The Charlotte News

Monday, August 17, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the Communists had released 400 additional allied prisoners this date, 73 of whom were Americans, plus 75 British, 250 Koreans, one Japanese prisoner who had served with U.S. forces as a houseboy, plus one Japanese civilian who had served with the South Korean Army. The Communists promised their largest group of returnees yet the following day, with 450 set to be released, of whom 75 would be Americans. The total number of Americans released thus far had been 1,105, about a third of the 3,313 Americans to be released in total. The total number of released allied prisoners had reached 5,177 during the 13 days of exchange thus far, not quite half of the 12,763 to be released. All of the returnees this date appeared in good health. The U.N. Command had been returning about 2,400 Communist prisoners daily.

Some of the prisoners continued to tell stories of certain prisoners who had been popular in the company being held back by the Communists for having opposed indoctrination, while some had been convicted of crimes, such as "instigating against the peace", just before or after the Armistice had been signed. A sergeant said that seven men had been sentenced to from 1 to 3 years imprisonment.

Released Pulitzer-Prize winning photographer Frank Noel told of his imprisonment by the Chinese Communists as being a thing of doubt and fear, doubt regarding what the captors would do next, and fear that an incautious word might be overheard by some fellow prisoner who had become an informant. He said that the Communists he had met trusted no one, especially their fellow Communists, and managed to instill the same feeling of distrust in their prisoners. Only a few of the prisoners became informants, while others said things to the Communists which they did not like, causing many to be relegated for weeks to the "hole", which was a cell so small that the prisoner could neither stand nor stretch. The prisoners whom the Communists despised the most went to a particular hole where they were confined for weeks without respite, even to go to the latrine. In winter, they froze and in summer, sweltered. A little food was thrown into them once in awhile and a Chinese guard was constantly on duty. He said that there were still Americans imprisoned who had been driven insane by the Communists, and was sure that there would be some retained after the Chinese would claim repatriation was completed. Mr. Noel had been captured on November 30, 1950 and in the early days of his imprisonment, the Chinese had taken some American officers into Manchuria, one of whom had said that the people in the streets were very friendly. Most of those officers had soon been returned to North Korea, but there were still some Americans in Chinese territory, those who had been indoctrinated by the Communist propaganda and had chosen not to repatriate. He believed that some, however, were not there by their own volition. He and another man had plotted an escape, which had never come to fruition because the Armistice had occurred before they were ready. He said he had seen shot-down Russian pilots while he was a prisoner at Pyoktong in North Korea and had heard from Koreans who hated Communism that at least three other Russians had been shot down in combat early in 1953, and that there were many other Russians who had engaged in the fighting in Korea. He had seen Russian truck drivers, Russian engineers, Russian intelligence agents and a headquarters which the Russians had maintained in Chonchong. He said that at age 48, he had learned that a man could endure almost anything.

At the U.N. in New York, Russia appeared to be assured of a seat in the upcoming political conference regarding Korea, to begin in October, provided the satellites of North Korea and Communist China wanted Russia present. India, however, appeared not likely to have a seat at the conference. A Western resolution, effected as a compromise to the U.S.-British disagreement over whether Russia and India ought have a role in the conference, appeared assured of passage this date by the General Assembly. The resolution provided that Russia would participate, as long as North Korea and Communist China approved, but that India would not participate as a neutral nation. Britain had favored participation of both Russia and India. The U.S. had originally opposed participation of both, except that Russia could participate as a member of the Communist delegation, not as a neutral or part of the U.N. delegation. Britain believed that Russia would not participate as a representative of the Communist countries, branded as aggressors by the U.N. The resolution, however, did not say whether Russia would be on one side or the other. South Korea's representative to the U.N. asserted that the resolution should make plain that Russia represented only the Communist side.

President Syngman Rhee of South Korea said again this date, in an interview with U.S. News & World Report, that he believed the peace conference would fail and that if it did not result in unification of Korea, the U.S. would resume the fight to accomplish the common objective of unification. Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson, in an NBC television interview the previous day, had said that the U.S. had not agreed during his talks in Korea with President Rhee that the U.S. would aid South Korea in resuming the battle unless the Communists broke the Armistice. President Rhee also said in the interview that South Korea might leave the peace talks in less than its 90 days of duration if it became apparent that the Communists had no intention to agree to unification, and that he had informed President Eisenhower that South Korea had no intention of accepting any neutralization of Korea.

In Tehran, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh had crushed a bloodless coup attempt to unseat him, staged by supporters of the Shah, the Shah having fled to neighboring Iraq as Communist mobs, estimated at more than 100,000, had screamed the previous night for an end to the monarchy. The Premier jailed the top leaders of the opposition and dissolved the remnants of the parliament. The Shah had not abdicated his throne, but the Government was thought to be readying a regency council to take over his powers. The leader of the coup attempt, Maj. General Fazellah Zahedi, was hiding in the hills. He had claimed that the Shah had given him an imperial decree ousting Premier Mossadegh and proclaiming General Zahedi as premier. Police and troops were forming an armed hunt for the rebel leader. Tensions had now subsided in Tehran.

The President had told Congress in a written report this date that Western nations ought strive for greater self-help toward collective security, as the U.S. could not do the whole job. He said that the Mutual Security program of aid to foreign countries for the first six months of the year was now shifting emphasis from Europe to Asia and the Pacific to check Communist expansion. He suggested that ratification of the European Defense Community treaty, expansion of trade and greater investment of private capital in underdeveloped countries were three steps which ought be taken.

A Government Printing Office employee this date identified a fellow worker as a one time member of the Communist Party to members of the Senate Investigations subcommittee chaired by Senator McCarthy, looking at evidence that secret materials from various Government agencies, including the CIA and the Atomic Energy Commission, had been leaked to the Communists via the Government Printing Office.

In Greece, additional earth tremors, one regarded as a strong earthquake, had hit the Ionian Sea islands this date, as officials estimated the toll from the week-long earthquake devastation to be 600 dead and 700 seriously injured. Previously, it had been indicated that more than 1,000 persons were feared dead.

In Beirut, unconfirmed reports circulated in Lebanon that Syria's President Adib Shishekly had been assassinated in Damascus, but Syrian sources denied the reports. `

On the editorial page, "The Roots of the Trouble in France" wonders what was wrong in France with its present national strikes, beset by active Communists and paralyzed by a weak system of government which had frequently collapsed since the war. Under the 18 different administrations since the end of the war, France had maintained continuity of policy and personnel, having had fewer foreign ministers than the U.S. had Secretaries of State in the same period. While about a fourth of its voters cast their ballots for Communists, the actual number of Communists in France were not so numerous, as non-Communist dissidents voted for the Communist ticket because the Communists provided a wider voice than any of the splinter parties.

One of the problems appeared to be that French businessmen were often reluctant to modernize and convert from manual labor to machine labor, and another problem was that those who did convert to machine-manufactured goods often saw those goods sold for more money by merchants than the more costly to produce manually-produced goods, the merchants taking advantage of the larger profit from the cheaper wholesale goods. It indicates that a good deal of the U.S. aid which had flowed into France had gone to the entrepreneur or middleman, not to the masses. The regressive tax structure hit the masses more heavily than the rich, who paid little in taxes. It was thus small wonder that the non-Communist French workers had staged the current strike against the new policy of millionaire Premier Joseph Laniel, seeking to rein in the budget by cutting civil servants from the payroll and increasing the retirement age. It was also small wonder that the French worker did not appreciate the U.S. insisting that the French prepare to fight against Soviet aggression as a part of NATO, as a condition to further U.S. assistance, while making only feeble and ineffective protests against the French system which enriched the rich and denied the poor.

It concludes that the French had a nature which favored the concept of individual liberty but was difficult to govern, especially following the years of German occupation during World War II, increasing the disregard for government by the population. The system of government following World War II was based on mistrust rather than trust of government, leading to frequent collapses. It was in the U.S. interest for it to regain its economic stability. For continued receipt of aid, there ought be insistence on a new tax and economic policy, reforms along those lines remaining uncertain, though necessary for France to continue as a leading world power.

"Time for a Housecleaning" refers to a piece on the page by W. D. Workman, Jr., regarding the organization of the South Carolina Republican Party and his challenge to reorganize itself according to procedures set forth in South Carolina law as the first step toward gaining acceptance among the people of the state, a challenge which the piece finds in order. It indicates that the South Carolina Republican Party had long been the nadir of Southern Republicanism, plagued by factionalism and absentee-landlordism, coming to life only during the quadrennial election for the presidency at convention time, then receding back into oblivion "so richly merited". It remained a "two-headed freak" even during the current Republican Administration, with one faction recognized by the national Republican Party as supplying the national committeeman, while a leader of the other faction was the chief dispenser of patronage.

The South Carolina Republicans had received an unexpected boost from Governor James Byrnes a few days earlier when he said that increasing numbers of Southerners were prepared to discard the Democratic label of their grandfathers. But, it suggests, it did not follow that they wanted to adopt the label of a party which had demonstrated through the years that it could not keep its house in order, "even though it be no more than a small shack."

It concludes that until South Carolina Republicans established their sincerity and responsibility, they would continue to be the butt of Southern political jokes.

"No Takers" indicates that Real, a year-old magazine published in New York, had a lead article by Sherman Ballard, otherwise unidentified, titled "It's the Bunk about Southern Belles", apparently sent to The News in the hope that it would rise to defense of Southern womanhood and thereby give the struggling magazine free publicity. It says that it had read the article and asks to be pardoned while the editors yawned.

"A Lesson, but It Escapes Us" tells of a man with a record of 131 arrests over a 47-year period, before finally being convicted for manslaughter the previous week in Charlotte. Most of his prior offenses were related to drunkenness, and his manslaughter charge had resulted from an argument regarding a pint of liquor in which he pulled a gun and killed a man, receiving a 15 to 18 year sentence, which his attorneys had appealed.

The piece suggests a variety of possible explanations for the man's history, finally indicating that it put it forth to provide a possible answer to other such persons.

Presumably, the individual had a severe drinking problem.

Drew Pearson indicates that Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson's former company, General Motors, appeared as the only large business not to have been hit by the drastic defense cutbacks. Factories all over the nation had felt the impact of the reduction in defense expenditures, but not G.M. Mr. Pearson suggests that the strategy of Mr. Wilson's order was to reduce the number of plants generating defense output until one was left making each part. While producing more efficiency in production and saving money, it was also contrary to the previously adopted strategy of dispersing plants to make it harder for Russia to inflict a crippling atomic blow.

The three largest automobile companies, Chrysler, Ford and G.M., were producing the Patton M-48 tank, but following the new defense policy, Ford was arbitrarily declared out of the running by direct order of the Pentagon, not even allowed to bid for the right to continue production of the tank. The losing bidder between Chrysler and G.M. would have to go out of business in that line the following March. Studebaker was also ruled out of the bidding in production of a 2.5-ton truck and ordered to cease its production the following September, leaving G.M. to bid against R.E.O. Motors for the contract. The Pentagon had also ordered production stopped on the M-47 tank, being manufactured by Chrysler and American Locomotive, not impacting G.M. But production of the M-41 tanks would be continued at the Cadillac plant of G.M. in Cleveland. G.M. would also take over production of anti-aircraft guns, presently manufactured by American Car & Foundry, on the rationale that many gun-carriage and M-41 parts were interchangeable. Brig. General Caroll Dietrick, commander of the Detroit automotive center, insisted to the column that the Army was not deliberately showing favoritism to G.M. He acknowledged, however, that instructions had come directly from the Pentagon regarding which companies should be allowed to bid. A high Pentagon source, who had requested anonymity, explained that Mr. Wilson was not trying to enrich his former company as much as he was sincerely convinced that G.M. could do everything better than any other company.

Mr. Pearson notes that when Mr. Wilson had been forced by Congress to divest his G.M. stock to be confirmed as Defense Secretary, he had said he saw no conflict of interest in holding his stock, despite G.M. being the top defense contractor. He also notes that a report which had been suppressed by Senator Lyndon Johnson's defense investigating committee showed that G.M made as much as 30 percent profit on Sabre jets and was also far behind in production, one reason for there not having been enough such jets in Korea at one point during the war.

Lobbyist Charles Patrick Clark, who received $100,000 per year from Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain, and had lobbied 187.5 million dollars worth of aid from Congress for Franco, was having a hard time of late because of love letters he had written in 1934, about to be produced in court to refresh his recollection. In one such letter, he had written that his own father was a "lousy old man", the "exact counterpart" of his brother. Mr. Pearson indicates that some of his statements could not be published in a family newspaper as they would "burn up the page". He had cheated on his age, presently claiming to be in his mid-forties, whereas he was actually about 53. The letters had relevance regarding support of his divorced wife, who claimed non-support, despite Mr. Clark receiving $100,000 per year from Franco.

U.S. stockpiling of strategic materials had bogged down, with only seven percent of the aluminum stockpile presently available and storage of titanium and cobalt halted. Stockpile boss Arthur Flemming privately blamed Commerce Secretary Sinclair Weeks, who was constantly urging cutbacks to the program on the ground that private business needed the material presently. A top Pentagon general had stated that if a war occurred, the stockpile was not ready and the country would be "in a hell of a fix". (Sounds as a quote from General Curtis LeMay, who liked to use that phrase.)

The Justice Department was preparing to prosecute several companies which had used fake feathers for the G.I.'s sleeping bags. They were in a hell of a fix.

James Marlow discusses the U.N. General Assembly meeting in special session this date to begin the second of three steps which could lead to peace, or could end in frustration in Asia and elsewhere. The first step was the Korean truce; the second step was to decide who would take part in the upcoming October peace conference, and the third step was the peace conference, itself. The Armistice had left to the diplomats of both sides the final resolution of what the truce would determine insofar as unity or not of Korea. There was also the issue of whether the peace conference, to last for 90 days, would include broader questions of the Far East, as the Armistice referred to "the peaceful settlement of Korea, etc." The meaning of "etc." would be an issue of discussion. The U.S. wanted to confine the issue to Korea. The Communists wanted to bring in the issue of U.N. membership for Communist China and the future of Formosa.

There was also the issue of the membership of the peace conference, with the U.S. wanting to limit each side to the nations who were combatants in the war, while Britain wanted to include Russia and India as neutral nations, the U.S. being against inclusion of any neutrals, and not considering, in any event, Russia as a neutral. Assistant Secretary of State Walter Robertson the previous night had said that Russia had furnished war supplies for the Chinese and North Koreans during the war. U.N. ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Mr. Marlow observes, had been polite the previous night when he said that the U.S. did not think Russia should be approved by the U.N. to sit at the conference on either the side of the U.N. allies or as a neutral.

W. D. Workman, Jr., writing in the Greenville (S.C.) Piedmont, as indicated in the above editorial, tells of the need for the leaders of the Republicans in South Carolina to lay their case before the people of the state in the 1954 organizational meetings of the political parties and abide by the people's decision. He indicates that there was an effort to create a two-party political system within the state, and that in so doing the new and old Republicans ought organize themselves on the precinct level, select delegates for county conventions throughout the state and, on the first Monday in April, repeat the performance at county meetings, after which, at the state convention, to be held in Columbia on the third Wednesday in April, the Republicans could elect their state officers, determine their policies, and chart their course of political action. He concludes that whatever leadership emerged from that state convention would be the leadership chosen by and responsible to the party members.

Ever since the age of Strom Thurmond and his racially divisive politics, South Carolina has become a staunch Republican stronghold, though it is notable that of late, especially in the 2020 Senate election, the strong Republican tradition in that state appears to be breaking down, with incumbent Senator Lindsey Graham in a horse race with his formidable Democratic opponent, Jaime Harrison. Those who are objective will note the incredible hypocrisy of Senator Graham in not only supporting but actually chairing the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Trump's nominee for the Supreme Court, completely contrary to Senator Graham's statement in 2016, when President Obama appointed in mid-March Judge Merrick Garland to the vacant seat occasioned by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia in mid-February of that year, supporting then the denial by McConnell of even a hearing before the Judiciary Committee, then chaired by Senator Grassley, based on the pretext, without historical precedent, that in an election year, there could be no appointment to the Supreme Court by the President. Now, of course, these same jackanapes seek to justify the current practice of nomination 38 days prior to the election and holding of hearings just three weeks prior to the election on the notion, also without historical precedent, that if the Senate is of the same party as the President, or if the President is running for re-election, then and only then is the President justified in making an election year nomination to the Supreme Court. As we have said previously, search as you might through U.S. history, you will find nothing to support those ridiculous rules and exceptions, without underlying rationale, expediently conjured from the Machiavellian mind of McConnell. Instead, you will discover enough contrary precedents, spanning back to the early days of the republic, to make McConnell's mendacity manifest. If for no other reason, the sensible voters of South Carolina will vote to dump Senator Graham on his performance in this regard alone. His hypocrisy extends also, of course, to his thorough and complete support of Trump for the past four years, despite having called him a con-artist during the 2016 election cycle. It was once the case that one of the worst things on earth to a South Carolinian was an hypocrite, a fellow who acts very judicious on Sundays while being quite injudicious the rest of the week. We shall see if that axiom still holds.

A letter writer from Pinehurst indicates that the August 10 editorial, "Jimmy Ought To Lead the Way", regarding the statement by Governor James Byrnes that many Democrats were prepared to change their party affiliation from that favored by their grandfathers, urging the Governor instead to join the Republican Party where he would feel more comfortable, agrees with the analysis and thinks that every Democrat who ran as such only because it was the only way to win ought have the fortitude to run as a Republican, in which case there would be the beginning of a two-party system in the South. He thinks that Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina should lead the way in that regard in his state.

A letter writer from Stokesdale remarks on the alleged violation of N.C.A.A. recruiting rules by N.C. State basketball coach Everett Case, one of the most successful basketball coaches in the country, saying that his success was the result of his being one of the most hard working and painstaking coaches, a man whom the letter writer admires greatly, though he was not a fan of the Wolfpack. He indicates that his prior success should not affect the present case if it turned out that he had violated N.C.A.A. rules, even if everybody else was doing it.

A letter writer indicates, as a former player and manager of a semipro baseball team and a regular fan of the Charlotte Hornets since the Tri-State League had been formed, praise for manager Phil Howser for having brought good, clean baseball to Charlotte. He says that without money from attendance, however, it was difficult to operate a ball club with top players. He urges fans therefore to turn out for the games if they wanted to see good baseball played in Charlotte.

A letter writer indicates that the rise of "anti-God dictators and the increase of fanatical, or intolerant, religionists" anticipated outbreaks of persecution to Christians everywhere, that the storm clouds had gathered and were menacingly low, that it was unquestionably the "midnight hour" and Christians faced their baptism of suffering, with all Christians behind the Iron Curtain and the Bamboo Curtain earmarked for martyrdom. He indicates that Russia was the first nation in world history to base its government on an outright denial of God.

A Pome appears from the Atlanta Journal, "In Which A Further Complaint Is Registered Concerning The Torrid Temperatures:

"If the weather gets much hotter
I will have to wear a blotter."

Meanwhile, your daughter
Will likely wear only a dotter.

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