The Charlotte News

Friday, July 17, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark had met for three hours with U.N. truce negotiators this date in advance of an expected showdown meeting the following afternoon with the Communist negotiators, expected to reply to the latest allied demand for a quick armistice. There was no hint of what was discussed during the conference, but sources said that, unquestionably, strategy had been discussed for the crucial session the next day. The Communist negotiators the prior day had sought and obtained a recess for this date. Lead U.N. negotiator Lt. General William Harrison was said to have told the Communists that the U.N. would not meet their demand for the recapture of the 27,000 North Korean anti-Communist prisoners released by President Syngman Rhee, had given adequate assurances that South Korea would abide by the truce, which President Rhee had recently agreed to accept, and that there was no longer any reason why there should be further delay in signing the armistice, the terms of which had been accepted by both sides, until the release of the prisoners on June 17 and the balk by the South Korean Government of any truce which did not include reunification of the country.

Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, who had participated in two weeks of conferences with President Rhee, told Congress the previous day that the latter would cooperate in the armistice.

In the ground war this date, allied infantrymen had reduced Communist gains, which had amounted to as much as seven miles along the central front, in what U.S. Eighth Army commander General Maxwell Taylor described as "the first resumption of open warfare in two years", involving ten divisions of enemy troops. Reports indicated that South Korean troops had hit and overrun about 1,500 Chinese Communist troops in the Kumsong River Valley. The Communists had gained up to 60 square miles of territory in the recent fighting. The allies had gained a seven-mile northward bulge in the lines some 20 months earlier in the area.

In East Berlin, a Russian tank division entered the city as a new wave of anti-Communist strikes occurred a month after the June 17 workers rebellion. The last of 25,000 Russian armored troops who had put down the rebellion had withdrawn the prior Saturday, at which point martial law, in effect since the rebellion, had been lifted. It was not yet clear whether Russian forces had returned to other East German cities which had been under martial law. An anti-Government slowdown had been underway at the Zeiss Optical works at Jena since the prior Tuesday, the employees, who had walked out the prior Saturday, having been forced back to work on threat of having every tenth striker otherwise shot.

The West German parliament in Bonn ratified this date the London agreement settling 3.7 billion dollars in German debts to 19 countries.

The head of the U.S. overseas library program, Dr. Robert Johnson, denounced a prospective new member of Senator Joseph McCarthy's Investigations subcommittee staff, Karl Baarslag, demanding that he be called to testify regarding statements he had made, as quoted in the New York World-Telegram & Sun, that 189 libraries operated by the Information Service in 63 countries "just don't go in for anti-Soviet literature." Dr. Johnson said that he had written to Senator McCarthy requesting the full details of Mr. Baarslag's inspection of the libraries. He said that six million anti-Communist books had been distributed by the overseas libraries, and that only 39 books by Communist authors had been found on the shelves, no longer present. He said that the only group which had benefited from the "wicked attacks" on the libraries had been the Communist international movement.

Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma said on the Senate floor that he had received a great amount of mail since criticizing Senator McCarthy, including one letter which said, "You are a murderer and a traitor read this fall dead."

Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona inserted in the Congressional Record an article by Richard Gray, president of the AFL Building and Construction Trades Department, saying that too much attention was being paid to the methods of Senator McCarthy and not enough to his "exposé of U.S. Communists who have infiltrated into high places."

The President reportedly had told legislative leaders that he was willing to accept a compromise on his proposal to admit 240,000 immigrants to the country under special quotas. A House Judiciary subcommittee had approved a version of the measure, though reportedly not satisfactory to the White House. Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, whose Immigration Act the proposal was designed to amend, wanted to trim in half the number of entrants, to 120,000, plus 4,000 orphans. Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, a proponent of the President's bill, said that he would oppose such a drastic cut. Under the President's bill, most of those who would be allowed into the country would be refugees from Communist areas.

The President named Harvey Higley of Wisconsin as the new administrator of Veterans Affairs, succeeding Carl Gray who had resigned.

The U.S. Court of Military Appeals this date upheld the court martial conviction of Maj. General Robert Grow, whose diary had fallen into Russians hands, providing propaganda to the Soviets. General Grow had been sentenced to be reprimanded and suspended from command of troops for six months.

In New York, a hospital bulletin said this date that Senator Taft did not intend to return to his duties in the Senate for the remainder of the session. He was recuperating from an exploratory operation of his abdominal wall the prior week, in relation to his hip ailment—actually suffering from terminal cancer from which he would die at the end of the month.

Flood waters swept over several residential sections of Abilene, Tex., this date as the rest of the state obtained slight drought relief from scattered showers. A total of 4.25 inches of rain had fallen in Abilene, and in Potosi, several miles to the southeast, there had been up to six inches. Fort Worth reported unofficially 3.33 inches in some parts of the city. East Texas farmers complained that an estimated three inches of rain the previous morning had washed up crops planted only two weeks earlier. In the heart of the west Texas Big Spring drought section, there had only been five-hundredths of an inch, with similar amounts in Lubbock and Wichita Falls. No rain had fallen in south Texas.

Former Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson, the 1952 Democratic presidential nominee, would provide his first major speech following his round-the-world tour, at a rally of Midwestern Democrats in Chicago on September 11, according to his office. He was expected to return to New York around August 9, and then would rest for several weeks before considering other invitations to speak.

In Hickory, N.C., it was reported that the eighth polio death of the year in the state had taken place, when a 16-year old of Lenoir, in neighboring Caldwell County, had died in a Greensboro hospital after being a polio patient there for a week. He became the fifth death from Caldwell, with the other three having occurred in Catawba County. One new case in each county was also reported this date. Catawba County had administered during the previous three days 14,761 inoculations with gamma globulin, designed to immunize children under ten for about a month, to interrupt the epidemic. The prior week, some 14,000 children in Caldwell County had received the same immunization.

In Elizabethtown, Tenn., a polio quarantine went into effect this date as health authorities sought to halt the spread of the disease after two additional cases of polio had been reported the previous day, raising the total in recent weeks in the county to 20.

In Urbanna, Va., a man opened his hardware store the previous day to find it ablaze, stepped in next door to the engine house of the volunteer fire department and sounded the alarm, at which point, within 15 minutes, the blaze was extinguished, after an estimated $3,000 in damage.

In Charlotte, a two-alarm fire in the Picker X-Ray Corp., on Camden Road, had caused five companies to respond, with damage estimated at more than $100,000 before the fire was brought under control early in the afternoon. The fire had originated in a corrugated metal and wood shed at the rear of the building, with the immediate cause as yet undetermined.

In Detroit, the International Association of Lions Clubs was preparing to present to the Detroit zoo a five-month old lion cub, acquired at the organization's convention in Chicago the previous week from a Toledo zoo. The cub had been presented to the new president of the organization as a symbol of his office.

A photograph shows the new imperial potentate of the Shriners in New York, from Petersburg, Va., receiving from his toddler granddaughter a Confederate flag. It takes a toddler not to understand the dark significance and implications of the emblem...

On the editorial page, "The Real Source of the Russian Threat" indicates that the press and radio, in relating the events occurring since the death of Josef Stalin, had understandably stressed the rise and fall of Russian political leaders. But Russian armed strength, it finds, remained the source of Russian power and the basis for its threat to the free world as well as its imperialism. That military strength had enabled the Soviets after World War II to take advantage of the vacuum of leadership and military weakness in the satellites. Throughout the cold war, thus far, Communism had remained a threat, in the Far East, the Middle East, the Balkans, and in Western Europe, taking on real meaning only because of the hordes of Russian divisions ready to move in conquest of the satellites if necessary. That armed strength had prompted the U.S. to speed up its mobilization program in the wake of the North Korean invasion of South Korea June 25, 1950.

It finds, therefore, that despite the jockeying for authority in the Kremlin, the Red Army remained as much a threat as it ever had been, as long as it remained a cohesive, disciplined, well-equipped force, regardless of whether some of its top command might be purged.

It concludes that it was tempting to view the political turmoil in Russia as a sign of weakness and an opportunity for the U.S. to relax in building its defense program, but that until the military power in Russia was significantly diminished, it would be foolhardy to do so.

"Air Survey Is in Order Here" finds appropriate the Chamber of Commerce suggestion that the City Council finance a thorough and objective survey of civilian air traffic through Charlotte and its surrounding territory. It hopes that the Council would allocate $5,000 for the study.

"To the Point" finds that terms such as "McCarthyism", "Trumanism", "socialism", "liberalism", and "Americanism", among others, suggested that most everything had come to be described or decried as an "ism", though most of the terms remained ill-defined and variously interpreted. The publisher of the Denver Post, Palmer Hoyt, had come up with a succinct definition of McCarthyism: "The totalitarian device of making the charge more important than the law, the evidence, the verdict or the trial." The editors find it good enough.

"Give the Man His Due" tells of former Vice-President Thomas Marshall, serving under President Woodrow Wilson between 1913 and 1921, having told a story about two brothers, one of whom had run away to sea and the other having become Vice-President, neither being heard from again. It indicates that, suggestive of the truth of the proverb, no one remembered Mr. Marshall's name.

It observes that not too much had been heard about Vice-President Richard Nixon and that was okay, that his relative inactivity and attendance of tea parties would be better than a continuation of the "Checkers" matter from the prior September. He had, according to reports, however, been quite busy behind the scenes. It suggests that the President deserved great credit for making Mr. Nixon his liaison with Congress. FDR had not informed his three different Vice-Presidents, John Nance Garner, a former Speaker of the House, Henry Wallace, who had served in the Cabinet as Secretary of Agriculture, and finally former Senator Harry Truman, who served only for three months before becoming President. The immediately past Vice-President, Alben Barkley, had served for long in the Senate, had been Majority Leader, and knew, as few other men did, the business of Washington, but he had concentrated on legislative matters instead of keeping abreast of the affairs of the executive branch.

Mr. Nixon, however, had become the President's alter-ego, was attending National Security Council and Cabinet meetings, and participated in other White House decision-making, thus gaining insight to the presidency which his predecessors lacked. Some in the press criticized Mr. Nixon for having sent a message five months earlier to a dinner which honored J. B. Matthews, erstwhile staff director of Senator McCarthy's subcommittee, who had stirred a controversy regarding his claims that 7,000 Protestant clergymen were sympathetic to Communism. The Vice-President had also been criticized for White House relations with Congress being poor despite his efforts to the contrary.

It concludes that the Vice-President was shaping up as a "hard-working executive who appears to be increasingly mindful of his responsibility."

"Secrecy" indicates that the people and the press had a right to know how public affairs were managed in the legislative branch and that no one had the authority to deny them that right, finds that a toned-down resolution regarding governmental secrecy, adopted by the North Carolina Press Association, had stuck closely to the basic issue—regarding the change in legislation by the General Assembly in 1953 to permit executive sessions of committees considering budgetary matters, whereas previous law had forbade same.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Mystery of the Missing Senator", indicates that an advertisement for the Washington Star, in the current issue of Editor & Publisher, had claimed that 95 out of 96 U.S. Senators bought or read the Star.

It wonders who the lone holdout was, speculates on a few Senators, such as Wayne Morse of Oregon, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine and William Langer of North Dakota, but eliminates each in turn as probably being the lone holdout. Senator McCarthy made it his business to see who was in the headlines each day, was therefore unlikely the exception.

It indicates that 2,000 years earlier, a shepherd had counted his flock in the field and found one sheep missing, whereupon he went into the night and found the lost sheep. It suggests that the Senate ought set up a committee to hunt for the colleague who did not read the Star and bring him safely to shelter.

William Zeckendorf, president of Webb & Knapp realty firm, writing in the Atlantic, discusses the need for municipal parking garages in large cities, that they did not, however, have to incorporate elaborate ramps, as used by the Egyptians to build the pyramids, taking up extra space, tells of use of car elevators in Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston and Washington, and the plans drawn up by his firm for a 35-story parking garage.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois having remarked recently to Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine that he did not like one bit the issue which had arisen out of the McCarthy subcommittee regarding J. B. Matthews, hired and then fired staff director of the subcommittee, and the controversy which he had stirred up over his American Mercury article in which he had charged that about 7,000 Protestant clergymen were sympathetic to Communism. Senator Dirksen had to win Baptist, Methodist and Lutheran votes in southern Illinois. Other Republican Senators were similarly situated and so were willing to take a closer look at the agents of the McCarthy subcommittee, especially the two "slap-dash young men", Roy Cohn and David Schine, who had been sent earlier on a junket to Europe to investigate the contents of the Information Service libraries and the Voice of America, creating embarrassment for the country with their antics before the European press.

Mr. Cohn, committee counsel, was only 26. He had gotten his start up the political ladder when U.S. Attorney Irving Saypol in New York had made him one of his assistants, based on the fact that Mr. Cohn's father was a judge who had received the blessing of Tammany Hall and so might also be able to help Mr. Saypol become a judge. Mr. Cohn was a member of the New York National Guard and had avoided the draft.

Mr. Schine was 25, the son of a hotel chain magnate, and often slapped Mr. Cohn around as if they were roommates in a dormitory. He had entered Harvard after the war and later obtained a draft-exempt job in the Army Transport Service. Initially, he had been classified as 1-A during the Korean War draft call, but obtained a subsequent physical examination which reclassified him 4-F, based on a herniated disc and a "schizoid personality". Yet, Senator McCarthy was relying on him as his chief consultant for the committee. Mr. Pearson indicates that Mr. Schine was delighted to discuss his career until the subject of his military service arose, at which point he became reluctant to speak. He provides a series of quoted responses of Mr. Schine to questions posed by the column.

Marquis Childs suggests that the President might deliver the most important speech of his entire career in the near future, as being urged by his close advisers, anent the development of the hydrogen bomb. The President had recently said that he believed it was time to be more frank with the American public on the issue of atomic energy.

During his last weeks as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, Gordon Dean, who did not have a good relationship with the Eisenhower White House, had recommended more public disclosure, to enable better public input to decisions on atomic energy. He had also recommended in a report to the President that the time had come to deliver something on the order of an ultimatum to the Soviets, either to accept complete inspection and control of all atomic development by an international organization or face destruction.

The Congressional Quarterly surveys former Senators and Representatives, finds that a majority returned to their home states or home districts to live after leaving Congress. More than half were lawyers and a majority of those checked by the Quarterly were presently practicing law. Two were in the Cabinet, former Senator John Foster Dulles, who had been appointed as an interim Senator for a year, and former Senator Sinclair Weeks. Four were on the Supreme Court, former Congressman Fred Vinson and former Senators Hugo Black, Harold Burton and Sherman Minton. Two were ambassadors, seven were governors, and others had positions high in state or local governments, or were judges, lobbyists, commentators, political leaders or farmers. Several others in the Administration had also served previously in Congress.

The most famous was former President Truman, who had served in the Senate for a decade prior to becoming Vice-President in 1945.

It provides a list of those former members who were presently registered as lobbyists, those serving in top positions within the RNC and in various other positions.

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