The Charlotte News

Monday, May 19, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Sam Summerlin, that Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, the chief U.N. negotiator in the Korean truce talks, stated to the press that it was an "out-and-out" lie for the Communists to deny that they had agreed to allied screening of captured Communist prisoners. He had told the Communists during the talks this date that had the results of the screening been to their liking, they would have enthusiastically welcomed them. North Korean General Nam Il, the chief Communist negotiator, had responded that it was inconceivable that prisoners captured by the U.N. would have agreed, directly or indirectly, with the "so-called screening". Admiral Joy indicated that the Communists were insisting on an arbitrary round figure as the number of prisoners to be repatriated, something to which the U.N. could not agree, that it would insist on the return only of those prisoners who would voluntarily repatriate. This date's 37-minute session produced no progress and the two sides would meet again the following day.

The recent screening had shown that nearly 100,000 North Koreans and Chinese prisoners were unwilling to return to either China or North Korea. The voluntary repatriation issue remained the final roadblock to conclusion of the armistice.

In Tokyo, General Mark Clark, the U.N. supreme commander, announced that Major General William Harrison, Jr., would succeed Vice-Admiral Joy as senior U.N. truce negotiator, starting on the following Friday. Admiral Joy was the only remaining member of the original five-man truce team which had begun the talks the previous July 10, and would leave the Far East on June 9 to become superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy. General Harrison had been a member of the delegation since January 23.

In the ground war, Filipino raiders in grenade-bayonet charges twice drove Chinese Communist troops from an embattled hill on the Korean central front this date, the same hill, west of Chorwon, where the previous day the 20th Battalion Combat Team had indicated that they had killed or wounded every one of 40 Chinese troops. In the two assaults by the Filipino troops, ten enemy troops were killed and none of the Filipinos, wearing U.S.-issued armored vests, were killed. U.N. raiders on the previous day had fought into heavily fortified Communist bunkers on the western front and then directed U.N. artillery fire onto the fleeing enemy troops, using the sturdy enemy underground shelters as protection from their own forces' high explosives. All allied raiding parties returned to U.N. lines safely.

The Defense Department reported 38 additional U.S. battle casualties in Korea, of whom five had been killed, 28 wounded, two missing and three injured.

A Communist Chinese dispatch stated this date that 50 former overseas Chinese had been executed the previous Monday in Kwangtung Province, after being convicted of "handicapping the land reform program, failing to produce the fruits of the class struggle and having lived as exploiters."

Prime Minister Churchill said in London to Commons, in answer to an M.P's question, that Britain was not inviting American observers to its forthcoming atomic weapons tests in Australia, implying that it was because the U.S. Government was prevented by existing legislation from exchanging information on atomic weapons with other countries, and that Britain would not do so unless the U.S. Government made arrangements for closer collaboration.

The Supreme Court this date recessed until the following Monday without handing down a decision in the steel seizure case, on which it had heard oral arguments the previous Monday and Tuesday. Lawyers on the three sides of the dispute indicated that it would be surprising, given the complexity of the Constitutional issue, for a decision to come this early.

The Office of Price Stabilization stated this date that price controls were being suspended on raw cotton and practically all textiles, including those made of wool, cotton and synthetic fibers. It lowered by two cents the point at which raw cotton would be brought back under control, at 43.39 cents per pound. The move was deemed a victory for the American Cotton Manufacturers Institute and other textile organizations after they had fought for months for deregulation. They were dissatisfied, however, with the setting of a trigger for re-implementation of controls.

In Boston, George Baldanzi, ousted vice-president of the CIO Textile Workers Union of America, joined the AFL United Textile Workers, and said that 100,000 CIO union members would join his group within a year and they would "go for broke" in organizing the South.

In Greensboro, a leader of a rebellion in the CIO Textile Workers Union of America asserted this date that 40,000 members had transferred to a rival AFL union, but the CIO scoffed at the claim, saying that the revolt was practically localized in North Carolina.

A. C. Kimbrell of Charlotte, head of a large chain of furniture stores, told 420 merchants, attending the 50th annual convention of the North Carolina Merchants Association in Raleigh, that in the past, merchants generally had made it a policy to stay out of politics, but that the time had come when they should either enter politics actively or have no business. He urged the merchants to work together to get the "mess in Washington cleared up and elect" leaders in cities, counties, states and at the national level who would bring the government back to the people where it belonged. He indicated that the New Deal and Fair Deal "witch doctors" were again in the saddle and "politics, not reason" ruled their lives. He criticized high taxes, inflation, government controls and the President's seizure of the steel industry, indicating that if he could do that, he could also seize their businesses and run them as he pleased.

He does not appear inclined to vote for the Democrats.

In Spirit Lake, Wash., a young University of Washington student remained trapped at the bottom of a 90-foot crevasse, high on the icy slopes of Mt. St. Helens this date, as experienced mountaineers sought frantically to reach him. The student had dropped from sight of his comrades at the 8,000-foot level shortly after noon the previous day as he and three companions were descending the northeast slope of the mountain following a climb to the summit. He called to his companions that he was trapped in a narrow ice hole about 35 feet down, and thought that he had broken his arm. As the ice began to melt from his body heat, he stated that he was slipping. His companions said that the hole through which he had fallen had been completely covered by the snow. One member of the party was lowered into the ice hole by a rope and found a ledge of ice about 60 feet below the rim of the hole, but as he had stood there, the heat of his body had melted the ice and he began slipping. He had heard groans from about 30 feet below him and then silence. At that point, exhausted, he was hauled back to the surface, and said that if they could have gotten their companion out, they would have.

In Charlotte, the jury in the trial of Albert Raymond Reinhart had returned a verdict of guilty the previous day on the charge of first-degree murder of prominent Wilmington attorney Emmett Bellamy, but recommended mercy, resulting automatically in a sentence of life imprisonment. Mr. Reinhart was consulting with his attorneys on whether he would appeal the verdict. His only defense at trial had been that he was temporarily insane at the time of the shootings. A charge of felonious assault against Mr. Bellamy's associate, Lloyd Elkins, Jr., was still pending. Both had been shot on March 31 while entering an elevator at the Law Building, with Mr. Reinhart contending that Mr. Bellamy had "stolen" $40,000 worth of property from his mother, for whom Mr. Bellamy had acted as trustee based on her mental infirmity. Superior Court Judge Dan K. Moore, future Governor and subsequently State Supreme Court Justice, had presided at the trial. Final arguments in the case had not concluded until 10:35 on Saturday night, and though the jury then informed Judge Moore that they were ready to reach a decision, he adjourned court until 9:30 on Sunday morning so that they would not reach a hasty verdict. After two hours of instruction on Sunday morning by Judge Moore, the jury deliberated for only 45 minutes before indicating their verdict of guilty. On their first ballot, three members of the jury had favored a verdict of first-degree murder with no recommendation of mercy, while seven had favored a verdict with recommendation of mercy, and two had favored a verdict of guilty only on the lesser included offense of second-degree murder. They were unanimous, however, on the second ballot.

In Evanston, Ill., a man told police that life was too tough outside prison and he wished to return to a Michigan prison from which he had escaped on April 29 by climbing a wall, saying that he had not eaten for four days and had no place to live. He said that after the escape, he had spent the ensuing six days hiding in a swamp, eating weeds and drinking swamp water. He had been sentenced in 1948 to 9 to 10 years for aggravated assault.

As pictured, three teenage girls and two boys, hurrying home to keep their promise to be "in early", were killed in a head-on collision of two automobiles in Detroit, and two other teenagers and a 12-year-old girl were in critical condition.

Also pictured, partisans who opposed the appointment of General Matthew Ridgway, former U.N. supreme commander in Korea, to head NATO, had drawn a sign in Paris, which read: "CONTRE RIDWAY—L'ASSASSIN—METING AT 12:30". The caption suggests that they could have used an English dictionary.

In Burbank, Calif., also pictured, actress Virginia Mayo inspected 1.5 million dollars worth of damage to a Warner Brothers lot, sound stage 21, caused by a fire.

In London, a man appealed for help in the personals column of the London Times, saying that he was the father of three sons and desired a daughter, solicited suggestions.

On the editorial page, "The Vindication of Dean Acheson" finds that the "eloquent silence" of late anent Secretary of State Acheson spoke volumes, compared to a little more than a year earlier when he was being condemned by almost every Republican and many Democrats. It had been nearly universally assumed that he would be forced to resign from the Administration, having been labeled the "Communist-coddler" for not turning his back on his old friend, Alger Hiss, in the wake of his conviction for perjury, and receiving the blame for "losing" China to the Communists.

Senator Bourke Hickenlooper had stated in late 1950 that the troops in Korea were dying because of Mr. Acheson, and Senator Taft had said that he did not want any agreement which the Secretary would negotiate. House Republicans were clamoring for his dismissal. Even the Alsop brothers, who were usually friends of Mr. Acheson, had found his "rapid retirement" to be the "only cure in sight".

The turning point in the vindication of him had probably come during the MacArthur hearings a year earlier. Time had then reported that the Republicans at the hearings had failed to produce any evidence against the Administration's Far Eastern policy, and indicated that many of the Republicans on the committee had been impressed by Secretary Acheson's well-briefed grasp of the facts, Senator Owen Brewster having asked for a recess because he was "somewhat overawed with the responsibility of even questioning the Secretary", as he demonstrated his "very great intelligence and competence in his field".

Afterward, the prior September, had come the Japanese treaty conference in San Francisco, in which the television audience had seen Secretary Acheson in action, gaveling down the Russians and, in consequence, nearly becoming a public hero, with autograph seekers at his heels.

It was not in the nature of the Secretary to present his views and explain them via television on a regular basis, making it harder for the public to accept his doctrines. Yet, with the election hysteria at work, there was little criticism being heard of the Secretary, and, to the contrary, was voiced great praise for his policies. The person, therefore, who had been the Administration's greatest liability, now was proving its greatest asset. "History may prove him one of this nation's and the free world's greatest men."

"Variation on an Old Theme" finds that there was nothing new about scurrilous, malicious and misleading political propaganda, that it had been with the country since its earliest days and would continue to be with it as long as there were political campaigns. But what was new in the history of the country was the growing tendency to believe the propaganda without giving it a second look. Americans appeared to have learned nothing from the concept of the Big Lie, so assiduously practiced by the Nazis and Communists.

Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin had been successful in damaging the reputations of many patriotic, loyal Americans. McCarthyism had destroyed Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland after he had served the nation well, during his 1950 re-election campaign, aided by Senator McCarthy in showing composite photographs of the Senator supposedly with a former American Communist leader. Former Senator Frank Graham had suffered in the 1950 primary campaign from such tactics undertaken on behalf of his opponent, Willis Smith.

Until recently, the current gubernatorial campaign in the state had been conducted on a fairly high plane. But now the headquarters of William B. Umstead had been forced to protest a ridiculous effort to portray him as a defender of heavy drinking after the quotation of a humorous excerpt from a speech he had made several years earlier, a strategy cooked up in the camp of opponent Judge Hubert Olive. The piece expects Judge Olive to disavow it, but finds that it might be a harbinger of things to come as the campaign moved into the homestretch before the primary. It reminds voters therefore not to let themselves be taken in by last-minute campaign "stunts conceived by over-zealous and underprincipled supporters" in rival camps.

You have yet to see anything.

"Turn Indicators a Big Help" tells of the European countries, by one simple legal requirement, mandating turn signals, having made driving much safer than in the U.S. Every vehicle in Italy, France and Great Britain had to have either an electric or mechanical turn indicator and the driver was required to use it. The equipment was optional in the U.S., and the more thoughtful driver paid the extra charge and had his car so equipped. But millions of American vehicles lacked such indicators and drivers all too frequently failed to use even proper hand signals. U.S. state laws generally required good brakes and lights, and some states required a mechanical inspection. To add turn indicators to the list of required equipment, it suggests, would be one small step toward ensuring safety, and the person who proposed such a law at the 1953 General Assembly could count on the support of many thoughtful North Carolina motorists.

Seems like the tricky part would be remembering to turn the thing off. How does that work?

"May in Mecklenburg" tells of May in the county being a delightful experience as the first burst of spring had given way to the growing season and children were impatient for the coming of summer. But to the adult, the heat of July and August seemed far away and the affairs of home and business, not at all urgent.

"May in Mecklenburg is a time to renew one's acquaintance with that friendly tail-wagging dog whose affection has been turned aside. It is a time to show inquisitive young minds the distinguishing features of various crops and plants—or perhaps be shown by them. And of course it is a time to visit neighbors without having any motivation such as borrowing the lawnmower or garden hose, but just for visiting's sake."

It concludes that may in Mecklenburg was a time between the furnace and the fan and bids that its remaining days and cool evenings linger.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "'Mr. Truman's War'", suggests that it was inappropriate to provide the President with the entire credit or blame for his stand taken against Communist aggression in June, 1950, committing the country to the Korean War. He had made the decision to commit U.S. forces to the action, but the American people as a whole, plus their elected representatives, had, virtually unanimously, supported him in that decision at the time. The only member of Congress who opposed it was Vito Marcantonio of New York, whose voting record was consistent with the Communist line, and who was subsequently defeated in 1950 in his bid for re-election.

Senator William Knowland of California, who had differed with the President on Far East policy, had declared his "overwhelming support" for the President's actions and urged all Americans, regardless of their party affiliations, to do likewise. Senator Taft had said that if a resolution were presented for use of the armed forces already committed to Korea, he would vote for it.

Since that time, however, sharp disagreements had arisen over the causes of the crisis and the Constitutionality of the President's action in committing U.S. forces, as well as regarding the best way of ending the war. But it was a mistake, it posits, to label the "valiant stand against aggression" as one man's war "rather than as the action of united people on the free-world front."

Drew Pearson finds that a careful check of previous decisions by the individual members of the Supreme Court showed that if they followed their own precedents, they would vote in support of the Government seizure of the steel industry, but that if they followed popular thinking, they would probably find against the Government. He proceeds with his analysis for each Justice, all to naught—as the Court would eventually, in June, rule against the Government seizure. He does conclude, however, that based on some of the questions from the Court during the two days of oral argument the prior week, they might, indeed, rule against the Government.

He indicates that shortly after the war, his column had exposed the shameful way in which American prisoners had been treated in Japanese prison camps during the war. He regards that exposé as important as providing contrast with the "kid-glove treatment" by U.S. authorities in the South Korean prison camps. He provides a condensed account from his column of May 23, 1947, regarding the treatment of Americans in Japanese prison camp number 17, Fukioka District, where it had been reported that an Army enlisted man had been beaten to death because he had stolen some beans, that a corporal in the Marines had been slowly starved to death until he had died on the 38th day, for refusing to help the Japanese mine coal on the basis that it was helping them in the war, though his actual punishment had been for purchasing rice from a Japanese soldier.

He points out that Koreans had made up part of the Japanese Army and were familiar with those gruesome practices, as were also the Chinese. Yet, they had the nerve to protest the kid-glove treatment provided their prisoners, and a good part of the Asiatic world believed them.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the regime of President Klement Gottwald of Czechoslovakia wavering, Tito-like, within the Soviet sphere, the first such major satellite to do so. The Czech President had never been known as a pure Stalinist and now had his own men within the Government, reporting directly to him in the three key positions of his totalitarian state. His son-in-law was Minister of Defense and controlled the armed forces. His old comrade in arms was Minister of the Interior, controlling the justice system, and was generally considered, as the President, a "nationalist" Communist, and had spent the war in London rather than Moscow, considered a grave indiscretion by the Kremlin. Another henchman was chief of the secret police and was known for his absolute ruthlessness and blind obedience to the President. The former holder of that position had been an adherent to Rudolf Slansky, who, following his denunciation of the President, had been arrested late the previous year at the direction of the President.

An article in the Yugoslav magazine, Foreign Affairs, written by Ivan Karainov, a top Yugoslav expert on the Cominform, had stated that a bitter struggle for power had been ongoing between the Kremlin and the Gottwald regime for some time and that since the arrest of Slansky, some 6,000 loyal Stalinists had been purged from the state apparatus. He suggested the President as defying the Kremlin so that he might seize total control of the state and the party in Czechoslovakia. Generally, Mr. Karainov had proved well-informed in the past.

The fall of Slansky had caught all Western intelligence experts off guard, as he had always been considered the Kremlin's chief and most trusted agent within Czechoslovakia and the actual ruler of the country. The number two Kremlin agent had been arrested at the same time, and Slansky's police chief was arrested a short time later. The arrest had followed the arrest the previous spring of the former Czech Foreign Minister, an old friend and close associate of the President, who had been a Slansky victim. When the Kremlin had ordered the purge of the Foreign Minister, it was believed that the President had done his best to protect him, and he was initially removed from the Foreign Ministry and placed in a safe position in the Czech State Bank.

In 1947, President Gottwald had accepted the Marshall Plan offer of aid initially without consulting Moscow, for which he had been brutally disciplined, and since that time, his public pronouncements had struck a suspiciously nationalist note, something the Kremlin did not tolerate.

American experts were inclined to regard the Karainov report as part wishful thinking and part psychological warfare, but were of the belief that the President had perhaps gained control of the state and party apparatus in the country, using that control to remove Communists whose loyalties were too divided. There was doubt, however, whether he could get away with it for very long, because of the large number of MVD agents who were in every department of Czech life. The American observers believed that the President would break with the Kremlin only in despair, because of the danger involved, with the Red Army camped on the Czech border.

The loss of Czechoslovakia would foreshadow the loss of Poland to the Soviets, and then the loss of East Germany and with it the loss of the Cold War. Thus, if the MVD agents in Czechoslovakia could not handle President Gottwald, it was thought that the Red Army would be used to suppress any separatist movement. Only the threat of counter-force from the West might hold the Kremlin in check, but it was impossible yet to know what the Western nations might do in such a scenario. It was a situation for which Western policy was not yet prepared.

Marquis Childs tells of one of the abler young Republicans in the House, Patrick Hillings of California, speaking at a party rally in the West, finding the Eisenhower Republicans on one side of the room and the Taft Republicans on the other, with the hostility between them palpable. He had found it rather shocking and suggested a question which had occurred to many Republicans, particularly young voters, as to whether the deepening rift within the party could be closed after a nominee was chosen at the Chicago convention in July.

The Taft loyalists in the over-50 age group were passionate in their devotion and would find it hard to accept General Eisenhower. They were deeply rooted in the past and responded to the notion that the Eisenhower movement was a plot by the Democrats. General MacArthur bespoke the bitter opposition in the party to General Eisenhower, without ever speaking his name.

By the same token, there were millions of Eisenhower supporters who would find it difficult or impossible to accept Senator Taft as the nominee. Those people included "Eastern internationalists", as well as many World War II veterans who agreed with the Eisenhower conception that peace could be secured only by working with other free nations.

In 1948, the healing process between the two factions had not taken place, with the over-50 Republicans taking a jaundiced view of Governor Dewey as a "me-too" candidate. They did not get out and work for him and it was believed that in many areas did not bother to vote. The intensity of the discord was presently much greater than in 1948, as there was a gentlemen's agreement of a sort between Senator Taft and Governor Dewey that if one or the other of them was slipping, he would not throw his support to an outsider. Such an agreement was inconceivable between the Taft and Eisenhower factions.

The fact that General Eisenhower had rejected any conventional form of campaigning for the nomination saddled him with a great handicap, in that he could not defend his position, resting on the profound conviction that the free nations had to stand together and that aid from the U.S. was required to cement that union. In two messages to Congress, the General had reaffirmed the need for the full amount of the nearly seven billion dollars requested for military and economic aid to Europe and Asia. But many Republicans and Democrats in Congress were hacking away at that basic stand. Under the leadership of Senator William Knowland of California, the aid bill, which had already been cut by a billion dollars in committee, was taken off the floor and referred back to the Armed Services Committee rather than to the Foreign Relations Committee. It could only be guessed what the final amount of approved foreign aid would be. But it would effectively place General Eisenhower in the position of being a candidate repudiated within his own party before the campaign would begin.

Mr. Childs suggests that it might not be an insuperable handicap, with a trend toward reversal in many states of the long-term advantage in Democratic registration. There was, increasingly, among Republicans the belief that anybody they would nominate could win.

Eric Sevareid of CBS radio, presumably a transcript of a broadcast, reports that the authorities in Minneapolis, "the very heart of transplanted Scandinavia", were trying to abolish the smorgasbord, claiming it to be unhealthful to leave food sitting out exposed, a move which he found to be "madness". He expects that the next cry would come from the city streets: "Smorgasbord-lovers of America, arise; you have nothing to lose but your appetites."

He suggests that the facts of the smorgasbord showed it to be healthful. The life expectancy of a child born to the eaters of beans and cod in Massachusetts was about 64 years, while one born eating corn pone and fritters in Mississippi, had about 63 years of life expectancy, and one who consumed raw meat in Texas, about 62 years. But in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas, where the smorgasbord flourished, life expectancy was about 67 years. He attributes the longer life to the open smorgasbord, with its natural colors and odors beckoning the human juices in anticipation, enabling digestion to be properly accomplished. It was also conducive to exercise in between courses, walking back and forth to the counter.

He wonders who would "encase in pallid glass the bristling sardine still iridescent from the sea" or "wrap in frivolous cellophane the solid and faithful forms of sweitzer ost". "Do they propose the pilsener be served in wretched cans and taste of tin? The acquavit drip lifeless from some plastic faucet?"

"And, oh, crime of crimes, do they intend to cover and hide the roke laks, the cool and glowing salmon, the very ambrosia of the finny depths, its pink and shimmering gold, the fleshy embodiment of the borealis, this supremest gift to man, direct from the land of Tor and the Hall of the Kings?"

To all of that he calls a halt and insists, "no farther", reminding those from Ireland and England that once, "as Vikings, we commanded your grassy soil; ye of sunny Italy and sandy Israel, that once we took your women and your soggy foods and there was lamentation in your house." He warns, therefore: "Tempt not history to repeat its bloody self."

"This is Eric Sevareid in Washington."

Surely, incidentally, some enterprising person might dig up one night's editorial commentary, which capped the CBS Evening News every night in its last five minutes during the early to mid-1970's, when Mr. Sevareid, starting one of his numerous editorials on Watergate, circa spring, 1974, began with his usual earnestly imposing glare and furrowed forehead, only to stop abruptly mid-sentence, utter an obscenity broadcast over the air, followed by a momentary blank screen, at which point he then started over without missing a beat. He may have, in those few seconds, summed up Watergate more vividly than the millions of other words written about it then and since.

A letter from the general chairman of the Variety Club of Charlotte thanks the newspaper for its special edition devoted to the club, and especially executive editor Brodie Griffith, and reporters Donald McDonald, Dick Young and Emery Wister. He says that they preached the gospel of Variety in the community—whatever that was supposed to mean. Perhaps, they promoted a smorgasbord of activities.

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