The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 10, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Korea, the Communists accused the allies of faking a list of 3,404 missing U.N. soldiers, including 944 Americans, whom the U.N. Command claimed had been identified as prisoners of war by other prisoners, letters received from them during their captivity, and by the Communists' own broadcasts, but who had not been released by the Communists as part of the just completed prisoner exchange program. They also claimed that the U.N. Command had mistreated Communist prisoners of war and had kidnapped a Polish refugee who had fled a truce supervisory team into U.S. sanctuary the previous day, asking for political asylum.

In addition, Peiping radio claimed that 4,579 Communist prisoners returned in the exchange program had been hospitalized because of "physical and mental torture at the hands of the Americans". It claimed that some had been "gassed, bayoneted and stoned".

The Pentagon had sent a message to the next of kin of the 944 Americans still unaccounted for, explaining that the demand had been made for an accounting.

A new phase of the prisoner exchange program was about to begin, the moving of those prisoners who refused repatriation to the demilitarized zone where Indian troops would guard them for 90 days during which their fate would be determined and during which the other side would have an opportunity to interview them and seek to change their minds on repatriation, the first group delivered by the U.N. Command consisting of 500 North Koreans. A spokesman for the U.N. Command said that the prisoners had thrown rocks in rage as soon as they had seen two Communist observers standing outside a barbed wire fence, but that neither was hit. The first group of 1,900 Chinese troops who refused repatriation would be turned over to the Indian troops the following day.

The Polish defector was provided this date political asylum by the U.S. and said to a press conference that some day his people would rise up in revolt against the Communists, but that now was not the time, as the Communist government could not be overthrown without outside help, despite 99 percent of the Polish people opposing it. He described Communism as "the subjugation of all life". After the press conference, he was accompanied by U.S. officers to an undisclosed site and would probably be flown to Tokyo within a day or two, but Army officers said that they had no information about those plans. The political asylum was granted on a temporary basis but could be extended and eventually he might be provided the opportunity to apply for U.S. citizenship.

Don Whitehead, who had won a Pulitzer Prize for reporting, had been a war correspondent in Korea at the time the story had first originated about "The Major", the hero of a Communist-ordered death march from Seoul during the early part of the war. His wife was still waiting, after three years, to receive definite word of what had happened to him. He was among the nearly 8,000 men missing in action. He provides the beginning of the story of the Major, William Thomas McDaniel of Ahoskie, N.C., and Albany, Ga., continued on another page.

The President returned to Washington this date from his vacation in Denver to attend the funeral of Chief Justice Fred Vinson, who had died two days earlier of a heart attack at age 63. The President put in a busy day at the White House, conferring with various officials, including Vice-President Nixon, Attorney General Herbert Brownell, Secretary of State Dulles, Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson, Foreign Operations Administration head Harold Stassen, and his chief of staff, Sherman Adams. The President greeted the Vice-President at National Airport by saying: "Hi there, Dick. What are you doing here?" Many people in Washington had, for several years, been asking the same question, and would continue to do so for many years afterward.

Associated Press correspondent John Scali reports that the National Security Council this date reportedly had recommended that France would be provided several hundred million dollars in additional U.S. aid for the war in Indo-China. The funds would be designed to enable France to transfer nine battalions of troops from Europe to Indo-China for a new campaign against the Vietminh guerrillas. It was anticipated that the President would approve the recommendation after discussing it with Congressional leaders. It was believed that the new program would cost between 300 and 400 million dollars, in addition to the 400 million dollars which Congress had already appropriated during the year for the French in Indo-China. It had been reported that the military and foreign policy leaders of the Administration believed that there was no choice but to provide the aid if Indo-China was to be kept out of the Communist sphere. A new French plan for ending the war had been put forth by the new Government headed by Premier Joseph Laniel, a plan developed by the French Union forces leader, General Henri Navarre. The French said that in addition to the nine French battalions, they would seek to build up the loyal Vietnamese army further, as well as Cambodian and Laotian forces, so that they could eventually take over the burden of defending Indo-China. In return for the increase of popular native support, the French Government had pledged to grant complete independence to Indo-China. (It had been reported the previous day that this Tuesday meeting of the NSC had been presided over by the Vice-President, in the continued absence of the President. Surely someone must have asked the question, "Dick, what are you doing here?")

In Birmingham, Ala., a seventh white farmer was expected to surrender this date to face Federal charges of holding blacks in slavery, after six others from Alabama and Mississippi had been freed on bond the previous day. All seven were brothers and cousins indicted by a Federal grand jury, charging that one man had died after being bound and whipped at gunpoint by them, and that at least two others had been beaten. It was alleged that the defendants paid the fines for the men while they were incarcerated in Mississippi jails and then took them to their farms in west-central Alabama, where they were then required to work off their debts, which the indictment regarded as "involuntary servitude and slavery". It was alleged that the man who died had sought to escape and then was beaten. The seven claimed that they were innocent of the charges.

In London, a young man told a court-martial that he had failed to report for reserve training because he feared that he could not keep up the installments on his television set on Army pay, was sentenced the previous day to 42 days detention for being AWOL.

In Desmet, Ida., a six-year old boy who was to have started his first day of school, and his brother, 4, suffocated Tuesday night after climbing into a small non-functioning home freezer on the front porch of the family's new home. Their mother said that she thought they had been playing in the yard. Their father became concerned when they did not greet him when he arrived home, and began searching after noticing a toy gun with which the boys had been playing, finally looked in the freezer, finding them covered with blood, which doctors said was produced by lung hemorrhages. The older boy would have started school this date but for the fact that his mother had difficulty finding his birth certificate.

In New York, Pete weighed 350 pounds, appeared lonely to his keepers, who provided him a small girlfriend for company, building special pens for the couple. But when she arrived, it was determined that she weighed 700 pounds, too fat for Pete, and so his keepers ordered her away.

Ann Sawyer of The News explains the local ballot for the October 3 state bond election. If you plan to vote in that election, you had better read it carefully.

In Charlotte, City Manager Henry Yancey announced that he was issuing instructions to the Police Department to enforce strictly the ordinance which required that peddlers not remain in any one place longer than a half hour. An editorial below explains the problem.

On the editorial page, "Parker Should Get Supreme Court Post" urges that President Eisenhower select Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte to become the new Chief Justice, replacing Fred Vinson, who had died two days earlier. Judge Parker had been appointed by President Hoover to the Supreme Court in 1930, but his nomination had been defeated by a narrow margin in the Senate after Senator George Norris fought against it based on a charge that Judge Parker was anti-labor, a charge, it says, which was later proved to be without foundation. It recognizes that his name was not in the forefront of probable nominees, but nevertheless hopes that the President would make the appointment, as it finds Judge Parker the best qualified person in the nation for the position.

"County Home Owners Need Zoning Law" indicates that the homeowners who were objecting to a proposed shopping center at the intersection of Providence and Sharon-Amity Roads had indicated in their petition their awareness that there was no county zoning. The statement had called to mind the fact that the Mecklenburg legislative delegation had been holding a caucus the previous spring in Raleigh to consider a bill which would establish zoning in the perimeter fringe area of the community. State Senator Fred McIntyre, who had the power to kill the legislation, announced that he would not support it because of petitions from people in the county who opposed zoning, and the bill was thus killed.

It indicates that it would not take sides on the issue regarding the proposed shopping center, to become in 1963 Cotswold Mall, as the property owner was within his rights to plan such a shopping center and the property owners nearby had no legal recourse. But it reminds that the homeowners had invested heavily in their dwellings and would have no recourse against encroachment by business and industry until a workable zoning ordinance was adopted for the metropolitan area. It suggests that those homeowners should recall the names of the members of the Mecklenburg legislative delegation who had killed the measure in the 1953 General Assembly.

"The Grocers Register a Valid Protest" indicates that the Charlotte grocers had a valid complaint when they protested to the City Council against peddlers who parked their trucks on the main streets. Despite having paid all local and state taxes and obtained all permits required of businesses, they were in competition with peddlers who were professing to be farmers, selling such fruits as lemons and bananas while peddling their other wares, sometimes from large trucks which blocked lanes of traffic. One truck had spent a good part of the summer on Independence Boulevard, just behind the stadium, with the peddler surrounding his vehicle with baskets of fruits and vegetables, blocking completely the outside lane of traffic and part of the middle lane. It complains that Central Avenue was another such location blocked by peddlers' trucks parked on one side.

It suggests that the City Council all re-examine the problem and lay down restrictions which would not cause regular grocers in the area to face unfair competition and would keep the produce trucks off the main thoroughfares.

All of that fresh produce is better and cheaper. Buy direct. Eliminate the middle man.

Rumor persists, incidentally, that one crisp Saturday morning, in the fall of 1961, one of those farm trucks, full of lemons and oranges, arrived and set up shop on the street, the farmer, identifying himself as "just Dick", appearing more as a city fellow to the other farmers, having said he was from California and had driven all night to get there, but winding up not doing too well at sales, as the lemons were far too bitter for local tastes and the oranges, already rotten. They never again saw the younger fellow with the receding hairline, lattern jaw, nervously exaggerated bent-back belly-laugh, trying weakly to engage in badinage in response to tired jokes, dressed in brand new overalls and a corny looking straw hat, appearing to be out of central casting's costume department, a bit resemblant to Humphrey Bogart in "Petrified Forest", when he got a little hot under the collar about the lack of customers and some of their reactions after sampling his produce, yelling after the most querulous among them: "Communist traitors! You're just like the press, always against me." The other farmers, they say, often wondered...

"A Strange Brand of Justice" indicates that in Kenansville, a Camp Lejeune Marine had been before a judge of the Superior Court, facing a charge of raping a stenographer from Rose Hill, to which the Marine was prepared to enter a plea of not guilty, but then changed his plea to guilty when the State accepted a defense motion that the charge be reduced to assault on a female. After hearing the evidence, the judge concluded it had been a case of a "sex party" and fined the Marine $100 plus costs, providing him a suspended sentence of two years. The judge said that he would have dismissed the case were it not for the fact that his own son had been one of the defense attorneys for the Marine.

It questions the kind of justice described, indicates that if it had been simply a "sex party", then the Marine should not have been charged even with an assault on a female, but rather with disorderly conduct or indecent exposure, or some other such minor charge, along with the girl in question. It also finds that the judge's statement that he would have dismissed the case but for the fact that his son was a member of the defense team suggested influence in reverse, thereby doing an injustice to the Marine by the fact of his legal representation. It thinks that neither the traditions of the bar nor the facts of the case could justify the court's behavior.

It is entirely possible that the piece mistakes the judge's remark about his son, that instead it was a kind of wink, suggesting actually that the Marine might have had a tougher go of it otherwise. The better course of conduct would have been, obviously, for the prosecutor to have asked the judge to recuse himself from the case, though in a good ol' boy jurisdiction, that was probably not the most politic thing to do, assuming the prosecutor did not want his entire docket of cases for the day dismissed.

A piece from the San Diego Evening Tribune, titled "Clever, These Saucer Fliers", indicates that the flying saucer which had been expected to land by Brush Creek in California's gold country had failed to appear for a reception committee, after a pair of respected gold prospectors had informed of the craft's landing and the emergence from it of a stocky midget, clad in green, filling a pail from the creek, handing it to a being aboard the craft, returning to the craft, and then taking off. They had claimed it happened on May 20 and again on June 20, and so on July 20, a delegation gathered to await its landing, including a cameraman prepared to take 3-D movies, and a man with a bow and arrows tipped with rubber suction cups. But the saucer had failed to appear.

It suggests that it did not prove that the saucer did not exist, as those guiding it, once seeing the delegation awaiting, probably decided to obtain their water elsewhere, only proving their intelligence. It suggests that it would have been better for someone in the crowd to have stood by the creek with a pail of water already prepared for them. It concludes that it was too bad that they had frightened away the visitors, whose errand appeared peaceful enough.

Edwin A. Rothschild, a former chairman of the Chicago Bar Association's civil rights committee, writing in the Chicago Bar Record, suggests that the Illinois statute directed at horse thieves, enacted on March 27, 1874, should be revised, as it punished only the person caught stealing a horse, whereas the typical horse thief did not get caught or did not steal horses at all. The law defined a horse to includes mules, asses, and horses of both sexes and all ages. Mr. Rothschild believes it ought also define the thief. He provides his suggestions for amending the law to make it more adept at catching horse thieves. Among other things, his law would require a special oath by all state officeholders that they would not, during their terms of office, be "a horse thief, a crypto-horse thief or associated in any way with any agency, heretofore or hereafter designated as a horse thief front organization by any federal, state, county or municipal official." He says that it was an especially effective provision as no horse thief would dare take such a false oath and that other people would be proud to swear that they were not horse thieves. He labels it the "Anti-Horse Thief Act of 1953" and asks what kind of people would oppose an anti-horse thief act.

He is obviously mocking the provision of the Taft-Hartley law, requiring that all union officers swear an oath that they were not Communists, for the union to partake of NLRB services in collective bargaining, as well as non-Communist oaths in general, which had come into vogue in colleges, universities and public school systems across the land.

Drew Pearson indicates that top Air Force engineers remained mum publicly, but privately were suggesting that the recent cutback in their heavy-press program for the construction of air frames had been the most shortsighted economy move thus far adopted by Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson. When the Air Force had been ordered to cancel contracts for seven out of seventeen such hydraulic presses, there had been little protest. Those presses, weighing 50,000 tons each, had first been developed in Germany during World War II, revolutionizing aircraft construction. The Russians had obtained the presses when they entered Germany after the war, enabling them to build MIG jets ahead of the U.S. Sabre jet program, during the early part of the Korean War. The U.S. was still waiting to put its first such press into operation, while the Russians already had several working and many more in production, permitting them to stamp out airplanes in an assembly-line process. Under the Wilson economy program, the U.S. was not only cutting back its military aircraft production but was thus also cutting its ability to produce aircraft in quantity.

Secretary of State Dulles had stated to the American Legion convention recently that future Communist aggression might provoke war by the West, and Secretary Wilson had told the Legion that he was not cutting the Air Force program. The original cost of the 17 presses had been 389 million dollars and by reducing production to only ten such presses, Secretary Wilson was saving at most 100 million of that cost. It took two or three years to complete a single press. In the atomic age, it was unlikely that the U.S. would have much time to prepare for aggression. The largest hydraulic presses presently in use in the U.S. were capable of exerting only 18,000 tons of pressure and were thus unfit for producing modern airplane frames, relegating construction to the more time consumptive manual process, with the result of low production and high price. In contrast to U.S. cutbacks, the Russians were moving ahead at top speed, giving the press program a priority in the Soviet economy, nearly equal to that of their hydrogen bomb program. He notes that a key Pentagon official had said that the whole thing was getting ridiculous, that every day the State Department got tougher with the Russians while the Pentagon had to reduce its military power.

Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona had spent so much time at a La Jolla beach near San Diego that his constituents back home wondered whether he was going to vote for water for Arizona or water for California, a major issue between the two states. Speaking at a San Diego Republican $100 per plate dinner recently, the Senator had praised Senator Joseph McCarthy, obtaining louder applause than his references to the President. (Whether he also spoke of the saucer landing in the northern part of the state, Mr. Pearson omits to mention...)

A Michigan publisher and devoted crusader for a cure for cancer, Don Johnson, had been appointed by the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Oveta Culp Hobby, to the National Advisory Cancer Council, and Mr. Pearson regards him as a good choice.

Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin was fighting against some of the reactionaries whom the White House planned to appoint to the NLRB.

If the State Department handled foreign affairs the same way it had handled transportation, he finds it no wonder that some of the nation's foreign policies became bogged down. Recently, the Department had issued a confidential bulletin to all foreign service officers, which advised that a refrigerator could be sent by air from Washington to Havana for approximately the same amount as to Richmond, Va., by other means. Mr. Pearson indicates that the fact was that the cost of air freight for a 300-lb. refrigerator to Havana was $39, whereas it could be shipped to Richmond by rail at one-tenth that amount, and by air for $14.34. He notes that domestic trunk-line air carriers in the U.S. the prior year had been paid at the rate of 21.7 cents per ton-mile for the handling of all classes of cargo, whereas the railroads had received less than 1.5 cents per ton-mile.

Marquis Childs discusses the Tariff Commission and its new chairman Edgar Brossard, who had originally been appointed to the Commission by President Coolidge in 1925, after a recommendation by Senator Reed Smoot of Utah, co-sponsor of the protectionist Smoot-Hawley Act. Mr. Brossard had been reappointed to the Commission by Presidents Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman and now Eisenhower, the latter making him chairman. The recommendations of the Commission in the ensuing few months would greatly affect foreign policy and domestic and foreign politics and business.

Mr. Brossard said that he was protectionist in orientation, but also was not in favor of high tariffs. He believed that because the U.S. had a high-wage economy, it had to be protected against the low-wage or no-wage economies engaged in foreign trade in competition with U.S. products. Thus, the concept of free trade, he believed, was obsolete in that context.

Hearings were set to begin in November on whether a higher tariff should be imposed on lead and zinc, and members of Congress had been inquiring of the Commission as to what it intended to do about the lead and zinc mine closures, putting hundreds of miners out of work in Idaho and elsewhere. Likewise, the wool growers in the Western states complained, as did the pottery and glass industry in Ohio and the tuna industry in New England, both of the latter complaining of Japanese competition. The Commission was taking up each of those cases and if its Republican majority found harm, then they would recommend to the President a rise in the tariff on those products. The pressure for raising tariffs, according to Mr. Brossard, was heavier from the unions than from the owners.

He regarded the idea of a Government subsidy to fill the gap while maintaining low tariffs and thus encouraging "trade, not aid", to be fanciful, the stuff of former Vice-President Henry Wallace. "And he is a practical man who knows every cog and wheel in the tariff mill."

James Marlow indicates that U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had been supposed to attend the American Political Science Association's annual meeting which opened in Washington this date, but had sent word that he could not be present because of the pressure of his work at the U.N. Mr. Marlow indicates that no matter how much pressure his work had produced during the current week, it would become probably even greater the following week, as on Tuesday, the General Assembly would open its eighth regular session.

The recently ended special session, which had convened only for the purpose of selecting the nations to participate in the upcoming October Korean peace conference, had not been particularly pleasant. Soviet lead delegate Andrei Vishinsky might seek to make the coming regular session miserable for the U.S. by reopening the question of U.N. representation at the peace conference, having been voted by the Assembly at the special session to be limited to the nations which had fought under the U.N. banner in Korea, with the Communist side represented by North Korea and China, as well as Russia, if the North Koreans and Chinese were willing to accept Russia. But the North Koreans and Chinese might seek to have India and other nations not members of the U.N. seated on their side of the table at the conference. The conference, by the terms of the Armistice, had to be started by October 28, 90 days from the Armistice, but the Russians might seek to delay it or even prevent it completely from occurring.

South Korean President Syngman Rhee remained intent on having the conference result in unification of Korea, which would, as a practical matter, put the President in charge of all of Korea, and likely lead to retaliation against any Communists whom the President found remaining in North Korea. It was unlikely that either the North Koreans or Chinese Communists would agree with any such terms, as it would plainly indicate that they had lost the war. President Rhee had talked previously of resumption of the fighting in the event the conference stalled after 90 days, its scheduled duration. He had at his disposal between 16 and 20 divisions, but without U.S. help, South Korea could not support such a force for long. Thus, the U.S. ought be able to exert some restraint on him. A special U.N. commission the previous day had said that South Korea could not maintain such a military force even with economic aid from the U.S., if it was to repair its shattered economy. The manpower in the divisions would be needed in the rehabilitation of the country. Mr. Marlow concludes that remained in the future to determine.

The Congressional Quiz of the Congressional Quarterly asks what field of study had been assigned to the commission on intergovernmental relationships, answering that the 25-member commission would study relationships between the Federal Government and the states and localities.

It answers the question of how successful former President Truman had been in winning favorable action on his proposals to Congress, compared to President Eisenhower during the first session of the 1953 Congress, answering that President Eisenhower had been successful on 72.7 percent of his 44 proposals, while during the last six years in office, President Truman had been successful 42.9 percent of the time in his legislative proposals.

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