The Charlotte News

Friday, August 21, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Shah of Iran was returning to Tehran this date via Baghdad from his temporary exile in Rome since the prior Sunday. In the intervening days, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh had been overthrown in a coup by Maj. General Fazollah Zahedi, the new Premier, who had beckoned the Shah to return. The new Premier, in a radio broadcast, said that the nation would yet determine what to do with former Premier Mossadegh, who had been arrested along with two former Cabinet ministers.

Moulay Mohammed Ben Arafa was proclaimed this date as the new Sultan of Morocco, following the dethroning of his nephew, Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef, 44, who had been exiled by France to the island of Corsica the previous day, as the threat of civil war between the Sultan's nationalistic followers and Berber hillsmen had receded. Heavy French troop and police patrols were on duty in all Moroccan cities to prevent disturbances. In Cairo, the thousand-year old Al Azhar, claiming to be Islam's most authoritative institution, took a dim view of the change and called upon the Moslem world to begin a crusade against France. The deposed Sultan had been widely revered by nationalists in the Arab world because he encouraged the independence party in Morocco. Cairo dispatches said that Egyptian President General Mohamed Naguib, on a pilgrimage to Mecca, had stood in front of Islam's holiest shrine, the Kaaba, and prayed that Allah would avenge the Moroccans. The Arab League met in Cairo and announced that all Arab countries would be asked to take urgent measures in connection with the "terrible events in Morocco".

In Manila, Carlos Romulo withdrew from the three-man Philippines presidential race this date and aligned his new Democratic Liberal Party with Ramon Magsaysay's Nacionalistas against President Elpidio Quirino and his Liberal Party. Mr. Romulo had previously been the president of the U.N. General Assembly and Phillipines Ambassador to the U.S. He said that his switch was to ensure democracy in the Philippines. President Quirino, in Washington for surgery, said that the move showed that both the Democratic and Nacionalistas parties were demoralized, and he did not anticipate them giving much opposition. He expected to return to the Philippines immediately and enter actively into the campaign.

In France, non-Communist unions ordered thousands of workers to return to work this date, the first break in the wave of national strikes which had paralyzed the country for 16 days, in response to Premier Joseph Laniel's plans to curtail Government employment and extend the retirement age for Government employees. The Government reportedly had promised the postal, telephone and telegraph workers to call into session before the end of September a commission to consider a general upward revision of French wages, to undertake no sanction against the strikers, and to consult the unions before putting into effect the proposals of the Premier. The settlement was expected to form a pattern for settlement of other strikes in the country.

In Panmunjom, in Korea, another 150 Americans were released this date, the largest number of Americans to date in the prisoner of war exchange program. Along with them, 300 South Koreans were released. The Americans were in high spirits, but again told of reports of mistreatment by their captors, especially directed at allied airmen. A corporal told of a Navy flier from a carrier who had been stripped to a light shirt and summer pants and forced to remain outside in 25 below zero weather. The Communists said that the next day's release would include 94 Americans, 30 of whom were sick or wounded, 300 South Koreans, 23 British, 13 Canadians, three Australians, two French, one Turk and one Colombian. Thus far, 1,465 Americans had been freed, out of the 3,313 scheduled to be released. In all, 6,983 allied prisoners had been freed, out of the 12,763 to be released. Because of continued typhoon winds off the southern coast of Korea, transport from the U.N. prison camps on Koje Island was halted, and no Communist prisoners were released this date, as had been the case the prior day.

In Freedom Village in Korea, a released American prisoner from Durham, N.C., this date said that three days before the Armistice had been signed, he had tried to escape from Communist Camp 1. When asked why he had jeopardized his chances for repatriation with the Armistice pending, he replied that they had not received any news for three days and he was not taking any chances. He originally had been captured on December 1, 1950, during the MacArthur Yalu River offensive, at the Changjin Reservoir. He said that he was in the same column of prisoners in which Associated Press photographer Frank Noel had been when they were marched north to the prison camp. He said that Mr. Noel, though older, kept going and "sure could take it". He said that he had tried twice previously to escape, having been once recaptured by the North Koreans and the second time, having been tracked down by the Communist Chinese, who tied him to a pole all night.

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that a top official of the Government Printing Office had stated this date that he would question the testimony that Edward Rothschild had stolen a secret code book and other confidential materials from the printing plant, at which he was employed as a bookbinder. A former employee at the plant had testified the previous day that she had knowledge that he had taken such a code book of the U.S. Merchant Marine, which had been sent to the GPO during World War II for printing. The same witness had also claimed that he took pamphlets pertaining to "military stuff" on a few occasions. The witness had provided no dates for the actions, which had taken place allegedly during the early 1940's. Another witness had testified that Mr. Rothschild was a former Communist. Mr. Rothschild had denied in earlier executive session testimony that he was a Communist and that he had taken any materials. In the public hearing earlier in the week, however, he had pleaded the Fifth Amendment regarding those subjects. The subcommittee doing the investigations was chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy.

In Jersey City, N.J., police found a man identified as Henry Grunewald, along with a woman, overcome by gas fumes from two open jets of a kitchen stove on which food had been cooking. Both were reported in good condition at the hospital, and the wife of Mr. Grunewald was en route to visit him. The two were found reclining on a couch, the woman in a robe, and Mr. Grunewald in his underwear. Police said that they would be booked on a technical charge of disorderly conduct. Mr. Grunewald had attracted national attention during a House Ways & Means subcommittee investigation into political influence regarding tax cases before the IRB. He had recently been fined $1,000 and given a suspended 90-day jail sentence for contempt of Congress. Police believed that a coffee pot had boiled over and extinguished the flames on the burners of the stove. Open liquor bottles were found in the kitchen.

Bert Andrews, chief of the New York Herald Tribune's Washington Bureau, died early this date in Denver, where he had been covering President Eisenhower's vacation. He was reported to have suffered a mild heart attack on Wednesday night, but was believed to have been recovering.

In Fayetteville, N.C., flam-flam artists had begun to put in their annual appearances around warehouses as tobacco sales were being made. A tobacco farmer had apparently fallen victim to a confidence scheme the previous day and was out $472 as a result. He told State Bureau of Investigation agents that he had been approached at a tobacco warehouse by a woman, who had promised him $750 if he would not reveal that she had found a pocketbook containing two $1,000 Government bonds and $2,100 in cash. She asked the farmer for all the money he had on him to demonstrate his confidence in her, and so he handed her the $472. She then headed toward a nearby business office ostensibly to cash the bonds, after which the farmer never saw her again.

In Charlotte, Dr. John Lester Ranson, 69, a prominent physician, had died at the Presbyterian Hospital this date, where he had undergone treatment since suffering a heart attack on August 13 at his home. He had attended Erskine College in Due West, S.C., and the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, after which he attended the former North Carolina Medical College at Charlotte, graduating in 1911. He had begun practicing medicine in Charlotte in 1918, after practicing for the prior seven years in smaller nearby communities. He was active in the Mecklenburg County Medical Society and the North Carolina Medical Society, the AMA and the American Society of Anesthesiology. He had retired from the general practice of medicine in 1944 and thereafter specialized in anesthesiology. Much of his time was devoted to religious and civic affairs.

Funeral services for former Governor and Senator Cameron Morrison, who died the previous day of a heart attack in Québec, Canada, would be held the following day in Charlotte at the Covenant Presbyterian Church. Burial would be in Elmwood Cemetery in Charlotte. Honorary pallbearers would be Governor William B. Umstead, Senator Clyde Hoey, former Governor Gregg Cherry and former Governor Kerr Scott.

On the editorial page, "Cameron Morrison, Democrat" laments the death the previous day of the former Governor and Senator, whose estate, Morrocroft, was on the outskirts of Charlotte. It indicates that he had cherished the memories of the times before the turn of the century when he had led Richmond County's Red Shirts against Republican rule by blacks during Reconstruction. He also liked to recount his victory over O. Max Gardner in a runoff primary for the gubernatorial nomination in 1920. He talked fondly of his accomplishments during his four years as Governor, between 1921 and 1925, especially his 65 million dollar "good roads" program, the abolition of the poll tax as a prerequisite to voting, the initiation of an extensive state public health program, expansion of state educational institutions and hospitals, and pioneering efforts toward goals which were achieved later, the "live at home" program, lower freight rates for the South, and the consolidation of the Greater University. He had once responded to a voter who had asked how he had thought of all of the changes by saying that he had found them in the heart of the people and was trying to write into action the dreams of former turn of the century Governor Charles Aycock.

After Mr. Morrison had been appointed by Governor Gardner as Senator in 1930, at the death of Senator Lee Overman, he had been portrayed by Robert Rice Reynolds during the Senate campaign of 1932 as a rich man who rode around the state in a big limousine with a "gold spittoon" and eating caviar, while Mr. Reynolds, who became quite wealthy while in the U.S. Senate for 12 years, marrying the young daughter of Evalyn Walsh McLean and thus the Hope diamond, traveled the state in an old jalopy, thus winning the primary. Mr. Morrison had gone along with most of the New Deal, but his heart never seemed to be in it, and he never found himself during his one term as a Congressman between 1943 and 1945.

It finds that he had enormous strength of character, disdained pettiness and adhered to loyalty to persons and institutions, sometimes providing political support to candidates who did not deserve it. He had great affection for his family, was modest, and nothing weakened his principles.

It suggests that his like would not likely be seen again in the state, as the old-fashioned party stalwart who followed the line of his party first, last and always, had become a rarity. He had, the prior summer at the Chicago Democratic convention, denounced the liberal group in the Democratic Party, represented by Senator Blair Moody of Michigan, Governor G. Mennen Williams of that state, and Congressman Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., of New York, whom he believed were out to split and destroy the Democratic Party.

In his last political speech at Freedom Park during the previous fall presidential campaign, he had stated that there were actions taken by the Democratic Administrations with which he had not fully agreed and there were individuals within the party whom he would have rather seen elsewhere, but still believed that nothing should ever steer the people from the only honorable course of true loyalty to the Democratic Party, "now, as in the past, and forever." The piece finds that he had spelled out his political philosophy in that speech and written for himself the epitaph which would have pleased him the most. He had lived through several eras, but for Mr. Morrison, there was only one era, that of the Democratic Party.

Incidentally, to the building renamers in Chapel Hill, you had better get busy as that Red Shirts business of 125 years ago has to be of concern to you if you want to maintain consistency—which, however, does not appear to be of high priority to your standards of behavior, more measured by where the tv cameras are pointing and whether they capture your best profile. As we have said previously, your objective ought be redirected to voting on issues of present concern rather than being absurdly wedded, obsessively so, to relatively insignificant provincial bits of history taken completely out of context with the past, lest you want to embark on an absurdist campaign of trying to change all of history occurring before about 2016 by renaming all buildings, streets and towns, for odd reasons. That's right. We suspect strongly that you are secretly Trumpies, or hirelings of same, trying to distract the national discourse from the present disaster in the White House and the Senate, and the stealing of the majority of the Supreme Court, far, far more important than any statue, building name or other purely symbolic gesture consigned wholly to the past as it occurred, not as obfuscated by obscurantists.

"It's Time To Be Frank about H-Bomb" indicates that when the news had been announced the prior day by the Atomic Energy Commission that Russia had detonated a hydrogen device, it had completely eliminated any remaining reason for keeping the American people in the dark about atomic energy, as Russia now had the secret of the hydrogen bomb. The AEC could declassify information and release it after clearing it with other security agencies and with the joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. It urges that such be done.

The President had said that some parts of the Atomic Energy Act were outmoded and that he wanted the law amended to allow more information to be disseminated to the American people. It urges that it should be at the top of the agenda for the January session of Congress. It also urges that the U.S. should renew wartime cooperation with friendly allies in atomic development. There should also be a world program for controlling atomic weaponry and to supervise disarmament.

"Consolation" refers to its editorial of the prior day in which it had bemoaned the fact that North Carolina had dropped below South Carolina in per capita income, to 45th position among the states. It discovers from a handout from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce that Federal aid programs since the 1920's had grown, ranking the states by their percentage of revenue from Federal aid, finding that among the eleven Southern states of the old Confederacy, North Carolina came in 10th at 15.3 percent, while only Virginia received less Federal aid, 12.6 percent of state revenue. Thus, the piece finds some solace in the notion that North Carolinians were not, relative to other Southern states, seeking large amounts of Federal handouts.

Drew Pearson indicates that Senator McCarthy had pinned a badge of honor on Russell Wiggins, managing editor of the Washington Post, when he had demanded that Mr. Wiggins be investigated for following an alleged anti-McCarthy line. Mr. Wiggins had a long and distinguished record, having been editor of the St. Paul Pioneer Press and assistant publisher of the New York Times.

He was in estimable company as Senator McCarthy had previously charged that the Saturday Evening Post followed the instructions of the secretary of the American Communist Party when it published an article by Joseph and Stewart Alsop; had sought to have advertisers boycott Time magazine after it had carried a cover picture and story which was critical of Senator McCarthy; had said of the Milwaukee Journal that it was the "Milwaukee edition of the Communist Daily Worker" and urged Milwaukee merchants to withdraw their advertising; and had claimed that he observed a Christian Science Monitor reporter shaking hands with the Washington representative of the Daily Worker, Robb Hall, and that afterward the two papers followed the same line in covering the Senator. Mr. Pearson provides similar examples of the Senator labeling as Communist the Madison Capital Times, Marvin Arrowsmith, who covered the Senate for the Associated Press, John Steele of the United Press, and James Wechsler, editor of the New York Evening Post, all for the fact of their criticism of the Senator. He had likewise attacked the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Portland Oregonian, political cartoonist Herblock, and Mr. Pearson. He had demanded that the Adam Hat Co. cancel Mr. Pearson's radio program, and sent out a letter to 1,800 newspaper editors asking that they cancel syndication of his column. He indicates that the Senator attacked newspapermen because they disagreed with him or criticized him, not because they followed any Communist line.

Diplomats inside and outside the State Department had felt that the President had missed an opportunity in allowing the Russians to call for free elections in Germany. Various proposals had been submitted by lower-level U.S. diplomats to Secretary Dulles and the White House, under which the U.S. would demand free elections both in Germany and elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain. The proposals were stymied, except for a milquetoast message from the President to Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany on June 26, expressing support of the U.S. for free German elections. The letter, however, had lacked conviction and there had been no insistent or repeated demand upon the Soviets to hold free elections in East Germany or elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain. Mr. Pearson indicates that it was the most important point which the country could stress when unrest continued within the Soviet satellites, in East Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Hungary and Rumania. Those countries had been guaranteed free governments under the Yalta pact of February, 1945, but the U.S. had completely missed out by not demanding and re-demanding free elections under the supervision of the U.N.

Stewart Alsop, in Paris, indicates that the defense of Indo-China was the heart of U.S. policy in Asia and yet the French had no desire to continue the war there. It was quite likely that a government dedicated to ending that war by almost any means would soon come to power in France. Likewise, the creation of a united European army, inclusive of West Germany, was at the heart of U.S. policy in Europe, and yet the French had no desire for such an army which would rearm its traditional enemy. It was quite likely that the French National Assembly would finally kill the whole idea by refusing to ratify the European army.

Mr. Alsop ventures that if neither of those things occurred, it would be close to a miracle, and if either or both occurred, there would be a crisis in Franco-American relations which could wind up wrecking the NATO alliance.

He indicates that the French attitude regarding both issues was not surprising. In Indo-China, the French were being asked to continue a costly, interminable war from which they could not hope to gain anything. In Europe, the French were being asked to sacrifice their national sovereignty to permit rearming of their traditional enemy, while the bulk of their forces were engaged thousands of miles away. Thus, it was strange that there was any optimism on the part of U.S. officials regarding future Franco-American relations.

The optimists believed that the British were prepared to go much further than generally supposed to promise active collaboration with the French in the European army, which would allay fears of German domination of the Continent. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had privately told the French that he would be willing to settle the issue of the Saar on terms acceptable to the French, after the September German elections. All of the other participating nations in the unified army would soon ratify the treaty, which would place increasing pressure on the French to follow suit, especially as it had been the French who had suggested the idea of the European army in the first instance. The optimists also believed that by that point, the French would realize that the only alternative to a European army was a German national army, and so would ratify the pact.

But outside of a small circle of American officials, it was universally believed in Paris that the European army project was dead. American officials in Europe, however, had been forbidden to think seriously about alternatives, on the notion that the French might take from it that the U.S. was tacitly abandoning the idea of the unified army.

The only alternative to the unified army, unless Western Europe was to be abandoned to the Communists, was limited rearmament of Germany under NATO. That prospect was known by the French, and many political leaders were becoming half-reconciled to the idea, despite the fact that the French had originally proposed the unified army concept to avoid just that possibility. But now they believed that a rearmed Germany to a limited degree within the concept of NATO was preferable to a Franco-German union, necessitating sacrifice of sovereignty. The votes, however, in the National Assembly were not present for the admission of a rearmed Germany to NATO, any more than they were for ratification of the European Defense Community pact, and France had veto power over German rearmament in any form.

Everyone, including the French, agreed that there could be no real defense of Western Europe without a German military contribution. Thus, if France did nullify rearmament of Germany, it would defeat American policy in Western Europe and provide the neo-isolationists in the U.S. with a rallying point for their "peripheral defense" concept, that is shoring up home defense and using the oceans as bulwarks, while relying primarily on airbases abroad and a strengthened air defense capability. If that occurred, the NATO regional defense concept would be on its way out. Mr. Alsop quotes Premier Joseph Laniel that he found himself "on the edge of a knife". Mr. Alsop indicates that the whole Western alliance was in the same predicament.

Marquis Childs observes that chief Russian delegate to the U.N., Andrei Vishinsky, was a puppet of the Kremlin with an abrasive tongue, sure to make loud noise whenever things got dull. Another controversial figure at the U.N. was V. K. Krishna Mennon of India, who projected an air of withdrawn asceticism, superior to the mundane world, probably one of the reasons why Westerners found him irritating. He had spent most of his life in London, where he had kept alive agitation for Indian independence. He was a close friend of Prime Minister Nehru and had a reputation in India which gave him political stature. He believed that India should be represented at the political conference on Korea, set to start in October. His insistence in that regard might be another reason why Americans found him irritating. India had voted for the original U.N. resolution condemning the North Korean aggression in June, 1950, and India had sent ambulance units to support the British Commonwealth division fighting in Korea. It had also reluctantly agreed to head up the prisoner repatriation commission, and was sending troops for the purpose to the demilitarized zone in Korea. India was also the chief non-Communist power in Asia, and so a settlement in Korea which received the approval of India would be of great weight among the non-Communists in that region.

Mr. Mennon knew that Americans considered him to be a fellow-traveler or worse. Prime Minister Nehru was being urged to disclaim any interest in participation in the Korean peace conference, saving the U.S. a great amount of embarrassment by having to muster support to defeat the British resolution which provided a place for India at the conference as a neutral nation. South Korean President Syngman Rhee had said that South Korea would not stay at the peace conference with an Indian delegate present, as he regarded India as a Communist nation. Secretary of State Dulles and U.N. Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had agreed to the veto of President Rhee in that regard.

Mr. Mennon, however, was possessed of great determination, and his resolution the prior December regarding bringing about a truce in Korea had won the support of a majority of the General Assembly, despite the opposition to it by Secretary of State Acheson.

Mr. Mennon believed that China could not be treated as a conquered power, that it was strong, beliefs which the U.S. tended to regard as annoying propaganda rather than fact. He was saying in the meantime that Asians had to be treated as equals and accepted as partners, in so doing perhaps expressing the doubts of millions in Asia wavering between alliance with Communism and alliance with the West.

Madame Pandit, sister of Nehru, would be elected president of the General Assembly the following month, as the term of Canada's Lester Pearson would expire, and presently, the U.S. and Britain had agreed to the selection. She was brilliant and beautiful, and would preside over the U.N. Assembly with skill and graciousness.

James Marlow tells of the U.N. having held its first meeting in January, 1946, voting to create a commission to answer the question of how to obtain agreement by all nations to outlaw the atomic bomb with adequate safeguards for inspections in place to assure compliance. By September, 1949, the commission, which included the U.S. and Russia, had met more than 20 times without finding any solution to the problem. At that time, President Truman announced that the Russians had produced an atomic explosion, which he said emphasized the need for effective, enforceable international control of atomic energy. Four years had now passed since that time, during which it was almost certain that Russia had accumulated a stockpile of several hundred atomic bombs, while the U.S., with a four-year head start, probably had thousands, though the number remained classified. Yet in that four years, there was still no agreement on how to control atomic energy with adequate inspection.

The previous day, the Russians had announced that they had exploded a type of hydrogen device, confirmed by the Atomic Energy Commission. The disarmament commission issued its report, indicating that it still had made no progress, not having even met since the prior October because of the deadlock between the West and Russia, with Russia posing the plan submitted by the West for inspection of atomic development for peaceful purposes. No new plans had been submitted in the previous year.

Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who was attending the General Assembly meeting in New York presently, proposed action by the U.S. and Soviet Governments to control atomic power. Mr. Vishinsky was reported to have said the previous day that he might present a proposal in time, which probably meant in September. But since there had been an inability to reach any agreement in the prior seven years, there was no reason for optimism about agreement any time soon.

Indeed, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which banned above-ground atmospheric testing of nuclear devices, urged by President Kennedy, would not be signed until August, 1963.

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