The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 2, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that at Panmunjom, another 100 happy American soldiers, 41 officers and 59 sergeants, were freed from North Korean prison camps this date, bringing the total Americans freed to 3,027, leaving another 300 or so yet to be repatriated. A returning officer said that 75 Americans who had "confessed" to use of germ warfare under relentless Communist pressure would be repatriated soon, that most of them had been officers. One returning American, Lt. James Stone of Hot Springs, Ark., had found out for the first time that he had been awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery on the night he had been captured two years earlier, causing his eyes to fill with tears and his voice to choke with emotion as he told Brig. General Ralph Osborne that he did not know what to say, that he did not think he deserved the medal.

In addition, another 200 South Koreans were freed. The Communists promised to free 89 Americans, 200 South Koreans, five British and six Canadians on Thursday. Including this date's delivery, 11,716 allied prisoners had been freed, with the Communists having stated at the outset that 12,782 would be released, but having since stated that there would be some additional prisoners freed, those captured in the latter days of the war.

The sixth troop ship carrying liberated Americans sailed for the U.S. from Inchon this date, with 440 men aboard, due in San Francisco around September 15.

An unnamed American corporal, known as "Slick", who was said to be marked for death by other returning prisoners because he had betrayed them to the Communists, was reported to have disappeared from a Tokyo Army hospital, where he had been sent three weeks earlier after being released.

The U.N. Command, in an unusual announcement, accused the Communists of rigging interviews between allied POW's and visiting Red Cross teams, quoting a returned Australian officer, who had reported that the Communists had told him that he would not be repatriated unless he provided "proper answers" to the Red Cross workers.

In London, the U.S., Britain and France called on Russia this date to join an early four-power conference of foreign ministers regarding the future of Germany and Austria, at which arrangements would be settled for holding free all-German elections as an essential first step toward restoring German unity and agreeing on a final German peace settlement, plus final agreement on the long-promised Austrian treaty of independence, on which Russia had been stalling. The Big Three Western powers communicated to Russia via diplomatic notes, also rejecting the Soviet proposal to set up a provisional all-German government which would participate in a German peace conference to be held within six months, after which there would be free all-German elections. The Big Three said that holding the elections after the peace settlement was putting the cart before the horse and so was unacceptable. The Russian proposals on Germany were generally interpreted by Western diplomats as being designed in part to influence the voting in the September 6 West German elections, hoping to defeat Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. The previous weekend, the Russians had turned down an invitation to sit in on a four-power conference of deputy foreign ministers to draft a treaty for Austria.

In St. Louis, Secretary of State Dulles told the American Legion convention that Communist Chinese aggression against Korea or Indo-China might provoke war between the West and China, appearing to put forth a new Government policy of warning potential aggressors where the U.S. intended to fight for security protection. He said that the Chinese Communists had to realize that they could no longer count on the "privileged sanctuary" of Manchuria from which to have air and supply bases in the event they renewed aggression against South Korea. He said that Communist China was training, equipping and supplying Communist rebels in Indo-China, and that there was the risk, as had been the case in Korea, that the Communist Chinese might send their own army into Indo-China. He said that such a second aggression could not occur without grave consequences, which might not be confined to Indo-China. He said that he made the statements in the hope of deterring such aggression.

In a resolution, the Legion demanded an all-out war, including use of atomic and hydrogen bombs, to drive the Communists from Korea, if peace negotiations were to fail at the upcoming conference on Korea in October. The Legion also expressed in a resolution opposition to admission of Communist China to the U.N. or recognition of it by the U.S., and called on the U.S. to use its veto if necessary to stop the seating of Communist China.

Several hundred career Government workers planned to fight for job rights they said had been taken from them in a drive to cut the Federal payroll, having formed a new organization to try to get the President to guarantee them jobs somewhere in the Government when their jobs were eliminated. Government officials estimated that by the following June, a total of 180,000 positions would be cut from the Government, the majority to come from temporary positions. Catherine Crowley, secretary of the new Federal Civil Service Separated Career Employees Association, said that they were "mostly little people". She said that she had lost her job as a Government attorney the previous July after 22 years of service, that when positions were eliminated, the employees lost civil service protection, and that thus far, other departments had refused to make room for career workers, as they could do by eliminating their temporary employees. She said they wanted an executive order providing career workers preference on jobs for which they were suited. Civil Service officials said that established procedures already provided for that, but that it was not required by law.

At McChord Air Force Base in the State of Washington, the Air Force reported this date that the burned wreckage of a chartered airliner which had vanished the previous night with 19 soldiers and two crewmen aboard had been found in southwest Washington. First reports indicated that there were no survivors.

In San Antonio, Tex., General Jonathan Wainwright, the hero of Corregidor in early 1942, had not been expected to live through the previous night and, according to his hospital attendants, was worse this date, still in a coma and near death.

At Fort Bragg, N.C., the public information office reported that 18 soldiers had drowned this date in an accident during a training problem. Two other soldiers were not yet accounted for and four others had been hospitalized. The men had been building a pontoon bridge across Smith Lake on the Army reservation at the time of the accident, with the spokesman indicating that he did not know whether a portion of the bridge had collapsed or a boat had sunk. A board was appointed to investigate the cause of the accident.

In Gastonia, N.C., a fast-moving northbound Southern Railway freight train had derailed, scattering 13 boxcars and tankers in the midtown area, but no one was hurt. A minute after the wreck, another freight train, which was southbound, was halted, and all rail traffic was blocked and city traffic rerouted around the heavily traveled crossing where the accident occurred.

In Raleigh, Governor William B. Umstead said this date to reporters at a news conference that he believed that the state ought "be entitled to right much consideration" at the forthcoming national Democratic Party meeting in Chicago, as the state had given Adlai Stevenson the largest electoral vote of any state in 1952. He said that he would be unable to attend the meeting, though he would go if he could arrange it. He said that the South had not received the consideration it should from the national party for several years, but hoped that the situation would improve despite problems of the DNC in working out policies to please all segments of the party. He said that he had not liked the loyalty oath required at the national convention in July, 1952, and would not like it at present, did not think it should be required of North Carolina, but that other states could speak for themselves. The Governor also said that he had met with the State Prison Advisory Council and believed he could work with the Council, as they had indicated a desire to cooperate with him.

Newly appointed North Carolina Senator Alton Lennon would not attend the Chicago party meeting, according to his administrative assistant, future Senator Jesse Helms—who had also been an administrative assistant for Senator Willis Smith before his death the prior June.

In Cincinnati, the chief of police had asked the City Council to ban the use of snakes at religious services, as the chief said the Department had received complaints.

Hurricane Carol, packing winds of about 90 mph., had produced hurricane warnings for Antigua and Barbados in the Lesser Antilles.

Broadway showman Billy Rose, in his column "Pitching Horseshoes", indicates that the trade papers suggested that Hollywood was "like a loony bin in the full of the moon", with half the inmates "scared witless", and the other half "described as men suffering from 3rd Dementia Praecox". One studio boss was said to be considering use of a 100-foot screen, with the picture to be flashed on the ceiling while the audience watched from cots. He indicates that it was nothing new, that one day in the late 1920's, he had been introduced to Carl Laemmle, Jr., the new boss of Universal Pictures, who had fought his way to the top by being the son of the owner, and they had talked a bit, the executive having mentioned that he was planning to make a movie of "Show Boat", the Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein masterwork. He was about to congratulate him when he thought of an angle, as he was broke, so suggested that some of the music might be a bit tired, to which the executive indicated that Mr. Rose might have something. Mr. Rose said that it needed a new set of songs so that the young executive would be making an artistic contribution to the film. Mr. Laemmle responded that the problem would be to find a new composer and lyricist, to which Mr. Rose responded that Fred Fisher, the writer of "Dardenella", was in town and that he would phone him, and that he, himself, had written the lyrics for "Barney Google". The next day, Mr. Rose and Mr. Fisher had signed a contract to write the new score for "Show Boat". They had replaced "Only Make Believe" with "Magnolia, I Love You", and "Old Man River" with "Shoes Take Me Back". Their score was accepted by Mr. Laemmle and he tendered them a check. They then went to Chicago, but shortly afterward, Mr. Laemmle "came to his senses and gave our score to the cat." He had also decided, however, to junk the songs of Kern and Hammerstein, and when the film was finally released, an old phonograph record of "Lonesome Road" had been the sole substitute for the "best light score ever composed in this country". He indicates that there was, therefore, nothing to get upset about regarding the present conniptions of Hollywood, but was a bit worried about a recent announcement that a movie would be made of "Oklahoma!", as he would hate to see its memorable songs replaced by "Doggie in the Window".

On the editorial page, "FEPC through the Back Door" asks how far the Federal Government ought go in using its influence and power to eliminate racial discrimination in private employment, a question raised by a clause in new contracts which would compel banks handling Commodity Credit Corporation loans to hire their employees without discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color or national origin. It followed by a few weeks the creation of a new Federal commission, headed by Vice-President Nixon, to enforce compliance with a clause forbidding discrimination in hiring workers under Government contracts.

The new CCC policy caused Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina to protest, warning the President that "the farm program may be endangered" because Southern banks would refuse to handle the loans under such conditions. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina had demanded of Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson that the clause be stricken from the contracts, as banks would not adhere to the condition. The Greenville Piedmont in South Carolina had charged that "the Eisenhower Administration is placing the power and prestige of the United States Government behind an effort to speed up the gradual breakdown of segregation in those states where it is a part of the living pattern and where, in most instances, it is a matter of law." The Charleston News & Courier described the policy as a "continuation of the New and Fair Deal drive to force FEPC on private employers."

It indicates that the protests were well founded, that the Federal Government could not and should not discriminate in the provision of public services, that CCC loans were made available to white and to black farmers on precisely the same terms, as it should be. But it was a different matter for the Government to try to force non-discrimination in employment on privately run banks as a condition of handling CCC loans. It finds that the FEPC proposal by the Truman Administration had the virtue of being a frank attempt to set up a Federal FEPC with legal powers of compulsion, while the Eisenhower policy was far more devious, seeking to accomplish by indirection what the Congress had refused to do by law. It indicates that the new policy had given a rude jolt to those Southerners whose main motive for bolting the Democratic Party in 1952 had been opposition to the Fair Deal civil rights program under the Truman Administration.

"The Democrats Are at It Again" indicates that if intra-party squabbling was a measure of vitality, the national Democratic Party still had a great amount of life left in it. Senator Spessard Holland of Florida had said during the week that he would not attend the upcoming Chicago meeting of the party, saying that Southern Democrats would not return to the fold unless and until they were given "full partnership in drafting the platform and picking the nominees". Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia and Governor Byrnes of South Carolina, neither of whom had been invited to the meeting, said they did not want to attend. Yet Governor Hugh White of Mississippi said that he would be present, in the hope of getting passed a resolution for the 1956 convention to repeal the controversial "loyalty pledge".

In North Carolina, the president of the Young Democratic Clubs had taken Senator Holland to task, saying that his attitude was wrong and warned that Southern Democrats could not afford to have a closed mind. The Mecklenburg County Democratic chairman had said that it was his duty to attend the meeting and try to get the North Carolina viewpoint impressed on party policy.

It finds that the schism within the party was as great as ever and just as irreconcilable, that the present problems over the meeting reflected that schism. It does not know how the party would resolve the loyalty pledge issue, that it was difficult to have party success if there were continued disaffections during every election year, but also having to enforce a pledge of loyalty on the South, where the Democratic Party had traditionally been the strongest, produced humiliation.

Dr. Alexander Heard had said in his book, A Two-Party South? that none of the nine successful Republican presidential candidates from 1880 through 1948 had depended on the South's electoral votes, nor had President Eisenhower in 1952, and that on only four occasions when Democratic candidates had won, in 1884, 1892, 1916 and 1948, had the outcome been changed by having the electoral votes from the Southern states, rather than going to the Republicans.

It concludes that both major parties might find it easier and less bothersome to obtain their electoral margins outside the South than to seek to woo the South, and that this harsh reality needed to be faced.

"Solutions" indicates that the Administration, according to the Wall Street Journal, had done away with the farm "surplus" problem by deciding that "surplus" was a bad word and substituting "excess reserve", a term used by Secretary of Agriculture Benson in his speech in Darlington, S.C., the previous day. It indicates that it was now anxious to see how the Administration disposed, grammatically, of the national debt, suggesting that it might change the term to "accounts payable".

"A Bold Idea for Express Highways" indicates that an official of the Ford Motor Co. had suggested building express highways above or alongside existing main railroad lines and using the space above railroad yards in congested urban areas for parking. He had provided several advantages to those plans, which the piece lists, and said he had discussed the idea with officials of the New York Central and Chesapeake & Ohio railroads, and that they had been favorably disposed toward it.

It suggests that it was not surprising that they would be, as the great success of most of the new public turnpikes had made them good investments, perhaps prompting railroads to build their own elevated turnpikes to obtain the profits. It finds the plan to have merit and hopes it would receive a complete study as one way to relieve congestion being caused by the automobile.

A piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, titled "Driver, Never Demote a Policeman", suggests that to address a patrolman as "sergeant" or to call a lieutenant "inspector" never did any harm, but to smash into a State police commissioner's automobile and then call him "sergeant", and then wonder aloud whether there was anything which could be done to "fix this up", was not wise.

A citizen of Louisville had done those things and wound up paying a fine of $100 and having his driver's license suspended for six months. It suggests that it was far better to drive soberly and avoid such mishaps, but if something of the type occurred, it advises never to speak of a "fix", as honest policemen did not like that, and most of them were honest. It also advises to be knowledgeable of ranks.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News indicates that Relman Morris of the Associated Press had listed factors which were dominant in pushing the South forward at a faster pace of industrialization, including the creation of a greater consumer market, an aggressive campaign to attract industry, the new importance of Southern resources, and the change in farms and animal husbandry. It suggests that the "three M's" was a good way to summarize it, materials, men and markets.

Insofar as raw materials, timber, petroleum and natural gas were among the most important in the South and in the nation, which was the reason that chemicals and synthetics industries had moved to the South. The woolen and worsted industries were following the cotton textile industry in the South.

The South had a vast supply of cheap labor, when compared to the North, and was in many cases more productive and had a better record of staying on the job, while becoming better educated and trained. The labor reservoir was continually being replenished from the farms, which were being increasingly mechanized, freeing up farm labor for industry. Good roads, the automobile and air conditioning all contributed to dispersal and effectiveness of industry in the South.

The vicious circle of no production, no wages, no profits and no markets had been transplanted by a circle of production, wages, profits and markets. The South's industrialization was just hitting its stride and the three M's were bigger than the sum of their parts, each element pushing the others forward. It concludes that the South was "putting to good use the muscles it gained by pulling itself up by its bootstraps."

Drew Pearson indicates that the FDA was quietly gathering evidence that the so-called "harmless" boric acid contained in baby talcum and ointments had actually caused the deaths of scores of infants in recent years. One FDA official said that after all the evidence was in, they would insist on manufacturers putting a warning label on their products. He said that in the meantime, they were encouraging manufacturers to cease use of boric acid in any product where a substitute could be adapted. For years, such products had been routinely used in the household as treatments for minor cuts and rashes, especially diaper rash. No one knew how many babies had died of boric-acid poisoning, as such deaths generally were attributed to other causes. According to a doctor at New York's Roosevelt Hospital, "infant deaths often attributed to meningitis and pneumonia actually are caused by boric acid in a powder applied by mothers in a mistaken belief that it has soothing therapeutic value." He said that the error in diagnosis occurred because autopsies were rare in those cases. Another report by the chief medical examiner of Baltimore had indicated in 1951 that boric acid from powders or other preparations applied to the body had produced a danger of absorption through skin infections, potentially resulting in death. Another warning had been published in the AMA's Journal of Diseases of Children, indicating that boric acid and sodium borate were sufficiently poisonous to cause severe symptoms and death when used in amounts commonly considered safe, that absorption occurred in different ways, producing minimal symptoms until a lethal or near-lethal dose had been absorbed. Despite the warnings, some manufacturers of the products had been hard to convince, resulting in unsuspecting pharmacies containing millions of cans of borated talcum and boric-acid ointment without warning labels to alert unsuspecting mothers. He notes that because of curtailed funding, it would be another year before the FDA could complete its study and force the warning labels.

Secretary of the Treasury George Humphrey was upset over a New York Times story that the Administration hoped to balance the budget with a national sales tax. He had stated off the record to several reporters that a national sales tax was one of many things being considered to raise revenue, and he believed that the Times had violated the agreement to keep the statement off the record, resulting in the Times not being invited to any more of Mr. Humphrey's off-the-record conferences. In addition to the national sales tax, the Treasury Department was considering a manufacturing excise tax at the manufacturing rather than retail level, and was also considering another boost in income and corporate taxes.

The IRB had stopped reviewing tax returns of large corporations as an economy move. Henceforth, the word of agents in the field would be final on whether corporations had paid their full taxes. Yet, millions of dollars had been recovered every year by reviewing tax returns in Washington. He suggests that if there were any dishonest agents left in the field, they might be tempted to make a deal with certain corporations, knowing that the returns would never be double-checked.

Senator Joseph McCarthy had stated recently that a person who refused to testify on the grounds that he might incriminate himself had to be guilty. By his own standards, therefore, he was guilty of six grave violations of the law, as he had refused to appear before a Congressional committee and answer questions about his finances.

The Army had quietly promoted Brig. General Edwin Sibert, who, as an intelligence "expert", had been caught sleeping at the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944, refusing to believe that the Germans were massing in the Ardennes, resulting in the U.S. Army being caught off guard.

Marquis Childs discusses the RNC, chaired by Leonard Hall, and its strategy for the 1954 midterm elections. The greatest stress would be placed on two issues, the first being Communism in the Government, with the recently issued report by the Senate Judiciary subcommittee pointing out the failure of the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations either to recognize the nature of the Communist conspiracy and what it meant in terms of infiltration or to do anything about it when the facts were shown to top officials. The Republican operators did not believe that many more Communists would be found within the Government, but the record showed that people were still concerned over the disclosures. Mr. Childs suggests that just as former President Hoover had been used as a symbol of the failure of the Republicans to cope with the Great Depression, Alger Hiss had come to personify the failure of the Democrats to cope with Communism in the Government, and it was believed that Mr. Hiss would work as such a symbol for some time to come.

The second matter which the Republicans would stress would be the President's personal popularity. They wanted to get him out into the country to campaign as much as possible. Democratic votes had saved the Administration on several major policy tests during the first session of the 83rd Congress. But most people did not examine voting records and party planners believed that an appeal by the President for help with his program through electing Republican members of Congress would be effective. The potential flaw in the approach was that if in the 1954 session of the Congress, the Republicans failed again to support the President on major pieces of legislation, as they likely would, then the President's popularity might diminish.

Patronage, which had caused problems in the beginning of the Administration, was believed at present to be systematized.

He concludes that if confidence and planning were any indication, the Republicans were prepared to hold power for many years, as it was a habit easy to acquire.

James Marlow indicates that if the September 14-15 meeting of the Democrats in Chicago was as fouled up as its preparations, it ought be lively, if not harmonious. The two primary goals ahead for the Democrats were trying to regain control of Congress in 1954 and both the Congress and the presidency in 1956. If all were to go well in the Chicago meeting, they would be able to make plans for the 1954 elections.

The meeting would welcome Adlai Stevenson back from his around-the-world trip. The DNC would meet and there would be a $100 per plate dinner to raise money to pay off the Committee's debts. Former President Truman would be present, along with those who had been mentioned as likely candidates in the presidential nomination race for 1956. Governor Stevenson would probably wish to try again, but had not said so, and would likely find a lot of opposition by the time of the convention in 1956. Senator Estes Kefauver, who had been an early leader for the nomination in 1952, would be present, probably hoping that he might get the nod in 1956. Missouri Senator Stuart Symington had also been mentioned as a possible candidate, and he would be on hand.

In the midst of the planning for the meeting, Chicago lawyer and chairman of the dinner, John J. Kelly, quit, saying that his ideas conflicted with DNC chairman Stephen Mitchell.

Some of the Southern Democratic leaders complained that they had not been invited to the meeting, although Mr. Mitchell said that all of the Democratic Senators, Governors and Representatives had been invited. But Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, who had refused to support Governor Stevenson in 1952, said he had not been invited, and also said he would not have attended anyway. Governors James Byrnes of South Carolina, Robert Kennon of Louisiana and Allen Shivers of Texas, all of whom had supported General Eisenhower in 1952, said that they would not attend. Mr. Mitchell had said that he had sent Governor Shivers a telegram saying he had noted with distress newspaper reports that he would not attend, while other reports had said he was not invited, clarifying that he was invited. Senator Spessard Holland of Florida said that he would not attend because he believed that the South had nothing to gain from the meeting. Florida had voted for General Eisenhower in 1952. Mr. Mitchell was reported to have spent a large amount of time trying to pacify the South since the 1952 election, but, judging by the response to the Chicago meeting, had not been completely successful.

A letter writer from Belmont indicates that murder was murder and when the nurse was murdered in Charlotte on August 2, he had hoped that the killer would be caught, even if the killer was black, even if the culprit was his own father. His work took him all over the black sections of the city and he indicates that the reader would be surprised to know how many blacks felt just as strongly about that murder as had white people. He says that on the night of August 25, a black woman had killed another, and that during the current week, on the same street, about 300 feet away, two other black women were fighting and but for the intervention of a man, there might have been another killing.

A letter writer from Los Angeles indicates that the first unofficial U.N. Day had been celebrated in Norristown, Pa., on June 6, 1941, at a program in City Hall, about six months before the U.N. had officially been conceived.

A letter writer indicates that the editorial, "Subsidy", of August 26, had failed to provide an accurate picture of the subsidy problem regarding newspapers and magazines being mailed at cheaper rates than ordinary first class mail. She corrects the matter by citing several statistics regarding Life magazine, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Time magazine, and their vast use of the mails to deliver their publications, indicating that the editors apparently had not checked with the newspaper's business department before releasing the misleading information, as otherwise they would have realized that the News was paying income tax to subsidize its competitors, "a nice gesture, but poor logic."

The editors respond that the editorial had made no effort to defend the whole publishing industry from charges of receiving a subsidy, but was making the point that The News delivered all but four-tenths of one percent of its copies directly to subscribers' doors, without using the mails.

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