The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 15, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. Command said this date that near Inchon, South Korean civilians the previous day had stoned some of 3,600 Communist POWs because they had been taunting the civilian bystanders, waving banners, chanting Communist songs, and hurling boots and metal canteens at them while being trucked to a rail station from Inchon Harbor. Injuries were suffered by 314 of the Communist prisoners and nine American guards, two seriously.

No such incidents had occurred this date at Panmunjom, as 400 more allied prisoners were freed by the Communists, including 50 Americans, all of them appearing healthy. The released American prisoners again told stories of suffering in the Communist stockades. One of the released prisoners told of the capture and execution of a fellow prisoner who had tried to escape but who had been unable to run on frozen feet. He had been returned to the camp, where he was taken behind a warehouse and shot. Fellow prisoners had buried him later. Three of the repatriated prisoners said that the Chinese were using threats to force returning prisoners to tell Red Cross teams that treatment in the camps was good. One said that a Chinese interpreter had called him out on Friday night and told him to go before the Red Cross team and confirm stories of good treatment which would be told by returning British prisoners. He said the interpreter had told him that if he did not go, it would interfere with the repatriation, and so he believed he had to go. He said that he never did any talking, however, as the British soldiers had done it all. Another soldier said that six or seven Americans had been retained at Camp 1 on various charges, having received sentences of from 1 to 3 years and been trucked out of the camp at about the time of the Armistice. He said that all of the charges were simply based on suspicion, and that the charged prisoners appeared more hostile to the Chinese than the others. A blind soldier from Tennessee said that a Chinese instructor had told him that American repatriates might be contacted by letters from the Communists after they returned home.

One released prisoner, who was asked by reporters whether he had a girlfriend at home, said that he did not but that with $5,000 in back pay coming to him after his release, he did not think he would have any trouble finding one. His sister said that she did not think he was the marrying kind, that he always had a lot of girlfriends, but did not have his eye on any particular one. She said that quite a few girls had been calling to ask about him and one had been over the previous night. The soldier had been a hotel bartender in civilian life.

Meanwhile, the airlifts of Americans back to the U.S. had gained momentum, as one transport plane carrying nine soldiers, eight of whom were seriously ill or disabled, landed on Saturday morning at Travis Air Force Base in the vicinity of San Francisco. Another plane, with four ailing American soldiers aboard, had left Tokyo for the trip across the Pacific. The second troop ship to leave for the U.S. with liberated prisoners was set to sail from Inchon Harbor the following morning.

At the U.N. in New York, the 16 nations which had fought under the U.N. banner in Korea were seeking to patch up British-U.S. differences this date regarding proposed inclusion of India and Russia in the forthcoming Korean political conference. Britain had indicated that it was not prepared to renew the fighting in Korea if the Armistice were broken by any nation on the U.N. side. The statement apparently referred to South Korea, after President Syngman Rhee told a large rally of about 100,000 people in Seoul this date, celebrating the fifth anniversary of independence, that it was their wish and determination to march north at the earliest possible time to achieve unification if the 90-day conference, set to begin in October, did not accomplish that result, predicting again that the conference would fail. American Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had, according to a Latin American source, said that the U.S. would oppose India being represented at the conference but might abstain regarding Russia, should the British push the issue to the floor of the General Assembly, as they were threatening to do. Ambassador Lodge had addressed the U.N. delegation of 20 Latin American nations the previous night, and according to the source, had proposed a resolution to be sponsored by the U.S. which would name ten countries as U.N. participants in the conference, including Australia, Canada, Thailand, Colombia, France, the Philippines, Turkey, Britain, South Korea and the U.S. A report the prior day had stated that the U.S. would not object to Russia's inclusion among the Communist nations represented at the conference, only to their inclusion among the U.N. representatives, which the U.S. believed ought be limited to the 16 participants in the fighting on the U.N. side in the war.

New Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford took over his duties this date, receiving the oath of office from his predecessor, General Omar Bradley. Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson attended the ceremony at the Pentagon and praised both Admiral Radford and General Bradley, presenting the latter with an embossed resolution signed by the members of the Armed Forces Policy Council, thanking him for his "unique services" during 42 years of active duty. General Matthew Ridgway was sworn in as the new Army chief of staff, succeeding General J. Lawton Collins. General Nathan Twining had taken office six weeks earlier as the new Air Force chief of staff, succeeding General Hoyt Vandenberg. The following Monday, Admiral Robert Carney would take over as chief of Naval Operations, succeeding Admiral William Fechteler.

The nation's farmers had voted overwhelmingly to accept rigid production controls on the following year's wheat crop in return for continued high government price supports, approving the marketing quota by a margin of 7 to 1 the previous day, the quota to restrict production and sales by about 20 percent from the present year's crop which had been 10 percent above normal.

In Japan, the Japanese National Police stated that revised casualty lists from the nation's third major flood of the summer had indicated that 143 had died, 234 were missing and 170 injured. The flash flood had struck near the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto this date after a reservoir had burst. Revised damage reports said that 506 houses were demolished and 44 damaged. More than half of Kyoto's southern suburb of Ide had disappeared under flood waters after torrential rains had begun the previous night, with initial estimates stating that 730 homes had been washed away.

In Naha, Okinawa, a Pacific typhoon veered slightly this night and weather experts said that the U.S. base at Naha might escape the full fury of the storm. It was centered about 20 miles from Okinawa during mid-afternoon. The typhoon was generating winds of 138 mph and was moving northwesterly at 10 mph, toward a Communist Chinese port about 230 miles south of Shanghai.

In Manchester, England, two British trains had crashed into one another atop a viaduct, eighty feet over the River Irk this date, killing ten passengers and injuring fifty others. One coach had careened into the river bed, landing upside down after ripping a thirty foot hole in the viaduct wall. The crash occurred during the morning rush-hour and the two trains reportedly were carrying several children.

Hurricane Barbara, which had earlier beset the North Carolina and Virginia Capes, had moved out to sea this date leaving behind heavy rains but little damage as it skirted the New England coast, with the center passing within 20 miles of Nantucket Island in the wee hours of the morning. Cape Cod and Nantucket had gusts up to 60 mph just prior to dawn at the peak of the storm. The strongest winds recorded on Long Island were 40 mph at Montauk, 125 miles from New York City. The hurricane had caused at least five deaths and more than a million dollars in damage to crops in North Carolina and Virginia. Two persons had died in fatal automobile accidents on the New Jersey Turnpike and in New York City, respectively, and another man on Long Island had died of a heart attack while pulling a boat from the water after being alerted to the storm. The other two deaths had occurred earlier, one man being swept out to sea from a Wilmington, N.C., pier, and the other, in Norfolk County, Va., having touched a fallen high-tension electrical wire.

In Winston-Salem, Representative Herbert Warburton of Delaware predicted that Congress would be called back into special session by October 1 to raise the national debt limit. He predicted that Republicans would obtain substantial margins in the 1954 Congressional elections. He was a guest at a reception and dinner sponsored by the Forsyth County Young Republicans. We would suggest to the Forsyth County Young Republicans not to lay down too much money on the betting line in response to the Congressman's predictions.

In Baltimore, the 57-year old grandmother who had waged a six-month battle with a construction company which had parked some of its heavy equipment on her property, prompting her to place a wire fence around the equipment and guard it with her .22-caliber rifle, had now repelled an attempt by the construction company to get its pipe-layer back to continue work on a large sewer project, utilizing Bear Creek to float a barge into the vicinity of the property, whereupon the grandmother ordered them off her property. They hesitated and then began hauling huge wooden beams from the deck of the landing craft to the bluff below where the grandmother stood watch. She then whipped out a pistol and warned that if they came any closer, she would let them have it. She then climbed the fence and gave one of the workmen a shove which sent him skidding down the sandy bank. Soon, the police arrived, to whom the grandmother said that she did not like being pushed around.

On the editorial page, "The Real Nature of Our Liberties" indicates that recently the Asheville Citizen had asked whether the Constitution and its Bill of Rights were ever studied by the far less than half of the population who completed high school, and how many of that minority would know the Bill of Rights if they came across it. Prompting the questions had been a poll taken by Purdue University's Opinion Panel to determine what high school age youths thought about freedom, resulting in findings that 58 percent agreed that the police were justified in giving a prisoner the "third degree" to obtain a confession, that 32 percent said that persons who refused to testify against themselves ought be compelled to talk or severely punished, that 25 percent favored denying the right to peaceful assembly, that 26 percent thought that the police ought be allowed to search a person or their home without a warrant, that only 45 percent thought newspapers should be allowed to print anything except military secrets, and that 15 percent would deny a criminal defendant the right to counsel.

It indicates that if the results were more or less accurate, they revealed an ignorance of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights which was appalling. It finds that schools and parents were neglecting one of their most important jobs, to instill in young people some knowledge and understanding of the basic notions of the Constitution. It also makes room for the answers having reflected, in part, a growing irritation with those who had abused their Constitutional rights and privileges. Gangsters had refused to talk before the Kefauver crime committee in 1950-51, by asserting the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Others had taken the Fifth when asked about membership in the Communist Party. (It appears to be suggesting that the Fifth Amendment is reserved only for non-Communists and non-gangsters, innocent folk.) Communists had taken advantage of the right of assembly by starting riots. Some newspapers, it finds, had abused freedom of the press.

Freedoms were considered inalienable rights of a free people, not granted to them for the protection of those who would abuse them, but God-given to advance the cause of free men. It suggests that parents and teachers, newspapers and public leaders, and every medium of information ought stress those points. "For if we weaken our militant defense of personal freedoms just because they are abused, or because we are ignorant of their real nature, we shall be doing to ourselves precisely what our Communist enemies have not yet been able to do."

We might suggest that under a system of apartheid in the United States at the time, in terms of the right to vote in some states, the right to live in the neighborhood of one's choice, the right to attend the school of one's choice when qualified, it was difficult to preach the gospel of the Constitution without it being met with a good deal of cynicism in response, especially by those minorities who were systemically denied that equality of opportunity. That it had to start in the schools for it to have hope eventually of becoming accepted practice in the society at large was self-evident to all except the most subjectively purblind, caused by their limited experience with those of a minority, and their failure to contemplate rationally and with empathy what it was like to be denied basic rights simply based on minority status.

Everyone, or nearly everyone, except some privileged village idiot who had everything spoon-fed to him in silver-plate from day one, can readily relate to the experience of being denied access to club memberships, fraternities, sororities, social clubs at various stages of school, other forms of social rejection, and from that experience, with a little thought, can then relate by analogy to the feeling engendered by denial of fundamental Constitutional rights which most of us take for granted, and thereby begin to acquire some level of understanding of the problem, inculcating the need to ensure its rectification and that the rectification, achieved through blood spilled in the streets by members of all races, the well-known and not so well-known, will never be undone by trying to retreat decades into the past on the hunch that an earlier time might have been when "America was great" as compared to the dim present.

The United States is dying under that latter concept, a treacle-induced view of history. If you know someone who thinks that way, you must try to convince them, especially in the next five weeks, to see the light of day, to unbrainwash them benighted from the assault made on their minds by two-bit con artists, hucksters on talk radio, talkie-talk television, especially Fox News, and a host of other right-wing sources of misinformation and outright lies, designed to confuse those who are either under-educated or lacking in the time and energy to educate themselves fully to current events, making them easy marks for reliance on sensationalized stories which are simply untrue or have only a particle of truth within a sea of fantasy. We do not need to cite examples, as every day brings fresh ones. Listen to Fox News for about 15 minutes on any given day, then check multiple sources of reliable information, including print media, against its outrageous assertions—those sources which the brainwashed refer to as the "mainstream media", as if that were a dirty phrase, reversing the entire tradition of a free press, turning it into the well-paid press, designed ultimately to undermine the American system of democracy and substitute in its stead a corporate state, not dissimilar to Mussolini's fascism.

"The Right Way To Cut Spending" indicates that the Wall Street Journal had revealed during the week the contents of a memorandum sent to all Federal agencies by Budget director Joseph Dodge, saying that every possible reduction would have to be made in agency budgets to avoid the prospect of exhausting the remaining 2.5 billion dollars before hitting the existing debt limit during the remainder of the year, until Congress returned in January.

The Journal story said that Mr. Dodge was seeking another cut in Federal spending of between four and five billion dollars, and if achieved, would cause the new Administration to have a spending rate of about eight billion dollars less than during the last year of the Truman Administration, with a much greater reduction in appropriations.

Congress had first to reduce appropriations and the executive agencies had then to achieve maximum efficiency with a minimum of waste in carrying out the services authorized by Congress. Presumably, it indicates, Mr. Dodge had cleared his memorandum with the President before issuing it, and assuming so, he ought be able to withstand the protests which were certain to come from heads of the Federal agencies. The Eisenhower Administration had promised economy in government and, it finds, had made a good start in that direction, without sending the national economy into a tailspin. It finds that Mr. Dodge's memorandum forecast even greater savings.

"A Death Trap for Children" tells of the news story of two sets of children, one in Arkansas and one in Richmond, Virginia, having died when they became trapped in two separate abandoned refrigerators. Doctors had estimated that the nine children involved in the two incidents could not have lived more than an hour after the door had been closed. In yet a third incident, two small children in Haverhill, Mass., had found an old refrigerator in a dump 200 yards from their homes, and had pulled the lid shut, with searchers finding them dead six hours later.

It indicates that they were not the first such tragedies, but that they had happened in the space of two days, with 11 lives lost, had pointed out anew the terrible risk from leaving a discarded refrigerator or freezer around.

Children, it suggests, were pretty much the same all over the world, living in a world of imagination, making up games, hiding from one another, and an unused icebox provided an irresistible temptation. Once inside, no one could hear their cries for help. It indicates that the tragedies during the week ought prompt every American parent to check on such hazards around the home and in nearby places where children played, eliminating such attractive nuisances.

Eventually, some bright person in the refrigerator industry around 1960 would come up with the remarkable idea of a magnetic catch, perhaps requiring a little bit better rubber seal around the perimeter of the door, but in the process preventing such tragedies from occurring. Should you ever restore one of those old behemoths or junk same, you should first take the time to remove the deadly latch, reminding yourself that it is, in its original state, a child's coffin, one for which, if you leave it latchable, you will be otherwise responsible.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "3-D Comes into the Living Room", indicates that from 3-D films it had only been a short step to three-dimensional sound, three-dimensional advertisements, and three-dimensional comic books. Now, there was three-dimensional sound within the home, as a phonograph manufacturer who had been producing high-fidelity record players containing two built-in speakers, had announced development of a third speaker which could be plugged into the machine and, when placed some distance from the original two speakers, made the sound appear to come from every direction.

Stereophonic sound was not new, but the latest development approximated stereo sound using standard phonograph records, instead of the stereo disks and double needles. In some homes, sound was already emanating omnidirectionally, and so the new three-dimensional phonograph would probably not be noticed.

It suggests that it called forth also the need for three-dimensional silence. "Silence is a wide, deep and wonderful thing, and it is saddening to realize that countless children are growing into adulthood these days without ever having listened to it."

Oh, like, daddi-o, you are such a drag, man. There will be like plenty of time for silence in the grave, dig?

Drew Pearson publishes some of the unnoticed actions or lack thereof during the first session of the 83rd Congress. Prices were presently higher than ever, while the farmer was getting a lower return than ever on his crops. It had been promised that prices would go down when the new Administration removed controls the prior February. Instead, prices had risen to new heights. While beef cattle were selling at record lows, beefsteak was selling in the butcher shops at almost record highs. Yet, Congress voted to bar an investigation of the matter.

The prior September 27, President Truman had written the Federal Trade Commission chairman, asking for a special investigation to provide the breakdown of the consumer's dollar. The President had said that the powerful interests were at work trying to convince the consumer that it was the farmer who was responsible for the high cost of living, despite the farmer receiving only about half of the consumer's food dollar. The FTC had then asked the 83rd Congress for $186,000 to fulfill that request of President Truman. Congress, however, cut out those funds completely and attached a special rider stating that none of the FTC's funds would be available for a statistical analysis of the consumer's dollar. Senators John W. Bricker of Ohio, Everett Dirksen of Illinois, William Jenner of Indiana, Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, and Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, all Republicans, represented millions of farmers and housewives who wanted to know who was causing the high prices, and yet all had voted to kill any probe of prices.

In 1945, the farmer received 54 percent of the housewife's food dollar. In 1951, he got 50 percent, and now received only 45 percent. The decline was hitting almost all farm products. In contrast, the middle men were generally receiving increased fees, which he sets forth. He provides a series of statistics to bolster those points.

Government economists under the new Administration were a little timid about discussing the matter, but some pointed out that the period when prices were held most stable had been under OPA administrator Leon Henderson and Economic Stabilizer Fred Vinson, presently Chief Justice. With the relaxation of price controls, they pointed out, both the consumer and the farmer had lost while the big processors had gained.

Mr. Pearson notes that former FTC commissioner John Carson had sought the proposed investigation of the big processors' profits, but when his term had expired the previous spring, President Eisenhower had not reappointed him.

The White House was determined to fire the official who had leaked to the Wall Street Journal the Administration's tentative plans for revising the Taft-Hartley Act. It had not, however, been able to find who was responsible.

The National Association of Manufacturers had admitted that its proposed five percent national sales tax on manufactured products, with the exception of food, would hit low-income families the hardest.

The new chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Admiral Radford, had told friends privately that he expected "very serious trouble" in Indo-China within a matter of weeks.

Stewart Alsop, in London, tells of Britain being in very good economic condition, after being down since the end of the war. Compared to a year earlier, unemployment, which had begun to worry the Government in 1952, was now virtually nonexistent. Profits were good, as was prosperity in general. The gold and dollar reserve was up almost 750 million dollars over a year earlier. The production index, which had turned downward in 1952, had turned up again. The pound was in good shape and holding its own in world markets. British leaders and economic experts, however, were reluctant to celebrate, as they remembered that British economic crises had occurred in 1947, 1949, and 1951, with 1953 yet to run its course.

Part of the recovery was a matter of sheer luck, as Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler had freely admitted. The terms of trade had begun some months earlier to turn in Britain's favor, as the price of raw materials on which British imports depended had fallen by 20 percent, while the prices of manufactured goods Britain exported had remained steady.

The British economic experts pointed to a number of problems, however, potentially on the horizon. British exports were barely holding their own, with Germany, unburdened by defense expenditures, beginning to compete with British markets in South America, the Middle East and elsewhere. Japan, whose economy had been artificially bolstered by the Korean War, also had to export or perish. The fact explained, in part, why there was a strong British sentiment in favor of Communist China, to enable Japanese exports to be funneled off into the traditional Chinese market, rather than competing with British markets. It also explained why Britain had enthusiasm for German rearmament within the context of the European Defense Community. In addition, British economic experts were concerned about export price increases which might result from labor's current wage demands, the continuing failure to increase coal production above the prewar status, the comparatively low British investment in new industrial plants, and the possibility of an economic downturn in the U.S. With only a five percent decrease in U.S. production in 1949, Britain had felt the impact with a bad economic crisis, recovering from it only by devaluation, the advent of the Korean War and the skin of its teeth.

Beyond these problems, the recovery in Britain was very real and was good for American policy, with Britain no longer dependent on U.S. aid. But it also created the problem that the U.S. could no longer treat Britain as a dependent state whose wishes could be safely disregarded, which now would be absolutely fatal to the Anglo-American alliance.

Marquis Childs tells of serious discussion having gone on at the recent Quantico, Va., conference between the Pentagon brass and the President. All four members of the Joint Chiefs had addressed the conference, and in three of the talks, a major theme had been the difficulty of maintaining trained personnel in the military, particularly because of the cutting which had gone on to achieve the 34 billion dollar defense budget.

The last speaker had been the new chief of staff of the Air Force, General Nathan Twining, who had stressed the serious problem which the Air Force faced with the loss of thousands of highly trained men at the very time when training had become increasingly important. He had warned that re-enlistments in the Air Force among those who had manned the highly complex electronic gunsights of the F-86 fighter planes and in other classifications where training was long and costly, had dropped as low as 15 percent, because men were dissatisfied with living conditions and pay, with private industry competing for their services.

Mr. Childs indicates that the outlook for the ensuing year was actually worse than General Twining had reported, providing figures to back up that assessment.

In addition to cuts in personnel, the Air Force would lose 13 bases planned for location in the U.S. They would probably get the base at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, which originally had been set to be cut. Spokesmen for the Air Force said that it was urgently needed and Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire, up for re-election in 1954, had sworn to obtain the base for his state.

The Joint Chiefs, when speaking privately, were frank to admit their gloom over the consequences of the budget cutbacks, consequences which were scarcely visible to the public.

Dewi Morgan, writing in John O'London's Weekly, indicates that 1.2 billion people worldwide, about two-thirds of the human population, were illiterate. Dr. Frank Laubach, an American nondenominational missionary, had taught reading in 230 languages in 86 countries during the previous 24 years. In 1929, during the beginning of the depression, Dr. Laubach was serving as a missionary in the Philippines, where he had been for the prior 14 years, sensing complete failure for not being able to spread Christianity among the Moros, who were Moslem. He could not master their language, which had never been reduced to print. The language had only 16 consonants and there were three common words which contained all of them. Eventually, however, he developed a chart and through it was able to teach the Moros to read. Soon, there was a school building, a temporary church, a printing press and even a bi-weekly newspaper. The Moros were delighted.

The financial slump had meant the withdrawal of Dr. Laubach's teachers, but a chieftain of the Moros had declared that everyone who learned had to teach another. The first lesson could be learned in 15 minutes, giving the student enthusiasm and confidence. It consisted of 10 to 15 common words associated with pictures. Once taught, this student was required to teach another person who was illiterate. The second lesson consisted of learning to write what the student had learned to read.

The essence of the method consisted not only in visual associations with certain letter configurations, but also in the importance and urgency of the idea expressed by the picture. It provides an example of practical application of the lessons. The jungle dweller could not see the relationship between eating the poorer potatoes produced and leaving the better ones for seed, resulting in a potato crop which was smaller each year, producing near starvation. Thus the first lesson in reading was designed to explain how to get the best out of the potato crop.

"If one African needs a new cloth, so do millions of others. If one Indian learns that something more than a handful of rice is necessary to a healthy body, so do millions of others. Learning to read is a tocsin to slumbering millions."

We favor a literacy campaign among the Trumpies.

You want to make up your own rules as you go? Fine, the Democrats in control of both houses of Congress and the White House next year can change a few rules, too. How about a 19-member Supreme Court next year, with ten members appointed by President Biden? How'd that be, dumbbells? What would you be celebrating then? That makes room for consideration of more cases and thus provides better justice to the nation, producing less tendency toward factionalization between the nation's Federal Circuits, making for a more perfect Union. Stranger things have happened of late.

We would warrant you that most Trumpies are not aware of the Federal Circuit in which they reside, its importance to their daily lives or its function, as most of them do not appear to know even the decade in which they reside.

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