The Charlotte News

Friday, January 25, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied truce negotiators had suggested this date that the question of airfield construction be set aside temporarily to allow staff officers to begin work on other details of policing a Korean armistice. The Chinese negotiator said that the proposal would be studied later. The subcommittee had been stymied by the issue since January 9.

Meanwhile, in the other subcommittee, dealing with prisoners of war, an allied negotiator said, "We caught hell." There had been no progress but the Communists at least had begun to speak in specific terms rather than in broad generalities, asking the U.N. to return 37,000 Koreans originally listed as prisoners, but later reclassified as South Korean civilians.

Both subcommittees would meet again the following day.

In the air war, American Sabre jets shot down at least ten enemy jets in four battles over northwest Korea this date. American losses would only be announced at the end of the week. The battle was one of the largest of the war, though surpassed by the thirteen kills of the prior December 13.

The ground war remained relatively quiet under fresh snow, with action limited to patrol clashes. A hundred enemy troops had been reported killed the prior day in a clean-up of enemy guerrillas by South Korean troops, but action on that front had slowed this date.

In Ismailia, Egypt, British troops with tank support battled with Egyptian police for six hours and British officials reported 42 Egyptian police and three British soldiers killed, with 58 more injured, in the bloodiest fighting yet in the Suez Canal zone. The Egyptian Cabinet was called into emergency session, possibly to consider severing diplomatic relations with Britain. Relations had reached their nadir since Egypt had canceled the 1936 Anglo-Egyptian treaty the previous October and demanded that British troops remove from the Canal zone.

In Tunisia, France landed fresh troops to fight Nationalist uprisings, in which nearly 50 persons had been killed and hundreds injured during the previous ten days in the French protectorate, where Nationalists were demanding independence. Martial law was threatened as five more persons were killed in rioting the previous day. The reinforcements joined a French force of about 20,000 troops.

In Paris, the U.N. political committee, despite U.S. and British objections, adopted a Soviet resolution calling on the Security Council to reconsider membership applications for 14 countries, including five Soviet satellites. The U.S. indicated it had no objection to reconsideration of these countries but vigorously opposed the resolution because the Russians had made it clear in debate that the proposal was designed to have all 14 nations admitted at one time. It was the first time in U.N. history that the political committee had adopted a major Soviet resolution over American objection. The vote in the committee was less, however, than the two-thirds majority required for passage in the General Assembly.

The President stated this date, in a letter to the 15-state Midwest Democratic Conference meeting in Kansas City, that the Democrats would run in the fall on a program of peace, progress and prosperity, but stated that the party would not play politics with national defense.

Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut asked that his name be withdrawn from the Illinois Democratic presidential primary as a favorite son candidate. Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee had been entered in that primary. Senator McMahon had been entered primarily as a proxy for the President and he said that he hoped that the President would run for re-election but that he could not ask the voters of Illinois to vote for him when he favored the President. The President had hinted at a White House press conference the previous day that he might run for the Senate from Missouri, stating that he would make his political plans known before the filing date for that seat, which was April 29. Thus, whether the President would run for re-election remained a question mark—though Marquis Childs had reported, as it turned out, accurately, the previous Saturday that he would not run and was going to give his support to Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for the nomination.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott emphasized that all State employees were entitled to vote as they wished. He had thrown his support to Judge Hubert Olive for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 1952 and stated he would not bring pressure to have members of his Administration do likewise. It had been charged that in the 1950 Senate Democratic primary campaign between eventual winner Willis Smith and incumbent interim Senator Frank Graham, pressure had been placed by the Governor on State employees to support Senator Graham. The Governor, however, denied that any such pressure had taken place.

In Carthage, N.C., three paratroopers were sentenced to terms of 18 to 20 months in prison this date after a jury had convicted them the previous day of assault on a female, after they had been accused of raping her. The victim was black and the defendants were white. The jury could have returned a verdict requiring the death penalty for the rape, but the maximum sentence for assault on a female was two years. Any sentence exceeding 12 months could result in their dishonorable discharges from the military.

In the sixth part of the serialization of Fulton Oursler's The Greatest Story Ever Written, the story of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah is imparted, on page 6-A, starting with the question, "How could they enjoy Sodom?" Well, we don't know and we do not wish to know. We shall let you tell us, as long as the conversation is regular.

On the editorial page, "A Deserved Slap" tells of the U.S. having received this date in Paris its first setback in the U.N. political committee, voting 21 to 12, with 25 abstentions, for a Soviet proposal approving the reconsideration by the Security Council of the admission of 14 countries, five of which were pro-Soviet and nine pro-Western. The U.S. had opposed the proposal, as had Britain, on the basis that the Soviet-backed countries did not qualify under the U.N. Charter, requiring that admittees be peace-loving and have the intention of supporting the Charter.

It finds such reasoning "unsound and unfair", as imposing standards on new applicants beyond those supported by the present members. Albania and Rumania, among the nations applying for admission, no more violated those standards than did member nations Russia and Czechoslovakia.

It was sometimes suggested that countries with dubious qualifications ought be expelled from the organization, but it finds that such a procedure would defeat the purpose of the U.N. as a worldwide body. Not too much could be expected from it because areas of agreement were small and the proper fora for forceful international action were in the regional pacts, such as NATO.

The proposed new admittees would not cause the West's voting majority in the General Assembly to be significantly diluted and so it would not be surprising that these pro-Western nine of the 14 nations were puzzled by the U.S. attitude.

"We Hear Them Shouting" tells of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporting that the Associated Industries of Georgia had come to the conclusion that tax differentials among the Southern states were inconsequential and could be offset in any individual state by numerous factors, such as location, transportation, fuel, access to materials, efficient management, etc. The AIG created an hypothetical company and figured what the relative taxes would be on each dollar of income in eight Southern states, finding that Alabama had the least taxes at 7.85 percent, that North Carolina was seventh at 8.32 percent, and Tennessee, the most, at 8.33 percent.

It finds it a fallacy to claim an unfavorable tax structure in a given state based solely on State taxes, without comparing local taxes and government service provided for the tax dollar in those states.

"No Wonder We Can't Spell" tells of Ralph Dornfield Owen, writing in North Carolina Education, asking what a person would say who received a card reading JOHN POUGH, whether the pronunciation would be Mr. Po, Mr. Pawf, Mr. Poo, Mr. Pou, or, not included by Professor Owen, Mr. Pup. (They left out Mr. Pow and Mr. Puff.) Such potential variants suggested the trouble with the English language, that one could never be sure how a written word is pronounced or a spoken word, spelled. It wonders what the utility was of the four silent k's in "knickknack" and why "circus" should not be spelled, "psoloquoise".

According to Professor Owen, George Bernard Shaw had once proposed that "fishes" be spelled "ghoties".

And it goes on, supplanting a "can" for a "can't" at one point, using such rules to provide variant spellings of nursery rhymes, such as "Old King Cole"—which you may see for yourself.

And what's the big deal about "watch" and "catch"? They're pronounced ezatly the same, mate.

Another slow day at the news desk…

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Let 'Em Wear Sable", tells of the RFC scandal having hit the country's mink farmers badly, such that they had written plaintive letters to the National Grange and the American Farm Bureau Federation, asking whether it was fair to allow misbehavior in Washington to put the American fur farmer in a precarious position.

The piece agrees with the premise, but also indicates that the mink farmers had carefully controlled minks to the point where mink was associated with the affluent, and that such exclusivity had to come with certain drawbacks. It suggests that perhaps they would have to sell their product for a time as if it were something else, but that notoriety also added desirability to any scarce article, as was the case with mink.

Drew Pearson tells of Price administrator Mike DiSalle having recently called Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio and asked him how he liked his job, as he was thinking about running for it, to which Senator Bricker said that he did not like it much at first but had come to like it presently. Mr. DiSalle responded that perhaps he should therefore try to take it away from him.

Frank Costello, gambling kingpin, had hired a U.S. Attorney from Kansas, Lester Luther, to represent him. Mr. Luther had become the resident agent for an oil company in Kansas owned by a tax fixer and by Mr. Costello. Apparently, Mr. Luther had gotten involved in the operation without knowing the participants, having been asked by the tax fixer to organize an oil company for him in Kansas, an acceptable practice at the time, as U.S. Attorneys were permitted to handle non-Governmental matters. He continued to handle the matter even after the tax fixer's name and picture had made newspaper headlines all over the country for trying to fix a tax case and having arranged for a $5,000 commission on an airplane sale for former Department of Justice tax division chief, Lamar Caudle. The previous month, Mr. Luther had said that he would resign immediately and the Justice Department said that it knew nothing about the matter. He thinks that Justice ought asked Mr. Luther to explain himself and also examine all outside activities of other U.S. Attorneys.

One reason for the final decision between the President and Prime Minister Churchill, during the latter's recent visit to Washington, agreeing that an American naval commander could be appointed for the Atlantic Fleet was the experience with split commands during World War II, especially in the Battle of the Java Sea, leading to Dutch, British and U.S. warships scattering and becoming the prey of Japanese destroyers in a tragic defeat.

Marquis Childs discusses the decision by the Loyalty Review Board of the Civil Service Commission, chaired by former Senator Hiram Bingham, to find disloyalty on the part of John Service to the State Department, for which he had been the Far Eastern expert, such that he could no longer serve in the Government. The decision had been founded on the change of the standard for such findings to that of a "reasonable doubt" as to the loyalty of the individual, a change recently imposed by the President at the request of Mr. Bingham.

Mr. Childs indicates that the decision was emblematic of the problems with the process of determining loyalty, that in the case of Mr. Service, the disloyalty was not to the Government but rather only to the State Department.

Furthermore, it turned out that Senator Joseph McCarthy had a spy on the Board, who supplied him with a lengthy confidential transcript of proceedings which had transpired before the Board, in which Mr. Bingham had expressed doubt as to the effectiveness of the State Department's own loyalty board, based on the notion that no employee of the Department had been dismissed on loyalty grounds, whereas in other departments, from 6 to 14 percent of those under scrutiny had been dismissed. Of the two million or more Federal employees, only 14,000 had been involved in loyalty proceedings. After Senator McCarthy released this transcript, the Board started an internal investigation to identify the spy, and when eventually found, he denied the accusation to the FBI three times, despite the Bureau having found his fingerprints on the transmitted document. Presumably, that person would be dismissed for disloyalty.

Among career officers at the State Department, the suspicion was that Mr. Service had been found disloyal based on acts which were completely justifiable in the context of their time of occurrence, five or six years earlier, but had been cast in a different light by the break with Communism after the war. The result was to depress the already low morale of the Department, with the result that officers in the field would be more cautious than ever in reporting facts which might cast a suspicious light on the officer before a Congressional inquiry.

Mr. Childs suggests that at the very least, the Service case should be heard in the courts where there were safeguards of due process and a fair trial. He had been represented by able counsel, but to take such a case as far as the Supreme Court cost a lot of money. Mr. Bingham had done everything he could to ensure a fair hearing, even drafting three reputable New York lawyers to sit on the panel, but, opines Mr. Childs, more was at stake than the fate of only one individual, that being the danger of corruption of the processes of justice, already undermined.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Martha Rountree's "Meet the Press" television show inspiring "something electric" and bestial, even in the most sedate politico. Recently, Senator Taft appeared on the show, seeming "snappish" in his appreciation of the possible candidacy of General Eisenhower. He remarked that the General's supporters had become upset at his recent announcement that he had the Republican nomination locked up, that he had become the subject of a whispering campaign that he could not beat a Democrat in the fall.

Mr. Ruark likes such a contentious atmosphere, and hopes that it would continue, wishes that General Eisenhower soon would enter the race full tilt. He indicates that the chief fault of his candidacy was that he was remaining politely aloof from the process, a fault which had preceded him in the candidacies in 1944 and 1948 of Governor Thomas Dewey, who had refused to come down from his exalted perch to talk directly to the people, something which the President was good at doing, as the results had shown in 1948.

"What the Republicans forgot then, and might forget again, is that America is not entirely populated by fine ladies and elegant gentlemen who think clearly and calculate coldly. There is ammunition, and to spare, to heave at the Democrats, this trip, but so there was on the last one. Tom Dewey didn't fight and he didn't spellbind and he didn't promise. Harry performed all three earthly chores and scooped up the marbles.

"We must still remember that the American voting public chews gum and chaws tobacker. It loves a catfight and it loves a dogfight and it loves a fistfight. It drinks beer and watches soap operas and leers at Dagmar and bets on hoss races and shoots crap and has dirty fingernails and drinks licker and cusses and watches rasslin' on the TV. It goes to church and pays taxes and sends its children to school, too, but it has a woefully short memory for facts and a long leash on emotion. It cries easy and believes what it hears from the last man to say it. It sometimes buys loudness of voice over logic, and it admires the juke box more than the Philharmonic."

He concludes therefore that the Republican Party could use some humanizing and that there was "no greater humanizer than a lively squabble".

Incidentally, the above-referenced program on "Meet the Press" is not at present available online, despite an erroneous date of January 20, 1952 ascribed to this radio version of an interview with Senator Taft, which transpired actually on January 7, 1951. Mr. Taft, by the way, had apparently studied as much French as had the city fathers in Lexington, Ky., as much as had the city fathers of Winston-Salem learned Spanish. He apparently did not even go to Bogart movies.

Of course, we are still wondering about the President's pronunciation of "biography", which apparently derived from a cross with "bibliography". Those Midweste'ne's just cain't pronounce anything...

A letter from Congressman Hamilton Jones of Charlotte remarks on the January 21 editorial, "An Appalling Display", regarding the action of the House the previous week approving a ten percent military pay increase, the editorial having found it to be an action lacking the courage to stand up for economy in an election year on such an issue. He indicates that he had voted for the bill without being influenced by any veterans organization and indicates that he would have preferred the bill to have been presented in a different form such that amendments could have been offered. But the question presented to the House was whether they were willing to hit the veterans fighting in Korea with a hard blow by refusing to raise their pay, despite the bill also providing greater increases for officers stationed stateside. Since men in service had received no pay raise since 1949, he finds it justified, especially since living costs had risen more than the ten percent increase in pay. He thus disagrees that those who voted for the bill were "fearful, little men", as the editorial had said, listing many of the Democrats who had done so, including Majority Leader John McCormick.

A letter writer sarcastically agrees with all of the people who opposed the pay increase for men in service, of whom one was her husband. She thinks that the country ought do away with all police departments, fire departments, and every form of military building, and then tell Stalin that it was okay to "come and get us".

A letter writer comments on the worthiness of the March of Dimes drive, as she had a niece who had been stricken with polio and died a few years earlier. The drive was seeking money to make a vaccine available for everyone and she urges giving.

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