The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 29, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, the Communists said this date that they would return all allied prisoners desiring repatriation, including those who had been sentenced to jail for offenses allegedly committed during captivity. They also said that more than 300 Koreans and 20 non-Koreans were refusing to repatriate, but that they would continue to persuade them to do so. One repatriated American soldier said that he had been informed that 22 Americans and one British soldier had been among those refusing repatriation. He said it was his understanding that the 23 were expected soon at Kaesong, where the Communists assembled the prisoners in preparation for release to the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission to determine their fate.

This date, the Communists released 145 Americans, of whom 36 were non-commissioned officers, plus 250 South Koreans and five other allied prisoners. The U.N. Command returned 2,400 North Koreans. The Communists promised to return 110 more Americans on Sunday, plus 250 South Koreans, 25 British and 15 other allied prisoners.

At the U.N. in New York, South Korea was reported this date to be urging that San Francisco or Honolulu become the site for the Korean peace conference, with an alternate choice being in Latin America. Other potential sites were Geneva, Beirut, Stockholm or Ceylon. The conference was set to start, by the terms of the Armistice, prior to October 28. The U.N. was awaiting word from North Korea and Communist China as to whether they would accept Russia as a participant on the Communist side of the conference, as approved the previous day by the General Assembly, conditioned on acceptance by the two Communist nations. Speculation was running that the Communists might seek to include other nations to match nation for nation the 16 nations of the U.N. side, which had fought under the U.N. Command during the war.

The head of the Government Printing Office testified this date before the Senate Investigations subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph McCarthy, that 15 employees alleged to have Communist connections had been shifted to jobs where they had no access to secret material submitted to the Office for printing. The employees had been transferred to the Library of Congress, where they would remain until a decision was made whether they should be discharged. He said that any Printing Office employee who "hides" behind the Fifth Amendment would be suspended, prompting applause from the audience at the hearing. Senator McCarthy, alleging that a bookmaking operation was being run from the Printing Office, had called an unannounced witness, who had been a hand compositor at the printing plant, testifying that he owned a 35-acre farm on which some racehorses belonging to his son were stabled, but refused to answer, under the Fifth Amendment, whether he operated a gambling book within the GPO.

Tensions eased this date in Washington, D.C., Maryland and West Virginia, as telephone workers ended a one-day walk out, but about 60,000 Bell System employees in the Midwest and Southwest remained on strike. The members of the Communications Workers of America continued negotiating with the Bell System for wage boosts of between two dollars and three dollars per week, with the company offering raises of between $1.50 and $2.50. Maryland's Independent Union of Switchboard Operators, which had not struck, voted by a 3 to 1 margin to accept a contract from the Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Company, providing for wage increases from $1.50 to $2.00 per week for workers who had been receiving between $40 and $57 per week.

In Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the Order of Railway Conductors announced that it would begin a strike on some railroads on the morning of September 10. If the mediation clause of the Railway Labor Act were invoked, however, any walkout would be delayed for 60 days.

In New York, detectives investigating the slaying of a Bronx union leader this date picked up for questioning a former $2,000 per month Yonkers Raceway "trouble-shooter". Bronx District Attorney George DeLuca said that the man was taken into custody at his home and brought to the Bronx for questioning over the fatal shooting the previous day of Thomas Lewis, president of a local of the Building Service Employees Union. The actual killer was shot to death in a running gunfight with police a few minutes after the slaying, but police expressed the belief that the killer was a hired gunman. The man brought in for questioning had lost his job at the Raceway the previous spring at the insistence of Mr. Lewis. An assistant district attorney said that an automobile with license plates traced to the man brought in for questioning had been seen near the apartment house where Mr. Lewis was shot, at about the time of the shooting.

Near Williamston, N.C., police searched woods for part of the nearly $30,000 in loot stolen in two eastern North Carolina bank robberies the previous day. Police said that three brothers had been arrested as the robbers in Williamston, but three other armed bandits remained at large after robbing another bank at Garner, five miles south of Raleigh, getting away with $12,300, that robbery having occurred about five hours after the Williamston robbery. There was no apparent connection between the two robberies. Williamston police said a bag containing a $100 bill and an undisclosed amount of silver had been located in woods near Williamston. A total of $17,326 had been taken in that bank robbery. One of the arrested brothers, an AWOL Marine from Camp Lejeune, had pleaded guilty to bank robbery before a U.S. Commissioner at Rocky Mount the previous night, but another of the brothers had pleaded not guilty. (The pleading brother may need a new lawyer, as he may have inadvertently hired someone from the Order of Railway Conductors.)

Broadway showman Billy Rose would begin a new column which would be carried by The News starting the following Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Titled "Pitching Horseshoes", the column had previously run for three years until Mr. Rose had been forced by health and an operation to cease, but had now been renewed.

On the editorial page, "Good News for Little Taxpayers" praises the new commissioner of Internal Revenue, T. Coleman Andrews, the subject of the column this date by Marquis Childs. He had ordered careful checks of many individual tax returns, encouraging honesty by taxpayers, partially responsible for a 7.2 percent increase in collections during the previous fiscal year over that of the 1951-52 fiscal year. He had also cut out several hundred jobs. The Truman reorganization plan had reduced the number of district offices from 64 to 17 as a cost-saving device, but Mr. Andrews had reduced the number even further, to nine. He gave the nine regional directors authority they needed and did not have, enabling them to make decisions on their own rather than having to obtain permission from Washington.

It indicates that it was most enthused about the new policy on entertainment deductions, as discussed by Mr. Childs.

Members of Congress were objecting to the new policies, mainly regarding the decentralization, but it suggests that the real reason was likely the new policy regarding deductions of business expenses.

It indicates that if he maintained that policy, every taxpayer would owe him a debt of gratitude, and he would provide the Republicans with a campaign issue which would win votes, sternness with big taxpayers, instead of leniency, as had been the practice of the Democrats.

"Good Enforcement, Loose Justice" indicates that, try as it had, it was unable to find anything critical to say about the new commissioner of Motor Vehicles, Ed Scheidt, former FBI agent. During the week, a member of the State Highway Patrol had caught a prominent Raleigh physician traveling 85 mph near Zebulon, but unilaterally reduced the charge to 70 mph so that the doctor would not lose his license under a new state law passed in the recent General Assembly, as the doctor had told the patrolman that he had a patient at a Raleigh hospital and was in a hurry to return there from Zebulon to check on the patient's condition. Mr. Scheidt investigated the matter and suspended the patrolman for five days, indicating that it was the Patrol's policy to treat every person equally and fairly, and that the patrolman had shown poor judgment in reducing the charge.

It indicates that the patrolman had appeared in court to testify on the reduced charge, but the judge had directed a not guilty verdict without hearing any evidence, suggesting that if the patrolman was due for criticism, so was the judge.

It indicates that enforcement of speeding laws required alertness on the part of law enforcement officers and stern adherence to the law by courts, that it would be impossible to reduce speeding if judges were going to turn offenders loose just because they were prominent or had a good excuse.

Hey, like, daddio, you take all the fun out of the game. What's your problem, man, you drive like old grandma molasses? You chicken?

"From Hosiery, a Lesson in Economics" indicates that about two years earlier, the hosiery industry had gone into a slow downward trend because of overproduction. It provides the detail and indicates that the president of the Southern Manufacturers Association, Taylor Durham of Charlotte, had disdained the call for voluntary production controls, in favor of a calm, waiting game. During the week, Mr. Durham had provided the closing address for the annual industry convention in Charlotte, in which he said that the industry was doing better because, with the drop in profits, new capital was no longer flowing into the industry, and during the two-year slump, marginal and inefficient mills had been liquidated, and that the rapid growth in U.S. population had created 15,000 new consumers of hosiery every two days. Demand was therefore now catching up with supply and better days were ahead.

It indicates that forces within the economy would eventually cause adjustments to downturns and that there was a general principle of economics involved which should not be forgotten.

"A Friendly Warning for Local Merchants" indicates that in Lancaster, South Carolina, there was news for Charlotte which was not good for its merchants. While the people of Lancaster liked Charlotte well enough, they complained, according to the Lancaster News, that parking was too hard to obtain downtown, and that it appeared Charlotte had refused to recognize its future in not providing adequate parking.

It finds in it a friendly warning that deserved heed by the city planners to make the shopping area of the city accessible to the thousands of patrons who sought to shop there, or lose their business.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Refusing To Carry the Ball", indicates that the announcement by Bob Mathias, the Stanford All-American football player, that he would not play in the fall had come as a shock to the coaches, who believed that every young man would always be ready to sacrifice himself for the job, some perhaps suggesting that Mr. Mathias had sinned against the American creed and that an investigation was in order.

He had realized that college football was no longer a sport, but rather a big business which was dirty, had lost all of its "character-building" virtues claimed for it, and that professional football was more honest and less dangerous.

It indicates that some schools had not succumbed to the hypocrisy involved in player recruiting and winning at any price, had either dropped out of competition in football or left the game in the hands of the students. By example, those schools had likely impressed on their students that a clear conscience was beyond price.

Mr. Mathias had said that colleges need not drop football to escape the evils which now controlled it. It suggests that perhaps his revolt would move more schools to do so, and the coaches and alumni to think a bit.

Drew Pearson indicates that the most unfortunate public debate in which the U.S. had engaged for several years, whether India ought be invited to the Korean peace conference, had come about through a series of diplomatic blunders, starting with Secretary of State Dulles having given a firm promise to South Korean President Syngman Rhee that India would not be present at the conference, a promise, Mr. Pearson suggests, which should never have been extended. The second mistake was that the Churchill Government in Britain had promised Premier Nehru of India that the country would sit on the commission, and Britain had been seeking to live up to that promise, another which should not have been made. The Administration had fired the most popular U.S. Ambassador to India, Chester Bowles, just when it needed a man who had the personal friendship and confidence of Premier Nehru. His replacement, Ambassador George Allen, was a first-rate diplomat but had not yet achieved Premier Nehru's confidence. Another error had occurred when Secretary Dulles had sought to convince a news conference that the Administration had effected a truce by being tough with the Chinese, and in response to a question, had said that he had tipped off Premier Nehru that strong action would be taken against China. When word reached Nehru of that statement, he was upset, for it placed him in the position of being a spy for the Chinese, one of the reasons why Nehru had sought a seat at the peace conference.

Spanish dictator, Generalissimo Francisco Franco, had been so pleased with the deal the U.S. had given him for airbases that he ordered Spain's fanciest medal be presented to Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, for having exerted the backstage pressure for the deal. He obtained all previously impounded U.S. aid to Spain, and also obtained a promise that an additional 400 million dollars in aid would be sought from Congress during the ensuing five years. Mr. Pearson indicates that Senator McCarran had done a better job of representing Spain than Nevada.

The plumbers union, of which Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin had been head, was preparing another blast at the Administration.

Senator McCarthy had deliberately held off hearings regarding the Government Printing Office until Congress had adjourned, so that he would be able to obtain all of the headlines. He had known about Edward Rothschild, the alleged former Communist who was the focus of the investigation, for several months.

The President had received a reminder that the nation's dirt farmers could not afford the honor of being named to the President's newly created National Agricultural Committee, when Jim Patton, president of the National Farmers Union, had written the President that the 12 "representative farmers", to be named to the Committee, would have to spend $2,000 per year to attend the necessary four meetings, and that a farmer with that much expendable cash could not be regarded as "representative". The executive order creating the Committee required that its members pay their own expenses for attendance of the four meetings. Mr. Patton indicated to the President that those who had been appointed to the special drought relief committees received $25 per day and transportation expenses.

Marquis Childs, as indicated in the above editorial, tells of an address by commissioner of Internal Revenue T. Coleman Andrews at the ABA convention in Boston recently, in which he had said that he was instructing his tax agents to review the tax returns of all large taxpayers who deducted generous amounts for "entertainment". He had discovered that the entire costs of operating yachts and smaller pleasure craft were deducted as a business expense, as was the cost of maintaining expensive beach houses in Florida and fishing camps in Maine, all attributed to entertainment expenses. For the most part, the deductions were taken on corporate tax returns. Where large deductions of that type had been taken, his agents were instructed to inquire as to who was entertained and why, requiring proof that customers capable of generating business for the company commensurate with the entertainment had actually been guests on the yachts or in the luxury houses. If the owner or management received most of the benefit, then they would have to pay the tax on that which had been deducted.

The Truman Administration had supposedly been concerned with the lot of the common man, but apparently had not challenged such generous deductions. Mr. Andrews would likely step on some sensitive Republican toes, including those of generous donors to the party. He had said, however, that it would not make any difference, that if he could not administer the law impartially, he would resign.

The law allowed for "ordinary and necessary" costs of doing business to be deducted, to which the courts had added "reasonable".

Mr. Andrews was also going to examine the practice of kickbacks, often by way of an expense allowance, whereby excessive amounts for expenses were granted to salesmen and purchasing agents, with the understanding that part of it was personal income which they did not have to report on their tax returns.

Consideration was being given within the IRB to recommending to Congress that it amend the law covering deductions, requiring that the taxpayer list the persons entertained and preventing lump-sum business deductions for payments to unnamed individuals, as Congressional investigations had shown that such sums had been paid to fixers and wire-pullers.

Stewart Alsop indicates, following his return from Europe, that during the summer, it had been realized in Europe that no Soviet satellite nation could possibly liberate itself as long as the Red Army was potentially or actually present, that there was no effective way for the U.S. to create or support effective resistance movements within the satellites short of repeated and continuous acts of war, because constant overflying of satellite areas was the only practical means of supplying such resistance movements, that in the case of war, satellite resistance movements might add appreciably to the defense capabilities of the West, provided that there was a means of large-scale, organized supply and direction of the resistance, that if at any time in the foreseeable future, the Red Army was withdrawn from East Germany and the satellites, the whole Soviet satellite empire would soon thereafter begin to crumble.

He indicates that if those conclusions, shared by virtually everyone in the best position to judge, were correct, they would determine U.S. foreign policy. East Germany was the most significant case, as the June 17 uprisings had undermined a great deal of timorous assumptions which American policymakers had been in the habit of making. An example was that the Russians would fake any supposedly free election which might precede a German peace treaty and German unification. The answer by U.S. policymakers was to have them try, as long as the Red Army was withdrawn, as the leaders of East Germany could only then escape with their lives through cover by the Red Army. Another assumption had been that, if there were withdrawal of the Red Army, the Soviets would then leave behind a Communist apparatus which would take over all of Germany, now considered nonsense, as the long-established Communist apparatus in East Germany had collapsed instantly and completely after the revolt in mid-June, and was only re-established by the Red Army. Another assumption had been that a united and sovereign Germany would soon form a German-Soviet alliance, but that too had been rendered nonsense, as the withdrawal of the Red Army would result in an anti-Communist, anti-Soviet, all-German government. The actual danger was that a united sovereign Germany might eventually drag the West into a war with Russia.

Since the June 17 uprisings, it was possible to be dogmatic about Germany, but in the other satellites, where the key was also the Red Army, results were somewhat less certain. The best guess was that first Poland, then Hungary and Czechoslovakia, and then the remainder of the satellites, would shake off their puppet regimes, once the Red Army was no longer available to prop up those regimes. It was the reason why it was unlikely that Russia would withdraw its troops from Germany or the other satellites. Mr. Alsop indicates that it was for that reason that the West ought be in a position to demand a European settlement on the condition that the Red Army be withdrawn.

A letter addressed from three couples indicates agreement with 90 percent of the newspaper's editorials and admiration for its policies, but objects to the printing on the front page of an analysis of the Kinsey report on female sexuality, as had appeared the prior week.

A letter writer complains about the increased interest rates and inflation since the beginning of the Eisenhower Administration, hearkening back to the time of the depression and the Hoover Administration. "The Republicans have cast their shadow, the sure sign of things to come."

A letter from Pinebluff, N.C., indicates that since arrival in the town in August, 1946 from Cleveland, O., the writer had subscribed to The News and had found the features page, especially the Mary Haworth and Dr. Crane columns, one of the best she had ever read. But for many days, the Mary Haworth column had been missing and she wonders whether she might be on vacation. She also had a suggestion for the newspaper, that it print the features page, the comics page, and the sports page on loose sheets, so that they could be removed from the newspaper without causing a family squabble or resort to shears, as her young boy grabbed the sports page, the young daughter, the funnies, while she enjoyed the features page and her husband wanted to see the front page.

The editors respond that Mary Haworth was on vacation, and that the suggestion about loose sheets was impractical mechanically.

Loose sheets sink many feet.

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