The Charlotte News

Monday, October 13, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that about six Communist Chinese suicide troops equipped with demolition charges had attempted to blow a hole in the allied defenses on White Horse Mountain this night, but South Korean gunfire had mowed them down before reaching their target. At the same time, two Chinese platoons had attempted an attack which was repulsed by the South Koreans, who then launched an assault of their own, pushing up the slope of one of three knobs captured by the enemy earlier in the day. The battle for the Mountain, guarding the corridor to Seoul, was in its eighth day, with South Korean positions in better shape than in any previous time during the battle. General James Van Fleet, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army, indicated that the area was likely not to be such a sensitive part of the front any longer, as it had been during the previous week. South Koreans estimated that the enemy had lost more than 10,000 killed or wounded during the battle, with elements of three Chinese divisions involved. General Van Fleet praised the South Korean troops for "a beautiful job" against "about the best" Chinese army on the front and lauded Maj. General Kim Chong Oh for "as fine a job as any divisional commander" he had seen.

To the east, a smaller fight continued to rage regarding possession of an outpost position, taken by the Chinese in savage hand-to-hand combat the previous night, but stormed by U.N. troops during the morning of this date. Only patrol clashes were reported elsewhere.

Pilots from 47 of the 48 states, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, England, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, had destroyed or damaged enemy warplanes over North Korea, according to Fifth Air Force records. Pilots from North Carolina, however, had yet to register a kill during the war.

Russia had charged in a formal note of protest that a U.S. B-29 bomber had shot at Soviet fighter planes over Russian Far Eastern territory the prior Tuesday and said that the Russian pilots had returned fire. The incident had occurred on the same date and in the same area of the Kurile Islands that the U.S. Air Force had reported one of its B-29's missing off Japan. The Air Force said that the U.S. plane had carried no guns or gunners.

The U.N. Prisoner of War Command said this date that three Communist prisoners of war had been slightly injured the previous day by U.N. guards enforcing an order to a prison work party to return to its compound.

The Supreme Court denied a hearing this date to convicted atomic spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, sentenced to death for their part in providing the atomic bomb secrets to Russia. Henceforth, only a commutation of the sentences by the President could spare their lives. Only Justice Hugo Black had favored granting the hearing. The Court also denied a hearing to Morton Sobel, a radar expert convicted along with the Rosenbergs, receiving a sentence of 30 years in prison. David Greenglass, Mrs. Rosenberg's brother, had testified for the Government in the case and received a 15-year sentence for his confessed part in the spy plot, taking no appeal. The death sentence to the Rosenbergs, handed down on April 5, 1951, was the first imposed in the country's history for espionage during peace time by a civilian court. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York had upheld the death sentence in its decision of February 25, 1952. The appeals, among other things, had contested the Constitutionality of the Federal Espionage Act, contended that the conduct of Judge Irving Kaufman had precluded a fair trial, and that the death sentence constituted cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.

Two days before the execution of the Rosenbergs, on June 17, 1953, Justice William O. Douglas would issue a stay pending a hearing to determine whether the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 deprived the original trial court of jurisdiction. Two days later, on the date of the executions, the Court would vacate that stay.

In Philadelphia, CIA director General Walter Bedell Smith, testifying before HUAC, praised the President for fighting Communism in the Federal Government, saying that if the next president, regardless of who it was, would do as well, the country had little about which to worry. The Committee had subpoenaed him to explain his testimony of September 29 in a deposition in the defamation suit filed by Senator Joseph McCarthy against Senator William Benton for the latter's statement that Senator McCarthy had engaged in fraud in claiming that there were large numbers of Communists within the Government. General Smith had stated in the deposition that he believed Communists were so "adroit and adept" that they had infiltrated every security agency of the Government, including the CIA. He had later clarified that what he meant by the statement was that the Government had to remain vigilant, but that he believed the effort to prevent Communists from infiltrating the Government had been largely successful. He said this date that his statement had been "predicated on pure theory and past performance" and that he would be complacent if he did not believe that there was any Communist infiltration. He said that he was "morally certain" that there might be Communists within the CIA, but that he did not know who they were. He said that he had found no penetration by Communists within the CIA in the U.S. and was referring to the work of the Agency, devoted entirely to operations outside the U.S., because at times in the past, the CIA had found it necessary to employ the services of Communists for purposes of infiltration.

Governor Stevenson's campaign manager, Wilson Wyatt, in Springfield, expressed the belief at a news conference the previous day that the Democrats had General Eisenhower on the run and would win the election in November with a great surge of support from independent voters. The view was shared by almost all of the Governor's advisers. Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas predicted that the Governor would carry the South and the border states. Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin said that the General would lose New York for having endorsed Senators Joseph McCarthy and William Jenner, and former Senator Francis Myers of Pennsylvania had said that things looked "pretty good" for the Governor in Pennsylvania. Mr. Wyatt said that there were "I Used to Like Ike" groups being formed based on disillusionment with the campaign tactics of the General, resulting from perceived compromises, shifts of position and abandonment of principles which these supporters had believed the General held. Mr. Wyatt was also enthusiastic about the President's whistle-stop trip across the country, finding it to have been extremely favorable for the Democratic ticket. The Governor, in a radio speech the previous night on ABC, sponsored by volunteers seeking five dollar contributions for his campaign, said that he was deeply concerned regarding the high costs of campaigning, and that the campaign for five dollar donations was "particularly healthy" as a way of meeting the costs by donors who only sought faithful public service in return. He praised Beardsley Ruml, the finance chairman of the DNC, for originating the program.

The President, following his successful 15-day cross-country train trip, announced this date that he would make more than 30 speeches during a three-day trip through New England and New York starting the following Thursday.

General Eisenhower, speaking in Casper, Wyo., stated this date that the Republicans were fighting to get "just some ordinary business methods" installed in the Government. He stressed that there were too many Government bureaus and agencies and that greater efficiency in handling the people's business had to be instituted. In Cheyenne, only about 1,000 people turned out, though arrangements had been made locally for a crowd of 20,000 people, the excuse being given that the 40-degree temperature had discouraged turnout.

Bunch of sissy Republicans afraid of a little cold. Oh, brrrr, it's too cold to go out and see good ol' Ike, today. We'll just stay here by the fire and roast marshmallows and watch some tv.

The News reports that its straw poll conducted during the previous few days had shown a seven to one preference for General Eisenhower over Governor Stevenson. North Carolina Republicans believed that Charlotte was the strongest pro-Eisenhower center in the state, but the straw poll results had exceeded their expectations. It provides some sample comments included on the submitted ballots, one of which read, "To hell with the crooks."

Workers in at least seven of 40 large Illinois coal mines employing UMW members had walked off the job this date, presumably over the fact that they had not yet been paid the new wage boost won from the operators, which had become effective on October 1. The Wage Stabilization Board had not yet approved the raise, but had indicated it would act quickly.

In Charleston, W. Va., a widow on the way to church to help prepare food for her son's wedding reception had been struck and killed by an automobile the previous day, as the car went out of control rounding a curve.

In Boone, N.C., law enforcement officers were inquiring further of a mother who claimed that her two-year old daughter had vanished during the afternoon of the previous day in a rugged area 15 miles southeast of Boone. Officers had found wet clothing belonging to the child, which the mother explained by claiming that the child had fallen into a branch. Hundreds of young men were released from classes at Appalachian State Teachers College to assist in the hunt for the child.

In Long Beach, California, James H. Finn, 65, a former writer and technical director of the "Our Gang" comedies, died the previous day.

In London, a mild case of the flu forced Betty Hutton to cancel her performance at the Palladium Theater this night, and singer Frankie Laine agreed to appear in her stead.

On the editorial page, "The Task of the United Nations" tells of Secretary of State Acheson beginning the next day what might be his final and most frustrating diplomatic assignment, with the start of the seventh session of the General Assembly, scheduled to last three months. Russia was sending its strongest delegation ever, with 72 delegates headed by Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky, and including Ambassadors Andrei Gromyko and Georgy Zarubin.

Until after election day, Secretary Acheson would carry primary responsibilities for the West practically alone, as Britain's Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden and France's Foreign Minister Robert Schuman would not be on hand, reasoning that the U.S. delegation would be guarded in its discussion of some issues until after the election. By the time they would arrive, Secretary Acheson would be essentially a lame-duck and would presumably coordinate with his successor, probably to become John Foster Dulles in the likely event of election of General Eisenhower. Mr. Dulles had criticized U.S. foreign policy lately, thus complicating matters the more.

The Korean truce issue would have to be dealt with immediately, as would the demand of 13 Asian and African nations that the Assembly discuss and act on the question of French administration in North Africa and on apartheid in South Africa. The French preferred to handle the issue themselves as discussion of the issue could stimulate Communist propaganda regarding injustice to colonials and also might cause the issue of seating Communist China in the U.N. to resurface.

Meanwhile, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada was undertaking investigation of possible subversive influences of persons connected with the U.N., a matter which he had stated was "truly startling". The piece suggests that while vigilance remained essential, such probes and charges should not detract from the problems facing the U.N. or its accomplishments.

The previous week, the U.N. Secretary-General, Trygve Lie, had stated candidly that the world situation had not changed fundamentally for the better, but that despite the unilateral veto available to the permanent five members of the Security Council, the General Assembly could, with certain exceptions, act on questions by either a simple or two-thirds majority, as had been the case with intervention in Korea—though in that instance, Russia had been boycotting the Security Council since the beginning of 1950 because of the issue of Communist China not being admitted in lieu of Nationalist China. Mr. Lie reminded that regional pacts had been shown effective in providing collective security and were not means of circumventing the U.N., but rather supplemented its work. He indicated that the world was coming to understand that peace and security could not be achieved easily or quickly, and "never finally", but had to be accomplished over a period of time at least as long as that envisioned by the 20-year peace program. He stressed that fuller use by the member states of the resources of the U.N. and the steady development of its influence and authority would diminish the danger of a third world war.

The piece agrees with Mr. Lie's statements and hopes that they would be followed in the current session.

"Habitual Criminal Law Needed" tells of a defendant the previous week in City Recorder's Court, who had been charged with slaying a man by cutting him repeatedly with the jagged edges of a soft drink bottle. The woman had waived preliminary hearing and would next face trial in Superior Court. She had repeatedly demonstrated tendencies toward violence in the past, though only 30 years old, having been arrested 38 times on various charges, 18 of which involved assault with hands and fists or with a deadly weapon.

It suggests that the customary light penalties for assault had not impressed upon her the need to refrain from violence. But if there had been an habitual criminal sentencing statute on the books, it urges, her repeated conduct would have incurred increasingly severe punishment. That, it opines, combined with a more realistic rehabilitation system, would tend to prevent recidivism. It hopes that the Bar Association would undertake a study of the experience of other states which had habitual criminal statutes on the books and work to achieve a better system in North Carolina.

It should be noted that the piece assumes the guilt of the accused in this instance, not affording her the presumption of innocence. That sort of assumption often goes with the mentality of treating people as "habitual criminals", so as to lock them up and throw away the key—until society finally wakes up to find that it is paying huge tax dollars to maintain a prison system full of "habitual criminals", some of whom having wound up in that classification because of only petty crime as their final strike.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, titled "It's Fun To Get Letters in a Mailbox", tells of recipients of mail in the mailboxes lining the road taking whatever they received for granted, forgetting the trains, ships and planes which brought them those pieces of mail. It comments that many people did not have a mailbox to go to each morning and so lost the adventure of the routine. Instead, they went to the post office or sat by the door, waiting for the postman to drop the mail through the slot.

It urges not to take the mailbox for granted, that each day it beckoned the world to one's door and provided a treasure trove to be explored.

Whatever ticks your clock.

Drew Pearson offers up a series of tidbits from around the nation regarding politics. In Florida, Senator Spessard Holland, a Democrat, had threatened to bolt to General Eisenhower, despite having led Southern spokesmen at the convention in pledging allegiance to the party. But Senator Holland had remained quiet during the campaign, and so former Senator Claude Pepper had begun to work for Governor Stevenson, building an organization within Florida.

Some of the people around Governor Stevenson in Springfield, Ill., believed that they might as well close the DNC headquarters in Washington as the entire campaign was being run from Springfield. Governor Stevenson's campaign manager, Wilson Wyatt, was the mastermind of the campaign, not Stephen Mitchell, the DNC chairman picked by Governor Stevenson after the convention.

The column indicates that Colorado was still considered a Republican state, despite the President's recent whistle-stop tour through it. General Eisenhower had established his campaign headquarters initially in Denver, home of his wife's mother, and that presence had been difficult to overcome, despite the General having spent the bulk of his time in the state fishing, playing bridge and holding conferences with the national party representatives, not meeting with local Republicans.

Governor Dewey had a three-hour private session with General Eisenhower in New York just before the latter's endorsement of Senator McCarthy, during which the Governor had begged the General not to endorse the Senator on the basis that he would lose the independent vote, alienating more voters than he would gain. The General agreed that he should keep his distance from Senator McCarthy; but then the following day, Senators Homer Ferguson of Michigan and Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, along with RNC chairman Arthur Summerfield and McCarthy campaign manager, Tom Coleman, conferred with the General and convinced him to reverse his position on Senator McCarthy.

General Eisenhower explained to newsmen on the train that Senator McCarthy had not persuaded him to omit two paragraphs from his speech praising General Marshall. That which had actually happened was that Mr. Summerfield, knowing that the praise of General Marshall was in the Milwaukee speech and would be considered a slap at Senator McCarthy, who had essentially called General Marshall a traitor for his Far Eastern policy, had managed to get Senator McCarthy in to see the General in Milwaukee, at which time the General was convinced that the paragraphs of praise of General Marshall ought be stricken from the speech. After the speech, however, Senator McCarthy complained that the General had not been cordial to him.

Governor Dan Thornton of Colorado was likely to become the Secretary of the Interior in an Eisenhower administration, but might have problems getting re-elected Governor because the Taft supporters were not enthusiastic about him and his draft deferment, on the ground that he was in the cattle business, had not engendered him to veterans. His wife, the niece of the late Andrew Mellon, had joked that she was the "First Lady of a cow pasture", and was hopeful for a change of scenery to Washington.

Joseph Alsop, with the Eisenhower campaign party, tells of the reporters traveling with the Eisenhower campaign, who originally had been quite supportive of the General's candidacy when he began his campaign in early June, having now soured on the General and become generally supportive of Governor Stevenson. The General was aware of the fact and was hurt by it, having informed his press escort that he was aware that they were not for him but was going to win anyway. The advisers of the General were seeking to blame his press secretary, James Hagerty, but Mr. Hagerty had been handling the press very well. The problem lay in the General's own handling of key issues, seeming for the public to take hard stands, while, in fact, taking very general stands which would be hard to achieve were he to be elected President.

Mr. Alsop cites the example of the General's refrain to audiences that he wanted to bring home American troops from Korea and replace them on the front lines with South Koreans. That sounded good, but, in reality, the policy of building up the South Korean forces had been ongoing for the previous two years. Neither General MacArthur, General Matthew Ridgway, nor the current supreme commander of U.N. forces in Korea, General Mark Clark, had believed that the South Koreans could withstand the Communist onslaught without U.S. support. Moreover, neither the General nor the men around him actually claimed that he could accomplish such a promise. When cornered, Governor Sherman Adams, the General's campaign chief of staff, had hedged by saying that the General had not said when he could accomplish this feat.

Originally, General Eisenhower had criticized the Administration's bungling which had invited aggression in Korea, but also emphasized that the challenge of aggression had to be met when it occurred. He maintained that the line in Korea had to be held and rejected the popular conception of using Chinese Nationalist divisions in the fighting as a way out.

Yet, the General continued to make this implied promise of replacing U.S. troops, which went over well before his large audiences. It was for that reason, as well as other similar reasons on other issues, that the press corps, hearing these implied promises repeatedly, had soured on the General's candidacy. Mr. Alsop indicates that the newspapers, themselves, were to blame for the change in the General, accusing him in the early part of the campaign of "running like a dry creek", creating a defeatist atmosphere in the Eisenhower camp, causing it to surrender for the sake of expediency to another line on Korea.

He also indicates that it would be a mistake to blame the General, himself, too much for those compromises, as he had been dragged into politics and then told that he faced humiliating defeat, while having been a military man trained all of his career to win. He was told by his advisers within the inner clique of the RNC, the leaders of the Midwestern Republican organizations, and their friends and allies, that making a few compromises would assure him victory, and he yielded to that advice. That change of stance was producing something close to a crisis within the General's inner circle at this point, as they pleaded for a change in direction, fearing that the General was yielding too much to the old supporters of Senator Taft and, in the meantime, losing the support of independents, crucial to his election, just as he had lost the reporters on the campaign train.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, tells of the electorate being exceptionally wary in the campaign about declaring for either of the two candidates. Mr. Childs speculates that it could result from mere indifference or apathy, by the fact that the campaign had gone on for a long period of months in a fairly repetitious manner. He had sought the views of the voters in four or five Midwestern states, but had little success in obtaining forthright opinions of any significance.

He encountered one particular taxi driver, who seemed genuine, though being so articulate that he aroused suspicion of being a professional or paid reactor of one of the national polls. The mere mention of the campaign had caused the taxi driver to launch into a long discourse which lasted most of the morning ride to the airport. He quotes extensively from the cab driver, who did not know yet who he would vote for, but guessed it might be General Eisenhower, except for the fact that "he don't say much", the cab driver assuming that maybe he figured that was the way to get elected. He went on to say that everyone at the time of the convention was aware of Senator Estes Kefauver from having seen him on television during the hearings into organized crime across the country in 1950 and 1951. The people had like the fact that he had talked back to the criminals and bosses, and also had liked his wife. But when the convention came, the Democrats had picked Governor Stevenson instead, defeating the expectations of the people who had come to like Senator Kefauver. The fact that the Governor was divorced detracted from him, but the cab driver said that he would seek to watch him on television when he came through the following week, as long as it did not conflict with the wrestling matches.

Mr. Childs concludes that nobody could say at this point how the election would turn out and that anyone who did claim foreknowledge was merely talking for partisan purposes to try to create a bandwagon psychology, or was engaging in guesswork. He finds that the taxi driver's opinion expressed about Senator Kefauver was important as it suggested a widespread attitude, and so Senator Kefauver's present campaign tour could become second in importance only to that of Governor Stevenson, himself.

A letter from the state Republican chairman, James M. Baley, Jr., praises the newspaper for its endorsement of General Eisenhower in the general election.

A letter writer asserts that the endorsement of General Eisenhower by the newspaper was good news for the Democrats, as the newspaper had supported Governor Dewey in 1948. He, however, compliments the newspaper for being one of the few pro-Eisenhower newspapers in the South "with a conscience", offering a balance of views in its news coverage, editorials and letters to the editor.

A letter writer from Hamlet expresses surprise at the endorsement of General Eisenhower by The News, suggests that he could not understand why any "public servant" could take a partisan stand, indicating that he, as a physician, would undoubtedly incur suspicion from his patients were he to place a placard over his desk indicating his support for General Eisenhower. He urges people to think for themselves, states that he had been and remained a Democrat, but would be a drawback to his profession were he to try to dictate the votes of others.

Well, now, that is an old tradition in American journalism for newspapers to take an editorial stance in presidential elections. It, of course, tends to mean little to most voters, who probably could not say whether the newspaper they read daily endorses one candidate or the other at election time, as most readers tend to skip most or all of the editorial page anyway, even though that is where the daily education of current events most thoroughly takes place, regardless of one's stand on a particular issue, that is, assuming a particular newspaper does not publish only one point of view.

A letter writer tells of Senator Willis Smith having called the President's 15-day whistle-stop campaign "abusive" toward General Eisenhower, and that he did not subscribe to such a campaign. He adverts back to the Senatorial campaign of two years earlier and the primary waged against incumbent Senator Frank Porter Graham, in which a photograph had been reproduced by the thousands showing a black man whom the Smith campaign claimed Senator Graham had sponsored as the third alternate to West Point, and in which a large poster was issued by the Smith forces, referring to Senator Graham as "A Hooded Socialist", accompanied by a contrived photograph showing the Senator with former Vice-President Henry Wallace under the heading, "Birds of a Feather", claiming that Mr. Graham had introduced and praised Mr. Wallace at a meeting in June, 1947. Another photograph distributed by the Smith campaign had shown a black G.I. and a white English girl under the caption, "Do You Want This in North Carolina?" There was also an attempt to brand Senator Graham as an atheist, despite his being an elder in the Presbyterian Church. The writer suggests that perhaps Senator Smith, in describing the President's campaign as "abusive", was planning to turn over a new leaf in his own repertoire of tactics.

A letter from the chairman and the chairman of public relations for the North Carolina Citizens for Eisenhower praises the endorsement by the newspaper of the General.

A letter from a major in the Air Force indicates that he had relinquished command of the 4674th ground observation squadron and the Charlotte Air Defense Filter Center to a captain because of his reassignment to the command of the parent unit in Atlanta. He thanks the newspaper for its cooperation during the previous five months and attributes to it the considerable progress made during that period.

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