The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 16, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that in Panmunjom, the Communist negotiators, after a 24-minute truce session this date, asked for a recess until the following Saturday, presumably to consider a new allied proposal. A Communist correspondent of the London Daily Worker said that the Communist negotiators were planning to relay the new U.N. proposal to headquarters for a reply, and that they had not been satisfied with the discussions between South Korean President Syngman Rhee and Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, who had since returned to Washington. U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark flew to Seoul from Tokyo this date, holding a talk with President Rhee, and then accused the Communist negotiators of violating the secrecy of the talks, telling reporters that a Peiping radio report, which had the previous day stated that allied delegates had staged a walkout from the talks, demonstrated the breach of secrecy. The presence of General Clark heightened speculation that a crisis was impending in the talks.

In the ground war, South Korean infantrymen, ordered by their commanders to stay and fight, by midnight on Thursday had stopped a 17,000-man Chinese Communist assault on the five-road hub at Kumhwa on the east-central front. The ebb and flow of the fighting was so swift that many enemy units were being trapped. Major John Eisenhower, the President's son, a staff officer at the front, predicted that the renewed Chinese attacks could be taken care of and that the east-central front was becoming stabilized, that the attack was not as serious as initially believed. The Chinese were falling back in disorganized fashion from territory they had gained the prior Monday and Tuesday in their massive offensive which had penetrated as much as four miles into allied lines.

Allied warplanes shot down three enemy MIG-15s and damaged two others, in addition to shooting up enemy planes on the ground, plus three tanks.

Moscow Radio announced this date a shakeup in the Soviet Ukraine, with appointment of a new interior minister. The previous month, the Communist Party chief in the Ukraine was fired, presumably at the behest of since purged L. P. Beria, for going too far in attempts to Russianize the Republic. The previous night, East Germany's puppet Government announced it had purged the minister of justice as "an enemy of the Republic", a charge punishable by death. He was replaced by a female jurist with a reputation of dealing mercilessly with crimes against the Communist regime. It was also announced 12 hours earlier by Moscow Radio that one of L. P. Beria's top lieutenants in the Soviet Republic of Georgia, the minister of state security, had been expelled from the party.

In Taipeh, Formosa, seaborne Chinese Nationalist guerrillas attacked an important island held by the Communists off the Chinese mainland coast this date, in the biggest operation of its kind since the Nationalists had abandoned the mainland in 1949. The target was Tungshan Island, between the mainland ports of Amoy and Swatow, about 150 miles west of Formosa. Reports from the island of Quemoy, the most important Nationalist offshore island, said that the number of guerrillas involved was the largest of any raid thus far, but gave no specific number.

Senator Joseph McCarthy sent a letter to Senators Henry Jackson, Stuart Symington and John McClellan, who had recently resigned from the Senate Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, saying that the door was open for their return. He said that he was writing with the approval of the other three Republican members. He also indicated that if they had suggestions to make regarding the methods of operation of the subcommittee, then those suggestions and recommendations would be considered. The Senators had resigned because the four Republican members had voted to give Senator McCarthy sole power to hire and fire staff. He also said that he had been unaware of the controversy surrounding J. B. Matthews before hiring him as staff director for the subcommittee, since fired by Senator McCarthy.

Congressman Harold Velde of Illinois, chairman of HUAC, told reporters this date that he believed Mr. Matthews ought be given an opportunity to tell his Committee what he knew about Communist infiltration of the clergy, about which Mr. Matthews had written in the American Mercury, claiming that 7,000 members of the Protestant clergy were sympathetic to Communism. He said that his Committee, however, would not allow the matter to develop into a fight, that they were only interested in the facts. Mr. Matthews had written a letter to the Committee, saying that he had heard from hundreds of citizens asking him to produce documentation regarding the Communist infiltration of the clergy and indicating that he would welcome the opportunity to appear. He claimed that his article had been factual and fully documented.

New North Carolina Senator Alton Lennon this date attended his first meeting of the Senate Government Operations Committee, chaired by Senator McCarthy.

In New York, a blonde stage and television singer was found dead, her nude, battered body having been discovered after police read a Korean War veteran's suicide note. She had been an understudy for the role of Eileen, the second role in the Broadway musical "Wonderful Town", the part currently played by Edie Adams. The note of the veteran had said that he had killed the woman in her West Side apartment, two miles from the scene of his suicide, accomplished by an Army rifle. Police could not attribute a motive to the killing of the young woman. A pamphlet had been found in her apartment with a handwritten message, saying that the writer was sorry it had to happen "this way" but that he could not take it with "all the liquor and affection". It was signed with the first name of the man who committed suicide. There was evidence in her apartment that the two had engaged in a lot of drinking. The dead woman, a native of Ontario, had studied at the Juilliard School of Music from 1945 to 1948, and several years earlier had played Alice in a summer stock production of "Alice in Wonderland".

Also in New York, Remmie Arnold, 59, was elected the 64th imperial potentate of the Ancient Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America. Some 1,400 Shriners and members of their families were gathered in convention at the Hotel Commodore.

In Pittsburgh, Pa., a 27-year old parolee begged police to send him back to prison this date so that he could escape his wife. He had been paroled from San Quentin Prison in California where he had served a term for armed robbery, told Pittsburgh police that he had violated his parole by departing California, said that he would "rather feed the pigs and chickens on the prison farm" than live with his wife. He had been married nine years.

In Long Beach, Calif., the newly crowned Miss United States from Chicago, Myrna Rae Hansen, 18, faced the prettiest girls from 25 other countries this night in the preliminary rounds of the Miss Universe contest. Ms. Hansen would receive a film contract from Universal International Studio, plus a British sports car.

Would she be able to drive the sports car in the movie?

In Hickory, N.C., two additional polio cases were reported this date in Catawba County, as the mass inoculation program of some 14,000 children under 10 years of age began via gamma globulin shots, designed to immunize the recipients for about a month and thereby interrupt the epidemic. By noon this date, 12,791 children had received the shots and enough serum remained for about 1,200 more. Seven deaths had resulted from polio in Catawaba and neighboring Caldwell Counties, the latest victim being a two-year old of Hickory, bringing the death toll in Catawba to three, with Caldwell having the other four.

Across the country, according to the Public Health Service in Washington, there had been 949 new cases of polio the previous week, 324 more than the week before that. A year earlier, there had been 1,044 new cases. The cumulative total since the seasonal low point for the year had been 4,112, compared with 4,025 for the same period the previous year.

On the editorial page, "School Issue Settled—For Time Being" indicates that the residents of the Sharon-Amity section of the city, like those along Park Road, had settled their school debate by the democratic processes during the week, regarding whether residents preferred to come into the City school district, with an increase in supplemental tax, or remain in the County system. The resolution allowed the City Board of Education to go forward with their plans for building new schools.

It indicates that the question would crop up again in ensuing years, with the fast pace of residential construction around the fringes of the city. It suggests that the long-range solution would be consolidation of the two school systems, establishing uniform and higher standards for all and simplifying the otherwise insoluble problem of trying to place buildings in accordance with boundary lines, when the populations served were scattered across the lines.

"The Bursting of Another Bubble" indicates that Senator McCarthy had announced on May 29 that he might subpoena former President Truman to testify regarding an investigation of whether he received information from Canada involving a list of 150 Americans alleged to have been involved in the Canadian spy system during the 1940's and whether the President had turned over the information to the Justice Department. The Senator had asked Attorney General Herbert Brownell to research the matter. On July 15, the Attorney General responded by saying that the search was being undertaken, after which Senator McCarthy announced that he had received assurances from the FBI that the President had not withheld any such information and so would not pursue the matter with the former President.

The piece indicates that any fair-minded Senator would have thought long and hard before spreading such a rumor about a former President and would have first asked the Attorney General for a confidential check of the matter. But "Sensation-A-Day" McCarthy had no regard for the reputations of innocent and guiltless persons "in his frenzied efforts to keep alive the fiction that he is the great anti-Communist of the day." It predicts that he would eventually wear thin the patience of the people, not only in other states, but also in Wisconsin, "who did this grave disservice to the nation and to the world by electing McCarthy."

"Now Back in the Old Army…" tells of having seen a picture of a full commander leading the Scottie dog of Admiral Arthur Radford, shortly to become chairman of the Joint Chiefs, bringing to mind certain perquisites accorded military brass.

Maj. General P. P. Bishop, in the current issue of U.S. News & World Report, had provided reminiscences from during the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt, when there were only three major generals and six brigadiers in the entire Army. He had recounted that in those days, Congress had passed a law eliminating the use of Government transportation in Washington for Army officers, whose pay was so low that they could not afford taxis. President Roosevelt had thus urged the officers to get in shape, by walking through underbrush to the bank of Rock Creek, then scaling a granite bluff about 15 to 20 feet above the water, then walking along the creek for a mile to the rock quarry, climbing up its face, about 100 feet, after which the President had assembled them at the edge of Rock Creek where the icy water was about four to five feet deep, stepped into the water and waded across, all of the officers following. They had done so again in the afternoon.

The piece suggests that a similar regimen ought be followed by the current crop of Army officers in Washington to save money, and urges the President to assemble them for a swim across the Potomac, a brisk walk through Rock Creek Park, followed by 18 holes of golf at the Burning Brush Club. It suggests that the survivors might be fewer than 300 and that they would walk their own dogs.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "The Vice President's Pants", indicates that Vice-President Nixon, who had recently been called on to break two tie votes in the Senate, would wish to remain close to the Senate floor and not emulate former Vice-President Charles G. Dawes, serving under President Calvin Coolidge between 1925 and 1929. Vice-President Dawes had been asleep in his room at the Willard Hotel in 1925 when his phone had rung, summoning him back to the Senate chamber "in one hell and Maria of a hurry", regarding the President's nomination of Charles Warren as Attorney General, anticipated to be a close vote for confirmation. Mr. Dawes, who had to put on his pants while in a taxi, arrived too late and, in consequence, Mr. Warren never became Attorney General.

It indicates that Mr. Nixon would enjoy certain advantages over Mr. Dawes, 60, as the former was 20 years younger, thus presumably more agile, and did not smoke a large pipe, as Mr. Dawes had done practically everywhere. Since that time, men also had learned to don pants in the lower and upper berths of trains.

"If Vice-President Nixon takes the course of wisdom, however, he will never have to put his prowess to the test. He will cast his deciding vote here and now to be on the Senate floor, fully dressed and unwinded, whenever the time comes to cast a crucial yea or nay."

Drew Pearson indicates that the diplomatic corps was taking bets that the Kremlin would ban Ambassador Charles Bohlen from returning to Moscow on the basis of Secretary of State Dulles's boast that Ambassador Bohlen had known that L. P. Beria would be purged prior to it happening. It placed Ambassador Bohlen in the apparent position of a spy vis-à-vis the Soviets. Once previously, Moscow had banned a U.S. Ambassador, George Kennan, because he made an unfortunate remark about Russia, and so the statement by Mr. Dulles would likely provide an excuse for the Russians to bar another American expert on Russia. Mr. Bohlen not only knew about Russia but could speak Russian, which few U.S. diplomats could. Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Bohlen had not obtained any scoop on the prospect of the purge of Mr. Beria, but had simply relied on reports by other Western ambassadors that Mr. Beria had not been at the Bolshoi Theater on June 27, the same night on which tanks had rumbled into Moscow.

He notes that some of the best friends in the State Department of Secretary Dulles were trying to get him to say less at the wrong time, such as in his recent statement regarding the rearming of Japan, placing the pro-U.S. Government of Premier Shigeru Yoshida on the spot, playing into the hands of anti-Americans. Mr. Dulles had also made a statement about deserting Chiang Kai-shek, prompting a storm of protest in Congress, at which point Secretary Dulles asked the White House to deny that he had made the statement.

The President was having a disagreement with Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, one of the earliest principal supporters of General Eisenhower during the campaign, regarding the proposed increase of postal rates, which Senator Carlson, chairman of the Post Office Committee, was reluctant to support. Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield had originally proposed raising airmail rates to eight cents, but the airlines protested so much that it was cut back to seven cents. He had also proposed raising second-class rates on magazines, newspapers, etc., by 50 percent, prompting a protest by the large magazines. Since the Saturday Evening Post, Look, Life and Time had been among General Eisenhower's best supporters during the campaign, Mr. Summerfield again reduced the proposed increase to 42 percent. Senator Carlson favored delaying the increases in postage until Congressional committees could conduct a survey, and his counterpart in the House, Representative Ed Rees, also of Kansas, believed it would be bad politics to raise the rates, told fellow Republicans that he would not introduce the bill in the House unless Congressional support was pledged in advance. Both Senator Carlson and Mr. Rees made a pact not to introduce the postal bills. The President had recently telephoned both of them, however, and invited them to the White House for a talk, at which point Mr. Rees introduced the House bill. The talk was then canceled, leaving Mr. Rees in violation of his agreement with Senator Carlson, who was later called to the White House for a meeting, at which the President urged him to introduce the postal increase bill, the Senator continuing to insist that it be delayed until a survey could be conducted.

Marquis Childs discusses the problems within the Senate Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, with the three Democrats on the subcommittee, Senators Henry Jackson, Stuart Symington, and John McClellan, having resigned. Mr. Childs indicates that the remarkable thing was not that the problem had occurred but that it had been so long delayed. The appointment of J. B. Matthews as staff director by Senator McCarthy, after which the controversy had arisen regarding his American Mercury article, claiming that 7,000 Protestant clergymen were aligned with Communism, had only been the final straw. Since Senator McCarthy had, at the beginning of the year, taken over the chairmanship of the Government Operations Committee, he had run the subcommittee as his personal apparatus for carrying out his private designs. Initially, the Democratic members had made no protest and Republicans looked the other way.

Two months earlier, Senator McCarthy had announced that he was retaining Harvey Matusow, a former Communist, to investigate Communist infiltration of the press, radio and television in New York. The previous fall, Mr. Matusow had gone to Washington to campaign against Senator Jackson, making reckless accusations. He campaigned in Montana against Senator Mike Mansfield, making similar charges of Communist sympathy. It also claimed that there were card-carrying Communists on the New York Sunday Times and in the Associated Press. All of those matters had been brought forth after Senator McCarthy announced that he was being retained. Subsequently, it was indicated that he had not been retained and never would be.

Senator McCarthy appointed two young investigators, Roy Cohn and David Schine, sending them to Europe for 17 days to investigate the Information Services libraries of the State Department, generating adverse publicity and eventually becoming a "grim joke" with the European press—engaging in roustabout behavior. Members of the subcommittee were disturbed by the reports but nothing was done at the time. Senator McCarthy was said to want to drop Mr. Schine, who was labeled a "consultant", though no one would say about what he had been consulting. The Reporter provided factual details on both Messrs. Cohn and Schine, that they had used the latter's family private suite at the Waldorf-Astoria Towers as headquarters for interrogation of Voice of America employees.

Resentment grew among the other Senators on the subcommittee as Senator McCarthy increasingly followed his own course. Yet, still, little or nothing was said or done about the trend. The Matthews incident, however, had brought everything to a head, with Senators McClellan and Harry F. Byrd first speaking out, followed by Senators Jackson and Symington, followed by the three resignations, submitted only after consulting with Senate party leaders. The three Senators had said that they would not return to the subcommittee and none of the Republicans had spoken in defense of Senator McCarthy.

Now that the Republicans were in the majority, concludes Mr. Childs, they could not afford to allow Senator McCarthy to run his own private investigating apparatus.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that the next President would almost certainly be Representative Kenneth Roberts of Alabama, a bachelor for whom all the women were prepared to vote for the fact that he had urged Congress to make babysitters tax deductible for working mothers. Mr. Ruark wholly supports the effort, as the husband was able to deduct for his office help. He indicates that legislators did not understand that when they placed a luxury tax on handbags and baby oil, they were dealing a "mortal wound" to the voting women of the nation. He commends the fact to Representative Roberts so that he might cement his relationship with the female voters.

"The girls elected Eisenhower, more or less, in the last one, and he was running mostly on a platform of Mamie's bangs and Truman's odor."

Mr. Ruark, incidentally, appears mildly obsessed with the First Lady's bangs, this being the third or fourth time since the prior fall that he has mentioned them.

A letter from a "Pedestrian" indicates that recently he had rented a car for 12 cents per mile with a minimum of five miles per hour, at a cost of 60 cents plus tax and insurance. But the previous week, he had paid 8 cents per mile and 75 cents per hour to rent the same car, at a cost of $1.15, plus tax and insurance.

It sounds like he or she may have been hijacked by the rental agency, but the writer does not clarify, other than apparently attributing the increase to inflation during the course of a single week.

A letter writer compliments the newspaper for its article by editor Pete McKnight on new Senator Alton Lennon, appearing in the newspaper Monday. He wishes to set the record straight, however, on a matter on which New Hanover County's assistant solicitor had been quoted, regarding Cornelius Harnett—after whom Harnett County is named—having been a signer of the Declaration of Independence, when actually he had only been a member of the Continental Congress, signing the Articles of Confederation, but not the earlier Declaration, having died while a prisoner of the British in 1781.

A letter writer says that she had taken Bible instruction in the public schools in the tenth grade at Central High School under a particular teacher and had learned more in that class than she had learned in all her years of attending Sunday School and church. She believes the great mistake was that more schools did not teach the Bible.

A letter from the members of the Susannah Wesley Bible Class of the Wesley Heights Methodist Church expresses the belief that the Bible should continue to be taught in the public schools so that "every future generation for it is the brightest jewel that we shall ever see until that hour comes when time shall be no more."

A letter from Leon Gutmann, president of the Mecklenburg County Chapter of the North Carolina Society for Crippled Children and Adults, expresses appreciation for the publicity afforded by the newspaper to the local Easter Seal campaign, during which they had collected more than $10,000, an increase of more than 25 percent since the previous year's campaign. He indicates that 91.7 percent of the money remained in the state, for clinics, orthopedic equipment, transportation for crippled children, nursery centers, professional consultation, scholarships, legislation, research and education.

A letter writer asks simply: "After all has been said and done, should we continue our elective Bible courses in our public schools, or should we take them out and listen to Georgi Malenkov laugh into his vodka?"

We were not aware that such was the stark choice.

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