The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 16, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that the U.N. negotiators in Korea had rejected a Communist proposal to have Russia as a neutral nation to assist in policing a Korean armistice, while accepting two Soviet satellites, Poland and Czechoslovakia, as the other Communist representatives on the neutral inspection teams. The action was a part of the staff officers meeting on truce supervision.

Meanwhile, the Communists had offered a revised proposal for the Korean peace conference to take place 90 days after the armistice, making no mention of non-Korean problems as a subject of debate, which had been excluded by the allies, but providing wording which permitted such generality of discussion that almost anything would be included. Specifically, it had said that the conference would discuss withdrawal of foreign troops from Korea and "the peaceful settlement of the Korean problem, etc." Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy stated that the "etc." could mean almost anything, but that he would study the proposal further before seeking to interpret it. North Korean General Nam Il said that the draft did not commit the conference to anything not mutually agreeable but that it was certain that other questions not directly related to the peace in Korea would arise in such a conference and that the wording was to avoid further "haggling" on the matter.

In the ground war, there was only small-scale action, on the east-central and eastern fronts. The previous day, allied tanks had pushed into the no-man's land town of Kumsong and shot up 30 bunkers, according to an Eighth Army communiqué, while front line reports had placed the number closer to 50 and stated that almost 100 enemy troops had been killed and another 88 wounded.

In the air war, allied Sabre jets were out early this date.

The Fifth Air Force announced the lightest week of allied plane losses since "Operation Strangle" had begun the previous August, designed to interdict Communist supply lines in North Korea, with only one Sabre lost in air-to-air combat and two Thunderjets shot down by ground fire. The single Sabre shot down had been that of jet ace, Major George Davis, who had been killed. The low number of losses was attributed in part to the bad weather and in another part to the reluctance of enemy jet pilots to engage in combat. Enemy ground fire had been as intense as ever.

In East Berlin, five members of the Communist people's police force had been convicted and sentenced on charges of intending to flee to the West, receiving 15 years in prison each. During the first half of February, 27 members of the force had fled to West Berlin.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan stated that diplomat John P. Davies, Jr., should be called back from Germany to testify about recommendations alleged by a former CIA employee to the Senate Internal Security subcommittee the previous day, indicating that six persons, four of whom had been described as Communists or pro-Communists, be used to help guide the CIA in its Far East activities, claiming that Mr. Davies had indicated to him in November, 1949 that he did not believe any of the six were Communists. Mr. Davies was presently deputy director of political affairs in Frankfurt, West Germany, assigned to the post shortly after being cleared by the State Department's loyalty board. Mr. Davies stated in Bonn that the entire matter had been disposed of "without foundation" during his prior testimony in executive session to the Committee the prior July, and that he thought it unnecessary that he should return to Washington for further testimony about it.

Joseph D. Nunan, Jr., faced possible investigation by the Justice Department and by Congress into his relations with nine firms having tax problems, after he had resigned as U.S. tax commissioner in June 1947 and sought and obtained permission to represent the nine firms. Senator Walter George of Georgia said that his Senate Finance Committee was looking into the records of the nine cases and Representative Cecil King of California said that his House Ways & Means subcommittee, presently looking into the tax scandals in San Francisco, would likely call Mr. Nunan as a witness. Senator John Williams of Delaware, conducting a one-man investigation into the tax scandals, also said that he would insist that Mr. Nunan repeat under oath his denial of involvement in a case involving an Indianapolis brewery, one of the nine cases.

In Minnesota, six presidential candidates, three Republicans and three Democrats, were on the ballot for the March 18 primary. The Democrats included Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey, a favorite son candidate in lieu of the President, Senator Estes Kefauver, and E. Dudley Parsons of Minneapolis. The Republicans included former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, General Eisenhower, General MacArthur and one other individual who was pledged to the latter General.

In Wisconsin, a conference was scheduled to determine whether Governor Earl Warren of California would accept a plan whereby he would form a coalition with the backers of General Eisenhower in that state's primary. Governor Warren held a news conference in Sacramento, however, in which he stated that his endorsement of General Eisenhower's foreign policy had not been intended to imply a possible Eisenhower-Warren coalition. Governor Warren had been the vice-presidential candidate for the Republicans in 1948, with Governor Dewey.

In London, at Clarence House, new Queen Elizabeth II was preparing for a holiday to recover from the strains occasioned by the death of her father, King George VI, before which she would undertake her initial decisions as Queen, one of which was the choice of rank and title for her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh. Palace sources believed that he would be dubbed prince consort and raised in rank above all in the kingdom except the sovereign, thus to become Prince Philip. Presently, the Duke was outranked by three-year old son, Prince Charles, who had become the Duke of Cornwall upon the death of King George. The new Queen also had to consider plans for her coronation, likely to take place early in the summer. She had decreed a period of mourning for the King only until June 1, in place of the standard nine-month to one year period.

Well, one can't grieve forever, you know. On with the show... Carry on... Chin up...

But what is that side-handed wave all about? We noticed that President Nixon also used a variant thereof while taking the oath of office in 1969. In the latter case, it might have had something to do with... Oh, perish the thought.

In Whiteville, N.C., the FBI arrested ten former Klansmen on Federal charges of kidnapping and violations of civil rights in Columbus County, where many terrified people had bolted their doors at nightfall out of concern for being kidnapped, following reports of at least five incidents of floggings of white persons by night riders the previous fall. The local sheriff had said that it was likely that other beatings of both whites and blacks had occurred, but that the victims had been too fearful to step forward. An FBI spokesman stated that a group of Klansmen had apparently set themselves up "as self-designated moral persuaders". Among those arrested was the Exalted Cyclops of the Fair Bluff Klavern, who was also a former chief of police in Fair Bluff, who presently sold lightning rods and was the constable in the town. The FBI reported that he had a record of convictions for attempted violent assault. Three other officials of the Klavern were also among the ten, including the Klakard, the Kleliff, and the Kligrapp. What about the Klockard, the Krackard and the Klules? The others included local farmers and a deputy sheriff of Columbus County, all residents of Cerro Gordo. The center of the FBI investigation had been in Fair Bluff on the Lumber River, just inside the North Carolina state line, bordering Robeson County but situated in Columbus.

Federal, State and local authorities had been working on the reported flogging cases for three months and the first break had come this date. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover reported that the Fair Bluff Klavern, shortly after it had been formed, adopted the name "Southlands Sports Club of Fair Bluff" to conceal its identity, and then disbanded in the early part of 1952. Eleven persons, both black and white, had described being flogged during the previous year, most occurring in recent months.

The Klan had held its first public ceremonial in Columbus County on August 18, 1951, in a cornfield about eight miles south of Whiteville, attracting some 5,000 persons, most of whom had been curiosity seekers. A cross had been burned and speeches had been made by Thomas Hamilton of Leesville, S.C., Grand Dragon of the Carolinas Klan, and by Bill Hendrix, Florida Grand Dragon. After that meeting, the floggings had begun, the first having been reported the previous October when men awakened a white man late at night on the pretext that they were having car trouble, and then kidnapped him and took him to South Carolina where they flogged him. On October 6, the incident about which the Federal charges centered, a couple were taken from their home at night, driven over the South Carolina line and both beaten with a leather strap, the male, until blood ran, and the female knocked to the ground by each blow, then, after making a derogatory remark to the Klansmen, flogged again. The FBI had found the device used in that flogging, hidden in the garage of the Exalted Cyclops. A farmer reported that in early November, he had been lured outside his home by men seeking gasoline for their automobile, whereupon they had beaten him with a piece of automobile tire. Two cases had occurred in December, one involving an employee of a motor company and the other, a sharecropper, the latter having reported that robed and masked men had hit him a dozen times with a heavy belt. Until this date, no arrests had been reported in the cases.

Mr. Hendrix had also been arrested on a four-count Federal grand jury indictment out of Tallahassee, Fla., charged with mailing defamatory material "too libelous" to be made part of the court record.

In Tazewell, Va., a black Elks Lodge at Pocahontas had been found liable to a man in a civil suit for his $650 initiation fee for being hit with the wrong side of an initiation paddle. The man had sued the Lodge for $2,500 in damages for being hit with a trick paddle during the initiation ceremonies. When properly applied, the paddle set off a blank cartridge on the non-striking side, but the man claimed that the cartridge exploded instead on his back side, causing him to suffer injury requiring hospital treatment. He informed the jury that he was having trouble sitting down comfortably.

Apparently, the jury determined that when one joins a civic organization with initiation rites, one takes one's chances in terms of foreseeable risk of injury thereby, that is, the doctrine of assumption of risk, applicable in negligence cases, at least in jurisdictions where comparative negligence is not the law.

In Greensboro, a judge sentenced a man to 10 years in prison and fined him $25,000 after conviction on charges of bribery in connection with lottery operations.

On the editorial page, "Let's Start Another Great Debate" tells of a report that NATO was about to establish permanent headquarters, probably in Paris, with Canadian Foreign Minister Lester Pearson to be named secretary-general, whose primary duty would be to speak directly to the member governments as the voice of NATO, thus similar to the role of General Eisenhower on the military side of NATO.

The piece praises the fact that NATO was moving toward centralization of authority, but laments that the State Department was not doing more to promote public awareness of the organization and the significant changes taking place within it, as NATO was replacing the U.N. as the major instrument of foreign policy for the U.S. in Europe.

It presents a segment of a report prepared by Senator Francis Green of Rhode Island and Congressman Ed Cox of Georgia, who had headed a 14-man Congressional delegation to a meeting the previous fall of the European Consultative Assembly at Strasbourg, in which they had stated that one of the British delegates had asked the American delegation what it intended to do about the Atlantic community, to which the delegation had replied that people thought of NATO as a defense organization, the Council of Europe as a political or economic organization, and the proposed Atlantic Union as primarily a political organization, when, in fact, the NATO treaty was broad enough to permit development of the Union, that is, a trans-Atlantic federal union. The delegation had concluded that they could not say what the U.S. really meant to do about Atlantic Union. There was organizational confusion which frustrated the creation of any coherent pattern for the development of a strong, well-ordered, democratic community capable of exerting the tremendous efforts which were essential for freedom to survive. The delegation complained of a lack of clear American policy with respect to those matters.

The piece shares the concern and criticism regarding a lack of clear policies and goals. It suggests that the Congress consider the Atlantic Union resolution, which only called for a convention to discuss the concept. In so doing, many of the issues involved would be clarified for the citizenry. The present Administration policy, it concludes, left the public too much in the dark on the matter.

"It's Candidate Connally Now" tells of Senator Tom Connally of Texas running for re-election while also serving as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and having trouble reconciling the two roles. Two days earlier, he had advocated breaking off diplomatic relations with Hungary in result of the demand of $120,000 fines as ransom for release of the four American fliers who had been shot down over Hungary the previous November, fines which had been paid by the U.S. and the fliers released earlier in the year. Yet, he did not mention the economic sanctions favored by the Senator two months earlier.

The piece agrees with the Senator regarding the need to get tough with Russian satellites when they took U.S. citizens as prisoners for alleged spying activities, but it was not convinced that breaking off diplomatic relations was the answer, as that would weaken the U.S. more than the Communist satellites, as the diplomats in the Communist nations were practically the only available listening posts for scarce information, whereas the democracies were an open book to foreigners. Moreover, Russia, not Hungary, had been behind the recent incident with the fliers.

The Senator had also criticized many Administration policies which, ordinarily, were he not standing for re-election, he would be supporting. He was considered abroad to be a national spokesman on foreign policy, rather than a scared politician running for re-election, and his statements might well cause confusion. It suggests that his late Republican counterpart, Senator Arthur Vandenberg, had been able to wear both hats at once, but that Senator Connolly "has his Texas sombrero down on his ears, and it probably won't come off until November."

"The Sad Story of Brabhu Dutt" tells of the candidate in India who had lost the election for a seat in the Indian Parliament by a margin of 4 to 1. The issue had been his attitude toward women, that he did not want to see Indian women obtain the special privileges which Western women took for granted. In response, Prime Minister Nehru had spoken up for women and so was able to defeat him.

The piece gathers a moral from the episode which all candidates, from General Eisenhower on down to the county office-seekers, might take to heart.

Drew Pearson again tells of the Congress being reluctant to investigate itself, and that even if a Congressman, such as Walter Brehm of Ohio, were convicted of a crime, that Congressman could continue to sit and even maintain his son on the payroll. He provides examples of this double standard of morality in Congress.

The Senate had criticized RFC officials for taking gifts, putatively to influence their decisions on providing Government loans to businesses, but had overlooked the free airplane rides which Senator Owen Brewster had received from Pan Am to benefit that airline.

Congressman Cecil King of California, who had led the investigation in the tax prosecution cases, had made a gesture of investigating himself for the same offense, but the charges were heard only in private sessions of a subcommittee, and after three days, that subcommittee of the King committee issued a statement whitewashing Mr. King. Mr. Pearson, however, had published an account of the executive session, showing that it had only been perfunctory in its investigation. His own investigations had shown that Mr. King had placed personal pressure on the Justice Department to settle a tax investigation of the president of a savings and loan company within Mr. King's district.

As a result of the tax scandal hearings, it was revealed that Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire and Henry Grunewald had made representations to the IRB on behalf of a Baltimore liquor dealer who owed about seven million dollars in back taxes, and yet the King committee had treated the matter lightly and had not sought to place Senator Bridges before the committee to testify.

The previous June, Mr. Pearson had revealed how Congressman Frank Boykin of Alabama had obtained an RFC loan for more than $45,000 for a lumber company in Alabama which was buying lumber from Mr. Boykin, and had used $300,000 of an RFC loan to pay off an overdraft at a local bank. Mr. Boykin had also worked to obtain a $750,000 RFC loan for a paper company in Alabama, after which he and his four children had suddenly obtained a large amount of stock in that company. The latter matter had been turned over to the Senate investigating committee chaired by Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina by Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, chair of a special subcommittee, saying that the subcommittee had been unable to complete its investigations before its special authority had expired. Yet, Senator Hoey's committee had not taken any action on the matter.

The House had demanded the resignation of IRB collectors for taking bribes, but had refused to expel Congressman Brehm of Ohio after he had been convicted of taking kickbacks.

Marquis Childs, in Springfield, Ill., tells of Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson having determined not to run for the Democratic nomination for the presidency, instead planning to run for re-election as Governor. He preferred to remain in the latter role as the State government reforms he had initiated were still only in the initial stages and were he to depart, his efforts in that regard might be lost. As President, he would also face tremendous challenge in such a time of crisis in the nation.

Some believed that such a determination, as with General Eisenhower, disqualified a person for the office. But, posits Mr. Childs, anyone possessed of a slight amount of humility and imagination would shrink from such a monumental task as lay ahead in the ensuing four years.

Governor Stevenson had three sons ranging in age to 21, and he was aware of what the fishbowl of Washington could do to their lives. He had also been divorced two years earlier because his wife disapproved of his career in politics, in consequence of which, he led a lonely existence comprised primarily of work.

The murder recently of the Republican ward chairman in Chicago, reputedly by elements of organized crime seeking to take over the Republican Party in the city and state, had caused civic indignation and calls for the Governor to intervene in the situation with the State Police, as he had utilized to clean up cigarette fraud in which State tax stamps had been counterfeited. While it would be good timing politically to appoint a big-name crime commission to investigate Chicago, the Governor was too realistic and honest for such gestures.

Mr. Childs suggests that the Governor would run for the Democratic nomination if circumstances made it inevitable. At a ceremony marking the publication of everything Abraham Lincoln had written, the Governor had quoted from Mr. Lincoln during a Lincoln-Douglas debate in 1858, that were everything regarding the slavery question susceptible of being subject to toleration while all would be done to resist its spread, then he would be content for Judge Stephen Douglas to hold office always while he would never hold office. Mr. Childs indicates that as the new form of slavery, that of the world, hung in the balance, the Governor might be induced by world events to enter the race, as "once again there is the hope that we may find a man of courage, and honesty and vision willing to accept the burden of leadership."

Joseph & Stewart Alsop regard the possibility of the President running for re-election and the likelihood that he would announce his decision on April 12, coincident with the seventh anniversary of the death of FDR and the President's accession to the office. The signs were significant that he would not run, as he had caused soundings to be made in Illinois, New York and California regarding the viability of a Stevenson nomination, with reported favorable results in all three states.

Yet, they posit, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that the President would have numerous opportunities to change his mind prior to April 12, such as the March 11 New Hampshire primary, anent which the President had changed his mind to allow his name to remain on the ballot to accommodate a slate of Democratic delegates to the convention who had pledged to the President. The fact that he had done so was meaningless insofar as his intentions to run, but the fact that he would be on the ballot against Senator Estes Kefauver, whom he did not wish to have the nomination, suggested that if the Senator should resoundingly beat the President in the primary, the latter might be angered enough to enter the race.

A letter writer complains that the dates for Republican conventions were set prior to the registration deadlines, favorable to the Taft forces in the state, causing thousands of citizens of the state to be deprived of the right to vote for General Eisenhower.

To follow her reasoning is a bit taxing, but perhaps you can make out what in the world she is talking about.

A letter writer claims that during the previous decade, the nation had placed "a mortgage on many of its cherished heritages." In time of war, he suggests, the draft was necessary, and that in time of world anxiety, perhaps some method should be devised to maintain adequate armed forces, but he was convinced that it would be a serious mistake to adopt compulsory Universal Military Training. He suggests to readers who agreed with the notion to communicate that sentiment to Senator Edwin Johnson of Colorado, who had opposed UMT.

A letter from four bachelors serving in Korea solicits mail, as they were lonely. Their contact address is provided should you desire to respond.

A letter from Lincolnton finds that prior to the establishment of the ABC system in Mecklenburg County in 1947, the newspaper had editorialized that legalization of liquor would run the bootleggers out of business, but now it appeared in Durham and Greensboro that 18 bootleggers had been discovered. He suggests that it proved what he and other opponents of legalized liquor had always contended, that the bootleggers would not be put out of business by legalization of liquor, that they could only be rendered extinct through vigorous law enforcement and stiff court sentences.

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