The Charlotte News
Friday, March 14, 1952
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the prisoner exchange negotiations in the Korean truce talks had approached a dead-end this date and the U.N. negotiators suggested turning the matter back to the staff officers, a proposal which the Communists promised to consider. The sticking point remained the issue of voluntary repatriation.
The negotiators considering supervision of the truce met for nearly 4.5 hours, their longest session to date.
Meanwhile, U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie stated that he was less optimistic at the chances for reaching an armistice than in recent months and had increasingly asked himself whether the North Koreans and the Communist Chinese equally desired an armistice.
Following the heaviest enemy artillery operations in weeks, including shells bursting close to four American warships, the war front quieted this date, and even the air war was washed out by storm clouds. No enemy jets appeared in the skies, but two enemy fighter planes were shot down. No damage had been done to American ships by the artillery blast the previous day.
Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considering the President's 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid program, angrily shouted that the U.S. could not go on forever appropriating large sums of money to Britain, France and other countries. He challenged mutual security director Averell Harriman repeatedly on the latter's urging of Congress to support the proposed aid budget. Mr. Harriman said that the Russians were spending vast sums on military equipment for its satellites, resulting in a world-wide struggle for the West. Senator Connally complained specifically about 300 million dollars in economic aid supplied to Britain in recent months. Mr. Harriman responded that it was a wise decision to do so and was in the country's best interest to aid its allies. He said that the aid in question was provided under a provision which allowed 10 percent of that allocated to military aid to be converted to economic aid. The Senator, however, responded that it should never have been authorized and also bristled when Mr. Harriman called it a "very small sum".
The House Appropriations Committee recommended a 10 percent cut in the seven billion dollar budget proposed for more than 20 Federal agencies during the coming fiscal year. It rejected all new job proposals and cut by one-third the budget for travel, communications, printing and binding, as well as ordering a halt to accumulation of annual leave and placing a ceiling of 25,000 on the number of new public low-rent housing units which could be started during the ensuing year. Congressman Albert Thomas of Texas, chairman of a subcommittee which drafted the bill after lengthy hearings, stated that the reduction, if followed through on other budget measures, would obviate the need for either deficit spending or additional taxes.
The Senate investigations subcommittee looking at shipping deals heard from a Maritime Administration official that there was a "serious question" as to whether there was compliance with the law in the cases of 47 surplus warships sold by the Government, and that the Justice Department was looking into the matter to determine whether the vessels could be recovered. A former member of the Maritime Commission said that the three-ship deal involving the Chinese Nationalist firm represented by the law firm of Newbold Morris, recently appointed Government ombudsman assigned to clean up the executive branch, was illegal. The Justice Department had brought suit to recover one of those three ships. The 47 ships in question had among them the eight tankers obtained by the investment group headed by former Congressman Joseph Casey, and including the late Secretary of State Edward Stettinius and Admiral William Halsey, a transaction which the former Maritime Commission member described as also illegal. He said additionally that Mr. Morris had been very adamant about trying to clear resale of some of the surplus ships to Norway or Denmark, a move which the Maritime commissioner had resisted. Senator Clyde Hoey, head of the subcommittee, stated that he planned to call no further witnesses on the matter and that it would not take very long to draft a final report.
Secretary of Treasury John W. Snyder said this date that New York and Chicago had been chosen as "pilot districts" for the reorganization of the IRB and that the first steps would be taken shortly after April 1. The statement came in the wake of the Administration's victory the previous day, when the Senate followed the House approval of the IRB reorganization plan, the Senate voting 53 to 37 to approve the reorganization.
A House Ways & Means subcommittee looking into tax collectors found that one agent had played the stock market during a three-year period with an investment of $41,600, of which $22,800 was in cash, when his Government salary was only $3,900 per year, and that he could not explain properly this activity.
In the wake of the New Hampshire primary results, General Eisenhower's interest in the Republican presidential nomination appeared to be increasing as support for him grew. Washington headquarters for the General had released a portion of a letter from the General the previous day addressed to an unnamed close friend, which said that he would not turn his back on party workers and leaders later on, appearing to suggest that if he were elected, he would not forget the rank-and-file. In a cable from Paris, the General thanked the New Hampshire supporters for their work.
Campaigning in Wisconsin, California Governor Earl Warren complained that the current Administration had taken government away from the people.
In Detroit, a man admitted to a judge that he had pushed his neighbor's car into a tree and caused $37 worth of damage to it, but claimed he had good reason for doing so in that over the course of the winter, he had shoveled snow to clear a parking space in front of his home a dozen times, and as soon as the space was clear, his neighbor would drive into it. He had finally become fed up in February. The judge suspended sentence on a reckless driving conviction and told the defendant that he hoped that spring would clear the atmosphere.
In London, the newspapers welcomed Tilda Thamar, a young siren of the Argentine movies. She said that in her films she kissed them and kill them, but nearly always died also in the end. She had come to London to try out for a part in a British thriller movie. When questioned on the secrets of her success, she said that she first had studied art, then acting, and then men. A reporter for the Daily Mirror had written that if she did not kill them in her screen test, he was going back to his multiplication tables.
On the editorial page, "Supreme Court Gets a Clear-Cut Issue" comments on the decision of the special three-judge Federal District Court the previous day in Briggs v. Elliott, the Clarendon County South Carolina case, on remand from the Supreme Court, holding that segregation per se was not, as had argued the NAACP, unconstitutional pursuant to the 14th Amendment Equal Protection Clause, while also finding that the State had "promptly" to equalize the schools systems.
The piece posits that the Supreme Court would now have squarely posed before it the question of the constitutionality of segregation. It again urges that segregation was a matter for the states to determine for themselves. It indicates that segregation was in some respects an economic luxury while also running counter to the teachings of Christianity and the idealism of the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal. But, it adds, until the Constitution was amended, the right of a state to have segregated public schools or not was "clearly established". In urges that those who would change the system had first to change their traditions and customs which had been built up through generations.
As indicated, the Briggs case would be subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, which would overrule the Plessy v. Ferguson separate-but-equal doctrine and hold that segregation per se was unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause, ultimately ordering in the 1955 implementing decision of Brown that desegregation should take place "with all deliberate speed".
The piece was entirely mistaken in its interpretation of the Constitution, that segregation in the public schools was the right of the states. Plessy doctrine, itself, recognized the supremacy of the Constitution over the states and the 14th Amendment requirement of Equal Protection being applicable to the states, but reaching a kind of compromise in 1896, allowing for passing muster under the 14th Amendment, provided the state could show that its separate facilities were equal. It had always been the case that failing that showing, the resulting separate facilities were unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. That incorrect interpretation had led the newspaper to the erroneous belief which the editorial expresses, that the Supreme Court would not reverse its previous rulings on separate-but-equal doctrine, ignoring, in the process, the clear indicators since at least Sweatt v. Painter in June, 1950 that the states were unable to show equal educational facilities under segregated conditions—even though at the time of the Sweatt decision, the editorial column had recognized the "handwriting on the wall" to that end. The column, in the interim, appears to have become less astute.
"The Taxpayer Wins a Round" tells of the Congress having finally passed a major law the previous day, as the Senate approved the President's IRB reorganization plan, already approved by the House. The number of revenue collectors would be reduced from 64 to 21, with 64 additional deputy tax collectors, and all of them would be placed under the Civil Service system, removing them from the patronage process. Only the commissioner of the IRB would remain a political appointee.
It finds that the abolition of the patronage system was a good development and the approval of the plan was both a victory for the Administration and for the Hoover Commission, which had recommended the changes.
"A Scotch Poet Had a Word for It" tells of the Robert Burns verse regarding the "best laid schemes o' mice and men" having come to mind after the results in the New Hampshire primary.
The President had listened to the Democratic leaders in New Hampshire who complained that the delegates pledged to the President would miss out on the convention if he did not allow his name to remain on the ballot, a request to which the President then acceded. But the people liked Senator Kefauver and gave him the victory and all 12 Democratic delegates.
On the Republican side, Senator Taft figured he had little to lose and everything to gain by challenging General Eisenhower's in absentia campaign. The Senator played down his chances of success, indicating that he would be happy to receive four delegates. As it turned out, he got none. Again, the people's will spoke plainly.
It concludes from the results that there was a longing for new faces in national politics.
A piece from the Charleston News & Courier, titled "Shameful Killing in New York", comments on the gangland-style murder of Arnold Schuster, the young clothing salesman who had spotted bank robber Willie Sutton and turned him into police. It indicates that the reason for his murder was that the underworld wanted to serve notice to law-abiding citizens that it was dangerous to cooperate with the police. It appeared that the underworld in New York had taken the law into its own hands. It posits that the underworld leaders had become popular heroes, as Mr. Sutton had been cheered by a group of teenagers recently after his arrest. One New York official had theorized that Mr. Schuster had been shot by someone who worshiped the bank robber.
It compares the phenomenon to Southern lynching, in terms of persons who took the law into their own hands and intimidated law-abiding people. It indicates that it was irksome to the South for New York newspapers to adopt a holier-than-thou attitude toward crime in the South, when, obviously, they had their own problems in the North.
Drew Pearson tells of an unpublicized meeting of auto industry leaders with Government mobilization officials recently, at which the auto industry was allocated more steel than it actually needed. On December 29, a similar meeting had taken place at which the auto industry leaders talked tough and brought in Senator Blair Moody and Governor Mennen "Soapy" Williams to urge more steel for the industry. But in the latter meeting, the auto manufacturers were not so anxious to have the Government drastically increase their steel quotas. The results showed that there was ample steel presently on hand and that the automotive leaders were not sure they could sell too many more cars.
Future Michigan Governor George Romney, head of Nash, for instance, among others, indicated that they probably could not use all the material allotted by the Government. Others, such as the president of Chrysler, indicated that they could
It was to be concluded from the meeting that raw materials in the nation, with the exception of copper and a few other materials, were now abundant, the result of slow-moving procurement officers in the military services. The automobile industry was allocated 1,050,000 tons of steel for the second quarter, compared to 930,000 tons for the first quarter.
For two weeks, Senator Joseph McCarthy had sought to hire a new stenographer, but four potential employees backed out when they learned that the Senator would be their boss.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop muse that the American voter appeared to delight in confounding everyone, as once again, in the New Hampshire primary the prior Tuesday, all of the expert observers had proved wrong. The leading supporters of General Eisenhower had been wrong when, on February 15, they asserted to the General that he would have to come home to campaign if he expected to have a chance to win the nomination. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had gone so far as to indicate prior to the primary that it would not mean much, in an effort to soften the blow of an expected defeat to Senator Taft. The day before the primary, there was talk in the Eisenhower camp of sending the General a polite ultimatum, that if he lost badly, he should either return and campaign or withdraw and let his followers off the hook.
But Senator Taft and his supporters were equally wrong, as the Senator, after initially entering the primary with the wise attitude that it was only a gesture against hopeless odds, had recently maintained that he would capture four delegates and that the primary was a "horse race".
On the Democratic side, Senator Estes Kefauver was wrong when, privately, he had said that he did not have a chance in the primary, with both labor and the whole Democratic regular organization working against him. He thought that he might only take one delegate and said he would be happy with 40 percent of the vote. The statement had not simply been an attempt to downplay the results but rather appeared a sincere belief on the Senator's part that he would not do well.
Despite his victory over the President in New Hampshire, it was still difficult to take Senator Kefauver as a serious presidential candidate, as he had little support in his native South and had alienated most of the Northern Democratic organization.
Whether the outcome would alter the President's decision to run again or not, was likely more dependent on the victory by General Eisenhower, as the President was more likely to run if it appeared Senator Taft would be the Republican nominee.
The Alsops conclude that the lesson from the primary appeared to be that the voters were tired of the old political faces and wanted something new, and were determined to get it.
Marquis Childs also looks at the New Hampshire primary, indicating that the margin of victory for General Eisenhower was an indication of his great popular appeal. Senator Taft's supporters were saying that most of the New Hampshire Republican leadership had been behind the General, but the Senator had campaigned actively within the state prior to the primary and had left with the confident belief that he would obtain at least four of the 14 delegates, while his managers were claiming that he would win.
The weight of professional favor for the General was not so great as the Taft managers had claimed. Governor Sherman Adams led a popular slate of Eisenhower delegates and Senator Charles Tobey spoke for the General, but powerful Republicans in the state, including a surrogate for Senator Styles Bridges, were also supporting Senator Taft. There had also been a lot of scurrilous literature circulated regarding the General.
On the Democratic side, Senator Kefauver's victory, based on heavy interpersonal campaigning within the state, resulted from a technique which had not worked for Senator Taft. The recommendation by DNC chairman Frank McKinney to the President that he allow his name to remain on the New Hampshire ballot, despite the President having initially withdrawn it, had been a huge mistake, and Mr. Childs suggests that he ought leave the chairmanship as soon as possible. The mistake had placed the President in an awkward position and it was unclear how it could be retrieved.
He concludes that the chief result from the primary was the expression of popularity of General Eisenhower, despite his being overseas, but adds that it was still a question as to whether the party leaders would recognize the fact.
A letter writer, who had been the subject of a story in the News on March 11, complains of his treatment by a State tax collector, who entered his grocery store and, in front of customers, challenged whether he had properly paid his sales tax during a particular month of 1951, whereupon the store owner produced proper records showing that he had and then "gently" showed the tax investigator off the premises, for which he was hauled into court by the tax collector, alleging assault by the proprietor with a mop. He indicates that despite the tax collector indicating to the judge that the storekeeper had not assaulted him, the judge, nevertheless, found him guilty, of which he also makes complaint. He stresses that it was the job of citizens to nip this sort of injustice in the bud or suffer the consequences later.
A letter from the secretary of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ministerial Association thanks the newspaper for its recent support in the Preaching Mission in Charlotte.
A letter writer, a retired postal clerk, indicates that the previous September, he had accompanied a good friend and neighbor to Good Samaritan Hospital, where the person had surgery on the advice of a physician, after which, her physician declared that she was out of danger and allowed her to go home two weeks after the surgery, whereupon she died the following weekend. He recalls that a representative of the State Health Department had come to Charlotte and made a survey of several hospitals and found that more deaths had resulted from operations at Good Samaritan than in all the other hospitals combined. He finds little improvement in the situation and hopes for a thorough investigation, as explained in a recent editorial.
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