The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 9, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Sam Summerlin, that U.N. and Communist truce teams would hold their first full-dress session at Panmunjom this date since June 20, to try to arrange finally the truce, which was still opposed by South Korea. Peiping Radio had said this date that there were "hopes of an early realization of an armistice in Korea." An authoritative source said that U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark had provided to South Korean President Syngman Rhee an important letter dealing with South Korea's objections to the armistice, but that the letter was not an ultimatum for him to accept the present truce terms. Reliable sources said that it dealt with the two-week old secret talks between President Rhee and President Eisenhower's personal envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson.

In ground fighting in the war, U.S. infantrymen repulsed three Communist attacks this date but failed in a counter-attack utilizing flamethrowers to burn the last enemy troops from "Pork Chop Hill" on the western front. South Korean troops braved rockets in smashing a fourth enemy attack of about 1,000 troops at "Arrowhead Ridge", five miles from "Pork Chop". For the first time in weeks, U.S. units caught the brunt of the Communist attacks, which, on Wednesday night, had hit U.S.-held positions at "Outpost Berlin" and "East Berlin" on the far western front, "Kim Il Sung Ridge" in the east, and at "Pork Chop". Backed by artillery, the U.S. Seventh Infantry Division, by Thursday morning, had cleared the enemy from all except six bunkers on the northwest finger of "Pork Chop". The U.S. Eighth Army said that more than 1,200 of the enemy had been killed or wounded in artillery duels and close-quarters fighting, some of it hand-to-hand involving gun butts and knives, but did not report U.N. casualties.

In Berlin, the Communists lifted the iron curtain, permitting free Western travel into the Russian sector of the divided city for the first time since the rebellion had taken place three weeks earlier, in the wake of which martial law had been declared. Those crossing the border said that 16 major factories in East Berlin were seriously affected by sitdown strikes which began the previous day, demanding the release of workers arrested in the June 17 revolt. Apparently, the strikers did not place confidence in the Eastern Zone Government announcement the previous night that the "great majority" of those arrested had been released.

Senator McCarthy said this date that he had learned only after hiring J. B. Matthews as his staff coordinator for his Investigations Committee that Mr. Matthews had written a controversial article in the American Mercury, alleging Communist infiltration of the Protestant clergy. Democrats on the Committee, Senators Henry Jackson, Stuart Symington, and John McClellan, had demanded that Mr. Matthews be fired. Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina, who had headed the subcommittee until January but was no longer a member, said that he disagreed with Senator McCarthy's claim to such extensive authority over the hiring of staff. Senator Hoey said that his practice had been to consult senior Democratic and Republican members of the Committee regarding staff changes and if there had been any controversy regarding them, they would have submitted the matter to a subcommittee vote. Mr. Matthews had stated in the Mercury article that "7,000 Protestant ministers" comprised "the largest single group supporting the Communist apparatus in the United States."

A new policy statement was issued the previous night by the State Department, with the approval of Secretary Dulles, stating that books by Communists or Communist sympathizers could remain in the overseas Information Service libraries in special cases, provided that each "affirmatively serves the ends of democracy." Dr. Robert Johnson, outgoing head of the Information Service, indicated that examples might be mystery stories and anthologies of humor by Communist authors. The directive also said that controversial books were acceptable and essential, as long as they did not promote "conspiracy". No books would be burned. The report admitted that the confusion caused by earlier directives had caused harm to the U.S. abroad and at home.

The foreign ministers of Britain and France arrived in Washington this date to join with Secretary of State Dulles in mapping Big Three Allied strategy for dealing with the Soviet peace offensive and half a dozen trouble spots around the world. The British would be represented by the Marquis of Salisbury, the acting British Foreign Secretary while Anthony Eden was recovering from surgery. The French would be represented by Foreign Minister Georges Bidault. The conference would officially begin the following day and would last through the following Tuesday.

The Defense Department this date asked Congress to authorize an additional 529 million dollars worth of construction at military installations of all three branches plus the Marine Corps. The projects included 169 new facilities in 41 states, as well as in Alaska, Okinawa, the Marianas Islands, the Philippines and Cuba. Other projects would be at undisclosed locations. It provides the breakdown per branch of service.

Comptroller General Lindsay Warren said this date that during the fiscal year ended June 30, his office had recovered $56,750,000 in payouts made illegally or erroneously by Government agencies.

In New York, Senator Taft was reported progressing satisfactorily after exploratory surgery the previous day regarding his abdominal wall, reported to be reading the newspaper. It was still undisclosed that the Senator had terminal cancer, from which he would die at the end of the month.

In Long Beach, California, it was reported that Frances Bera, 28, and her co-pilot, Marcella Duke, also 28, both of Inglewood, wound up on top in the handicap ratings compiled by 99, Inc., the women pilots organization. They won the Powder Puff Derby for 1953, topping a field of 43 qualified finishers in the 2,678-mile flight from Lawrence, Mass. They averaged 122.3781 mph in their 165-horsepower Stinson Voyager, and received a prize of $800 at a banquet the previous night. It lists the other top five finishers and their prizes.

In Hollywood, Edmund Lowe, 61, veteran film actor, was reported by a physician this date to be critically ill from complications of viral pneumonia. All ardent fans of Mr. Lowe can relax, as he will live on until 1971.

Catawba County in North Carolina sought from the State Board of Health a supply of gamma globulin sufficient for a mass inoculation program for all children there under 10 years of age. The inoculation would provide temporary protection from polio for a period of about a month, designed to interrupt an epidemic. Four new cases of polio had been reported in the county, and one death, of a 25-year old mill worker, had occurred the previous night. The four new cases brought the county total to 31. The availability of gamma globulin was severely limited by the cost of its production and the need for blood supply from which to extract it.

In Lenoir, N.C., Caldwell County residents were awaiting results of the administration of gamma globulin to 12,802 children of that county during a three-day inoculation program earlier in the week. Health officials said that before the gamma globulin supplies had been exhausted the previous day, all children nine years old and under had received the shots. The remaining amount had been used on those children between ages ten and fourteen.

On the editorial page, "'Communist Book' Issue Begins To Shrink" indicates that the President, at his press conference the previous day, had made it clear that he disapproved of the State Department policy which held secret its directives on books as well as the names of the books removed from U.S. Information Service libraries abroad. The previous night, the State Department made the distinction between books by Communist authors and books which advanced and promoted Communism, specifying that only the latter would be banned from the overseas libraries.

It indicates that had Secretary of State Dulles and other State Department officials not been so frightened by Senator McCarthy and "his harebrained hawkshaws", Roy Cohn and David Schine, who had been sent to Europe to investigate the matter, the Department could have saved itself and the nation a great deal of embarrassing ridicule. After the two investigators had returned from Europe, Senator McCarthy announced that they had discovered that 31,345 books by 257 writers who had been "named under oath as Communists or who had public records of affiliation with Communist fronts" had been purchased by the "Truman-Acheson Administration". The Senator subsequently had been quoted by the Associated Press as demanding the removal of "30,000 Communist books" from foreign libraries. As a result of that pressure, the State Department started sending directives to the libraries on February 19, initially stating that all material "by any controversial persons, Communist, fellow travelers, etc." would be removed from the shelves, whereupon overzealous librarians, acting on the "etc.", began removing books, including such anti-Communist books as Witness by Whittaker Chambers, prompting Senator McCarthy to complain that somebody was trying to make the State Department look silly. During the ensuing weeks, at least ten directives from the Department had been sent, only compounding the confusion. The previous day, the Department had made public the names of eight authors, whose 25 books had been removed from the library shelves, which included 39 copies of the banned titles in 18 overseas libraries, of which Montevideo and Mexico City had seven each, with no other library having more than four.

The previous week, Dr. Robert Johnson, retiring head of the Information Service, said that all copies of 300 different titles had been removed, but a later report indicated that the latest directive had cut the blacklist to 50 titles, and the Department had just stated the titles of 25 of them. It indicates that if the Department followed the sensible advice of the President, it would publicly release the names of the other 25 to clarify the confusion which had made the U.S. appear "ridiculous" in the world's perception, and, in the process, proving, it suggests, that Senator McCarthy had wildly exaggerated the issue, "just as he has exaggerated everything else."

"Let's Be Frank about Bomb Business" indicates that the President, also at his press conference the previous day, had given support to the release to the public of more information regarding atomic energy, a position previously espoused by former chairmen David Lilienthal and Gordon Dean, the latter of whom had recently resigned. Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, chief architect of the atomic bomb, had also favored that position. It suggests that presumably, a move would be made to amend the atomic energy law to permit more public disclosure, which it finds to be good policy.

Apparently, it suggests, the President was not questioned by the press about two other matters related to atomic energy, the sharing of atomic knowledge with responsible allies and the buildup of atomic defense. It indicates that the President should take a position in favor of exchange, under reasonable safeguards, of classified information with responsible allies such as Canada and Britain, who had furnished a good part of the intellectual component of production of the original atomic bomb. The British, meanwhile, were detonating their own bombs because of the overzealous restrictions on exchange of information.

Dr. Oppenheimer was concerned about the defense of the country against atomic attack, as more defense would act as a deterrent to an attack by the Soviets. The problem could not be swept under the rug and should be discussed openly with candor, to inform the people of the threat and the means by which it could be reduced.

"Knuckles and Chuckles—Only Two Bits" tells of a new 25-cent Democratic Digest, similar to the Readers' Digest in its format, regarding Democratic accomplishments and bipartisan chuckles, primarily aimed at Republicans. It proceeds to provide some of the bits of information and wit contained in the new magazine, edited by deputy chairman of the DNC, Clayton Fritchey. One example was that of Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay who, after a Congressman asked what he meant in a statement, said, "I don't know what it means—I didn't write it." World War II cartoonist Bill Mauldin had provided a parody of General MacArthur, presenting him as "Douglas MacFleet".

It observes that the issue had a high tone and did not hit the opposition below the belt. The magazine had an easy-reading style which would encourage readership on airplanes and in smoking cars. Its presentation of editorials and cartoons from major newspapers presented proof that the press was critical of the in-party and not just the Democrats. It was, however, short on thought-provoking, long-range ideas which a responsible minority could and should promote, and, it advises, emphasis on basic issues could improve the magazine, which was otherwise off to a good start.

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "Survey: Marriage and Men", indicates that a specialist on marriage and the family had said that tests had shown that married women between the ages of 30 and 39 were generally more attractive than single women in that age group, although some of the single women were more attractive than any of the married women. It says that an observer had recently made a related survey on the comparative handsomeness of married and unmarried men between the ages of 35 and 45, finding that the bachelors were better dressed and had more money to spend, while the married men wore their clothes longer and tended to become bald more quickly, were more jumpy at slight noises. Bachelors were more rested except after weekends, when the married men gained a respite.

It comments that handsomeness always depended on the standards of masculine beauty, whether judged superficially or looking at deeper qualities. It concludes that the bachelors appeared better at the 100-yard dash, but that the married man were superior in the two-mile run.

Parenthetically, assuming the age of the women under scrutiny were lowered three years to 27, the men, both bachelors and married, would obtain a much deeper, more penetrating study of female pulchritude, beyond the mere superficialities, of those unmarried but sometimes married women, come the release of a new magazine, on the stands the following December.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson was accumulating surplus butter at the rate of 12 million pounds per week, in addition to the quarter of a billion pounds already owned by the Government through the price-support program. Butter would not keep indefinitely as it eventually would become rancid. Mr. Pearson again urges that the butter and surplus wheat be sent to Iron Curtain countries, where there was a shortage of food, and in that manner combat Communist propaganda against the U.S. He proposes sending a million loaves of bread and a few thousand pounds of butter to Berlin, preferably to East Berlin, where recent riots had been largely founded on the need for food. And if the Russians would not accept the gift, the American radio station in Berlin could put them on the spot by broadcasting the fact behind the Iron Curtain.

The National Security Council acted as a kind of super-cabinet dealing with defense problems, and since the beginning of the Eisenhower Administration, had handed down 130 basic decisions, including "striking changes" in U.S. policy toward the wars in Korea and Indo-China. Before the end of the year, it anticipated reaching a record 300 decisions which would lead the country either to peace or war. Recently, the Senate Appropriations Committee was given an official backstage look at the nation's most powerful defense policy agency, when the President sent his special assistant on Security Council matters, Robert Cutler, to the Committee for a confidential briefing. Mr. Pearson provides a brief outline of what he had told them, that one of the things the Council had been studying was the overall policy of the U.S. toward both of those wars, reviewing the basic policy to determine to what extent it ought be modified, Mr. Cutler eventually having recommended to the Council, which approved the recommendation the previous May, a new basic policy paper representing "striking changes" from what had previously been in effect. Mr. Pearson indicates that the precise nature of those changes could not be disclosed without tipping off the Russians.

Mr. Cutler had also informed of an internal U.S. battle regarding shipping of goods behind the Iron Curtain, indicating that both sides of that struggle had been presented to the Council on June 25, with the State Department favoring shipping of nonstrategic goods behind the Iron Curtain as long as the West got the best of the trade, while the Defense Department objected to a loose definition of "strategic" and the Navy favored sinking Polish ships which carried cargo to Communist China. Mr. Cutler had also revealed to the Committee that the NSC was working on nine coordinated security programs, going into detail about internal port security, that there was an internal security problem regarding continental defense involving 10 or 11 different departments and agencies of the Government, that if security of the nation's harbors was to be made, studies for the different departments and agencies had to be received at the planning board level.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Congress needed a firm hand at the helm, after Senator Taft had stepped aside from his floor leadership role because of his health issues, leaving Senator William Knowland of California as acting floor leader. Senator Taft was too astute a politician to attempt any roughshod action as leader, with Republicans only having a slight, nominal majority in the Senate. But Senator Knowland lacked the same humor and knowledge of human nature, important ingredients of politics even in the television era. There had to be an understanding in such a closely divided Senate of the art of compromise.

He presents an example which had occurred early in the session, in which Senator Lyndon Johnson, Minority Leader, approached Senator Taft regarding an amendment which the latter had sought to table to cut off its debate, to which Senator Johnson objected, saying that the Senate was supposed to be the greatest deliberative body in the world and that Senator Taft could "use mob rule" if he wanted, but that cutting off debate might cause him more trouble in the end. Senator Taft then withdrew his motion to table the amendment.

In contrast, Senator Russell Long of Louisiana had recently offered a motion to cut by two billion dollars the 5.6 billion dollar foreign aid measure recommended by the Administration, whereupon Senator Knowland allowed a Republican motion to table it, the measure having then been approved. As a result, however, Senator Long had offered four or five other amendments, taking up valuable time of the body. The final vote on the measure had been 42 to 38 in favor of the Administration position, but if three Democrats had changed their position, the bill would not have passed.

Mr. Childs thus indicates that the loss of Senator Taft at such a critical stage of the session could not be exaggerated, even if he did not have views on the Korean truce which were aligned with those of the White House. But he had kept those latter sentiments largely to himself, whereas Senator Knowland, in a recent "Meet the Press" television program, indicated his support for President Rhee's position in contesting the truce.

Senator Taft, who had fought so long and hard for the presidency, only to have been denied the nomination by General Eisenhower the prior summer, had shown considerable restraint, despite not forgetting that Sherman Adams, the President's chief of staff, had effectively fought the Senator in the important New Hampshire primary while Mr. Adams was Governor of that state. Yet, prior to his illness, the Senator had worked in cooperation with Mr. Adams.

While the obstructionism of Congressman Daniel Reed, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, was no surprise to Senator Taft, as the Senator had wrangled with Mr. Reed over a tax on farm cooperatives some years earlier, Senator Taft had used harsh terms in describing Mr. Reed's conduct.

Joseph Alsop indicates that the position of South Korean President Syngman Rhee, in opposing a truce which would leave Korea divided, was in part motivated by his nationalistic tendencies and in another part by his concern regarding the effect which the stalemate truce would have on the entire Far East into the future, especially with regard to the tenuous French situation in Indo-China. Mr. Alsop proceeds to examine that latter situation in some detail.

The struggle for Indo-China might reach an "ugly climax" after the summer rains ended and the fighting resumed in September. French commander, General Navarre, had announced that training of native troops was proceeding, but that his forces were still concentrated in fortified areas of the coastal plains and he did not have the men to spare to hold the back-country, Cambodia and Laos, where the Communists had attacked at the end of the previous fighting season.

Maj. General Claire Chennault, commander of the "Flying Tigers" in China in World War II and whose observations were as cogent as ever regarding the Far East, believed that the Vietminh would again drive into Laos after the rainy season and that the attack would be more powerful and better prepared than the earlier one. Defenses in Laos remained weak, and in Cambodia, King Norodom Sihanouk was leading what amounted to an open rebellion against French rule. That left the French forces in Indo-China exposed to a severe setback in both Laos and Cambodia. Such a setback could sharply influence French policy at home, where exiting Indo-China was already a subject of considerable discussion within the French National Assembly, where Mendes-France wanted to arrange a deal with Ho Chi Minh, an arrangement also hinted at by Foreign Minister Georges Bidault, both men having been candidates recently for the position of Premier, a position to which either could have been elected but for failing by a small margin to gain a majority. Mr. Alsop regards that fact as significant in establishing a trend in French thinking, against which there was also lacking any significant weight of counter-opinion.

He indicates that the French would likely have cut their losses in Indo-China much earlier had it not been for local business interests, such as Banque de L'Indo-Chine, combining with the rich North African colonists to block the National Assembly members who wished to abandon Indo-China.

Secretary of State Dulles had warned six months earlier that Indo-China was facing an urgent and critical situation, which had only grown worse in the interim. In addition, the friendly Iranian Government was near bankruptcy and President Mohammed Naguib in Egypt had advised Washington that Egyptian forces might make a desperate attack on the British base at Suez unless the upcoming Bermuda Big Three conference of the heads of state produced a solution of the Anglo-Egyptian dispute.

James Marlow indicates that the difference between information and propaganda could be sometimes only slight, as illustrated by the President's Commission on International Information Activities, which had recently issued a report to the President, recommending such things as the disuse of the terms "psychological warfare", "propaganda", and "cold war" as "unfortunate" and non-conducive to the aims of peace in the world. That Commission, headed by investment banker William Jackson, had been occupied with the problem of making friends and influencing people abroad since it had been created just after the President took office the prior January. The Commission had recommended substituting the unfortunate terms with those expressing the solidarity of freedom-loving peoples everywhere. The object ought be, it went on, to stimulate those aspiring to freedom, progress and peace, ensuring them that the U.S. gave them full support. It recommended that all media be directed toward that end, to show the identity of U.S. goals with those of other peoples. It said that a "propagandist note" should be avoided, sticking strictly to information dissemination.

Mr. Marlow suggests that the first part of the Commission's recommendations seemed to suggest dissemination of objective information to allow those in foreign lands to make up their own mind, while the second part indicated that the information ought explain the matter in such a way as to cause the recipients to adopt the American viewpoint, suggesting some confusion thereby, which could only translate to confusion in the minds of those abroad regarding U.S. intentions.

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