The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 1, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, by a vote of 5 to 4, had reversed the previous night the decision of the District Court granting a temporary injunction of the seizure of the steel mills, effectively returning them to the Government to run as long as the dispute continued, staying the injunction pending Supreme Court review of the matter. The Court cited ample authority for the notion that the Government had extraordinary powers in an emergency and so found that authority to cast doubt on the premise that the President lacked such inherent executive power and that it was reserved only to the Congress, as found by the District Court in granting the injunction. The Court also ruled that given the objections by the steel industry that it would undergo damage as a result of the seizure, any such damage would have to be reasonably compensated by the Government as a "taking" under the Fifth Amendment. This date, the Court of Appeals, also by a vote of 5 to 4, refused to enjoin Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, in charge of running the steel mills during the seizure, from implementing a wage increase for steelworkers. Secretary Sawyer, a few minutes before the decision was announced, had indicated that he did not intend to take any "precipitate" action regarding wages. Most of the steel mills remained closed and striking members of the United Steelworkers Union continued on their picket lines. Union president Philip Murray said that he would have no statement this date following the Court of Appeals rulings. The strike had begun immediately following the order granting the injunction by the District Court on Tuesday.

Discussion by members of Congress increased regarding potential impeachment of the President for his continued refusal to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act in the steel dispute, as some Republicans who had been lukewarm to the idea indicated that they might have no alternative. A technicality had prevented the House Judiciary Committee from proceeding with a scheduled vote on ten impeachment and related resolutions. Half a dozen committees were busy directly or indirectly dealing with the various phases of the steel dispute. It became increasingly apparent that the Congress would not provide the President with specific power to seize strike-threatened plants.

Parenthetically, unlike some other, more recent occupants of the White House, who unfortunately chose the stone-walling technique to avoid Congressional investigations, thereby digging deeper holes for themselves, President Truman had a diplomatic answer for the impeachment efforts, provided at his April 24 press conference.

The House Armed Services Committee scheduled hearings for the following week regarding a new anti-strike bill which could block strikes indefinitely during emergencies. Support was mounting for the bill introduced the previous day by Congressman Howard Smith of Virginia.

The nationwide strike of nearly 90,000 oil industry workers entered its second day, with shortages of gasoline for motorists occurring in scattered areas, such as Gary, Hammond and East Chicago, Indiana. Government officials estimated that the country had about a 45-day supply of gasoline on hand and that a reduction of current stocks by one-half would mean a nationwide shortage of major proportions. The Oil Workers International Union in Denver had reduced its original demand from a 25-cents per hour wage increase to 22 cents, with a lot of other compromises being considered. The average wage in the industry was presently $2.00 to $2.10 per hour. Cyrus Ching, chief Government mediator, had predicted a possible nationwide pattern for settlement of the dispute based on an agreement reportedly reached with Standard Oil at its Sugar Creek, Missouri, refinery, involving a 15-cents per hour wage increase retroactive to the previous October 1 and night differential pay ranging from four to six cents per hour in the afternoon and six to twelve cents at night. But some 300 members of the union stated the previous night that the report of an agreement was false and protested Mr. Ching's announcement as making them appear as strike-breakers.

The Government placed inventory restrictions on some major petroleum products in 17 Eastern states and the District of Columbia this date as a result of the strike by the oil workers, prohibiting deliveries of automotive gasoline, kerosene, home heating oil, diesel fuel, and residual fuel oil to resellers or large-volume consumers in those states, which included North and South Carolina.

In Charlotte, numerous steel warehouses, most of which had low inventories, were operating under the new, severely restrictive National Production Authority emergency regulation designed to protect the most essential requirements. Considerable confusion had developed among the Charlotte companies.

The Piedmont was unaffected thus far by the spreading strike of oil workers. The two major pipelines, which originated in Louisiana and Texas, were continuing to operate, with delivery of natural gas at its normal rate. Gasoline stations reported business at normal rates for the season.

Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall stated that price controls on raw cotton and cotton textiles and apparel would likely be suspended the following week.

May Day was celebrated by workers around the world with riots, strikes and rival demonstrations by Communists and non-Communists. In Tokyo, there were violent riots lasting five hours, with thousands of Communists swinging clubs, throwing rocks, shouting "go home, Yankees", and breaking through police lines to invade a peaceable non-Communist crowd of 300,000. More than 100 persons, some Americans, had been injured, and two U.S. speakers, Socialist Norman Thomas and the president of the American Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, J. Philip Randolph, had retreated from a Tokyo park before delivering their addresses to the non-Communist crowd. Communists threw stones at the building which had until recently housed Allied occupation headquarters. About three million Japanese turned out throughout Japan for more than 400 rallies, with no other violence reported outside Tokyo. In Berlin, there were rival demonstrations within sight of each other. Prime Minister Joseph Stalin appeared at Lenin's tomb in Moscow to watch the Soviet armed forces parade through Red Square. In New York, preparations were made for a parade down Eighth Avenue, with 1,800 police and detectives on alert. In Singapore, about 5,000 Chinese, Indians and Malays said prayers for the dead of the two world wars.

In Las Vegas, another atomic bomb blast was observed from the Yucca Flats test site in Nevada, 75 miles distant. No sound was heard or shock felt in Las Vegas. Observers said that the blast did not appear as large as the one which had occurred on April 22 in which Army troops had participated and which was televised nationally, but did appear to produce a larger mushroom than the one of the previous week. The bomb was dropped in this test from an Air Force bomber. Preliminary reports indicated that the Marines had been used in the test. Television station KTLA in Los Angeles broadcast the event to Southern California.

The State Department reported that the U.S. Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Ellis Briggs, had talked with imprisoned Associated Press correspondent William Oatis the previous day and had found him in good health. Mr. Oatis had been found guilty of espionage by the Czech government and sentenced to 10 years with a promise of early release after five years for good behavior.

Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Wreckage of a missing Pan American World Airways Stratocruiser had been sighted near Carolina, Brazil, this date and there was no indication of survivors from among the 50 who had been aboard, 19 of whom were Americans.

In Branford, Connecticut, 4 to 6 elderly persons were believed to have died in a fire which swept through a convalescent home late during the morning. A person living near the scene had also died of a heart attack.

In Middlesbrough, England, a minister organized a group of church girls to call on British sailors at dockside, to combat with Christians the temptation to cavort with other types of women. The minister boasted that his girls made those other types of girls appear "as flat as last night's beer" and were "the sort of girls a sailor's mother would like but they're not hot gospellers who will try to ram religion down the chaps' throats." The girls would first entice the sailors to accompany them and then steer them to a mission for seamen where they could dance, play table tennis, talk and have meals with the girls.

On page 2-A, Dr. W. C. Alvarez presents his fourth installment in the series titled "How To Live with Your Heart Condition", in which he sets forth the relationship between the heart and nerves.

On the editorial page, "Arabs Exploit Refugee Problem", another by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, writing from the Israeli sector of Jerusalem, anent the Arab refugee problem in Jordan and other Arab nations neighboring Israel, the third and final piece on this issue, this time venturing conclusions after hearing spokesmen from both sides state opinions on the causes of the problem. He indicates that he reluctantly had come to the view that the Arab states surrounding Israel did not want to solve the issue of the more than 800,000 idle, embittered Arab refugees. One U.N. official had even stated that the Arab nations did not give a damn if the refugees lived or died. Mr. McKnight thinks that an overstatement as the rulers of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt were not so callous, Jordan having cooperated completely with the U.N. Relief & Works Agency in seeking to provide its 500,000 refugees an opportunity to live until their fate was decided. The other Arab states likewise had not allowed their refugees to starve, even though they were worse off than those in Jordan.

Nevertheless, he finds that the rulers of those Arab states did recognize the political value in keeping the refugee problem alive, as the sense of nationalism in the Middle East and the notion that a medieval feudal system was holding them in bondage and denying them their place in modern coexistence helped to fuel their passions against Israel and Britain. The shrewd Arab political leaders had been able to direct that nationalism toward the British in Egypt and Iran, and toward Israel in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. It kept their minds off their abject economic conditions amid a wealthy ruling elite.

Once peace would be established with Israel and the British would evacuate the Suez Canal Zone or at least reach a working arrangement with Egypt, the nationalistic ardor might easily turn its focus toward internal conditions.

The continuance of the problem also attracted attention from the world to the area, and the constant threat of a new Arab-Israeli war erupting from the refugee problem was useful in attracting large U.N. appropriations to relieve the Arab nations of the heavy burden of the refugees.

He finds also, however, that the Arabs did have some argument, as there had been a great deal of injustice in the creation of the 800,000 refugees, a share of the blame belonging to both sides. But the overriding issue was that something had to be done soon about this problem. Israel was not going to take the refugees back, as it had its own problems, having opened its gates to millions of Jews from around the world, accepting 700,000 during the previous four years, 50,000 more than the entire Jewish population in May, 1948, when the British had surrendered the Palestine mandate and withdrawn their troops. Those immigrants came from more than 50 nations, spoke many languages and derived from different cultures, representing all levels of economic achievement from the near-slaves of Yemen to the artisans and intellectuals of Europe. Israel was small geographically and much of it was barren with the need to revitalize the soil which had lain in neglect for centuries. It also needed new industries and was living a hand-to-mouth economic existence with an unstable currency and an imbalance of exports and imports. Moreover, the Israelis did not feel any moral responsibility for the Arabs, arguing that they had left on their own, confident that Arab troops would quickly annihilate the Israeli forces and permit them to return home. Nevertheless, Israel had adopted a policy of permitting separated families to reunite and had allowed some limited infiltration of Arab refugees across the border. But it was not going to return to the original 1947 partition plan, now advocated by most Arab leaders, or surrender back territory it had won in the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-49.

A solution to the problem would have to come from elsewhere. He finds the U.N. relief agency to have made an error in keeping the Arab refugees on an international dole without requiring the Arab host nations to do anything on their own initiative toward resettling the refugees. He posits that the agency should have provided enough money to the Arab nations in the form of loans and grants to resettle the refugees and then let the matter alone. Instead, for four years, the refugees had lived on the U.N. handouts, remaining idle and refusing to accept compensation for their property. He suggests that it was not too late to correct the original error or for the U.N. to lay down the law to Arab nations or arrange adequate compensation for lost properties and develop resettlement projects which would aid both the refugees and the Arab nations where they had settled.

He suggests that the ultimate resolution might be a slow chipping away of the problem by certain countries, such as Israel and Syria permitting entry of limited numbers of the refugees, while Jordan was permitting some of the skilled craftsmen among the refugees to aid with the extensive building program in its modern capital of Amman. One U.N. official had commented that he believed that the situation would be solved if the Arab nations would each take a small number and resettle them on favorable terms, that such would break down the wall of resistance and hostility toward resettlement.

All of the Arab, Israeli, British, U.S. and U.N. officials with whom Mr. McKnight had talked agreed that some solution of the refugee problem had to be found before permanent peace between Israel and the Arab nations could be established. He concludes that such a solution would require more intelligence and willingness to compromise on both sides than had yet been in evidence.

Incidentally, by coincidence, the article to the right of the fourth installment by Dr. Alvarez, as set forth in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazatte of March 20, relating to a talk by Israeli Labor Minister Golda Myerson, as part of a program sponsored by two Pittsburgh Jewish groups, was future Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir.

"A Fact the GOP Should Face" tells of the Massachusetts primary on Tuesday, where every vote had been a write-in, having been General Eisenhower's best victory to date, not only receiving over two-thirds of the Republican vote but also more than one-fourth of the entire Democratic vote, beaten on that side only by Senator Kefauver.

Senator Taft's campaign manager in Massachusetts, however, complained that the victory of General Eisenhower was achieved through the help of Democrats who had voted in the Republican primary. This fact, the piece points out, ought have Republicans jumping for joy, as it showed that the General could attract Democrats and independents, a sine qua non for a Republican winning a national election, as Republican voters were in the minority nationally. The General was the only candidate who could do so and it suggests that the fact ought soon be impressed on the minds of the sincere supporters of Senator Taft.

Drew Pearson tells of Democratic leaders jockeying in the background to sidetrack Senator Estes Kefauver's run for the presidential nomination based on the fear of the big city bosses of having him in a position where he could control the Justice Department and its investigation into graft and corruption in the big cities, as exposed during his time as chairman of the Senate organized crime investigating committee in 1950-51. It was the reason that a lot of Northern money was being sent to Florida from gambling and other sources to try to defeat the Senator through the use of any Southerner, such as Senator Richard Russell of Georgia. It was not the case that those Northern Democrats were enamored so much of Senator Russell as it was that they figured that Florida was a key state to set back the Kefauver campaign.

Key to Democratic control of the White House in recent years had been the strategy to control the big city machines, giving the party a large bloc of votes in any national election and the power and patronage of the city machines, more important to some party leaders than a national victory. It explained why certain Brooklyn, Manhattan and Chicago Congressmen voted for liberal legislation on national issues and voted conservatively on local issues. The big city machines were given complete power regarding local matters, but that depended on a friendly, cooperative Justice Department, as much of the campaign revenue to those machines often came from gambling and underworld sources. An Attorney General who began to get serious about the Corrupt Practices Act or income tax prosecutions thus automatically jeopardized the big city machines. That had been the real reason why the late Attorney General Frank Murphy had been appointed by FDR in 1940 to the Supreme Court after he had gotten too tough with the big city machines, and it also explained why Democratic leaders of those machines were deathly afraid of Senator Kefauver. It also explained why Governor Fuller Warren of Florida was bitterly opposed to the Senator, as the latter had helped expose the huge amounts of gambling contributions which helped Governor Warren get elected, $154,000 of which had come from a Chicago owner of dog tracks who dominated dog racing in the entire state of Florida.

It had been Attorney General Murphy who had sent the late boss Tom Pendergast of Kansas City to jail, had prosecuted five members of the Huey Long gang in Louisiana and had started to investigate the Jersey City machine of boss Frank Hague, at the time FDR nominated him for the high Court.

Similarly, President Calvin Coolidge had heard criticism from big business of his Attorney General, Harlan Fiske Stone, who had begun to prosecute Alcoa for monopolistic practices under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, despite the fact that Alcoa was headed by Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon. As a result, President Coolidge nominated Attorney General Stone to the Supreme Court—where he was elevated eventually to Chief by FDR in 1941 at the retirement of Charles Evans Hughes.

Senator Kefauver was the first Democrat since Frank Murphy who had taken on the big city machines, probing such cities as Chicago and New York just before elections. He had been urged by Democratic colleagues to concentrate on Philadelphia, controlled by Republicans, but instead had begun his investigation in Kansas City and then moved to Democratic Chicago and New York, the latter investigation having seriously embarrassed former Mayor William O'Dwyer, now Ambassador to Mexico.

Mr. Pearson points out that big city bosses generally flocked to potential winners, such as Senator Kefauver who had thus far won 1.12 million of the 1.4 million votes cast in the primaries, the runner-up being Senator Hubert Humphrey with only 102,500 votes. Eventual nominee, Governor Adlai Stevenson thus far had 89,000 votes, though never having actively campaigned and having recently taken himself out of consideration for the nomination. But, he adds, when the party bosses foresaw a hostile Justice Department plus the possible threat of jail, the normal appeal of a winner did not any longer count.

Betting money therefore is on a Humphrey-Russell ticket.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the prospects for General Eisenhower's statements once he returned to the U.S. to begin his campaign for the GOP nomination. On domestic policy he had replied to a letter from Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, who had sought the General's stand on civil rights, by saying that his military duties had not allowed him time to reach a conclusion on the issue.

On the other hand, when replying to a letter from his chief Texas supporter, Jack Porter, the General had said that "in principle", he favored a return of the Federally owned tideland oil resources to the states. He said that he had previously expressed approval of state ownership of tidelands oil at "semi-public dinners in Texas and elsewhere". He added that it was the duty of the Federal Government, however, to prevent "unfair exploitation of national resources".

The Alsops suggest that this statement took on greater meaning when read with the recent Senate vote on the bill put forth by the oil companies to require the Federal Government to give the tidelands oil to the states. Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., Leverett Saltonstall, and James Duff, the chief supporters of General Eisenhower in the Senate, were all absent at the time of the vote on this bill, though each had recorded himself as being favorable to the bill.

Supporters of Senator Taft had been spreading the rumor that General Eisenhower was "wrong on tidelands", hurting the General's chances of obtaining a large number of Texas delegates. The General's letter to Mr. Porter, therefore, was intended to counter this rumor. The Alsops suggest it as an example of the price the country paid for the manner in which it selected presidential candidates and financed political campaigns. The contrast between the letter on tidelands oil and that to Congressman Powell anent civil rights was striking. Furthermore, the Committee for Economic Development, of which the General was a member, had recently declared itself in favor of a national sales tax to raise additional revenue for defense. All three of these positions on domestic issues were considered right-wing.

So, they conclude that the question as to what the General might say when he got home would be better phrased as asking how far to the right he would go. Republican pre-convention politics might tend to push him far to the right, as the broad mass of Republican leaders were very conservative and the General would have a better chance at the convention in contesting Senator Taft if he and the Senator agreed on most domestic issues while differing only on foreign policy. A conservative domestic policy position would also increase the General's chances of carrying several Southern states. They add, however, that if he yielded too completely to those temptations, the penalties could be heavy and could even lead to defeat, even as present polls showed that 60 percent of the voters wanted the General to become the next President. For those reasons, strategists were plotting very carefully to have the General take a moderate stand on domestic issues.

Marquis Childs tells of the foreign ministers of most of the European nations, including Russia, having met at Paris to discuss the Marshall Plan five years earlier. Russia had dispatched V. M. Molotov to the conference and at the opening session, he appeared sympathetic to the idea, but had changed his view by the second session, condemning the Plan, after apparent instructions had come from Moscow to do so.

The Soviets were acutely aware that 1952 was a presidential election year and that a change in leadership in Washington could produce changes in foreign policy. Only two months remained before the political conventions would start and after that point, Congress would not meet again until a new President took office the following January. The Senate appropriations subcommittee, chaired by Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, was just beginning hearings on the requested defense budget of 52 billion dollars for the following fiscal year. Senator O'Mahoney had two other major committee responsibilities and also had found it more difficult to obtain a quorum as campaigning had begun. With the hearings now beginning, Senator O'Mahoney wanted to convince the Senate that it was vital to lift the spending ceiling imposed by the House, which had provided that no more than 46 billion dollars would be spent on defense in the coming fiscal year.

As an example of the problems thus created by the House ceiling, the B-47, on which the Air Force was placing its greatest reliance for strategic operations, took 36 months to produce from the time the money for it was appropriated. The House ceiling might prevent the expenditure of the money already appropriated for those aircraft.

A letter writer argues that General Eisenhower ought be the Republican nominee and not Senator Taft, who was, he finds, "a politician in all that the word implies as were Roosevelt and Truman." He says, as a "life-long Democrat", that he would vote for the General, as he would provide the country with a "square deal".

A letter from the general chairman and president of the Charlotte Sales Executives Club thanks the newspaper for helping to make a success of its recent Piedmont Sales Conference.

We need leadership, not salesmanship…

A letter writer comments on the editorial regarding Perle Mesta, Minister to Luxembourg, suggesting that there had been a hint of sarcasm in the editorial's observation that her favorable speeches for both General Eisenhower and the President could endear her to both parties and thereby enable her to keep her position as a diplomatic representative of the country, no matter who would win in November. She finds that such cynicism stemmed, in part, from "the age-old prejudice against women in public life." She suggests that Ms. Mesta had a perfect right to become an ambassador, having come from a poor family on the wrong side of the tracks until her father had struck oil and became rich and she married an even richer man, but instead of spending her time playing bridge and going to beauty salons, had participated in public affairs by being hostess to Washington parties, receiving her education in that way. She posits that the newspapers and wire services received their education by giving cocktail parties and taking possible sources for stories to saloons. "This is not half as effective as the way Madam Mesta did it, and certainly not one-tenth as pleasant."

She does not point out that the piece had also misspelled Ms. Mesta's first name as "Pearl". Undoubtedly, with the name Mercedes Pippique, she was thoroughly accustomed to having her name mangled in its rendition in print.

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