The Charlotte News

Saturday, January 16, 1954


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Panmunjom, the U.N. Command said this night that it would accept on January 20 from the Indian Command 22,000 non-repatriating war prisoners originally in the custody of the U.N., and that it would consider those prisoners entitled to their freedom as civilians on January 23. The chairman of the Neutral Nations Repatriation Commission, Indian Lt. General K. S. Thimayya, had said that changing the status of the prisoners to civilians would constitute a violation of the Armistice. The Communists were expected to oppose the unilateral decision by the Indian custodial force to return the prisoners to both sides, insisting that they be maintained in custody until their fate could be determined by the as yet unscheduled Korean peace conference.

South Korean President Syngman Rhee stated this date that he would act on his own after April 23, six months after the scheduled start of the peace conference, as specified by the Armistice, unless some decision had by then been reached on the unification of Korea, a position contrary to what he had been telling the U.N. Command, that he would respect the Armistice. He also said that he did not expect the peace conference, even if it convened, to accomplish any great achievement. He said that if it did not occur, his Government would be relieved of any obligation to wait for taking unilateral action. He said that he would provide the allied and Communist diplomats another month to settle on the time and place for the peace conference, that he could settle it in three days. The South Korean Army could fight on its own for only about six days before running out of ammunition, without U.N. allied support. After President Rhee had made the statement at a press conference, an official South Korean Government spokesman said that he did not set a definite deadline of April 23.

At the U.N. in New York, the U.S., with the support of other big powers, showed opposition to India's proposal to recall into session the General Assembly on February 9 for the purpose of debate on Korea. The U.S. said that it would not be able to reply by January 22, a date specified by the Assembly president for replies. The U.S. did not want a session called while the prisoner question and the Korean political conference talks were continuing. It indicated, however, that it would consider a later meeting, a position taken by Britain, France, Australia and the Netherlands. The Soviet bloc of nations, except for Poland, supported the proposal to call the meeting, as did Iraq, alone among the 16-nation Asian-African bloc.

In Berlin, the three Allied commandants reopened talks with the Russians this date on what buildings in divided Berlin would be used for the January 25 Big Four foreign ministers conference, with two locations, one each in West Berlin and East Berlin, sure to be chosen.

In Paris, Rene Coty, 71, was installed as the new President of the French Republic, succeeding President Vincent Auriol. M. Coty had been in the French parliaments since 1923, and would, based on the seven-year term, ordinarily continue as the President until 1961—though ultimately opting to resign in 1959 to make way for Charles de Gaulle to become President. President Auriol gave a gloomy picture of the French economy vis-à-vis foreign competitors, saying that many French families were waiting for a house and the possibility of acquiring through their work a decent existence in a more just and better organized society. He also said that the French Union was supporting a war in Indo-China heavy in sacrifices, and that France was having difficulty in accomplishing its mission of reason and peace in a world paralyzed by mistrust and fear, advocating changes in the Constitution to enable good functioning of the parliamentary regime.

The U.S. was arming its forces in Germany with guided missiles capable of carrying atomic warheads hundreds of miles into Communist-held territory, according to an announcement made the previous night by the Air Force that it would send two pilotless bomber squadrons to Germany in 1954, equipped with B-61 Matador missiles, appearing to fit the basic strategy set forth by Secretary of State Dulles in a speech in New York the prior Tuesday, and affirmed by the President at his press conference the following day, that henceforth, U.S. strategy would be based on "massive retaliatory power" to deter Soviet aggression. The Air Force did not disclose the number of missiles in a squadron, but it was believed that several hundred would be allotted to each one. Secretary of Defense Charles E. Wilson told reporters the previous day that the decision to augment the firepower of American forces defending Western Europe did not necessarily mean fewer American troops in Europe. When the Matadors arrived, U.S. forces in Europe would have a complement of Air Force jet and piston-engine planes which could carry atomic bombs, the 280-mm. atomic cannon, and the guided missiles. The Matador was about the same size and shape as a conventional fighter, but needed no takeoff run as it was thrust into the air by a powerful rocket, which burned out two seconds after launch and then was powered by a jet engine. With no pilot, the Matador could carry a heavier load than a comparable jet fighter, and it was possible that it could carry an atomic warhead close to the size used for strategic bombing. Its range was thought to be about 1,000 miles, compared to a 500-mile range for jet fighters.

In Boston, Senator McCarthy's one-man hearing into subversion in industry had been thrown into an uproar this date when a suspended G.E. employee stood in the rear of the hearing room and shouted: "McCarthy! I accuse you of conspiring with the company and getting the jobs of General Electric people." Deputy U.S. marshals forcibly ejected the man, as he continued his tirade while a majority of the spectators booed and shouted to throw him out, and a few others applauded, though unclear whether they applauded the marshals or the man. He was under suspension from G.E. for refusing to answer questions concerning Communists before Senator McCarthy in November, having invoked the Fifth Amendment. Earlier in the session, Senator McCarthy had ordered the marshals to remove another man, who had been an earlier witness, and his counsel, after the witness had refused to respond to the Senator's question of whether he considered a man a traitor if he had the names of Communist conspirators and refused to provide them to law enforcement officials. Another witness testifying before the Senator had refused to provide names of persons whom the Senator described as "Communist conspirators" at the G.E. facility in Lynn, Mass., pleading the First and Fifth Amendments and saying that as far as he was concerned he had never seen an evil Communist and had never been in contact with a vicious Communist, that those with whom he had come in contact had been "gentlemanly and secret-minded", and would not give away information.

Harry Shuford of The News tells of Ralph Clontz, Jr., a Charlotte attorney, having returned from his appearance before the Subversive Activities Control Board in Washington, where he revealed that he had been an FBI undercover spy on Communists in North Carolina beginning in 1948, when he had joined the party at the invitation of Junius Scales, leader of the North Carolina Communist Party. The hearing related to the Jefferson School for Social Science and whether it should be forced to register as a Communist agency. At one point, Mr. Clontz had argued his own case before the State Supreme Court regarding an insurance claim, after his overcoat had been burned in a local service station, indicating that he had undertaken the case so that the members of the Communist Party would have an idea of "the kind of wild-eyed radical" he wanted them to think he was. He explained that he was working for the Carolina Motor Club to make a living while attending Duke Law School, and that several agents working for him had passed information about subversive activities, causing him to go to the FBI and volunteer to infiltrate the North Carolina party.

A blizzard hit the northern plains from Montana and Wyoming this date, as the season's coldest weather headed for wide areas in the middle of the country. Temperatures early this date were near 30 degrees below zero in parts of the cold belt, and fresh snow falls were in prospect for many areas.

In Britain and Western Europe, a blizzard, the third in 14 days, had claimed many lives, with 130 reported as dead in Austrian snow avalanches. Britain suffered its worst gales in a half-century, killing four people during the night and leaving wreckage strewn from Scotland to the south coast. In Germany, 80 mph winds damaged property and killed five people.

The FBI reported the arrest this date of a young man and woman wanted on charges of kidnaping a Courtland, Va., policeman on January 6, the man from near Elkin, N.C., and the woman from Winston-Salem. The man was also wanted on an armed robbery charge in North Carolina, stemming from his taking $170 from a store the previous September 8 in Traphill, for the trial of which he had failed to appear after his father and brother had posted a $10,000 bond to secure his appearance in Wilkes County the previous month. The apprehended couple had forced the officer to drive about 35 miles before handcuffing him to a tree, after the officer had stopped the couple's automobile to investigate them. The man was arrested as he hid under a motel bed in Lexington, N.C., with a .45-caliber automatic pistol found under a pillow. The woman was arrested while driving in Winston-Salem.

On the editorial page, "For Better Public Information" indicates that the conference on freedom of information in Raleigh two days earlier had a wholesome effect all over the state, as representatives of press, radio and television had met with members of the judiciary and law enforcement agencies to discuss the principle that a free people had to be fully and accurately informed about public business if they were to govern themselves intelligently. It indicates that there had been some difference of opinion on detail, for instance whether television coverage ought be permitted in trials, but there was general agreement on the principle of openness in the conduct of the people's business by the courts and the legislature. There was also general agreement on the need for fair, impartial reporting of the news and the responsibility of a free press to uphold that standard.

It hopes that it would only be the first of annual conferences of the type, as the postwar era had shown an alarming upsurge of the tendency to shut off sources of information from the people. It finds that North Carolina's laws, with few exceptions, provided public access to the conduct of public business, and that public officials had been largely cooperative with the media in keeping the doors open. It indicates that with the removal of the few barriers which presently existed, and with greater attention by the media to accurate and responsible reporting, the state could become a model for democratic government.

"A Peculiar Sense of Priorities" indicates that Congress had until February 1 to pass a new law regarding pay and allowances for missing servicemen, until March 1 to legislate the rights of veterans to public housing, that on March 15, the President's authority to distribute agricultural products in famines and other emergencies would expire, and by April 1, corporate and excise taxes would be reduced unless Congress continued them, as the President had requested. In addition, the Reciprocal Trade Agreements Act expired on June 12 unless Congress were to renew it. By the end of the fiscal year, other legislation and appropriations had to be enacted if the Government was to continue to run.

It also lists several other programs which the Congress ought to implement prior to the fall elections.

So, it finds it strange that the Republican Senate had scheduled as its first major business discussion of the Bricker amendment to the Constitution, to limit the power of the President to enter into executive agreements, subjecting them to the same ratification requirements as treaties. The issue would consume time and produce disharmony and the amendment would dangerously hamper the President in the conduct of foreign affairs, and if altered as the President had recommended, would do nothing more than reaffirm existing policy. It finds, therefore, that the Senate had a peculiar sense of priorities.

"Old Sardis Road Needs New Name" indicates that when it had written an editorial about the confusing street names in Charlotte, a reader had written that Old Sardis Road needed a new name, as for many years it had been a part of Randolph Road. It goes on to explain the writer's exposition of the confusing nature of the name and says that it understood what he had meant, and though no official body had authority over names of roads outside the city limits, it would be helpful if the residents of Old Sardis Road would get together and ask the County Commissioners to adopt Randolph Road as its name.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "What It Was, Was Hard Work, Talent", indicates that everyone was familiar with Andy Griffith's monologue, "What It Was, Was Football", speculates that perhaps his sudden fame was already known to all. In addition to the record, he had appeared the previous Sunday night on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in New York, and was looking forward to $75,000 in income each year from personal appearances and the sales of his records. His success had ostensibly been achieved overnight, as he was previously an unknown.

It indicates that he had many predecessors in that regard, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, who, it was said, had awakened one morning to find himself famous. Many other writers, painters, composers and actors often came on the scene suddenly. The public therefore was likely to ascribe to them a great deal of luck in achieving that fame. But, says the piece, it did not happen that way. Mr. Fitzgerald, for instance, did not actually awaken to sudden fame. His first book, This Side of Paradise, had been a product of skill and understanding developed over many years. The sudden stardom of an actress was preceded by years of school and study and appearances in small playhouses. While luck had a role in the process in the case of some careers, all success was based on long, patient, dedicated work.

It finds it so with Mr. Griffith, who had, after growing up in nearby Mt. Airy, attended four years at UNC, where he began his acting career with the Carolina Playmakers, appeared during summers for seven years in "The Lost Colony" at Manteo, overlapping which he and his wife had appeared for years in a series of one-night stands on the dinner and convention circuit, before he achieved success with his football monologue. He had made up that monologue while on a trip to one of the dinner engagements, and a friend in Chapel Hill had recorded it, thereafter becoming a sudden hit. But he would not have been capable of that originality and speaking skill without long years of preparation, during which he received scant remuneration.

"Talent, hard work, patience, dedication to an art—these are the touchstones."

Drew Pearson indicates that former Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley, "one of the great military men of modern times", had been approached by admirers in California, urging him to run for the Senate as a Democrat. The General was worried about the impact on his personal finances as he would lose his Army pension if he were to become a Senator, and, moreover, was concerned about military men becoming involved in politics. He told his California friends that the trend begun by General Eisenhower and General MacArthur should not be continued, as the military profession and politics, he believed, did not mix. The politician had to be willing to compromise, whereas the military man had to be trained to insist on military needs, irrespective of political considerations. If a political career was a potential concern for a military man, his decisions would inevitably be influenced accordingly, and so he had concluded that military men should stay out of politics. He had given the same advice to General Eisenhower in 1948, one reason why General Eisenhower had then refused to run for the presidency.

The President had a frank chat on loyalty probes with Democratic Congressman Harley Staggers of West Virginia recently, and the President had conceded that some people might have misunderstood his recent statement that disloyal Americans should be deprived of their citizenship. He said that he was referring to those who committed treasonable acts which undermined the Government and was not referring merely to former Communists who had been duped into joining the Communist Party and later renounced Communism. He said that the former Communists would always be subject to having their citizenship restored once they renounced Communism. Mr. Staggers then read to the President an editorial from the Wall Street Journal, stating in effect that the President did not mean what its editors thought he had implied. The President then said that he did not mean to imply any partisanship in his statement. Mr. Staggers indicated, however, that if the current investigations of disloyalty by various committees in Congress continued, within 2 to 3 years, there would be so much confusion in the public mind that political opportunists might start trying to outlaw the Democratic or Republican Party as un-American. The President agreed, adding that he was going to provide serious consideration to a bill introduced by Mr. Staggers, providing for a thorough probe of subversive influences by a 12-person commission of outstanding citizens, selected by the President, the Vice-President and the Speaker of the House.

Admiral Jim Holloway, the Navy's personnel chief, was in the Pentagon doghouse for sending a written statement to the House Armed Services Committee without first clearing it with his superiors. The Congress had requested Admiral Holloway's views on establishing an Air Force academy, and the Admiral had written a statement favoring it, but also had indicated that the Navy had been using high-pressure tactics on Naval Academy midshipmen to keep them from joining the Air Force. When Deputy Secretary of Defense Roger Kyes read that, he ordered the paragraph stricken, but was told that it had already gone to the Congress, angering Mr. Kyes, ordering that the paragraph be skipped when the statement was read into the Congressional Record. Meanwhile, Admiral Holloway was called on the carpet by his fellow admirals. Admiral Holloway wanted to know what was wrong with the story, as it was true that the Navy worked over the midshipmen at the Academy to convince them not to sign up with the Air Force.

Joseph Alsop, writing from Avon, Conn., discusses the Administration's foreign policy, indicating hints from the President, Secretary of State Dulles and Joint Chiefs chairman Admiral Arthur Radford that the Administration was contemplating abandoning the European alliance should France not soon ratify the European Defense Community.

He indicates that the NATO structure was the sole safeguard of the gains which had been made in Western Europe since the low point after World War II, and that if NATO crumbled, Western Europe would again become a political and strategic vacuum, subject to exploitation and control by the Communists.

Many Americans believed that if NATO were to collapse, the country could still count on the cooperation of the more vigorous nations in Europe, but that was a gross error, for without NATO, Germany would rapidly turn toward extreme nationalism and those nationalists would likely try to recoup Germany's war losses by establishing an alliance with Russia. Britain without NATO would be deprived of any strong defense, and with the launching sites for short-range guided missiles potentially in Soviet hands, Britain's policy would be paralyzed. NATO depended on the American divisions in Europe, and while a time had to come when those divisions would be withdrawn, at present, that could not occur without causing the whole of NATO to crumble.

He recaps the President's, Secretary Dulles's and Admiral Radford's recent statements which indicated that without French approval of EDC, the U.S. would contemplate withdrawal from Europe, thereby letting NATO crumble.

The Korean War had been a large investment of American blood and money to prevent the rest of Asia from falling into Communist hands, and the investment would go for naught if the French decided to withdraw from Indo-China, as they were longing to do. Likewise, the postwar recovery of Europe represented a large American investment, which would also go for naught if the French did not vote to ratify EDC, which they were quite reluctant to do at the present.

Mr. Alsop indicates that letting the French Chamber of Deputies determine the fate of all American postwar investments overseas was "too much like hiring a lunatic asylum as trustee of the family fortune." It would not produce a sober mood among the French politicians and the strain was too great for the French political system, which had "been ingeniously devised to frustrate the genius and pervert the courage of the French people."

Marquis Childs discusses the struggle between the President and the Congress regarding farm policy, the President having recently proposed to the Congress a system of flexible price supports to replace the 90 percent of parity fixed price supports. Secretary of Agriculture Ezra Taft Benson had gotten his way on this aspect of the policy, determined to get the Government out of regulating what the farmers could plant and sell at market.

But in Congress, the advocates of fixed price supports believed they had the votes to defeat the plan and continue with the current system, which had the basic weakness of not providing any solution for the huge glut of farm surpluses in storage and consigned to the Government under the price support program. Many of those commodities were subject to spoliation, such as butter, of which the Government had 65 million pounds in storage, worth 175 million dollars. Overall there were 2.5 billion dollars worth of commodities currently held by the Government, and the President had proposed insulating those commodities so as not to affect the price by being potentially dumped in the general market, limiting their use to school lunch programs and other such beneficial public uses.

He points out that should the surpluses continue to accumulate in 1954, they would overflow the warehouses and such an overflow at the time of the midterm elections could become a heavy political liability for the Administration.

He indicates that an anomaly in the President's farm proposal was that wool growers would obtain a fixed price support while wool would be sold at the market price, similar to the program of former Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, under President Truman, which was heavily criticized as "socialism" by Republicans, though that program was designed to apply to all farm produce. Mr. Childs suggests that if the wool growers were to obtain such treatment, there was no reason why the same system should not also be applicable to dairy and cotton farmers.

A letter writer from Washington, D.C., president of Railway Express Co., indicates that he had read the editorial of January 7, titled "Parcel Post Rates Should Not Be Cut", and compliments the piece.

A letter writer indicates admiration for Police Chief Frank Littlejohn and wants to know what would be done to those who had perpetrated the "dreadful calumny" against him, involving the recent grand jury presentments in December that he had permitted illegal gambling to operate in Charlotte, accepting bribes to do so, the Superior Court, in a preliminary hearing during the previous week, having found insufficient evidence to support the charges and so dismissed them. This writer believes that those who testified against the Chief were guilty of contempt and perjury.

It is a far different thing to present inadequate evidence of criminal conduct and either contempt or perjury by the prosecution's witnesses, even if, as in this case, the judge expresses disbelief of the State's star witness.

A letter writer from Great Falls, S.C., comments on the President's State of the Union message of January 7 and his stated opposition to "socialized medicine", indicative of how far the AMA had reached with its propaganda. He believes that the AMA did not present true arguments as to why it opposed a health program, only labeling it socialism, which the AMA leaders knew would do more to defeat any proposition on health care than any other argument, as the people were fearful of the terms socialism or communism. He goes on at length on the topic and indicates that if there was to be a healthy population in the country, there had to be established a health program which would benefit most of the people and ensure that private medical practice did not suffer financially as a consequence. He urges doing away with scare words, such as "socialized medicine", and presenting the honest facts.

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