The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 10, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. Eighth Army had announced this date that Brig. General Francis Dodd had been released in good health and good spirits after having been taken hostage by the Communist prisoners of war on Koje Island and held since the previous Wednesday. The release came after a meeting of Communist ringleaders in the prison compound, following a statement by U.N. ground commander, General James Van Fleet, that he was preparing to use force were the General not released unharmed. The terms of the release were not immediately disclosed. Journalists would be allowed to visit the compound the following day. The Army said that it had granted some of the prisoners' minor demands, such as use of a telephone, writing paper and the admittance of prisoner leaders from other compounds on the island during the negotiations. There were about 80,000 prisoners on the island and most of them were among the 70,000 prisoners who had indicated their desire to return to North Korea or China.

In the truce negotiations, the U.N. command rejected a Communist accusation by General Nam Il, chief Communist negotiator, that the allies had planned a massacre of Communist prisoners to effect the rescue of General Dodd. During the truce session, Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, lead U.N. negotiator, indicated that the U.N. command had always attempted to exercise humane methods in the prison camps and that some of the captured personnel had taken advantage of those policies to instigate riots and violence among themselves and now had seized the camp commander. Only one minute of the 12-minute session this date had been devoted to peace talks, still deadlocked over the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners. Another meeting was scheduled for the next day.

The Government, the steel industry and the United Steelworkers filed their briefs before the Supreme Court in preparation for oral arguments in the steel case the following Monday. The Government contended that the President had inherent executive power under the Constitution to effect the seizure of a vital industry in a national emergency. It also contended that Congress had provided the President authority to promote the national defense by meeting promptly and effectively the requirements of military programs, as part of the Defense Production Act of 1950. It also argued that the steel companies had failed to show that any damage to them resulting from the seizure would outweigh the irreparable injury to the public interest caused by a strike resulting from an injunction of the seizure. The companies were arguing that the seizure had been for the purpose of settling a labor dispute by executive fiat, inconsistent with the remedy afforded by Taft-Hartley, seeking an 80-day injunction while an executive board would consider the matter and make recommendations for its resolution. The companies contended that because Taft-Hartley would prevent a strike during that period, there was no issue regarding whether the fighting men in Korea would be cut off from the implements of war by a shortage of steel. The union had stated that invoking Taft-Hartley would be "absurd" when everything which could be accomplished by an injunction under that law had already occurred without resolution, and that the companies had engaged in a sham in their negotiations regarding a pay increase, contending that a price increase was necessary to afford any pay increase. The Administration also argued that invoking Taft-Hartley would have been patently unfair to the union, as it had already postponed its strike for 99 days prior to the April 8 seizure, and had sought in good faith during that time to negotiate a resolution of the dispute.

Justice Stanley Reed of the Supreme Court refused to grant a stay of a no-strike order issued against three railroad unions by a U.S. District Court on April 23 in Cleveland. The three railroad unions requested that the Supreme Court review the Government's seizure of the railroads in August, 1950, asking that it be declared unconstitutional and that the Court rule on it at the same time it would rule on the steel seizure. The railroad case, parenthetically, presented a different set of facts and rationale for the seizure, as it had been based on the Railroad Act, rather than the President's "inherent" executive authority under the Constitution.

The Petroleum Administration for Defense issued an order this date for reserve to specified levels of supplies of automotive gasoline to maintain essential transportation in 32 Eastern and Midwestern states and the District of Columbia. About half of the service stations in that region would be affected by the order, which arose from the 11-day old strike of refinery and pipeline workers in the oil industry.

Meanwhile, the union canceled plans to have the strike extended to California, as a planned strike at the Shell Chemical Corp. plant at Pittsburgh, Calif., had been called off because of the role the California refineries had in the defense effort. The union warned that their deference in that regard would not, however, continue indefinitely.

In Richmond, the fourth regional Wage Stabilization Board this date approved an across-the-board wage increase of three cents per hour, retroactive to January 1, for AFL electrical workers of the Duke Power Co. of Charlotte. It also approved small wage increases of varying amounts and a sixth annual paid holiday for the employees of Carolina Power and Light Co. of Raleigh, including a 1.5-cent hourly raise for 1,310 non-union workers in all divisions of the company and a three-cent raise for 92 AFL engineers and a 1.5-cent raise for 92 AFL electrical workers. It also approved wage increases for non-union employees of Hanes Knitting Company of Winston-Salem, and wage increases for employees of other companies in the state, which are reported. You will have to read the story more closely, however, to find out how much your wage is going to rise if you are one of the affected workers.

In New York, the prosecutor in the graft trial of five New York City policemen stated that he had received a telephone threat, just hours after the brother of the chief prosecution witness, Harry Gross, had been beaten up on the street the previous night by two men as a warning to his brother to keep quiet. Mr. Gross was testifying regarding his use of bribes to get the police to overlook his gambling operations.

In Tuscaloosa, Ala., two policemen had been killed in a shotgun ambush this date as they sought to arrest a man on charges of shooting his neighbor earlier in the night regarding a dispute over moonshine whiskey. Bloodhounds and a posse had been assembled to find the man in a rural area.

In Columbus, O., a convicted murderer about to be executed was able to free himself from four guards about to strap him in the electric chair the previous night, saying that he had not done anything and had not killed the victim. Eventually, the guards were able to regain control of him and strap him into the chair, whereupon he was then electrocuted for the slaying of a 62-year old woman in July, 1950 during the course of a robbery attempt at her home in Canton.

In Charlotte, an armed man who had allegedly robbed a service station and then fled along busy downtown streets had been captured in the Lincoln Theater during the afternoon by three city police officers. Police said the man had a long record of similar robberies and attempted robberies. He had been a suspect in a robbery of a life insurance company in Charlotte on April 25, but police had to release him after the only employee present at the time of that robbery had failed to identify him.

On an inside page, appears the third installment of the series by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, titled, "How To Live with Your Blood Pressure".

On the editorial page, "In Defense of Property Revaluation" tells of no one having brought up the recent countywide property revaluation at the recent meeting of the candidates for the County Commission, despite it having been one of the hottest issues in the race. The piece thinks that was as it should be as the County Commission and the City Council had drawn unfair criticism for their decision at the start of 1950 to order a scientific revaluation of all property in the county. The piece does not seek to defend the precise method used in carrying out the revaluation, as it lacked expertise on the subject, but strongly endorses the original decision to employ a competent professional firm to do the job. It hopes that voters would realize that the revaluation was necessary and would not vote in the coming primary solely on the basis of irresponsible charges that it had been a mistake.

"Russell Torpedoes 1952 Revolt" finds that Southern resentment to the Administration had been focused on the President rather than his program, and it was unlikely that there would be a repeat of the 1948 Dixiecrat revolt. The Southern Democrats held most of the key chairmanships in Congress and had a smooth working arrangement with conservative Republicans, such that they had prevented the civil rights program from escaping committee. They continued to protest about it because it was good politics for home consumption. But when the President had withdrawn from the race, it took the steam out of the revolt movement. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had indicated that he would not lead a revolt of the convention, even if there were a strong civil rights plank in the platform.

It finds Senator Russell's decision to be a sign of his political maturity, as he knew that a Southern rebellion would destroy the party as it had been known to that time, something which he did not wish to do. If his friends in the South did not agree with him, they could vote Republican.

"Clarence Poe Points the Way" suggests that the columns on the page this date by the Alsops, Drew Pearson and Robert C. Ruark each suggested a method for effecting the peace and security of the country. Mr. Poe, editor of the Progressive Farmer, in his piece on the page, provided yet a fourth method, calling for U.S. sponsorship of a worldwide agricultural and technical revolution.

It suggests that none of the four approaches, acting alone, provided the answer. The nation was seeking to strike a balance to achieve peace and security without bankrupting the country or its allies. It asserts that the concentration on military buildup had blinded the nation to the point that the military program dominated and excluded the other necessary parts for preservation of peace, including the people-to-people diplomacy recommended by Mr. Pearson and the moral-emotional approach of the Reverend Billy Graham, as explained by Mr. Ruark. The Alsops deserved credit for awakening the country to its military inadequacy prior to the Korean war, but now the emphasis had become so great that it dwarfed other forms of foreign policy which could get at the root of the causes of world tension.

Mr. Poe, with whom it agrees, had indicated that world peace could not be safeguarded by buying other nations as bought nations would stay bought. The country could no longer intimidate other nations through its military forces, as imperialistic acts would boomerang. The country could win over other nations only by helping them help themselves in ways which preserved their self-respect, not through charity. The piece characterizes his program as being one of "applied Christianity", reliant on education, agricultural missionaries, and Point Four aid in the form of technical assistance to underdeveloped nations to develop their agricultural and industrial potential.

The piece expresses approval of the facts that Senator John Sparkman of Alabama had inserted the article in the Congressional Record and that Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina had favorably commented upon it on the Senate floor.

"What Gives?" finds that the capture of General Dodd by the Communist prisoners on Koje Island suggested several questions, such as where the U.S. guards had been at the time of his capture and why there had been so much secrecy surrounding the matter, in addition to continuing questions about the previous two riots on the island in which 90 prisoners and an American soldier had been killed weeks earlier. The Army was establishing a board of inquiry, and the piece suggests that some officer or guards would be held to account, but that until newsmen were allowed to inquire about the situation, there would continue to be suspicion in the country, however unjustified, that the Army was keeping unpleasant facts from the public.

Clarence Poe, editor of the Progressive Farmer, as indicated in the above editorial, calls for a program to stimulate self-help by farm demonstration work and other methods, among the billion underprivileged people of the world.

Drew Pearson tells of several thousand high school and primary school students taking an active part in American diplomacy, having written messages to their fellow students in other countries, broadcast every day over the Voice of America in Russian, Bulgarian, Czech, Finnish, Korean, Japanese, Yugoslav, German, Arabic, Hebrew, Indonesian, Hungarian, Thai, Italian, Burmese and French. He finds the messages in many ways more sincere and genuine than the skilled propaganda of the specialists. Since it was from the heart, those hearing it would likely be genuinely induced to believe that Americans wanted to get along with other peoples. He quotes one such message from a black student living in Orlando, finds his patriotic statement much different from the Communist propaganda which had it that there were public lynchings in American cities every Sunday which the masses attended, a claim that he had found many people in France, for instance, to have accepted.

This student's message and another he quotes had earned their authors a trip to New York to record personally over the Voice what they had written. Other message writers from various parts of the country had also been chosen to do so. The authors would also appear on radio and television programs on Sunday evening. He urges young people to participate in the program.

Elliott Roosevelt was teaming up with Ed Rivers, Jr., son of the former Governor of Georgia, appearing on television in various parts of the South. He remarks that their fathers had not gotten along so well together.

The new Attorney General, James McGranery, would not have a free hand in reorganizing the Justice Department, as the President had decided to pass on all Justice officials, himself.

Nine Nobel Prize scientists had demanded that Frederic Joliot-Curie, a French Communist Nobel-winning scientist, withdraw his endorsement of the Communist claim that the U.S. had been using germ warfare in Korea and instead join them in demanding a fair investigation of the charges.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop continue their look at the feeble air defenses of the U.S. in the face of mounting pressure from the Soviets, which could become critical within 2 to 3 years as the atomic bomb progressed into the hydrogen bomb and Soviet air strength continued to mount. The Air Force chief of staff, General Hoyt Vandenberg, had previously maintained that U.S. air strength could destroy no more than 30 percent of inbound attack planes. But that was based on an optimistic estimate for an attack in daylight and good weather. At night and in bad weather, Soviet bombers could fly over the U.S. with relative impunity, although it was doubtful whether they could hit their assigned targets or return home.

Within 18 months to two years, the U.S. could be relatively certain of being able to destroy at least 30 percent of inbound attackers regardless of weather and at any time of the day. In two to three years, 40 to 50 percent destruction might become feasible, and within three to four years, full air defense could theoretically be achieved. The latter depended primarily on two things, first, the development of the Nike guided missile, presently being tested, which had achieved 100 percent destruction of B-17s flying at maximum speed at 35,000 feet, and, second, having in place the radar warning equipment, several types of guided missiles and all-weather fighter interceptors in considerable numbers. All of those components of the system had to be in place for total defense, and before that could be done production of the guided missiles had to take place, plus a considerable training period for the personnel who would operate the equipment.

The capital cost of such total defense utilizing just one of the guided missiles was estimated presently at seven million dollars. A single new plant for the Atomic Energy Commission could cost up to two billion dollars. There was no doubt of the wisdom of spending four billion dollars per year or even twice that amount for an air defense which would adequately protect the people and industry of the country. But those in positions of leadership in the Congress had to face that fact and be willing to act on it or they would be blamed when the danger finally arose without proper preparedness.

Robert C. Ruark, in Houston, finds that there had been an outbreak of morality in the nation, as exemplified by the presence of the Reverend Billy Graham in Houston. He characterized Rev. Graham as a "disciple of the exhorting school of sin-chasing" and tells of his having begun his month-long crusade in Houston to drive out the devils, receiving front-page coverage and a special series of articles in a leading newspaper in the city.

He was the hottest thing as an evangelist since Billy Sunday, as 9,000 people had come to see him recently at his premiere, which Mr. Ruark finds to have been "more suitable to cold beer and a rocking chair on the front porch".

A headline story had indicated that Rev. Graham was going to film a movie on the emergence of right over wrong, everything clearly defined with no gray areas.

He ventures that at no time since the days of Sankey-Moody, 50 years earlier, had anything approaching this phenomenon occurred in the nation. He had been to a Billy Sunday sermon 30 years earlier and found him a "pure piker" alongside "Rev. Will".

Rev. Graham discouraged shouted responses from the audience as he spoke. He was still nervous before he took the stage and exhausted himself in his effort to damn the wicked. The fact that he was popular in both the hinterlands and in the sophisticated cities suggested a trend across the country, the assumption that the society had strayed too far from the copy-book and that "cool and limpid reason" might have been partially responsible for the mess the country was in.

The Saturday Evening Post recently had presented a provocative cover, showing the progress of parental control of children from the hairbrush penalty for transgression to the modern logic of reasoning with the child. He suggests that the popularity of Rev. Graham echoed this sentiment of the need for return to the hairbrush and the hair shirt. It told him that the people were hungry for something which they were not getting from their leaders and that their emotionalism was headed toward the old conception of right.

"Mr. Graham is stamping out sin, with both feet and a fuller business than 'South Pacific'."

But was he better than a Fuller Brush salesman?

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