The Charlotte News
Tuesday, March 18, 1952
Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist negotiators in Korea proposed changes in two of the five ports of entries proposed for each side by the allies to be included in the truce period inspections, including, in the North, Pyongyang, for which they sought to substitute Sinanju, and Hamhung, for which they sought to substitute Hungnam, as well, in the South, seeking to substitute Inchon for Seoul and Suwon for Taegu. The Communists agreed on three ports, Sinuiju, Mampojin, and Chongjin in the North, and three in the South, Kangnung, Kunsan and Pusan.
The Communists also stated that they could not answer seven allied questions regarding exchange of prisoners, that session lasting but 22 minutes.
The U.N. command rejected the proposed port changes and said it would await the Communists' answers on the prisoner matters. The U.N. command spokesman said that he did not believe the port of entry issue would take long to resolve and appeared optimistic over the prisoner situation, indicating that the Communists were genuinely studying the questions.
On the western front, scattered attacks of 1,000 Communist Chinese troops trying to penetrate U.N. lines before dawn this date along a four-mile sector northwest of Korangpo had been routed by allied guns.
Heavy cloud cover prevented most air activity, but allied fighter-bombers blasted 57 new holes in the enemy rail system prior to noon, and other attacks occurred against the enemy front lines. No enemy jets were sighted during the day. Air raid sirens were triggered in Seoul early in the morning, but the threat turned out to be a flock of snow geese.
In Paris, former ERP administrator Paul Hoffman, present head of the Ford Foundation, stated this date that he had told General Eisenhower that he ought to make plans to give up his post as supreme commander of NATO and return home to help campaign for his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. He said that he told the General that henceforth, his political life would interfere with his command. He said that the General had made no comment in reply. Mr. Hoffman believed that it would be "absolutely tragic" if the General returned only for the purpose of testifying before Congress regarding the 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid bill.
As also covered in an editorial this date, a review appears of William Hillman's book, Mr. President, portraying President Truman as a sentimental, lonely man who sometimes felt that the White House had turned him into a "two-headed calf", a freak in the eyes of the American public. The book was full of "unrehearsed private thoughts" of the President and sold for five dollars. Mr. Hillman was a Mutual Broadcasting System commentator, and, though having titular authorship of the book, 65,000 of the 80,000 words were ascribed to the President, himself, out of his leather-bound diaries, his private memoranda, his correspondence and private conversations. They revealed that at least on two occasions, he had feared World War III was on the verge of occurring. In January, 1946, he had chastised Secretary of State James Byrnes for keeping him in the dark on foreign policy and stated that he was tired of "babying" the Soviets. The piece indicates parenthetically that Governor Byrnes had responded that the incident was "absolutely untrue". The book also said that he viewed Henry Wallace, former Vice-President under FDR, predecessor to Mr. Truman, and Secretary of Commerce under President Truman, as a "dreamer more dangerous to the country than the old German-American Bund." The name of the person so referenced in the book, however, had been blacked out, but the context indicated that it was Mr. Wallace, and when the President had been asked whether that was the proper reference, he had replied with no comment. Mr. Wallace, according to the piece, when reached at his home, stated that if the President ever admitted that the statement was in reference to him, he would charge him with the same deliberate character assassination which the President found so despicable in others. The book, the piece points out, had included only fleeting and noncommittal references to General Eisenhower, indicating that the President had praised the General after World War II and promised to help him obtain anything he wanted, including the presidency in 1948. There was also nothing indicated regarding Senator Taft. Regarding his early political life, including a decade in the Senate before becoming Vice-President in 1945, the President said that the Kansas City Pendergast machine had never influenced him as a public official, but admitted that he was originally sponsored in politics by it. He said that there was nothing he detested so much as a crooked politician or corrupt government official.
Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the North Carolina Republican convention meeting at the Armory in Charlotte, and hearing a bitter, anti-Administration keynote address from Senator Herman Welker of Idaho, saying that the President's foreign aid program was a "stupid philosophy" and that the Government had become involved in a "disgraceful police action" in Korea, was now "begging" from Chinese Communists in the truce talks while "stockpiling caskets" to carry out the fight for "fuzzy-thinking idealists". He repeatedly referred to the President as "the little man from Missouri" and accused him of getting the salary of the President increased by $50,000 so that he would leave office "a wealthy man". He added that on the basis of the President's previous record in private business, he doubted whether the President could "command the salary". He also said that he had no confidence in the Joint Chiefs, whom he believed were "playing politics trying to justify Truman's … firing of MacArthur", a statement prompting loud applause from the delegates. He placed Secretary of State Acheson in a class of people he defined as "architects of disaster". Senator Welker, however, praised Democratic Senators Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith of North Carolina as excellent Senators. He also liked two other Democratic Senators, Pat McCarran of Nevada and Edwin Johnson of Colorado. Much of his speech had sounded pro-Taft and anti-Eisenhower, but he refused to confirm speculation that he was supporting Senator Taft for the nomination. He also asserted that the South was solid against the President and the "creeping socialism which his Administration has advocated". He characterized the Republicans as the "party of peace", for "honesty and decency in government", forecasting that ruin lay ahead for the United States if the Administration was not defeated.
Of the 26 delegates slated to attend the Chicago Republican convention in July, the majority of the 22 thus far named were for Senator Taft, but there was some dispute over the exact number of delegates committed to the Senator and those to General Eisenhower.
Delegates interviewed during the session appeared enthusiastic about the GOP prospects for 1952 and believed that North Carolina might turn Republican, as it had in the Hoover landslide of 1928 against Democrat Al Smith of New York. A piece provides samples of the rhetoric.
An all-male choir had begun the proceedings by singing a parody of "Bye, Bye Blackbird", titling it instead, "Bye, Bye Harry", with one verse stating: "Out you go, moanin' low: bye, bye, Harry/ This is where the joyride ends: bye, bye, Harry." It received loud applause.
It obviously doesn't take much to entertain morons.
A late bulletin indicates that the FBI had announced it had made a seventh arrest in the 1.5 million dollar robbery in Reno, and had recovered $36,731 of the loot. We don't think we heard about that one. Was that in the Children's News section of the newspaper?
On the editorial page, "Welcome to the Republicans" welcomes the North Carolina Republicans to Charlotte, with their state convention commencing this date. It remarks that it had been quite a while since there had been so much life within the Republican Party in the state, a development which it regards as good, as all too often, it had been a "sad and glum lot of despondent and hopeless partisans." In 1952, they believed that they had a good chance to capture the presidency and at least the House, and that North Carolina might even follow in train. In the Tenth Congressional District, embracing Mecklenburg County, they believed that Charles Jonas, a Republican, would give a fight to incumbent Congressman Hamilton Jones.
It indicates that The News counted itself as an independent newspaper, but one which had sought through the years to help the Republicans out of their "mental doldrums", while trying to convince Democrats and independents that their political allegiance would be valued more highly by both major parties if it were not so lightly provided the Democrats. It says that it had sought to convince registered Republicans during the year that General Eisenhower was the best man for their nominee, one who would likely carry the nation, including parts of the South.
"A Book about Mr. President" indicates that it would be a long time before the outcry regarding William Hillman's book, Mr. President, died away. Controversy had arisen anent the ascribed quotes of the President chastising Secretary of State Byrnes, as well regarding whether the President was thinking of obtaining re-election when he violated an unwritten rule and made public, while still in office, his Presidential papers which, it suggests, ought be reserved for the historians. The omissions from the release were as conspicuous for their absence as some of the inclusions, presenting the President in a favorable light. Although Mr. Hillman contended that he was not writing a "political" volume, there was suspicion that he passed over the seamier side of the Truman Administration and concentrated only on the favorable aspects.
Regardless, what had emerged was a portrait of an average American of more than average sensitivity who was overwhelmed by the weight of responsibility cast upon him and who suffered the agony of deep thoughts and weighty problems for which he was not equipped. It was an intimate and pleasing portrait of the President and whether the book would be a factor in a 1952 re-election campaign remained to be seen, but the book had stirred new clouds of controversy around Mr. Truman and his place in history, appearing "too impatient to wait for history's verdict."
"Politics and Foreign Policy" tells of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee having decided the previous day to postpone the showdown on whether to invite General Eisenhower home to testify regarding the 7.9 billion dollar mutual security foreign aid program. The reason for the delay was that many Senators believed that General Alfred Gruenther, General Eisenhower's chief deputy, would be able to report all which the Committee needed to hear in terms of the necessity of the program.
While the piece accepts this explanation as reasonable, it also thinks that the most influential witness available, General Eisenhower, ought be the one to speak on the issue. Americans were confused about foreign policy and giving aid to allies who were not as resolute as it appeared they ought to be in the face of a Soviet threat. With that being the case, a "Voice" was needed to speak on behalf of the mutual security program.
With it being a presidential election year and General Eisenhower a candidate, political considerations appeared to have outweighed the more important practical considerations of the security program, resulting in the reliance on General Gruenther regarding the most serious question of the time.
"Southerners Are Lazy Voters" discusses the fact that in 1948, only 39 percent of eligible North Carolina voters had participated in the presidential election, a percentage actually high for the South, equaled only in Florida. Tennessee had 30 percent participation, Louisiana, 28 percent, Texas, 27 percent, Virginia, 24 percent, Georgia, 22 percent, Mississippi, 17 percent, and Alabama, 14 percent. It regards such low participation as shameful when compared to the states of Utah, which had 75 percent participation, Delaware and Colorado, each with 71 percent, and Montana, at 70 percent.
It refers to a piece on the page from the Congressional Quarterly which studies the results of the 1948 and 1950 races, with special attention paid to North Carolina's participation.
It posits that the answer to the problem was a vigorous two-party system and that until that happened, Southern complaints about the sad state of national affairs would be unconvincing, as much of the problem lay in the region's blind allegiance to outdated one-party domination.
The blind allegiance was not to a party, but rather to racial politics, whether Republican or Democratic, much as it remains in some quarters.
If one party, i.e. the Democrats, served the economic interests of the South far better than did the Republicans, aligned consistently with big business, why the hell wouldn't people, except morons falling for the old "Southern strategy", the wink-and-nod code words, "America first" and the like, vote for the Democrats? One of these days, perhaps, the editorialist will come to realize that flaw in the analysis.
A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "South Has No Monopoly Here", posits that the South had no monopoly on racial prejudice, as borne out by the latest example of racial violence against blacks having occurred in San Pablo, California, where a black person bought a house in a previously all-white neighborhood, triggering a mob of whites gathering outside the home, hurling stones and jeering the man and his family.
There had also been rioting the previous year over the same issue of open-housing at Cicero, Illinois, as well as racial clashes earlier in Detroit.
It indicates that those facts did not excuse the South for discrimination against blacks or any other group, but did serve to indicate that the problem, commonly regarded as Southern, was, instead, "well nigh universal".
Drew Pearson tells of steel executives having attended a meeting with Office of Price Stabilization officials recently to discuss a formula by which the steel companies could obtain a price increase to permit a wage increase and avoid a steel strike, presently set to begin the following Sunday. Most of the steel executives had appeared bored at the meeting, as it was apparent that they would not accept only a modest price increase available under the price controls law, which would limit the increase to only about $2.49 per ton, when the industry claimed it needed at least a $6 to $10 per ton increase to meet the 18.5 cents per hour demanded wage increase. The result was that it was likely the steel industry was headed for one of the largest strikes of the previous decade.
The Wage Stabilization Board was recommending a wage increase for steelworkers of about 15.5 cents per hour, based on accepted cost-of-living indices and the fact that other workers, such as those at G.M., had obtained regular wage increases per the escalator clauses in their contracts, while steelworkers had been under a long-term fixed-wage contract. The OPS would oppose any price increase to compensate for the wage increase. Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson, Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam and new OPS administrator Ellis Arnall had all decided against providing the steel industry its demanded price increase, based on huge increases in profits and ample margin to absorb the wage increase, as well as the fact that a large increase in the price of steel would undermine price controls and create a new wave of inflation, as indicated in a memo from former OPS head, Mike DiSalle, just before his departure.
The upshot of the disagreement was that it would be industry, not labor, which would actually be striking against the Government should it fail to accept the Government's wage recommendations, as labor was amenable to the WSB compromise. That had triggered talk, for the first time, of Government seizure of the steel plants to prevent the threatened strike, in the interest of national security.
Congressman Cecil King of California had been responsible for tipping the scales for having tax collectors brought under the Civil Service system, as his radio appeal, on top of his tax corruption probe, helped defeat such powerful Senators opposed to the plan, as Senators Walter George and Eugene Millikin.
The real reason that Senators Joseph McCarthy and Karl Mundt had gone so hard against Newbold Morris in the recent hearings on the war-surplus shipping deals was to head off Mr. Morris's potential investigation of certain Republican Senators who would look bad should the new Government corruption investigator ever obtain subpoena powers.
As indicated in the above editorial, a piece from the Congressional Quarterly analyzes the election results nationally and for North Carolina in 1948 and 1950, as a prelude for 1952.
In 1948, there had been 93,704,000 Americans of voting age and of those, 52 percent had participated in the presidential election. In North Carolina, there were 2,049,000 persons of voting age in 1948 and of that number, 39 percent had voted in the presidential election. Nationally, 49 percent voted for Congressional Representatives and in the 32 states with Senate races, 48 percent had voted in those contests. In North Carolina, 37 percent voted in the Congressional races and the same percentage in the single Senate race.
Utah had the greatest percentage of participation in 1948, at 75 percent in the presidential race and 74 percent in the Congressional races. Other states with turnouts ranging between 69 and 72 percent were Colorado, Delaware, Montana and West Virginia. The lowest voter turnout occurred in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina, where the primary contests determined the general election results.
In 1950, 73 percent of the adult population were registered to vote and 42 percent of those of voting age actually voted in the Congressional races, with 44 percent in the 32 Senate races. In North Carolina, 69 percent of eligible voters registered, and 23 percent voted in the Congressional races, 24 percent in the Senate race. Utah again led the nation in voting in 1950, with 68 percent participating in both the Senate and House races. Other high participation states were Indiana, South Dakota and Connecticut, each with 62 percent or more participation. South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama and Virginia had the lowest turnout.
Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the establishment of the European army, with the agreements reached in general terms at the Lisbon conference of NATO foreign ministers set to be worked out in detail and approved by the participating governments by the end of April and ratification by the six participating nations by July 1. The Schuman Plan for sharing iron ore and coal among the NATO nations of Europe would also likely be ratified by July 1. At that point, Western Europe would have taken a major step forward toward the federal union.
The significance of the European army plan lay in the fact that West Germany would be enabled to make a contribution to the defense of the West. But even if approved and formed, the European army would not make much difference militarily for at least another two years. The first German soldiers would not be recruited until the following mid-summer and the training of two or three divisions would not occur until the end of 1953, with Germany not positioned for a significant contribution of 10 or 12 divisions until the end of 1954, at the earliest. But the formation of the army would have a major impact on producing a European federal union, for to have such an army, the nations had to have joint economic and financial policies. To enable that to occur, a meeting was to be called of the participating nations shortly after ratification of the army plan. At the meeting, it would be determined how much each nation's sovereignty would be preserved within the union, as well as the development of a joint taxation and financial policy, with the lowering and eventual elimination of customs barriers.
The concept sounded unrealistic and, they allow, it might be, as there was potential for additional major dissension over the Saar or a potential blow-up in the agreement should Charles de Gaulle come to power in France or Kurt Schumacher in Germany, or should the U.S. Congress significantly cut the mutual security program. The Soviets, too, were doing everything in their power to undermine the potential for European union. Indeed, the French had proposed the idea of a European army as a means to prevent the creation of a sovereign German army and no one had taken the idea seriously until General Eisenhower the previous summer had embraced the concept. That, in turn, shifted the movement toward European union and practical planning for it. It had all thus developed somewhat accidentally.
A letter writer thinks that
something ought be done to stop dancing in the public schools, begun
in the first grade, and, he understands, were a student to refuse
participation, wound up criticized. He thinks that dancing was "far
more harmful than smoking". He had never heard of any immorality
caused from smoking
A letter writer from Laurinburg tells of a news item appearing in newspapers across the state on March 6, quoting "PeaVine" Reynolds of Lumberton, county manager of Robeson County, responding to a request from the county chairman of the Republican Party, seeking a place to hold the county convention, with the facetious statement that it could be held in a phone booth as the courthouse was already being used by the Democrats. The writer, a "Disgusted Democrat", objects to the county manager thus taking advantage of his position to poke fun at a minority group and thinks that if he had no better sense of his position, "he had better resign and join Nebuchadnezzar in his pastures."
A letter writer from Hamlet tells of Senator Taft, while in Houston, having praised the Republican ideal of liberty and posited himself as its exponent. He suggests that the Senator must have forgotten about the law which he had sponsored in 1947, Taft-Hartley, having shackled the workers and furnished a fertile breeding ground for Communism. He asserts that the Senator could not possibly believe in liberty for all. He believes Taft-Hartley to have been patterned on Hitler's fascism and that if the nation wanted another Hitler, it should vote for Senator Taft.
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