The Charlotte News

Wednesday, July 8, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Communists had stated this date that they were ready to negotiate the final details of the Korean armistice despite the fact that South Korea continued its objections to any truce which left the country divided. A letter from the Communist high command had responded to U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark's June 29 proposal to sign the armistice forthwith, assuring that the U.N. nations would continue to seek the cooperation of the South Koreans. The response had set forth some tough conditions, but observers believed that the Communists would waive some of them at the point the talks resumed. The letter indicated that the U.N. Command would have to take effective steps to assure South Korean compliance with the armistice, recapture the 27,000 North Korean prisoners of war who had expressed a desire not to repatriate and had been released by South Korean President Syngman Rhee on June 17, already indicated by the U.N. Command to be an impossible task, and shoulder the responsibility for seeing that none of the remaining 8,000 prisoners wishing not to repatriate escaped. There was no immediate response from General Clark's headquarters in Tokyo.

President Eisenhower's special envoy to Korea, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, trying to effect rapprochement with President Rhee, met with him again this date and said only that the two would meet again.

Meanwhile, South Koreans demonstrated again in the streets of Seoul, demanding that the truce either include a unified Korea or that they fight on.

In ground fighting in the war, a Chinese Communist battalion, comprised of as many as 1,000 men, opened a new attack shortly before the previous midnight on "Arrowhead Ridge", where South Koreans had defeated them in a 40-hour western front battle which ended the previous day. The new assault was met by the South Korean Second Division and continued into the pre-dawn hours of this date. It broke a brief lull which developed after U.S. and South Korean infantrymen had resisted successfully attacks against "Arrowhead" and "Pork Chop Hill" on Monday and Tuesday.

Haze and continuing rain slowed ground support operations by the Air Force, but during the night, B-26's had made their heaviest strike in nearly a week, attacking enemy convoys, a switch-yard and front line positions.

Flooding from heavy rains in Korea since the prior Saturday had killed 46 persons, injured 100 and left thousands homeless, with 16 missing, according to the Home Ministry of South Korea.

The President said at his press conference this date that the Government looked forward to working for the peaceful reunification of Korea, but declined to say whether he had received any indication that President Rhee might be willing to cooperate with the truce. He said that everyone had a warm spot in their hearts for what South Korea had done in the three-year struggle against Communist aggression. He also said that he found it significant that two large American labor organizations had asked him to take the initiative in aiding workers of Soviet-occupied Germany in their struggle against the Soviets. He also said that he believed strongly in unification of Germany and favored free elections there. He said that it was time for more information regarding the atomic energy program to be released to the public and that the current law governing the matter was outmoded. He indicated that he would not object to going to London instead of Bermuda to meet with Prime Minister Churchill and the new French President. He also stated that he was not supportive of State Department officials who reportedly had maintained secret their directives to the U.S. Information Service libraries abroad.

In East Berlin, resentful industrial workers staged sit-down strikes this date and Russians, apparently fearful of another revolt as had taken place on June 17, met one of the demands of the workers by announcing restoration of intra-city travel. The workers demanded the release of hundreds of persons arrested during the June 17 rebellion. The strikes were carried on peacefully.

The House Ways & Means Committee this date approved the President's proposed six-month extension of the excess profits tax by a vote of 16 to 9, finally breaking the impasse imposed by Committee chairman Daniel Reed of New York, who had held the bill in committee for several weeks.

A Presidential study committee predicted this date that the Kremlin would intensify its efforts to isolate the U.S., recommending a greater effort in informing U.S. citizens of the dangers confronting them. The report called for creation of a new operations coordinating board within the National Security Council for that purpose. It also recommended that the Psychological Strategy Board set up two years earlier be abolished, as it did not meet the real needs which existed. It further indicated that "psychological warfare" and "the cold war" were unfortunate terms and should be abandoned.

HUAC reported that one witness, Joseph Kornfeder, who was an intimate of the late Joseph Stalin, had named several American clergymen as being members of the Communist Party, and other witnesses had given similar information, all of which had been adduced in two days of hearings before a subcommittee of the group in New York. Representative Kit Clardy of Michigan, acting chairman of the subcommittee, said that the information would be checked and if verified, then made public. Among the other witnesses were Benjamin Gitlow, a charter member of the American Communist Party who had since quit, and Col. Archibald Roosevelt, son of the late President Theodore Roosevelt.

In the vicinity of Raleigh, five convicts escaped from a Halifax County prison camp near Enfield this date, but an alert guard prevented more from escaping. It had been initially reported that some 20 prisoners had kidnapped a guard, but later reports clarified that the guard was not kidnapped and that only five prisoners had escaped. The guard had fired on the escaping prisoners and did not know whether any of them had been hit.

In Lenoir, N.C., it was reported that the mass inoculation of 10,800 Caldwell County children with gamma globulin, designed to provide immunity from polio for about a month to halt its spread, had completed this date. Some 91 cases of polio had been reported in that county, including the death of one child. Five new cases had been reported since the inoculations had begun the previous Monday. By the previous night, more than 8,000 children had received the shots.

In Hickory, N.C., Catawba County officials ordered all swimming pools closed and restricted other public activities for children, seeking to prevent another outbreak of polio as had occurred in that county in 1944 and 1948. The district health officer indicated that 51 persons suspected of having contact with polio victims had been given precautionary injections of gamma globulin, and the orders had been issued closing the swimming pools after two cases of polio had been reported this date, increasing the total number reported in the county from June 7 through the present to 26.

Harry Shuford of The News tells of the police bull-fighting squad of the city having gone into action for a second time the previous day, as a 700-pound bull held up traffic at the intersection of 5th and Cedar Streets for about 40 minutes the previous evening, while police, firemen and civilians sought to wrestle it back into its transport truck, following closely a chase of another bull through the streets of Charlotte during the previous noontime. Again, more detail is provided, but no pictures this time.

Had the 2020 Republican National Convention not relocated elsewhere from Charlotte, into virtual space, we could quip, but shall refrain for the sake of decorum.

Two photographs and a map appear on the page with a caption stating that Herman Buhl of Austria had scaled Nanga Parbat in the Himalayan Mountains of Kashmir, the seventh highest peak in the world at 26,660 feet. Thirty-one European climbers and porters who had attempted to scale the peak had died in the process, more than on any other peak.

On the editorial page, "Judges and Legislators Deserve More Pay" urges that the presently pending pay increase bills for members of Congress and Federal judges ought be passed to improve the quality of individuals serving in those important positions. Bills were pending which would increase the salary of members of Congress to $25,000, $10,000 more than they currently earned, but only $6,826 more after taxes. Another bill would increase by $10,000 the $17,500 salary of Court of Appeals judges and judges of other Federal appellate courts, and would increase that of District Court judges and other such judges from $10,000 to $15,000, and provide that U.S. Attorneys would earn between $12,000 and $20,000. The North Carolina Bar Association had unanimously endorsed the increases and the newspaper adds its endorsement.

"No Need to Increase This Subsidy" tells of both houses of Congress having approved the bills extending the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act, but, differing on some points, the bills now being before a reconciliation committee of both houses. A separate House bill was designed to force the President to raise the tariff on imported watches, despite the fact that the President was currently empowered to make the final decision on tariff increases.

The President had made protectionists in Congress angry for his recent reversal of the Tariff Commission's request to increase the tariff on imported silk scarves. The previous winter, the President had reversed the Commission's request to raise tariffs on imported briar pipes. The protectionists believed that the President, in consequence, was not on their side.

It compliments the President for his firm stand thus far on resisting tariff increases, pointing out that silk scarf importers had to pay 32.5 percent in ad valorem taxes, despite which their markets were increasing in the U.S. It suggests that if any domestic producer could not compete with foreign importers laboring under such handicaps, then they ought to find a new product to sell or improve their sales technique.

"Blameless?" indicates that the late Senator Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska had blamed Secretary of State Acheson for the Korean War, for having left out Korea from his enunciated defense perimeter for the Pacific, stated early in 1950. Presently, Senator William Knowland of California blamed President Eisenhower for the "breach" of relations with President Syngman Rhee of South Korea. It suggests that it was "barely possible" that Joseph Stalin was responsible for the Korean War and that President Rhee was responsible for the breach in relations with the other U.N. nations.

"Parents Need Help from Drivers" indicates that a local police captain had stated in the newspaper the previous day that parents were largely responsible for small children playing in busy residential streets. It indicates that motorists also had to look out for such children darting out from behind bushes or parked cars into the line of traffic. Many motorists appeared oblivious to the hazard and barreled through residential areas at unsafe speeds. It urges that safety required not only parents watching after their children, an impossible task throughout the day, but also that motorists be alert to the potential hazard.

"The Role of Money in Politics" indicates that one of the great dangers to the American political system was the increasing role of big money in political campaigns and yet there was almost complete absence of any information regarding expenditures. There had recently been an award of $60,000 by the Edgar Stern family to the UNC Institute for Research in Social Sciences for the purpose of conducting a study on the financing of campaigns and determining the effect such money had on the operation of political parties, the activities of special interest groups and the behavior of public officials. Alexander Heard, who had a leading role in the research for V. O. Key's Southern Politics and was author of A Two-Party South? would direct the study.

The previous December, a House committee had investigated campaign expenditures and Representative Clarence Brown of Ohio had estimated that more than 100 million dollars had been spent in the 1952 presidential campaign. The former chairman of the National Volunteers for Stevenson had warned that the outcome of an election should not be determined by which side had the most money.

It expresses the hope that the UNC survey would produce the kind of information which was needed to develop a more realistic and effective campaign finance law.

A piece from the Nashville Banner, titled "Aspirin, for Short", regards the various acronyms being used in the headlines during the prior 20 years for various Government organs and agencies. It quips that it was simpler to use "NUTS" for "Nobody Under The Sun" than to print out the full title. "SCOTUS" for the Supreme Court had been used for a long time, but people did not necessarily know what UNESCO, FNMA and ERP stood for. It wonders whether someone would invent an agency to wrap things up with the letters ETC or Z-Z-Z, at which point one could go to sleep.

It says it had recently run across EPT, which stood for excess profits tax, the meaning of which it discovered only after inquiry. "Will somebody please pass the C6H4OCOC-H3COOH tablets?"

Drew Pearson tells of Bernard Baruch, who, despite being a Democrat, had supported General Eisenhower the previous fall in the election campaign, being now upset with Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey and his assistant Randolph Burgess for raising interest rates on Government bonds to almost the same level as industrial securities, thereby increasing the national debt by a billion dollars and also prompting increases in commercial interest rates, which Mr. Baruch believed was unnecessary and unwise. He had remarked that former Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, Secretary during the Truman Administration, had begun to look increasingly better in the position.

A group of Senators and Congressmen had been invited to the White House to witness the President's signing of the Korean veterans naturalization bill and it appeared, given the persons present, including Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, author of the bill to modify the McCarran Immigration Act, which had severely limited immigration, Senator McCarran, Congressman Emanuel Celler of New York, who wanted further modifications to the McCarran Act, and Congressman Francis Walters of Pennsylvania, who had co-sponsored the McCarran Act and wanted fewer changes. The President had urged a bill before Congress which would admit 240,000 additional immigrants, most of whom would be refugees from Communist countries. But instead of discussing that bill, the President, after signing the naturalization bill for Korean War veterans, presented a book titled The Rules of Golf, which he indicated was dedicated to former President William Howard Taft, after which there was some banter about golf and the meeting adjourned.

Secretary Humphrey had sought earlier the firing of General Hoyt Vandenberg, retiring chief of staff of the Air Force, for having defied Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson regarding the proposed five billion dollar cut to the Air Force budget.

Former President Herbert Hoover had recently slipped into Washington to warn against cutting the Air Force budget, stating that he had not spoken out publicly on the matter because no one would listen "to a doddering old has-been", compared to a military figure like President Eisenhower.

The Texas drought was worse than the newspapers had reported, with the Texas cattle ranchers not only having to slaughter their foundation cattle herds for lack of feed and water, but the dry conditions had also destroyed cotton and wheat crops. Texans were upset with the President for seeking the advice of Attorney General Herbert Brownell before shipping emergency feed to Texas, for when blizzards had impacted the Western herds a couple of years earlier, President Truman had dispensed with formality and ordered the Air Force to form a haylift to fly emergency feed to the stranded cattle, an action which probably had been illegal.

Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin was getting such a runaround at the White House that he could not even speak with "Assistant President" Sherman Adams, but had to speak with his subordinate.

Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, chairman of the Senate Interior Committee, had tried to suppress the transcript of the hearings regarding confirmation of Tom Lyon as head of the Bureau of Mines, a nomination which had been withdrawn after objection regarding Mr. Lyons's continued receipt of a pension from the Anaconda Copper Co. and his opposition to mine safety rules. When the UMW had sought a copy of the transcript of the hearings, Senator Butler's staff refused to provide it and even other members of the Committee had been forced to go to the Senator's office to see it, despite the fact that the testimony was taken in public session at taxpayer expense, with the hearings having affected the safety of 500,000 miners.

Western Union salesmen had been seeing members of Congress, urging them to send more telegrams, each being allotted a certain amount for doing so, but if not used, would be returned to the Treasury.

Richard Strout, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, reflects back ten years to the premiere of "Mission to Moscow", starring Walter Huston as Ambassador Joseph E. Davies, based on the latter's best-selling book of the same name. The movie had presented a favorable portrait of Russia and Stalin, then a principal ally of the U.S. during the war. He provides excerpts from some of the positive reviews of the film and recalls how charitably people then viewed Russia and Stalin, willing to overlook the decided flaws in the Russian dictator while he fought on the side of America. The attitude was that people did not care for Stalin's methods, but that he was getting results and someone had to take care of the Fascist conspirators.

There were critics of the film but there were also defenders, such as the chairman of the Americanism committee of the VFW, who called it a "great picture" despite being "the object of calumny".

Now, ten years later, public opinion had swung the other way and everything Russian was suspect. "But it is hard to understand 1953 without including 1943, and it is, perhaps, just as difficult and unrewarding as ever to buck the big, encompassing, majority tide."

Marquis Childs indicates that when Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam of the Methodist Church criticized Representative Harold Velde and HUAC, of which Mr. Velde was chairman, HUAC member Donald Jackson of California lashed out, saying that the Bishop served God on Sundays and the Communist front the rest of the week. That attack appeared to have backfired. The Bishop had been supported by his church in resolutions repudiating the allegations and there was evidence that there was grassroots resentment of attacks on leading churchmen.

But Representative Jackson had not given up, forming petitions to demonstrate widespread demand among church people for an investigation of the Bishop and others who had been prominent in public affairs or who preached the "social gospel", relating religion to daily life. The petitions had been circulated by Dr. Carl McIntire, pastor of the Bible Presbyterian Church of Collingswood, N.J., who had become one of the most controversial figures in the American church world. He had been expelled from the Presbyterian Church in 1936, then forming a fundamentalist sect of his own, with his followers now claiming 75 churches. He had attacked the Federal Council of Churches, later becoming the National Council, Bishop Oxnam having once been president of the former organization. Dr. McIntyre had helped to form an International Council of Christian Churches, which was actively soliciting signatures for the petitions circulated at the behest of Congressman Jackson. It was claimed that that they had accumulated 25,000 names. During April, 1953, Dr. McIntyre had published a 23-page pamphlet attacking Bishop Oxnam as a "prophet of Marx." It was primarily devoted to guilt by association and innuendo, based on materials from HUAC files, suggesting the Bishop as being pro-Communist and pointing out that Secretary of State Dulles had once been chairman of a Commission on a Just and Durable Peace, at a time when Bishop Oxnam was supposedly influencing the Commission in favor of world government.

Since Mr. Jackson's charges, Representative Velde had named a two-man subcommittee, himself and Representative Clyde Doyle of California, a Democrat, to propose new rules governing the conduct of HUAC. Mr. Doyle had been an advocate of an orderly procedure guaranteeing individuals fair treatment before the Committee and the two would work with counsel to try to establish a set of rules on which the full Committee would agree, one such rule being that when members made sensational statements publicly, they were required to state that they were not speaking for the Committee.

Mr. Childs indicates that the "bitter brew of politics and religion" had been further stirred by the article written by J. B. Matthews, recently appointed by Senator McCarthy as chief investigator for his Investigations Committee, an article, appearing in a recent issue of the American Mercury, having charged that "some 7,000 Protestant clergymen have been drawn … into the network of the Kremlin's conspiracy." Mr. Matthews claimed that he wrote the article before his new assignment for the Committee, but the three Democratic members, Senators Henry Jackson, John McClellan, and Stuart Symington, wanted him fired and had asked and obtained a hearing before the Committee on the subject.

A letter writer says that he enjoyed The News more than any other newspaper in the South, and especially the columns of television critic John Crosby, Drew Pearson and the comic strip "Pogo".

A letter from Bob Cherry, Jr., again replies to a letter from a minister regarding his objection to the execution of the Rosenbergs on June 19 and his belief that capital punishment in all circumstances was wrong. Mr. Cherry again accuses the minister of sounding as a Communist and wonders why he had not lamented the deaths of American casualties in Korea.

A letter writer from Pittsboro indicates that Judge John J. Parker of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals had stated in his recent speech to the New York City Bar: "We in the United States had as well realize that the leadership of civilization, which was Great Britain's task for 100 years, has devolved upon us." The writer appreciates that thinking as an American but, as a realist, believes that the Judge was anticipating some generations to come, that the country was not yet mature enough as a nation to assume the leadership role. He suggests that the U.N. was about dead and wonders why another organization, apparently referring to NATO, should be formed for the purpose of obtaining world peace. The country presently had armed forces in 49 of the 91 countries of the world and he suggests that if some of the allies could be persuaded to help, the world might be policed without the establishment of any more "fanciful and fantastic world organizations for that purpose."

A letter writer indicates he had read a letter published July 2 from a seventh grader who indicated that students became bored very quickly in class when the Bible was being read, throwing spit wads and erasers from the blackboard at one another. He thinks that such boredom was a reflection of parents not teaching their children proper respect for the Bible.

Beat it into them. Thirty-nine lashes will do the trick.

A letter writer indicates that he had what he believed to be the oldest extant newspaper copy ever published in the city, the Western Democrat of Tuesday, November 17, 1868, and wishes that anyone with any older edition of a Charlotte newspaper to step forward.

Oh, we have that beat by at least a country mile along the fence-line to the rocky wall.

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