The Charlotte News

Monday, August 31, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, another 150 Americans, most of whom were sergeants and officers, had been freed this date, amid indications that the Communists might return as many as 50 additional Americans beyond the 3,313 originally promised to be released. Also released this date were 250 South Koreans. The Communists promised to return another 400 prisoners the following day, including 100 Americans, 25 British, 20 Turks, five Australians and another 250 South Koreans. The top-ranking British officer held as a prisoner, Lt. Col. James P. Carne, was set to be released the following day. He had been captured in April, 1951 in the battle at the Imjin River. Most of the men of his 1st Battalion had been killed or captured in a gallant stand against overwhelming forces, from which only a few had made it back to allied lines.

Pyongyang Radio said this date that Premier Kim Il Sung had declared that unification of Korea had to be settled by Koreans themselves, which he said would be one of two principal tasks of the upcoming Korean political conference, set to begin sometime in October. The other main task would be to "kick out America and its allied troops" from South Korea. He said nothing about the withdrawal of Communist Chinese troops from North Korea, but that appeared to be implied by his statement that unification needed to be settled by Koreans. He thanked the "Chinese volunteers" for helping achieve "victory" in the war. He regarded the Armistice as their "big victory". The speech was before the central committee of the North Korean Communist Party, occurring sometime between August 5 and 9, and the rebroadcast was monitored in Tokyo.

In Trieste, Italy and Yugoslavia were engaged in a dispute over control of the "free territory", as Italian troops moved toward the border following accusations exchanged between the two countries. Yugoslavia officially denied charges the previous day made by the Italian Government that President Tito was preparing to annex the territory of Zone B, south of Trieste, which Yugoslavia occupied and administered under the Italian peace treaty. The Foreign Minister of Yugoslavia had charged in a speech the previous day that Italians were trying to annex the U.S.-British-occupied Zone A of the territory, which included Trieste. He asserted that the Italians were receiving support from the Anglo-American military government in Trieste. U.S. diplomats in Rome and Belgrade were reported, however, to be relatively undisturbed regarding the increased tensions. Italy's 1947 peace treaty provided that all of Trieste would be a free territory under U.N. supervision, but the Western powers and Russia had never been able to agree on an international governor, causing the British-American and Yugoslav occupations of the two zones to continue.

Democratic leaders, still beset by internal dissension, expected attacks on Republican farm policies to become the rallying point for their efforts to restore party unity at a September 14-15 conference in Chicago. DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell had said that the meeting would be a sendoff for Democratic Senatorial candidates the following year, and high farm price supports appeared to be one of the few national issues on which all of the 21 Democrats up for re-election in the Senate could agree, almost without exception. Southern Democrats who had been critical of former President Truman and lacked enthusiasm for Adlai Stevenson as the presidential nominee again for 1956 would be able to set aside their differences in support of almost any program which promised greater returns for the farmer, whose prices had significantly declined under the new Administration while costs of doing business had increased. Such Southern incumbent Senators who would be up for re-election included James Eastland of Mississippi, Allen Ellender of Louisiana, John McClellan of Arkansas, Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, Willis Robertson of Virginia, Richard Russell of Georgia, and newly appointed Senator Alton Lennon of North Carolina. It also applied to party leaders who were inclined to support the party stand on other national issues, such as Senators Lyndon Johnson of Texas, the Minority Leader, John Sparkman of Alabama, the 1952 vice-presidential nominee, Estes Kefauver of Tennessee—who would be the 1956 vice-presidential nominee with Governor Stevenson—plus a dozen Democratic Senators from the North and West who were up for re-election the following year. Senator Johnson had said during the weekend that the agricultural situation was contributing to "disturbing signs in the nation's economy", and that farm prices had been falling at a rate far exceeding the drop in consumer prices, with inventories piling up in some industrial lines. He said it was too early to determine whether those were minor cracks in an otherwise solid economy or represented the beginnings of a trend which could be deleterious to the people. Thus far, only Senator Spessard Holland of Florida had indicated that he would voluntarily miss the meeting.

In St. Louis, the American Legion officially opened its 35th annual convention this date, with a sharp fight in prospect regarding the Air Force budget cuts by the Administration. The national commander, Lewis Gough, told the convention that while the proposed 1954 budget provided the Air Force with only 114 wings, 23 wings had been added to the Air National Guard and Air Reserve, such that overall there was greater combat strength through a reduction in lead time, better utilization of personnel and equipment, and the elimination of waste and duplication. A report, however, was adopted without opposition, calling the present Air Force inadequate and especially short of replacement crews for the Strategic Air Command. A delegation from Virginia indicated that they would seek on the convention floor to get the Legion to fight for restoration of the 143-wing Air Force.

In St. Louis, contract agreement had been reached in the 11-day Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. strike, and the 53,000 striking workers of the Communications Workers of America were set to return to work on their next regular shifts in the six states impacted by the strike. The new one-year contract would have a wage increase ranging from $1.50 to $3 per week, depending on seniority and job classification, raising the range of weekly wages of $35 to $95 under the old contract. A compromise had been reached regarding a company-proposed clause to end "quickie" strikes, and the CWA spokesman said that they did not consider it a no-strike clause, having obtained removal of objectionable wording.

In Denville, N.J., an assistant county prosecutor said that nine suspects were in custody this date in the beating death of a man, including two youths who had admitted hitting the victim, 32, whose blood-spattered body had been found in a ditch alongside his parked car in a lovers' lane. One of the two youths had said robbery was not the motive, but did not elaborate. The victim had returned from Buxton, N.C., three months earlier after a decade-long absence. He had grown up on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and his family was well known, as nearly all of the men had been members of the Coast Guard. According to the autopsy report, he had died of a brain hemorrhage caused by blows to the head. The prosecutor said that they were certain that there had been several cars at the scene about an hour after midnight and there apparently had been a fight, with the death blows having been inflicted by a club or some other blunt instrument, still not found.

In Canton, O., a three-year old girl died the prior Saturday after swallowing about 50 antihistamine tablets which she had apparently obtained from a medicine cabinet.

In Pittsburgh, a mother and her five young children died in an early morning fire at their home, while the father burned his arms in a futile attempt to save his family. No cause of the fire is indicated.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead wired this date the President, urging him to proclaim 15 North Carolina counties drought disaster areas. The director of the N.C. State extension service said that the object of the Governor's wire was to obtain surplus feed stock from the Commodity Credit Corporation for North Carolina livestock growers at reduced costs or in some cases at no cost. He said that no amount of rain presently falling could relieve the situation enough to provide farmers sufficient feed to carry their cattle through the winter and that if aid were not forthcoming, the farmers would have to place their cattle on the market.

Broadway showman Billy Rose provides the initial installment of his renewed column, "Pitching Horseshoes", indicating that it was his first column since December, 1950, when he had stopped writing because of health issues, but was feeling better two months earlier and so decided to return. He says that it was actually because of a Moor in North Africa who had asked him in Marrakech how his Uncle Charlie was, his Uncle Charlie having been a resident of New York's East Side and whose adventures he had chronicled in his column, which the Arab indicated he had read in the Paris Herald. That made Mr. Rose feel very good, 5,000 miles from Times Square, and when he returned to New York, he listed 26 other reasons why he should resume the column, six of which he provides, the latter being that "like the retired pickpocket, I just can't help keeping my hand in." He says that the column would pretty much follow its old pattern, "pink lemonade and a pinch of pontification." He finds that the newspapers had plenty of news which indicated that "the cream of human kindness is turning sour" and that into the mess of sour cream, he wanted to drop an occasional strawberry.

On the editorial page, "Wilmith Hospital a Fine Community Asset" indicates that for many years, the care of persons in advanced stages of intoxication had been a serious problem in the area, but private institutions charged fees beyond the reach of many families, and general hospitals were not equipped to handle alcoholics. The result had been that many such people were locked in jail cells, usually without adequate medical attention. But now that Wilmith Hospital was in operation, expert attention could be given such persons.

It provides the story of the development of the hospital and suggests that in time it would become one of the greatest assets of the community, rescuing many people, in combination with follow-up by members of Alcoholics Anonymous, from the disease of alcoholism. It indicates that City and County officials, and the AA members deserved great gratitude from the entire community for their service.

"Balanced Budget Still in the Future" indicates that three months earlier, Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey had told Congress that Federal spending during the current fiscal year would exceed revenue by 5.8 billion dollars, but the previous week, had told a press conference that the anticipated deficit would be only 3.8 billion, and that the Government would be able to balance the budget by the beginning of the following fiscal year.

It indicates that two main changes had been responsible for the smaller deficit, the truce in Korea, expected to save about a billion dollars per year, with the other billion coming from the Administration's economy drive.

It suggests, however, that the Secretary's optimism might have been premature, as it was reliant on current revenue remaining constant and that there would be no new incidents abroad which would cause expenditure by the U.S. But the excess profits tax was scheduled to expire at the beginning of the year, and also individual income taxes would be lowered by ten percent. Corporate income taxes were also to be reduced on April 1, 1954. The total would result in about 8 billion dollars less in revenue, and unless Congress extended some of the taxes or found other sources of revenue, that amount would generate either a deficit or the requirement of further spending cuts.

It advises Secretary of the Treasury Humphrey, therefore, to calculate the temperature of Congress, especially during the upcoming election year, when a deficit might appear less important than tax relief.

"When Good Lawyers Get Together" indicates that there were several good speeches made the previous week in Boston at the ABA annual convention, such as that by IRB director T. Coleman Andrews regarding improved tax collection, Attorney General Herbert Brownell's plans for antitrust prosecution, Secretary of State Dulles's urging of major changes in the U.N. Charter and heavy criticism of the Bricker amendment to amend the Constitution's treaty ratification requirements, and a panel of informed men discussing civil liberties and the Fifth Amendment.

It indicates that the best part of the program had been what the lawyers had told each other about their profession, and the commendable program of public service which the Bar had undertaken. They talked among themselves about the ABA-sponsored program of legal aid, the provision of legal advice and representation to those who could not afford it.

And it goes on describing some of the other programs about which the lawyers had heard, including a lecture by an unnamed law school dean who deplored the injustice of the criminal justice system, indicating that most lawyers would agree that rehabilitation should be the primary purpose of sentencing, with the delegates then backing a nationwide study of the criminal justice system.

It concludes that the convention had shown that lawyers were attacking their own shortcomings and community problems with renewed vigor.

"Free Legal Advice Dept." indicates that all barefoot drivers would be reassured by columnist Tom Fesperman's revelation that it was legal to drive in North Carolina while barefoot. And it points out some other little-known changes in the law made by the 1953 General Assembly, such as the prohibition of flying an aircraft over water while intoxicated, the repealing of a 1777 law which forbade law enforcement officers from issuing certain summonses and other papers on Sundays, the allowance of sheriffs to deposit money collected with the county treasurer only after they had accumulated $500, rather than every day, as under previous law, and that there had to be a permit obtained before starting a sideshow or carnival, which also had to be held at least 30 days before the county fair. There was also a new requirement of licensing for fox-hunting.

Drew Pearson indicates that Dr. Emil Weil, the Hungarian Communist minister to the U.S. who had helped to drug Cardinal Mindszenty, had departed the country without explanation, replaced by Charles Szarka, who had been in the Hungarian diplomatic service for five years. Dr. Weil had first been exposed by Mr. Pearson on January 2, 1952 as having been high in Communist Party politics and having participated in the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty, who had made a phony confession of alleged underground operations. He had also revealed that Dr. Weil had been specially picked to come to the U.S. to promote Communism among Hungarian-Americans, or at least keep them friendly to the Communist regime in Hungary. The reasons behind his recall were maintained in secret, but according to diplomatic scuttlebutt, the Hungarian Government believed that the publicity given him in the U.S. had destroyed his usefulness. Mr. Pearson suggests that his fate might prove consistent with others who had been connected with the trial of Cardinal Mindszenty, having wound up dead because of fears that they would tell what they knew of the prosecution.

Robert E. Lee, based on the postcard campaign to defeat Senator Millard Tydings orchestrated by Senator McCarthy two years earlier, was being considered for the post of Comptroller General, as the term of the current Comptroller General, Lindsay Warren of North Carolina, appointed by FDR in 1940, was coming to an end. The appointment to the post was for a 14-year term and the appointee could not be removed. The Comptroller General reported directly to Congress and checked on Government spending. Mr. Lee had received, according to a Congressional investigation, a check for $5,000 from a former State Department official, Alvin Bentley, currently a Republican Congressman from Michigan, whose grandfather had helped found General Motors. Mr. Lee had received the check in the office of Senator McCarthy, had taken it to Baltimore and used it in the campaign to mail 300,000 postcards to Maryland voters, signed by the Republican candidate for the Senate, now-Senator John Butler. Subsequently, a Maryland court had convicted Senator Butler's campaign manager for failing to comply with Maryland election laws. The investigation had shown that the checks countersigned by Mr. Lee were used to pay for the postcard campaign.

He notes that Mr. Warren had saved taxpayers millions of dollars by keeping an eye on Government accounting, just the opposite of the accounting used in the Maryland election.

Paul Styles, who had recently resigned from the NLRB and was a friend of labor, would become labor consultant to department store owners in Toledo, O.

Dr. Astin, who had been restored as director of the Bureau of Standards, would resign the following spring unless Secretary of Commerce Sinclair Weeks supported his views on a reasonable budget for the Bureau, a budget which Congress had cut by 26 percent.

U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Clare Boothe Luce, would visit Italy's seacoast cities the following month on her vacation. She might charter a yacht.

Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was in northern Canada, near the Arctic Circle, roughing it.

Leonard S. Kenworthy, a professor of education at Brooklyn College and former UNESCO staff member, writing in The Progressive, sets forth six key facts distinguishing the U.S. from a large part of the rest of the world. He indicates first that of the seven most populous countries in the world, six were in the East, China, India, the U.S.S.R., Japan, Pakistan and Indonesia, with the U.S. coming in ahead of the latter three in population. The majority of mankind lived in Asia, a fact which had greater impact on world affairs than most Americans realized.

It was also the case that most people were non-white, a fact which could cause readjustment at home and abroad if the majority of U.S. citizens were to begin to think of themselves as part of a racial minority.

Another fact was that there was great poverty across the world. According to the U.N., the U.S. had an average annual income of $1,453, which was three times the average of Western Europe, nearly ten times that of Latin America, almost 14 times that of Africa, more than 16 times that of the Middle East, more than 25 times that of South Asia, and nearly 50 times the average of Southeast Asia.

A fourth fact was that, as a corollary to the amount of poverty in the world, a large part of the world was malnourished, with perhaps as much as two-thirds of the world population falling into that category. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. had indicated that a caloric intake of 2,550 to 2,650 was the minimum level to which low-calorie countries needed to be raised, with Japan, Pakistan, Indo-China, India, Burma, Ceylon, Egypt, Chile, Colombia and Italy all subsisting on smaller caloric intakes. He indicates that it was thus not surprising that some peoples looked upon the U.S. with some malice for having such a surplus of food in storage, prompting questions as to why aid to India and other countries was debated for so long in Congress.

A fifth fact, derivative primarily of the fact of great poverty and hunger, was that most of the world was also unhealthy. According to the World Health Organization, malaria was responsible for three million deaths per year and infected 300 million per year. Tuberculosis killed eight million people per year and trachoma infected four-fifths of the world. Life expectancy in The Netherlands was approximately 70 years, whereas it was 68 years in the U.S., while in India and many other parts of the world, it was under 30. If the U.S. and other healthy nations became more concerned about the health of the world, it might radically change the small contribution made to the World Health Organization, just under three million dollars in 1953, and could change the approach to the Point Four program of technical assistance to underdeveloped nations to improve their industrial and agricultural outputs.

The last critical fact he indicates was illiteracy, which was estimated to be present in between 60 and 75 percent of the world population. Recently, Mexico, Turkey, the U.S.S.R., Puerto Rico and other countries had made great strides in extending educational opportunities to a larger proportion of their children and adults, but large areas of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe were still far behind in efforts to combat illiteracy.

He concludes that those points perhaps ought constitute a "Primer on World Affairs" for every boy and girl in American schools and for every adult-study group in the country.

Marquis Childs indicates that the Administration was allowing itself a pause for optimism in light of the latest budget review, which had brought the deficit down to a half billion dollars, practically perfect versus recent years, a cut of two billion dollars more than the original Administration estimate, cutting spending from 78.6 billion dollars, that estimated in the final Truman budget of January, to 72.1 billion.

Nevertheless, the Administration was caught in a squeeze between the demand in the Republican Party to cut taxes and balancing of the budget, plus the growing apprehension in the country that defense spending was being reduced below the minimum for security.

A total of nine billion dollars in revenue from individual income taxes and excise taxes would expire at the beginning of the year, the bulk of which was the excess profits tax and the automatic reduction of ten percent of personal income taxes, which had been raised by that amount after the start of the Korean War. It would be difficult to re-enact the excise taxes in an election year, and so the budget for the ensuing fiscal year would have to be cut another 7 to 8 billion dollars unless substitute taxes were imposed. Secretary of Treasury George Humphrey had said many times that he was considering every type of substitute, including a national sales tax. That, however, would also be unpopular in an election year.

By September 15, Government departments had to submit preliminary estimates for spending for the following fiscal year to Budget Office director Joseph Dodge. In a letter to the heads of all departments, Mr. Dodge had stressed that spending had to be cut to the absolute minimum to accommodate the loss of revenue in the coming year. The only place where large cuts could be made, however, was in defense. Congress had cut defense by 6.7 billion dollars from the Truman budget, reducing it to 34 billion. Mr. Dodge and his allies expected further large savings from even greater cuts in the following year.

They were dependent on the new Joint Chiefs, headed by Admiral Arthur Radford, to develop a new strategy which would reduce spending. It put great pressure on Admiral Radford to reduce spending even in light of the recent announcement of the Russians having the hydrogen bomb, and if he came up with an increase in the budget, those who had urged his appointment by the President would be unhappy. Pentagon gossip indicated that a six billion dollar reduction was in the works for the following year, to reduce spending to 28 billion. But Deputy Secretary of Defense Roger Kyes, acting Secretary in the absence of Secretary Charles E. Wilson, denied that budgetary matters entered into defense calculations, insisting that the objective was to obtain the most security for the country with the least waste and frills.

There were reports that Secretary Wilson, who was unhappy in the job, would resign soon in favor of Mr. Kyes, but those close to both men insisted it was not true.

Of the total current defense cut, five billion dollars was taken from the amount proposed for the Air Force, prompting wide criticism, which Mr. Kyes and his associates attributed to the Air Force lobby.

Mr. Childs indicates that it was a replay of what had occurred when Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had cut the defense budget back to 13 billion dollars in 1949 and 1950, in advance of the Korean War, which former Secretary Johnson had insisted privately had occurred on the President's orders. After the start of the Korean War, Secretary Johnson was fired in favor of General Marshall.

The "Congressional Quiz", from the Congressional Quarterly, addresses the question of how the amount of money appropriated by Congress during the year for defense compared with that sought by former President Truman and by President Eisenhower, indicating that Congress on July 29 had passed a bill providing for 34.4 billion dollars for defense for the present fiscal year, less than the 40.7 billion dollars recommended by former President Truman and the 35.8 billion recommended by President Eisenhower.

It next indicates that the Joint Committee on Reduction of Non-essential Federal Expenditures had reported on July 28 that the Government had about 2.5 million civilian employees at the end of fiscal year 1953, 116,999 fewer employees than a year earlier.

It states that the custom of flying the flag over the Capitol at night had originated during World War I because it was patriotic to have one building in the country with the flag always flying. The Capitol was chosen because it was outside military regulations, which demanded that the flag be furled at sunset.

It indicates that the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 provided that Congress would adjourn on July 31, but Congress frequently had extended that date, as it had in 1953, to August 4.

It reports that legislation had authorized the President to send the friendly nations abroad 100 million dollars in surplus agricultural commodities, one-thirtieth of the more than three billion dollars worth of Government-owned surplus farm products which the Commodity Credit Corporation had in storage under various Agriculture Department programs.

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