The Charlotte News

Wednesday, October 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that South Korean troops had cut a Chinese Communist battalion from 700 men to 150 in recapturing the vital White Horse Hill on the western front, protecting the route to Seoul. The hill had changed hands more than a dozen times in the raging battle, ongoing since Monday. A few hours earlier, the enemy had charged through allied artillery to capture the crest, then sought to drive the South Koreans from the south side, but the latter had held. Fighting had been only slightly less intense on the remainder of the front, in the third day of the new enemy offensive. General James Van Fleet, commander of the U.S. Eighth Army, said that the allied troops had stopped the attacks without penetration of the main battle positions, with action limited to outposts where the enemy had been "clobbered".

Allied warplanes attacked enemy front line positions.

According to Far East Air Forces headquarters in Tokyo, a B-29 disappeared the previous day shortly after radar picked up an unidentified plane approaching it from the direction of the Russian-held Kurile Islands. The report did not say that the unidentified plane was Russian or that the B-29 had been attacked. The missing plane carried a crew of eight persons. A distress call had been made from the plane and a crew member could be heard shouting, "Let's get the hell out of here." Search craft were in the area. A Japanese newspaper reported that Japanese police had observed a plane emitting black smoke, crashing into the sea the previous afternoon in Russian-controlled territory. The B-29 was on a routine flight at the time of the incident.

In Germany, two Soviet jet fighters fired several machine-gun bursts, apparently as a warning, across the path of a U.S. Air Force ambulance plane en route to Berlin to pick up hospital patients this date. The American plane escaped in a cloud bank and landed unharmed. An immediate protest was to be lodged with the Soviet High Command in East Berlin. The C-47 aircraft was on a routine flight through the prescribed air corridor over the Soviet Zone of Germany to Berlin at the time of the incident, when the two MIG-15s began firing.

The President, in Shenandoah, Iowa, this date said that General Eisenhower's farm speeches showed that he did not know much about what was going on in the U.S. during the 40 years he had been in the Army, that his discussion of the issues was silly and insulting to the intelligence of men and women who lived on farms. The previous night in Denver, the President had spoken to an enthusiastic crowd of between 10,000 and 11,000 persons at the Union Station Plaza, saying that the General had, himself, in 1948 given the reason why a military man should never be elected to the presidency, quoting the General as saying that nothing in the international or domestic situation qualified a person for the presidency who had spent his adult years in the military.

Senator Taft was scheduled to deliver a speech from Shenandoah on the same platform of the local high school football field just 2 1/2 hours after the President, the occasion being the annual Harvest Festival popularly known as "Pancake Day", with free pancakes for everyone. The chairman had predicted that 50,000 people would show up, as the pancakes would bring 20,000. The President was slated to ride at the head of the parade, with Senator Taft in the middle. (Is that like pigs in a blanket?) Plans were made so that the two would not come face to face.

General Eisenhower, continued his whistle-stop tour into California this date, having stated in Eugene, Ore., the previous night, before a crowd of about 6,000, that the President had preceded him through the area, letting loose with "many red hot salvos" at the General, one of which had been that in 1945, he expressed the hope and belief that Russia wanted to establish a workable friendship with the U.S., explaining that he was testifying at the time in support of increased Army strength and was proposing that the country hoped for the best, but should be prepared for the worst. He indicated that in retrospect, he believed that if such a policy had not been pursued, the country would be blaming itself for not having done its best to preserve the postwar peace. He said that the President's charge that he had thereby destroyed the safety of the country had come from the same man who, in 1948, had said in Eugene that he liked Joseph Stalin, found him to be a decent fellow, but that the people who ran the Russian government would not let him be as decent as he would like to be. The General's campaign manager, Governor Sherman Adams of New Hampshire, had told members of the press that the President demeaned himself and his office "by slandering the man who saved the Allied cause and his country". The General's first stop this date would be in Sacramento and the General's staff was considering whether to reply directly to the statement of the President in Colorado the previous day that the General had "betrayed every principle about our foreign policy and our national defense" which the President had thought he believed in. When shown a dispatch from the previous day quoting the President, the General had flushed and exclaimed, "Isn't that something!" From Sacramento, his train would proceed to Suisun-Fairfield, Martinez, Crockett, Vallejo, Richmond and Berkeley, with the General scheduled to provide a major speech in San Francisco at 9:10 p.m., local time.

Governor Stevenson, in Madison, Wisconsin, in reference to an unnamed Senator Joseph McCarthy, stated that the "voice of the accuser" must not still all others in the land. He hoped that charges would never be deemed in America the equivalent of facts or that suspicions would be confused with certainties. He said that "the pillorying of the innocent has caused the wise to stammer and the timid to retreat." In a major address to be delivered in Milwaukee this night, he would accuse General Eisenhower of being only a mouthpiece for Senator Taft.

We apologize for not being able to impart more on Governor Stevenson's tour, but the "independent newspaper" appears to devote about twice as much print on its front page to General Eisenhower as to Governor Stevenson these days, apparently believing that it was counterbalancing the slate with reportage on the President's tour.

Samuel Lubell, tapping grassroots reaction across the country, tells of one foundry worker in Cleveland stating his preference for General Eisenhower in the hope that Stalin would change his tune, while a St. Louis mother had stated "anyone but Eisenhower", as she had a 15-year old son whom she did not wish to go to war. He indicates that both sentiments appeared to be equally strong, with the fear of war holding a slight edge. Among veterans of World War II, the General was a great deal more popular with those who had served in Europe than in other theaters. A black veteran believed that the General had not sought to push integration of white and black soldiers, and so was voting against him after serving under him. Others who were voting Democratic who had served under the General were doing so for other reasons, while a number were switching from support of Democrats to support of the General because they knew what he could do. He provides other anecdotal responses.

Iranian Premier Mohammed Mossadegh had demanded 20 million pounds from Britain within a week to clear the way for a swift final settlement of the British-Iranian oil dispute. The demand came in reply to the joint British-American proposals for settling the dispute, which had nearly bankrupted Iran. The Premier had originally requested 49 million pounds as being due on oil royalties.

The Agriculture Department this date estimated that the year's cotton crop would be 14,413,000 500-pound bales, 524,000 bales more than the previous month's forecast, and about 700,000 pounds less than the previous year's crop, at 15,144,000 bales, with the 10-year average being 11,775,000. The production goal for the year had been 16 million bales, designed to cover both domestic and export needs for the year and to add to reserves.

In Harrow, England, ten miles northwest of London, two collisions involving three trains had killed at least 82 persons in the early morning of this date and piled the wooden coaches of the trains 50 feet high in a mass of wreckage. Some of the dead were passengers in the coaches and others had been run down as they waited on a station platform. Government officials indicated that the death toll might top 120, and more than 130 persons had been treated at hospitals, with hundreds of others receiving first aid at the scene. Eight hours after the accident, rescue workers were still digging through the wreckage in search of additional victims. A suburban train stopped in the station had been initially hit from behind by an express train bound for London from Scotland, and then an express train from London to Manchester plowed into the pile of the two trains' coaches. It was the worst train disaster in Britain in 37 years. A colonel in the U.S. Third Air Force commented that the layout of the tracks approaching the station was similar to that of Long Island, N. Y., scene of several rail disasters. One passenger likened the scene to that of a wartime air raid.

In Chicago, a 101-year old man was among the more than 100,000 Cook County residents who registered to vote in the general election. He said that he had voted for U.S. Grant and every Republican President since that time.

Don't know that it was much about which to brag most of the time, save, perhaps, T.R.

On the editorial page, "After the 'Truce' Talks, What?" indicates that the resumption of the large-scale attacks by the Communist Chinese underscored the fact that neither of the presidential candidates had faced the issue of what course the war should take if the truce were irrevocably shattered. Governor Stevenson had not indicated any solution beyond present policy of continued ground attack, supported by air and naval forces below the Manchurian border. General Eisenhower had suggested only that more South Koreans be employed on the front lines to reduce American casualties. But the latter proposal did not furnish any basis for ending the fighting.

It finds that the American people were wise enough to accept the decision of intervention in Korea in June, 1950, regardless of any prior mistakes which had led to the invasion by the North Koreans. They also understood that there was no quick or easy solution to the war, such that the security of South Korea and Japan could be guaranteed into the future. It posits that the only answer short of an aerial attack against China would be to hold the ground won and batter North Korea by air until the North Koreans lost the will to fight further. But the lessons of the conflict conveyed no such optimistic hopes that air superiority alone could destroy the enemy. It suggests that Secretary of State Acheson, in his scheduled address to the U.N. General Assembly later in the month, might propose some constructive plan.

It finds that when taken in historic perspective, the fight represented an effort by the free nations to use their combined strength to stop Communist aggression short of another world war, but when viewed in the context of the present conflict, it appeared as a fruitless draining of manpower and resources of the free world, and it was the present which concerned most people. It concludes that the people had a right to know what objectives each candidate had in mind and deserved to be informed of the truth, no matter how unpleasant it might be.

"UNKRA Heals the Wounds of War" tells of the nearly unnoticed work of the U.N. Korean Reconstruction Agency, which would spend 70 million dollars during the current fiscal year for relief and reconstruction in the war-torn country. Fourteen million dollars would go to imports of essential commodities, such as food, logs and fertilizer, to be distributed or sold to Koreans through the South Korean Government, and about 11.5 million would be invested in capital machinery for Korean industries. Other expenditures would go to education, teacher training and vocational training, power transmission, harbor development, agricultural research, reclamation and extension services and importation of farm implements, housing, hospitals, mobile clinics and orphanages, and development of natural resources.

It indicates that the entire program would cost the equivalent of a few hours of fierce combat in Korea and would go a long way toward rehabilitating South Korea. It observes that while no progress appeared to be made in the truce talks or on the front lines, UNKRA was quietly healing some of the wounds of war.

"Japan Isn't over the Hump Yet" finds that the recent elections in Japan had been encouraging, as the Communists had been soundly defeated, not achieving a single seat in the lower house of the Diet, whereas previously they held 22 seats, and holding only three in the upper house, holdovers from 1949. The Liberals, the pro-American party, achieved the majority, but still lost some seats, but to parties which went along with the policy of cooperation with the U.S., albeit not as enthusiastically as the Liberals.

It indicates, however, that many Communists had sought refuge within the Left-Wing Socialists, a fellow traveling group, with Diet membership rising from 16 to 54 members. That was consistent with the statements of Premier Stalin the previous week, suggesting a softening of Communist policy, though intended to lull non-Communists.

Another disturbing aspect to the election was that 140 victorious candidates, about 30 percent of the Diet, had been wartime leaders who had been purged from political life as "reactionaries" during the Allied occupation of Japan.

It therefore suggests that those two facts ought be stressed in tempering over-optimism about elimination of Communism in Japan. It indicates that Japan had been receptive to many of the statesmanlike reforms during U.S. occupation, but a period of transition was still ongoing and the jury was still out on how much support democracy had in Japan.

"One Way To Stretch Tax Dollars" tells of one of the recent additions to Pentagon jargon being "offshore procurement", which meant more for the individual taxpayer's dollar, as it referred to the U.S. ordering military equipment for NATO defense from European manufacturers rather than purchasing the equipment in the U.S. and shipping it abroad. U.S. manufacturers were pleased with that procurement practice as they were heavily back-ordered as it was. Europeans could also manufacture equipment more cheaply than Americans. Moreover, Europeans obtained dollars in the process, with which they could buy American goods.

Fortune Magazine had gone so far as to suggest equipping U.S. troops with British rifles or French bazookas, if they could be manufactured abroad more cheaply and with better quality. The piece finds the latter point well taken and indicates that competition among manufacturers was another way by which the poorly organized Atlantic community could do its job effectively and cheaply.

A piece of from the Spartanburg Herald, titled "'Stay South Young Man'", tells of the Southern Railway System having placed an ad in newspapers and magazines with the caption of the title, and signed by the president of the railroad. The ad urged graduates to remain in the South and touted the benefits of Southern industry, agriculture and commerce, with "new frontiers" opening up.

The piece finds that no region of the country was more conscious of its future growth and progress than the South and none was changing more definitely in its conception of the opportunities for development. It suggests that its greatest asset was in its young men, too many of whom in the past had moved on to other fields of opportunity in other regions of the country. It suggests that the opportunities now were about them.


Drew Pearson, in San Francisco, again discusses Senator Nixon's expense fund and whether any of it had been used for personal matters, as the Senator had denied in his September 23 speech to the nation in defense of the fund, which he said went solely to official expenses, such as sending literature to constituents. Mr. Pearson frames the more relevant question as being whether the "millionaires' club" who had put up the fund got value in return through the Senator's votes. He provides the voting record of the Senator vis-à-vis the donors to the fund and their interests.

Fred Bixby, whose family owned large areas of Long Beach, and was president of the Alamitos Land Co., director of the Security-First National Bank, Founders Fire & Marine Insurance, the Jotham Bixby Co., and the A. M. E. Bixby Co., stood to gain from legislation favorable to real estate interests. The same was true of J. Benton Van Nuys, president of the Van Nuys Building Co., the Van Nuys Investment Co., La Hacienda Co., First Safe Deposit Co., and a director of Tojon Co., (actually, Tejon Ranch Co.), and the Farmers & Merchants National Bank. Both had been active in seeking to remove rent controls and in blocking the public housing for slum clearance in Los Angeles, which had been sponsored by Senator Taft. Senator Nixon had voted on June 20, 1951 to cut public housing from 50,000 to 5,000 units, on June 4, 1952, to shorten rent controls by four months, on the following day, for the amendment to provide localities with power to impose rent control in critical areas, and on June 12, along with Senator William Knowland of California, had introduced an amendment to the defense bill intended to sidetrack public housing.

Fifteen of Senator Nixon's secret donors had been oilmen or oil-equipment manufacturers, including some with government contracts, notably Herbert Hoover, Jr., one of the largest donors to the $18,000 fund, whose firm had important contracts with the Navy for exploration and drilling in northern Alaska. Others with similar interests included Earle Jorgensen, Rodney Burkee, Earl Gilmore, William Hubbard, Thomas Pike, Frank Seaver, Leland Whittier, vice-president of Belridge Oil and Rodeo Land & Water, and director of Western Oil & Gas Assn. and of Farmers & Merchants National Bank, Edward Valentine, Arthur Crites, and R. R. Bush. Senator Nixon, on August 21, 1951, had voted for the basing-point bill which the oil companies had favored, in September, 1951, had voted against cutting the oil depletion allowance from 27 1/2 percent to 14 percent, and, in his most active work, had vigorously championed tidelands oil for the states. The Senator had even sent copies of tidelands oil literature under his own franking privilege, despite the fact that he claimed to have used the expense fund to mail letters of the type and thus save the taxpayers money.

Another group of contributors to the fund had been milk-products executives, including Thorkild Knudsen, Alford Ghormley, vice-president of Carnation Milk and president of a subsidiary thereof, J. W. McKenzie, and the aforementioned Bixby family. Senator Nixon had voted with the dairy interests on restricting cheese and dairy products from France and other NATO nations, despite the fact that cheese imports from Western Europe had been relatively small and the State Department had pleaded that to combat Communism, it was in the country's interests to purchase items from Europe, to enable cutting back on direct aid.

Thus, the letter writer of the previous day who proudly defended the Senator for the businessmen contributors to his fund having reposited in him great confidence, appears to have been absolutely correct.

Hey, he earned everything he got.

Marquis Childs, in Milwaukee, tells of a political operative in Wisconsin who recalled his first encounter with Joseph McCarthy when he had been a circuit judge, introducing himself to some of the members of the Legislature who congratulated him on his success, stating: "That's nothing. In a few years I'll be a Senator and not long after that I'll be President." Mr. Childs observes that if anyone believed Senator McCarthy had forgotten that ambition or given it up, they did not know the Senator. He was making the most of his landslide victory in the Republican primary for re-election to the Senate, and loyal followers hoped to turn it into a springboard for presidential politics. They had set as a goal re-election in the general election by the greatest majority ever provided a Senatorial candidate, to drive home their point. Mr. Childs indicates that the likelihood of that occurring would be examined in a future column.

For Senator McCarthy, 1952 was an interim election, with General Eisenhower a political accident as the party nominee, an accident which the Senator and his followers hoped they could turn to their own advantage, regardless of whether the General won or lost. The Senator was so confident about being re-elected that he was campaigning in 13 or 14 other states through election day, campaigning for himself, not for the Republican ticket.

The Senator would be 43 in November and had risen quickly on the basis of making the public believe that the choice was between Joseph Stalin and Joseph McCarthy. The people of Wisconsin appeared defensive over the criticism laid to the Senator, with the thinking even among those who believed him to be a "so-and-so" being that he was their so-and-so, and so... He had been able to convince his supporters that most of the world was arrayed against him, and that any time anyone criticized him, it was a the result of a "left-wing smear" inspired by Communists.

Mr. Childs finds that the greatest amount of outside help, however, had come in support of the Senator, with one syndicated columnist, George Sokolsky, having even solicited funds for support of the Senator's primary campaign while he had been in the hospital recovering from surgery.

Senator McCarthy had been compared to deceased former Louisiana Governor and Senator Huey Long, but Mr. Childs regards it as an inapt comparison, as Mr. Long had led his "Every man a king" crusade of economic change such that industry and finance had become alarmed. Senator McCarthy had also been compared to Hitler by those who feared and despised him, but as Hitler was rising in Germany, so, too, was the Communist Party as the second or third largest political organization in the country, and the middle class had been ruined by inflation, with political riots being commonplace.

One of Senator McCarthy's critics had noted that he had done so much with so little.

Robert C. Ruark again finds fault with the President for attacking General Eisenhower and the Republicans, charging them with "everything but rape and arson". He finds it to have infringed the dignity of the office, believing his "accusations wild, illogical and scatter-gunned", with some being false, and all in "dreadful taste". He was tired of the loose charges about Republican "special interests", which, he claims, the President had never defined. He indicates that the country had been in Democratic hands for 20 years and the things that were wrong, therefore, which were numerous, had to be laid to the Democrats. He also finds it inconsistent for the President to attack General Eisenhower, when previously the General had been the President's "bosom buddy" whom he wanted to run for the Democratic nomination in 1952.

He allows that it might be old-fashioned politics which might prove effective in an old-fashioned way, "overpowering people with the noise", but also supplying ammunition for the opposition. He had observed that Governor Stevenson had kept to a minimum tirades against the Republicans, as had General Eisenhower against the Democrats.

"The flat, hard charge backed by fact is a good and impressive tool for campaigning, and need not be delivered in the anguished screech and pool-hall wisecrack for effectiveness. If Truman's current barnstorm is shaped to help Adlai win the marbles, I imagine Adlai would rather be on his own. Adlai already has enough albatrosses around his neck, with his party's record, without trying to control the squawks of a vehement crow."

A letter writer wonders whether the country was approaching an age of subsidized public officials and members of Congress who were captives of special interests. He thinks that Premier Stalin was laughing at the current campaign as "a descent from the high standard of American politics". He urges that it pointed out the need for regulation of contributions to candidates and warns that if the present practice were not curbed, it would soon become common practice for candidates for elective office at every level to receive subsidization from special interests.

A letter from Bessemer City succinctly states with assurance that General Eisenhower would not win the presidential race, as the country did not want another Herbert Hoover of the days of 1929, with 13,000 banks closed.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., suggests that the Republicans ought remove the beams from their own eyes before trying to remove the motes from the eyes of the Democrats. He indicates that during the 1920's, the Navy had been drastically reduced, with ships being used for target practice and tons of steel which might have gone to the steel plants and recycled sunk to the bottom of the ocean. He says that he received flour from relief which was nearly as black as dirt during the period. Most of the fresh meat during the time had come from the Pee Dee River, in the form of catfish, with no grease in which to fry it. He quips that as President Hoover went fishing, he caused many to take up the habit, just to obtain food.

He comments on the Hoover Administration having loaned millions of dollars to the Mellons and other wealthy people, on the premise that it would trickle down to the worker and the poor. But it had never gotten that far. He reminds that General MacArthur had been chief of staff of the Army at the time of the 1932 Bonus March on Washington, in which the veterans were pushed out of the nation's capital by force—failing also to point out that General Eisenhower, as a Major, had participated in that operation as a lieutenant of General MacArthur.

He lists the accomplishments of the Democrats during the previous 20 years in taking people off relief rolls, getting them good jobs, homes, food, cars, clothing, etc., and recommends stopping the grumbling about high taxes to pay for the defense program to avoid another world war. He cautions that those who were jumping from the Democrats to General Eisenhower would be sorry someday.

A letter writer from Lincolnton comments on several letters to the editor signed "A True Democrat", finding that such a person was everything but "a true American", that they were either too stupid or could not read or write, such that they could mark their own ballots, but allowed ward bosses, "most of them two-faced crooks", to mark them. He says that "99 percent less people starved to death during the Hoover Administration"—but fails to indicate to what he is comparing that figure. He says that there were a number of families starving in his town in 1952 because they could not pay the high prices for food and clothes, and so finds that it took a lot of gall for anyone to brag about prosperity when there were "thousands of people in America starving to death."

A letter from P. C. Burkholder, former Republican candidate for Congress locally on several occasions, but having switched in the prior election cycle to becoming a Democrat, indicates that he had heard so much about Taft-Hartley being a slave labor law and that it should be repealed, that he wanted it explained why it was so bad for the working man, indicates that if labor leaders could not make that case, they should not expect members of Congress to repeal it or the voters to vote against candidates who favored it.

What about buttermilk? Which candidate supports it?

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