The Charlotte News

Monday, August 24, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, another 150 American prisoners of war, most of whom had been captured late in the war, had been returned by the Communists this date, at the end of the third week of the post-truce prisoner exchange program in Korea. The Communists said that they would return 136 additional American prisoners the following day, which would bring the total number of freed Americans to more than 2,000 out of the 3,313 scheduled to be released. Several of the repatriates spoke lightly and jokingly of their relatively short experience as captives, compared to the earlier released prisoners who had been in captivity much longer, for two or three years. In addition to the Americans, 250 South Koreans were released, with another 250 South Koreans scheduled to be released the following day. The U.N. Command released 2,400 North Korean soldiers and 250 North Korean civilians this date, with another 2,400 expected to be released the following day.

One American soldier, from Napa, Calif., released this date had started a collection of 22 tattoos in 1946 and stated that he often wondered while in captivity whether his collection had been such a good idea, as the Communists criticized his tattoos as being "no good". His prize tattoo was that of an eagle on his chest. Recalling the Nazi atrocities of one concentration camp where the skin of Jewish prisoners was converted into lampshades, he said that he thought a couple of times that he was going to wind up on a lampshade.

At the U.N. in New York, South Korea's Foreign Minister Y. T. Pyun was reported to be ready to make a strong declaration this date opposing India's participation in the upcoming Korean peace conference, scheduled for October. Thus far, while opposing India's participation, the South Korean delegation had not participated in the debate on the subject, though President Syngman Rhee had been quoted by some diplomats as threatening to boycott the conference if India were allowed to participate. The reason for the objection was the South Korean Government's belief that India was pro-Communist. India, meanwhile, was seeking support for its participation from among the 16-nation Asian-Arab bloc, at least three members of which, Thailand, the Philippines and Pakistan, were reported to be uncertain of their position. The U.S. continued to lead the opposition to India's participation in the conference. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the previous night, in a televised interview on "Meet the Press", confirmed reports that he had told other delegates that U.S. opposition to India's participation resulted from the South Korean threat to boycott the conference, but refused comment further on South Korea's opposition. He also said that India's inclusion would open the door for other neutral countries to seek participation as well. He added that India, as chairman of the prisoner repatriation commission, was answerable to the peace conference for its work in that area. He said that he believed a decisive vote on the matter would occur by the end of the week and that India would not receive the two-thirds majority necessary in the General Assembly. He added that if India were successful, the U.S. would attend the peace conference and try to make it a success.

In Tehran, official sources announced this date that police had transferred former Premier Mohammed Mossadegh from the comfortable quarters of the Tehran Officers' Club to a jail cell. Clad in pajamas, the former Premier had surrendered the previous week following the coup by supporters of the Shah, who had briefly been forced into exile for six days the previous week after a failed coup attempt the prior Sunday. The former Premier was possibly to be tried for treason for refusing to obey the Shah's order a week earlier to hand over the premiership to Maj. General Fazollah Zahedi, who became Premier following the coup. Pro-Mossadegh nationalist uprisings continued to occur in scattered outlying locations of the country, and the Shah told newsmen at a palace garden party the previous day that his nation's treasury was "very empty". He said that immediate help was imperative within the ensuing few days, that he was not asking for aid from any particular nation, that they were not beggars, but had to have help to save the country. At issue was the restoration of the British oil properties which had been expropriated under Premier Mossadegh's nationalistic program.

In Denver, the President, still on vacation, made public an adviser's report declaring that free world unity would remain precarious and fragile unless the U.S. liberalized its foreign trade policies, the report having been prepared by former Ambassador to Great Britain Lewis Douglas, indicating that for 30 years, the country had erected import barriers which had "operated against re-establishment of international economic and financial health and equilibrium". As the world's greatest creditor, the report went on, the U.S. could no longer pursue such protectionist policies associated with a debtor nation, without discrimination against American products in the international market. Mr. Douglas had stated that time was of the essence in moving toward a freer trade policy. The report also dealt with the great progress made by Britain in resolving many of the causes for its imbalance between the dollar and pound sterling. The President had previously indicated that the July 14 report had been a valuable contribution toward illuminating trade. He had turned the report over to the new Government study commission for assessment.

A Senate Judiciary subcommittee on internal security, chaired by Senator William Jenner of Indiana, which had been investigating Communist infiltration of Government agencies during the previous 20 years, issued a 50-page report, indicating that there was "interlocking subversion in Government departments", and that the Soviets had "carried on a successful and important penetration of the United States Government", penetration which had not been fully exposed. It said that four or more Soviet espionage rings among Government employees had been described by former Communists and that only two of the rings had been exposed, that information regarding the rings was still inaccessible to the FBI and to the subcommittee because persons who knew the facts of the conspiracy were not cooperating with the security authorities. It said most of the information had been revealed by former Communists Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley, Louis Budenz and Nathaniel Weyl. The report was signed by all eight members of the subcommittee.

The Government asked the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington to reinstate four perjury charges against Owen Lattimore, former State Department Far Eastern consultant, after the charges had been dismissed by a U.S. District Court judge as being based on a violation of his Constitutional rights to freedom of speech. The Government contended that the judge had misconstrued the dismissed four counts of the seven-count indictment, stemming from 12 days of testimony before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on internal security a year earlier, then chaired by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, regarding the Institute of Pacific Relations, a private research organization which was believed infiltrated by Communists trying to influence U.S. Far Eastern policy. Most of the Government's efforts were directed to one count which had alleged that Mr. Lattimore had sworn falsely when he said that he had never been a "sympathizer or promoter of Communism or Communist interests". The District Court judge had said that the First Amendment protected an individual in the expression of ideas, though they were "repugnant to the orthodox" view, and that there should be no attempt to require "conformity in thought and beliefs" which had "no relevancy to a present danger to our security". The Government contended that there was no First Amendment issue as the witness had volunteered his statement before the subcommittee, waiving any issue of privilege—appearing to confuse the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination with free speech issues under the First Amendment.

In Moscow, the Kremlin had made concessions in a new pact with East Germany, agreeing to exchange ambassadors, end reparations following the first of the year, cut occupation costs and provide additional economic aid and release of some German war prisoners. A joint communiqué announcing the agreement had been issued the previous day after a four-day conference between top Russian leaders, including Premier Georgi Malenkov, and an East German delegation, headed by Premier Otto Grotewohl. Western observers in Germany believed the agreement was an effort to prop up the faltering Grotewohl regime and to undermine the pro-Western Government of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, in advance of the September 6 West German parliamentary elections. Mr. Malenkov had personally attacked Chancellor Adenauer recently, declaring in a radio broadcast that the latter was leading his country down the road to war.

In Düsseldorf, Germany, Dr. Werner Naumann, a controversial candidate of the extreme right wing German Reich Party, was classified by the state Interior Minister this date as a Nazi offender and ousted from the September 6 parliamentary election campaign. During campaign speeches, Herr Naumann had compared Hitler with Napoleon and praised Nazism for saving Western Europe from Communism. He had been one of Hitler's top propagandists. The ruling stripped him of his voting rights, making him ineligible as a candidate. Two days earlier, the British High Commission in Bonn had repealed two old laws, under which the British had retained denazification powers in their zone, providing Chancellor Adenauer's Government the opportunity to act against Herr Naumann, who claimed to have denazification certification.

In Rabat, Morocco, the outlawed nationalist movement in the country was on the run this date, following the French arrest of more than 1,000 Arabs suspected of anti-French activity in the French protectorate. Strong French police and army units maintained a tight grip on order, following the French exile to Corsica the previous week of the pro-nationalist Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef, replaced by his uncle, Moulay Mohammed Ben Arafa. Cities across the country returned to normal, and the possibility of any widespread revolt was considered remote.

According to a report issued by the U.S. Department of Commerce, North Carolina exports rose 1,125 percent during the first five months of 1953, although the value of shipments from most Southeastern ports had sharply declined. Shipments through North Carolina ports increased from $400,000 for the same period the previous year to 4.9 million. There was, however, a decrease of imports by 45 percent, or nine million dollars worth, more than offsetting the increase in exports. All other Southeastern states showed declines of exports, ranging up to 39 percent in Georgia. South Carolina had an export decrease of 18 percent, by seven million dollars, but a two million dollar increase in imports, to 28.5 million.

On the editorial page, "'Cheap Public Power' Goes by the Boards" indicates that under the previous two Democratic Presidents, "cheap public power" had become an end in itself, instead of a byproduct of the Federal conservation and reclamation programs. The previous week, the Eisenhower Administration had broken from that public power philosophy, issuing from the Interior Department a new policy statement, that the Department's responsibilities would be reclamation of arid lands and the development of natural resources, including the disposal of electric power which could be economically produced, that the Department would continue planning multipurpose hydroelectric projects which were too big or complex for local enterprise, that primary responsibility for providing electric power lay with the people of each area and the Department would not interfere with locally-initiated projects which conformed to the basic development objectives set out by the appropriate Federal authorities. The Department also stated that it would no longer assume that it had the exclusive right or responsibility for the construction of dams or the generation, transmission and sale of electric energy in any area.

It indicates that the change was primarily one of emphasis, with the Department carrying out the programs adopted by Congress, but not actively urging any longer public power or voluntarily planning any further multipurpose dams except those which local interests were unwilling to undertake. It regards it as a sensible approach. Some of the more shrill critics of public power suggested that any dam considered not feasible by private utilities should not be built, a position which it regards as nonsense. The great rivers were among the country's richest resources and the Federal Government had the right and responsibility to conserve and develop their potential, as it would be wasteful to leave them untapped just because local interests did not wish to do the job.

"Lennon Will Fight His Own Battles" indicates that Governor William B. Umstead had been asked by reporters whether he intended to make speeches for his recent appointee, Senator Alton Lennon, during the primary of the following spring, to which he had answered that he would support the Senator but would not stump for him, as he did not believe it was the function of the Governor to tell the people for whom to vote.

It suggests that the Governor may have been making a shrewd political decision, as the last two times a Governor had intervened on behalf of candidates, it had not worked. Governor Kerr Scott had campaigned for the re-election of Senator Frank Graham, to whom he had appointed to the Senate in March, 1949, losing to Willis Smith in the runoff primary of June, 1950, and Governor Scott also had supported Judge Hubert Olive in the gubernatorial primary against Mr. Umstead in 1952. It finds that it might be the case that the people resented efforts by public officials to influence their votes.

It indicates that Senator Lennon would have to fight his own battles sooner or later, and it might as well start at present, but ventures that given his campaigning technique, it appeared he was going to do all right.

As indicated, Senator Lennon would be defeated in the 1954 Democratic primary the following spring by former Governor Scott, who would then easily win the general election in the one-party state.

"Brown's Park Proposal Merits Support" indicates that City Councilman Herman Brown's proposal that a major park be built in the Chantilly section ought receive enthusiastic support from the City Council and the Park & Recreation Commission, as the 27-acre site of partially wooded land, just across Independence Boulevard from the Coliseum-Auditorium property, was ideal. The area needed a park badly as there were hundreds of new residences within a half-mile radius, with more being built every month. Mr. Brown had suggested that the City purchase the land from the School Board and reserve it for development as funds became available, as, otherwise, he believed it would be sold for residential development, leaving no vacant land in the area for a park. Mr. Brown, it indicates, had shown vision and foresight in advancing his suggestion and it urges its adoption.

Apparently, it did not work out, as there has never been a park across the road from the Coliseum and Auditorium, only hamburger joints. But maybe they found a park location elsewhere nearby. We do not know as we have never lived in Charlotte.

"Meditations While Shaving" indicates that Dr. Alfred Kinsey, in his just-published report on female sexuality, had revealed that half of all women whom he and his staff had interviewed slept in the nude, with the number increasing, prompting it to observe that soon there would be no one left to whom to sell pajamas except deposed Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh.

It had once been the case that well-dressed men were never without a hat, whereas now, some men did not even know their hat size.

In Rumania, the beard was returning, but, it muses, it was perhaps the result of a shortage of razor blades. In the U.S., John W. Vandercook, a journalist with a Van Dyck beard, had recently contracted with the CIO to sponsor a news program, but as part of the deal, they required that he shave his beard, which he had grown for decades. It indicates that counselors and columnists claimed that the smooth cheek was good for romance, but had no answer when it was pointed out that the divorce rate during the era of their grandfathers, when beards were common, was far less than at present.

It concludes that the only socially acceptable excuse for not shaving was one used by the people of Rock Hill and Rowan County earlier in the year, that being their centennial celebrations. So it suggests dreaming up a centennial locally and enjoying a "few months of hirsute happiness", free from the dreaded morning ritual of shaving.

But then you have to learn how to cut the mustard with a beard.

"Provincialism" indicates that it had been said that New York City was the most provincial town in the country, despite its pretensions of sophistication. A friend who had just returned from New York, attending a business meeting, had said that he was amused at the way pedestrians rubber-necked to try to read a small identification card he had worn on his lapel, whereas in Charlotte, no one paid attention to convention attendees.

The piece indicates that the International City Managers' Association had stated that New York City and New York State had just put into effect the standard hand signal regulation of the Uniform Vehicle Code, requiring henceforth drivers to hold their left hand up when turning right and hold it straight out when turning left, down when slowing or stopping. Previously, New York drivers had held their hand straight out and left it to the other motorists to determine what their intention was.

It indicates that "down here in the sticks", the Uniform Code signals had been adopted several years earlier, and it was "pleased as punch" that the "Big City" had finally caught up.

Now, there you go again, with some of that old Southern defensiveness in play. Who is provincial? Besides, in New York, they already had a hand signal, not recognized by the Uniform Code, which took care of the errant driver double-quick, sufficing as a signal to indicate most errant driving techniques. North Carolinians needed to employ it a little more to deter the noisome speeders, reckless drivers, and the generally unheedful in need of correction.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "Only Man Is Vile", indicates that the assistant State forester reported that there were 177 forest fires in North Carolina during May, which had burned over 16,773 acres of forest and open lands, causing damage estimated at $149,348. Careless brush burners had started 48 of the fires. Careless smokers had been responsible for 46 more, and arsonists accounted for 40, with lightning being the cause of three.

"Apparently this would be a good, green, safe world if there just weren't any people in it."

Drew Pearson indicates that ever since the Army and Navy had allegedly been unified by the Defense Act of 1947, efficiency experts had been trying to eliminate the greatest source of waste in Government, duplicate buying by the armed services, the three of which wasted millions of dollars by bidding against one another for common items, one of the things unification of the military had been designed to eliminate. Yet, only five items had been standardized in the years since unification, toilet paper, two types of soap, and two types of paper towels. That left 299,995 common items for which the armed services still competed. One problem had been Russell Forbes, the second in charge at the General Services Administration, which purchased most items for Government agencies. Mr. Forbes had drafted the unified purchasing plan initially, but now appeared to be unable to carry it out. As a result, the three services continued to compete for such items as pencils, paper, furniture, light bulbs, carpet, and Venetian blinds. He indicates that the three services spent more than 75 million dollars on stationery and paper, and that a third of that could be saved by eliminating the interservice competition. The Army had a full year's supply of paper towels while the Navy had millions of pencils in storage, and yet, if the Air Force needed towels or pencils, it would buy them anew instead of drawing on the Navy and Army pool. Mr. Forbes had stated in a letter that he had discussed the subject at the Pentagon but believed no conclusion had been reached as to whether corrective action ought be instituted. Mr. Pearson indicates it demonstrated the attitude toward correction of the waste.

Because of a recent fire which had occurred at a large General Motors automatic transmission production plant in Lavonia, Michigan, the entire production policy of the Defense Department might be revised. G.M. had concentrated all of its production of the hydromatic transmission in the one plant and so G.M. cars equipped with those transmissions could not be produced until the first of the year, necessitating the use of the dynaflow transmission on Cadillacs and Buicks, while Pontiacs would use the transmission of the Chevrolet, costing many millions of dollars to G.M. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, former president of G.M., was a source of concern for Pentagon officials because his "single source" operation was being conducted at the Pentagon, on the belief that what was good for General Motors was good for the country. Mr. Wilson had put into effect a new policy of concentrating production only in the bigger, more efficient factories, which, in many cases, were those belonging to G.M. That practice would likely save the Government a lot of money, but many military men believed that the policy jeopardized the safety of the nation, as a single factory would make an easy target for atomic attack, similar to the problem occasioned for G.M. by the Lavonia fire.

During the Truman Administration, Secretary of State Acheson and Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett had dispersed production among various factories, many of them small. The policy was designed to prevent a crippling attack by an atomic raid and also to educate industry for possible war production. But Secretary Wilson had reversed that policy. Thus far, Army and Air Force representatives had not spoken out publicly against the new policy, but General Omar Bradley, retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs, in his farewell report, had vigorously opposed the plan. In the wake of the Lavonia fire, military men were now less timid about expressing their opinions on the policy.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, provides a look at the voting record of Senator Alton Lennon, appointed by Governor Umstead to replace deceased Senator Willis Smith. In Senator Lennon's first 20 days in office, he had voted in all 28 roll call votes, voting with Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina in all except three cases. Mr. Reinemer provides the details.

The Richmond News Leader, in an editorial, discusses the "Hell-bomb", the hydrogen bomb, which had been confirmed by the Atomic Energy Commission during the prior week as having been tested by the Soviets on August 12, based on atmospheric samples and seismographic evidence gathered by the AEC, pinpointing the locus of the detonation as having been somewhere beyond the Ural Mountains.

The editorial finds the resolution of the atomic arms race had to come, not from more terrible and destructive weaponry on each side, but rather from the spirit of mankind, finding its commonality in basic human traits of empathy and compassion and resolving to maintain peaceful use of atomic energy rather than destructive use.

"With God's grace our civilization may live a long time yet. Surely the man of the West will trace his bond to the man of the East before we unleash upon each other a war of Hell-bombs. But if we fail—if we fail—our cities inevitably must follow the way of Babylon and Colhuacan and Carthage. Beyond our temples lies the patient vine, the creeping tendril. We find understanding, or we surrender to the jungle."

James Marlow examines immigration from Mexico, indicates that 200,000 Mexicans had crossed the U.S. border legally during the year to work for six weeks to six months seasonally on farms, but that more than twice that number had crossed illegally. Attorney General Herbert Brownell had said that U.S. Immigration & Naturalization Service inspectors had detained about 389,000 illegal immigrants and missed perhaps another 100,000 during the previous year. He was looking for a way to stop the flow of "wetbacks"—a term which originally referred to an illegal immigrant who swam across the Rio Grande, but now had been expanded to encompass any illegal immigrant from Mexico. President Truman's Commission on Migratory Labor had in 1951 described the illegal immigration as an "invasion".

There were about 750 guards along the 1,600-mile border with Mexico, and the Attorney General was studying the prospect of hiring more guards or using U.S. armed forces as border guards. He had toured the border area a week earlier and said that among other proposals he had heard mentioned was passage by Congress of the law to penalize U.S. farmers who hired "wetbacks". An official in the Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Security said that there was a penalty for transporting such illegal immigrants but that there had never been more than a few prosecutions for same. He stated that if American farmers hired only legal immigrants, the need for such immigrants would increase by 25 to 50 percent above the present figure of about 20,000.

President Truman's Commission two years earlier had recommended that employment of those immigrants be made unlawful and stated that those who capitalized on the legal disability of the "wetbacks" were numerous and their devices "many and numerous". If the illegal immigrant made a deal to be guided or escorted across the Rio Grande or some section of the land border, said the Commission, everything he was able to pay was usually extracted in return for service, which might not be anything more than guiding him around the fence or giving him a boat ride across the big river. The Commission also said that the illegal immigrant who did not have the money to pay the smuggler for bringing him in was frequently sold from one "exploiter" to another.

The illegal immigrant could not complain to U.S. officials about his treatment, including the pay received on the farm, as he would thereby disclose his illegal status and then be detained and deported.

We thought Trumpy Dumpy Do down Broadway was not only going to build a wall but also was going to get Mexico to pay for it. Whatever happened to that plan and why don't they talk much about it anymore in Trumpy-Dumpy-Doville? Now, they only stress how great his economy was before he completely defected on the coronavirus management and leadership, taking a powder, opting instead for golf. What a four years. You would have to be insane to vote for this crowd again.

And while about it, is a Justice-designate to the Supreme Court qualified to sit on any court when she demonstrates such utter abandonment of judgment in favor of vanity by not wearing a mask to the White House "super-spreader event" to announce her nomination? resulting in numerous persons in the Government, including the White House occupants, being infected, when she, herself, had the coronavirus a couple of months ago. Would such a person not place her own personal vanity far ahead of the nation's interests in rendering court decisions? Does it not convey a devil-may-care attitude toward life in general?

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