The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 5, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the U.N. Command this date accused the Communists of erecting a smokescreen in the Korean truce talks and said that Communist stalling on the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners cast serious doubts on their sincerity. Lead U.N. negotiator, Lt. General William Harrison, insisted that the allies could not agree to the Communist demands that the 48,000 prisoners who had expressed a desire not to repatriate, be shipped to the neutral Asian nation which would oversee the issue of their voluntary repatriation, both sides having agreed that the neutral nation could be Pakistan, but the Communists having nevertheless thus far refused to confirm that they would accept Pakistan, though stating that it would be a neutral caretaker "worth welcoming". The Communists wanted the two sides first to agree on the functions of the neutral nation before deciding on which nation would be in that role. The U.N. wanted the prisoners to remain in North Korea during the period of consideration of their fate by the neutral nation. General Harrison said that many prisoners held by the U.N. would destroy themselves rather than submit to removal from Korea. He said that the insistence on first determining the functions of the neutral nation was the smokescreen causing questions about their sincerity to arise, that the real issue was determination of which nation would so act, as any such nation designated would have the same functions. He indicated that unless the Communists were prepared to accept one of the nations they had nominated, which had included Pakistan, they had nothing further to discuss.

In the war, the battlefront had been quiet this date, some observers indicating that it was quieter than at any time since the beginning of the war nearly 3 years earlier. In the largest of three enemy probing attacks reported during the night, about 20 Chinese skirmished with a South Korean patrol on the eastern front.

U.S. Navy Task Force 77 hurled tons of shells and bombs into the battered east coast port of Wonsan, in one of the heaviest strikes in months.

On Monday night, 13 B-29s struck two Communist supply centers on the west coast.

The second of three Air Force transports carrying the last group of 149 liberated disabled Americans from North Korean prison camps had landed in Honolulu this date, the third one carrying 19 of the men, including 12 Americans, two Canadians and six Colombians—which equates to 20, but maybe one of them jumped so as to reach home a little early. The first of the three planes had landed the previous night. There was no word as to when the three groups of men would depart for Travis Air Force Base in California for eventual transport to their homes. Four of the returnees were on litters.

Nationalist Chinese intelligence reports indicated this date that an unnamed Chinese Communist general had taken command of the Communist Vietminh forces in Indo-China and that 12,000 Chinese troops had joined the Vietminh guerrilla forces. The report indicated that the Communist general had been accompanied by Russian advisers. It also said that 100,000 Chinese Communist veterans of the Korean War had been shifted to South China, not far from the Indo-China border, and that part of Communist China's ground, naval and air units on Hainan Island had been readied to intervene in Indo-China if needed.

The Administration asked Congress this date for 5.828 billion dollars in new foreign aid as a necessary defense for the country against the Soviet threat. The President, in his message, noted that the bulk of the money, approximately 5.25 billion, was set up for military weapons and direct support to the defense efforts of allies. He said that the West could not afford to relax its defenses until there was "clear, unmistakable evidence" of a genuinely peaceful purpose on the part of the Soviets. He said that more was needed to be done in the Far East in particular, that the Administration proposed to make substantial resources available to assist the French and their associated forces in the military efforts to defeat the Communist Vietminh aggression in Indo-China. Secretary of State Dulles, testifying before the joint Foreign Affairs Committees, made virtually the same argument in different words, leading off a series of Administration witnesses testifying before Congress. The request was 1.772 billion dollars less than that of former President Truman in his final proposed budget for the ensuing fiscal year, but was still higher than many members of Congress appeared willing to support.

House Democrats this date prepared for a fight to kill or modify an appropriations bill provision which they claimed would wreck the Civil Service system, providing that 1.143 billion dollars would go to the State, Justice and Commerce Departments for the following fiscal year, identical to a bill put forward by the Republican 80th Congress and retained by the two subsequent Democratic Congresses, giving the Secretaries of each such Departments absolute discretion to fire any employee when they found it necessary "in the interests of the United States". Some Republicans had been complaining about an inability to get rid of holdovers from the Truman Administration. The American Legion joined in opposition of the provision, saying that telegrams of protests had been sent to all members of the House by its national commander. It believed that the provision might be used to avoid veterans' preference ratings under Civil Service. The original 1950 Act had allowed fired employees to have a hearing when they were dubbed security risks, but the new appropriations bill did not provide for such a hearing.

Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks, testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee, said this date that the U.S. and other free nations had to aim at the highest level of trade possible on a profitable and equitable basis, that it must not allow the process to be carried to the point where it damaged American business by an influx of foreign goods, but must avoid hasty action which could seriously retard progress toward a proper balance of international trade. A bill pending before the Committee would make major changes in trade laws, strengthening curbs on imports of foreign goods which injured competitive American businesses, a bill being backed by a chairman of the Committee, Representative Daniel Reed of New York. Secretary Weeks supported the Administration's request for a one-year extension of the present Reciprocal Trade Act, set to expire June 12, while the issue was being studied by a Presidential commission.

The Senate was expected by nightfall to pass legislation to establish state ownership of the oil-rich offshore submerged lands within their historical boundaries. Opponents of the measure had conceded defeat after debate had been limited on amendments to ten minutes per Senator beginning in the early afternoon, after Senate debate had gone on since April 1, the longest continuing debate on a bill in 15 years, since an anti-lynching bill had tied up the Senate for 30 days in 1938. The debate had also produced a record single filibuster, 22.5 hours, by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon on April 24-25. The current debate had transpired for nearly 200 hours over 26 days. The Senate bill was similar to legislation which had been twice vetoed by former President Truman, and differed from the House measure, which provided for a system of Federal leasing of the lands, while the Senate bill provided full title to the states, thus necessitating a reconciliation conference after the expected Senate passage.

Senator Joseph McCarthy's subcommittee, investigating alleged subversive weakening of U.S. propaganda, this date would ask Theodore Kaghan, deputy director of public affairs for the U.S. High Commissioner for Germany, whether plays he had written in earlier years had a pro-Communists slant. Mr. Kaghan had recently described subcommittee investigators Roy Cohn and David Schine, who had looked him up in Germany, as "junketeering gumshoes". He told the subcommittee the prior Wednesday that he would not be fit to hold his job if he still had views which he held during the late 1930s, but he swore that he had never been a Communist and said that he had bitterly been anti-Communist since 1945. The subcommittee had given him until this date to provide an analysis of his plays and his more recent writings which, he said, would demonstrate that change of attitude.

The previous day, Senator McCarthy brought to an abrupt and stormy close a hearing at which John Leddy, acting deputy assistant Secretary of State, had testified that the State Department opposed any Government "blacklisting" of Western shipowners who profited by hauling cargoes for or to Communist nations. The Senator had angrily shouted down attempted replies by Mr. Leddy when the Senator contended that he was arguing that such a crackdown "might hurt somebody's feelings" among the U.S. cold war allies. The Senator wanted the Government to withhold charters for Government business from any shipowners whose ships sailed under a foreign flag and who had profited by trading with the Communists. Mr. Leddy had argued that such trade might have a "net advantage" to the West and that such a blacklist might have dangerous political and economic repercussions, especially in the Far East British outposts of Hong Kong and Malaya. He also asserted that it might impede negotiations presently in progress on other matters with non-Communist nations.

The President ended his conference with the nation's governors this date and Governor Allan Shivers of Texas said that the sessions had shown a trend away from making the states "a branch of the Federal Government". The two-day conference had concluded shortly after the President thanked the governors for coming to Washington and making suggested improvements to the Federal-state relations. White House press secretary James Hagerty told journalists that the President had also expressed the hope that similar conferences would be held in the future. California Governor Earl Warren stated to reporters that he was surprised that other Presidents had not done the same thing on such a broad scale. The governors would not discuss what they had been told by General J. Lawton Collins, Army chief of staff, Secretary of State Dulles, Deputy Secretary of Defense Roger Kyes and by Attorney General Herbert Brownell. Many of them said that they had been admonished against talking to the reporters about the information imparted to them, while others said that they had learned nothing new.

In Haw River, N.C., former Governor Kerr Scott, considering a run for the Democratic nomination to the U.S. Senate against Democratic incumbent Senator Willis Smith in 1954, indicated that he was concerned about raising money for the race. After an interview with a Durham Herald reporter the previous day, the reporter predicted that the former Governor would enter the race provided he could raise $100,000 to begin his campaign. The Governor had said that it was a lot of money and he did not know where he would get it, that when he was contemplating his run for the 1948 gubernatorial nomination, he had set a goal of $65,000 before he could announce, and now it would require even more for the Senate race. Governor Scott had originally appointed UNC President Frank Graham to succeed deceased Senator J. Melville Broughton, who had died early in his term in March, 1949, and strongly supported the election of Senator Graham in the special election of 1950 against Mr. Smith. Senator Smith had announced the previous week that he would definitely seek re-election, notwithstanding reported efforts that State Senators were going to try to convince him not to run for fear that he would lose against former Governor Scott, in favor of putting forth in his stead State Senator John Larkins for the nomination.

On the editorial page, "Commissioners Kept Faith with Voters" indicates that the Mecklenburg County Commissioners had taken a realistic position when they declined to finance the new 7.5 million dollar school building program on a pay-as-you-go basis. The idea had been tempting, as it could be accomplished in seven years, saving about four million dollars in interest charges, improving in the process both the City's and the County's credit rating and permitting other bonds to be sold at lower rates of interest. But the resulting 20-cent increase in local taxes required for the plan had prompted the Commissioners to recall that the voters had specifically approved borrowing money for the school building program and so reasoned that it would be wrong to place the burden of the entire long-range program on present taxpayers.

The newspaper approves of the reasoning, despite being an advocate of pay-as-you-go financing for operational costs of government. The school building program was too large to be borne solely by present taxpayers, especially as the benefits of it would be spread over a considerable amount of time.

"Some Brass Hat Needs His Brain Washed" believes that the Army official who decided to send some of the soldiers released from Communist prison camps in North Korea to the Valley Forge, Pa., military hospital for evaluation for potential brainwashing from Communist propaganda, should have his own brain washed.

The decision appeared to have originated from the fact that some of the returning prisoners had indicated that a few of their friends still in custody had succumbed to Communist propaganda, and to avoid embarrassing public statements, military officials had isolated 20 prisoners suspected of such a taint, flying them quietly to the Valley Forge hospital for treatment. Then the news leaked and some of the men wanted to meet the press, with ten doing so and sounding off in no uncertain terms. They had not liked the fact that the Communist label had been pinned on them, did not like being made "to feel like criminals" and believed that they had gotten a "dirty deal".

An Army doctor at the hospital had told reporters that he did not know where the idea started but that they were not running a "damned laundromat" at the hospital. A second doctor had said that there had been "a big foul-up".

It indicates that there was undoubtedly a good and kind motive behind the idea of isolating these former prisoners, to shield them from the strain of greeting friends and relatives, talking to newspaper reporters, and adjusting too quickly to the "mad pace of American civilization after the long, dreary, empty, bitter days in a prison compound." It would have been better, it suggests, had the Army just handled it that way by depositing the men on a Pacific island where they could relax for two or three weeks before rushing them back home. It would have avoided what now appeared to be the biggest snafu of the Korean War, making the United States look more than "a little silly in the eyes of the rest of the world."

Yet, you have not answered our question, brought to mind by your own reporter's winning of an award from the National Council of State Garden Clubs, meeting in convention at San Francisco's Fairmont Hotel the previous week, just as some of the soldiers were being transported to Travis Air Force Base about 40 miles away, as to what Raymond might yet do with that gun. We think it deserves an answer. But you won't credit that until a little over another decade will pass. Wars and the teaching of men to engage in warfare sometimes have unintended consequences when young minds, placed in shock by the warfare, both of the military and psychological variety, are not properly evaluated and reimbursed, by the society which sent them to train and participate in warfare, with a mind reasonably cleansed of guilt and taint and shock from that training and participation. It is the least which a society, any society, can do, rather than expecting soldiers to walk out of the military on a Friday and begin life anew in society on a Monday, as if nothing had happened in the interim two or three or four years. And the same is true, whether or not the soldier participated in active warfare or merely only trained for it. For sometimes the latter can be more troubling to the returning soldier than the former, making him feel as a failure, something less than a man, for not having gone to the zone of combat while some of those with whom he trained had to fight and, perhaps, died or received life-changing wounds.

"It Could Have Been Much Worse" tells of one of the newspaper's regular correspondents, Elmer Simkins of Pinehurst, after a long period of ceased communications following the loss in the fall by the Democrats, having returned to applauding or berating the newspaper's editorial stands, sometimes making it painfully aware of its shortcomings, sometimes pleasing it with praise. In this date's letters column, he took to task the newspaper's editorial which had looked favorably on the President's first 100 days in office. He was not convinced, as was the newspaper, that the President had succeeded in the isolation of Senator McCarthy from support by his fellow Senators, and also held against him the fact that there had been no major legislation passed yet by the Republican Congress.

It indicates that while it was generally the policy to let the reader have the last word on matters, it knew that Mr. Simkins would not hesitate to respond and so reminds him that Longfellow had said, "Things are not what they seem." It might seem, it ventures, that the President had been overly nice to Senator McCarthy because he had not rebuked him as had former President Truman, but that during the controversial confirmation hearings regarding Charles Bohlen to become U.S. Ambassador to Russia, the President had stood firm, resulting in all except 12 Senators abandoning Senator McCarthy's opposition to the nomination. Even Senator William Jenner of Indiana, generally a conservative supporter of Senator McCarthy, had ducked out on the vote. Other extreme conservatives, such as Senators Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Homer Capehart of Indiana, had also refused to vote against the confirmation.

While it also might seem that the President had not been strong because he had not pushed through much legislation as yet, President Truman, by March, 1949, had 25 legislative proposals gathering dust in Congress, whereas only 11 of President Eisenhower's proposals were in the same condition at the same point in 1953. During that same period of time, President Truman had five proposals enacted, and President Eisenhower had two. And it offers to Mr. Simkins the consolation that the Republican Congress had not enacted "that horrible un-Democratic legislation" some of them had proposed.

A piece from the High Point Enterprise, titled "Paying Own Way", indicates that the state's encouragement of outdoor dramas depicting history had cost the State a large sum. Asheville's Thunderland had cut its request from $50,000 to $35,000, prompting Cleveland County Representative B. T. Falls, Jr., to request $2,500 for the Kings Mountain Little Theater production of Sword of Gideon, resulting in much talk about that play, actually presented in a South Carolina amphitheater under sponsorship of North Carolina groups. A line had to be drawn somewhere in support of such ventures.

Sizable support was already going to the Cherokee Reservation's Unto These Hills, Boone's Horn in the West, as well as to the original outdoor drama, The Lost Colony. It would favor such investments if there would be a return to the State of the money through the profits made from the plays, possible with Unto These Hills and also potentially possible with Horn in the West, both of which were drawing large numbers of tourists each season of production. It finds that the dramas had usefulness and that the depiction of the Battle of Kings Mountain, which had been in many ways a turning point in the American Revolution in the South, would serve as a valuable history lesson. In some ways, it was the best of the outdoor dramas, but the time had come when local support ought become a policy. Time had shown that good historical drama could be presented outdoors profitably in the state.

Drew Pearson indicates that the biggest hassle inside the Defense Department following the President's military reorganization plan submitted to Congress was to pick the new Joint Chiefs. Generals Bradley, Vandenberg and Collins were nearing the end of their terms, meaning that only the Navy's Admiral William Fechteler would be left, and Secretary of the Navy Robert Anderson had objected to firing him, thus had been summoned to Naples the previous week to discuss the matter with Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson and Admiral Robert Carney, who was touted to be the new chief of Naval Operations. The President had made it clear that he would name the new chairman, though he had promised Secretary Wilson not to pick anyone with whom Mr. Wilson could not work. The President's favorite for the position was General Carl Spaatz, who had worked well with General Eisenhower during the Normandy invasion in mid-1944. But Secretary Wilson favored Admiral Arthur Radford, who had attacked the Air Force and set the Pentagon into a state of discord regarding the B-36 bomber. Deputy Secretary of Defense Roger Kyes also opposed naming General Spaatz on the basis that he might go over the head of Secretary Wilson, directly to his old friend, the President.

The President, while having breakfast with Senator Styles Bridges recently, had dropped further hints regarding the men he wanted to run the armed services, suggesting that the chief of staff of the Air Force would probably be General Nathan B. Twining—whose family had lived in Charlotte during the war—and that also under consideration was Lt. General Lauris Norstad, though in need of further seasoning. The President said that he was not impressed with Admiral Fechteler as chief of Naval Operations and was fairly enthusiastic about Admiral Radford. He said that the new Army chief of staff would be either General Al Gruenther, General Matthew Ridgway, or General Mark Clark, that if General Ridgway were selected, then General Gruenther would replace him as head of NATO, and that if General Clark were picked, then the latter would take over his position as supreme commander in the Far East. The President said that in restructuring the Joint Chiefs, he was following the advice of Senator Taft, who had urged turning the Pentagon back over to civilian control, with the Joint Chiefs subordinated to the Secretary of Defense, whereas under both FDR and President Truman, the Joint Chiefs had been in charge.

Democrats were having a good time with the plight of the seven-year old female elephant, "Maybe", presently stranded in the Belgian Congo despite Belgium having made a gift of the elephant to the United States. But cutbacks in the economy by Republicans had caused the symbol of their party to be short of the $1,000 expense money for its handler, who had raised it from the time it was one year old, to make the crossing with the elephant. Many Democrats were now gleefully coming to the elephant's rescue, with Congressman John McCormack of Massachusetts having contributed $25 to help "rescue the lady", along with other Democratic members of the House, including Clair Engle and Chet Holifield of California, Wayne Hays of Ohio and Jack Dempsey of New Mexico. Jonathan Daniels, editor of the Raleigh News & Observer and former assistant to both FDR and President Truman, had telegraphed an immediate contribution to the rescue of Maybe, but Congressman Thurmond Chatham, also of North Carolina, could see little use in adding a "single animal to a race evidently committing suicide through family warfare". Thanks to the Democrats, Dr. William Mann, a Taft Republican and director of the National Zoo, the prospective home of Maybe, was feeling better about being able to receive the gift of the elephant. Mr. Pearson provides the address to which to send contributions for the transportation of Maybe's handler.

Maybe the song should have been titled, "Maybe, I'm Amazed". Ah well, just another day...

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President, at his press conference regarding defense, having conveyed the real meaning of the new American defense policy, in response to a question by Time and Life correspondent James Shepley, as to whether there had not been good reason for the now-discarded target dates of American defense buildup in preparation to meet the prospect of Soviet atomic and strategic aircraft buildup, to which the President had responded that he would not quarrel with the prior estimates of the Joint Chiefs but also believed that no one could predict when another government wanted to launch global warfare and thus failed to see the connection between the Soviet capabilities and their willingness to use it to wage war. Boiled down, according to the Alsops, it meant that despite an actual threat by the Soviets by 1954, the threat could be ignored because the President believed that the Kremlin actually had peaceful intentions, a concept they believe hard to take.

The Joint Chiefs had chosen 1954 as the target year for meeting the Soviet buildup threat based on the growth of the Soviet atomic stockpile and strategic air force, that they would have the power by the end of 1954 to cripple the U.S. in any first-strike attack, an assessment formulated at MIT by Project Lincoln, a group of scientists who had studied the Soviet capabilities and determined that, without adequate increase in defense capability, the country would have no choice but to surrender by that date or, as some of the scientists had believed, within two years after that date, in the event of a Soviet attack. They had also determined that the existing and presently planned U.S. air defenses were virtually useless.

Yet, the President had told Congressional leaders that his projected 8.5 billion dollars in cuts to the budget would include five billion dollars in defense cuts from the final Truman budget. He had left out, however, that the cuts to the Truman budget had been planned against two billion dollars of Eisenhower Administration increases to artillery ammunition procurement and equipment of South Korean divisions, meaning that the gross cut to the Truman budget amounted actually to seven billion dollars.

Those cuts, according to the Alsops, meant that certain predictions could be made with confidence, that there was little chance of strengthening the already inadequate air defenses, as the proposed Truman air defense outlays were virtually certain to be reduced. Likewise, little or nothing could be accomplished to strengthen the strategic air command vis-à-vis strategic air defenses being built up by the Russians. The outlays for strategic air forces were much more likely to be cut. Other such developments could also be discerned from the prospect of reduction of defense spending.

They conclude that it was therefore to be hoped that the President was correct in his assessment of the Kremlin's good intentions in the wake of the death of Stalin.

Robert C. Ruark deals again with psychiatrists, noting that the U.N. was sending psychiatric aid to Saipan "so that the natives can blame their frustrations on an early dislike for palm trees and Yankee soldiers." He is gladdened by the recognition, however, that the old-time country doctors had been better psychiatrists in their relationship with patients than the highly specialized doctors of modern times. Psychiatrist Dr. William Menninger, speaking before an audience at Cornell, had said as much.

Mr. Ruark recalls from his youth around Wilmington, N.C., that the country doctors who attended him had taken on the troubles of the entire community "and probably yanked more bats from belfries than he ever snatched appendices", utilizing the "sound technique of a good bartender, which is to listen, sympathize and then prescribe a course of therapy involving a physic and a little heavy abuse from the doc himself." They had used calomel "as a tangible precursor to the sermon, and the results were pretty good."

He concludes that if there was real value to psychotherapy, it was based on conversation, that the average patient was so self-centered that "just being allowed to talk uninterruptedly is two-thirds the cure for what they imagine is wrong with them." The old-time doctors understood that concept and would let people talk to their heart's content about "all the fancied injustices that made you headachy and tired."

A letter from a minister of Wilson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte indicates his belief that every "right-thinking Christian" believed that black citizens should be represented on the City Council and the School Board, and urges the people to vote accordingly.

A letter from a lieutenant colonel at Fort McPherson, Ga., indicates that during the recent Third Army command inspection of the Charlotte Quartermaster Depot, he did not have the opportunity to call on the newspaper to pay his respects, and expresses appreciation for its support given the Army, and particularly the Third Army, in the newspaper's columns. He thanks especially Emery Wister, whom he regards as a "high caliber reporter".

A letter writer from Pinehurst, as indicated in the above editorial, takes issue with the newspaper regarding its editorial assessment of the President's first 100 days and finds it not so positive as the editorial had suggested. "The cold truth is that Mr. Eisenhower asked for McCarthy's re-election as a member of 'the team.' To the extent that McCarthy may embarrass him, Mr. Eisenhower should not expect sympathy, although unfortunately the country is inflicted with 'creeping McCarthyism' as one Democratic Senator describes the malady."

A pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, one "In Which It Is Pointed Out That Vigor Is Frequently Used As A Substitute for Wisdom:

"You don't need too much sagacity
If you have enough vivacity."

But a certain elasticity of the mind's binding straps
Will prevent over-vivacity from winding up with a snap.

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