The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 6, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Far Eastern supreme commander General Mark Clark had said at a Pentagon press conference this date that the Communists might have between 2,000 and 3,000 more American prisoners of war than the 3,313 which they had indicated they would exchange. He indicated that when the sick and wounded prisoners had been exchanged in April and May, there had been reason to believe that the Communists had held back many of those disabled prisoners. The U.N. negotiators had demanded an answer to questions regarding those beliefs, but the Communists had denied that any disabled prisoners had been withheld. Many U.S. prisoners of war, said the General, remained unaccounted. He also said that there were no plans at present for any of the troops currently stationed in Korea to return home in large combat units, though there were plans to allow troops in Korea a chance to rest in Japan. General Clark additionally said that he had applied this date for retirement from the Army, effective at the end of October.

At Freedom Village outside Panmunjom, the Communists had returned another 392 allied war prisoners this date, two of whom had already died and others were gaunt and haggard, while many returned to freedom laughing and shouting. Of the total, 70 released this date had been Americans, the same number as in the prior day's first group of released prisoners. Forty-two of the Americans were sick or wounded. The Communists stated that the following day they would release 400 additional allied prisoners, of whom 81 would be Americans. Of those released this date, the 25 British and 25 Turk prisoners all appeared healthy. Some of the Americans told of torture in the North Korean camps, of hunger and beatings, and the deaths of some of their buddies.

An American Army corporal freed this date said that he had seen more than 1,500 of his fellow American prisoners buried in the frozen ground of North Korea during the two months of the bitter winter of 1950-51, and that he had helped to bury most of them, at a notorious camp, known as "Death Valley" among the American prisoners. An American Indian, the corporal told of the brutality of the North Korean captors, that almost every day of the burial detail, there were 25 to 30 American soldiers who had to be buried after dying of their wounds without medical treatment or starving or freezing to death, transpiring for two months, after which the treatment improved and the deaths subsided. They received a handful of grain every day and had slept in cold houses, from which the guards had removed the doors, "just for the hell of it", and would stamp out fires when the prisoners tried to build them. They would also get a kick out of kicking around the prisoners. Only three of the eight men with whom he had been imprisoned survived. After treatment had been improved, two of his friends had been thrown into a tiny underground dungeon for stealing food, and one of them had been beaten to death, according to the other. The food consisted of beans and rice, except on holidays, when they received chicken, which was photographed for the sake of publicizing the good treatment.

Many of the Communist prisoners released this date howled, screamed, ripped off their clothing, returning to Communism nearly naked, while two had failed in an attempt to escape. One of the Communist prisoners had hit an American ambulance driver in the nose, as others threw boots, clothing and other gear at U.N. personnel, with one officer having been hit in the mouth, suffering a split lip. The U.N. Command protested against the behavior, and one U.N. officer said that the Communists had assured that they would take measures to see that such incidents did not repeat. It was obvious that the demonstrations were set up for waiting Communist photographers and journalists. An American ambulance driver said that they had orders not to take any action against the demonstrations. In response, some of the ragged South Korean released prisoners tore off their clothing and shouted at the Communist personnel, but did not attack them. One South Korean had spat at a nearby Communist officer. Another said, "May God damn the Communists!"


In Berlin, the Communist blockade of rail traffic to West Berlin to obtain the free food provided by the United States, was cracking under the pressure of East Germany's hungry millions. Thousands of East Germans were lining up again for the food packages, many reporting that they had been able to obtain railroad tickets to Berlin for the first time since the previous Saturday when the blockade had gone into effect. There was no announcement by East Germany's Government that there was a lifting of the blockade, and, according to reports, there were still no tickets available in many places. But at several places at the farther reaches of the Soviet Zone, railroad employees had sold the tickets quietly. Some 40,000 East Germans had been able to slip through the blockade the previous night in the Brandenburg province, which ringed Berlin. Others were able to circumvent the travel ban by bicycling, hitchhiking on trailer trucks or catching a bus to stations near Berlin, with the final destination achieved on foot. Railroadmen had also smuggled through many parcels for their families and friends. At the close of the distribution the previous night, nearly 160,000 parcels had been dispensed, despite bad weather and the travel bans, bringing the ten-day total to 1.6 million parcels. A record 51 men had deserted from the Eastern people's army and gendarmerie the previous day and night, eclipsing the previous daily record of 46, set on June 23, a week after the East Berlin worker riots. Confiscation of the food gifts appeared to be easing, despite the continuing press and radio propaganda campaign against the "beggar parcels".

The President vetoed this date a bill which would have repealed the 20 percent Federal tax on movie tickets, the first major piece of legislation which the President had vetoed, accomplished by pocket veto. He said in a memorandum that he was taking the step because the Government could not afford the loss of the revenue, and that it was unfair to single out one industry for relief at the present time.

The President would provide a radio report to the nation this night on the work of Congress and his Administration thus far in 1953, set to air for a half hour beginning at 8:30, to be carried by the four major radio networks.

Near Hydro, Okla., a Greyhound bus and a car pulling a house trailer had collided on a bridge on U.S. Highway 66 this date, killing five persons and injuring at least 20, one of the dead being a child.

Actor-singer Dick Haymes was arrested this date for deportation to his native Argentina, with Attorney General Herbert Brownell announcing that the arrest was effected on a deportation warrant based on Mr. Haymes having, during World War II, filed a certificate for exemption from military service as a citizen of a neutral nation, making him ineligible for naturalization under the McCarran-Walter Immigration Act, thus automatically deportable, his previous certification having come to light in June when he returned from Hawaii. He had been born in Buenos Aires in 1918 and had entered the country as a permanent resident in 1937. He was presently married to a former wife of Errol Flynn and had been frequently observed of late in the company of actress Rita Hayworth. Perhaps, Frankie had something to do with his coming trip south.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead this date announced the appointment of the Milk Commission, created by the 1953 General Assembly, whose members were to have broad powers to regulate the state's milk distributors.

In Nantucket, Mass., Richard J. Reynolds III, of Winston-Salem, paid aggregate fines this date of $220 in district court after being convicted of a series of early morning offenses, one for willfully breaking windows in a home, another for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, a third for using a car without authority of the owner, and the fourth for breaking and entering a home with intent to commit a misdemeanor. He had pleaded guilty to the first three offenses but not guilty to the breaking and entering charge, saying that he was only looking for his relatives, though not clarifying whether they had broken and entered the residence in question afore him. In the latter instance, the doctor who resided in the house had called the police during the wee hours of the morning, saying that a youth was tearing screens from his windows and that his wife and small child were terrified. Dickie has been a bad boy. He had rejected initially an opportunity to communicate with members of his family aboard his father's yacht in Nantucket Harbor but later apparently conjoined rhyme with "Nantucket" and obtained money from his daddy to pay the fines.

On the editorial page, "The End of a Dream for N.C. Cities" discusses the end of the local effort for slum clearance and redevelopment because of an act passed by the 1951 General Assembly which had stultified the effort, prompting the current local Redevelopment Commission the previous day to tender their letter of resignation to the City Council, which had recommended that the letter's recommendation be adopted and the Commission abolished. The problem had been a clause in the law limiting the power of eminent domain to those tracts which clearly fit the definition of blight, meaning that any standard structure or vacant lot within a blighted area had to be excluded from acquisition as not fitting the definition, thus making slum-clearance virtually impossible of achievement.

An effort had been made in the 1953 General Assembly to amend the law, but, in part because of the opposition by Mecklenburg Representative Arthur Goodman, who denounced the whole program as "socialistic", and because of the coolness to the proposal by local State Senator Fred McIntyre, the amendments had failed. During the week, the attorneys for the Federal Housing & Home Finance Agency had reluctantly reached the conclusion that the law was so badly written and unworkable that there was no point in even testing its constitutionality in the courts. Thus, as with the Charlotte Commission, the boards in Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Fayetteville had decided to stop trying.

It indicates that a great opportunity had been lost to the state to eradicate slums and redevelop the areas, which were breeding grounds for vice and disease which drained off a disproportionate share of tax dollars to health, police, fire and other public services for those areas. It indicates that it was the end of a dream for a state, progressive in so many matters, but which in this matter was preserving property owners' rights to collect slum rents from the poor "at the expense of humanity and society."

"Police Study May Be of Great Benefit" indicates that under the terms of a resolution introduced by a member of the City Council, a coming study of the Police Department would not do any harm and might do great good. The proposal was for a three-man committee, composed of a minister, a businessman and a druggist, working in full cooperation with City Manager Henry Yancey and Police Chief Frank Littlejohn, to provide a report on the Department, with the goal of "securing and maintaining of proper personnel".

The proposal had passed, with all except one member approving it, which caused one to wonder why it had taken several weeks after the proposal to reach a vote.

It indicates that something was wrong with the Police Department, which might be only a matter of low starting salaries, inadequate adjustments according to service and unrealistically small pension payments, or it might be that the trouble lay more deeply in the Department's personalities and philosophy of law enforcement. It concludes that no one in the Department or outside it would need fear an honest and objective appraisal, undertaken with friendly and constructive motives.

"Gains Scored in Highway Safety" indicates that the following January, several changes in automobile insurance law in North Carolina would take effect and that it remained to be seen how effective the changes would be in mitigating the physical and financial distress caused by reckless and financially irresponsible drivers.

In South Carolina, where a new financial responsibility law had been in effect for six months, evidence had developed that usually it was the reckless driver who was financially irresponsible. Under that new law, financially irresponsible drivers would have their cars removed from the highways by removal of the license plates, and in the first six months of the year, nearly 5,000 vehicles had so been removed.

Massachusetts had adopted a system whereby higher insurance premiums were charged to drivers convicted of moving traffic violations, which ought balance the system to avoid higher premiums for safe drivers. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Nebraska and New Jersey had adopted point systems under which drivers found guilty of serious violations could have their licenses suspended or revoked after accumulation of a certain number of points.

It finds that North Carolina was not in the forefront of the movement to exact heavier penalties of unsafe drivers and would not be until the citizenry elected legislators who were willing to pass tougher laws against "drivers who were turning North Carolina's highways into grizzly gantlets of death."

Keep them from driving on the gantlets and your problem will be solved.

"Take Me Out to the Ball Game" indicates that the attitudes of towns for their baseball teams was strange and unfathomable, swinging from "insane enthusiasm", as demonstrated in Milwaukee for its Braves, to the "dull apathy" of Charlotte for its Hornets. The fact of being a winner did not seem to enter into the formula for enthusiasm, as Charlotte had its winningest team in years in 1951, when it drew only 112,000 patrons during the season, only 8,000 more than during the prior year, when it was lousy. Thus far during the 1953 season, attendance was dropping to an all-time low, with about 52,000 having attended the games, 8,000 fewer than in Rock Hill, with less than a fifth of Charlotte's population, and the least attendance of any team in the six-team league

It indicates that good promotion always helped attendance, even if some simply did not like baseball. It was pleased, therefore, that the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce had provided support to the Hornets, such that the entire membership and their families would turn out at the game the following Wednesday night. It hopes that they would have a good time and it suggests to other Charlotteans that there was no better way to spend a warm summer evening than watching the Hornets in action.

We think it would be better just to stay home by the fan or air conditioner, and watch the tv or listen to the phonograph. You are only liable to get stung while watching the Hornets play.

A piece from the Milwaukee Journal, titled "Those 'Million Dollar' Rains", indicates that once again, the phrase "a million-dollar rain" had been making the rounds following the recent heavy rains which had brought relief to some of the farming areas of Wisconsin, the phrase having a nostalgic ring, but being "darned inaccurate". For no longer was a million dollars such a huge amount of wealth, having become a drop in the bucket insofar as rains were concerned.

Based on the 1935-1939 base period for the old cost-of-living index, a million dollars had become by 1953 1.91 million, and based on the new index, utilizing 1947 to 1949 as its base, would be 1.14 million dollars.

It concludes that there was no sense bothering with an awkward figure, that one should just call it a billion dollar rain and allow inflation to catch up.

Drew Pearson indicates that the people locked behind the Iron Curtain were observing the food riots in East Germany more than Americans realized, and that the Eisenhower Administration had been holding backstage debates regarding the next step in East Germany more than people realized. No decision had yet been reached, but it had been determined that the East German food program was only a drop in the bucket compared to what was needed behind the Iron Curtain, and that the Administration, having been elected on a platform of stirring up revolt behind the Iron Curtain, had been beset since the inauguration by doubting Thomases and do-nothing advisers, causing it to move with exasperating caution.

Mr. Pearson indicates that he had first proposed the present food program to certain State Department officials on June 23, a week after the East Berlin worker riots had erupted over the absence of consumer goods and longer hours, finding some Department officials enthusiastic and others dubious. He indicates that the program had had worked as predicted, following three weeks of backstage debate and press and radio comment in the meantime, finally resulting in the Kremlin suffering a setback for having refused the U.S. gift of food, now actively blocking the distribution.

He suggests that the next step might be to load food onto balloons and float them over East Germany, allowing the eastward prevailing winds to carry them to their destination. The Jaycees' executive committee meeting the previous week had offered to take over this distribution process by balloon, as long as the State Department had no objections. Another step would be to launch the food program in other Iron Curtain areas, such as the Russian zone of Vienna, and to send the food attached to balloons to other Iron Curtain countries as well. Those efforts could be coupled with demands for free elections in those countries, as provided in the Yalta agreement of February, 1945. There could also be a move for a United States of Europe, as most Europeans realized that they were doomed economically and militarily if they remained as small nations, divided and independent from one another. (At least they would realize that until 2015 when His Highness, the Don of the U.S., stepped onto the stage and began urging the "revision" of NATO and Brexit for Britain, all, as we now know, at the behest of the Vlad in Russia, his good pal, who has the goods on the Don such that the Don has to do as the Vlad wants, hence the Vlad's never-ending support for the Don as the Prexy, right down to exerting illegal influence on the American election, both in 2016 and again, now. Beware the Don and the Vlad. They are, suckers, bloodsuckers, one being an old, ruthless capitalist, and the other, an old, ruthless KGB Commie.)

The death of Premier Stalin and the subsequent purge of L. P. Beria, Deputy Premier under Stalin's successor, Georgi Malenkov, plus the restive state of the populations living behind the Iron Curtain presented an opportunity which occurred but once in a lifetime and required immediate action. Mr. Pearson recalls that in Buffalo, on August 27, 1952, John Foster Dulles had promised that as President, General Eisenhower would encourage "quiet revolutions in Red-dominated countries through such methods as passive resistance, slowdowns, industrial sabotage." General Eisenhower, speaking in Denver on August 13, had said that the U.S. had to try by peaceful means to restore to the captive nations of Europe "the right freely and honestly to determine their own fate and their own form of government." Before the American Legion on August 26, 1952, he had said that the American conscience could never know peace until the countries captured by the Communists were restored as masters of their own fate. Mr. Pearson urges that such pledges would not wait for fulfillment and that if the present opportunity were lost, it might not come again.

Marquis Childs indicates that the closing days of the first session of the 83rd Congress had demonstrated the seriousness of the loss to the Administration and the Republican Party of Senator Taft. It was hard to believe that the fiasco resulting from the attempt to raise the debt ceiling by 15 billion dollars, from 275 to 290 billion, would have occurred had Senator Taft still been Majority Leader.

It had been overlooked that the Senator had been as close to the conservative Democrats as he was to members of his own party, in a Senate which was divided by only one or two votes. He had been serving alongside Senators Walter George of Georgia, Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, Clyde Hoey of North Carolina and Ed Johnson of Colorado during his 15 years in the Senate, and more often than not, they had voted the same way. In the latter two or three years of the Truman Administration, a coalition of Taft Republicans and conservative Democrats had been decisive on most issues, and when they split, it was ordinarily on foreign policy matters, with most of the Southerners being for the measures implementing President Truman's effort to contain Communism.

Senator George had been chairman of the Senate Finance Committee for nine years. Senator Byrd had been on that Committee for 20 years, and his word on fiscal matters carried great weight. Senator Taft would have known quickly whether it was prudent to go forward with an effort on the Senate floor to raise the debt limit if it was likely that those two Senators were opposed to raising it, and would have acted accordingly, to avoid damage to the Administration by a refusal of its proposal.

Senator Taft had doubts about the Administration's stand to extend the excess profits tax by six months, having told Mr. Childs shortly before his final illness that it risked too much in terms of the working relationship between Congress and the White House for such a limited objective. Yet, when the White House took its stand on the matter, Senator Taft did his best to get it passed.

He had not achieved in his three months as Majority Leader an effective and smoothly working coalition between the Democrats, such as Senators Byrd and George, and the Republicans who could normally be counted on for support of the Administration. It was only through such a coalition that the Administration could hope to achieve, starting in the second session in January, what had not been passed in the first session. It would be difficult under Senator Taft's successor, Senator William Knowland of California, who, while loyal to the President, still had a lot to learn about his new role.

Senator George Malone of Nevada had supplied the single Republican vote necessary in the Insular Affairs Committee to shelve for the session the statehood bill for Hawaii. The House, under the leadership of Speaker Joe Martin and Majority Leader Charles Halleck, had passed the measure. Had the Senate followed suit, one of the pledges made repeatedly during the campaign by Republicans would have been fulfilled.

The cue for leadership during the second session might be to bring together the Republican Senators who had been for General Eisenhower before the previous summer's convention, to form a team such that they were participants rather than skeptical critics on the sidelines. That had to occur if the Administration was to overcome the narrow division in Congress and the split within the Republican Party, to get its program adopted.

James Marlow discusses the diplomatic note from the Russians received by the State Department, indicating acceptance of the suggested Big Four foreign ministers conference, coming out of the recent Big Three foreign ministers conference in Washington, but the response having been filled with so much ambiguity that the Department said that it would have to study it for a period of time before reply, there having been conditions attached to the acceptance which were not clear. Mr. Marlow believes that the intent may have been to confuse and not enlighten, given past experience with the Soviets.

The Russians had controlled East Germany completely since the end of the war in 1945 and that appeared to have been enough time to crush the spirit of the East Germans and discipline them under Communism. Yet, the recent riots in East Germany and their defiance of orders by the East German Government to refuse the U.S. gift of food, when East Germans could not buy enough food in the Soviet zone, coupled with the desertions from the East German police and army to the West, had demonstrated neither discipline nor love for the Communist rulers.

The Russians had consistently eschewed suggestions by the U.S. and the Western Allies that all of Germany be allowed to hold free elections for a single German government. They had to feel even less inclination, suggests Mr. Marlow, than ever to permit the unity of East and West Germany at present or in the foreseeable future, given the status of things. The last time the State Department had made the proposal for unity had been during the Truman Administration, the prior September, a proposal which the Russians had never answered. But on July 15, at the closing of the foreign ministers conference between the U.S., Britain and France, they had sent the Russians a note suggesting that they be joined by the Russian foreign minister to discuss German unification and free elections. It was reasoned that even if the Russians failed again to respond, it would lend support to West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, whose Government was set to stand for election in early September. The Russians had muddled the matter by insisting that the Communist Chinese sit in on the discussions.

Mr. Marlow indicates that the only purpose of the responsive Russian note was probably to make them look good or "at least not stubbornly bad" in the eyes of East Germans. Such a Big Four foreign ministers conference could become so adulterated with talk about China that it would have to break up in despair. The note had served as warning to the West not to become too hopeful that the Communists were losing their grip on East Germany, just because there had been trouble there.

A letter writer defends, at length, the freedom of workers not to join unions, comparing present law to the British Stamp Act of 1765.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.