The Charlotte News

Thursday, January 14, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, Indian Lt. General K. S. Thimayya, chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, announced this date that India's custodial troops would return non-repatriating Korean War prisoners to their respective allied or Communist captors on January 20, nearly 3 days before the scheduled release at midnight on January 22. India said it was acting unilaterally in the decision to release the prisoners not as civilians but still as prisoners, saying it was the only peaceful course open. He said that if the Communists or allies were to change the status of the prisoners after their return, they would not be in compliance with the Armistice. He said that India did not need the approval of the five-nation NNRC to effect the release. Both the Swiss and Swedish delegates of the Commission objected to parts of the statement by General Thimayya, but both had agreed on the return of the prisoners. Presumably, the two Communist members, representatives of Poland and Czechoslovakia, had adhered to the Communist position that the prisoners be retained in custody until the not yet scheduled Korean peace conference would settle their fate. The custodial troops held more than 22,000 North Koreans and Chinese non-repatriating war prisoners captured by the allies, plus 21 Americans, one Briton and 325 South Koreans also refusing repatriation. The letter asked both sides to reply by Saturday.

Also in Panmunjom, allied and Communist liaison officers met this date in an effort to resume the stalled preliminary talks in advance of the Korean peace conference, but agreed only to attempt again the following day. State Department official Kenneth Young said that the meetings might continue for a week or more. The Communists had refused to discuss conditions for reopening the discussions.

Army chief of staff General Matthew Ridgway told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this date that Pentagon leaders did not see any evidence that the Communists intended to renew hostilities in Korea. General Ridgway had been Far East supreme commander during the Korean War, for about a year after the firing of General MacArthur in April, 1951. He said that there had been verified withdrawls of Chinese units from North Korea since the Armistice the prior July but that overall Communist strength remained at around a million men. He also said that there was verified evidence that the Communists had rebuilt airfields since the Armistice and had constructed some new airfields as well. His testimony was consistent with the President's statement at his press conference the previous day that there had been no reports of Communist buildup in violation of the truce. Secretary of the Army Robert Stevens also appeared before the Committee, urging Senate ratification of the mutual defense pact negotiated with Korea.

The President proposed this date, in another special message to Congress, to expand Social Security coverage to embrace ten million more Americans, increasing benefits for all and raising to $4,200 the amount of income subject to Social Security taxes.

The House Ways & Means Committee this date approved sharp reductions in personal income taxes on income from dividends, with experts indicating that the loss of revenue would amount to 240 million dollars in the first year and up to a billion when the program took full effect. It was the second major step announced in a complete overhaul of the tax laws begun the previous day, the first having been to provide 50 million dollars in tax savings for about 700,000 single heads of households. Democrats were said to have raised some objection to the tax reduction on dividends, benefiting only some four million wealthier taxpayers who owned stock.

In Rome, a four-engine Philippines Airline plane crashed and exploded in populous outskirts of the city this date, killing all 16 persons aboard the DC-6 liner, which hit a vacant lot not far from a large apartment building. The plane was en route from Manila with an ultimate destination of London. Among those aboard was the airline's European manager, native of Boston who had lived in Rome for several years. The pilot and co-pilot were both Americans. It was the first fatal accident in the airline's international operations. The cause of the crash was not yet known.

In Amman, Jordan had launched a nationwide campaign to inoculate its subjects against tuberculosis.

In Detroit, the long rumored merger of Nash Motors and Hudson Motor Car Co. was expected to receive approval of the directors of both companies this date, subject to routine stockholder approval thereafter. Hope springs eternal…

Wet and cloudy weather prevailed over most sections of the nation this date, but clear skies and heavy snow on the ground caused temperatures to plummet below zero in wide areas of New England and northern New York, reaching 18 below zero in Lebanon, N.H.

In Raleigh, newsmen, judges and other court officials this date engaged in frank discussions of mutual problems encountered in keeping the public informed of court proceedings, in a conference titled "Freedom of Information", the opening address of which was provided by Governor William B. Umstead, who said that they all agreed that the public business should be conducted in the open. There followed a panel discussion between court officials and newsmen, during which Superior Court Judge Susie Sharp—eventually to become a State Supreme Court Justice in 1962 and subsequently Chief Justice—asserted that newspapers sometimes interfered with due process in reporting on trials by printing rumors of alleged confessions by defendants and statements from opposing lawyers, potentially destroying the presumption of innocence of the accused and preventing thereby a fair trial. She asserted that the dangers from television and radio broadcasts of court proceedings outweighed the advantages and should not be permitted. Federal Judge Johnson Hayes said that the Constitutional guarantee of a jury trial meant a public trial, that "publicity is the terror of tyranny", that freedom of the press ought include coverage of court proceedings by radio, photography and television, but that rules set forth by the Supreme Court forbade such coverage in the Federal courts.

That issue would ultimately take center stage following the Ohio state trial later in the year of Dr. Sam Sheppard for the alleged murder of his wife in a Cleveland suburb, his conviction eventually reversed by the Supreme Court because of prejudicial adverse publicity in a "carnival atmosphere" prior to and during the course of the trial with a non-sequestered jury, effectively denying him due process, his retrial in 1966, represented by defense lawyer F. Lee Bailey, who had also won his new trial on habeas corpus, resulting in his acquittal. But we shall get there in due course.

J. Russell Wiggins, managing editor of the Washington Post, delivered the keynote of the conference, saying that the people's right to be present when their legislators were working on the people's business had been won after such a long struggle that it was remarkable that any reduction of the right should occur. He said he was dismayed that the North Carolina General Assembly in 1953 had changed the law to permit Appropriations Committee hearings to take place in executive session, that he trusted it would only be a temporary lapse by a Legislature which once had been a model for other legislative bodies. He provided six reasons why open sessions were desirable, which the story lists.

In Charlotte, Harry P. Shaw, president and founder of Shaw Manufacturing Co., a furniture producer, died at a hospital after two days of illness. He had been active in Charlotte's business and civic affairs during the previous 30 years. He was the brother of former Charlotte Mayor Victor Shaw and had lived his entire life in Charlotte.

In Kansas City, former President Truman had escaped injury in an automobile accident on an icy Kansas City street, with the other motorist also escaping injury. Mr. Truman had been driving his 1953 Dodge and was attempting a left turn when the other car struck his right front wheel, both drivers indicating that their view was partially obscured by a third car. When police arrived on the scene, they saw all three drivers discussing the accident in the street.

In Sealy, Tex., a workman digging the foundation holes for a man's new garage sank his post-hole digger into a half-gallon glass jar containing $322 in silver and gold coins dating from between 1844 and 1902. Don't tell Kit...

On the sports page, a three-part series began this date on the new Auditorium and Coliseum complex, showing how it would look when completed. It would not show the Coliseum, however, with a large section of its bright silver aluminum roofing torn off, as would occur after a violent thunderstorm in 1958. We were in that thunderstorm down in Shelby that Sunday afternoon.

On the editorial page, "Off to an Early Start" indicates that the Charlotte and Mecklenburg County planning boards had taken a wise step when they decided to start work on legislation for the 1955 General Assembly, to provide regulation for suburban areas around the fringe of the city, without which, many thousands of county residents who had built homes outside the city limits would have no permanent protection against encroachment by commerce and industry and the community would have no advance planning of public services and facilities for future industrial areas. An effort had been made in the 1953 Assembly to pass a perimeter zoning bill for the county, but it had been blocked by Senator Fred McIntyre of Mecklenburg and opposed by Representative Arthur Goodman. With that opposition, three other representatives who favored the legislation decided not to introduce it.

It indicates that if such a measure proposed by the planning boards could be prepared for the 1955 Assembly, there would be an opportunity for voters to study it and voice their opinions to candidates for the Legislature in the upcoming spring primary, and it believes that the residents of the fringe areas would want to insist that some bill be passed in that regard in 1955 to protect their investment in their property.

"Liquor Sells, Whatever the Tax" indicates trying times for the smoking and drinking industries, with the cigarette people saying of late that cigarette smoking was not necessarily a cause of lung cancer, the soft drink industry having taken out a full-page ad in the current issue of Editor & Publisher, saying that there was no relationship between tooth decay and consumption of soft drinks, and the liquor manufacturers getting ready to turn against the President after he had declared that the Federal excise tax on liquor should continue at a rate of $10.50 per gallon. A vice-president of Licensed Beverage Industries, Inc., had declared the previous week that extension of that rate would be an unfair burden on the 65 million consumers of alcohol and that the tax had created "the greatest criminal problem in America today", a reference to moonshining. Because of the high tax, he continued, there was a loss of public revenue as people instead had bought illegal liquor.

It indicates that liquor sales in 1952 had been less than those in 1951, but economists had agreed that the larger sales in 1951 had resulted from "scare buying" brought on by the Korean War. Business Week had said that though total liquor sales of all types in 1953 would be 7 to 9 percent above 1952 sales, whiskey sales would be up 12 to 13 percent. It was impossible to determine how the excise tax affected moonshine sales, which remained on the hush-hush. Carl Goerch, of The State magazine, however, had once made a series of calculations showing that moonshining was close to furniture and tobacco as one of North Carolina's major industries.

It concludes that whatever the merits of the complaint of the liquor industry, there would be no reduction in the excise tax in 1954 on legal whiskey and though it thinks it disproportionately high and that it encouraged illegal manufacture of moonshine, the statistics did not bear out that latter assumption and so there was no point in arguing the matter.

"On the World Scene, a Paradox" indicates that it was grimly paradoxical that on the same day the President had sent his agricultural message to Congress, indicating a huge surplus of commodities, the Population Reference Bureau had made public its latest report, warning of the growth of world population to the extent that it threatened to outrun food production, not the first time such a warning had been made. In 1793, Robert Malthus published the first edition of his Essay on the Principle of Population, arguing that population, when left unchecked, increased geometrically, while means of subsistence increased only arithmetically, and were it not for wars, famine and disease, the world's population would long ago have exceeded its food supply. In a later edition, he had eliminated the emphasis on mathematics and stressed instead the need for "moral restraint" in curbing the increase of population.

It indicates that though the Malthusian theory had largely been borne out in certain sections of the Far East, the means of subsistence in the world as a whole had generally kept pace with population growth. But according to the Bureau, if death rates were controlled by medical science advancements and fertility continued at its present level, it would only take 30 years or less for world population to double, and that even at the present level of the estimated population of 2.465 billion, more than half were underfed, underclothed and inadequately housed.

The President had said in his message to Congress that it was necessary to find new markets abroad for U.S. farm surpluses, but it suggests that a bigger job had to be done on the world scene before the paradox of plenty in the midst of famine could be resolved, and an adequate food supply assured for all.

As indicated, the Bureau's prediction that there would be seven billion people on the planet by 2010 proved exactly accurate, there presently being an estimated 7.8 billion world population. The Bureau estimated that there would be 15 billion people by 2110. But at an exponential growth rate from 800 million in just a decade, 15 billion, absent considerable restraints to population growth stressing replication only in the meantime, will be achieved much sooner than 90 years hence.

"Equipping Boys for Citizenship" indicates that the statistical evidence of YMCA accomplishment in the community was impressive and that those who headed the local YMCA were to be congratulated for having one of the most active associations in the South. It suggests that the real foundation of the YMCA was its concept of well-rounded manhood, taking the best of the ancient Spartan emphasis on the body and inculcating the physical virtues of endurance, hardiness and fortitude, while also taking from ancient Greece the emphasis on level and whole life, combining it with moral emphasis from Christianity. It finds that through the years, the program had trained boys in generosity of spirit, sportsmanship and manliness in an atmosphere where they could meet their peers competitively. It expresses gratitude for the effective work.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Cole Slaw War", indicates that a report had stated that Russia was producing two-headed cabbages, which it finds fitting for a regime which was sometimes accused of being two-faced. It suggests that the accomplishment was small potatoes, however, when compared to other claimed inventions by the Soviets, including radar, butterflies, the jukebox, the atomic bomb, seedless grapefruit, democracy, the wheel, and authorship of Hamlet.

It finds that it raised the question that if a cauliflower was, as Mark Twain had said, a cabbage with a college education, then what was being said about a system which produced cabbage heads with a split personality or a system which encouraged a single head of state but encouraged bifurcation in the lower forms of vegetable life.

It concludes that it was cole slaw for the col' war in a new leaf from an old friend, wishes the Russians joy of the cabbage, "Red cabbage, of course."

Drew Pearson indicates that the previous summer, California and new cotton areas of Arizona and New Mexico had been at loggerheads with the old plantation states of Mississippi, Georgia and the Southeast, with the latter scheduled to have their cotton acreage cut by only 25 percent by Government quotas while the Far West was scheduled for a 52 percent reduction, meaning a loss of 160 million dollars worth of production in the Central Valley of California, almost certain to cause economic setbacks. The West had only begun recently to produce cotton in a major way and the quotas were based on the years 1947-49 and 1951-52, meaning that the older cotton states got preference. Senators the previous summer had sought to arrange a compromise readjustment of the quotas but had achieved no success, and Congress had adjourned in early August with no agreement. But with the opening of the second session the previous week, revised cotton quotas had been made the first item of discussion and there was now good prospect of agreement as the planting season started soon and if quotas were not soon fixed, farmers could not plant accordingly. Mr. Pearson notes that the new cotton bill would increase quotas by about three million acres, that the motive was politics only, placating the farmers in California who were mad about the previous reductions. He indicates that with a carryover of more than five million bales from 1952 and an additional 2.7 million bales from the 1953 crop probably unmarketed, the increase could cause trouble later, as the experts believed that there would be a surplus of cotton by the end of 1954.

A disagreement was taking place between British and U.S. aeronautics authorities over the British Comet jet airliners, an argument which appeared to have been settled unfortunately by the recent crash of a Comet off Italy in the Tyrrhenean Sea. The Civil Aeronautics Administration had consistently refused to certify the Comet, causing resentment in England. Pan American Airways had purchased three of the Comets from De Havilland for future delivery, but thus far the CAA refused certification because of the Comet's tendency to stall at low speeds and become unstable. Two of seven subsequent crashes, in Karachi and Rome, had resulted from such stalling, and following the crash during the week, the British had grounded all Comets, indicating that Fred Lee of the CAA had been correct all along.

Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio had applauded enthusiastically in front of the television cameras the President's State of the Union message on January 7, but had said privately to Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas that he did not know what he was doing around Congress, that it was no place for him if the State of the Union proposals would be the new Republican policy, to which Senator Schoeppel agreed. Senator John Butler of Maryland had said to fellow Republican, Senator Hugh Butler of Nebraska, that he guessed they had not voted for change after all.

It was no secret that Senator McCarthy had once been an avid New Dealer and was bitterly opposed to former President Herbert Hoover. The Waupaca County (Wisc.) Post had commented on February 20, 1936 that Mr. McCarthy's briefcase had been filled with copies of the New Masses, a recent edition of the Daily Worker, and a vest-pocket sized copy of Karl Marx's Das Kapital, meant as a joking reference to the fact that Mr. McCarthy was a left-winger and that his new Republican attorney boss might not be aware of it.

Joseph Alsop, in Avon, Conn., indicates that most people in the country, including the President, were saying that the U.S. had recaptured the initiative in the world struggle against Communist imperialism. But, observes Mr. Alsop based on his recent four months of travels in Asia, that was not only not the case, but the exact opposite was true, that the Soviets, while talking of peace in the West, were continuing to press the attack on the most vulnerable flank in the Far East. He indicates that since the Korean Armistice, the situation in Asia had been deteriorating, as shown by the fact that the center of strategic interest had been abruptly transferred from Korea to Indo-China, where the problem had grown far more difficult. Gains had been made by the new French military team of General Navarre and General Cogny, who were leading the professional army of 185,000 men, making it unlikely that there could be a Communist victory in the immediate future—a conclusion which would prove faulty in the coming months into early spring, when the French would be defeated at their major fortress at Dien Bien Phu, leading to withdrawal. He indicates also that there was no possibility either that there would be a French victory soon or in the foreseeable future.

After seven years of war in Indo-China, the French were growing tired of the war, especially enhanced by the U.S. example in effecting the Korean Armistice. The impulse was steadily growing in French political leadership and among the people to conclude the war at all cost, and Ho Chi Minh, as well as Communist Chinese radio and Soviet radio, were encouraging that disposition by inviting a "negotiated settlement". Such a settlement would inevitably mean a Communist takeover as soon as the French expeditionary force would be withdrawn. Yet, the recent small successes of the local Communists in Laos had produced in France a strong desire to begin negotiations without further delay.

He indicates that any further French reverses, which would be inevitable, would only encourage that sentiment, and ventures that it might become irresistible during the winter or spring.

He indicates that there was presently the need in Indo-China for more troops, not more equipment, and though more U.S. material aid would help, it would not be enough, leading eventually to the question of whether the U.S. would supply troops, which thus far it had flatly refused to do.

To make the situation worse, General Vo Nguyen Giap, the military leader of the Communists, had the opposite problem from that of General Navarre, in that he had plenty of men but not nearly enough supplies. But with the Korean War at an end, the Chinese Government would likely be able to increase the supplies for the Vietminh from the present levels of about 1,000 tons per month to at least 4,000 tons per month, and when that happened, the strength of the Vietminh would increase commensurately, leading inevitably not only to more local reverses for the French but also serious defeats.

There were no safeguards against such an increase of strength for the Vietminh by Secretary of State Dulles's repeated warnings that the U.S. would go to war if the Chinese Communists intervened directly in Indo-China as they had in Korea. Mr. Alsop concludes that such was the situation "at the weakest point in the dam that holds back the Communist flood in Asia."

Marquis Childs indicates that the truce in Korea had been a logical and reasonable move, given one basic condition, that once the shooting stopped, U.S. policy in Asia would be based on aggressive effort to win the adherence of the Asian peoples and Asian governments to the West. Resources would be made available to increase greatly the economic and propaganda attacks on poverty and Communism. But that was not occurring, as the end of the war had seen a slackening of U.S. effort everywhere in Asia.

There were in Washington indications of a desire to return to the isolationism of the past, the tendency to say that the people who had received the aid and military support in Asia did not like the U.S. anyway, that they were Socialists, if not Communists, and it would be a waste of money to supply them with financial resources, destabilizing the U.S. budget for an area of the world plagued by famine and over-population.

Even rehabilitation of South Korea had been delayed, with U.S. policymakers blaming, for good reason, the intransigence of South Korean President Syngman Rhee. Yet, he felt that even if his terms for reconstruction of the country meant inevitable waste, the job should not be delayed.

There were at least two well-defined courses which the U.S. might take with regard to China, either one of which involving great risks, but probably not so great as the hazard of no policy and a continuation of the drift of recent years. One course was to recognize the Communist Chinese Government and agree to its admission to the U.N., a position which would be approved by a large majority of the country's allies both in Europe and Asia. Indeed, Secretary Dulles had hinted that he felt such a step would be inevitable at some point, though never taking such a stand publicly. Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs, Walter Robertson, however, was adamantly opposed to recognition of China. Those who favored it believed it was the only way to win China over from the Soviets, but Mr. Robertson did not think that possible within any foreseeable time frame, had reportedly told Mr. Dulles that it was as likely that he would become a Communist.

Mr. Childs indicates that recognition of Nationalist China and Chiang Kai-shek and providing assistance for his aging armies was not, of itself, a policy, that in the struggle for Asia much more would be demanded than merely propping up what was left of the past. Neither was recognition of Communist China and admission of it to the U.N., in itself, a policy, without also a far-reaching effort to win over the peoples of China and all of Asia. But, he concludes, the policy advocated by Mr. Robertson and others implied an even greater expenditure of money and exertion of leadership in a conflict crucial to the West.

James Marlow indicates that the events of the previous three days had demonstrated the great gap between the U.S. and Russia and the dim prospect for any agreement between them on the biggest problems facing the two countries. After months of negotiation, they had agreed to sit down in a Big Four foreign ministers conference in Berlin, starting January 25. They still, however, had not agreed on the specific location of the conference, whether in West Berlin or East Berlin, and representatives of the four powers had met to try to work out the details during the current week, with the Russians holding out for half the talks to be in East Berlin while the U.S. wanted more than half the talks in West Berlin, the previous night the four representatives having given up and directed the dispute to higher officials.

In addition to that dispute, the U.S. and Russia were in complete disagreement on the major European problem, Germany, with the U.S. wanting East and West Germany united, Secretary Dulles having recently indicated that Europe could not be defended unless Germany were allowed to rearm, indicating that rearmament could not be done under the present armistice agreements but that it could join a unified European army under the European Defense Community, provided France would ratify it. Russia did not want a rearmed Germany. Secretary Dulles therefore could not agree with the Russians at Berlin for disarmament of Germany and Russia could not yield to the U.S. desire for rearming it.

The President and Soviet Premier Georgi Malenkov had made speeches during 1953 on relations between the two countries, with the President having suggested on December 8 before the U.N. General Assembly that they meet and discuss pooling of atomic materials for use in peaceful pursuits, and if such were to succeed, that they begin discussions of elimination of the atomic bomb. Russia had responded with the complaint that banning of the bomb ought be the initial step and reserved the right to discuss that prospect should the two nations agree to talk about the pooling arrangement. During the week, Secretary Dulles and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. had begun preliminary talks regarding atomic power. But the prior Monday, Secretary Dulles had said that the U.S. would no longer depend on huge armed forces in the field, that in preventing any attack, it would be ready to use "means of its own choosing", which had to imply use of atomic weaponry. Thus, the Secretary would not be in a position to agree to banning the bomb.

A letter writer agrees with a previous letter writer of January 5 who had complained of a dangerous Charlotte railroad crossing where one person had been killed recently, this writer indicating that she, her daughter and her daughter's two little boys had been on their way to church recently when they witnessed a young man on his way to Winston-Salem hit—presumably in his car—a slow moving freight train, unaware that there was a crossing at the location, resulting in his being dazed and cut. She and her relatives also barely escaped death shortly afterward when they were coming home from church and suddenly encountered a loud whistle from a nearly noiseless freight train, for which, fortunately, they were able to brake their car in time to avoid collision. She hopes something would be done about the crossing.

A letter writer from Stokesdale indicates his pride in UNC's basketball team, coached by Frank McGuire in his second season at the school, for having performed well against Wake Forest and its star center, Dickie Hemric, one of the best big men in the country. UNC had a ten-point lead at one juncture of the game but Wake Forest had been able to take advantage of UNC's injuries and key players fouling out, eventually coming back but still losing by a point to the Tar Heels, 66 to 65, leaving UNC at 5-3. He sees improvement and the realization by the players that games were won or lost on the court.

Unfortunately, though UNC would win its next three games, when the Demon Deacons would visit Chapel Hill in February, they would win 76 to 62, a third straight loss for the Tar Heels, who would finish the season 11-10, following a first round ACC Tournament one-point loss to N.C. State. Following a 10-11 season the following year, fortunes would begin to change in 1955-56, before the undefeated national championship season in 1956-57.

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