The Charlotte News

Friday, March 28, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that an allied truce negotiator had indicated this date that the Communists appeared to be "unnecessarily holding up the armistice just to argue", citing such things as that which had arisen in the staff officers meeting of the previous day regarding truce supervision, the Communist challenge to how the U.N. forces would be identified, whether as "Allied Forces", as demanded by the Communists, or, as preferred by the U.N., "International Allied Forces", the Communists objecting that the allies did not represent the South Korean people. It was believed that the staff officers would shortly return the issue to the top-level negotiators. The Communists continued to insist that Russia be one of its nominated neutral inspectors of the truce. In an effort to break the deadlock, the allies had proposed that each side nominate only two nations rather than three. There was no comment by the allies except that they had reached no conclusive results.

The other group of staff officers regarding exchange of prisoners again met in secret session, with the principal remaining issue continuing to be voluntary repatriation, with which the Communists had found fault.

Communist negotiators had claimed this date that an allied plane had dropped propaganda leaflets over the Panmunjom truce talk area three days earlier and an allied investigation was underway.

The negotiations between Philip Murray, president of the CIO and United Steelworkers, and the steel industry were temporarily in recess, appearing to wait until the Government clarified its wage-price position and whether it would allow exception to the price control regulations, as demanded by the industry before it could accede to the Wage Stabilization Board's recommended 17.5 cent per hour wage increase—as further summarized on the editorial page by James Marlow. There was no sign yet from the White House that the President was prepared to intercede in the dispute, with the strike deadline set for April 8. Bethlehem Steel met with workers for the first time regarding the WSB recommendations, but the meeting only lasted for a half hour, a company spokesman indicating that there had been confusion regarding the recommendations.

The American Farm Bureau Federation, largest of the national agricultural groups, proposed this date to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that it cut 25 percent from the President's proposed 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid bill. The Committee had set aside this single day for hearing from private groups about the matter. Seventeen witnesses were scheduled to testify, each receiving 10 minutes of time plus questioning by Committee members.

The House Appropriations Committee voted for an amendment to the State Department appropriations bill which would have the effect of blocking the sending of a U.S. diplomatic mission to Vatican City without Congressional approval.

Debate was scheduled to start this date in the Senate regarding a pay increase for the 3.6 million persons serving in the armed forces. The House had approved a flat 10 percent increase in base pay and food and rental allowances at all ranks. The Senate bill, as revised by the Armed Services Committee, provided an average increase of 5.6 percent, with lower-ranking officers and enlisted men getting the largest share of the increases and a base 3 percent increase in pay for all personnel.

During the presidential campaign in Nebraska between Senator Estes Kefauver and Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, the former accused the latter of trying to smear him by means of an advertisement which criticized Senator Kefauver's voting record on Communist-control legislation. Senator Kerr responded that Senator Kefauver had shown a disregard for the truth and was attempting to inject religious intolerance into the campaign, in stating that Senator Kerr supported legislation to aid oil, gas and allied industries in which the Senator had personal interests and in Senator Kefauver's response to a question during an interview regarding a published report that Senator Kerr had supported Herbert Hoover against Democrat Al Smith, a Catholic, in the 1928 presidential race, Senator Kefauver having said that he was sure the voters of Nebraska would want to know Senator Kerr's position. Senator Kerr's campaign manager, a Catholic, had insisted that Senator Kerr had supported Governor Smith in 1928 and asserted that Senator Kefauver should state how he had voted in the race. Senator Kefauver denied that he had raised the religious issue and suggested that Senator Kerr ought respond.

On the Republican side, Senator Taft and former Governor Harold Stassen were targets of criticism, Mr. Stassen claiming that Senator Taft was an isolationist and House Democratic leader John McCormack of Massachusetts accusing Mr. Stassen of playing politics and violating decency in criticizing Attorney General J. Howard McGrath.

A new Associated Press survey of 35 Wisconsin newspaper editors showed Senator Taft still leading in the lead-up to the Wisconsin primary, but Governor Earl Warren having gained some ground since the previous week, with only one editor supporting Mr. Stassen, compared to four a week earlier. The editors also said that Senator Kefauver was gaining over two slates of delegates supporting the President, as 23 of the editors supported Senator Kefauver for the Democratic nomination and only nine, the President.

The President returned from his Key West vacation the previous night and was set to address the Jefferson-Jackson Day Democratic dinner the following night, at which time it was anticipated he would make his plans known as to whether he would seek re-election.

Allied officers at NATO command headquarters in Europe indicated that there was little doubt that General Eisenhower would soon submit his resignation and return to the U.S. to campaign for the presidency, likely to occur in the latter two weeks of May, following the Oregon presidential primary. His resignation letter would likely precede that point by a month.

In Bonn, West Germany, a second suspected bomb attempt on the life of Chancellor Konrad Adenauer within the previous 24 hours had proved a false alarm, after Federal police opened a suspicious parcel and found inside only a loudly ticking antique clock. A previous package had actually exploded, killing one man and injuring four others, prompting police to seize all parcels addressed to the Chancellor, especially those bearing Munich postmarks, from which the exploding package had originated.

A spring blizzard struck most of the British Isles, with snowdrifts up to six inches reported in some areas, snarling traffic in London and other areas. Farmers faced heavy losses of fruit and vegetable crops. A double-decker bus overturned on a snow-covered hill near Sheffield, injuring 20 of the 30 passengers.

Must have been substantially in excess of 28 degrees in grade made, if...

In Lumberton, N.C., a special State prosecutor, appointed by the local Solicitor to prosecute the three Klansmen on trial under an 1868 statute prohibiting membership in a secret military or political organization, denounced the Klan during his argument before the jury as "an hypocrisy in its worst form". One of the 16 Klansmen previously arrested, 12 of whom had renounced their membership and thus had their cases dismissed under the statute, had been scheduled to appear as a witness, but, failing to appear, the court issued a body attachment for his arrest. The State rested its case in the early morning after the witness failed to appear and a defense motion for nonsuit was denied by the judge. The defense offered no evidence. The judge promised that the case would conclude this date. The defense argued that the arrest had violated the constitutional rights of the accused, that it was their right to attend Klan meetings without actually belonging to the organization, just as with any such situation, suggesting the example of church attendance by non-members. The three defendants had denied being Klan members. The defense claimed through a witness who was head of the Klan at Fair Bluff that the organization was known there as the "Anti-Truman Men's Club of Robeson County" and was designed to clean up political corruption, but the State countered that it was in fact a secret Klan Klavern, with a secret grip, password and membership dues.

In the latest News straw poll of potential presidential candidates, General Eisenhower showed a large gain over the prior poll, receiving 59.5 percent support, while Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, excluded from the previous February poll for having only just announced his candidacy, came in second with 11 percent, and Senator Taft followed with 9 percent. The President tied with Senator Kefauver for fourth place with 6.5 percent. In the previous straw vote a month earlier, General Eisenhower had led, but with only 39.5 percent, followed by Senator Taft with 28 percent. The President had 11.5 percent support in the earlier poll. It provides some anecdotal remarks included in the responses.

On the editorial page, "A Bigger Struggle Shapes Up" tells of Arthur Johnsey of the Greensboro Daily News interpreting Democratic state chairman B. Everett Jordan's hint that Governor Kerr Scott had influenced the appointment by the State Election Board of county election boards as signaling a "widening break between" the Governor and Mr. Jordan. The break had been in the works for awhile, as during the previous fall Mr. Jordan's brother, Henry, chairman of the Highway Commission, had been urged by Governor Scott to run for governor, and the Governor's friends believed that Everett Jordan had talked him out of it, so that former interim Senator William B. Umstead could run. Governor Scott was supporting Judge Hubert Olive against Mr. Umstead.

In addition to the gubernatorial nomination, the national committee position was also at stake, currently held by Jonathan Daniels, supported by Governor Scott. Those opposed to the Governor wanted to oust Mr. Daniels. In addition, control of the state delegation to the Democratic national convention was in play. The Governor wanted it to support the President while Mr. Jordan favored support of Senator Richard Russell for the nomination. Moreover, control of the state party machinery was in the offing. If Mr. Umstead were to win—as he would—Mr. Jordan, future Senator, might become the national committeeman.

It suggests that if Mr. Jordan could find pretexts for breaking with the Governor, such as the election board issue, it would make his break appear less as ingratitude.

Mr. Jordan would be appointed interim Senator in 1958 by Governor Luther Hodges at the death of Senator Kerr Scott, Governor Hodges having originally acceded to the office as Lieutenant Governor at the death of Governor Umstead in 1954, elected on his own hook in 1956. Former Governor Scott had won election originally as Senator in 1954, defeating interim Senator Alton Lennon, who had been appointed by Governor Umstead at the death of Senator Willis Smith in mid-1953.

"The Red Cross Pitched In—Have You?" cites the tornadoes which had ripped through several Southern states, especially impacting Arkansas, causing 200 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries, to which the Red Cross had quickly responded with 100 doctors, nurses and staff personnel, plus thousands of local volunteers, establishing emergency shelters and improvised soup kitchens. Rehabilitation would require weeks or months of continued effort. The Red Cross had been in the middle of its annual drive when the disaster struck, causing the national goal to be raised from 85 to 90 million dollars.

The Mecklenburg County chapter was trying hard to meet its goal of $143,200 and the blood collection center needed only another 100 pints to meet its March quota. It urges giving.

"A Challenge Hangs Fire" tells of the Highway Commission appearing to try to stretch its dollars further than they ought to go, having called for two separate bids on a new four-lane stretch of Highway 29 between Charlotte and Concord. The low bid had been $976,000 for concrete paving while the low bid for bituminous surfacing had been $603,000. The Commission withheld approval of either bid pending a final decision on the type of surface it would use on the 16.5-mile stretch of road. The chief engineer had indicated that the Commission would not provide for an inferior road just to cause its funds to stretch further, but informed that the bituminous roadway might eventually cost as much or more than the concrete surface for the former requiring additional maintenance after a year or two, once the roadbed settled, necessitating an additional three-inch layer of asphalt. The engineer said that highway engineers differed over the relative merits of the two types of surface.

The editorial begs off in favor of the engineers, but indicates that if the Commission were simply trying to help Governor Kerr Scott leave office as the "road-pavingest" Governor in history, then they had better get their dueling irons ready.

"Ho-Hum Dept." tells of the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, D. A. Hulcy, possibly having a point when he charged that the proponents of the 7.9 billion dollar mutual security aid bill had a nine-to-one advantage over opponents of the measure, by the fact that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had given the Administration nine days to present its case while the opponents were provided only one day.

But, the piece finds, it was nothing to become excited about, as the arguments against the measure were cut and dried and had been presented publicly with verbosity for a lengthy time. Furthermore, the cards were already stacked against the measure as nearly all members of Congress standing for re-election in the fall had voiced their opinions on the matter, many contending that the country was throwing money down foreign rat holes and that the allies were not doing enough for themselves, that the foreign aid was making them dependent on American largess.

Since the burden was on the Administration to show the need for foreign aid, it was appropriate to give it the bulk of the time to present its case.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "Hearing a Good Book", tells of actor Charles Laughton, along with actors Charles Boyer, Cedric Hardwicke and Agnes Moorehead, having been going about the country reciting the Gettysburg Address and fragments of famous novels and plays, including George Bernard Shaw's Don Juan in Hell. Recently, Emlyn Williams had presented a solo Broadway program of readings from the works of Charles Dickens, and John Carradine was reading from the Bible and from Shakespeare in a nightclub in Greenwich Village. Such presentations were developing into a craze, enabling actors to charge up to $4.80 for admission.

It finds the trend somewhat amazing, just to hear actors recite that which father once had under the livingroom lamp years earlier before the children of the household. It wonders whether there was something wrong with the television set, which brought full plays and other entertainment into the home.

It speculates, therefore, on whether the public was getting tired of such mechanical wonders as the tv and radio, such that they longed for return to the imperfections of the Victorian age. It wonders also whether the time of the itinerant balladeer, singing off key of the day's events in "limping jingles", might return to street corners. It hopes not, but the trend, it concludes, bore watching.

Drew Pearson continues his look, begun the previous day, at former IRB commissioner Joseph Nunan, who had testified recently before the House subcommittee investigating the tax scandals, focusing on Mr. Nunan's large increases in income received from his law firm and other sources outside his Government position, between 1944 and 1947, going from $13,000 up to $77,000 in such additional yearly income during that period. He provides details.

Marquis Childs tells of controls on exports having been made so strict that the leak of strategic materials had been reduced to a trickle, explaining the desperate measures being undertaken by the Communist bloc to seek certain strategic goods and machines. A new regulation would provide that after April 7, strategic materials received from firms in non-Communist countries would need a certification from the government of that country. The greatest advance in that direction had been in West Germany, previously a sieve for vital materials moving into East Germany.

Sometime earlier, figures had shown that larger than normal amounts of medicated vaseline were going to Communist China by direct or indirect means. Controllers in the Commerce Department first believed that it was being used as a lubricant because of the shortage of petroleum products in China and so did not seek to interdict it because the vaseline contained minerals in sufficient quantity to damage machinery if so used. An intelligence report from Hong Kong, however, provided conclusive proof that the vaseline was being used in crude napalm bombs intended for use against U.N. forces in Korea. Immediately thereafter, the assistant director of the Office of International Trade halted further shipments of medicated vaseline.

Pressures were great on the 600-member control staff, but there had been only a few discovered instances of bribery or attempted bribery. The employees had been required to submit under oath detailed statements regarding any transactions they or members of their family had, involving foreign trade and gains from such trade.

The best evidence of the effectiveness of the blockade came from the Communist bloc countries now having to take extraordinary steps to try to obtain essential materials.

James Marlow summarizes the background of the steel dispute, which had begun the previous November when Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers, began talking about a pay increase of 19.5 cents per hour plus other benefits. The steel industry had responded that it could not grant such an increase without raising the price of steel substantially, beyond the roughly two dollars per ton allowed by price controls. The talks broke down and the union first threatened to strike on January 1, after the expiration of the contract.

The President could have delayed the strike, had it occurred, by 80 days using Taft-Hartley, though the President, having vetoed the measure in 1947, only wanted to use it sparingly when absolutely necessary. The President therefore asked the union and industry to allow the Wage Stabilization Board to consider the case and that the strike be postponed until they could render their recommendations, to which the union and industry agreed.

On March 20, the WSB provided its recommendations, which included an increase in wages of 17.5 cents per hour plus other monetary benefits worth an estimated additional two cents per hour, and a union shop wherein all eligible employees had to join the existing union to keep their jobs. One industry spokesman had claimed that the total package recommended by the WSB would provide benefits worth up to 60 cents per hour.

The industry responded that it could not grant the increase without a price increase of around $12 per ton, whereas Office of Price Stabilization officials had indicated previously that the industry could afford a wage increase without raising prices based on huge profits.

The result was that the union and industry were presently back where they had been the previous November, except that the WSB recommendations were now on the table. The union had, after the recommendations were submitted, indicated acceptance of them and that it would strike on April 8 if industry did not accept them.

Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson had indicated that the WSB recommendations would undermine stabilization of prices and wages, whereas the WSB chairman Nathan Feinsinger indicated otherwise.

Mr. Marlow concludes that if the Steelworkers won, other unions would probably follow, seeking the same types of wage increases and benefits. If steel prices were to rise, other industries which depended on steel would, of necessity, also have to raise their prices, leading to a cycle of inflation. The Government was left to try to work out a solution.

A letter writer says that he tired easily of the maudlin matter he heard on the airwaves and his eyes were temporarily afflicted such that he had to choose his reading material carefully, but after reading Dr. George Crane's column of March 20, regarding universal military training, he believed he would never again waste his time on that column. The column had responded to a letter which had been highly critical of UMT, and, the letter writer believes, had misstated many facts about UMT in the process. He compares it to the propaganda of Josef Goebbels.

UMT had been recently defeated in Congress.

A letter writer comments that the country had suffered from many major disasters, such as the Chicago fire of 1871 and the San Francisco earthquake of 1906, and the depressions during the Cleveland and Hoover Administrations, all during the letter writer's lifetime. But the worst disaster, he believes, came from the failure of the President. He defers to the last line of the editorial "Fish Story" of March 19.

A letter writer thanks the newspaper for its support of the Eisenhower-for-President club in the county in its effort to nominate the General on the Republican ticket. He indicates that when they had begun work in January, the state delegation had been prepared to cast its 26 votes for Senator Taft, but through the efforts of a few people, the number had been cut to 14, and they expected to have a majority for General Eisenhower by July. He also thanks the people who had worked on behalf of the General's candidacy. He further thanks the newspaper for its general service to the area. He concludes that the club would continue to work for the nomination of the General and for Raper Jonas for Congress.

We thought that he always went by his first name, Charles, rather than by his middle name.

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