The Charlotte News

Friday, September 25, 1953


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, the Korean Repatriation Commission this date postponed until the following Thursday the beginning of the efforts by the allies and Communists to coax home prisoners who were refusing repatriation, held by Indian troops in the demilitarized zone for 90 days for that purpose, the period to begin when the interviewing process would begin. There were 22,600 former Communist prisoners in that grouping and 359 allied prisoners, of whom 23 were Americans. The five-nation neutral commission said that the delay was occasioned because of the fact that arrangements and facilities for the interviews had not been completed. There were difficulties in obtaining agreement between the Communists and allies on whether, as insisted upon by the Communists, the interviews would be conducted with individual prisoners, or, as demanded by the allies, in groups of 25. The U.N. Command also wanted prisoners to have the right to refuse to listen to the explanations, whereas the Communists demanded that all prisoners would be required to listen.

At the U.N. this date in New York, France offered to negotiate with the Communists for peace in Indo-China, suggesting that the upcoming Korean political conference be broadened to embrace that negotiation, that if it were not placed on the agenda, then it might be taken up diplomatically after the conference. Deputy Foreign Minister Maurice Shumann also told the General Assembly that France would do all within its power to have the conference invite India to join it, a proposal made by U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the prior Tuesday, though the U.S. remained opposed to India's inclusion.

Senator Lester Hunt of Wyoming, member of the Armed Services Committee, said that it was no time to cut defense expenditures for the purpose of fulfilling Republican campaign promises to cut taxes. Senator John Williams of Delaware, member of the Finance Committee, said, however, that he believed, barring unforeseen emergencies, that taxes could be lowered and the budget balanced without compromising national defense. They expressed their viewpoints in separate interviews.

In St. Louis, the AFL's annual convention was concluding this date, with a "no-raiding" agreement with the CIO set for delegate approval. The agreement would prevent both organizations from raiding unions within the other organization to try to get members to switch allegiance between unions. It was regarded as a first step toward merger of the two labor organizations.

In Hartford, Conn., a representative of the Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., having just completed an assessment of answers to questionnaires submitted to 145 major companies, said that college graduates the following June would find jobs paying up to $375 per month. Of those responding, 64 companies said they would definitely provide the college graduates the following spring with a higher starting salary than they had in the current year. None of the responding companies said that they would pay less.

In Nuremberg, Germany, 100,000 residents took refuge in emergency air raid shelters for two and a half hours this date while demolition experts defused an Allied two-ton blockbuster bomb dropped during the war, which turned out to be the biggest undetonated bomb found in Germany since the end of the war.

Moscow radio, as monitored in Tokyo, said this night that six North Korean officials, including Premier Kim Il Sung, had left Moscow by plane for home this date.

In Japan, fierce winds and rain from the season's 13th typhoon were bearing down on Tokyo this night, after 12 had died, 22 were missing and 49 injured from the typhoon. Some 8,000 homes had been flooded in Osaka, where ten persons were missing.

Parts of southern and eastern Florida were battling flood waters this date, while more rain was forecast for the entire state.

In New Orleans, the Weather Bureau said that Hurricane Florence was headed for the Gulf Coast area between Mobile, Ala., and St. Marks, Fla., packing winds up to 120 mph. The center of the hurricane was 340 miles south of Mobile, moving at a rate northward of about 18 mph.

In Charleston, S.C., damage from abnormally high tides continued to hit beaches this date, as the third seven-foot, ten-inch tide in three mornings hit Folly Beach and Edisto Island. The high tides were expected to continue through Sunday.

In Burlington, N.C., two young women, one from High Point and the other from Greensboro, had been charged with theft of three dollars from a man, and two other women from Greensboro were charged with aiding and abetting the crime. The four young women had been watching a television program through the main window of a television store Wednesday night when a dance number appeared on the screen, prompting the young women to begin dancing along. The man then happened by and joined the dance, then, according to the women, made an improper advance toward one of them, who then got into a battle with him. One of the other women pulled her away, and the man ran across the street. The women crossed the street after him and demanded that he apologize. When he refused, the four young women "mopped up the sidewalk with him", according to police officers. His wallet fell out of his pocket during the melee, and when he recovered it, he said that his three dollars was missing. Police then arrested the four young women. Their ages were not provided. Nor was their class.

On the editorial page, "How the School Bonds Will Be Spent" explains how the proposed 50 million dollars in school bonds, on the October 3 ballot, would be spent, with 10 million to be divided equally among the 100 counties of the state and 15 million divided based on a per student basis, with the remaining 25 million allocated according to need as determined by the State Board of Education on the basis of standards prescribed by it and approved by the Governor. It favors passage of the measure to aid the schools in building much needed new facilities to meet overcrowding from all the little baby boomers.

"Courts Can Be Too Lenient" indicates that when Special Judge Peyton McSwain of Shelby had presided over the criminal court in Charlotte during the week, he had released a defendant on probation after he had pleaded guilty to manslaughter, causing some controversy. Another defendant received a sentence of only five to seven years for second degree murder. A third defendant, with a long criminal record and charged with assault with intent to kill, carrying a concealed weapon and assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly shooting at two women and hitting one of them in the foot, was sentenced to three years, suspended on condition that he pay court costs. Defense attorneys took the hint and began having their clients plead guilty to receive lenient sentencing. It lists several other defendants and their sentences.

It questions whether the Judge had exceeded wisdom with such sentences, though recognizing his discretion in doing so. It suggests that such sentencing demoralized law enforcement when a defendant sentenced to 12 months in a lower court could then receive probation on appeal and trial de novo in Superior Court.

"Operation Candor Coming Up" indicates that Washington correspondents believed that the President and his top Cabinet officials would deliver a series of addresses on the defense problems in the country with respect to the air-atomic capability of the Soviets and the need of the U.S. to bolster its air defense and radar net, the addresses to take place weekly in October and November, part of "Operation Candor", designed to level with the people on the situation and enable them to understand better the need for increasing defense expenditures. While the President had not yet officially announced the program or decided whether it would occur, the piece urges that it ought and that it should be as candid as security permitted, a process which the newspaper had for some time advocated.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Ugly, Dangerous Roadsides", comments on the fact that the State was spending millions of dollars to improve its roads, while dangerous and unsightly roadside businesses were springing up along the way. It cites U.S. 29, between Charlotte and Salisbury, as an example, with an assortment of service stations, motels, restaurants, beer joints and other commercial entities having been established along the route, together with their ugly and distracting billboards pointing the way, while blocking the vision of motorists and prompting them suddenly to turn off the highway and then re-enter after transacting their business. The danger was even greater at night, when blinking neon signs added further distractions.

If you made safe haven, however, you could be entertained within by the frosty, cool air conditioning and free tv and pool, until the Nazi arrived.

It favors control of the land adjoining such roads through zoning ordinances, to limit the number of businesses to certain areas.

Drew Pearson indicates that there had been a lot of speculation as to what the President meant by his use of the word "tax" when he had stated in Boston that "no sacrifice, no labor, no tax, no service" was too hard for the country to bear in defense of its freedom. A few days earlier, the President had approved preparation by his fiscal aides of a far-reaching national sales tax in the form of a manufacturers' Federal excise tax. Treasury experts had concluded that since it did not have to be collected by retailers, it would not be so unpopular as a retail sales tax. It was based on the Canadian sales tax, which exempted food and a few other essentials but otherwise applied to all consumer products. The President had been advised that it would meet with great resentment from some groups in Congress, but the President had nevertheless indicated his willingness to proceed. Mr. Pearson notes that on April 16, he had published a secret report prepared for Assistant Secretary of Commerce Craig Sheaffer, the fountain pen manufacturer who had since resigned his post, which had proposed a concealed propaganda campaign to promote a national sales tax. It proposed utilizing civic organizations, television programs, trade associations and the like to educate public opinion and promote the right atmosphere for its implementation.

When Attorney General Herbert Brownell had first taken office in January, he had let it be known that he would select the highest caliber lawyer possible for the office of Solicitor General, even seeking the advice of the late Chief Justice Fred Vinson on who to name. Yet, he had still not selected a person for the post.

Congressman Harold Cooley of North Carolina the previous week, during the meeting of the Democrats, was about to invite Adlai Stevenson to another Chicago cocktail party until Margaret Truman grabbed the former Governor of Illinois by the arm to keep him at the party where he was guest of honor.

Bill Kittrell of Texas had remarked at the Chicago meeting that when one saw Chip Robert, Ed Pauley and Dick Reynolds, three former treasurers of the DNC, present at a meeting, one could be sure that things were picking up for the Democrats.

After the State Department had proposed that the Korean peace conference take place in San Francisco, Honolulu or Geneva, someone in the Department had begun pressuring Britain and France to agree to hold the conference almost any other place than San Francisco and Honolulu, after realizing the large number of Chinese citizens in San Francisco and Manila who might cause problems for the Chinese Communist delegates, fearful of assassination attempts from Nationalist Chinese, as well as the fact that non-Nationalist Chinese in San Francisco's Chinatown and Manila might be swayed by Communist Chinese propaganda to stage demonstrations. The State Department now had wished it had proposed only Geneva as the site.

Some of the President's foreign policy advisers were urging him to attend the NATO foreign ministers conference in Paris in December to provide a pep talk for the European defense program. The President's doctors would have the final word, and had already been unhappy about the number of political speeches he was making around the country, advising him to spend more time in Augusta, Ga., with one of his doctors also recommending that he eliminate golf from his schedule.

Marquis Childs tells of Secretary of Interior Douglas McKay and others in the Administration appearing naïvely surprised at the fact that public power had become entangled in partisan politics. That should not have been a surprise, as the issue of public power would be involved in the 1954 Congressional campaigns, as more than two million farm families in the country in 44 states had built up their own rural electric systems with Government loans during the previous 20 years, resulting in 90 percent of farms in the country having central station power, which farmers used for their basic farm operations as well as daily comfort, compared to only 10 percent of the farms having had electricity prior to 1933 when FDR came into office.

A provision of the Flood Control Act of 1944 provided co-op users a preference in the purchase of power from Federal projects, but in recent months, farm leaders had begun to feel that their rights and privileges were being taken away, a collateral issue to the declining farm prices and rising industrial prices plaguing the farmers generally.

In the past, the Republicans had claimed political benefit from Government power, with Governor Dewey, during the 1948 presidential campaign, boasting that the Republican 80th Congress had made more money available for rural electric co-ops than any previous Congress, the total for 1948 having been 400 million dollars. Some of the same campaign rhetoric of Republicans had occurred in the 1952 campaign. Yet, the first Eisenhower Administration budget requested only 120 million dollars for rural electric co-ops, and the Republican Congress increased that amount to 180 million.

But the concern of farmers was direct access by the co-ops to publicly developed power, rather than the amount of Federal funds which could be loaned to expand the co-op system. The farmers wanted to have the right to run their own high voltage lines to link their own systems and not be dependent on a private utility for transmitting that power, for which a charge would be made. The Georgia Electric Membership Corp., for instance, which represented 27 co-ops in that state, had sought to purchase power from the Federally-developed Clark Hill project, a request rejected by the Interior Department, which instead signed an interim contract through the Southeastern Power Administration with the Georgia Power Co. to make the power available. The Georgia farmers thought they had low-cost power, which they believed was being taken from them, causing them anger. That resentment was not confined only to Georgia.

Senator Wallace Bennett of Utah had recently addressed the American Bankers Association, telling them that if enterprise was to be free, it had to be enterprising, pointing out that the Administration had abolished the RFC, leaving it up to the banks to make the loans to small and new businesses which RFC had previously provided. If such private loans failed to fill the gap, then Congress would be required to establish a new RFC. Mr. Childs indicates that it was questionable whether that same common sense approach applied to electric power. The theory for having the Government develop power projects was based on the notion that additional benefits, such as flood control, navigation and irrigation, could then be provided, an argument which would be debated vigorously, says Mr. Childs, in the coming months.

Joseph Alsop, in Manila, as he had promised the previous day, further explores the upcoming presidential election in the Philippines, between incumbent President Elpidio Quirino and challenger Ramon Magsaysay, the latter favored by the U.S. There was little doubt about the outcome, as President Quirino and his Liberals had lost the support of the country, and Mr. Magsaysay, the Nationalist-Democratic candidate, would be assured of a large popular majority by the fact of General Carlos Romulo having led his Democrats into coalition with the Nationalists. The ordinary people of the country, the businessmen of Manila and the left wing labor leaders all supported the challenger enthusiastically. Only the members of his own political machine and its beneficiaries of special favor were supporting the President. Thus, the incumbent could only win through force or fraud or a combination of the two. The remaining question, therefore, was whether the lead of Mr. Magsaysay was enough to overcome attempts by the Quirino machine to steal the election.

The Quirino Administration was reshuffling the provincial and municipal treasurers, responsible for reporting the vote. The removal of the chief of staff, General Calixto Duque, had only been prevented by premature publicity of the intent. In the lower ranks, however, capable, non-political officers who had been promoted while Mr. Magsaysay had been Minister of Defense, had recently been transferred to school assignments and the like, while important provincial commands had been conferred on officers previously purged or passed over for their incompetence and bad behavior.

The partisans behind President Quirino were preparing the instruments of force and fraud, though perhaps the President might, in the end, choose a different course of conduct. Mr. Magsaysay had been a brilliant guerrilla leader during World War II and there was some evidence that a guerrilla organization supporting him, sworn to enforce a free election, was growing up in the key provinces. There was also talk in Manila that if the election were stolen for the President, there would be a revolution. Under such circumstances, the Philippine Senate, which was predominantly Nationalist, would initially refuse to certify that the President had been duly elected, and if that should fail, the most respectable Nationalist and Democratic Party leaders would vow to lead a revolt. If, however, there was a free election and the President won it fairly, the attitude was that it was the bad luck of the opposition.

The outcome of the election was important to Americans, not only because Mr. Magsaysay was the first choice of the U.S. Government, having become so without U.S. action or support of any kind, based entirely on his past close links to U.S. policy while he fought the Communist Huks, but moreover because if the incumbent were re-elected through fraud and force, it would end any hope of political development of the Philippines, the most politically mature of the free nations of Asia. There could result a drop in world demand for Philippine products, leading to consequent poverty and unemployment, tending to favor the Huks.

Mr. Alsop allows for the possibility that Manila opinion was misleading and that perhaps the Philippines as a whole preferred the President instead of Mr. Magsaysay, but if the election were honestly held, there was little fear from its result. A fair election held out the promise to build the Philippines into a bastion of freedom in Asia, while the other type of result meant the eventual loss of the Philippines as a significant partner in the free world. He suggests that those who doubted the significance of the election, therefore, needed only to be reminded of the situation in Korea.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.