son by a previous marriage. All five of her children, including the son, and her present husband were among the drowned.

In Charlotte, as pictured, a 1,000-ton coal chute was destroyed this date by dynamite, marking an end of the era of coal-burning locomotives in local Southern Railway operations. Scores of spectators and laborers had gathered to watch the spectacle of the 150-foot high structure come tumbling down in the Southern's yards at the rear of the Ralston-Purina plant off N. Tryon Street. A Southern Railway official said that the last steam-powered locomotive on the railroad's Eastern Lines had been filled with coal from that chute on February 17, but that it had not been in service since, as all of the locomotives were now diesel-powered. Similar chutes had been marked for destruction in Columbia and Allendale, S.C., and at Monroe, Va. The structure in Charlotte had been built in 1927 and had straddled the two main line tracks on the Atlanta-to-Washington line—meaning that President Roosevelt, whenever he took the train to Warm Springs, Ga., during his Presidency, would have passed under or beside the structure.

In London, a prisoner being arraigned in court this date described himself as a "mole buzzer", baffling the magistrate until a policeman explained that the term meant a man who stole from women. The defendant was committed for sentencing later.

On the editorial page, "Blustering Is a Sign of Weakness" indicates that it could not understand why the General Assembly had been so upset by the action of five newspaper reporters in labeling Shelby's "Buzz" Falls as the worst member of the State House. It was not unusual for such polls to be printed, as had been the case in this instance by the Raleigh News & Observer. The House members ought be aware, it suggests, of the Washington press corps annually voting for the best and worst Representatives and Senators in Congress, and that those polls were published.

It indicates that the last day of the 1953 legislative session had been marked by rancorous tempers and heated exchanges. Meanwhile, speakers at a meeting of the North Carolina Allied Church League in Greensboro called the legislators such names as "pin-headed", "filthy", "nauseous", "10-cent demagogues", etc.

It suggests to both the Church Leaguers and the members of the General Assembly that "strong language, like strong drink, should be used moderately, if at all."

"It's Tomorrow's Voting That Counts" indicates that in the city primary of the prior week, some 18,000 persons had cast their ballots, and observers believed that fewer people would turn out the following day. It urges everyone who previously voted to vote in the upcoming election. The previous weekend, only the mayor had been elected, and the following day, nine City officials, seven Councilmen and two School Board members, would be elected.

"Another War Expands in a Far-Away Land" relates of the Vietminh guerrilla invasion of Laos and the attempt to take the royal capital, Luangprabang. It suggests that one day Laos and the royal capital might be as familiar to Americans as Korea and Seoul, as the war in neighboring Vietnam had now spread into Laos, comprising, with Cambodia, French Indo-China. Communist forces had outfought and outmaneuvered the Laotian and French troops and were within a few miles of the capital, as U.S. supplies were being rushed to the defenders.

Because of its geography, the fate of Laos could become more important to the free world than that of Korea, as Laos bordered Thailand, which was the last stop for the Communists on their way to Malaya and the rest of the East Indies. Control of Laos by the Communists would lead to potential control of Burma and Thailand.

It suggests that perhaps if the French had given Indo-China independence, as the U.S. had urged, legitimate national movements within Laos would have succeeded in resisting the Communists. Or, perhaps the economic consequences to France in losing the colony would shatter its government, paving the way for Communist take-over. It concludes, therefore, that there were no easy answers to the problems posed in such places as Laos, and it was necessary to keep that fact in mind.

"Ike's Immigration Views Still Stand" indicates that some observers had passed off the President's campaign rhetoric criticizing the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act as only campaign talk; but they had been wrong, as the President still believed the new law contained injustices. He also believed that Congress, and not the President, ought initiate legislation, and so had recommended that a part of the Act be changed and that emergency legislation be passed to permit 240,000 refugees to enter the country within the ensuing two years. He wanted Congress to review restrictions on alien seamen in U.S. ports, restrictions which had antagonized allies and harmed the shipping and fishing industry. The President had pointed out the injustices in the national quota system, resulting in decades of delay for worthy immigrants from Greece, Turkey, Poland and other countries.

Defenders of the law indicated that because immigrants and visitors had to prove their political and moral respectability to the satisfaction of immigration officials, subversives would be kept out of the country. But Communists had no qualms about lying and respectable seamen were angered by the questions, such as inquiring of the last time a seaman had visited a brothel and whether he intended to commit bigamy in the U.S. The Act required foreign seamen not to remain in the country for more than 29 days, but many were unable to get a ship within that time, especially causing problems with regard to Norwegian seamen.

The President had presented Congress with reasonable and restrained observations on immigration policy, which could serve as a basis for constructive changes to the law, provided Congress lived up to its responsibilities.

Drew Pearson tells of Lt. Col. Gordon Moore, brother-in-law to the President, having a meteoric career. A year earlier he had been broke, after being hired three times and fired twice within six months, based on the mercurial political fortunes of General Eisenhower. But now the retired colonel had been able to invest $25,000 in a once-bankrupt airline of which he had become vice-president, and had also set up a company of his own which loaned money to small airlines, making him a one-percenter, the percentage of the loan money he kept for himself. He goes on to detail Colonel Moore's investments.

For some weeks, John Dickerson, Republican state chairman for New Jersey, had been threatening to sue Mr. Pearson for libel because he had reported on his radio program on November 2 that Mr. Dickerson had hushed up his connections with three notorious racketeers, at least until after the elections. He reported that Mr. Dickerson had been scheduled to appear before a grand jury to explain his connections with Joe Adonis, Willie Moretti and Sal Moretti, the latter two having died, Willie murdered and Sal dying in prison, while Mr. Adonis was likewise in prison. Mr. Dickerson had told a New Jersey legislative committee that he had met with the three men at his home in November, 1950, but as uninvited guests who had come to protest that they had not received police protection for their gambling operations for which they claimed payment of $228,000 to New Jersey officials over the previous 19 months. Mr. Dickerson also admitted that he had received $25,000 as a political loan from Joseph Bozzo of New Jersey, a friend of racketeers, and that he had cooperated in the New Jersey elections with Frank Cardinale, described by the Kefauver committee as a major Hoboken gambler. Mr. Pearson concludes that it was Mr. Dickerson who had the gall to threaten a libel suit against him.

William Henry Chamberlain, writing in the Wall Street Journal, regards Communist China, its relationship to Formosa and Chiang Kai-shek, and the prospects of U.S. diplomatic recognition of Communist China. As long as the Chinese Communists were fighting the U.N. forces in Korea, there could be no effective argument for admitting Communist China to the U.N or for American diplomatic recognition. But should the Korean War be ended, and no further Communist aggression ensue in Indo-China or other places, the issues of the status of Formosa and whether Japan should carry on unrestricted trade with China were bound to arise.

Great Britain, Sweden, India, Indonesia, Burma and Pakistan had granted diplomatic recognition to Communist China, and if there were genuine prospects of peace in the Far East, the U.S. would be under pressure from those countries to concede recognition and admission of Communist China to the U.N. It would be argued that the prospect of unseating the Communists in China was unrealistic without a large-scale war, and that recognition would have the best chance of separating Communist China from the Soviets.

But American public opinion would be exerting pressure against such recognition, pressure which a Republican Administration might find it difficult to resist. Many prominent Republicans had been highly critical of former Secretary of State Acheson for his alleged softness toward the Chinese Communists. There would be a storm of indignation, in Congress and in the country, were the Administration to suggest a betrayal of Chiang and appeasement of Mao Tse-tung, but it was difficult to understand how, practically speaking, there was any chance that Chiang and the Nationalists could ever return to power on the mainland. There was no authenticated large-scale guerrilla movement on the mainland of China representing any serious threat to the Communist regime, though revolutionary terror had doubtless left bitter discontent, but may have also produced a strong deterrent to further revolt. No one knew what might occur if Chiang could land troops in force, but the prospect of such a landing would be less likely in the event of an armistice in the war, as the Communists would then be able to concentrate their forces on any such attack.

The U.S. Government would not abandon Chiang and Formosa to the Communists, but the status quo there might be maintained indefinitely under a guarantee of American air and naval protection against attack. If peace came to the Far East, the U.S. would not risk another war on the politically and militarily doubtful prospect that Chiang might be restored to power.

Nevertheless, the U.S. had good reasons for going slowly toward any diplomatic recognition of Communist China or admission to the U.N., as any such government needed to display restraint from aggression outside its territories and to treat foreign diplomats and other foreigners according to civilized standards, the Communist Chinese having failed on each such count. Thus, it was premature to discuss U.S. recognition of Communist China, which would inevitably entail apologies and indemnification of those who had suffered from its abuse and maltreatment. As yet, there was no sign by the Communist Chinese of any willingness to undertake those steps.

Marquis Childs indicates that the appraisals of the first 100 days of the Eisenhower Administration had weighed what had been done against what had been left undone, but had largely ignored the standing of the Republican Party and the new Administration in practical politics. Most of the evidence showed that the President's popularity had held up since the election. While farmers were not completely happy, they had been prosperous for a long time and were taking an attitude of wait and see. The conflict over dismissal of career officers in the Government had stirred those who were aware of what the implications were, but the effect on the country at large was believed to be relatively minor. Thus, in the view of practical men in the Administration, the party was doing well, and with the prospect of peace in Korea, there would be no worry about the party's prospects for 1954 or 1956. The fact that only a small number of sick and wounded prisoners had been returned was an encouraging prospect when juxtaposed to the failure of the Truman Administration to end the war during a period of 2 1/2 years.

But to sustain that optimism, the present prosperity also had to be sustained at or near the current level, necessitating the curbing of Congress in its eagerness to cut military aid and other expenditures. If that condition could be met, the most influential leaders in the party were confident of a long and brilliant time in power, basing their confidence on a kind of "pax Republicanus". That intra-party peace had been achieved with the agreement to name Leonard Hall as the RNC chairman, with both the Taft and Eisenhower wings approving.

Senator Taft had made it clear to his inner circle that he had really meant what he said the prior year, that if he failed in obtaining the nomination, he would never again run for the presidency. He might accept a nomination to the Supreme Court, like his father after his Presidency, and his friends believed that the President would offer him such a spot should a vacancy occur in the ensuing two or three years.

Within the framework of the intra-party peace was the place of Senator McCarthy, who had been telling inquirers that it was nonsense that he wanted to become President, as no Roman Catholic could ever achieve that office. The Senator's usefulness in the coming campaign year, with such liberal Democrats as Senators Hubert Humphrey, James Murray, Paul Douglas and Matthew Neely up for re-election, had been urged on the President as sufficient reason for maintaining a public appearance of peace with the Senator. He was considered useful to the party in his attack mode of politics.

The Republicans wanted to placate groups long alienated from the Democrats and to woo from the Democrats allegiance by segments of labor and agriculture. As part of that plan, the AFL had been given complete authority in the Department of Labor, and a Republican bill revising Taft-Hartley and freeing the AFL building trade unions from its provisions was said to have received Senator Taft's blessing.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the trend toward wives becoming do-it-yourself repair persons in the home, when the husband failed in the attempt. Many husbands took a powder when it came to attempting repairs, claiming lack of know-how, leaving it to their wives to make the attempt. But that had left the male emasculated and alienated from his traditional role in the home as strong and masterful in some departments. He relates that he knew some men who deliberately blew fuses just so they could take over the helm of the electrical department. Men enjoyed tinkering with things, spending whole weekends taking something apart just so they could put it back together again, and women should not interfere with this tendency, as women had already taken from him great authority generally in the household. Otherwise, "the first thing you know we'll have a nation of gentlemen who want to dress up in girls' clothes and wear falsies, like Christine [Jorgensen]." He counsels women to continue to feign some degree of helplessness to nurture their husband's fragile ego.

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