The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 20, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied warplanes had bombed and strafed Communist positions from the western front to the east coast of Korea during freezing weather early this date, but scattered low clouds over much of North Korea during the afternoon had limited allied airstrikes and kept the enemy MIGs out of the air. The previous night, eleven B-29s had hit a large Communist supply base at Unhung in northwest Korea for the first time, with excellent results.

In the ground war, allied and Communist riflemen traded small arms and hand grenade fire in light contacts along the front, amid subzero temperatures as snow fell in the west.

The Communists continued their propaganda campaign, dropping more leaflets and making further announcements via loudspeakers the previous day on "White Horse Mountain", the leaflets having pictured Americans basking in a tropical climate while the soldiers huddled in muddy foxholes.

At the U.N. in New York, the non-Communist nations gave overwhelming approval in the Political Committee of the General Assembly to membership for Japan, Libya, Jordan and three Indo-Chinese states, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, with only the five Soviet bloc members voting against them. It was unlikely, however, that they would not be vetoed on the Security Council by Russia. The Western powers had defeated an attempt to have five Communist satellites admitted in a package, in trading for nine Western-backed applicants.

In Paris, the 14 member nations of NATO had accepted a new basic strategy outline, radically altering Western defense concepts as a result of the admission of Greece and Turkey into NATO. The new strategy paper drew attention to the fact that, with the admission of Turkey, Allied forces had been brought virtually face-to-face with Russia's Caucasian forces. Details of the new plan were maintained in secret, but in general it drew the frontiers of Western freedom along a giant transcontinental arc, stretching from Norway's arctic tip southward through Denmark, along the line of Germany's Elbe River, then southeastward through Greece to the Turkish-Russian border in the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas. The previous Allied line had run south from Germany to the toe of the Italian boot. Despite the fact that there were 15 Turkish divisions in the field, the paper had not apparently suggested that the admission of Turkey added immediate strength to Allied defenses, as the addition of the two new nations had given NATO new territories to defend and imposed on pact members the task of protecting the extra 1,000-mile loop of sea supply lines from Italy to Turkish ports. Before the Allies could take advantage of Turkey's proximity to Russia, they had to build up strong forces in that exposed country, one informant indicating that the Allies were moving fast in Turkey to construct bomber bases. The paper was said to have drawn attention to the need for backstopping the Greeks and Turks, with the favored Western idea being the British-sponsored project for a Middle East Defense Organization to be aligned with NATO, designed to build up barricades among the nations of the Moslem world, to gain for the Western transit bases and communications rights across the Arab territories, and to guard the Suez Canal, connecting the Mediterranean with the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. That Middle Eastern organization would include the U.S., Britain, France, Turkey, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and any Arab Moslem states willing to cooperate.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia told the Atlanta Constitution the previous night that efforts by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota to eliminate Senate filibusters with new cloture rules amounted to "goon squad tactics", to which Senator Humphrey responded, "The only goon squad tactics I know of is the tactic of the filibuster, which is rule by a minority without regard for majority opinion." The filibuster had been used during the Truman Administration to prevent passage of the compulsory FEPC and other civil rights legislation. Senator Humphrey had announced that he and other Senators who opposed the filibuster would meet on December 30 in conference in Washington to map strategy for the plan to curtail the present two-thirds majority requirement for cloture. Senator Russell contended that Senator Humphrey was a spokesman for Walter Reuther, UAW president who had recently been elected president of the CIO, and that one of the proposals which Senator Humphrey had discussed was known in Washington as "the Reuther plan", finding it unlikely that the new Administration would view a plan of Mr. Reuther with approbation.

At Moses Lake, Wash., a Globemaster C-124 "Christmas Special", flying servicemen home for the holidays, had crashed with about 130 aboard this date, and the Air Force announced that there were 101 known dead, making it the worst aviation accident in history. Some of the 29 survivors had escaped unhurt from the burning plane. The plane had crashed shortly after takeoff early in the morning from Larson Air Force Base. The highest previous death toll had been 80, in Cardiff, Wales, on March 12, 1950, when a plane carrying soccer fans home from a game in Ireland had crashed. Another C-124 had crashed against an Alaskan mountain on November 22, killing 52. This flight had been headed to Kelly Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas.

In Mamaroneck, N.Y., Westchester County police had raided an abandoned gas station the previous day and seized a large cache of munitions which authorities had linked to a planned Cuban revolution. The weapons included two truckloads of napalm grenades, rifle grenades, bazooka shells, rifle clips, gunpowder, parachute flares and a drum of napalm powder. Police arrested three men, including a munitions dealer who allegedly told the sheriff and district attorney that he was collecting the arsenal on behalf of the former President of Cuba, Carlos Prio Socarras, ousted in a coup the previous March in favor of strongman General Fulgencio Batista, who had been former President and had, following the coup, been made President again. President Socarras had fled to Mexico and then to Miami, where he and his followers were taking political potshots at the Batista regime. The munitions dealer, Alfred Manheim, however, later denied to the press having made the statement regarding Cuba, and said that he was obtaining the munitions for an unidentified customer. The other two arrested men were identified by police as Frank Connell, accused of being in charge of shipping the weapons, and José Duarte, named as purchaser of the munitions. Police said that at least two others were being sought.

In New York, former Governor Harold Hoffman of New Jersey had admitted, in testimony before the State Crime Commission investigating waterfront racketeering, that he had once offered to help a formerly convicted fight manager smuggle a message to imprisoned gambler Joe Adonis, claiming that he did not know that the fight manager had a criminal record and that he did not know personally Mr. Adonis, a reputed top underworld power. The former Governor during the mid-1930's was presently New Jersey State director of employment. The Commission contended that the rackets on the waterfront had cost the shipping industry an estimated 350 million dollars. New Jersey was cooperating in the probe because the Port of New York comprised miles of piers on both sides of the Hudson River. The testimony the previous day had veered from the waterfront to New York prize fights, in the Commission's attempt to expose to public view the activities of Albert Anastasia of Fort Lee, N. J., alleged "lord high executioner" of Brooklyn's Murder, Inc. Mr. Anastasia, who had been called to testify the previous day, had taken the Fifth Amendment, refusing to say whether he knew Peter Panto, a reform-seeking longshoreman who had been murdered in 1939, his body having been found encased in lime in 1941 at Lyndhurst, N.J. A former aide of former Mayor William O'Dwyer of New York, who had recently resigned as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, told the Commission on Thursday that he had obtained a statement linking Mr. Anastasia to the Panto murder. Mr. O'Dwyer, in Mexico City, refused to discuss the testimony, except to say that if they had a case against Mr. Anastasia, then they should prosecute.

In Tangier, in the International Zone in Morocco, a Jersey City, N. J., man, who manufactured nylon panties in Tangier, was convicted of piracy, a consular court having found him guilty of planning and helping to hijack $100,000 worth of American cigarettes from a Dutch ship on the high seas. He was sentenced to three years in prison following a three-day trial. He was the first American tried abroad on such charges and it was the Barbary Coast's first reported postwar case of piracy. According to the evidence presented, he had not been present when six hooded men seized the ship at machine gun point on the high seas of eastern Spain the prior October 4 and obtained the cargo of cigarettes. The case was subject to review by the successor to John Carter Vincent, who had been suspended on December 15 after the Civil Service Commission's loyalty review board had ruled that there was "reasonable doubt" as to his loyalty. The successor would have the choice of either upholding the sentence, calling for a new trial, are retrying the case himself. The maximum sentence for the crime was 20 years, not sought by the prosecutor as the defendant had not been previously convicted of a crime and no one had been hurt in the hijacking.

In Springfield, Mo., Robert Best, 56, serving a life sentence for treason for his broadcast during World War II on behalf of Nazi propaganda, had been reported to have died in prison the prior Tuesday after a prolonged illness. He had been convicted of treason in Boston in April, 1948, and three years later, the Supreme Court had refused review of the case. He had been imprisoned since August, 1951. He had admitted that he made 300 broadcasts from Germany between 1942 in 1945 but claimed that he was coerced by the Nazis into doing so.

In Mobile, Ala., traffic on the Louisville & Nashville Railway had been delayed for a few minutes early in the morning while wires attached to the tracks were investigated for possible explosives. No explosives had been discovered, the wiring appearing to be the work of a crank or hobo.

In London, England, two men in a speeding truck sought to shake four pursuing police cars by throwing bottles of Scotch on the street during a 60 mph chase, but the police had avoided the broken glass, forced the truck into a pole after ten miles, and arrested the men, accusing them of stealing the whiskey.

In Berlin, stenographers and secretaries had, according to the Communist East German Government, become signs of "capitalism", and therefore, after January 1, they would be called "production helpers".

It was anticipated that the Southern Railway System headquarters in Washington would shortly announce the appointment of W. Mason King, formerly of Charlotte, to become vice-president for traffic. Mr. King had been with the Railway for 32 years.

In the first of a series of stories anent the upcoming 1953 General Assembly, Noel Yancey reports from Raleigh that a state-wide liquor referendum stood a better chance of approval in the Assembly than in recent biennial sessions, based on questionnaires filled out by a third of the House members and a fourth of the Senators. A slight majority of the House members said that they would favor without reservation such a referendum, with Senate responses indicating that there would be more opposition in the Senate, as usual, than in the House.

On the editorial page, "Have You Forgotten Something?" tells of the News Empty Stocking Fund having thus far collected $6,982.36 as of this date, whereas the previous year, by December 20, had collected $150 more, urges readers, therefore, when checking their Christmas lists, to remember to contribute to the fund, to provide worthy families in need, foster children and the elderly with funding with which to buy Christmas gifts for their families.

"For a More Realistic Objective" tells of the chairman of the Urban Redevelopment Commission having made a realistic suggestion to the Charlotte Planning Commission, that since not all of the 15 areas designated as blighted, containing about 900 acres, had the possibility of redevelopment in any reasonable period of time, and since the property so designated had inconvenienced owners of the property by impeding commerce, the Planning Commission could reduce the number of designated sections to a more realistic and carefully defined objective for redevelopment. It suggests that the progress report of the chairman, as published in the newspaper the prior Wednesday, showed what could be done at relatively low cost, opening for local residents an "expanding horizon of municipal development" should residents continue to support the worthwhile program.

"Ready for the Treatment" indicates that Congressmen were turning up information reflecting unfavorably on other members of Congress and publicly rebuking the Army Corps of Engineers, an action which took considerable courage if those members wanted dams in their districts someday. For 15 months, Representative Robert Jones of Alabama and his Public Works subcommittee had been quietly gathering data on the public works program, concluding that the Engineers had exercised "flagrant disregard of the law requiring them to keep plans up to date", had submitted deceptive cost estimates, had, along with the Bureau of Reclamation, spent more than the amounts authorized, and that nearly four billion dollars would be needed to complete partly-constructed projects, the costs of which continued to rise because of inflation and the old practice of underestimating costs.

The problems had started after World War II, when Congress authorized funds for planning of various projects, to be ready in case of an economic slump, one which never came. Nevertheless, the projects had been initiated, despite the executive branch having disapproved many of them. The Engineers had curried favor with Congress, where enough logrollers could usually be mustered to approve the projects. The subcommittee had determined that one factor to be assessed regarding the need for particular projects was "the willingness of the immediate beneficiaries to participate in the work by the contribution of funds proportionate to the local benefits".

The piece accepts that latter idea, as often public works projects were financed wholly by the Federal Government, while in some cases, cost-sharing with local beneficiaries was established, but often at extremely low levels of local sharing. It indicates that when communities were forced to bear a fair proportion of the cost of the public works from which they would benefit, there would not be so much pressure for unnecessary projects and Federal funds would not be spent so freely.

It hopes that the new Administration, which, by campaign statements of General Eisenhower, was placing a premium on local government, would do something about the public works program.

"The Christmas Greetings We Like" indicates that the editorial writer's house was well-ornamented with Christmas cards, communicating warm, happy feelings, that it was nice to know one had so many friends and to find out from them what they were doing. But, it complains, usually not much was learned from the average card, if the sender did not express some personal message, however brief it might be. It indicates that former News writer Cam Shipp, who had left in 1940 to become a Hollywood publicity agent, had recently written a piece for the Christian Science Monitor, titled "How To Write a Letter", in which he indicated that brief messages could be meaningful, such as the one a person had written which said: "We are eating three times a day. How are you?" having been written on the back of the writer's bank statement, intriguing Mr. Shipp and his family for an entire evening. In another instance, Mr. Shipp's Aunt Margaret had sent him a receipted bill for a new $28.75 hat, on the reverse side of which she had written, "Whee!"

It concludes that while the colored Christmas cards would look pretty hung up, those which would be cherished the most would be those containing brief notes from old friends. "And even hat bills, if they're paid."

A piece from the Providence (R.I.) Evening Bulletin, titled "The People You Pass", remarks on how many different activities were observed being practiced by drivers as one passed them on the highways. But one case reported from London recently took the cake, as police had pulled over a man who was zigzagging along the road, finding that he had been shaving in his rearview mirror, said that he did it habitually and could not understand, after so much practice, why the police accused him of driving recklessly. They wound up fining him $11.20.

The piece concludes that it was lucky for people to pass such persons, as a lot of people wound up not being able to complete the maneuver.

Drew Pearson indicates that when President-elect Eisenhower had heard about the President's remark that his trip to Korea had been "a piece of demagoguery", the President-elect had not only hit the ceiling, but had written out a statement about it for the press, which, had it been published, would have "sizzled around the world". He paraphrases the letter, indicating that it said that had the President gone to Korea, it would have been "political demagoguery", as the President was a "politician and doesn't have the military background to assess such a situation". Press secretary James Hagerty had talked the President-elect out of sending it.

During his cruise back from Japan to Hawaii aboard the U.S.S. Helena, the President-elect played a lot of bridge and read Western stories, when he was not conferring with members of his Cabinet-designate. His partner had been Attorney General-designate Herbert Brownell and two subordinate naval officers. When the General had been supreme commander of NATO between 1951 and 1952, he had played bridge with General Al Gruenther, considered the best bridge player in the Army. The President-elect had golfed at Kaneohe when he reached Hawaii, but was off his game, never breaking 100, the reason he refused to provide his score to the press afterward. While vacationing at Augusta, Ga., after the election, he had remarked ruefully that he had shot 86 and 84. He had worn a red baseball cap, bright yellow shoes, and a pink sport shirt while golfing in Hawaii.

No doubt, his red baseball cap had no stupid, cryptic slogan on it, designed to appeal to morons.

The President-elect had been skeptical when he heard, aboard ship, of General MacArthur's announcement that he had a plan to end the Korean War, with some of his advisers calling General MacArthur "childish" in making such an announcement.

During the military talks in Seoul, the most sobering warning had come from the Air Force, which could not be revealed for security reasons, but probably had caused the President-elect not yet to make up his mind regarding future Korean strategy. It appeared that he would ask the U.N. to bring two Chinese Nationalist divisions into the Korean War, one to be maintained at the front and the other in the rear, to be rotated. U.N. forces supreme commander General Mark Clark had argued that it was a good idea to test the Nationalists under fire. The chief objection to the use of the Nationalist troops was the British, but it was believed that they would go along if the idea were handled diplomatically.

It appeared that Admiral Arthur Radford, commander of the U.S. fleet in the Pacific, had talked himself into a potent position with the President-elect after he had seen him for an hour on Iwo Jima, and then was invited to remain for the entire trip, able to persuade the President-elect to revise his schedule and stop off at Admiral Radford's guesthouse in Hawaii. The stop in Hawaii had not been originally scheduled, as the President-elect had been set to depart by air as soon as the Helena docked. No military strategy had been discussed in Hawaii, as the President-elect only golfed and relaxed, with the only conferences held being those between Mr. Brownell and Secretary of the Interior-designate Douglas McKay, who interviewed candidates to become governor of Hawaii.

Marquis Childs tells of the three factions within the Democratic Party, as it was seeking to pay off the campaign deficit of between $500,000 and $900,000, those three factions being the big-city machines of which the President was the symbolic, if not actual, leader, the liberals and Americans for Democratic Action, who looked to Governor Stevenson for leadership, and the Southern Democrats.

The recent friendly chat between the President and Governor Stevenson had, beneath the surface, a dispute over who would be the chairman of the DNC going forward. Governor Stevenson wanted to retain Stephen Mitchell, his former law partner, who did not have a great amount of allegiance among the reigning powers of the party but who had been Governor Stevenson's hand-picked successor to Frank McKinney, whom the President had picked and believed was a superb chairman, though that assessment was not shared by those who had observed Mr. McKinney at close range.

Recently, Mr. Mitchell had conferred with Governor Gordon Persons of Alabama, afterwards indicating that there was a need in the party for Southern leadership, taking a bow to the Southern Democrats, causing fear among Northern Democrats that Mr. Mitchell, assuming he remained for the ensuing year as chairman, might cater to the Southern wing of the party in an effort to curry favor and pay off the debt from the campaign. Normally, with the party in power, Jefferson and Jackson Day dinners would be sufficient to rake in the needed funding. But with the party out of power, and no longer in charge of dispensing Government jobs, it would be tough going.

Mr. Childs observes, in conclusion, that the Democrats appeared bleak in their outlook for the future, but while the three factions appeared widely separated, a shift in the economy which might drag down cotton and tobacco prices, should the Republicans favor a high-tariff policy, might transform that bleak outlook and bring the party together again, as tough economic times had in 1932.

Robert C. Ruark, in Rome, tells of his continuing love affair with Italy, of which he provides a romantic description, indicating that after the war, it had been quite shabby, but had now recovered. He had witnessed during the war, in Bari, the whole economy of the nation wrecked by the arrival of one American convoy, as prices suddenly shot up beyond the ability of local Italians to pay. During the occupation from 1944 forward, it seemed the whole country had been living off the black market. "Nice girls adopted prostitution to feed G.I. babies, because what they made in the daytime as clerks or stenos wasn't enough to keep the pasta in little Pasquale's mouth." It remained shabby after the war, suffering from the occupation first by the Germans and then by the Americans, as the latter had come into the country as conquerors and remained so even after they became co-belligerents with Italy.

"We were about as painful as we could possibly be. We betrayed considerable trust and hurt a lot of feelings and fouled up the economy beyond recognition." He concludes, however, that Italy was not any longer shabby, that it had "come out of the ashes with a loud bang."

A letter writer from New York, director of public relations for Pan American Airways, remarks on the recent column by Drew Pearson in which he had stated that Pan Am had obstructed the return for Christmas of G.I.s via Sabena Airlines of Belgium, contending that the charge was untrue. He says that more than 1,000 servicemen and women were being brought home for Christmas via Pan Am's World Airways special "Operation Way Back Home". The program was geared to low-fare, tourist-class services. A vice-president at Pan Am had said that the charge of Mr. Pearson had been refuted by a letter from Sabena to Pan Am and published in the press twelve days prior to the appearance of the Pearson column. He quotes from the vice-president.

A letter from a minister, who had written previously regarding civil rights, indicates that his older son, age 7, was a student in the public school system in Charlotte, and he regretted that he had to attend a segregated school, thereby conditioning his son to "undemocratic adult attitudes and behavior", regarding himself, therefore, to be guilty of a "crime against humanity". He suggests that the country lacked the moral stature to lead the free world to lasting peace, unless it first showed its value for all people at home, without which the world would reject democracy as a way of life. He indicates that if the Supreme Court were to strike down segregation in the public schools, the decision would have to be accepted in good faith and that any attempt to evade it would be "tragic". "If we have the Christian spirit to practice brotherhood unlimited by color, we can establish peace. Continuance of our unholy caste system will make a third world war certain."

The "Congressional Quiz" of the Congressional Quarterly provides the question of whether a former Senator had been elected to a seat in the House recently, to which it answers that former Senator Garrett Withers of Kentucky had run unopposed for Congress, and would be addressed properly as "Senator", as former Senators were entitled to such address for the remainder of their lives. It notes that Senator Matthew Neely of West Virginia had previously served in the Senate, then in the House, and now was in the Senate again.

It answers the question how could Maine elect its Senators and Representatives in September while the rest of the states did so during the November general election by indicating that Maine exercised its prerogative under the Constitution, providing that the states would determine "the times, places and manner of holding elections for Senators and Representatives".

It answers the question as to what a standing committee of Congress was by indicating that there were 15 such committees in the Senate and 19 in the House, permanent committees, in contrast to the special or select committees which might be created temporarily or to handle specific problems. There were also joint committees and Congressional commissions, also devoted to specific issues. The standing committees handled almost all regular legislation.

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