The Charlotte News

Wednesday, March 12, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that allied truce negotiators had rejected a new Communist scheme to allow Russia to examine secret weapons as a part of the truce inspection teams, the allies indicating that the plan "amounted to a forced gathering of military intelligence". The proposal would allow for any member of the neutral inspection team to require the entire team to examine any equipment brought to Korea during the truce. The allies wanted inspections only to the extent of determining whether the new equipment was actually for replacement. The session this date on supervision of the truce lasted an hour and 13 minutes, compared to a total of 13 minutes during the previous three days.

The allies also rejected a prisoner exchange plan, which the Communists appeared anxious to institute, looking as a trap, according to Rear Admiral R. E. Libby, a plan which did not include voluntary repatriation as required by the allies.

Spokesmen for the allies, however, noted an improved tone in the truce talks following recent days of bitter exchanges. The Communists appeared to have abandoned any attempt to ban allied blockades of the Chinese mainland coast as part of the truce agreement.

U.S. Sabre jets shot down four enemy jets this date in a seven-minute battle during the morning between 20 Sabres and 17 enemy jets, resulting in a total of 15 MIGs destroyed during the previous three days. Eleven other MIG-15s had been damaged during that same time period. The Fifth Air Force reported it had flown 500 sorties by the end of the day, making 94 cuts in North Korean rail lines and destroying ten boats.

The only infantry action occurred in the mountains of the eastern front, when two small groups of Communists briefly attacked allied positions northeast of the "Punch Bowl".

A downed U.S. Marine pilot, bobbing in the chilly Yellow Sea, was so cold that his hands could not grasp the hoist cable dangling from a hovering Air Force helicopter, and so the pilot caused the helicopter to dance in the air, twisting and turning until the cable wrapped around the pilot, at which point he was raised to safety.

The Defense Department announced that 26 additional American Korean War casualties had been added to the list since the prior week, including seven dead, 14 wounded and five missing in action.

In the New Hampshire presidential primary the previous day, General Eisenhower soundly defeated Senator Taft on the Republican side, and Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee surprisingly beat the President on the Democratic side. General Eisenhower polled 46,497 votes to 35,820 for Senator Taft, with the General winning all 14 Republican convention delegates. Senator Kefauver polled 20,147 votes to 16,296 for the President, the Senator winning all 12 Democratic delegates, albeit limited to eight convention votes, eight delegates having only half-votes—thus explaining seeming discrepancies in reporting of recent days regarding the number of the state's Democratic delegates. The total voter turnout was about 129,000, exceeding that of the 1948 primary by about 49,000 voters, and appeared unaffected by heavy rains and snow in certain areas.

General Eisenhower reacted to the results by saying that any American would have to be honored by so many other Americans considering him fit for the presidency, or he was not an American. Senator Taft indicated that he was "a little disappointed" about his showing. Prior to the primary, he had expressed the hope of getting four delegates. Senator Kefauver expressed elation over the results and indicated that he did not think it a protest vote against the President, as he agreed in most respects with the President. He said that he would enter as many primaries as he could. The President's press secretary, Joseph Short, indicated that the primary results would have no impact on the President's decision whether to seek re-election, that the President had said so, himself, that morning.

Associated Press reporter Jack Bell indicates that the outcome of the primary could make it much more difficult for Senator Taft to obtain the GOP nomination, despite his lead in the national delegate race. The magnitude of the General's victory suggested to supporters that he would not have to come home from Europe to campaign. The next true Republican contest would come in New Jersey. The victory of Senator Kefauver could, according to some observers, propel the President into the race. The victory by the Senator might, paradoxically, have angered party regulars to the point where it would not help him very much to obtain the party nomination.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia said this date that he believed the President's comment a month earlier, suggesting the New Hampshire primary as "eyewash" and that he would not desire to enter it at that time, might have cost him the victory in the primary. (The President had allowed his name to remain on the ballot after initially withdrawing it, following an appeal to do so by the slate of delegates committed to his name, who otherwise would have lost their opportunity to become delegates at the convention, as it turned out, of course, lost anyway.)

General Eisenhower's supporters hailed the result as "a magnificent victory" and a harbinger of a "sweep throughout the country". Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, a supporter of Senator Taft, indicated that the Senator still was likely to win the nomination.

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate agreed that the motion by Senator Brien McMahon to have General Eisenhower called home to testify regarding the President's proposed 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid bill would place the General on a political hot spot, caught between being a presidential candidate and continuing as NATO supreme commander. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, a Republican, thought the proposal would embarrass the General politically, and Senator Tom Connally of Texas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in which the motion was pending, angrily refused comment, saying that he had more important things on his mind. Members of the Committee said that they would oppose the motion unless the General revised his previous statement indicating his intent not to return to the country during the pre-convention campaign.

In the Senate investigating committee's hearings on the oil trade between two Nationalist Chinese companies and Communist China prior to the start of the Korean War, Senator Joseph McCarthy told Newbold Morris, newly appointed Government ombudsman to clean out corruption from the executive branch, that he had knocked off a lot of "characters" but would not knock off the Senator. The Senator claimed that the shipping deal, which Mr. Morris and his law partner had helped to arrange as counsel for the two Nationalist Chinese companies engaged in the trade, had cost the lives of American boys in Korea. That and similar statements had caused Mr. Morris to bristle, indicating that he had never been a dummy or front person for any organization, at one point turning his back on the Senator, prompting Senator Karl Mundt of the committee to ask whether Mr. Morris could hear Senator McCarthy with his back turned, to which Mr. Morris responded that he could and would dream about him that night.

In New York, a tenant attached a thermostat to a record player with its loudspeaker turned into the dumbwaiter shaft of his fourth-floor Brooklyn apartment, in protest of his landlord not providing, in accordance with a local ordinance, 65-degree heat when the outside temperature fell below that level, subjecting the landlord to a $500 fine or a year in jail. The landlord told a magistrate the previous day that the recording was driving him crazy, and the tenant responded that there would be no noise if there had been proper heat. The landlord promised to abide by the magistrate's order that he provide the tenant heat.

What was the music he was playing?

In Charlotte, a woman from Greenville, S.C., was found dead at a motel early this date, and her husband was found unconscious on the floor of the cabin, by two men who reported the incident to county police. The coroner indicated that there was no evidence of foul play or suicide and he planned to conduct a series of blood tests to determine cause of death. The room had been very hot when the couple was found, and a gas heater was burning. The owner of the motel had the heater checked and found no evidence of leakage or improper burning.

On the editorial page, "Good News from New Hampshire" tells of Senator Kefauver probably feeling much as the President had in 1948 when he confounded the political observers and pollsters by winning re-election over Thomas Dewey, the Senator having won all 12 Democratic delegates from New Hampshire, when most experts had predicted that he would be lucky to win one.

General Eisenhower had also won complete victory over Senator Taft, taking all 14 GOP delegates.

Because of the nature of the primaries, limited to orthodox Republicans and Democrats, prohibiting cross-party voting and participation by registered Independents, there was likely even more support for both the Senator and the General in the state than their comfortable majorities showed in the primary.

While there was more significance attached to the primary than it had in reality, the results did show that General Eisenhower remained the choice of rank-and-file Republicans in that state, despite the fact that he took no part in the campaign, whereas Senator Taft had expended a huge amount of energy traveling the state.

Despite Senator Kefauver's statement, that his victory did not reflect opposition to the President's foreign and domestic policies, having been designed to reduce the breach between the Senator and the Democratic organization, there was likely a great deal of truth in the statement. The Senator had taken a firm stand against corruption and mediocrity in government and the voters of New Hampshire on the Democratic side had responded.

The piece suggests that a race between the Senator and the General would be pleasant to contemplate, as both men were capable. But, it also indicates that the victory by the Senator might provoke the President into running for re-election, and the victory by the General might prompt the Taft forces to redouble their efforts to obtain Republican delegates to the convention. It likes the trend evident in the New Hampshire vote, but it recognizes that the national conventions were controlled by the professional politicians, not the voters.

"Trouble on the Railroads" comments on the recent railway strike of three unions having occurred despite the reports that the railroads and unions had virtually reached agreement on wages and hours, the heart of the original dispute which had erupted in August, 1950 and resulted in the Government taking over the railroads since, the only remaining issues having to do with working rules, preventing finalization of the contract and implementation of the wage-hours agreement.

It points out that the railway workers' grievances, whether real or imagined, were with the railroads and not the Government, and that the strike was actually against the Government. The previous day, a Federal District Court judge in Cleveland had issued a temporary restraining order ending the strike until a hearing could be held regarding the Government's petition to make the injunction permanent. It posits that the Government had no alternative, as contempt for the public interest and flouting of Federal authority were not acceptable in normal times, let alone the present national emergency.

"Gangland Gets Its Revenge" tells of the brutal slaying of Arnold Schuster, the young clothing salesman who had recognized bank robber Willie Sutton and turned him in to New York City police three weeks earlier, now having been shot down in gangland fashion on a New York City street. New York residents were united in their outrage and insistence that the murderer be caught, and the greatest manhunt in history was in progress, with every member of the New York City police force having been assigned to the investigation. The piece hopes that it would provide quick results, but admits that its hopes were diminished by the realization that Mr. Sutton had gone undetected for years while living practically next door to the police station, until Mr. Schuster had recognized him.

Mr. Schuster, it might be noted, was shot in both eyes, no doubt intended as a message to the public. Mr. Sutton deplored the murder and attributed it to a "crazed crank".

"An Eye for an Eye" finds appropriate the State Department's action in limiting the travel of Soviet diplomats and other officials in the Washington and New York City areas to a 25-mile radius from each city, a response to the same travel limitations imposed by the Russians on American officials in Russia, as well as officials of other Western countries, which had already resulted in similar constrictions on travel of Russian officials within France, Britain and the Netherlands. It suggests that such reciprocity of action was what the Soviets understood and more of it would be good, ultimately resulting probably in the Communists relenting in some of their restrictions.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "One Man Party", tells of the Dixiecrat Party in 1948 having been chaired in North Carolina by Colonel Philip Finn of Hendersonville, a newcomer to the state. In 1948, the Dixiecrats had received 69,652 votes in the state, 8.8 percent of the total votes cast. Prior to 1949, a party had to receive three percent of the votes to become a legal party, that requirement having been changed in 1949 to require ten percent. The Dixiecrats had not fielded any candidates for any state office and had not formed a state convention or authorized anyone to act for it.

David Clark of Charlotte, however, had designated himself, or been designated by a hand-picked group, to be chairman of the Dixiecrats and had undertaken to claim this position on 30 of the state's 100 county election boards.

Mr. Clark, it points out, had no local organizations or limitations of any kind and if his claim were allowed, the state would have its first one-man political party. If the attempt were successful, it would likely not be the last such party, such splinter groups often degenerating into one-man affairs, if they did not start life that way.

Drew Pearson tells of politics having reached the same stage as presently during the end of the Hoover Administration when Democrats were so determined to obtain power again after 12 consecutive years of Republican rule. At that juncture, almost everything President Hoover proposed was defeated in Congress. He indicates that even Judge John J. Parker of Charlotte, "one of the finest judges ever to sit on the U.S. Court of Appeals", had been defeated for confirmation to the Supreme Court by a coalition of Democrats and anti-Hoover Republicans. Now, 20 years later, President Truman had proposed several excellent reforms and some good appointees, among those being the IRB reform and the appointment of Newbold Morris to clean up corruption in the Government, but Republican bitterness was so intense and so many Southern Democrats were playing into Republican hands that the same sort of dynamic was taking place as in 1932. The Truman proposal for the IRB, to reduce the number of tax collectors and place them under the Civil Service system, had first been proposed by former President Hoover as part of the Hoover Commission recommendations. Yet, its chief opponents at present were Republicans.

And Mr. Morris was one of the blue-blood Republicans from New York, a descendant of a signer of the Declaration of Independence, Lewis Morris, related to one of the principal authors of the Constitution, Gouveneur Morris, and great-grandson of a former Mayor of New York in 1851, Ambrose Kingsland. His father-in-law was also retired Federal Judge Learned Hand. Yet, Republican Senators Karl Mundt and Joseph McCarthy had sought to present Mr. Morris as a friend of subversives and pro-Communists. Mr. Pearson predicts that if Mr. Morris were provided subpoena power, he would be so tough that he would make both the Truman Administration and certain members of Congress wish that he had not been appointed.

Senator Walter George of Georgia had worked vigorously behind the scenes to keep tax collectors under political patronage. He and Senator John McClellan of Arkansas had quietly introduced a new tax reorganization bill, which adopted many of the President's tax reforms but which would add 35 additional collectors and leave the entire system under political patronage.

Certain Defense Department officials and Senator Pat McCarran's Judiciary Committee were planning to use the 1917 Espionage Act against publications which had criticized them, claiming that the stories had been harmful to the United States. The act was so broadly and loosely worded that conscientious newspapers as the New York Times could easily violate it. The United Press had reported on March 1 that the Air Force was equipping jet fighter-bombers for the purpose of delivery of small atom bombs against Russia and further reported that the jet squadrons were based at Langley, Virginia, and Sandia, New Mexico, also naming the plane as the F-84G and telling how it would be fueled in the air and that bases for it were subsequently to be set up in Western Europe or North Africa. The dispatch had been published in the Times on March 1, and the next day the Associated Press carried a similar story. The dispatch did not violate the voluntary code of censorship practiced in World War II, but the Espionage Act's broad language could easily make it a violation.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the Communist threat to Indo-China, either through direct aggression or, more problematic at present because of the internal French crisis at home, by a decision of the French to pull out of Indo-China. The French economic and political crisis was the most serious of any time since the war and among influential French government and military leaders, there was a great deal of talk suggesting a settlement with Ho Chi Minh and his Communist Chinese backers. By doing so, the French could reduce the defense drain on its budget and manpower and withdraw most of the 130,000 French troops committed to the war in Indo-China, returning them to North Africa and France, itself.

In doing so, the greatest danger would be that Laos, presently non-Communist, would be sacrificed and most of the long border between Indo-China and feeble Siam thereby exposed. It would, therefore, mean the beginning of the end for Southeast Asia and, ultimately, likely for all of Asia.

The French were currently spending over a billion dollars annually on the Indo-Chinese war. Previously, they had spent more on that war than the total of American aid provided France. That drain on its economy was the principal reason for France's series of financial crises. The French army was more dependent than any other army on its hardcore professional soldiers, the majority of whom were presently pinned down in the Indo-Chinese war.

The recent NATO decision to rearm Germany had changed the French resolve to fight in Indo-China, as the French believed that the Germans were sure to dominate all of Western Europe if that war continued to diminish French strength in Europe.

Part of the solution appeared to be the ongoing training of nationalist troops within Indo-China, 40 battalions having already been trained, though not enough yet to make any difference. Plans had been prepared for putting 80 battalions in the field by the end of 1952 and 160 or so by the end of 1953. The French, however, did not have the resources to do this job, and so would need further aid from the U.S., hard to obtain in an election year. It was likely, therefore, that any decisive effort in that regard would be put off until after the election, with the hope that the French could hang on in the meantime.

Marquis Childs finds that while the 82nd Congress might perhaps be the least accomplished of any recent Congress, a few individuals took prizes for zeal for righteousness, conspicuous among them being Senator John Williams of Delaware. He had pursued with a singularity of purpose the evildoers at the IRB and was responsible for bringing to light most of the tax prosecution scandals, an example of what concentration and specialization could do.

The Republicans wanted to delay the President's IRB reform measure until after the election, but that would be a mistake, as the Republicans, if they were to win, would be coming into power for the first time in 20 years, with their sights on political patronage, which the President's reform plan was designed to eliminate at the IRB, patronage having been the chief source of the problem.

The war surplus tanker deal with the Government, which netted huge profits for a relatively small investment of a group led by former Congressman Joseph Casey, had its profits partially shielded from taxes by the much lower capital gains tax rate, completely legal, but indicative of the type of tax loopholes of which the rich could take advantage. Closing such loopholes could, according to Senator Hubert Humphrey, provide an additional 4.5 billion dollars in revenue. Senator Humphrey had produced a pamphlet showing in detail how such could be done through amendments to the tax laws, which the Senator had repeatedly put forward but which had been defeated in Congress.

Mr. Childs indicates that until Congress took action, such deals as those involving the Casey group would continue unabated, entirely legal.

A letter from a justice of the peace responds to the March 8 editorial, "More Than a 'Boyish Prank'", indicating his belief that the Klan was un-American, but also believing that the candidate for office on whose property the cross had been burned must have been aware that it was the result of a boyish prank, with no intention to harm anyone, as the lawyer for the boys apprehended for the act had argued in court. He does not agree with the editorial in branding the teenagers as "culprits", believes that anyone who had never pulled a boyish prank was a "mama's boy" and a "sissy" when he grew up. He thinks such pranks helped to make "real men" and "good citizens", admits to having pulled many pranks when he was growing up around Asheville, insisting that he was not a culprit. He indicates that if he were hearing the case, he would give the young boys a good lecture and then dismiss it, and asserts his belief that the candidate victim would agree with him.

While we do not know the background of this particular justice of the peace, it should be noted that in those times, justices of the peace in North Carolina were not required to have any particular educational requirement, and were often found grossly in dereliction of their duties, including acceptance of outright bribes.

Following his advice, one would burn a few crosses on black political candidates' lawns while growing up to become "real men" and not "mama's boys", or, perhaps less freighted with political baggage, simply pull the chair out from underneath granny when she attempts to sit down at Christmas dinner with the family, to put hair on the chest of the growing boy. How about we take this clown's gavel, tie a long-fused firecracker to the end and stuff it somewhere private in his anatomy, then light the fuse? That would be loads of laughs, while ensuring against being sissy.

A letter writer from Lincolnton stakes his reputation as a critic on the belief that J. E. Dowd, former editor of The News, since early 1947, general manager of the newspaper, was again writing editorials, finds "Reform Cries Have a Hollow Ring" to be an especially good one, as had been all of the editorials of March 6.

The editors respond, "Guess again."

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its cooperation and publicity on his assignment with the recent Preaching Mission, and especially thanks reporter Ann Sawyer.

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