The Charlotte News

Tuesday, August 18, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, 75 more Americans were returned to freedom this date by the Communists, plus 300 South Koreans and 75 British, 50 more in all than the daily 400 prisoners originally promised by the Communists. The following day, the Communists were promising 456 released allied prisoners, including 75 Americans, the largest number yet returned in a single day. In two weeks, the Communists had returned 1,105 of the 3,313 Americans which they claimed were to be released. They had released 570 of the claimed 921 British prisoners. While the returned Americans and British this date were smiling, their gaunt bodies showed the effects of many months in the North Korean stockades. One released prisoner said that the food had been brought to them in wooden troughs, consisted of a soupy sorghum and rice, the sorghum containing worms. Other prisoners continued to recount stories of the Communists taking away certain popular prisoners, about 40 in number, at about the time of the start of repatriation. The U.N. Command reportedly renewed its demands this date for the return of all allied prisoners.

Several liberated Americans said that they believed the next liberated POW camp would be No. 3 at Chongsong, which contained 200 to 300 Americans captured in the early months of the fighting.

Because of bad weather, the U.N. Command reported that Communist prisoners coming from Koje Island had been delayed, resulting in cuts of deliveries to 800 North Koreans on Wednesday and none on Thursday, whereas the daily average had been about 2,400 released prisoners.

Another in a series of stories by Pulitzer-Prize winning Associated Press photographer Frank Noel, relating of his experiences in 32 months of captivity in North Korea, tells this date of escape constantly being on the mind of any prisoner. Four times he had planned to escape and once he had accomplished it, in August, 1951, with a captured pilot from Kansas, who had been shot down the prior April. They had planned to swim the Yalu River, sneak down around Antung in Manchuria, lay up around the airport for a few days and watch the Chinese security guards, eventually intending to grab a jet and fly away. Mr. Noel had planned to steal a fishing boat or bribe or clobber someone and get out the best way he could. There was one additional prisoner involved in the escape planning as well. They began to scrape food bowls for leftovers and hoarded everything they could to use for trading or bribery, as the Communists were easy to bribe. On a stormy night, they were ready, but the third person had contracted yellow jaundice, and so Mr. Noel and the pilot decided to go on alone. They sneaked through a corn patch and then made their way into a wood, with Mr. Noel tripping on undergrowth and sliding down an embankment which had left his derrière bare. It was dark as pitch and they did not know it at the time, but were beset by night blindness from a deficiency of vitamins. They came to a little opening, and Mr. Noel walked on, falling over a fence into a pig sty, the pig squealing until it awakened the Korean farmer who peered out his window but never left the dwelling. The rain continued to beat down hard, making a sound conducive to sleep, which lulled the pig and the farmer into slumber. They were able then to make their way silently to a lake, where they took most of the night to swim a half mile across and walk about a mile from the camp. They then slept all day in some bushes, while it continued to rain. They were heading for the Yalu, but the trails in that part of the country had security guards patrolling them. The rest of the story is on another page.

At the U.N. in New York, Russia proposed this date that the Korean peace conference, set to start in October, be made up of five so-called neutral nations and six of the countries which had fought in Korea. The U.S. insisted that the conference be limited to the 16 U.N. countries which had been combatants in the war, plus North Korea and Communist China, with a possible exception made for Russia, if the Communist Chinese and North Koreans permitted Russia to sit on the Communist side of the delegation. A Russian proposal that Communist China and North Korea be invited to take part in the General Assembly political committee debate on the composition of the conference had earlier been rejected by the committee by a vote of 34 to 14 and 34 to 18, respectively.

The Big Three Western powers agreed this date to Russia's demand that work be resumed on a comprehensive peace treaty with Austria, provided that the Soviets were willing to stick to the issues and finish the job. After more than 200 sessions by deputy foreign ministers of the four powers, there had been no agreement on an Austrian treaty, and the U.S., Britain and France had then proposed an abbreviated version. The three Western powers had agreed to set that aside in renewed talks. It was not clear, however, whether the Russians would first require a settlement regarding Germany, in which case an Austrian treaty would be long delayed—until 1989.

In Nickelsdorf, Austria, Edgar Sanders, a British businessman who had been jailed by Communist Hungary for nearly four years as a spy, crossed into Austria this date as a free man, following a pardon by the Hungarian Government the previous night, expelling him from the country. He had been sentenced along with American businessman Robert Vogeler in February, 1950, on charges of espionage and sabotage, Mr. Vogeler having been released in April, 1951. Mr. Sanders had crossed the border into Austria via a British legation automobile from Budapest. An Italian, Vincenze Sciotto, was also released and likewise reached Nickelsdorf via an Italian legation car. The latter also had been convicted of espionage and sentenced to four years in prison in 1951.

The Shah of Iran and his wife arrived in Rome this date from Baghdad, to which they had fled the previous Sunday after being forced into exile by crowds of at least 100,000 Iranians gathered before the royal palace in Tehran, following a failed coup attempt against Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, said to be arranged by the Shah. The Shah said firmly he would not abdicate the throne.

The President this date endorsed an American Red Cross appeal for funds to help relieve distressed victims of the recent earthquakes in Greece. He made public a message sent to King Paul of Greece, expressing his profound sympathy, as well as a responsive message from the King, thanking the President for aid already provided by the American Red Cross and the U.S. Government.

In testimony before the Senate Investigations subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy, Edward Rothschild refused, pursuant to the Fifth Amendment, to say whether he was or ever had been a member of the Communist Party or whether he had ever stolen secret documents from the Government Printing Office, where he was a bookbinding machine operator. Senator McCarthy told Mr. Rothschild that the charges leveled against him in executive session testimony before the subcommittee were perhaps "the most serious charges ever made against any Government official". He said that Mr. Rothschild's pleading of the Fifth Amendment told the world that he had been stealing secrets and was a member of the Communist Party. Within an hour after the hearing, Senator McCarthy announced that he had been told that the Printing Office had suspended Mr. Rothschild. The previous day, the production manager at the Printing Office had testified that it would be extremely difficult for unauthorized personnel to see secret material at the plant. Mr. Rothschild had denied before the loyalty board that he had ever been a Communist. One of his co-workers had testified the previous day that he knew that Mr. Rothschild had been a member of the Communist Party in 1938 and 1939, and that he and another man had sought to recruit the witness into a Communist cell at the Printing Office.

Edward Flynn, Democratic national committeeman and leader of the Bronx, died in a hospital in Dublin, Ireland, while vacationing there. He had been ill for some time. He was credited by James Farley with obtaining the Democratic presidential nomination for FDR in 1932, despite opposition from Tammany Hall. He had succeeded Mr. Farley as the DNC chairman in 1940 and managed FDR's successful bid for an unprecedented third term. Currently, he had been opposing the re-election bid of Mayor Vincent Impelliteri of New York City.

In Holyoke, Mass., Alderman Henry Noel, 71, prominent in Massachusetts Republican circles, had been shot to death early this date by a masked gunman who had broken into the residence, shooting Mr. Noel in his heart with a revolver as the latter was heading down a flight of stairs from his bedroom with a .22-caliber rifle in his hands, after he and his wife had heard noises. The gunman then fled. The couple had been among a group of western Massachusetts Republican workers who had visited with the President and Mrs. Eisenhower at the White House the previous June.

In Floral Park, N.Y., a gunman grabbed a bank branch manager on the lawn of his Long Island home during the morning and used him as a shield to get into the bank and steal more than $165,000, then taking the bank manager as a hostage in his own car and dumping him out a few miles away in a residential section of Queens, the car then found subsequently abandoned nearby. As they had driven away, the gunman chatted with the bank manager, telling him that he had been in the Army and before that had worked in a bank, saying that he had planned while in the Army to rob another bank, but found when he got out that it was closed.

In New York, engineering personnel of radio station WOR, a key station of the Mutual Broadcasting System, went on strike this date, causing upset to normal programming. Unsuccessful negotiations to form a new contract, the old one having expired March 23, had been fruitless, according to the business manager of the Radio and Television Broadcast Engineers Union Local 1212.

It was reported from Bengasi in Libya that 50 workers in the World War II stronghold of Tobruk had been killed while salvaging old ammunition stores in that area.

On the editorial page, "Britain Reaches for Air Leadership" indicates that when the British Overseas Airways Corp. had begun the London to Johannesburg jet airline service the previous year, the aviation world had sat back to watch, with critics arguing that jets would not pay off because of high fuel consumption, that their range was too short and that frequent stops for refueling would nullify the gains in speed. But things had not worked out that way, as BOAC had also since begun London to Colombo and London to Singapore service. The de Havilland Co., which manufactured the Comet for BOAC, continued developing new and larger types of jet passenger liners, the Comets II and III, which had been ordered by Pan Am and other international airlines.

Recently, an announcement had been made that the civilian version of Britain's new Avro Vulcan delta-winged bomber would be in service by 1958. To be called "The Atlantic", it would have an operating range of 4,000 miles, capable therefore of non-stop service between London and New York, and would cruise at about 600 mph, carrying between 90 and 120 passengers.

To date, no American manufacturer had offered delivery dates on commercial jet airliners. U.S. aircraft had largely dominated transoceanic passenger travel since World War II with the Lockheed Constellation, the Boeing Stratocruiser and the Douglas DC-6. But there was now strong evidence that Britain had outdistanced the rest of the world in designing and building jet transports for transoceanic travel, and it appeared that the major airlines engaging in such travel would soon be utilizing British airplanes.

Critics had charged that the British Government had directly subsidized the development of the Comet and that such was "socialism". The piece indicates that if that were so, and the result was British domination of civilian air travel, then the U.S. ought try a little of it.

"Back on the Leash" indicates that the President, in his State of the Union message earlier in the year, had stated that he had issued instructions to the Seventh Fleet not to provide protection any longer to Communist China against invasion by the Nationalist forces on Formosa. The action had been widely hailed as a new foreign policy direction for the new Administration by editors, commentators, Democrats for Eisenhower and most Republicans. It was believed that the action would unleash Chiang Kai-shek's troops to stage attacks on the mainland. But nothing had happened in that regard, only occasional raiding parties, just as the Nationalist troops had occasionally done during the Truman Administration, with the Seventh Fleet having been put in place by President Truman at the start of the Korean War.

It indicates that notwithstanding those facts, House Speaker Joseph Martin had said the previous week in a television program that the de-neutralization of Formosa had "touched off an amazing chain of events", which the narrators of the production interrupted to say had included the prisoner exchange and truce. During the current week, the New York Herald Tribune had broken the story from Formosa that Chiang had agreed not to step up military action against the Chinese mainland without first consulting the U.S. Apparently, the Nationalists had leaked the story because they believed America ought be informed of the inhibitions under which they operated as a result of Washington's policy.

It concludes that Chiang, in other words, had been "re-leashed".

"$23.78 Wasted" indicates that in the Congressional Record of August 14, there was reprinted an editorial from The News of July 8, endorsing a bill to increase the salaries of members of Congress and Federal judges, inserted in the appendix by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada. While indicating that it was pleased at the distinction, the piece informs that Senator McCarran had inserted the identical editorial in the Record of July 16, and the extra insertion had cost the taxpayers $23.78, at the going rate of $82 per page. It says that it was a pretty good editorial, but not that good.

"Oh, To Be a Liberal Conservative" indicates that everyone wanted to be a liberal and that no one wanted to be a liberal more than the Freeman magazine, a right-wing bi-weekly which hardly qualified as being "liberal" in the ordinary sense, as used in contradistinction to "conservative". So the magazine had begun by calling liberals and others with whom it disagreed "McLiberals". Then it switched to "liberal" in quotes. Still no one seemed to recognize that the Freeman and its friends were the true liberals. In the current issue, it had offered other terms it might like to be called, "libertarian", though the editors had some reservation with that term, as it might be confused with "libertine". Other suggestions were "traditional liberals", "classical liberals", "neo-classical liberals", "neo-liberals", and "paleo-liberals". The piece quips that since the latter referred to archaic or primitive liberals, it might be the proper term.

After the Freeman had Max Eastman write an article on liberals, it had concluded with him that perhaps "liberal conservative" was the best term for the magazine. The piece concludes that the term would indicate a split personality or someone who wanted to have their cake and eat it too. It suggests instead making up a new word, such as "gliberal".

"Lieutenant Dunn—A Fine Officer" indicates that when County police officer David Oscar Dunn had joined the force in 1933, it had been a "loosely-run, rather motley aggregation of poorly trained officers." In the ensuing 20 years, many changes had taken place. The department had been reorganized and placed under the County Civil Service Commission, and Chief Stanhope Lineberry had transformed the department into a modern, efficient police force, "one of the best in the South".

When Officer Dunn had died on duty during the week, he held the longest record of service on the force, while knowing that his weakened heart would not allow him to live long, but preferring to remain on the job rather than retire. He had been a quiet man who enjoyed the respect of his superiors and the loyalty of those who served under him. It finds that his service to the County was in the best tradition of good law enforcement.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "What, No Beeswax?" indicates that a man in Michigan had developed a plastic honeycomb for bees, placed it in the hive so that the bees would not have to build a comb, prompting the piece to recall the nonsense rhyme:

"How doth the busy little bee
Delight to bark and bite?
He gathers beeswax all the day,
And eats it up at night."

It wonders what bee would want to eat a plastic comb, but, on second thought, decides that perhaps the bee would want to do so when it realized that no matter how much of a reputation one built up for being industrious, there was always an efficiency expert who would figure out how one could do more.

Drew Pearson indicates that the wives of the new Joint Chiefs were squabbling over who got which house in Washington. It had gotten so bad that the Navy consolidated two commands to create an extra vacancy. Mrs. Arthur Radford, wife of the new chairman, was reportedly ready to explode. It had started when the new Chiefs had arrived in town the previous month and discovered that there were only three houses to go around for the four of them, caused by the fact that retiring Army chief of staff, General J. Lawton Collins, was continuing on active duty and had refused to depart his housing at Fort McNair. Mrs. Robert Carney, wife of the new chief of Naval Operations, had hastily laid claim to the old mansion at the Naval Observatory, the traditional home of the chief of Naval Operations—since the era of Vice-President Nelson Rockefeller under President Ford, the dedicated home of the Vice-President.

Mrs. Matthew Ridgway, wife of the new Army chief of staff, meanwhile let it be known that her family was moving into retiring chairman of the Chiefs General Omar Bradley's quarters at Fort Myer. Mrs. Nathan Twining, wife of the new Air Force chief had taken possession of the quarters at Fort Myer of retiring Air Force chief, General Hoyt Vandenberg.

That left Mrs. Radford without a place to live. She made it clear that Admiral Radford would pull rank to expropriate either the Navy mansion or General Bradley's house. That prompted Mrs. Carney to get her husband to obtain a legal ruling from the Navy that the mansion in which they intended to reside was the official residence of the chief of Naval Operations. Eventually, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson was given the controversy, and he passed it to the Navy, which reacted by saying that Admiral Radford was now working for the Secretary of Defense as the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs and was no longer the Navy's responsibility. Having obtained a legal opinion in their favor from the Navy, Admiral and Mrs. Carney moved into the Naval Observatory mansion. The Navy ordered the vice-chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Donald Duncan, to vacate his quarters, causing the latter to raise an uproar. The Navy finally discovered that Rear Admiral George Fort was retiring on August 31 as the commandant of the Potomac River Naval command and so awarded his large home to the Radfords. To resolve the problem of housing the new Potomac River commander, the Navy consolidated two posts.

Mrs. Radford, however, was still fuming for the fact that she had to occupy the residence of a rear admiral, though had indicated she was willing to accept Admiral Duncan's house, where the Radfords had previously lived before Admiral Radford had been exiled to the Pacific for insubordination during the Truman Administration.

Mr. Pearson notes that to avert another explosion, some high Navy officers were trying to promote Admiral Duncan to be General Mark Clark's successor as supreme commander in the Far East, so that the Radfords could move into Admiral Duncan's house before a new vice-chief of Naval Operations was appointed.

If you think that game of musical houses was confusing, you should have been around in 1973-77, during which there were three different occupants of the Presidency and four different occupants of the Vice-Presidency in the course of 39 months.

Henry Lesesne, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, examines the pending Supreme Court decision on public school segregation in Brown v. Board of Education, set for re-argument on December 7, after having initially been argued the prior December. He indicates that regardless of how it turned out, fairness and equal opportunity for blacks would rest in large measure with whites in the South and with public opinion. By and large, blacks were systematically excluded from most school boards at the state and local levels, which created the policy and controlled the expenditures.

Industrialization, urbanization, the changing attitude of churches and schools, as well as the mass media of entertainment and instruction had for years been diminishing the South's stereotypes of its black citizenry, ameliorating behavior in the process. That had occurred during an era when the courts had been whittling away at segregation. In some places, blacks had been appointed to local policy-making boards. A few years earlier, former North Carolina Governor Kerr Scott had named a distinguished black educator, Dr. Harold Trigg, to the State Board of Education. The same had occurred in Kentucky prior to that time, but no other Southern states had yet gone that far. Only within recent months had a few blacks been elected to local boards, usually with the aid of white votes, a notable such instance having been the election of Dr. Rufus Clement in Atlanta. There would be considerable effort in that direction in the months and years ahead.

The Southern Regional Council, a biracial organization made up of Southerners in all lines of endeavor, was currently devoting much of its time and effort toward appointment of blacks to state and local policy-making boards and commissions. Marion Wright, president of the Council, had recently stated the Council's intent to influence such appointments by the procedure followed successfully in the case of black policemen, by constantly reiterating the arguments and appealing to the public conscience. He stressed that regardless of the outcome of the Supreme Court cases on segregation of public schools, state and local policy would be determined for years to come, with few exceptions, by white officials who had an area of discretion which the courts would find difficult to invade or control. They would either have to consolidate the white and black school systems over time if the cases ruled segregation unconstitutional or would have to continue the process of equalizing the school systems if segregation on a separate-but-equal basis were upheld, and, Mr. Wright believed, would thus be placed in a position "to attempt evasion and unfairness, to practice inequities of various kinds, or to give the decree that ungrudging compliance to which it is entitled and which would be warmly applauded by the civilized majority of mankind." He said it was asking a great deal of blacks to have complete confidence in the fairness of such boards fashioning school policy and controlling expenditures while they were systematically excluded from those boards.

He said further that previously the battle had been waged on the basis that blacks had certain rights which, in good conscience, could not be denied to them, that he believed there ought instead be a movement based on a positive, broader ground, that blacks ought exercise their rights on the same basis as did the majority, also stressing that Americans were "a wise and provident people if we do utilize to the fullest the endowments and capacities of every member of our society." He stressed such rights which needed redress in the law as voting, jury service, equal pay for equal work, access to facilities and transportation, education and the like. But after statutes had been enacted or amended to afford those rights, there remained the possibility of only a sullen, grudging compliance with them, doing no more than the law required and that only because there was penalty involved in non-compliance. While that might afford some advancement in human relations, it was not a properly ordered society which was based on an armed truce, "where the men stand and glare at each other, do only what they are compelled to do—because the pistol is aimed at their heads…"

Mr. Wright believed that it would be relatively easy in the years ahead to deal with the deliberate evasiveness of reluctant state and local officials, but more difficult to combat "the sweet reasonableness of the gradualist" because that latter person appeared to agree with everything the minority interests said, disagreeing only with regard to the timing. He thus believed that the gradualist had to be convinced that it was "immoral to ask a citizen to accept future delivery of a present right."

Stewart Alsop, in London, discusses the current popularity of the Conservative Government in Britain, that if it called a general election during the fall, as it might, it would likely be returned with a greater majority in Commons. There had been a great amount of good luck in the economic recovery, but many Socialists privately admitted that there had also been a considerable amount of good management as well. The most conspicuous good manager had been Chancellor of the Exchequer R. A. Butler, and others had been Minister of Housing, and future Prime Minister, Harold MacMillan, and Sir Walter Monckton, Minister of Labor. Unemployment, which had surged some months earlier, had now subsided to almost nothing and Mr. MacMillan was making good on the Conservative promise of 300 new units of housing. Mr. Monckton had garnered the confidence of the initially hostile Labor leaders, such that there were fewer lost man-hours from strikes than under the previous Labor Government of Clement Attlee.

Mr. Butler was universally regarded as the likely next Conservative Prime Minister after Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden, who would likely soon succeed Prime Minister Churchill—not to occur until 1955. Mr. Alsop indicates that either Mr. MacMillan or Mr. Monckton might then replace Mr. Eden as head of the Foreign Office, with Mr. Monckton being the better bet as Mr. Eden and Mr. MacMillan did not get along well.

The Conservative Party was much stronger than anyone would have predicted a year earlier, while the Socialists, bitterly divided internationally, no longer confident of their doctrines, their grim forecasts of war and depression no longer being applicable, had reached a new political nadir. The Conservative surge had meaning for the U.S., as Britain's economic recovery had long been a central American goal, and, he ventures, it ought encourage the Eisenhower Republicans that a moderate Conservative Government which did not attempt to repeal the 20th Century could score a political success. Paradoxically, the Conservatives' renewed strength and confidence could also indicate trouble for the Eisenhower Administration, for American prestige had never been lower in Britain since the war, resulting from McCarthyism, resentment of the attempts of Secretary of State Dulles to bully the Britons, and the British perception of unreasonable rigidity of American foreign policy. It had thus become popular to stand up to America.

Mr. Alsop indicates that it did not mean that responsible British leaders wanted to rupture the Anglo-American alliance or appease the Soviets. It also did not mean that the U.S. was entering a peculiarly delicate and difficult period in relations with its major ally. It was necessary to restore American prestige and confidence in American intention, and the President, whose personal prestige was undiminished, was capable of doing that essential job of restoration.

James Marlow suggests that South Korean President Syngman Rhee and Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh were two strong-willed old men, both 78, walking "dangerously close to the world's powder keg with a lighted match in their hands." The best the non-Communist world could do was to watch them while holding its breath and hoping that they would not stumble or fumble.

If President Rhee were to become exasperated by the upcoming Korean peace conference to start in October and wrecked the truce, there was a question of what would then occur, as the Chinese Communists appeared capable of slaughtering the South Koreans. The questions arose as to whether the U.S. and U.N. would then resume the war. President Rhee had made it clear that what he wanted was a unified Korea.

Premier Mossadegh had just consolidated his power the prior Sunday as the Shah fled into exile in Iraq. It begged the question as to whether the Iranian Government structure had been so weakened by the action that the Premier had unwittingly opened the door for the Iranian Communists to stage a coup and oust him from power, making Iran into a Russian satellite. Mr. Marlow asks what, in that case, the U.S. and the U.N. might do, given that Iran was strategic in the Middle East, with its oil fields important to both Russia and the West. It was unclear what Premier Mossadegh wanted for Iran.

President Rhee was defiant in his public statements, while Premier Mossadegh was not, having fits of fainting and weeping spells in public places, while not crying in private conferences. The latter had eliminated his opponents one step at a time, letting the people and the world guess what he would do next. He had been a minor figure in Iran until becoming Premier just a few years earlier. Although he had been reportedly one of the richest Iranians, he had consistently backed liberal measures for the people while a member of the parliament. He had appealed to national pride after World War II, denouncing foreign interference in Iranian affairs, finding the British a handy target. The latter had been a force in Iran through the ownership of its oil production for the prior 40 years, and Premier Mossadegh had led the Iranians in throwing out the British and expropriating the oil properties.

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