The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 22, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that President Syngman Rhee of South Korea this date again threatened hopes of realization of an early armistice in the Korean War by demanding withdrawal of Chinese Communist troops from Korea within six months after signing of the armistice, stating that otherwise the South Koreans would "be at liberty to follow our own course of action." He stated in response to written questions from correspondents that South Korea would allow 90 days for a post-armistice political conference to persuade the Chinese Communist troops to withdraw, the conference to take place 90 days after the truce. South Korean Foreign Minister Pyun Yung Tai said that the basis for U.S.-South Korean compromise had been destroyed, warning that South Korea would act independently unless the U.S. repudiated assurances given the Communists the prior Sunday, which had opened the way for final Communist acquiescence to signing the armistice. He said further that President Rhee had made no pledges in his talks with U.S. envoy Walter Robertson, Assistant Secretary of State, who, following two weeks of conferences with the President, had returned to Washington the prior week with assurances that President Rhee had promised his cooperation with the truce. The remaining question was how the Communists would react to the new ultimatum of South Korea.

Secretary of State Dulles said this date, in a statement read by Assistant Secretary Carl McArdle, that the U.S. assumed that President Rhee would abide by the terms of the truce, "despite his misgivings", and that the President could be confident that the U.S. would support South Korea in rebuilding its land and attainment of "honorable objectives". He said that he agreed to meet with President Rhee soon after the signing of the armistice to agree on policies to be followed at the political conference, to assure the maximum possibility of achieving unification of Korea. The statement further said that President Rhee had personally assured President Eisenhower on July 11 that he would not obstruct the armistice, writing to Secretary Dulles the same date that while he questioned the wisdom of a truce, he had yielded his convictions to U.S. policies.

In the ground war, about a thousand Chinese Communist troops attacked along a one-mile front this date against five South Korean positions in the Kumsong Bulge sector of the central front, the scene of the previous week's large enemy assault. Three prongs of the ground attack were repulsed before dawn, but at two other points, the Chinese had driven the South Korean infantrymen off hill positions, then pulled back in the face of fierce South Korean counter-attacks. Elsewhere along the front, three dozen or more small-scale fights briefly erupted in the predawn darkness.

In the air war, U.S. Sabre jets shot down three enemy MIG-15s in air battles taking place just before dark. Allied fighter-bombers dropped nearly 500,000 pounds of high explosives on enemy front line positions in the area of the Kumsong Bulge. Radar-equipped B-26 bombers maintained 24-hour bombing of enemy battlefront positions, as other B-26s dropped 25,000 pounds of explosives on an enemy rail yard. B-29s attacked an enemy airfield in northwest Korea for the second consecutive night.

In Berlin, a million packages of free Western food had thrown East Germany's Communist rulers into a frenzy this date, with Soviet High Commissioner Vladimir Semyenov having stated in a diplomatic note that the U.S. relief program was a plot to "enlist Fascist hirelings and criminal elements" for a new anti-Communist revolt in the Eastern Zone. He demanded that U.S. High Commissioner James Conant immediately stop the gift of food because it was "illegal and incompatible with the elementary demands of maintaining public order." In West Berlin, thousands of workers were wrapping the food packages for delivery over the Iron Curtain border starting the following Monday. The supplies had come from a West German Government reserve maintained since 1949 during the 1948-49 Russian blockade of Berlin, and the resulting Allied airlift which eventually broke the blockade. The reserve would be replenished by donations from the U.S., which had pledged 15 million dollars worth of surplus food since July 10.

The President said this date at his press conference that he was still confident that a Korean truce would be signed soon, declining to discuss specifically President Rhee's most recent statements. He said he was unable to predict the exact date when the truce would be signed. He said that the food for East Germans would remain available despite Russia's demands that the shipments be halted. He called the House Appropriations Committee's billion dollar cut to his 5.1 billion dollar request for foreign aid too much, and asserted that the proper yardstick should be the country's security. He declined to deal in personalities with regard to Senator McCarthy after a reporter said that some people in the Republican Party felt that the Administration ought crack down on the Senator. He also said that he believed that progress had been made during his first six months in office but that it was not as fast as he would like. He said that there was no politics involved in the provision of relief for the drought conditions in the Southwest. He also said that he probably had not given enough consideration to the matter of the Tariff Commission when he had originally agreed to the proposal to add another member to it to bring it under Republican control, that he had been thinking in terms of eliminating stalemates in the Commission. It presently consisted of three Republicans and three Democrats, and some Republicans in Congress were seeking to add a fourth member against Democratic opposition, threatening to stall renewal of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, in opening debate on a bill to appropriate 34.5 billion dollars for defense for the current fiscal year, asked the Senate this date to rely on "the sound military experience" of the President and approve a defense budget stripped of "the ornaments and the gay trappings". He said that the charge that the budget had been prepared by "money men" in the Administration rather than by the President was unfair and misleading. He said that if the Korean truce was finalized and there were no future war, additional cuts to the budget could be made. He also said that nobody knew at present whether it was too high, too low or just about right. He said that a middle ground needed to be achieved between putting everyone in uniform and having no defense at all. He indicated that the revised Air Force budget would provide for 114 regular wings by the end of the current fiscal year with seven additional Air National Guard and Reserve wings equipped with modern aircraft, and that by the end of the 1954-55 fiscal year, the Air Force would have 120 wings plus 23 Guard and Reserve wings, for a total of 143. He added that if Marine combat aircraft were organized on the same basis, present actual strength totaled 152 wings and by mid-1956, would reach 176 wings. The Administration had cut more than five billion dollars from the proposed Air Force budget for the fiscal year issued by former President Truman the prior January before leaving office. That cut had reduced the goal of 143 air wings by 1955 to 120 air wings. The Appropriations Committee had voted to recommend 3.495 billion dollars for the Air Force budget. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina filed an amendment seeking a 400 million dollar increase in Air Force funds for purchase of aircraft. Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona sought an increase of about 60 million dollars to expand the Air Force pilot training program.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the cost of living had hit a record high between May and June, because of rising food prices. Other increases had occurred in the costs of housing, medical care and such consumer goods as cigarettes and beer in some cities. The index rose four-tenths of a percent between mid-May and mid-June, placing it at 114.5 percent of the 1947-49 average, meaning that consumers paid in June nearly $1.15 for what they could buy for a dollar during the base period.

Associated Press correspondent Eddy Gilmore, who had spent 11 years in the Soviet Union and had since returned to the U.S., provides his second of four articles on his experiences, indicating that in early March, he had received a notice of a press release from Tass, the official Soviet news agency, that Joseph Stalin had a serious illness, at which point Mr. Gilmore headed for the telegraph office and the censor, to report that Stalin was dying. He had never seen so many people on the streets, muttering to one another about the news. Stalin's death had therefore come as no surprise, and people stood in lines all night long, some showing grief, the only ones about whom foreign correspondents were allowed to write. There were many thousands, however, who were just curious and had come to get a glimpse of the corpse of the man who had "controlled their living and their dying." People were injured by the hundreds and some were smothered and knocked down, walked over until they died, all the while with the lines moving past the corpse to music played by perspiring musicians. The mobs had gotten out of hand at times and in one side street, Mr. Gilmore had seen the mounted police charge them with batons. But still they kept coming back to view the corpse. He and other journalists had laid down on the back of automobiles or on chairs or tables and written thousands of words, "some of which I would like to think were not useless." He says he did not know whether death had come to Stalin, as reported officially, from a collapse of his heart, with a squad of Russia's best physicians around him. He could only report what he saw. There were reports circulating in Moscow that Stalin had been murdered and other stories that it was not Stalin at all whose corpse lay before the public. There were reports that he had already been dead when the news was first announced of his grave illness. He reiterates that he did not know what the truth was, but given what he had seen, it appeared reasonable that things had happened about the way the official story had been told.

In London, the British Government indicated that Queen Elizabeth had given permission to her sister, Princess Margaret, to marry a divorced man, Group Capt. Peter Townsend of the British air attaché of the Embassy in Brussels. It would necessitate a changing of the Regency Act of 1937, which acting Prime Minister R. A. Butler, normally Chancellor of the Exchequer, recommended to Commons this date, with opposition leader Clement Attlee only inquiring whether all members of the royal family agreed. Under the Act, Princess Margaret would become regent should Queen Elizabeth die before Prince Charles, four years old, was able to take the throne upon achieving his majority. Mr. Townsend, who presumably did not play guitar, brought a divorce action against his wife on grounds of misconduct, but the Church of England frowned on remarriage of divorced persons.

Emery Wister of The News tells of 20-year old local Korean war hero Jerry Crump, who had won the Congressional Medal of Honor after falling on a grenade in the Chorwon area of Korea on September 7, 1951. The grenade had torn into his leg and kept him in the hospital for six months, and he said it still hurt when he walked, that he did not believe he could stand up to infantry training again. President Truman had presented him the Medal in a White House ceremony on June 27, 1952, with his mother and father present. He had come to his birth town of Charlotte from his home in Lincolnton this date to take physical and mental examinations for his re-enlistment, which he anticipated would occur the following Monday, after he had been out of the service for more than a month after three years in the Army. He re-enlisted as a sergeant. He said that his job as a lifeguard at a swimming pool had become monotonous since his discharge. There was so much polio around that parents were afraid to allow their children to go to the pools and so he had nothing to do, decided to return to the Army. Before his discharge, he had been so badly torn up in combat that the Army had reassigned him to ordnance duty, to which he would return. He had been a corporal when awarded the Medal and was promoted to sergeant before being discharged.

In Rome, the Italian entry to the Miss Universe beauty contest returned home this date, stating that she could not understand why Miss France, Christiane Martel, had won the contest, stating, "Why, she has no legs… I mean she has no ankles—her legs are one-dimensional." The previous year, the Italian entrant had returned home saying that the contest had been rigged in favor of Finland's Armi Kuusela.

In Durham, N.C., a woman called police and said that she had sent some clothes to the dry cleaner and that they had not been returned, prompting her worry, whereupon police said that they would investigate and asked her when the dry cleaner's route man had picked up her clothes, to which she replied about a year earlier.

On the editorial page, "A Marked-Down Sale Is Better Than None" indicates that U.S. production had a major bottleneck in that increasingly it was going into surplus, with the nation's businesses holding 78 billion dollars in inventory, an all-time record, four billion more than a year earlier, retailers alone holding 22.2 billion of the surplus. In addition, the Community Credit Corporation held more than three billion dollars worth of agricultural products and was seeking ways to store the present year's bumper crop which it was committed to buy.

Sales were not keeping up with production and the country was losing important overseas markets. In the previous fiscal year, agricultural exports had totaled about 2.9 billion dollars against more than four billion the prior fiscal year.

It suggests that an answer to the surplus problem might be production controls, as presently applied to agriculture in the form of marketing and acreage allotments. Some industries were reducing production, temporary measures only, not providing a permanent solution, however, for the problem, which lay in better marketing.

It again advocates free trade with foreign countries to enable the largest possible market overseas for U.S. goods, more economical in the long run than having high tariffs to block foreign trade which would potentially undersell certain U.S. producers. It also opposes rigid price supports for agriculture, as they would ultimately close foreign markets to U.S. farm products by keeping the prices artificially high, a position adopted by Herschel Newsom, head of the National Grange.

It indicates that the Government ought assure compensation from dislocations caused by changes in trade patterns. But only when drastic changes in trade channels were made, with corrections in the marketing problems, would the "full genius of America's productive capacity flower."

"Progress Scored on a Regional Problem" indicates that the movement to improve facilities for unwed black mothers had taken a major stride forward the previous day with a decision of the black committee spearheading the movement and the Social Planning Council to study the problem jointly before proceeding with solicitations for establishment of a home for such unwed mothers. While white and black leaders had long advocated improvement of facilities for unwed mothers, it was the black community which had taken the initiative in the present drive, auguring well, it suggests, for the success of the undertaking.

"This Bill Should Be Passed" indicates that a bill to restore the inspection powers of the FDA might not be passed at the current session of Congress, which would be unfortunate as its absence would leave the people without adequate protection from impure products involving food and drugs.

Prior to a decision by the Supreme Court the prior year, the FDA had interpreted the laws as giving its employees permission to enter plants to make inspections even if the owner refused consent. But the Court had ruled that, under the existing law, inspectors had to have the owner's permission before entry and inspection. The House Interstate & Foreign Commerce Committee had since approved a bill authorizing mandatory inspections, provided the plant owner was furnished a report on any violation and the inspector provided the owner receipt for any sample taken from the plant. But in the rush for adjournment, the bill might not receive any action.

It urges the North Carolina delegation to use its influence to get the measure to a vote without delay.

"No Trend—Yet" finds that the new beauty queens headed to Atlantic City for the Miss America pageant were not the "sky-high Amazons" of years past, but were much shorter. Miss North Carolina, selected the prior Friday, stood only 5'2" and weighed 100 pounds. Miss Charlotte, one of the finalists, was 5'4". The five finalists in the Miss Universe pageant in California the prior Friday had, according to the Associated Press, been "all on the petite side", with the exception of Miss United States.

It indicates its understanding that in recent years the emphasis had been placed on attributes other than beauty, but it believes that a tall woman ought be able to sing or dance or act just as well as the shorter one. Most Miss America winners since World War II had been 5'6" or taller, and so it assumes that the current Miss Universe was "a highly concentrated package of beauty and talent, and nothing has happened that can accurately be called a trend away from the Amazons."

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "Charlotte's Coliseum Plans", indicates that Charlotte was undertaking its coliseum-auditorium construction project, the plans for which had begun shortly after World War II, as had a plan for a similar complex in Winston-Salem. The Korean War had caused construction costs to rise and delayed the plans in both cities, but the people of Charlotte had recently voted a million dollars in additional bonds to complete the project, at a total cost of four million dollars.

Both Greensboro and Winston-Salem had funds on hand to begin building coliseums, but not enough to build the type of facility envisioned shortly after the war. A new architectural design for that planned in Winston-Salem might permit the project to reach fruition. A $750,000 campaign for funds conducted in 1947 had been oversubscribed and the funds, including revenues from investments, presently totaled approximately $900,000.

It concludes that the success of the additional bond issue in Charlotte showed the enthusiasm of the people for such projects, in which special cultural, educational and athletic events could reflect the character and civic interests of the population.

Drew Pearson indicates that the Senate Appropriations Committee had been so puzzled by a recent witness, Chief Rising Sun, that the Senators had listened solemnly as he pleaded the cause of the Yakima Indians, never suspecting that he was not an Indian but in fact a black former bellhop. Life had provided him a full-page picture in full headdress. The Yakima tribe wanted to know how he had managed to show up in such regalia representing them. The Government was planning to build the Dalles Dam, which would flood Celilo Falls and wipe out the tribe's fishing grounds. The man who testified as a chief had heard about the matter and proposed organizing a mass meeting in Washington and another at Madison Square Garden in New York to protest the construction of the dam, but the Yakima had been skeptical and declined to hire him. Senator William Knowland of California had arranged for his testimony, with some of his staff apparently having been impressed by the "chief's" headdress.

William Mitchell, the new small defense plants boss, had been seeking a 35 percent rate of award of Government contracts to small businesses, presenting his demands to the director of small business at the Pentagon, then dictating a memo reporting on the conference, at which the assistant director objected that 35 percent was too high, with Mr. Mitchell replying that they were a hell of a long way off at 15 percent, the current rate, which had declined from 22 percent during the four or five months before Mr. Mitchell had taken the position. He had also sought to smooth over friction between the Pentagon and his agency. The memo was supposed to be confidential, but had leaked to Mr. Pearson.

Black leaders in the country were irritated at being brushed off by the new Administration, having pointed out that out of 134,000 non-civil service jobs, Republicans so far had appointed only one black person, only replacing another black person, that being Mrs. James Spaulding, who succeeded Mrs. Ann Hedgeman as an assistant at the Department of Health, Welfare & Education. There were two other prospective appointments of blacks, also merely replacements for other blacks, one being Jesse Locker, set to become U.S. Ambassador to Liberia, and the other being Roberta Church, whose job had not yet been determined, but for whom there had been pressure to find a job, as she was a Republican. Thomasina Norford, a Democratic consultant not protected by civil service, was likely to get the boot in favor of Ms. Church. The black leaders also complained that out of 1,500 Federal departments, agencies, boards and commissions, not a single one was headed by a black person. Only three black persons had positions on any of them, two on the Fair Employment Practices Board of the Civil Service Commission, and a third on the obscure Caribbean Commission. Out of 30,000 supervisory jobs in all three branches, only 22 blacks were in positions of authority and two of those were elected Congressmen. Blacks had expected an appointment as Ambassador to Haiti and to one of three new judgeships in the District of Columbia, but all black candidates had been passed over for those positions. The black leaders planned to make it a political issue for the Republicans.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Administration had complained frequently that it was difficult or impossible to carry out policy because of the stalling and interference from Democratic holdovers in various parts of the Government, often sounding as a lame alibi for failure to carry out campaign pledges. He regards one conspicuous instance, however, going a long way toward proving the Republican contention, that of Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, aided by members of the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee, whom the Senator had hired, having held up for weeks the Eisenhower immigration bill to admit 240,000 immigrants over the course of three years, about half of whom would come from Communist lands and the other half from Italy and Greece, where mounting population pressure had aggravated every problem.

Senator McCarran had stalled the bill for weeks in the Committee, thereby holding back hundreds of bills and appointments. At present, with only days left before the August 1 scheduled recess for the session, even if the measure reached the floor in both houses, where it would definitely pass, it might be too late to implement it with a necessary appropriation.

A subcommittee report on refugee camps contained two paragraphs which effectively stated that nearly half of the refugees would be criminals and subversives, a report immediately cabled by Tass to Moscow. A report by the CIA showed that it was being broadcast on Soviet propaganda radio as well. It appeared to suggest that those fleeing Soviet tyranny were traitors or criminals, and so fit the Kremlin propaganda line. Senator Robert Hendrickson of New Jersey, a Republican on the Committee, had investigated the refugee camps and told the Senate that calling attention to the so-called criminal records of the refugees was unfair, as they had arisen under the Soviet code and involved such things as complaining about hunger and starvation and seeking to defect. He was joined by Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, in criticizing the report.

No one doubted Senator McCarran's sincerity, as he believed that the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act was genuinely a bulwark to prevent subversives from entering the country, and would go to any length to defend it. He regarded himself as a knight in shining armor seeking to carry on a crusade against Communism. Despite Senator Taft, when he was active as floor leader, having blocked a bill sponsored by Senator McCarran, which would prevent alleged Communists from taking advantage of the Fifth Amendment to avoid testimony before Senate committees by granting them immunity from prosecution, he had managed to get it passed by the full Senate, causing the Administration great concern. Deputy Attorney General William Rogers—later Attorney General during the second term of President Eisenhower and Secretary of State under the first term of President Nixon—had written a letter opposing the bill, pointing out that it infringed on the rights of the Justice Department, which might have pending investigations against a particular witness, and was open to serious abuses. Yet, at a night session of the Committee, with only a minority of members present, Senator McCarran was able to get the bill adopted, showing his power.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that the powers had a tough decision ahead on the idea of a national sales tax, designed to cure the budget deficit while maintaining defense. He indicates his opposition to it because it would inhibit sales of consumer goods and thus slow down the economy. He cites cigarettes and whiskey as examples, the latter already highly taxed and stimulative of bootlegging, which had reached a level higher than during Prohibition.

He indicates that the country had already tapped nearly every form of taxation except a national sales tax. There were hidden taxes, direct taxes, indirect taxes, taxes on taxes, surtaxes on surtaxes, etc. He agrees that the budget needed balancing, but believes that the only way to do it would be to cut down on "foolish spending". Imposing a national sales tax and thereby inhibiting consumer purchases would only freeze out the big money-makers from their markets. He suggests that there were enough very rich people around to keep a big-business economy in balance.

A letter writer comments on the prior Saturday editorial, "Highway 29 Nears Final Test", saying that it had cleared up a mystery for him regarding the continual patching of the new lane incorporated into Highway 29. He traveled the road frequently between Charlotte and Kannapolis and did not like the fact that it was limited to a 35 mph speed limit in certain areas despite it being a four-lane road. He also wonders why the road had been built of concrete north of the Yadkin River in Davidson County but had been made of a "flexible base of stabilized aggregate" in populous Mecklenburg. He believes that favoritism was the answer.

A letter writer from Pittsboro comments on a July 14 editorial, "Food Offer—'Deeds Not Words'", which had found that the President's 15 million dollar offer of surplus food to East Germans had been only a token in terms of humanitarianism, but a splendid gesture of positive propaganda. He thinks that the editorial would have minimized the propaganda aspect had it realized that the Voice of America had labeled the offer pure propaganda for the benefit primarily of the pro-American Government in West Germany, facing highly contested elections in September. He indicates that if the Government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer were defeated, all hopes of NATO would be dashed. He finds that the food gift propaganda played to the hands of the opponents of the Bonn Government, as General Eisenhower, while leading the Allies in Europe during World War II, had agreed to stop at the Elbe River, allowing the Russians to take Berlin and Eastern Germany.

His argument is so convoluted as to be nonsensical.

A letter writer comments on the dilapidated gate to Elmwood Cemetery, which had been erected to the veterans of the Spanish-American War at the turn of the century. She compliments the movement by the auxiliary organization of the Spanish-American war veterans for their effort to remove and re-erect the memorial entrance gate at another entrance to the cemetery.

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