The Charlotte News

Tuesday, January 12, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Seoul, the U.N. Command this date agreed to meet with Communist liaison officers two days hence to discuss resumption of negotiations for the beginning of the Korean peace conference, which had originally been set by the Armistice to begin 90 days after it was signed, or by October 28, but had been delayed since by the Communist insistence that neutral nations be allowed to participate, which the U.N. Command firmly opposed, with the exception that Russia could participate on the side of the Communists, provided that North Korea and Communist China assented, but otherwise would be limited to the belligerent nations in the war. State Department representative Kenneth Young had stated in a note to the Communist high command that he was sending his liaison secretary to Panmunjom to discuss conditions for resumption of the preliminary talks. Those talks had been broken off on December 12 when the U.S. State Department special envoy Arthur Dean had walked out after Communist negotiators had accused the U.S. of conspiring with South Korean President Syngman Rhee to release the 27,000 North Korean prisoners in mid-June and Mr. Dean took it to be an accusation of perfidy.

The dispute had still not been resolved over the release by the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission of the 22,500 non-repatriating prisoners of war on January 23, a date insisted upon by the U.N. Command as in accord with the Armistice, while the Communists wanted the prisoners held longer and the explanations period, which had ended December 23, resumed.

In Seoul, two Koreans were convicted this date of betraying Maj. General William Dean to the Communists in 1950, and one was sentenced to death, the other, to life imprisonment. The prosecution had only sought five-year prison terms for each defendant, but the judge saw the matter more seriously. Both defendants had admitted accepting five-dollar rewards from the Communists following the capture of General Dean, but insisted that they had been trying to help him after he was captured. The General had written to President Rhee seeking clemency for the two men, but the judge said that the letter was not in the record before the court and so it could not take judicial notice of it.

In Washington, an attorney from Charlotte disclosed this date in testimony to the Government's subversive activities control board, part of an investigation of the Jefferson School of Social Science in New York, that he had joined the North Carolina Communist Party in 1948 as an undercover agent reporting to the FBI. He said that he had learned during his indoctrination into Communism that the Communists in North Carolina were in a criminal conspiracy dedicated to overthrow of the government. He said that he was instructed in Marxism and the tenets of the party by Junius Scales of Carrboro and Greensboro, the chairman of the North Carolina and South Carolina district of the party. He said that he had been a student at Duke University Law School and division sales manager of the Carolina Motor Club, Inc., at the time he joined the party, after contacting the Government in April, 1948, offering to penetrate the party. Several months later, he had been contacted by an FBI agent who said that the Bureau doubted he could get into the party in North Carolina, but he had written a postcard to Mr. Scales, in answer to which he had received a box of Communist literature and propaganda, plus an invitation to visit Mr. Scales at his home.

The Northeast was digging out of its worst snowstorm in five years this date, as clearing skies brought a forecast of increasingly cold weather. The storm had started on Sunday afternoon and had caused at least 60 deaths and left up to a foot of snow in some areas. The deaths occurred between the District of Columbia and New England, including Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. New York recorded 9.6 inches of snow, the most since a 15-inch snowfall in 1949. Philadelphia had ten inches. Sleet extended as far south as North Carolina the previous day, and there was snow in Georgia.

In the area of Vorarlberg, Austria, more than 100 persons had been killed or were missing in a major avalanche, according to police at Bregenz. More than 50 of the victims remained missing. Other avalanches throughout central Europe had claimed at least 23 lives and left 44 missing. Rising temperatures were melting the snow and causing the avalanches. Three years earlier, more than 124 persons had been buried alive in a similar avalanche.

In Baltimore, three children playing in the snow on a Baltimore sidewalk the previous night had witnessed the fatal shooting of a man in a parked car, as the killer fled into the darkness after one of the children called out that he had seen the man do the shooting. The victim had been shot in the head three times while both men sat in the car, and the chief inspector said that the three children, all siblings, might be in extreme danger and so they were not identified. Sounds like the beginning of a film noir movie.

In New York, a 42-day strike against 36 of the American Can Co.'s plants ended this date when negotiators signed a new contract providing for the equivalent of a 15-cents per hour increase package for the workers. The strike had caused shortages of fiber milk containers in some areas and had caused worry among citrus fruit canners of a threatened shortage in cans.

In Charlotte, a former New York magazine cover girl and actress, who had been declared dead by an insurance company which had paid a death claim after a seven-year search for her failed to find any sign of her, had appeared at Douglas Airport this date, greeted by her tearful mother, whom she had not seen since 1927. Her mother did not initially recognize her as she was blinded by tears and a strong wind, but finally picked her out and the two embraced. Her daughter had called on December 14 from Mexico City after being out of contact for 17 years. There is no indication of what had happened to her in the interim or why she had disappeared and was declared dead. Thank you very much for that enlightening story.

Also in Charlotte, the preliminary hearing continued on the charges against Police Chief Frank Littlejohn that he had permitted illegal gambling to transpire in Charlotte, with the judge stating that he did not believe that which the principal witness for the State, Alonzo Squires, had said in court this date in follow-up to his prior testimony the previous week that the Moose Club had given the Chief Christmas gifts in exchange for overlooking the illegal gambling at the club. Mr. Squires, who was congenitally blind, said that he wanted to take the stand again, indicating that the Chief had raided the Moose Club at the request of Mr. Squires and had taken away the slot machines but that later the machines had been returned with the Chief's approval. The judge said that he thought Mr. Squires had it in for the Chief after the club had profited from the illegal gambling, and Mr. Squires responded that if the judge did not believe him, he did not wish to testify any further, at which point the judge stated that he did not believe him but that if he wanted to continue, he could, that none of his testimony had been corroborated. Mr. Squires stated as he left the stand that he did not believe gambling could have transpired had it not been permitted, to which the judge responded sharply, "Yes, and you were one of the cogs that permitted it." Testimony had come out the previous day that Mr. Squires had been expelled from the Moose Club for the gambling activity. Another witness, Keith Beaty, a taxicab company operator who had recently been convicted on three counts of income tax evasion, told the court that he knew of no gambling in Charlotte and that he had never discussed illegal business with the operator of a former nightclub or anyone else, that he had been in business since he was 17 and it had always been legitimate. Whether the judge believed him or not is not indicated. The State then rested its case, and it was not anticipated that the defense would present any evidence, as it was only a preliminary hearing.

In Chicago, an unidentified taxpayer had apparently become disgusted while trying to figure out his income tax, as the district internal revenue director received the previous day a bulky envelope containing 150 paid bills and business receipts, plus streetcar transfers, the taxpayer apparently expecting the Government to do his work for him. The director returned the package along with a tax form and a book of instructions.

On the editorial page, "The President's 'New' Farm Plan" indicates that the President's unveiled farm plan was not really new but represented the maximum he could optimistically expect to get passed in an evenly divided Congress in an election year where members were sensitive to the farm vote. The program is then detailed, as it had been the previous day on the front page, the main feature of which having been the proposed conversion to a flexible support price system during the ensuing crop year to replace the fixed-price supports under current law, thus encouraging production in times of crop shortage and discouraging over-production and surplus when prices were high. Another feature was that all surpluses held by the Government could only be used for school lunchrooms, disaster relief and for stockpiling in the event of a national emergency.

It indicates that it would be criminally wasteful to permit surplus commodities to deteriorate, as they had at times under the current system. The loss to taxpayers by contributing those surplus crops to beneficial use could be offset by better production control into the future.

The most unexpected of the proposals was that production payments to wool producers be attempted, as the plan of former Secretary of Agriculture under President Truman, Charles Brannan, had put forth a plan based on production payments for all basic crops, including perishables, a plan which had been denounced by Republicans as "socialism". Under the President's plan, only applicable to wool, the price of domestic wool would be permitted to drop to its natural level and producers would be paid the difference between that price and 90 percent of parity, the same basic idea as applied to all crops under the Brannan plan.

It hopes that the Congress would approve the flexible support price proposal, as it finds it more sensible than fixed-price supports. It finds that overall, the proposed policy was intelligent and represented a sincere attempt to improve the farm policy, challenging Congress to rise above political considerations and give the plan bipartisan support.

"They Just Pile 'Em up in Charlotte" indicates again that it finds it strange that more midtown merchants in Charlotte were not actively advocating off-street parking facilities as they suffered the most from traffic jams produced by inadequate parking. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce had estimated that each parking space was worth about $20,000 in retail sales. A survey in San Bernardino, Calif., had indicated that one department store with a 1,000-stall parking lot next to it had about two and a half times more sales per square foot of sales area than did a competitor store without parking facilities. In Washington, there was an automatic garage where cars were stacked via elevators, the only one of its kind thus far in the nation. In Silver Spring, Md., the city had planned and provided for its future by laying out several thousand off-street parking facilities.

But in Charlotte, it complains, the engineers were using the "pile 'em up" system".

"For Jeffersonian Experts, a Quest" indicates that recently an editorial in the newspaper had commented, "that government is best which governs least", attributing the quote to Thomas Jefferson without first checking it, eventually determining that there was no such quote listed in the resources, that the closest thing to it was a quote from W. H. Channing, "The less of government the better, if society be kept in peace and prosperity." Austin Phelps had said: "Other things being equal, that is the best government which most liberally lets its subject or citizen alone… Through the whole range of authority, he governs best who governs least." And Ralph Waldo Emerson had said, "The less government we have the better…"

A call to the Public Library did not turn up any other information, and so in correcting the later edition of the newspaper, they had attributed the quote to Mr. Emerson and deleted the reference to Mr. Jefferson. It indicates, however, that they were still annoyed by the idea that there had to be some quote of the type attributed to Thomas Jefferson, and invites any readers with information on the subject to provide enlightenment.

A piece from the The Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Something New under the Sun", indicates that in Tennessee, they were keeping pine logs fresh for use, whereas normally when stacked on the ground, they decayed in about 30 days. Big paper mills, for instance, had been unable therefore to maintain sufficient stockpiles during the off-season for logging. The manager of a paper company about 50 miles northeast of Chattanooga had come up with the idea of immersing the logs in water to prevent decay, and so built a pond for the purpose where the logs were stored until needed. The plan had worked and they were able to store 30,000 cords of wood, sufficient for six weeks of continuous paper production.

The piece concludes that knowledge and imagination when conjoined would eliminate other roadblocks for industry as well.

Stewart Alsop indicates that possibly the toughest row ahead for the Administration with Congress would have to do with Senator McCarthy, who, it was believed, would renew his attack on the Administration, probably by way of Secretary of State Dulles, whom he had begun attacking in December, planning to associate him with former Secretary of State Acheson, Alger Hiss, Carter Vincent and Owen Lattimore by the fact of Mr. Dulles's former service in the Carnegie Institute and the connection of his former law partner and envoy to Korea, Arthur Dean, to the Institute of Pacific Relations, an organization which Senator McCarthy and HUAC had sought to tie to sympathy for Communist China, especially through Mr. Lattimore. But when Postmaster General Arthur Summerfield became aware of what the Senator intended to say in that regard, he persuaded the Senator to issue a mild statement, which was less than a final break with the Administration.

The Republican extremists were upset with the President's refusal to hearken back to the turn-of-the-century McKinley era or even to that of former President Herbert Hoover, and after the President's January 7 State of the Union message, there was considerable muttering among these Republicans about "the damn New Dealer in the White House". The latter group did not necessarily admire Senator McCarthy, but he was their natural leader and rallying point, and to maintain that position, he had to continue on the offensive.

It was generally believed in Congress that the Senator's attack on Secretary Dulles would take the form of the China trade issue and that the Senator would seek to attach a rider to the foreign aid bill denying or limiting aid to any nation which traded with China, an attempt at which he had made the previous session, but only halfheartedly, achieving 34 votes. This time he would undertake the effort full-bore, and given that it was an election year, such an emotional issue filled with anti-Communist sentiment might be hard to resist for some members of Congress.

Mr. Alsop speculates that Senator McCarthy might now seek to attack Mr. Dulles on the ground that he was harboring "Acheson Democrats" still in the Administration, which would include all of the top professional foreign service officers. He indicates that whatever form the attack might take, it was not likely that the Senator would be gentle with Secretary Dulles indefinitely. No one had ever defied the Senator without sooner or later suffering an attack, and the Secretary had gone on the attack in his response to the Senator's November 25 "perfumed notes" speech, contending that the Secretary had been too soft in his diplomacy with U.S. allies. Such attacks were the reason why so many politicians were terrified of Senator McCarthy, the essential ingredient of his power. Secretary Dulles might be expected to stand up to the Senator on any issue on which the Senator might attack him, but, in the end, the outcome would depend ultimately on the response of the President, who was the actual object of the Senator's attack in November and December and would likely be the case again.

Sixty-seven years hence, if one finds the coordinate points between Preacher Teddy, his cohorts in the Senate and House, and Trumpy-Dumpy-Do, you will establish a pretty accurate picture in the present of that phenomenon which Joe McCarthy represented in the past—and, as the weather-vane in these days since November 3 would suggest, both subsets of coordinates appear consigned, in combination, to the trash-heap of history, just as with their political progenitors—except, of course, in the warp and woof weaving to perverted perceptions emanating from the blazing limbecks of right-wing talky-talk, where all makes sense to Alice when viewed through her special lens, which first converts everything to its reverse for better observation and then descries with discernment of a Dh.P, Dr. Mayhaps, those items which conveniently can be again set aright, while leaving in dexterous whimsy the others flipped sinistrally to the contrary.

James Marlow indicates that the President and the Government would be a lot more deeply involved in labor-management relations should the Congress approve the President's proposals for amending Taft-Hartley. He relates that the two prime examples among the 14 proposals for amending the law were the creation of a fact-finding board to make recommendations in a dispute which amounted to a national emergency, and a Government-conducted vote by workers for or against a proposed strike. Under present law, when the President determined that the national welfare was threatened by a strike, he could appoint a fact-finding board which would report back to him sans recommendations and that then an 80-day injunction against the strike could be obtained while mediation transpired. The new provision would have the board make recommendations on what the settlement should be, and since the President picked the board, the recommendations would likely coincide with what the President wanted, though neither the company nor the union would have to accept those recommendations. Under present law, also, workers could vote on whether they wanted to strike or leave it up to a selected group of union officials, whereas the President's recommendation was to have the Government conduct the vote.

Shortly after the President made the recommendation, Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, chairman of the Labor Committee, put forth a bill calling for a vote after a strike had begun, the timing of the vote not having been expressly stated by the President. Secretary of Labor Mitchell had told newsmen, however, that he thought the bill would call for a vote before the strike. The President's proposal also included that the mediation service should step into a labor dispute where an injunction had been issued, that the Government provide better safeguards for union welfare funds, and that employers would have to take an anti-Communist oath, as currently required under Taft-Hartley for the union leaders.

All of those proposals, he concludes, would involve the Government more in labor-management relations.

Frederick C. Othman, on his farm in McLean, Va., says that when he had written so smugly recently about the joys of living on a farm without having to farm, he had stressed how pleasant it was not to have livestock. But since that time, the mice had outwitted him during the coldest night of the year, after a water pipe began making a noise periodically, a pipe which his wife had a plumber wrap in insulation to prevent it from freezing, as it had in previous winters. The throbbing of the pipe was hard on the water pumps and also on their sleep, and so he ventured outside in the wee hours to the garage where the pipe was located, finding that the pipe, despite the wrapping, was leaking water, becoming icicles. When he shut off the water valve, nothing happened because a washer was shot, and so the flow of water continued. Eventually, he had to shut down the electricity to the water pump, drain the pipes throughout the house to keep from flooding the basement, remove the valve, replace the washer, and ponder suicide as the only solution left.

At daylight, he saw that field mice had taken most of the insulation for their bedding and he caught some of them in the process. The plumber eventually arrived and said that the only solution was to install another pipe and new insulation, but assured that there was no insulation which mice did not like. He also said that he did not approve of the new plastic pipe because he did not know anything about it or how to attach it to the existing cast iron pipe.

Finally Mr. Othman gave up, as he knew he could not win an argument with a plumber and agreed to have him install a steel pipe instead of the existing cast iron, the plumber assuring it was strong enough to withstand a freeze or two before bursting. He then re-wrapped it with insulation. His wife then arrived on the scene and asked why Mr. Othman looked so sleepy.

You need to purchase one of those heater wires to wrap around the pipe, forget the insulation, and connect it to a thermostat set at freezing. Voila...

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.