The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 12, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that 100 Americans returned this date from North Korean prison camps to freedom at Panmunjom, but the released South Koreans again were in pitiful condition, some appearing as "living skeletons", having to be carried from the Communist ambulances to litters. Of the 400 prisoners released this date, 250 had been South Koreans, 25 British and 25 Turks, in addition to the Americans. The Communists promised to hand over 75 Americans, 75 British and 250 South Koreans, all able-bodied, the following day. That would bring the number of Americans liberated thus far to 823 of the total 3,313 to be released.

The first released Americans, a week earlier, had arrived in the U.S. this date aboard an Air Force transport plane, including 17 ailing soldiers, three of whom were reportedly psychiatric cases. A spokesman at Travis Air Force Base in the vicinity of San Francisco stated that the men would be sent to hospitals near their homes. Another 328 former POW's were en route home aboard a transport ship, which had left Korea on Tuesday for a two-week voyage. An additional 60 liberated Americans, classed as sick and wounded, were aboard a hospital ship in Inchon Harbor, the departure date of which had not yet been announced.

Secretary of State Dulles warned the Communists this date that the U.N. would hold Communist war prisoners charged with or convicted of crimes until the end of the exchange, to make sure that the Communists returned U.N. prisoners in the same category. He said that any Communist plan to withhold American prisoners found guilty of so-called crimes would violate the Armistice agreement. He said that the Communists had a bad record in that area, that there was ample evidence they had retained hundreds of thousands of Germans and Japanese prisoners following World War II. He said the reports by some of the returning U.S. prisoners that the Communists had issued sentences in the days following the Armistice for interfering with the peace, had not yet been officially evaluated. He said the charges themselves provided reason for "suspicion and alertness".

The Secretary also said that he accepted with some skepticism the claim made by Premier Georgi Malenkov the previous Saturday that the Russians had mastered production of the hydrogen bomb. He said the U.S. had no independent evidence that Russia actually had the bomb. He said that the Saturday speech before the Supreme Soviet had shown that Russian despotism had been so complete that the Soviet people had no knowledge of or participation in the plans of the country's leaders. The Secretary also said that mid-October would be a good target date for holding the political conference regarding Korea, and that the site could be in a neutral country. He said that the U.S. believed the U.N. General Assembly session on Korea, to start the following Monday, should not consider any move to admit Communist China to the membership, as the agenda was supposed to be limited to the Korean issues. He also informed that State Department employees who had voted for Governor Adlai Stevenson in the 1952 election had not been disqualified from participation in the making of American foreign policy under President Eisenhower. He declined to say whether that policy was followed with regard to employees who might be members or followers of a socialist party.

South Korean President Syngman Rhee said this date in an interview that his Government would never agree to a coalition government with the Communists in the North as a means of unifying the country. He declared that South Korea would go it alone if the political conference, set to start sometime in October, failed within its 90 day duration period to solve the problem of unification. He said that he felt nothing would be accomplished at the conference, that since 1945, the Americans had tried a hundred ways to come to agreement with the Communists, having tried for two years just to end the fighting in Korea. He said that he could not approve of Ceylon as the site for the conference, as was being discussed, because of its closeness to India, which he had labeled pro-Communist and subject to British influence. He said that his country had endured insults from England and he had asked his Government to ignore them, but did not wish to hurt the feelings of the men of the British Commonwealth who had fought in Korea to defend the free nation against Communist aggression.

A Senate Armed Services subcommittee, chaired by Senator Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, issued a report the previous night which said that the country and its European allies lacked enough ammunition for all-out war, that production at three times the Korean War total would bring "a readiness posture never heretofore attained" in the following year. The panel had issued a report in May that ammunition had been critically scarce for nearly two years in Korea, causing "a needless loss of American lives." The new report said that the ammunition shortage had been ended prior to the truce. It said that the ammunition to be manufactured in the present fiscal year would be greater than during all three years of the Korean War. The report cautioned against building up large stocks of munitions throughout Europe, where they might be endangered by an attacking enemy. It urged storage in places where they would be readily available in adequate amounts should war break out in Europe.

A Senate Investigations subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy, was considering the possibility of security leaks in the Government Printing Office, and in pursuit thereof, this date summoned more unnamed witnesses in preparation for public hearings the following Monday. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, a member of the subcommittee, said that he and Senator McCarthy had been "exploring the possibility of anyone who was so inclined purloining a secret document and transmitting it into hands where it should not be", indicating that they were certain that a very substantial amount of confidential, secret and top-secret work had been processed in the Government Printing Office regarding matter from the CIA, the Atomic Energy Commission and the State and Defense Departments. While the Navy said that its "top-secret" data was sent to the Office, the Army and Air Force indicated that their printing of "top secret" material was done in their departments.

At Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts, four Navy airmen were killed when their plane crashed and burned while taking off on a routine flight. Officials indicated there was a possibility of a fifth man aboard. The normal crew was seven and the R6D transport plane could accommodate 64 passengers.

In France, new strikes were called this date by about a million workers in the clothing and metal-working industries and in Government offices. Some three million workers protesting the Government's plans to balance its budget by trimming Government payrolls and increasing the retirement age for civil servants might be off the job the following day. Premier Joseph Laniel, however, showed no signs of abandoning his plans regarding budget-cutting.

In Rome, Conservative Attilio Piccioni abandoned his efforts this date to form a new center coalition government which would end Italy's 15-day crisis. It was now expected that former Premier Alcide de Gasperi would be asked once again to try to form a government. Reliable sources said that Sr. Piccioni had given up his effort because Liberal and Social Democrat leaders had objected to his inclusion of too many familiar Christian Democrat faces from the prior Government of Premier De Gasperi. The crisis had begun in the June 7-8 general election, when voters had produced only a small center coalition capable of governing, reducing the strength of the center in favor of left and right extremist parties. The De Gasperi Cabinet had lasted for only 13 days, and otherwise, the country had been without a government since the elections.

In Greece, at least 150 had died in an earthquake the previous night in the Ionian Sea islands, hit by earthquakes for the fourth successive day this date. Some predicted that as many as 400 persons had died.

The year's first hurricane, dubbed Barbara, developed in the Atlantic Ocean this date, 325 miles east of Daytona Beach, Fla. The Miami Weather Bureau said that it was a small storm, with winds at 75 mph, but would slowly increase in power. The first tropical storm of the year, Alice, had broken up in the Caribbean without reaching hurricane force.

Near Adairsville, Ga., two fugitives, sought for the slaying of a U.S. deputy marshal near Murfreesboro, Tenn., had been captured by National Guardsmen this date, and another guard taken as hostage by the pair was rescued unharmed. The deputy marshal had been driving the two prisoners to the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary to begin five-year sentences for auto theft, when he had been killed and the car hijacked, then abandoned a few miles away, the capture made a few miles from the abandoned car.

In New York, a 36-year old wife of an airline executive put on a bathing suit early this date and dove nine stories from the roof of her apartment house into a swimming pool with only four feet of water. She was taken to a hospital in critical condition. Her husband was the treasurer of Eastern Air Lines, and their three children had been present in the couple's ground-floor apartment at the time. No one could provide an explanation for her action.

In Oxford, O., more than 2,000 youthful delegates to the biennial convention of the Luther League of America would elect officers this date, some of the candidates for which were from North Carolina and South Carolina.

On the editorial page, "High School Enrollment Shows Big Jump" indicates that among many broad changes in the North Carolina educational pattern since the war, none had been more dramatic than the large growth of the high school enrollment. In 1944-45, only 17.9 percent of white students were in high school, whereas by 1951-52, the percentage was 22.5. The total enrollment in white schools had increased 78,460 during those seven years, or 13.9 percent, while in the elementary schools, the increase was 7.6 percent, in the high schools, 43.1 percent. In black school enrollment, 11.2 percent of black students in the state had been enrolled in high schools in 1944-45, whereas in 1951-52, 18.1 percent were enrolled. The total enrollment in black schools had risen by 22,983, of whom 21,332 were new high school students, and only 1,651, elementary school students. Black high school enrollment increased by 75.8 percent in the intervening seven years.

There had been a fundamental change in the basic education service afforded by the State Government during that interim, as fewer children were presently dropping out of school at the fifth, sixth, or seventh grade levels, causing the greater increase in high school students, and in the process producing better educated citizens.

The positive trend had created a challenge for the state to improve its employment base so that the better educated students would not leave the state for other higher-wage areas. New economic opportunities needed to be created for black high school graduates, lest the investment of tax dollars in the state school system would be wasted as the contributions of the better educated would be lost to other states.

"Scott Entry Would Make It a Battle" indicates that it appeared by his actions and statements that former Governor Kerr Scott was already a candidate for the following year's Senatorial election, against new interim Senator Alton Lennon, appointed by Governor William B. Umstead the previous month, in the wake of the death of Senator Willis Smith in June.

It hopes that Mr. Scott would receive the promises of support and the pledges of money which he deemed necessary before formally entering the race, as a Scott candidacy would join the major issues of the day, giving the people of the state a real choice. Senator Lennon would undoubtedly run as a conservative, in the tradition of Governor Umstead and Senator Smith. His backing would come from the wing of the state Democratic Party which had supported Senator Smith in his campaign against appointed interim Senator Frank Graham in the 1950 Democratic primary. Governor Scott would adapt his "Go Forward" theme of progressivism, which had characterized his term as Governor, to national and international problems.

It suggests that the race would not have such diversionary issues as had the Smith-Graham campaign, regarding race and subversion, so that the remaining issues could be debated fully. The former Governor, it indicates, was a "salty individual with a strong and controversial personality and a knack for turning a neat phrase." He was also a hard campaigner and his probable entry to the race held promise of a "slam-bang campaign in the best Tar Heel tradition."

Former Governor Scott would run and win the primary the following spring, going on to win the general election in the one-party state.

"The Quiet Neighbor up North" indicates that 1859 had been known in the Northwest as the "Year of the Pig", because during that summer, a Canadian pig on San Juan Island of Vancouver had taken a fancy to a neighboring American's potato patch, causing the American to shoot the pig, resulting in an international incident, causing troops to be sent to San Juan by Canada and the U.S., both of which nations claimed the island. After several years of litigation, ownership was finally granted to the U.S.

It finds that even minor incidents of that type no longer occurred along the border between the U.S. and Canada. Except whenever the St. Lawrence Seaway came up for annual discussion in Congress, or an election was held in Canada, the northern neighbor went largely unnoticed in the U.S.

It observes that Canadian success in various fields, however, was worth noting. The country did not have the functional equivalent of HUAC at work, and the Labor Progressive Party, which was Communist, put up about 100 candidates in the current week's Canadian national elections. One of its provinces had long been a stronghold for Socialists. Yet, since the wartime spy ring had been exposed, there had been no major instance of subversion in the country. Canadians were more unified than Americans regarding foreign policy, which was firmly internationalist. The Liberal Government had built up, during its many years in office, a welfare state. Canada had contributed substantially in terms of men and money during World War II. And yet, the Government consistently had a surplus, admittedly resulting from high taxes. Business was good and American dollars were flowing into Canada. The Canadian dollar was sounder than the American dollar. Immigrants were pouring into the country under less restrictive regulations than in the U.S., and the country was booming.

It concludes that perhaps Canada's successes could be attributed to its solid governmental system, the wealth of its soil and its freedom from responsibilities of world leadership. Perhaps, it ventures, the cool weather had something to do with it. Regardless of cause, it finds, Americans could profit from more frequent observations of its neighbor.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Aesop Up to Date", presents in fabular form the fight against domestic Communism, with which, according to a right-wing columnist, the people were getting bored by the controversy over the method used, rather wanting to get the job done regardless of how it was accomplished.

"So other hunters joined the chase. Some tried a little poison in the wells that supplied the community with water. The pests drank of it, but so did the useful creatures and the people. Others sprayed the air the pests must breathe with noxious fumes. But the useful creatures and the people had to breathe it too.

"And all the while no one enjoyed the excitement more than the rats, the weasels, and the mice. For they were very skillful about lying low and letting good people chase and strike blindly at the dogs, the cats, and the kittens. And the community was thrown into confusion and turmoil. Which is just what the weasels, the rats, and the mice had set out to accomplish in the first place.

"Moral: Methods do matter—especially if they lead to ends nobody wants but the enemy."

Drew Pearson indicates that former Secretary of State Acheson had recently given Democratic Senators his private analysis of what was going on inside the Kremlin, dismissing Premier Georgi Malenkov as ambitious but not a "real leader" of Russia. His purge of secret police chief L. P. Beria had "temporarily" put Mr. Malenkov in complete control, but the "best mind" in the Politburo continued to be the Foreign Minister, V. M. Molotov. Mr. Acheson said that Mr. Beria's biggest mistake had been creating a deputy "who became ambitious and worked closely" with Mr. Malenkov. The Premier and the deputy had captured Mr. Beria and thrown him into his own prison to face the same trumped-up charges which he had brought against others. Mr. Acheson regarded it as a "bold stroke" by Mr. Malenkov, realizing he was taking a great risk, for if he had failed, he would have been purged. He said that Mr. Malenkov's great mistake thus far had been his softening immediately after the death of Stalin on March 5. He had sent Andrei Vishinsky to the U.N. smiling instead of scowling, while in Berlin, the Communists also softened the tough type of administration which Stalin had always employed. The first sign of unrest in Germany had come immediately after Mr. Malenkov had rescinded some of the more stringent administrative measures, promising the German people more food, a greater variety of goods in the stores and several other measures designed to lessen their burden. The easing of those dictatorial powers had given the German workers encouragement to request changes in working conditions in the factories, and, much to their surprise, the request had been granted, encouraging the workers to make additional demands, which were also granted, encouraging the workers then to call a strike for yet more benefits, following which had been the riots of June 17. Mr. Acheson had added that Mr. Malenkov's weakness had given heart to the peoples of all of the other Soviet satellites as well.

Mr. Acheson urged that, with that trouble in the satellites, it was presently the time for the U.S. to move forward with programs to take advantage of the situation, more urgent than at any time since the beginning of the Korean War. At the start of the latter war, Russia had been three years ahead of the U.S., as it had never stopped its arms buildup following World War II, as had the U.S. Presently, the U.S. had an opportunity to reduce that gap, according to Mr. Acheson, especially with the Korean War fighting over and no longer draining resources. He emphasized that the U.S. should do everything it could in that effort, and provide greater emphasis to helping its allies. He indicated that more progress had been made in getting NATO organized and Western Europe united than anyone could possibly have imagined a few years earlier. While there were superficial signs in Italy and France that there was some difficulty, deeper down, there was an undercurrent working toward a friendly, cooperative Europe. He had found that there was jealousy on the part of other nations regarding the relative wealth of the U.S., but he had found that the other democracies of the world were also glad to have a rich uncle as a friend. He indicated that Stalin's death might be forerunner of the establishment of peace in the world, the event which would eventually bring the world to its senses.

Marquis Childs indicates that the difference between a democratic government and a totalitarian government was the freedom to know, and, yet, the American people knew less than Russian citizens about the progress of their government on the hydrogen bomb. Premier Georgi Malenkov had announced to the Supreme Soviet the previous Saturday that Russia had the hydrogen bomb. The U.S. Government had only given hints publicly of having made experiments with thermonuclear technology. One hint came after the tests on Eniwetok in spring, 1951, and another the previous November 1, also regarding a test on Eniwetok.

In the latter test, sailors assigned to Navy ships observing the test had written home information about what they had observed, picked up by local newspapers. Men stationed 30 miles from the explosion reported feeling heat like a sudden hot iron applied to the skin, estimated to be 180 degrees. It had been established that the detonation had evaporated the atoll, approximately three miles long and one mile wide, and that the resulting fire had burned for several hours. It had also been reported on good authority that all of the instruments placed at various distances from the center of the explosion to record its force had been destroyed, most of them vaporized. Another report indicated that originally two bombs were supposed to have been detonated the previous fall, but that the force of the first explosion had been so overwhelming that the second experiment was abandoned.

He suggests that the question needed to be asked regarding from whom the facts of life and death were being withheld. It had to be assumed that the Russians had a long-range detection system approaching the efficiency of that of the U.S., which had detected the Soviet detonations. Thus, shortly after the tests had been conducted the previous fall, the Russians would have been able to establish the fact that a hydrogen bomb had been exploded, capable of detection by the presence of tritium particles in the atomic clouds which circulated around in the upper atmosphere of the earth following a detonation. There was nothing to be given to the Russians insofar as technological understanding, as convicted espionage agent for the Russians, British nuclear physicist Klaus Fuchs, had access during World War II to all of the theoretical knowledge of the hydrogen bomb production, which he had turned over to the Russians along with his knowledge of conventional atomic weaponry.

The Congressional Quarterly indicates that unlike most nations, the U.S., with a two-party political system, did not have to depend on coalitions of numerous splinter groups to form the Federal Government. The President had, however, needed Democratic help to push his program through the first session of Congress, and to prevent action which he believed would slow it down. The Republicans had only a narrow majority of control in both houses and few Republicans were voting with the Administration on all issues. In most cases, Democratic votes filled the gap where either absenteeism or defections among Republicans left the President's program without sufficient votes.

The Quarterly had labeled 83 of the 160 roll call votes during the session as clear-cut tests of the Administration's program and leadership. The President had won 74 of those tests and lost nine. Many other issues had been blocked in committees, on non-roll call votes or in unofficial compromises, but those cases were not open to clear analysis. Forty-three of the victories and six of the defeats had taken place in the Senate, where 37 of those victories were achieved through Democratic support. In the other six, Republican support had been sufficient. In two of the six defeats, Democrats supported the losing cause with more votes, proportionately, than had Republicans. In the other four, Republican support was stronger but inadequate to achieve victory.

Thirty-one of the 74 victories and three of the nine defeats came in the House. Twenty of those victories required Democratic support, and the President's principal support in two of the three defeats had been supplied by the Democrats.

A 35th House roll call, regarding the passage of the Mutual Security Administration appropriation, had also been a test of a basic Administration policy, foreign aid, but the President called the 4.4 billion dollar appropriation insufficient and so the Quarterly had not classified its passage as either a victory or defeat for the White House.

Members of Congress had made a record vote 87 percent of the time. The House voted by roll call 71 times, compared to 89 in the Senate, and the House scored 88 percent voting, whereas the Senate was at 84 percent. The overall Republican voting participation was 89 percent, while Democrats were at 85.5 percent.

A letter writer objects to an editorial of August 6 on the sparse attendance of Charlotte Hornets baseball games, indicating that he had seen and heard quite differently. He challenges those who would disagree to: "Lay on MacDuff, and damned be he who first cries 'hold enough'."

A letter writer from Gastonia thinks that the television stations were hurting themselves by running films at least five years old and some as old as 12 years, as they had to cut down the running time, causing some two-hour movies to be pared to 50 minutes, compromising the story line. They also did not present the film in sharp focus, and often the soundtrack was muddied. He suggests that fans of television go to the local theaters and open their eyes.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., indicates that city, county, state and Federal officials were permitting "so many things of disgrace and sin", such as movie theaters and skating rinks, causing young people's minds to be diverted from God's work. He is ashamed of the officials for being "weak-kneed", passing ordinances to permit such things to occur on the Sabbath, suggests reading Exodus 20:1-12.

A letter writer indicates that a Christian was rich, had wealth untold, something which money could not buy, the gifts that God gives a Christian who believed in Jesus and the price he had paid on Calvary. She indicates that if church members and sinners did not become Christians, hundreds of young boys and girls who knew nothing of being born again would die in their sins. She indicates that it was later than people believed, that no one knew when they would pass into eternity and that now was the time to get ready.

A letter writer from Rockingham indicates disappointment at not finding the page where the television programs were listed for the following week in the previous Saturday edition of the newspaper, which she believed to be one of the finest features. She indicates that she furnished copies of the newspaper to each room of a tourist court she ran, and she always collected the television pages from the newspaper, folded them nicely and neatly, placing a copy on each television set in each room, so that the guests could determine what was on TV. She also mailed a copy of the page each week to her daughter in Asheville. She indicates that the tourist court's televisions were coin operated and a guest therefore liked to know what they were going to look at, as well as wanting to read the news. She says that she enjoyed the newspaper very much and hopes that the television section would return to her 20 copies the following Saturday.

The editors respond that it would.

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