The Charlotte News

Wednesday, January 30, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist staff officer negotiators this date agreed to the rotation of 25,000 allied troops per month during an armistice and said that the Chinese would join in administering the demilitarized zone, but refused to agree on restraints against moving troops secretly into threatening concentrations during an armistice. Previously, the Communists had agreed to a rotation of only 5,000 U.N. troops per month, whereas the U.N. command wanted 75,000. The previous day, the North Koreans had indicated that the Chinese Communists would take no part in administration of the northern half of the armistice buffer zone, but the staff officers reversed that position this date. The staff officers were working out details of the basically agreed points regarding supervision of a truce.

In the subcommittee regarding prisoner exchange, no measurable progress was made, but a Communist negotiator had been reasonably objective in showing interest in the allied plan for exchange of prisoners, the remaining point of contention being voluntary repatriation, as favored by the allies.

The Department of Defense announced that U.S. battle casualties to date in Korea had reached 105,001, an increase of 357 since the previous week, including 16,270 killed in action, 76,112 wounded, and 12,619 missing. The breakdown for the previous week is not provided.

A Springfield, Colorado, mother of an Army soldier who had been killed in Korea had returned to the President a Purple Heart which had been awarded to him posthumously. He had been killed the previous August 10 near Sinchon. She hopes that every parent of every boy killed in the action would do likewise and "flood Washington with these medals until we get as brave men there as are being killed in Korea."

Atomic Energy Commission chairman Gordon Dean told a news conference this date that the projected hydrogen bomb would cost more than twice as much as originally estimated to develop, rising from 600 million dollars, as estimated 18 months earlier, to 1.25 billion dollars. The rise in cost was because reactors would cost more than originally anticipated. The plant was being constructed in South Carolina, in an area about 50 percent larger than Chicago. A new uranium-producing plant was being planned for Paducah, Ky. In cost of real estate, plant and equipment, the two projects together were exceeded only by U.S. Steel and General Motors.

In London, Prime Minister Churchill expressed to the House of Commons the hope that there would be shared responsibility for security of the international waterway at the Suez Canal and reiterated a promise of prompt action should the Chinese Communists break a Korean armistice once formed. He refused to elaborate, saying that during the course of war, it was best to keep some things confidential from the enemy. He said that decision was not a new one reached during his visit with the President in Washington, but rather expressed "frankly and fully the spirit in which we shall face our difficulties together." He declined, however, to assert in advance any formal British commitment to join the U.S. in any such punitive action.

Admiral Lynde McCormick, commander of the U.S. Atlantic Fleet, was this date named supreme allied naval commander of the North Atlantic, the first such peacetime commander of an international fleet. He would act on the sea as the equivalent of General Eisenhower on land, as supreme commander of NATO. The announcement of the appointment was made simultaneously in Washington and London, by the President and by NATO. The agreement to appoint an American commander was made finally during Mr. Churchill's visit to Washington. Mr. Churchill had opposed the appointment of U.S. Admiral William Fechteler the prior year, then favoring the appointment of a British commander.

House investigators were preparing for their investigation of personal and official activities of Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, including examination of his race track interests and his previous role as a trustee of a Rhode Island trust connected with a textile firm, as well as claims of unwarranted interference with Federal grand juries and failures and delays of prosecution within the Justice Department. The scope of the investigation would be limited to specific charges based upon credible evidence. While he was being investigated, the Attorney General had been assigned the task by the President of investigating and, where necessary, cleaning up the Government. The Attorney General was seeking a special prosecutor to direct that probe and had favored former Secretary of War Robert Patterson for the role, until he had been killed in a plane crash the prior week. Two other prominent attorneys had turned down the position.

Senator Taft announced that his supporters had entered his name in the New Hampshire primary of March 11, to contest General Eisenhower, whose name had already been entered by New Hampshire Governor Sherman Adams. The Senator said that he had not asked his supporters to do so, but he would stand by the decision. He said that the fact that the state machine was behind the General presented unfavorable factors, but that despite it he would proceed and not withdraw his name. Former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen had also been entered in the primary.

Senator Taft and UMW head John L. Lewis engaged in a bitter name-calling clash at a Senate committee hearing this date, regarding the Taft-Hartley law, Mr. Lewis calling it "a slave act" and saying that if the Senator were ever elected to the presidency, he did not know how he would respond to Joseph Stalin should the latter bring up the law. The Senator responded that he could handle Stalin all right, as he had handled the workers of Ohio, apparently referring to his large margin of victory for re-election in 1950, more than three years after Taft-Hartley had been passed over the President's veto. The hearing regarded an effort to put enforcement teeth in Federal mine safety and inspection laws.

House Ways & Means chairman, Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, 88, stated this date that he intended to seek re-election in the May primary. He said that while he had intended to retire at the end of the present term, a large number of people had urged him to run again. He had been first elected to Congress in 1910. Congressman Adolph Sabath of Illinois, however, had served four years longer in Congress, though three years younger than Mr. Doughton, who was born four months after the battle of Gettysburg, was five years old when the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified.

Near Valleyfield, Québec, a mother and six of her eight children had burned to death in a fire which destroyed their small frame home. The father and two children escaped the blaze, caused by a faulty heating system.

In New York, coloratura Graciela Rivera, to become the first Puerto Rican ever to sing at the Metropolitan Opera, would make her debut on Monday as Lucia in "Lucia Di Lammermoor".

In Miami, the temperature dropped to 44 degrees, making it the coldest January 30 recorded there since the Weather Bureau had begun maintaining records 41 years earlier, the previous low having been 47, in 1940.

A 64-page section of the newspaper is included in this day's edition as the "Business Review and Forecast" for 1952, should you have an interest and wish to go to the library to read it.

On the editorial page, "A Progress Report" provides an update on the ten primary projects the newspaper supported for Charlotte, as first established in January, 1950, to be accomplished within the ensuing decade. Those included organization of an urban redevelopment commission, a ten million dollar school building program for the city and county, scientific county-wide revaluation of property, maximum feasible consolidation of the City and County governments to promote efficiency, adequate public housing, formation of a civic promotion group, similar to Winston-Salem's Committee of One Hundred, a new city auditorium, a full-scale program for relief of traffic congestion, improved air transportation facilities, and action to clear contamination from the city's creeks.

If you have special interest in one or more of these projects and the progress made thereon by early 1952, you may read the piece on your own. It concludes that the progress had been impressive for the first two years, resulting from public and private leadership and a growing consciousness among the city's residents, that while the national emergency had placed some barriers in the way of progress, foundations had been laid such that the city would be ready to move ahead as soon as the emergency passed.

"Come on in, Comrades" tells of Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota having disclosed in the National Republic, (possibly referencing the New Republic), and the Congressional Record the "ways and means" by which alert Americans could determine who among their associates were Communists. It supplies some of those methods, such as that Communists demanded more public housing, which it then ascribes to Senator Taft, Mayor Victor Shaw of Charlotte and others, finding, therefore, that they must be Communists. Another hint was that the Communist opposed universal military training, which the editorial ascribes to the Baptists, Methodists, and almost every other church, suggesting that they, too, must be Communists. Senator Mundt also believed that Communists hated the Taft-Hartley Act, which necessarily included the President.

And it goes on in that vein down the list of such hints, including opposition to Senator Taft, favoring former Atomic Energy Commission chairman David Lilienthal, attacking General MacArthur in the Truman-MacArthur controversy of the prior year, seeking control of labor unions, assailing HUAC, which the piece ascribes to itself, until reaching the hint described as weakening the concept of home rule, of which the piece finds Senator Mundt guilty for support of recommitting the bill to establish home rule for the District of Columbia. The last hint was that Communists attempted to confuse the public, to which the piece indicates, "Come on in, Comrade Mundt."

Drew Pearson tells of the reason for the tight security in the House Judiciary Committee's debate regarding the probe of the Justice Department being that the President's personal physician, Maj. General Wallace Graham, was involved. Attorney General J. Howard McGrath had used every lobbying trick he could muster to prevent the probe, and certain Congressmen, including chairman Emanuel Celler of New York, also did not want it known how suddenly they had reversed themselves on the matter because of Administration pressure.

Dr. Graham, according to Congressman Kenneth Keating of New York, had sought to keep the notorious Rumanian, Nikola Malaxa, in the United States. Mr. Malaxa was a businessman who, among other things, had collaborated both with the Nazis and the Communists, and had a great deal of influence within Moscow. Yet, the Justice Department had given him a favorable report, placing him in a preferred position to become a permanent resident of the U.S. Congressman Keating claimed that the recommendation had been based partly on an affidavit from Dr. Graham. Congressman Keating wanted to know how high Mr. Malaxa was able to reach within the Administration.

Congressman Celler had warned the President that he intended to investigate the Justice Department for being under great pressure to make the probe, and so, as a matter of courtesy, wanted the President to know the fact in advance. The President had responded that he was going to clean up the matter and promised to remove Attorney General McGrath and make him Ambassador to Spain, to be replaced at Justice by Judge Justin Miller. But thereafter, powerful influences, including Senator Francis Green of Rhode Island and Cardinal Spellman of New York, had provided support for retaining Attorney General McGrath, such that the President reversed himself on the matter. Despite the fact that no change had been made in the Justice Department at the top, Congressman Celler had done exactly the opposite of what he told the White House he would do, pulling the strings to block a probe of the Justice Department by his committee.

Dr. Edwin McNeill Poteat, pastor of the Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, in a transcribed speech to the North Carolina Newspaper Institute on January 24 in Chapel Hill, regarded the First Estate, society's clerics, and its interrelationship, similarities and contrasts with the Fourth Estate, the press. Social responsibility, he indicates, was the inherent province of both professions. Both acted as an educational medium "to see, interpret, relate, and synthesize facts." The mind had to be free to wander in this realm, or be guilty of moral cowardice or subject to tyranny. Yet, both professions had to be arbiters of taste as well.

He injects that he did not think the daily rape story was fit to instruct the mind, except on a plane of general statistical summaries, either in the pulpit or in the newspaper, as it did "nothing to enliven the sense of human decency or to protest against such aberrant behavior." Neither the preacher nor the journalist should make capital from sensation, as it rarely improved the taste or deepened the understanding of "man's sinful nature though he may fill his tabernacle nightly with the emotionally hungry listeners."

He asserts that the social responsibility was determined by the perspective within which the Fourth Estate saw its world and the criteria it set for itself. In addition to the need for selectivity in terms of perspectives and interpretation and synthesis which converted a fact into truth, criticism, including self-criticism, was necessary. It could never be forgotten that the individual preacher and the individual journalist were, themselves, part of humanity and therefore subject to human foibles. The reporter had as prime responsibility being a critic of contemporary life. The newspaper could not afford to scold its readers daily, but it also could not abandon its role as social critic. The church had a duty to be the moral conscience of the world, and within that role, also a critic of contemporary life, with patience and discernment.

He points to another example in modern life, the effort to abolish second-class citizenship in terms of exercise of civil liberties, based on segregation and discrimination because of color. The political scientist agreed that in a free society, first and second class citizenship based on race was indefensible. The economist agreed that the low economic status of any group resulting from discrimination was improvident. The scientist said that the claim of inherent superiority for a particular racial group was not supportable within science. The historian tackled the myth of white supremacy by reminding that it was a status recently established from the pigmented peoples and was already very nearly lost to present times. When people talked interpersonally, they agreed that segregation was antithetical to democracy and would, eventually, have to disappear. Yet, people shrunk from challenging the mores which confirmed the prejudices of the insecure and falsified the honest wisdom of the informed. The journalist and the minister might choose not to speak on this subject, but silence would not solve the problem. The social convulsions which had rocked the Union of South Africa served as a warning that something had to be done, and soon, with regard to apartheid or segregation in society.

A special committee of the U.N. considering apartheid, had condemned it two weeks earlier by a vote of 41 to 2. He predicts that one day, the North Carolina Press Association would include black members and asks what the ministry should do in that regard.

Social criticism by the press should not be irresponsible or capricious, "lest the common mind be exploited or misdirected" by the more informed mind. Perspective, which included a sense of history, was necessary to inform this criticism. If he were running a newspaper, he indicates, he would place in a prominent location a sign which read, "Remember History". A bloodied nose in a bar or a fight in an alley could not be understood except as related to the total culture which spawned them and to the "timeless flux within which they will ultimately be judged." To be a critic of society or culture, however, demanded more, self-criticism, as it was necessary to realize one's own human fallibility within the context of social criticism. "Who of us can escape the idiot's taint?" Thus, he would add to his newspaper room the advice, "Remember thou too art man."

He regards it a sorry sight when the church feared to act as conscience and the press feared to act as critic, for when the free institutions of a free society were thwarted by those not believing in freedom, conscience and criticism could not yield to fear.

He indicates that he believes that the power of government and the power of the church were constantly jockeying with one another in every society, but were not natural antagonists in a free society, and it was only when they sought to trespass on one another or to deny rights to freedom that societies were reduced to turmoil. That condition highlighted the need for a courageous and unfettered press, as well as a sensitive and conscientious church. "Here the First Estate and the Fourth Estate should stand together as allies against the massed menace of all that would enslave the spirit of man."

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