The Charlotte News

Monday, September 14, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Panmunjom that some 320 allied prisoners who had refused repatriation had been transported to nearby Kaesong, according to a Communist correspondent, and were expected to be placed in the custody of Indian troops in the demilitarized zone the following Sunday. The correspondent did not say how many men were at Kaesong or provide their nationalities. About 20 were non-Koreans and most of those were Americans. He said that other allied prisoners had refused repatriation at one time but had changed their minds before the end of the prisoner exchange program. Meanwhile, Indian troops guarding the Chinese and North Korean prisoners who had refused repatriation squelched angry, small outbursts among the 1,800 Chinese prisoners transferred to them this date. The prisoners hurled rocks and insults at Communist observers, but the Indian troops quickly quieted the shouting. There were no reports of injuries. The five-nation repatriation commission said that nine North Korean prisoners who originally had refused repatriation had changed their minds the previous week and would be turned over to the Communists on Tuesday morning.

A telegram from Communist Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-lai to U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold had demanded the previous day a "roundtable" Korean peace conference, as opposed to the already determined two-sided conference between the U.N. nations who had fought in the Korean War and the Communist nations. A spokesman for the U.S. quickly rejected the proposal. The U.N. General Assembly would begin its new session the following day. It was believed that Chou would demand that Russia, India, Burma, Pakistan and Indonesia be invited to the conference as neutral nations and that Communist China and North Korea be invited to send representatives to the Assembly to discuss the question of enlarging the membership of the conference. The new U.S. delegation, comprised of Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina, Henry Ford II, Representatives Frances Bolton of Ohio and James Richards of South Carolina, met to determine their tasks in the Assembly and its seven committees.

In London, Britain, through a British Foreign Office spokesman, called this date for consultations with the U.S. and France regarding Italy's new plea for a plebiscite anent Trieste, a proposal already rejected by Yugoslavia's President Tito. The spokesman said that statements by Tito and Italian Premier Giuseppe Pella created a "new situation" in the old feud regarding rival claims to the Trieste Free Territory. He said that that the three Western powers would have to consider that situation, along with the Italian Premier's proposal for a conference on the subject. Tito had rejected the idea of a plebiscite because of the policy of denationalization by Mussolini, saying that injustices should first be repaired and that then, after 10 to 15 years, the people could freely decide their future. About 70 percent of Trieste's 380,000 population were Italian, and Yugoslavia had long charged that Mussolini had shoved out more than 100,000 Slovenes and replaced them with Italians in a program of "denationalization".

RNC Chairman Leonard Hall said in an open letter to Adlai Stevenson the previous day that Democrats, by circulating abroad their new magazine, Democratic Digest, were "deliberately encouraging distrust of ourselves and our ideas." The periodical had as its stated purpose poking fun at the Republicans, and was being sold in Canada and Paris. Mr. Hall said it was deliberately designed to undermine confidence in the Administration. There was no immediate comment from Governor Stevenson. The publication's editor, Clayton Fritchie, said in Chicago that the magazine was trying to print the facts of political life and if anyone was losing confidence in the Administration, it was because of its failures, not what the publication said.

In Chicago, the meeting of Democrats got underway, with a committee killing a proposal this date for a 1954 party convention, opposed by most Southern Democrats. Representative Hale Boggs of Louisiana had made the motion for the 1954 party convention, based on a proposal by Paul Butler, the Indiana national committeeman, who wanted the meeting to focus national attention on the Democrats during the mid-term election campaigns. Senator John McClellan of Arkansas said that he regarded the decision as a "victory for the party", rather than a victory for Southern Democrats, that such a convention would have produced friction. Governor Adlai Stevenson, the 1952 presidential nominee, quipped at a breakfast of state chairmen that he might not be a good politician but was an obedient one, demonstrating his obedience by eating breakfast with three different party groups and scheduling appearances at a series of luncheons. Former President Truman, following a brisk early morning walk through Chicago's downtown district, began a day of party conferences.

In Hagerstown, Md., a riot erupted at the Maryland Reformatory for Males, regarding a decision by an umpire in a softball game, resulting in 11 inmates being assigned to solitary confinement. More than 100 of the young prisoners had been involved in the disturbance, initially involving 63 inmates around bedtime the previous night, quieted by teargas, fire hoses and admonitions, after furniture, windows and lighting fixtures in two recreation rooms had been destroyed. A second group started misbehaving during the morning, but that disturbance also was brought quickly under control. The previous afternoon, the championship softball game between a white team and a black team had been taking place, when, in the third inning, with the black team leading 10 to 6, and the white team at bat, the umpire, the recreational director for the reformatory, called a hit ball foul, prompting vigorous protests ending with the game being forfeited by the white team. Nothing immediately took place, but the feelings had apparently simmered late into the evening, when the trouble erupted.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead this date told Ronie Sheffield, fired head of Woman's Prison, that she should confer with highway and prison department officials before coming to see him. She had asked the Governor via telegram for a conference. He said that after she had conferred with the Prisons director and the Highway Department chairman, then he would see her if she still desired a conference. She had been dismissed by A. H. Graham, the chairman of the Highway Department, on July 21, following which two members of the Prisons Advisory Council claimed that the action had resulted from "a vicious whispering campaign". She asked for a hearing before the Council, but its chairman indicated that he doubted the Council had any authority in the matter.

In Charlotte, News reporter Dick Young reports on the recommendations of the citizens committee studying the Police Department, indicating that its report might be completed within the ensuing few weeks, or by the end of September. It had been hoped that the report would be ready for the current week's Council session, but that had not been possible. The Council members were departing Friday night for Montréal to attend the annual convention of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. We shall look forward to that report.

In Sylva, N.C., police used bloodhounds to search for six escaped convicts, one of whom had been caught the previous day without resistance. The seven had escaped on Friday after prying two bars from a cellblock window in a Brevard facility.

In Gastonia, N.C., Buttons, age 3, who liked to smoke a pipe, was killed by an automobile the previous night. Life is tough. Maybe if you had not been showing off smoking the pipe, you would have seen the car, stupid.

Fall temperatures had arrived in the Carolinas and Georgia, with lows of 31 registered in Asheville, 53 in Charlotte, Wilmington and Myrtle Beach, 49 in Lumberton and Columbia, and 47 in Augusta. Smoke over the Charlotte airport, blown by a northeasterly wind, had kept the local temperature from being lower.

On the editorial page, "The Practical Side of Idealism" reminds that the U.S. paid more than any other nation toward the overall expenses of the U.N., about one-third of the total budget. The U.S. had contributed about 90 percent of the money for the U.N. side of the Korean War. But other nations contributed more than the U.S. for UNICEF, the International Children's Fund, supported by both government and private funding. During the previous six years, UNICEF had received about 88 million dollars from the U.S., seventh among the nations on a per capita basis, with Iceland having the top per capita contribution of $4.39.

UNICEF collected only about 30 million dollars annually but was doing a lot of good with those funds. One of its major projects was teaching midwifery in Asia, where there were few doctors in the villages. As a result, the villagers were becoming more interested in health and sanitation, also learning about building sewage disposal plants and boiling of polluted water from the World Health Organization of the U.N. UNESCO also was teaching such persons how to read, and those who learned were teaching their neighbors how to read under the UNESCO "each one teach one" campaign. The World Bank, the self-supporting U.N. agency, provided financial help to those countries planning new dam and power projects.

It concludes that such little-known U.N. agencies dovetailed with one another, helping, with modest funds, people to live better lives. Meanwhile, the headlines regarded the conflicts in the General Assembly and the Security Council. It indicates that the major problems taken to the U.N., and not the U.N., itself, were the cause of the frustration and anger, and that if it were not for the U.N., there would need to be some organization like it to prevent the world from devolving into a series of battles. Remembering the smaller agencies within the U.N. and their good works, it has its faith renewed in the organization.

"League of Women Voters Merits Support" indicates that in 1949, the Charlotte chapter of the League of Women Voters had undertaken a study of the City's park and recreation program, that in 1950, the League had studied the Institute of Government reports on consolidation of city and county functions, in 1951, had studied urban redevelopment, in 1952, had looked at home rule in North Carolina as it concerned Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, and in the current year was examining the adequacy of the Charlotte system of public streets and thoroughfares. The following year, the League would again study consolidation, with emphasis on the school system.

In addition, the League conducted a get-out-the-vote campaign, produced a handbook on the organizations of local government, efforts to improve election machinery and the like. League members also had state and national programs.

It urges contribution to the League for its modest annual budget, indicates that it was a constructive force in the community, with dedicated and unselfish service to any number of worthy causes.

"To the Point" indicates that Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John J. Parker had described the Supreme Court as "an office that no man should seek and no man should decline."

Because it is unprecedented in our history, he obviously was not talking about the situation of a nomination and confirmation to the Court less than a month before a presidential election in which the incumbent is likely to lose, having already been impeached less than a year earlier, acquitted only by the highly partisan efforts of his own Senate majority party, with that Senate majority hanging in precarious and dubious balance also in the coming election. Such politicization of the Court as in the last four years is unprecedented and casts a shameful pall over the Court, until that imbalance thus created, asymmetrical to democratic majority will, is rectified.

"How To Be an A. B. in Brawn" indicates that a Thomasville native had been an honor student at Guilford College, from which he graduated the prior spring, despite the fact that he had majored in physical education. A senior thesis was required for obtaining an A. B. degree at Guilford, and his thesis had checked the grades of students who had taken 20 required courses over a five-year period, finding that the physical education majors, with few exceptions, were the least bright students. He found that the theses of those in the regular academic departments had dealt with sophisticated subjects, whereas the physical education majors' theses ran along the lines of "A Camping Trip on the Appalachian Trail in the Smokies", "A Report of Intramural Tag Football at Guilford College for the Season of 1952", and "Construction of a Batting Cage at Guilford College".

It concludes that it might dig up its eighth grade essay on "An Evening at Camp" and submit it for an A. B. degree in "brawn" at Guilford.

"Revelation" indicates that a recent Gallup poll had revealed that 78 percent of the American people believed it was better for the country to have allies than to go it alone. In the Midwest, 83 percent favored working closely with other friendly nations, while 73 percent so favored along the Atlantic Seaboard. It suggests that the results showed that the people had more sense than some of the "go it alone" politicians.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Hot News on a Cold Day", indicates that the New York Times had reported that during the 1890's, there had been a cold day for baseball at the Polo Grounds, when a concessionaire named Stevens put boiled wieners between slices of rolls and sold them as hot dogs.

It indicates that St. Louis could tell an even older, albeit not as significant, story regarding the house which Jean Baptiste Roy built at 615 South Second Street in 1829, purchased around 1874 by a butcher, John Boepple, who then sold wienerwurst "so famous and delightful that his customers often ate it on the spot". It was served in buttered buns and so also qualified as a hot dog.

It indicates that the claim made on behalf of the Polo Grounds should be taken without mustard.

Drew Pearson indicates that when Secretary of State Dulles had been summoned suddenly to Denver the previous week, many people, including Mr. Dulles, believed he would be chastened by the President for his public statement in support of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer in advance of the West German parliamentary elections, causing protest among the German Socialists. Instead, the President had not even heard about the issue and when informed of it by the Secretary, remarked only that their man, Chancellor Adenauer, had won and so there was nothing to worry about, saying that if it had been a mistake, perhaps he might make the same mistake just before the midterm elections, as the Republicans would need every help they could get. Secretary Dulles left the conference believing that the President had given him virtual carte blanche to speak bluntly at future press conferences. Mr. Pearson notes that before he had departed Denver, the Secretary told the press that he had no evidence that the Communists were holding back prisoners, a statement which the Communists in Korea cited in response to the U.N. Command ultimatum that the Communists return 944 Americans who had reportedly been captured during the war but who had not been returned during the prisoner exchange program.

The central issue in the minds of Democrats who were gathering in Chicago was whether Adlai Stevenson would again run for the Democratic nomination and, if so, whether he could win in 1956. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia would not be at the Chicago meeting, had not supported actively the ticket in 1952 and privately did not want Governor Stevenson to run again, supporting instead either Senators Stuart Symington or Lyndon Johnson. Senator Estes Kefauver, who had been the leading candidate of the Democrats before the draft of Governor Stevenson, had a powerful following among grassroots Democrats and Republicans believed that he would have provided a tougher race against General Eisenhower than Governor Stevenson in 1952. But Old Guard Democrats did not particularly like him, and he had been ignored in the planning of the Chicago meeting. Yet, that would help him among the voters. Governor Mennen Williams of Michigan was only running for the Michigan Senate seat, but was one of the most popular Democrats ever elected in that state and was worth watching in 1956. Former President Truman was not playing any favorites at present. In the past, his support had tended toward Governor Stevenson but he had been irked with him for not taking off the gloves and hitting harder at the Republicans recently.

Mr. Pearson posits that those were the central players at the Democratic meeting, suggesting that there would be a lot of political fireworks during the ensuing three years.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that it was likely that the Federal Government would soon impose a national sales tax on everything except food and medical supplies, ranging as high as 4 to 5 percent, to avoid a budget deficit the following year after increasing the amount of appropriations for the Air Force to compete with Russia's air-atomic capability, made the more threatening by the recent announcement of the detonation of a hydrogen device. The experts had concluded that such a sales tax would net about 1.25 billion dollars for each one percent of tax per year, whereas a manufacturers' sales tax would net about 800 million dollars for each one percent of tax.

The last of a series of committees, this one consisting of highly conservative and economy-minded industrialists, had recommended that the U.S. had to have an effective air defense, running into several billions of dollars per year. The Treasury experts had concluded that there would be a deficit of between six and seven billion in the ensuing fiscal year if defense expenditures remained at current levels. Thus, either that amount had to be raised in new revenue or other defense expenditures for the Army and Navy had to be severely curtailed to enable increase of the Air Force budget. In addition, the Treasury would lose more than eight billion dollars in revenue from scheduled reductions in the excess profits tax, personal income tax, corporate tax and excise taxes. The Administration might ask Congress to rescind the scheduled five percent reduction in corporate taxes, but the bulk of the revenue in question was in the excess profits tax and the 11 percent reduction in personal income taxes, the latter making up for the 11 percent increase during the Korean War. The Administration was committed to ending the excess profits tax and was convinced that Congress would reject any attempt to rescind the income tax reduction, applying primarily to lower income groups.

Robert C. Ruark, in Rome, indicates that in recent years, there had been a decline in general morale of the officer corps of the armed forces to the point that a peacetime career was gradually becoming less desirable to the caliber of men needed as a core of the forces. Recently retired Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley had sent a report to that effect to Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson quite some time earlier, blaming Congress for changing the rules concerning the armed forces, for the "progressive lowering of the standards of living of officer personnel" and the "increasingly frequent periods of family separation due to lack of dependent housing overseas". There had also been a tendency on the part of Congress and the people to sneer at the officer corps for having quite a number of perqs compared to ordinary soldiers. There had also been a tendency on the part of some of the high-level brass to abuse the privilege they had accidentally acquired in occupation territories while denying adequate luxuries to their junior officers and enlisted men.

The colonels and generals did not constitute the backbone of the standby Army or Navy between wars. Rather it was comprised of the chiefs, sergeants, first and second lieutenants and captains, most of whom were now reserves turned regular.

By modern standards, military men did not make much money and had to pay taxes, even overseas. They lived in shoddy circumstances even on the more advanced bases and often in unpleasant communities. Husbands lived as bachelors for many months pending transport of dependents and were subject to more restrictions than they had ever known in war. Promotion was slow and retirement, uncertain, rotation, irregular. There was a lack of confidence in the Government, causing some men to sweat it out, marking time while others goofed off.

Mr. Ruark favors giving as many frills and extras as possible to military men to make the job attractive, as the country lived in a constant state of semi-preparation for war. "They are, after all, supposed to die on demand, and while living allow themselves to be whisked to the farthest, most unpleasant corners of the world, on government order."

A letter writer provides a resolution passed by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ministers' Association on September 8, calling on the public news services to refrain from advertising beer and other alcoholic beverages, and urging that the Committee on Civic Relations study the liquor question and make suggestions regarding actions by the Association which might help the community.

The editors note that The News accepted wine and beer advertising on the notion that they were mild, table-type beverages and did not accept whiskey advertising, though it believed in the Alcoholic Beverage Control system in the state on a local option basis.

A letter writer from Belmont responds to a letter writer of September 9 regarding equal employment opportunity, suggesting that a good many black employers were engaged in the insurance business and that there was no clamor for having white employees in those businesses. He suggests that it was possible that based on the ratio of population, blacks were obtaining more than their fair share of employment, regards the FEPC and demands by the NAACP not to be for fairness but rather "high-handed, buccaneering reaches for special privileges". He favors organization of an NAAWP for white people, to talk back to "Communists, Negro lovers and misguided Negroes, and remind them in as friendly a tone as possible that there is a fundamental difference between the status of the white people in America and the status of the Negro." He says that white citizenship was contemporaneous with the establishment of the nation and that 87 years later, black citizenship came into being on the basis of the 14th Amendment, "and that amendment can be repealed or at least rendered of no effect as was the 18th Amendment not long ago."

Good luck on getting three-fourths of the states to go along with you on that. We assume that this Cracker will be voting for Trump.

A letter writer from Albemarle indicates that after reading "Paging the Preps" on the sports page of the previous Tuesday edition of the newspaper, she could not help but wonder what the newspaper had against Albemarle, as almost every other team had been recognized. Albemarle had been defeated only once in the previous two seasons and, she suggests, therefore, ought receive recognition.

The editors note that the column in question could not cover every city every day but that Albemarle had and would continue to have its fair share of coverage. It points out that the Saturday edition had indicated that Kannapolis and Albemarle had won their openers.

A letter writer indicates having read the Atlantic Monthly article "Two Legs To Stand On" and finds it commendable that the newspaper had provided space for it.

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