The Charlotte News

Saturday, July 25, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that military personnel headed to Korea from Japan had been ordered, for unstated reasons, to give up arms and ammunition at the Tokyo airport this night, amid mounting reports that a truce in the war would be signed within a matter of hours. An anticipated announcement by U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark, from Tokyo headquarters, had been delayed at the last minute without explanation, there having been no hint as to what the announcement would contain. Allied and Communist liaison officers had met five times this date at Panmunjom, reportedly having wrapped up final details of the truce and completing the plans for the signing ceremonies. The precise arrangement for the signing remained top secret. It was reported that the principal negotiators would sign the agreement, rather than the top military commanders of both sides, as previously reported.

Shooting along the battle front subsided as tension rose regarding whether a cease-fire was imminent. Only near Panmunjom could the big guns be heard, with some 3,500 Chinese Communists having attacked, with their usual disregard of casualties, against the slopes of three hill positions defended by U.S. Marines, forced to retreat to their trenches where they resisted with bayonets, gun butts and small arms fire. Some 14 hours after the attack had begun, the Marines were reported to be engaged in mopping-up operations on the forward slopes of the narrow sector, less than a mile long. The Marines had been pushed off one position briefly, but had recovered the outpost known as "Esther" in a counter-attack. Otherwise along the front, ground contacts were light and artillery fire had been reduced, with drizzling rain and overcast skies contributing to the reduction of action.

U.N. warplanes bombed enemy troops and supply lines in North Korea this date, in what was anticipated to be the last hours of the three-year war.

The Air Force reported that ten allied planes had gone down over Communist territory during the prior week, two of which had been Sabre jets lost in air combat, and seven others lost to ground fire, including two Sabres, three Thunderjets and two Panther jets, plus one Sabre lost to unexplained causes.

At Quantico, Va., the 3rd Marine Division, headquartered at Camp Pendleton in California, was being sent to the Far East, according to White House press secretary James Hagerty this date, the order having been given during the previous four days. The 1st Marine Division had been in Korea since early in the war but Mr. Hagerty could not say whether it would remain or be withdrawn. Mr. Hagerty was with the President for a conference of military and civilian leaders at the Quantico Marine Base.

The President said this date from Quantico that the Communist Government of East Germany was a "bankrupt regime", and predicted eventual "liquidation of the present Communist dictatorship and the Soviet occupation." He made public a message which he had sent to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer calling for new free elections in Germany and "the formation of a free all-German government, leading to unification". He said that unification was not incompatible with the creation of the unified European army, joining the forces of France, West Germany, Italy, and the Benelux countries.

The Senate Appropriations Committee sought this date to agree on the terms of multi-billion dollar money bills, the last major hurdles to adjournment scheduled for the following Friday. Senator Joseph McCarthy had promised a fight on two of the measures, the House-passed 4.43 billion dollar foreign aid appropriation, which the Administration wanted increased to five billion, while some Senators wanted yet another billion in reductions, and the House-passed "catch all" supplemental appropriation, which contained, among other things, millions for the Government's information-propaganda program, which Senator McCarthy contended should be eliminated entirely unless he received assurances of its "house cleaning". Senators McCarthy and J. William Fulbright of Arkansas engaged in angry exchanges the previous day regarding the latter funding. At one point, Senator Fulbright accused Senator McCarthy of trying to "destroy" his testimony with irrelevant questions, with Senator McCarthy countering that Senator Fulbright should not be "afraid to answer", denying that the questions were irrelevant. Senator McCarthy had contended that State Department officials in the Truman Administration had allowed "Communist subversion" to hurt the U.S. information-propaganda activities, which included the overseas Information Services libraries and the Voice of America, both of which Senator McCarthy had heavily criticized as being infiltrated by Communists and Communist philosophy.

The President this date was considering a bill passed the previous day by Congress to repeal the 20 percent tax on movie theater tickets, representing 100 million dollars per year in revenue to the Government. Both houses had passed it by overwhelming voice votes, but no roll call had been taken to determine whether the necessary two-thirds for override of a Presidential veto could be mustered.

Two members of the House, both Republicans, Representatives H. R. Gross of Iowa and Usher Burdick of North Dakota, criticized a Senate-passed bill with a potential built-in pay raise for members of Congress, Mr. Burdick labeling it "sneaky, crooked" and Mr. Gross calling it "a backdoor approach".

In Washington, Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire died of a blood clot in his heart the previous night, just two days after his 73rd birthday, after suffering the attack in his office during the afternoon. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee praised Senator Tobey for his outstanding contribution to the Crime Investigating Committee which had been headed by Senator Kefauver in 1950-51. His death temporarily wiped out the Republican majority in the Senate, but the Republican Governor of New Hampshire was expected to name a Republican as his replacement. With his death, the Senate was tied at 47 from each party, with independent Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon becoming a tie-breaking vote. (The following week, the death of Senator Taft, who would be replaced by a Democrat by the Democratic Governor of Ohio, Frank Lausche, would, for a short time, give the Democrats control of the Senate.)

The death of Senator Tobey had caused Senate leaders to abandon their plans to push for quick passage of a bill to provide the President a ten million dollar fund for sending surplus farm commodities overseas to afford famine relief. The bill apparently had no opposition. A separate measure to set up a 500 million dollar fund to sell farm surpluses for foreign currencies had been approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee the previous day, to be considered by the full Senate later.

In Munich, a homemade armored car which had fooled Czech border guards, crashed through the Iron Curtain this date, delivering eight persons to safety in the West. A Czech mechanic, his wife and two small children, plus two Czech soldiers and two civilians had entered southern Bavaria where they sought asylum. It was the first "freedom tank" escape from Czechoslovakia, where citizens had braved bullets and grenades to flee to the West. In 1951, a "freedom train" had steamed into the West from Czechoslovakia, after the engineer stole the train. Earlier in 1953, a Czech airliner had been commandeered while in flight and flown to the West, and there had been several cases of desperate Czechs arming themselves and shooting their way past the border.

India's Prime Minister Nehru arrived in Karachi, Pakistan, this date for talks with Prime Minister Mohammed Ali, in an attempt to ease the six-year controversy regarding Kashmir. Most observers were skeptical that any agreement could be reached soon. Thousands cheered Prime Minister Nehru as he was driven along an 11-mile route from the airport to the Governor General's residence.

In Detroit, a man, 45, pleaded guilty in recorder's court to theft of 23 pairs of shoes and distributing them to needy friends. He was ordered to repay a shoe company $229, and was fined $50.

In Vaughan, Miss., a monument to Casey Jones, who had died in the crash of the "Old 382" in 1900, was unveiled, with the ill-fated engineer's 83-year old widow and the fireman on the train, Sim Webb, who, at the urging of Mr. Jones, had jumped from the train at the last moment, in attendance. Mr. Webb could retrace the last trip, which had begun in Memphis with the train 95 minutes behind schedule, until it met the S-curve at Vaughan, only two minutes behind schedule, at which point Mr. Webb looked out the window and saw the caboose of a freight train ahead, prompting him to alert Mr. Jones of the hazard, already with his hand on the brake and yelling for Mr. Webb to jump. He said that when Mr. Jones was found amid the wreckage, his hand was still on the brake. Some 2,500 persons, the largest crowd in the history of the village, had gathered for the event.

On the editorial page, "A Classic Case of Bearing False Witness" refers to the HUAC testimony on the page of Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, clarifying that he was not a Communist or possessed any Communist sympathies, as Representative Donald Jackson of California had charged in a speech on the House floor, saying that the Bishop had "served God on Sunday and the Communist front" the rest of the week. There appeared to have been a running campaign to discredit the outspoken Bishop, and he eventually asked to be heard by the Committee. The prior Tuesday, he had testified.

It finds that systematically, he had demolished the allegations the Committee had leveled against him and disproved each of seven "releases" by the Committee, citing errors and misrepresentations in each. For nearly eight hours, he answered questions from members, at the end of which, the Committee adopted unanimously a resolution saying that he had no record of affiliation with the Communist Party or membership therein. Congressman Morgan Moulder of Missouri said that he was convinced that the Bishop was actively opposed to Communism and had fought hard against it and the conditions which bred it.

The Committee held in abeyance a decision on whether to clean up the file, as sought by Bishop Oxnam.

It finds that he had handled himself brilliantly in the testimony, but that the aspect of it which ought bother loyal Americans was that it had become necessary for a citizen to go before such a committee to clear himself from smears and innuendo spread by an official arm of the Congress.

"Mecklenburg Goes Modern" indicates that the county elections system reorganization required that every voter re-register in the county, based on a law passed by the General Assembly, adopting an efficient card system of registration. It suggests that the inconvenience for voters would be minor when compared to the advantages of the new system, which would have alphabetical cards rather than a book which was alphabetical only insofar as grouping names under each letter of the alphabet, not allowing for shuffling the names in order to expedite voting on election day. In addition, the number of precincts in the county had been reduced from 73 to 52, providing smaller personnel costs during an election.

It suggests that if electric voting machines were installed, as had been experimented with earlier in the city, personnel costs could be reduced even further, enabling the machines eventually to pay for themselves.

"Another Look at the Executive Branch" indicates that there would soon be another Hoover Commission, with former President Hoover as a member, again to do a study of the executive branch. President Truman had appointed Mr. Hoover to the original commission in 1947, establishing a bipartisan basis for the study, about half of the recommendations of which had been adopted.

In indicates that some might argue that in reciprocal form, President Eisenhower should have appointed former President Truman to the new commission instead of Mr. Hoover. It suggests, however, that the decision to leave him off was wise, as it was too soon after his Presidency and would be better to wait a decade or so when time had softened bitter memories—you mean that terrible depression the country suffered during the Truman Administration?

We get very tired of reading this newspaper's consistent rationalizations to promote its choice the prior November of President Eisenhower, while consistently, at least for the most part, denigrating the prior Administration. So you may read the last couple of paragraphs of this piece.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Thrills of Childhood", tells of the Hickory Daily Record editor having reminisced about his childhood, regarding his memory of his first ice cream cone, a memory which the Daily News editor shares as one of his first thrills as well, having occurred at the circus in Cleveland County. It had made such an impression on his father that he began selling ice cream cones at his Shelby drug store—from which, we, ourselves, happen to recall having partaken of ice cream cones on hot summer days back in the little tyke times, around 1855.

Until that point, recounts the editor, no one sold ice cream cones around North Carolina except such transients as circus vendors. At first, they were called horns, funnels or several other names, and many customers ate the ice cream and then returned the cone or left it on the counter.

He asks how many recalled the first fish they ever caught—of which we have absolutely no memory, because we have never caught one, having been fishing exactly once, amid mosquitoes on the Outer Banks, the day before President Nixon resigned in 1974. Maybe we should go fishing again…

Another memory which stood out to the editor was being given a baseball bat by a player whom he admired, only to break it and have to patch it together with tape, rendering it so heavy that he could hardly lift it to his shoulder. We don't have such a memory of such as that, either.

The New York Times, as indicated in the above editorial, presents the testimony before HUAC of Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam, plus additional material which he would have included had he been provided more time, voluntarily appearing to confute the claim that he had Communist sympathies.

He complained about the Committee releasing "unverified and unevaluated" material to the public and accepting no responsibility for inaccuracies therein, while insisting such material did not represent an opinion or conclusion of the Committee. He asked the Committee to admit the inaccuracies and misrepresentations and clean up the file. The testimony is continued on another page.

The Committee determined afterward that there was no substance to the claim that he was a Communist or Communist sympathizer. His statement had already been reported on the front page.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, at the exhortations of General Motors, having come to the defense of Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of G.M., after the latter had come under attack for cutting the Air Force budget. Senator Ferguson had, the prior year, been staunchly in favor of maintaining the Air Force budget, until G.M. entered the picture, with its heavy influence in Michigan. In addition, the Senator had gotten the Air Force to cancel its contracts with Kaiser-Frazer, competitor of G.M., until the news got out in Michigan, where 12,000 jobs would be lost in the Kaiser-Frazer plant, after which Senator Ferguson gave in and got the facility reopened.

Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York had shouted an objection to a motion made by Congressman Charles Wolverton of New Jersey before the motion was made, to which Mr. Wolverton had stated that his friend possibly had a "good mind", but that he did not know he had in mind what Mr. Wolverton had in mind.

Senator George Smathers of Florida had appealed to a House committee for a channel through St. George Island off the Florida coast, observing that it gave him pleasure to speak before a committee of the House, as he had not gotten over to the chamber much after his "promotion to the Senate", to which New Jersey Congressman James Auchincloss objected, saying that he believed the Senator had been demoted, not promoted.

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