The Charlotte News

Wednesday, September 23, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Seoul, the U.N. Command this date turned over to the neutral Indian troops the last of about 22,600 prisoners who had indicated a desire not to repatriate to their Communist homelands, leaving allied stockades empty for the first time in three years. The allies made a surprising announcement that they would not send observers to watch the arrival at the demilitarized zone on Thursday of 359 allied soldiers whom the Communists contended did not wish repatriation, including 23 Americans, one Briton and 335 South Koreans. The announcement said that it had confidence in the Indian custodial force to carry out its mission. At the same time, India ordered 600 reinforcements for the 5,000-man force which would guard the prisoners who were resisting repatriation while each side talked to them during a 90-day period, to try to convince them to return home or to ascertain that they genuinely did not wish repatriation.

Lt. General S. E. Anderson, commander of the U.S. Fifth Air Force, indicated that there was evidence in two instances that the Communists had flown jet warplanes into Korean airspace following the July 27 signing of the Armistice, in direct violation of its terms. He said that allied radar had tracked the planes. The indication was confirmed by a North Korean pilot who had fled with his MIG-15 to South Korea the prior Monday and surrendered the plane, for which he was to receive a $100,000 reward, earlier offered by the U.N. Command so that an example could be studied. The MIG had been crated on Tuesday and loaded onto a C-124 transport plane for transfer to the U.S., bound for Dayton, O.

At Travis Air Force Base in California, Major General William Dean returned home the previous night, after three years in a Communist prison camp, following his capture early in the war. He said that he wanted people to get it out of their heads that he was a hero, that he was not, rather "just a dog-faced soldier". He said he felt "like a million dollars", ready to challenge Rocky Marciano, the heavyweight boxing champion. The Medal of Honor winner was provided a hero's welcome. It was the first time he had been to the United States in six years, having spent three years in Japan prior to the Korean War.

At the U.N. in New York, Canadian Foreign Secretary Lester Pearson told the General Assembly this date that Canadian troops would fight again in Korea only as part of a U.N. action. He also said that Canada would battle for the unification of Korea at the upcoming peace conference. He advocated withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, under an international, supervised guarantee. He supported the British and American efforts to prevent further debate in the U.N. regarding the composition of the peace conference, as had been advocated by Russia. The other 14 U.N. nations who had provided troops in Korea also appeared to support placing of any further debate of Korea in the last position on the agenda of the 60-member political committee of the Assembly, postponing it thereby until after the starting date of the peace conference, required by the terms of the Armistice to begin by October 28.

In St. Louis, Vice-President Nixon told the AFL annual convention this date that there might have been a misunderstanding regarding the Administration's plans for amending Taft-Hartley, but that the President had never broken his pledge to former Labor Secretary Martin Durkin, as Mr. Durkin had contended before the convention the previous day. The Vice-President delivered a message from the President, but did not mention specifically the controversy raised by Mr. Durkin, that the President had promised to present to Congress 19 amendments approved by labor, withdrawing the promise after the plan had been made public, prompting heavy criticism from business. The statement said that Taft-Hartley was essentially sound, having made "a substantial contribution to the quest for sounder labor-management relations." Mr. Nixon had prefaced the reading of the message with remarks of his own, which received polite applause, saying that labor unions might differ with the Administration's methods but that ultimately the President's policies would be successful. He said that during 40 years of public service, General Eisenhower had never broken his word. Convention delegates exhibited prolonged laughter when Mr. Nixon added that there had been, and probably was, a misunderstanding between the President and Mr. Durkin. Mr. Durkin had no comment other than to say that his answer was contained in his speech of the previous day. He shook hands with Mr. Nixon after the latter's speech.

Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson told reporters the previous date at a press conference, after meeting with the President, that in his personal opinion, the hazard of war had been somewhat reduced, that the country was in a much stronger military position than it had been a year earlier and that he hoped it would deter Russia from any plan to start another war, that he hoped increasing numbers of people on both sides of the Iron Curtain would realize that no one could win such a war.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics said this date that the cost of living index hit a record high, fueled by higher food prices and rents, reaching 115 percent of the 1947-49 base period. The rise meant a three-cent hourly wage increase for 1.3 million rail workers the following month, raising annual payroll costs of the railroads to 100 million dollars. Beef and veal prices had gone up 6 percent, the largest increase in meat prices in any single month in more than five years. Rents had advanced by 1.1 percent, after controls had expired the prior July 31. Transportation costs had also gone up by less than one percent. Higher gasoline and oil prices also contributed to the rise in the index.

The Dunn & Bradstreet index of wholesale food prices continued to hover near the high for the year, registering $6.71, compared with a high of $6.75 reached the prior July. Commodities moving up during the week included wheat, corn, rye, hams, bellies, sugar, milk, cocoa and eggs. Flour, barley, beef, lard, butter, cottonseed oil, rice, steers, hogs and lambs all registered lower prices. Now you know what to buy at the store.

In Tehran, an informed Army source said this date that the Iranian Government would seek the death penalty for deposed Premier Mohammed Mossadegh from a military court, on charges to be announced within a few days. The report appeared to discount a dispatch which had appeared in the London Daily Express this date that the former Premier had already been sentenced to hang at the conclusion of a three-week secret trial, the Iranian report making no mention of it. The Shah, ten days earlier, had ordered the former Premier to be tried by a court martial for his refusal on August 16 to obey the Shah's decree replacing him as Premier with General Fazollah Zahedi. He had been arrested on August 20, the day following a public uprising in which 300 persons had been killed, and during which he was deposed in favor of General Zahedi.

In Canandaigua, N.Y., the case of a 19-year old male, a former Marine who had confessed to killing five people, was given to the jury this date to deliberate on the first-degree murder charge against him. He had confessed to the shooting of a Hobart College student who had provided him a ride as a hitchhiker the prior March 27. He said that after killing the 19-year old student, he, accompanied by his teenage girlfriend, had killed four other people. He had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity and the defense had not contested the State's evidence of the crimes. He faced the death penalty if convicted.

In Upper Sandusky, O., a quiet 19-year old college student at Ohio Wesleyan University, who had planned to become a minister, had been accused of murdering his college sweetheart, also 19. The sheriff and prosecutor indicated that he had admitted inflicting 17 gashes to her face with a lead pipe, and then strangling her and bruising her body. He said, however, that he had trouble remembering exactly what had occurred. The prosecutor stated that the confession was sketchy. An autopsy showed that his girlfriend was pregnant, and the accused said that they had argued after she told him that another man had annoyed her. He said she had then struck him, and that he had then lost his head and strangled her. He said, according to law enforcement, that he faintly remembered picking up a piece of pipe or rod, and that twice he had tried to revive the victim.

In Bainbridge, Ga., two children, a boy and a girl, both four, had been found dead in an old refrigerator the previous day, with a small dog, also dead, lying between them. The icebox had been stored in the family garage at the girl's home. They had become trapped in it and suffocated to death.

In Madrid, the morning newspaper this date published a story that L. P. Beria had parachuted into the Mancha region of Spain several days earlier, but admitted that it did not know whether the story was true. It said that a number of FBI agents, armed with special orders signed by the President and Vice-President, had arrived to escort Mr. Beria to Washington. The FBI agent in Madrid laughed when asked about that report, saying he knew nothing about it. The Spanish national police chief had said officially that he knew nothing of the report, and unofficially said that it was laughable, saying that it appeared that Mr. Beria would "be replacing the flying saucers". Senator Joseph McCarthy confirmed the previous day that his Investigations subcommittee was looking into the matter.

On the editorial page, "Of Chapel Hill and Commies in the 30's" indicates that after newspaper reports had surfaced during the week regarding information conveyed by subcommittee chairman Senator Herman Welker of Idaho, setting forth contentions by former North Carolinian Paul Crouch that certain persons had been active at UNC in Communist Party activities during the 1930's, as well had been Duke faculty members and some Duke students, it had gone to the newspaper files to search out that history. Some of the names which Mr. Crouch had mentioned were missing, for instance, regarding the owners of the Intimate Book Store in Chapel Hill and Mr. Crouch's contention that it harbored a printing press in the back devoted to dissemination of Communist propaganda. It says, however, that those who had attended the University during those years would remember that the Intimate had been a hangout for "wild-eyed reformers who browsed through literature that, if not communist, was certainly radical by the standards of those days." The names of the two instructors at the University whom Mr. Crouch had identified as leaders in the Communist Party in the state, as well as that of Alton Lawrence, had been mentioned in the newspaper.

During the 1930's, Charlotte's David Clark was waging a one-man campaign against Communists at the University, though he did not confine himself to Communists, attacking also anyone who varied from his Textile Bulletin's narrow definition of "Americanism".

There had been a major controversy surrounding one of the instructors in question having lunch with a black Communist candidate in Durham. During an interview with The News, Frank Porter Graham, then president of the University, had admitted the professor's "indiscretion", but had defended him against those who would have him fired. In an editorial, the newspaper had come down on the side of tolerance, though finding the professor's actions in "bad taste". The Daily Tar Heel, the UNC student newspaper, had nothing to say regarding the professor or the incident, despite the professor having been named by Mr. Crouch as one of the leaders of the Communists on the campus.

An editorial in The News from September 30, 1937—about a month before W. J. Cash became associate editor—had commented on the other instructor as having injected Communist theory into freshman English courses which he had taught, stating that he had left the University for a position on the faculty of the Missouri School of Mines, indicating also that he had led class discussions which had been pro-Communist in nature rather than devoting his class time to the study of English.

There had also been a public outcry when Mr. Graham had posted the bond for Mr. Lawrence, cited by Mr. Crouch as a Communist leader in the state, after his arrest for trespassing during a strike in High Point. The story had been covered throughout the state, and Mr. Lawrence had subsequently been cleared of the charge. The News had editorialized that he appeared determined to upset the present order or to persuade others to do it for him, but would be ineffective for having been released from jail on a bond posted by Mr. Graham.

It indicates that during the Depression years, many young Americans had toyed with radical ideas, and Communists had been active in many college towns across the nation, including Chapel Hill. It indicates that fortunately, steadier minds had fought against witch-hunting by a few professional critics of the University, and it had gone about its way without any evident permanent damage.

It finds that the Welker subcommittee report might serve some useful purpose in reminding North Carolinians that the Communist Party had made an effort to establish itself in the state during the mid and late 1930's, but that it had failed in that attempt. In 1948, Mary Price had run for governor on the Progressive Party ticket, but received only 3,368 votes out of a total 780,525 cast, despite all of the Communists and fellow travelers in the state voting for her. It suggests that if there were Communists in Chapel Hill presently, it did not know about them, that even Junius Scales, who had once sent out party literature from a Chapel Hill address, appeared to have gone elsewhere.

"A Graver Injustice This Would Be" indicates that it had been suggested by a Washington reporter that the argument put forth by Judge John J. Parker, Chief Judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, in upholding segregation in the Clarendon County, S.C., case, subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education pending in the Supreme Court, might be utilized by those backing other potential appointees to replace deceased Chief Justice Fred Vinson, to oppose Judge Parker's nomination. It suggests that if the President gave any deference to such an argument, he would be doing Judge Parker a graver injustice than he had suffered in 1930 when attacked for his "anti-labor" stance after being nominated by President Hoover to the Court, a nomination which had been defeated by a single vote. It indicates that Judge Parker had probably decided more cases helpful to blacks than any other judge in the country.

It recalls that in a case involving a Richmond zoning ordinance, he had held the ordinance unconstitutional for its prohibition of ownership of property by blacks in white neighborhoods. He reversed a lower court case out of Norfolk, holding instead that black schoolteachers had the right to receive equal pay for equal work. He had also upheld the right of admission for qualified blacks to the University of Virginia Law School. There were several decisions in which he had participated which forbade labor unions from discriminating against blacks, and in one case, involving the Baltimore Public Library, he had forbade discrimination against blacks in library instruction. In a South Carolina case, he had affirmed the prior holding of Judge Waites Waring that blacks had the right to participate in primary elections, holding that it was unconstitutional for the State to abrogate its statutes governing primary elections so that the political parties would be in charge of conducting the primaries and making their own primary rules, including determination of those eligible to vote in the primary.

It indicates that there were probably other such decisions, and that Judge Parker definitely did not support the "unholy denial of equal rights", as a letter writer had suggested recently.

It suggests that he had no choice in the Clarendon County case, based on precedent, that if the local school board showed substantially equal facilities for education, then it passed muster under the 14th Amendment through the separate-but-equal doctrine, and it would have been presumptuous for an appellate court judge to overrule a Supreme Court precedent.

It concludes that it would be a "real tragedy" to deny him a Supreme Court nomination merely because he had refused to change the law.

"What Is the Shape of Things To Come?" discusses a speech delivered by CBS commentator Eric Sevareid at the Charlotte Executive Club the prior Monday, an abstract of which appears on the page, which it summarizes. He saw two broad alternatives for the end of the cold war, either depression and collapse of the U.S. economic system, in which case the world would gravitate toward Communism or into working agreements with it, or the internal collapse of the dictatorship in Soviet Russia. He indicated that the second alternative was bound to occur one day, if the U.S. could, in the meantime, prevent the first from occurring.

It found the report on the whole gloomy "from a young man who has seen much of the world's military, political and social troubles of the past 20 years." He could have ended his address on a more positive note, but he did not see it that way and it would have been untrue to his profession to have done so.

Eric Sevareid, as indicated, suggests that there was transpiring an historic transition, rapidly developing, which had begun to manifest itself during the previous year, within the American political parties, the economy, the government, European readjustment, Soviet world policy and world military strategy.

In domestic politics, for instance, the advertising man was replacing the backroom methods of choosing political leaders. The local leader, entailing favors, pledges and personal obligations, was dying out, in favor of a system of mass suggestion. Mass circulation was replacing the old political machine. The new system tended to make large corruptions easier while shrinking small personal corruptions, with corruption of the truth being uppermost under this new system.

The Democratic Party, which had presided over the greatest period of prosperity which the country had known, had suddenly, as a result of that prosperity, lost its strength with one of its traditional bases of support, as millions of laborers had acquired savings and moved into the suburbs, purchased their own homes, and become as concerned with taxes as with wages, thus identifying themselves with the middle-class, a socio-economic change which had occurred also in England since the war. The Democrats had lost much of their Northern big-city base within the immigrant groups, chiefly the Irish and Italians, because through time they had been economically and psychologically absorbed into the society, no longer having a sense of special identity with special needs for protection. The Democrats had suffered losses within organized labor in part because labor had become so big and strong that its members no longer felt insecure. In addition, the traditional roots of the Democratic Party in the South had been torn out, in large part because of the new, rapid growth of a business middle-class out of the advent of Southern industrialization, repeating the social experience of Midwestern cities 30 years earlier, "instinctively seeking its allegiance in conservatism, feeling a practical kinship with like-minded persons in distant states."

The Republican Party, historically linked with isolationism, had, to a great extent, won its showdown with the isolationists within the party, placing its leadership in the hands of the President, a professional soldier who had risen to fame during a Democratic regime and had become the military architect of NATO, repugnant to many Republicans. During 1952, he had won the nomination, against the old guard of the party who had bitterly contested him. Yet, after winning the Presidency, he had given them repeated concessions, until they enjoyed great power again within the party. He had provided his considerable prestige behind virtually every Republican candidate, and yet had failed to establish more than a bare majority of Republicans in each house of Congress. He had won the Presidency by a majority of six million votes, but the House members of the party had won a total vote less than the Democrats, though in the minority. The Republicans, usually running strongest in the Midwest and among Midwestern farmers, had encountered their first serious trouble with that group.

Within the previous few days in Chicago, Adlai Stevenson, who had suffered such a crushing defeat that he should be normally forgotten, just as Alf Landon had been in 1937 after his defeat to FDR in 1936, the worst in the history of presidential politics, was now quite active and respected. Yet, Governor Stevenson, who received almost as much daily mail as the President and received hundreds of speaking invitations, had become a great world figure in every corner of the free world, even eclipsing the President.

Mr. Sevareid indicates that he could not derive meaning from those inconsistencies and that anyone who could and thereby predict the future, would be clairvoyant.

Insofar as the Government was concerned, the house-cleaning aspect remained consistent and logical, but beyond that, contradictions were arising. The President had made it clear that he did not wish to be a strong chief executive but rather would halt the trend of executive government. Yet, millions of Americans wanted him to exert a strong hand in developing a new domestic and foreign policy, while he tended to behave more as a chairman of a board, compromising conflicts and ideas among the executives. The Republican Party had achieved its majority only through his coattails, such that his every whim could become party rule. But he was taking the view that party matters should be left to others, in contradiction to the experience of the previous 50 years, during which the only successful Presidents had been those who directed their political party.

In the President's relations with Congress, he had proceeded on the assumption that party unity was the most important thing, ignoring the historic truth that to push through policies required developing party coalitions in Congress.

He had conceived himself to be the President of all citizens, but had filled the Government posts nearly exclusively with men from large business, in contrast to the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations, which tended toward labor, intellectuals, business and persons from other walks of life. Mr. Sevareid believes that in 1952, the people had grown tired of partisanship and hoped that President Eisenhower would provide national unity, but thus far, there was less bipartisanship within his Administration in the conduct of foreign policy, despite the Republicans having complained that the Truman Administration had left them out of the policy-making process.

He suggests that the approach might prove successful, but, nevertheless, it was contrary to expectations and defied experience.

The new Administration was more aggressive in dealing with world Communism than the Roosevelt and Truman Administrations had been, perceived by many as being too soft on Communism. Yet, in response to public yearning for an end to the stalemated Korean War, the Administration had signed a truce which the Truman Administration probably would not have accepted, for it being too beneficial to the Communists. The new Administration believed that foreign policy had previously been too ad hoc, without consistency over the long-run. Yet, there was a great amount of ad hoc diplomacy going on regarding the establishment of the groundwork for the forthcoming Korean peace conference, with hardly any confidence in Washington that it would succeed in establishing a unified Korea, its ostensible goal. The new Administration had argued during the campaign that containment of Communist imperialism was insufficient, that there should be an aggressive move toward helping the satellites eliminate their Soviet masters. But recently, Secretary of State Dulles, the chief exponent of that argument in 1952, had publicly assured the Russians that the U.S. was not going to export revolts and rebellions. The Administration was reducing the pressure of previous containment operations, while reducing most direct economic aid. Except in Indo-China, the rate of military aid to foreign allies also had been cut back. In some areas, the Point Four technical assistance program, which, by improving living conditions, reduced the temptation toward Communism, was also being diminished. The U.S. attempt to keep Western trade away from Communist areas was also giving way and the progress toward reducing U.S. tariff restrictions appeared for the present stultified.

The pattern of U.S. policy toward Europe during the prior six years was beginning to dissolve as the pattern of European political movement and its mental climate was beginning to change. The pattern of Soviet policy toward Europe had already changed considerably, and the big powers and their associates were looking for a new set of relationships.

Britain was no longer on the verge of bankruptcy, thanks in large part to American generosity, but yet was rife with an anti-American mood. The Low Countries and the Scandinavian countries were doing well, as previously, and remaining cool, as previously. France exhibited a large degree of anti-American sentiment, and, though it was fiercely democratic in tradition, was on the verge of failure in the conduct of a democratic government. While being the West's most vital military bastion in Europe, it was militarily feeble. Germany, traditionally undemocratic, was running perhaps the most enthusiastic democracy on the Continent. While an ancient enemy of the U.S., it was perhaps more pro-American at present than any other European country, rapidly replacing France as the U.S. chief ally in Europe. While it had been the most devastated of the European countries during the war, it was now thriving more than any of the other war-torn nations. Italy, which had a stable democratic government since 1946, was now suffering parliamentary chaos. Yugoslavia, which had been an exponent of Communism and hate, was now nearly the toughest and strongest Western military ally on the Continent. In addition, the satellite countries, while under the grip of the Soviets, were beginning to show signs of rebellion.

Mr. Sevareid indicates that Western Europe, as a whole, was much stronger economically and militarily, but was politically and psychologically tired from the strain of eight years of enforced measures since the war. While U.S. military intervention had saved the region during the war, and economic intervention had saved it since the war, there was an increasing impatience with America, harboring suspicions regarding its leadership which caused the U.S. to be viewed with nearly the suspicion associated with Russia. There was a tendency therefore to cast a plague on both houses.

He asserts that the same state of affairs probably would have resulted even if Republicans had not been elected in 1952 and even if Stalin had not died, and even if Senator McCarthy had never entered the scene. He suggests that it might not have occurred so quickly, but the point would have been reached.

The Richmond News Leader presents an editorial regarding the Chicago Democratic meeting, suggesting that Socrates had spoken to "Adlitus" and "Trumanides", two young men attending the event, and determined that the meeting had involved knocking the Republicans and the Administration, that the Democrats had insisted that they had been the President's salvation for preserving his program against Republican opposition, as set forth in the new Democratic magazine, Democratic Digest. But Socrates had wondered why, if the Republicans, as the Democrats had contended at the meeting, were bringing the country to ruin and that no person who contributed to that ruin was to be trusted with high office, the Democrats had helped the Administration achieve its program, a statement to which Trumanides took exception for leading Adlitus into a trap which did not exist, as he had meant to say that the Democrats had helped the Administration only with the good things while opposing the evil things. Socrates then wondered whether the Republicans had therefore done some good things, to which Adlitus responded that it was too early in the morning for that sort of discussion, and suggested humor. Socrates, however, wanted to discuss deficit financing, as he said he detected some inconsistency in their views.

At that point, Adlitus and Trumanides departed his company, and so he returned to Michigan Boulevard to while away the morning talking with pigeons, the conversation of which, he found "considerably more lucid and informative".

Drew Pearson indicates that former Attorney General James McGranery was a good friend of the present Attorney General, Herbert Brownell, and that Mr. Brownell had invited Mr. McGranery to meet him for lunch during July, a lunch attended by most of the top new members of the Justice Department. Mr. Brownell asked Mr. McGranery whether he had any advice for them after they had been at the job for six months, to which Mr. McGranery replied in the negative, saying that the period of gestation was nine months and that if he were to be invited back three months hence, he would inform whether "the baby has a father".

Mr. Pearson indicates that when he did so, he might look at the fact that, while the new Justice Department was being run more efficiently than many of the other departments, the effort to clean out corruption had not advanced as swiftly as had been promised. The deportation of gangsters and underworld figures illegally residing in the country had moved especially slowly. Mr. McGranery had listed 133 such persons, but only two had been deported since the new Administration took office. The Justice Department said that 20 gangsters were nearly ready to be deported, that it took time to prepare the papers and proceed through the various appeals. But, suggests Mr. Pearson, that only two had been deported out of 133 during an eight-month period appeared very slow. He notes that the most important person to watch was Frank Costello, as he had more political pull within both political parties than nearly anyone else in New York City.

The President and his scouts had contacted nearly everyone on the labor front to try to find a replacement for Martin Durkin as Secretary of Labor, as the latter had resigned a couple of weeks earlier. Vice-President Nixon was leading the effort to find the replacement and had used the opportunity to try to make some political hay with labor leaders, who had not been too fond of Mr. Nixon in the past. Among those contacted had been Ray Le Haney, head of the Teamsters in Los Angeles and secretary-treasurer of the Union Label & Service Trades, and Congressman Sam McConnell of Philadelphia. Mr. Le Haney was too forthright as a labor man to be accepted in the Cabinet, while Congressman McConnell, as a moderate banker, would make an excellent Secretary, but his resignation from the chairmanship of the House Labor Committee would be a major blow to labor.

Many State Department officials were being allowed to resign of late on the basis that they did not have enough "positive loyalty" to the new Administration. Ambassador to Russia Charles Bohlen was not among them, but following the purge of L. P. Beria in Moscow, he was ordered to return to Washington for consultation. After only five minutes of meeting with Mr. Dulles, however, there was no consultation. When the Administration propaganda expert, C. D. Jackson, asked Ambassador Bohlen at a dinner what he thought of the purge of Mr. Beria, he replied that he guessed he had not had enough "positive loyalty to the new administration."

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