The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 24, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, the Communists this date surrendered to the custody of the Indian troops in the demilitarized zone 359 allied prisoners whom the Communists claimed were resisting repatriation, including 23 Americans, one Briton and 335 South Koreans. The Americans had ridden in Russian-built trucks, loudly singing the Communist "Internationale". They appeared happy and contented. The Communists quoted them as saying that they loved their country and would return when the American people had achieved "freedom". (Sound like a bunch of damned, diehard Trump supporters—brainwashed and McConnellized.) The South Korean prisoners had shouted, "American imperialists, get out!" when they observed U.S. journalists observing the transfer. The lone Briton, a Marine who had served seven years of a 12-year enlistment, was quoted as saying that he was determined to play his "small part in fighting for the better sort of world" in which he believed.

In Tokyo, U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark informed the Communists this date that he considered "wholly unacceptable" the answers by the Communists to U.N. demands for an accounting of missing allied soldiers believed to have been captured by the Communists during the war, again demanding their immediate return. On September 9, the allies had demanded an accounting for 3,404 men, including 944 Americans, who had been identified at some point in time as prisoners. The total was revised upward this date to 3,421. The Communists had responded that some of the men had already been repatriated, that others had been released at the front, that some had escaped, while others had died, but said that most of those on the list had never been prisoners.

In Tokyo, a Communist correspondent, who often spoke for the North Korean and Communist Chinese official position, provided allied newsmen with a list of the 23 Americans and one Briton he said had refused repatriation, with each of the 23 names on the list being among the 944 missing Americans for whom the U.N. Command had sought an accounting. The list of names is provided. The list had also been broadcast by Peiping radio, monitored in Tokyo, though at Panmunjom, military censors had refused to provide the names.

The U.S. this date offered to return to its "rightful owner" the MIG-15 jet which had been surrendered by a North Korean pilot, now seeking political asylum, and the Far East Command withdrew for the duration of the Korean peace talks, set to start in October, the previous offer to pay $50,000 for other surrendered MIGs, having agreed to pay $100,000, as previously promised, for the first surrendered such jet. A statement by General Clark said that the traditional policy of the U.S. to grant political asylum to those seeking freedom remained unchanged. The statement left in limbo whether the plane would be brought to Dayton, O., for further study, as previously indicated.

Near Hanoi, French Union troops, supported by planes and armored and naval units, launched a mop-up action against the Vietminh's "ambush capital" in the Red River delta, 30 miles southeast of Hanoi. The French high command said that "several battalions", possibly 5,000 troops, were driving against several Vietminh units, troublesome for some time within the vital defense area of the delta, principally operating around the town of Huygen. An Associated Press correspondent in Saigon reported that Vietminh losses thus far in the operation were 54 dead and 100 taken prisoner. Figures for the French were not provided. He said that the French were pitted against three Vietminh battalions. Heavy battles were anticipated for this night and the following day. It was the most important mop-up action undertaken in the Tonkin delta and was the first time French Union forces had been engaged directly against the Vietminh in that area.

In Taipeh, Formosa, the commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet, Vice-Admiral Joseph Clark, said this date at a press conference that the U.S. would not become involved if British and Nationalist Chinese naval units clashed off the coast of Communist China. He said that since the U.N. had imposed an embargo, it was a matter for that organization. Chinese Nationalist gunboats had seized some British freighters headed for China and it had been reported that British warships would escort coastal freighters. Admiral Clark had been conferring with Nationalist military leaders for three days in Taipeh, while observing the largest combined maneuvers staged by the Nationalist forces. He said that defense of about 30 Nationalist-held islands just off the coast of Communist China were not the immediate interest of the U.S. He reiterated that the Pescadores, which were in the Formosa channel, were included in the defense zone of the Seventh Fleet, as well as the satellite islands of Formosa, itself. He said that there had been no significant build-up of the Chinese Communist Navy and no sign that they were planning an early attack on Formosa or its offshore islands.

In St. Louis, at the AFL annual convention, Secretary of State Dulles this date advocated a "closer partnership" between the Government and the AFL in a worldwide campaign to "explode the Communist myth" that Communism offered a workers' paradise behind the Iron Curtain. He complimented the AFL for doing more than any other single body to explode that myth, saying that the Communists actually exploited the worker.

The AFL this date, following the message from the President delivered by Vice-President Nixon the previous day, indicating that Taft-Hartley was essentially sound, took the message to mean that the Administration intended to retain most of its major features and so sounded a call to increase political activity in support of changes to the 1947 law, much criticized by labor.

The National Security Council held a three-hour meeting this date to discuss the defense of the continent. The discussion was secret and there was no indication as to decisions, if any, which had been reached. It was generally known that the Council was, at the request of the President, taking a new look at defense budgeting in light of the announcement in August that the Russians had the hydrogen bomb. There were 26 high-level members of the Administration present for the meeting, whereas normally fewer than 12 persons attended. Drew Pearson's column this date further examines why the September 15 deadline for the Joint Chiefs' submission of a budget for the following fiscal year had been delayed, in the wake of the announcement of the Russian hydrogen bomb test.

The President's chief speechwriter, Emmet Hughes, formerly of Life, had resigned and would return to that magazine's staff, to be replaced by Brice Harlow, who had been an assistant White House liaison with Congress.

A Chinese Communist agricultural magazine said that 50 mechanized farms established by Communist China were losing money through inefficient operation.

In Las Vegas, actress Rita Hayworth and actor-singer Dick Haymes were going to be married this date, the third venture at matrimony for each. The simple ceremony would take place in the Gold Room of the Sands Hotel, presided over by a judge, with photographers and reporters outnumbering the invited guests by three to one. It would be quite a contrast to the lavish wedding ceremony of Ms. Hayworth in 1949, when she had married Prince Aly Khan. Only business and legal associates of the couple were invited, along with the two daughters of Ms. Hayworth, one by her union with Orson Welles and the other through the Prince. Mr. Haymes had obtained a divorce from his previous wife in a seven-minute decree obtained the previous day. They were looking for a house in Greenwich, Conn., in the area where most of Mr. Haymes's singing work was situated. Ms. Hayworth said that she planned to commute to Hollywood to continue to make motion pictures. The Government was seeking to deport Mr. Haymes to his native Argentina, but he was confident he would win the case. He was asked whether he had ever tasted any of Ms. Hayworth's cooking, to which he responded, "Who marries Rita Hayworth for cooking?"

In London, Bruce rattled when he walked and rattled louder when he ran. A surgeon discovered five large stones, weighing nearly a pound, being carried around in Bruce's stomach. Bruce's owner said that he must have swallowed some of the stones which he had thrown for him when they went walking together.

On the editorial page, "Questions and Answers about Bonds" examines the upcoming October 3 election on an issue of State bonds of 22 million dollars for mental institutions and 50 million dollars for educational facilities, answering various questions posed by readers regarding the present net general fund indebtedness of the State Government, the net indebtedness of the Highway Fund, the length of time for repayment of the bond issue, which was 20 years, its interest rate through that period, estimated at 2.35 to 2.5 percent, the annual service charge on the indebtedness to the state, estimated at 1.4 million for the 22 million dollars for the mental institutions and 3.2 million for the 50 million in bonds for educational facilities, and finally the margin between revenue and expenditure and whether that margin would disappear and lead to automatic budget cuts if, as expected, 1954 would see a downturn in business productivity.

It concludes that the 1953 General Assembly had boosted revenue estimates beyond the initial recommendations of the Advisory Budget Commission, but if past experience governed, there would be ample room in the general fund budget for the amortization cost of the 72 million in bonds.

If you wish to read some of the other arcane data in the responses to the questions, you may read it for yourself.

"Loss of Young People Hurts State" indicates that the previous May, Harry Golden, editor of the Carolina Israelite in Charlotte, had spoken in Chapel Hill to the North Carolina editorial writers, indicating that 80 percent of black students who were educated in the state were seeking employment opportunities elsewhere, and of the 20 percent remaining, 10 percent became Pullman porters or waiters, and the other 10 percent, government employees or teachers.

It indicates that a news story from Raleigh had brought to mind the point again, indicating that the first two blacks ever accepted at N.C. State had been enrolled in the graduate school of engineering without fanfare. It wonders whether they would find, upon completion of their studies, a job befitting their abilities and training at fair and equal compensation to that of whites, or whether they would find nothing more than menial labor available.

It indicates that since the state had appeared to accept the principle that all citizens were entitled to equal opportunity in education, the state and region would profit little from its educational investment if its trained and talented young people sought employment outside the state because equivalent pay was lower in the South or because doors to opportunity were closed "with the rusty locks of ancient racial prejudice".

So, why are you not heartily endorsing desegregation of the public schools, at least at the junior high and high school levels? Don't you understand the disconnect and hypocrisy, prompted by fear of public reaction?

"Taft-Hartley Objectives Are Sound" indicates that the President's calm and reasonable message to the AFL convention in St. Louis, as delivered by Vice-President Nixon, ought put an end to the disagreement between former Secretary of Labor Martin Durkin and the White House, Mr. Durkin having resigned claiming that the President had reneged on his promise to submit to Congress 19 labor-approved amendments to the Taft-Hartley Act. The message of the President did not specifically deny the claim, renewing the campaign pledge he had made to revise Taft-Hartley and to send to Congress during January recommendations for revision.

It suggests that the pledge to submit amendments favored by Mr. Durkin and labor was less important at present than the President's overall approach to remedy the defects which had caused concern to labor, including administration of the act in a manner which would be "efficient, speedy and impartial", allowing for the healthy growth of trade unions while respecting the rights of individual workers, their employers, and the general public, and working to provide less, rather than more, Government interference in labor-management affairs. It finds those objectives put forth in the message to be fair and just to labor, while also not selling the country short just to please labor.

"Suggestion" agrees with Charlotte Mayor Philip Van Every's effort to cut down the number of proclamations which his office issued, finding it probable that the world would get along just as well without so many mayoral proclamations.

A piece from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, titled "Concerning Inequities", indicates that it was difficult to imagine the enormous social progress which had been made during the previous 50 years unless the figures were compared. In 1900, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the average income of steelworkers had been $400 per year, $1,300 if adjusted for interim inflation, whereas the present yearly wage for U.S. Steel workers was $4,120. The President of U.S. Steel earned $261,000 presently, whereas Andrew Carnegie, owner of Carnegie Steel, which had been merged into U.S. Steel, earned 23 million dollars per year at the turn of the century.

It concludes that it was a good thing that the disparity between the workers' wages and the salary of the president of the company had been rectified, but that it was much more important that the current U.S. Steel Corp. was owned by 268,000 stockholders. Through the process of owning stock, many ordinary citizens owned the industries, and anything which penalized big business, it asserts, therefore penalized the people. It urges remembering that whenever budget-makers wanted to hit the corporations with higher taxes, which, it ventures, would continue the inequities rather than eliminating them.

But how many, if any, shares are owned by the average individual?

Drew Pearson indicates that Defense Secretary Charles E. Wilson had been nervous the previous week because the Joint Chiefs had gone beyond their September 15 deadline for submitting figures on the military budget for the ensuing fiscal year. The delay had been caused by the announcement in August that the Russians had the hydrogen bomb, causing the Joint Chiefs not to be able to estimate military needs until a decision had been made by the White House regarding whether the U.S. would erect an adequate defense to the hydrogen bomb and whether the money for it would come from the military budget, and whether the President would abide by his budget-balancing program or sacrifice it for the sake of defense. The Chiefs could not answer those questions, which were within the decision-making province of Secretary Wilson and the President.

Mr. Pearson provides some background showing that the nation was in great danger, woefully unprepared to meet an atomic attack. A report known as "Project East River" had made that point, causing argument and disagreement within the military. A second report, prepared by MIT, called the "Lincoln Summer Study", had come to nearly the same conclusion, but the National Security Council remained unconvinced until President Truman jarred them from their complacency. At that point, former Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett ordered a third report, headed by M. J. Kelly, head of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, and the previous January 19, another committee had been appointed under General Idwal Edwards, both of which also concluded that the country was in danger from an atomic attack.

Despite those reports, President Eisenhower decided that another report was necessary and appointed General Harold Bull, who had been one of his most trusted officers during the D-Day invasion in 1944, to study the problem further. That report was now complete and was equally alarming, recommending less money be spent than had the Kelly committee, but even so, recommending that ten billion dollars, and possibly more, be added to the national budget during a five-year period. The alternatives were to scrap some of the existing national defense, such as two or three infantry divisions, or to increase taxes. That was why, he concludes, that the Joint Chiefs had delayed in rendering their budget for the next fiscal year.

Marquis Childs tells of colleges and universities undergoing a fiscal crisis because of still rising prices, which tuition costs were not covering, despite tuitions being raised repeatedly. Independent colleges, which had in the past heavily contributed to American thought and research, were especially having it difficult, forcing them to turn to Federal grants, as had the larger colleges and universities to solve their financial crisis. But in doing so, they would also sacrifice to a degree their academic independence.

For instance, the Defense Department had required that any university or college providing correspondence courses for servicemen under the educational program of the Armed Forces Institute would have to have a clause in its contracts providing that the college or university would not employ or retain anyone assigned to teach the correspondence courses, deemed unacceptable to the Government. Many educational institutions had objected that the provision would violate academic freedom and the right of the college or university to judge the intellect and integrity of its instructors. Fourteen universities announced that they would withdraw from their contracts rather than be forced to adhere to the requirement, which included UNC among other state universities which he lists. Twenty-eight universities accepted the contract. Assistant Secretary of Defense John Hannah, in charge of manpower and personnel, president on leave of Michigan State, had been trying to reassure the university administrations, telling them that the Defense Department did not expect to approve or disapprove entire faculties, that only a security clearance would be necessary for those faculty members teaching the correspondence course and that the Department would not pass on the content of the course.

Many felt that it was an opening wedge, however, for further Federal Government involvement in state education, as the military research programs were providing a subsidy which was increasingly important to the budgets of the educational institutions.

The previous summer, at the Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia, one of the nation's foremost physicists, Dr. Merle Tuve, warned that the Defense Department and the Atomic Energy Commission had contracts during fiscal year 1953 worth 330 million dollars with non-profit institutions, of which 135 million had gone directly to the instructional departments in connection with their own students and research activities. Those amounts indicated the power being wielded over college finances. Dr. Tuve warned that under such a program, all research would be harnessed to the practical and immediate necessities of the military, undermining independent research, a part of the quest for truth.

Joseph Alsop, in Manila, begins by stating that Rudyard Kipling had dismissed his fellow Englanders by saying, "They nothing know of England who only England know." Mr. Alsop regards the level of knowledge of Americans of the country's involvement in the world producing a comparable situation, that no one at home, including himself, had realized that the U.S. was essentially now running a candidate in a critical election in the Philippines, that being Ramon Magsaysay, running for the presidency against the incumbent, Elpidio Quirino.

The aged and ailing President Quirino had come to office through an election rife with fraud and continued to represent almost every backward trend in the Philippines and Asia generally, surrounded by a clique which had angered even tolerant Manila. If he were to win the election, it would be through the most ruthless use of his control of the Army and Government machinery, his only visible supports within the nation.

In contrast, Mr. Magsaysay stood crudely for the future for which Asia might reasonably hope, which also might be cheated from the people by a powerful coalition of corrupt ruling elements and the Communists. He was a national hero, having fought against the Japanese during World War II, was rough-hewn and a bit politically naïve, while also being "explosively courageous, angrily honest, and above all possessed of a vision of the future that has made him a hero of his people."

The Philippines was a poor country in which only a few had great wealth, but it also had untapped riches, with a frontier in Mindanao, Mindoro and Palawan which held almost the promise of the American frontier in earlier times. Mr. Magsaysay held forth the promise of national self-development and hard-working progress toward a better life for the people.

The U.S. had become involved in promoting his candidacy during a time when the Philippine Government was living off of American aid, which was instrumental in making him Minister of Defense, a Ministry which he had cleaned out, eliminating graft and politics from within the Philippine Army, breathing new life into the military campaign against the Huks, Communist guerrillas. During that time, he worked intimately with the U.S. Embassy and military advisers. So close was the relationship that President Quirino had charged that U.S. liaison officer, Colonel Edward Lansdale, had acted as his public relations man.

Since that time, Mr. Magsaysay had left the Cabinet to run for the presidency. In the meantime, Admiral Raymond Spruance, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines, had maintained an appropriate attitude of neutrality in the political campaign. Yet twice, the President had accused the Embassy of intervening, though the charges had been withdrawn by the President's supporters. The actual attitude, however, of the U.S. Government was discernible in the fact that no Administration leader had been to see President Quirino during his recent three-month stay in a U.S. hospital.

Thus, as a practical matter, Mr. Magsaysay was the American choice for the Philippine presidency, to be decided in November. He hardly denied the fact, which could have far-reaching effects upon the future of Asia, which Mr. Alsop promises to develop in another column.

Robert C. Ruark, in Sidi Bel Abbes, Algeria, says that since he had read Beau Geste as a child, he had always wanted to come to the town, home of the French Foreign Legion, but that he had not found what he expected. It had a few rich people, wheat farmers and grape-growers who catered to the French wine tastes, many being sons and grandsons of Legionnaires who had stayed on after their fighting days. It did not appear as other Algerian towns, as it was built around the square barracks which housed the Legion. The streets were broad and the avenues ample.

Presently, the Legionnaires were paid 6,000 francs per month, the equivalent of about $20, three times that if fighting overseas, as in Indo-China, plus a ration of black tobacco, a liter of wine, and three square meals per day. The Legion was primarily now composed of Germans, Hungarians, Poles, Italians and Spaniards. The French could not legally join the Legion, but many simply changed their name to sound as another nationality and joined anyway. The individual signed up for five years of service, and as long as they could pass the physical, were accepted. Equipment had advanced to the level of tommy-guns and jeeps, and the Legion had a parachute corps and an amphibious corps. They chased very few Arabs, except in the remotest desert outposts. They served as highway patrol on the Saharan trans-desert highway, but mostly served in Indo-China, where they were dying rapidly. After serving the five years, they could become French citizens and could re-enlist for shorter periods.

"I nearly dropped dead when I saw a flock of the titans lolling around a shop which said, plainly, Milk Bar, and enjoying flavors that reached from raspberry to 'lait parfume'. I dropped a little deader when I saw the rugged warriors busily engaged in tilting slot machines in an arcade."

He concludes that there were some areas of the town which were just as tough as they had been in the days of Beau Geste, when a man had "his ears cut off in a spirit of pleasantry".

Speaking of the Geste family and other mercenaries, we achieved our daily dose of entertainment from viewing this short report this date from OAN—which, we take it, stands for Onionized News for Asses and Idiots—providing its take on the 2020 election, which is by no means over, says the report, 13 days after election day and more than a week after the election was called for President-elect Biden by the major networks and news organizations—who, we are constantly reminded by the far right, do not call elections, something we didn't know. The joke comments below the "report", wink-wink, further the gag, in true Onion fashion. Those clowns, will they ever stop with the joke news? And the incomparable size of the million-MAGA rallies... Next, they will be saying that, actually, Sarah Palin is president-elect because of a little-known provision in the Constitution which says that if the election does not produce a winner in the electoral college, the Republicans in the state legislatures get to select whomever they want, regardless of the popular vote nationally or in each state. Hold up there: the recounts are still going on because the fake mail-in ballots found after the official counting ended at midnight election day, as everyone knows is the traditional deadline for counting votes, came in too late and have to be discarded because they were morning votes. Some of the jokesters have even said that they would be fine with just holding the election again, reaching into the realm of black humor by insisting that people again risk their lives with in-person voting. But, of course, the pandemic is a Democratic hoax anyway, and so the fact that Trump got it means he is part of the hoax, and so...

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