The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 6, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that truce negotiators had held another short secret plenary session, lasting 15 minutes, this date without any progress, prompting the allied ground commander, General James Van Fleet, to state that the Communists apparently never wanted peace in Korea or they would have reached an agreement during the ten months of negotiations. He said that the allies could either "out-fight them or out-sit them". The negotiators agreed to meet again the next day.

Hundreds of allied warplanes this date had bombed the rail junction at Sunchon in North Korea, involving four fighter-bomber wings. Double concentration on key sectors of the vital rail line was a new technique to nullify the speed with which the Communists could repair the bombed-out railroads. The result was 118 new gaps in the railroad.

Former Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson testified before the House Labor Committee this date that he believed the Wage Stabilization Board should have its authority to recommend settlements in labor disputes ended, and that the WSB's recommendations in the steel dispute had gone beyond the limits of proper stabilization policy. He believed that the Board should be limited to administration of stabilization policy, passing on whether a negotiated wage increase conformed with that policy. He asserted that the steelworkers were entitled to no more than an increase in wages of nine cents per hour, about one third of the 26 cents per hour in total benefits recommended by the WSB, and that the steel industry could not be expected to absorb the recommended wage increase without a price increase. He also indicated his support of continuing the controls program for at least the remainder of the calendar year.

John Daly of The News tells of the emergency Federal regulations requiring drastic curtailment of high-test gasoline consumption having resulted in the cancellation for an indefinite period of two Piedmont Airlines flights from Charlotte, one to Louisville via Asheville and the other to Wilmington via Fayetteville, while other flights on Piedmont and other commercial airlines had reported regular schedules. Gasoline supplies for cars and trucks was normal. The Federal order had mandated a reduction of 35 percent of commercial aviation gasoline from prevailing monthly levels because of the strike of oil workers.

A late bulletin indicates that the Wage Stabilization Board had asked the 90,000 striking workers to end their walkout immediately.

Judge James McGranery, Attorney General-designate, said this date, during his Senate confirmation hearings before the Judiciary Committee, that the President had the right in a time of emergency "to do any and all things necessary to preserve the life, the liberty and the property of the citizens." He also indicated that the President was bound by the Constitution and the laws of the land. He said that in the case of the seizure of the steel mills, he would advise the President to execute the laws and use the Taft-Hartley Act to enable issuance of a 90-day injunction while a Presidential board considered the matter and eventually issued recommendations for its resolution. He said, under questioning by Senator Homer Ferguson, that he could not discuss the steel seizure per se in regard to whether the President had the power to declare an emergency for the purpose of seizure of a vital industry. He also indicated that he did not like the idea of the Attorney General listing subversive organizations without guidance from Congress.

The six-month old Federal law requiring gamblers to purchase a $50 tax stamp was declared unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court judge this date in Philadelphia, ruling that the law was a police measure enacted by Congress under the guise of a tax bill. The court did not rule on the other section of the act which required gamblers to pay a 10 percent tax on their earnings, as the holding was sufficient to dismiss an action against a defendant facing trial on charges of failing to purchase the stamp. The Supreme Court had already refused to rule on the constitutionality of the statute after a District Court in Washington had dismissed a challenge to the statute on the ground that it was being asked to issue an injunction to protect a criminal enterprise. That court had stated in dicta that it believed the statute was Constitutional, but had ruled on other grounds.

In the Florida primary this date, the first precinct reporting from Belle Glade, the Brown's Farm precinct, indicated that Senator Richard Russell received 14 votes to a single vote for Senator Estes Kefauver. Florida was the first state where Senator Kefauver was pitted against Senator Russell. It was the first popularity primary in Florida in 20 years. Senator Russell had indicated the previous night in a debate with Senator Kefauver that he would not lead any revolt from the party. Senator Kefauver had said that he would not abandon the party if the convention adopted a plank which favored a compulsory Fair Employment Practices Commission, to which Senator Russell had responded that he would not leave the party either in that event.

Voter turnout was heavy in Florida and in Ohio, where a record primary vote of 1.5 million was expected as Senator Taft was hoping for a major victory in his home state. Alabama, Indiana and New Mexico were also holding primaries this date.

The previous day, Maryland held its primary, Senator Kefauver having been the only candidate on the ballot for either party and write-ins not having been allowed.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that gubernatorial candidate Hubert Olive of Lexington had let it be known in Charlotte this date that none of the recent political activities of Governor Kerr Scott had any direct connection with the strategy being conducted by his campaign. He said that he had not talked to the Governor since about a week after he had announced his candidacy, at which time the Governor had indicated his support. He said that he did not know before he had announced that the Governor would support him. Politicians in the state had suggested that many voters would decide between Judge Olive and William B. Umstead on the basis of their opinions of Governor Scott. Judge Olive said that he disagreed with the Governor's statement that all of the Governor's appointees who did not support Judge Olive in the race should resign.

The News was beginning a straw poll among the three Democratic candidates for governor, including Manley Dunaway. The Republican convention had already selected its nominee, Herbert F. Seawall, Jr., of Carthage.

In Marcus Hook, Pa., the American Viscose plant had to fire its boilers with coal instead of oil because of the petroleum strike, causing soot to fill the air of the community, settling over damp clothes being dried in the open air by housewives. A company spokesman said that the conversion to coal during the emergency had occurred without proper combustion, causing the diffusion of soot over the area. Conditions were reported improved this date.

On page 7-A appears the eighth installment in the series of articles by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, titled "How To Live with Your Heart Condition", this one comparing the heart to the carburetor of an automobile.

They say that the fuel injection is more efficient and less prone to failure in time.

On the editorial page, "Israel, Born of Hope, Is Here To Stay", another by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, written from Haifa, tries to see Israel through other perspectives, such as that of the primitive Yemenite from south of Saudi Arabia or the proud Kurd from Persia, the German survivor of the Nazi blood purge, the refugee from terrorism in Communist Rumania, or the bewildered Iraqi who had arrived via a mass airlift. It had to be viewed from the perspective of those who had suffered in fear and oppression for two centuries and, out of the resulting diaspora, had maintained hope of one day having a homeland where they would be free to form their religious, political and social destiny to the full extent of their abilities. It also, he suggests, had to be assessed through the eyes of the Arab fellahin, landless, illiterate, impoverished tenant farmers or Bedouins who still lived within a system little different from that of the Middle Ages.

To view Israel through the modern American lens was to have an inadequate appreciation for its vitality. By U.S. standards, it lacked much, but by the standards of the Middle East, it was a shining example of progress and enlightenment, of free, democratic action.

One member of the group with whom Mr. McKnight was traveling, the American Christian Palestine Committee, had remarked as he walked through the Mandelbaum Gate from old Jerusalem into new Jerusalem that it was like walking from the Middle East into the Middle West. Mr. McKnight agreed with that assessment. In new Jerusalem, there were clean streets, Western clothes being worn by persons with proud, erect heads, walking amid modern vehicular traffic. It was inhabited by determined people who were enterprising and courageous, exuding the feeling of taking part in a great historical event.

But in leaving Jerusalem and traveling through the countryside, one began to appreciate that the people were moving into a land long thought useless and bringing it back to life again. In ultra-modern Tel Aviv, there were thousands of functional apartments, hotels and office buildings. Haifa, built on the side of Mount Carmel, overlooked a busy port and a growing concentration of industrial establishments.

Israel had suddenly become a nation less than four years earlier and before it was ready to do so, with the essential framework and systems of government in place or adequate capital to become self-sufficient economically, before it had a uniform language, had built roads, schools, hospitals and other basic infrastructure necessary to take care of all the immigrants which outnumbered the original residents. These immigrants spoke different languages, had different skills, came from different cultures and traditions, and from different levels of civilization. One observer had written that Israel was not a "melting pot", but rather a "pressure cooker".

The country was just beginning to solve its biggest problems, some of which Mr. McKnight indicates he would pursue in subsequent articles. Whether it would ever develop a balanced, self-sustaining economy was something on which the experts disagreed. There was no doubt that the people, however, possessed the will and energy to bring that about.

He indicates that in Egypt and Jordan, he had observed a great amount of bitterness resulting from the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-49, finding a desire for revenge and a vow to launch another war at the right time to sweep the Jews into the Mediterranean. He believed that this expressed desire was no more than wishful thinking and that the Israelis were not going to be pushed into the sea by anyone, as long as there was someone who could shoulder a rifle.

"After centuries of frustration tempered by hope, the Jews of the world have a national home. They will not surrender it lightly, nor should they."

"A Breathing-Spell in Steel Dispute" finds arguments on both sides of the steel dispute, both for management and labor, as well as in the Constitutional controversy regarding seizure of vital industries in an emergency by the President. Thus, it is loath to begin venturing opinions and welcomes the breathing spell temporarily before the Supreme Court would consider the legality of the seizure.

The Court on Saturday had agreed to review the Constitutional issues and also had banned any wage increases for the steelworkers by the Government in the meantime. It finds the Court justified in the latter stance as it would be nonsensical to allow such an increase while the Government's authority in the matter remained questionable.

Thus far, the steelworkers appeared to have accepted the disappointment with no more than the usual grumbling, with United Steelworkers president Philip Murray holding them in line. It suggests that if they continued to be obedient to authority, it might work to facilitate a resolution within the context of collective bargaining.

"Of Surf and Sand—Without Trespassing" tells of the State magazine indicating that every foot of North Carolina's beach frontage was privately owned, and that unless the State purchased some of the frontage and held it for future public use, there might come a day when beachcombers would have to trespass to swim in the Atlantic. It indicates that there were presently two State-owned beach areas in State parks, Fort Macon and Cape Hatteras. Presumably, anyone could use them, even those who had not paid their taxes. But those two parks would not be adequate for the future and did not afford adequate facilities presently for both races. (You need a separate ocean for that, don't you?)

It indicates that after mulling over the matter, between glances at the "shapely sunbathers on the roof adjacent" to the News offices, it seconds the motion of editor Bill Sharpe of the State, so that state residents would not forsake their beaches and migrate to Virginia or South Carolina.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly indicates that it was anticipated that the Democrats would hold on to the Senate in 1952, regardless of what happened in the presidential race and the House races, and that only a large Republican landslide could change that picture. That was confirmed by what political leaders of both major parties expected in the Senate races of each state. In recent presidential election years, the party which had won the presidency also had won majorities in both the Senate and the House, but the law of averages was against the Republicans having a Senate majority for the fact that 20 of the 34 seats being contested were held by Republicans and only 14 by Democrats. The Republicans needed a net gain of three seats to take over the Senate. In only seven of the 14 Democratic races could the Republicans conceivably win, those races being in Connecticut, Maryland, Michigan, Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming and West Virginia. The other seven seats were in the usually safe Democratic South and in Rhode Island. In contrast, only six of the Republican seats were in safe Republican territory, in Maine, Vermont, North Dakota, Wisconsin and Nebraska, where there were two contests.

The Republicans intended to hold the 20 contested seats which they currently controlled and then to pick up at least three Democratic seats. Republican leaders believed they had an excellent chance to defeat interim Senator Blair Moody of Michigan and Senator William Benton of Connecticut, and also pick up the seat being vacated by retiring Senator Herbert O'Conor of Maryland. They also believed that they had a good chance of picking up the seats of Senators Joe O'Mahoney of Wyoming, Dennis Chavez of New Mexico and Ernest McFarland of Arizona—whose Republican opponent would be Barry Goldwater. They were encouraged by their prospects in Kentucky, where former Senator John Sherman Cooper was attempting a comeback against incumbent Thomas Underwood, as was former Senator Chapman Revercomb in West Virginia against incumbent Harley Kilgore. They also believed that they had a shot in Rhode Island against incumbent Senator John Pastore.

The Democrats, on the other hand, believed they had a chance to increase their Senate majority, holding onto the presently shaky seats in Connecticut, Michigan and Maryland and picking up five Republican seats, in Missouri, Montana, Washington, Nevada and Utah, from incumbent Senators James Kem, Zales Ecton, Harry Cain, George Malone and Arthur Watkins, respectively. They were also hoping to knock off Senators Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin and John Williams of Delaware, both of whom had been troublemakers for the Administration, Senator McCarthy with his charges of Communists in the Government, and Senator Williams with his sensational charges of corruption in the IRB and other Federal agencies.

Party leaders also felt good about their chances of beating Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., in Massachusetts—where Congressman John F. Kennedy would be his opponent in the fall—, as well as against Senators Alexander Smith of New Jersey, Irving Ives of New York, John Bricker of Ohio and Edward Martin of Pennsylvania. They acknowledged that their chances were not good for defeating Edward Thye of Minnesota, but were dismissive about Republican hopes of winning in Rhode Island and Kentucky. They also believed that they had a fair chance of beating Senator William Knowland in California and Senator William Jenner in Indiana.

The Democrats would stress peace and prosperity for the previous 20 years under Democratic Administrations and the Republicans would counter that the New Deal and Fair Deal had been leading the country into bankruptcy, corruption, socialism and war.

Three retiring Senators were Tom Connally of Texas, Herbert O'Conor and Fred Seaton of Nebraska, the first two being Democrats and the third having been an interim Senator, appointed following the death of Senator Kenneth Wherry.

Senators Owen Brewster of Maine, William Langer of North Dakota and Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee were facing primary fights, the latter from Congressman Albert Gore.

The Republicans would be aided in their effort, which would prove successful in obtaining a one-seat majority, by the unexpected vacancy occasioned by the death during the summer of Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, to be succeeded ultimately by Prescott Bush in the fall election, after the immediate successor, Republican William Purtell, appointed by the Republican Governor, John Davis Lodge, the former actor who was the brother of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., deferred to Mr. Bush and instead ran in the other Connecticut race, defeating Senator Benton.

The Republicans would have achieved a two-seat majority at the start of the 83rd Congress in 1953 but for the fact that Senator Wayne Morse became an Independent in the middle of his term, shortly after the 1952 election, eventually becoming a Democrat in 1955. Much as the tied 50-50 Senate following the 2000 election, the one-seat majority proved vacillating. The Democrats took the one-seat majority, at least on paper, following turn-about being fair play when Governor Frank Lausche of Ohio appointed a Democrat, Thomas Burke, to succeed deceased Senator Taft in mid-1953, though Senate majority and minority leaders did not change as Senator Morse had agreed to caucus with the Republicans for the sake of voting for leaders and constituting committees. Numerical majority control returned to the Republicans with the double turn-about when Republican Governor Clifford Rogers of Wyoming appointed a Republican, Edward Crippa, to succeed deceased Democratic Senator Lester Hunt in mid-1954—after which, former Senator Joseph O'Mahoney, who had been defeated in the 1952 election for the other seat, won Senator Hunt's old seat in 1954, giving the Democrats the actual one-seat majority at the start of the 84th Congress in 1955.

Drew Pearson tells of three documents having come to light in the wake of the cables of the Chinese Nationalists having been inserted into the Congressional Record by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon. The documents were thus far unpublished, but showed that the supposedly friendly Chinese Nationalist Government was in the same category as Russia in trying to obtain the secret of the atomic bomb. This effort had begun immediately after the initial bombs had been dropped on Japan in 1945 and extended through 1948. While such espionage might be expected from a satellite country, it was quite questionable from a government which had been kept alive through U.S. aid, including cash, materials and military support. He proceeds to publish two cables, dated September 1, 1945 and December 6, 1946, both from the head of the Chinese Air Force, urging collection of information regarding the atomic bomb, and in the latter instance, the results of the atomic tests on Bikini Atoll in mid-1946. The cables had come to light through the Chinese air mission's code officer who had misgivings about such spying.

Another document sent in 1948 to all Chinese Air Force personnel in the U.S. provided methods and incentives for collecting information for Chinese Air Force intelligence. That document, he indicates, had been a long one, and he publishes the highlights.

Marquis Childs finds that "in full measure the steel controversy illustrates the sad state of the Truman Administration as it passes off the stage." He suggests that the mismanagement of the legal phase of the case had been part and parcel of everything which had gone before in the Administration, tending to obscure the realities of the uses and abuses of power in the nation. Nearly everyone was against big government and the centralization of authority in Washington, but much of the time those who spoke of these problems talked as though nothing had happened to change the relationships of power since the Founding. Centralization had occurred long before in fields other than government. Theodore Roosevelt, a half-century earlier, had first challenged the trusts or monopolies, indicating that their power had been greater than government. He therefore used the paramount power of government, which he found inherent in the language of the Constitution creating the office of the presidency, to bust them.

The effort did not succeed and the large corporations had grown even larger, and larger unions since 1933 had, in some respects, matched the power of big industry, exceeding it in the area of politics. Thus, an argument could be made that big government had grown up in large part as an effort to regulate and confine those powers.

In the steel case, the Government had sought to act as mediator between the union and the industry, with each side having the control to shut down steel production, bringing to a halt rearmament at a critical time.

He posits that, despite seven years in the White House, the President had learned little about how to use his power. He relates from the segment of Carl Sandburg's multi-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln, The War Years, that the President during his early months in office in 1861 had violated many of the basic guarantees of freedom in the Constitution, struggling to put down the rebellion in the Confederacy, and that understanding his power, had succeeded in steering a middle course between the radical abolitionists of the North and the rebels of the South. He finds that it came from President Lincoln's genius, deep intuitive knowledge, compassion and understanding. He finds, in contrast, that FDR had been charged with yielding on every occasion to big labor and that Presidents Coolidge and Hoover had been accused of turning Washington over to big business.

But increasing the bureaucracy of government, he finds, while affording a temporary balance, could not become an alternative to the forces of power aggregated outside government, as it suggested an inexorable march toward a "totality of government". There was no convenient cure to the paradox, but, he suggests, the founders, such as James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, or Thomas Jefferson, would not have shrunk from the realities of the day and could serve the nation well presently.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the U.S. preparing to explode its first hydrogen bomb in September on Eniwetok in the Pacific. It would be a true prototype of the super-bomb with almost limitless power. If successful, it would show that such super bombs, literally capable of destroying the earth, could be constructed.

It was possible that the Soviets might pull ahead of the U.S. in atomic technology, as Klaus Fuchs, the British spy, had transmitted to Russia all current information on the hydrogen bomb. Development of it in the U.S. had been maintained as low priority until the outbreak of the Korean War, and, presumably, Soviet effort had begun much earlier.

The U.S. presently did not have an adequate air defense and was unlikely to have one in the foreseeable future. But there had been improvements in air warning systems and revolutionary guided missiles had recently been developed, making it possible to defend the U.S. in the air.

The economies employed by former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had caused even the most promising and vital defense projects to be laid aside, prior to the Korean War. There was especially a temptation to place a low priority on air defense because a genuinely effective one could not be built until the recent developments in air warning systems and guided missile technology.

Air Force chief of staff, General Hoyt Vandenberg, had told the country that presently, 30 percent of any attacking force could be destroyed on the way to its target, but that was based on theoretical assumptions, while, in reality, the air defense was quite weak. The so-called "radar fence" around the country was not yet complete, though most of it would be by the end of the following summer, leaving, even then, important gaps, with facilities for truly early warning still lacking. Fighter aircraft production also was lagging behind, with most of the production going toward fighters for combat in Korea. Thus, presently, the country did not have night and bad weather protection.

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