The Charlotte News

Saturday, December 27, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that allied raiders had pushed through a freezing snow on the western front in Korea this date and killed or wounded an estimated 53 Chinese Communists after a 40-minute clash near Panmunjom, in near-zero temperatures. Elsewhere along the front, allied patrols encountered large groups of enemy troops, one such patrol running into a group of 60 Chinese near Chorwon on the central front, prompting the patrol to call for an artillery strike which killed or wounded 30 of the Communists.

In the air war, the Fifth Air Force said that fighter-bombers had hit enemy front line areas in clearing weather during the afternoon, whereas earlier, rain and snow had grounded most allied planes.

The Air Force weekly summary reported that three allied warplanes had been lost over North Korea, including one Sabre jet shot down by MIG-15s, and an Australian twin-jet Meteor downed by anti-aircraft fire, plus an unidentified jet lost to unknown causes, presumably mechanical trouble.

The Defense Department this date asked Selective Service for 53,000 draftees in the February call-up, the largest in almost two years, with all requests being for the Army. The call-up brought the total draft since September, 1950 to 1,255,430. The peak call-ups had been 80,000 men in each of January, February and March, 1951. The explanation for the large call-up was that those who had been drafted in early 1951 were completing their two-year service and had to be replaced.

President-elect Eisenhower and Lewis Douglas, former Ambassador to Great Britain, discussed the most recent statements by Premier Joseph Stalin, during a 90-minute conversation at the President-elect's home this date in New York. The prevailing view in the new administration was that Stalin would first have to show his sincerity before there would be any prospect of a meeting between the President-elect and the Soviet Premier. The former Ambassador said that they had also discussed the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and had talked about Europe and other things. The Prime Minister was scheduled to arrive in the U.S. on January 5, with two days to be spent in Washington after spending two or three days with Bernard Baruch at his home in South Carolina.

John Scali reports that American officials forecast that Prime Minister Churchill would demand recognition as a full participant in any Eisenhower-Stalin meeting aimed at easing world tension. Those same officials, however, said that there was little chance of any such conference unless Russia demonstrated in advance a genuine desire to end the cold war. Responsible diplomats said that they believed there would have to be an indication that Moscow was prepared to make some concession, such as a statement of terms for ending the Korean War acceptable to the West. Mr. Churchill would extend a farewell call on the President, and would later meet with President-elect Eisenhower. The latter conversations were expected to be broad-ranging, including the prospect of a Stalin-Eisenhower meeting.

Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota said this date that the Southern support for President-elect Eisenhower in the November election should be reflected in his legislative proposals to the new Congress, also stating that the new Congress would reach its major decisions through a working combination of Republicans and Southern Democrats. If that assessment was correct, the story suggests, broad civil rights measures, such as Federal anti-discrimination or a fair employment practices commission, would face tough sledding in the new Congress, as much so as during the Truman Administration. With a majority of only one seat in the Senate, the Republicans would have to turn to the Southern Democrats to pass legislation.

Ernest Vaccaro, who had interviewed the President the previous day at the White House, reports that he was getting ready to leave office convinced that a strong America, cooperating with strong and healthy partner nations, could maintain peace with Russia. He believed that his decision to send American troops to Korea under a U.N. mandate might have saved the world from another world war. He said it was, however, the toughest decision he had ever made, tougher even than the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August, 1945, because it had involved the risk of a third world war. The President was proud of his record of foreign affairs and believed that when the history of his Administration was written, it would be noted for having kept the world out of war for nearly eight years. He was planning to deliver a nationwide broadcast sometime in January to sum up what he considered to be the achievements of his Administration and charting the course which he believed the nation ought follow in the future. It would be an elaboration on his State of the Union message, to be delivered early in the new Congress. He was proud of the Truman Doctrine, the Marshall Plan and the succeeding steps undertaken to strengthen economic and military potential for Communist-threatened nations. He said that when he made the decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan, he had been told that it would save possibly 250,000 American lives and as many Japanese, by obviating the necessity for an invasion to effect unconditional surrender. With that in mind, he said, there was no question of the correct course to follow. He was convinced also that the decision to enter the war in Korea had been a correct one, as it had halted Communism in its efforts to engulf the world and had provided hope to free men everywhere that if they banded together they could never be conquered. The President had pointed to the large world globe which had been presented to him in 1945 by General Eisenhower, and said that during the eight years he had been in office, his Administration had kept "that old globe out of disaster". Of the domestic program, he said that the country had an economic situation without equal in its history.

A House Judiciary subcommittee this date issued a report saying that former Assistant Attorney General T. Lamar Caudle, formerly head at different times of the criminal and tax divisions of the Justice Department, had been "an honorably motivated" but "weak" government official, and had been a "scapegoat" in being fired in November, 1951 by the President for "outside activities". The report said that Mr. Caudle had never sold himself for riches or for power. But it also pointed to his career as "the most accurate reflection of decay within the Department of Justice" which the subcommittee had seen. Peyton Ford, who had been Deputy Attorney General under Tom Clark, and had been mentioned several times in the report, found it "a sort of Alice in Wonderland affair" in which they had spelled his name correctly, said that he was Deputy Attorney General and that he had to take some cases away from Mr. Caudle, but otherwise presented nothing else accurately. The report had also dealt with Attorneys General Clark and J. Howard McGrath, Mr. Clark's successor after the latter had been appointed to the Supreme Court in 1949. One Democrat on the subcommittee disagreed with the majority's conclusion regarding Mr. Caudle and said that the praise was "unwarranted by a man who has violated the public trust" by receiving a mink coat and $5,000 from persons interested in cases before him. He said that Mr. Caudle had blamed everyone but himself.

Ralph Gibson of The News reports that Mr. Caudle, a North Carolinian living in Wadesboro, was jubilant about the report. He said that the indication that he was weak was really a reference to the fact that he had been too friendly, that it was just his "Southern way of doing things". He said that the report was "like a resurrection from the living dead". He believed that the subcommittee had been fair with him, while being deadly serious.

As previously indicated, despite this clean bill of health, Mr. Caudle would subsequently be indicted in 1955 for bribery and defrauding the Government in relation to a tax case, would be found guilty, and would serve two years in prison before finally being given a pardon by President Johnson in 1965.

As of Saturday, the traffic death toll across the nation had reached 348 since Christmas Eve at 6:00 p.m., with the 102-hour holiday period set to extend until midnight on Sunday. The total number of deaths from accidents was 450. The National Safety Council urged motorists to use "common sense, courtesy and practical application of the Christmas spirit", as the "biggest, ugliest traffic death toll ever piled up on any holiday in the history of our country" was in the making. The record had been set during the Christmas holiday of 1936, when 555 persons had been killed in vehicle accidents. The previous year a record number of accidental deaths had occurred during the Christmas holiday, 789, including 535 traffic fatalities.

A cold weekend was predicted for most of the nation, with the West and Midwest being in for the worst of the wintry weather. Snow and rain storms had hit Northern California and Southern Oregon the previous night, centered between Weed and Mt. Shasta in Northern California, with winds up to 70 mph having been recorded at Cape Mendocino, and heavy rainfall in the San Francisco Bay Area. Subzero temperatures were recorded in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Dakota, North Dakota and Kansas.

On the editorial page, "When the Sphinx Talks, Beware" indicates that there was no reason to believe that Premier Joseph Stalin's latest peace pronouncement, saying that he was ready to meet with President-elect Eisenhower to work out a peace plan for Korea, was anything other than another propaganda device, as recent Soviet actions had not indicated any sincere desire to win the Korean War. It tended to fit a pattern established by Jacob Malik at the U.N. the previous year, who had made a truce proposal, a pattern designed to lull the Western allies and divide them.

With the prospect of a new allied offensive in Korea under the new administration, Moscow would welcome a letdown among the allies.

It suggests that the U.S. attitude toward Stalin's overtures ought recognize a willingness to explore all possible avenues toward peaceful solution of the war, restate through high public officials the previous inconsistencies between Soviet words and deeds, and continue military pressure until the sincerity of Russian willingness to end the war was apparent. It finds that Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles had fulfilled the first condition with his statement of the previous day, in which he assured Stalin than any concrete proposals he might have would be seriously and sympathetically received by the new Administration.

It concludes that just as with Mr. Malik's previous truce proposal, which proved lacking in sincerity, there was no reason to suppose that the Soviets were any less insincere now than they had been earlier.

"Tar Heels Run Fast, But Stand Still" indicates that in 1929, North Carolina had ranked 44th among the 48 states in per capita income, and during the interim had ranked between 41st and 44th, where it had again stood in 1951. The state had to triple its per capita income in that interim to stand still in its rank among the states. Only Mississippi, at $771 per capita income annually, Alabama, with $926, and South Carolina, with $1,003, had lower per capita incomes than North Carolina.

The Southeast as an area was improving its relative position. Whereas in 1929, the per capita income of the region was 50 percent of the national average, in 1951, it was 67 percent. North Carolina had kept pace with the region, as its per capita income was 45 percent of the national average in 1929 and 66 percent in 1951.

It finds that it was not enough for a state with the human and material resources of North Carolina, and that one of the most challenging assignments facing Governor-elect William B. Umstead was to find better ways to put those resources to work for the improvement of the income of the people.

The Southeast, as North Carolina, was largely dependent on an agricultural economy, had a large black population of low-earning ability, and a larger population of children than other areas of the nation, all of which tended to hold down average per capita income.

The State Government could encourage the broadening of the state's industrial base, and it finds that such progress, more than anything else, would enable the state to move up in per capita income. Educational work could also be undertaken among the state's employers to show them how better wages and increased employment opportunities for low income groups, especially blacks, could produce greater economic activity at all levels. It hopes that the Umstead Administration would undertake those positive steps.

"Der Bingle II?" tells of most sons of talented men having to start with two strikes against them because they would inevitably be compared to their fathers. But there was one young man who was already gaining on his father, that being Gary Crosby. Some months earlier, Gary and father Bing had teamed up on a rag-time melody, and though Gary had a voice, it did not stack up too well alongside that of his father. But recently, they had sung Christmas songs on the same show and it was difficult to tell one from the other, causing it to conclude that Gary had the same ability, ready to succeed his father when the day came when his crooning voice might crack.

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "A New Way To Smoke Ham", tells of farmers in the old days having had airtight smokehouses in which to smoke hams, but that modern farmers could not afford such houses and had to resort instead to creative methods. One of those was to knock the bottom from a barrel and hang the hams inside on a cross stick, cover the barrel with burlap sacking, place it over a trench leading to a fire pit, cover the pit and trench with steel sheeting to hold in the smoke, so that the smoke would be forced into the bottom of the barrel and smoke the hams. That process took 3 to 4 days, compared to the 7 to 10 days in the old smokehouses. It indicates that if readers did not understand the method, they could write the Georgia Agriculture Extension Service and obtain a diagram and instructions.

Drew Pearson tells of many people working at peace, which could be more difficult than working at war, as it took longer, was humdrum and unexciting, with no urgency and no compulsion about it, as no one had a gun forcing the work. He suggests that perhaps it was why diplomats sometimes went to sleep at the switch and let international relations slide. Yet, steady friendship over the years between countries when a lot of people worked at peace made war more difficult. Canada and the U.S. would never go to war, as the U.S. and England would not, because the countries had too much in common. But when people were not friendly with one another and knew little about each other, it was easy to drift toward war.

Thus, he takes the opportunity to salute several organizations which had been working at peace. The Rotary Clubs had been bringing foreign students to the country and sending American students abroad, having raised more than a million dollars during the previous five years for the purpose, creating a total of 395 scholarships.

The General Federation of Women's Clubs had worked hard at people-to-people relationships abroad, even publishing a pamphlet for tourists on how to behave, as well as other activities.

The Texas Friendship to Korea, sponsored by the Church World Service, would sail from Houston on January 15 with badly needed help for Korea.

The Horace Mann School of New York had published its school paper in Russian, in an effort to penetrate the Iron Curtain with the truth about American students.

The State Department had been doing an excellent job with its Educational Exchange Act, which had originated with Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, enabling 7,000 students from 72 countries to study in the U.S. the previous year, and about 750 Americans to study abroad.

Bowdoin College in Maine had been one of the first colleges to start a student exchange on its own, and another had been MIT. The plan had spread all over the nation until more than 300 fraternities and 60 colleges were presently raising money from their own student bodies to help bring foreign students to the country. Nine Minnesota colleges were sponsoring student exchange programs in the summer, and others included Amherst, the University of Arkansas, Union College of Schenectady, N.Y., State Teachers College at Jacksonville, Ala., and the University of Maryland.

Mr. Pearson concludes that his cited examples were only a small number of those at work at peace, and he would appreciate the names of others to enable them to have a small amount of recognition for such important work, to try "to fulfill the hope of the Man born 2,000 years ago—Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men."

Marquis Childs tells of Secretary of State Acheson preparing for his departure, along with the rest of the Administration, having recently given a kind of farewell address to the NATO foreign ministers at their meeting in Paris, at which he had recapped the history of the organization, its successes and failures, also alluding to his own departure, indicating that during the election campaign he had not been privileged to voice a defense of his foreign policies.

The foreign ministers could track the fortunes of NATO along with the up and down career of the Secretary of State. NATO had begun on April 4, 1949, with its ratification by the foreign ministers in Washington. That event now seemed a long time earlier, a point at which there was great hope for the organization. The recent conference, in contrast, was marked by delay and indecisiveness, as it had refused to approve the requested funds by General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of NATO, which he deemed necessary to carry out the 1953 program of defense as scheduled.

The future of the organization was one of many problems awaiting the new administration, and it seemed to get down to the question of whether the U.S. would accept the European holdback and take similar steps to disengage a part of its force committed to Europe.

Secretary Acheson intended to take a trip to the Caribbean for a vacation for several months after leaving office, along with Archibald MacLeish and his wife. He wanted to return to Europe and visit the cities as a tourist, but knew that he could not do so with anonymity any time soon. He would return to his Washington law practice, but looming in the background was the threat of Congressional committees subpoenaing him to testify regarding past foreign policy, as they had done with respect to the catastrophe in China.

Mr. Childs finds such a prospect to suggest a change of regime in a banana republic, where those in power had to flee into exile and if they missed the boat or the plane, found themselves in jail. "It is hardly necessary to add that this is not a hallmark of mature and responsible government."

With 20-20 foresight, parenthetically, Mr. Caudle might have considered fleeing to Mexico, to join former Ambassador to Mexico and New York Mayor William O'Dwyer.

Frederick C. Othman tells of a low-level bureaucrat who had once suggested to a Congressional committee that the difference between a bribe and a gift which was ethical to keep was the difference between a 12-pound and an 8-pound ham. He says that journalists had the same problem, and he had adopted this same rule of thumb to determine whether his conscience ought be bothered by gifts from big corporations. He provides the several gifts he had received from various companies, for instance, a leading automobile manufacturer having sent him a basket of canned sardines, olives, dried herring and other such appetizers, a large dairy having sent him a five-pound chunk of cheddar cheese, and an airline having sent him a pink bauble for the Christmas tree which said "Merry Christmas" on one side and bore the trademark of the airline on the other. And he continues on down his list, finding that none of the gifts offended his 8-pound ham limit equivalency.

Everyone with any sense and objectivity would have to agree, however, that an elected official, even if elected only by a minority of the popular vote and by dint of the long outmoded, elitist convention of the electoral college, who solicits a "favor" from a foreign head of state, consisting of publicly announcing the initiation of an investigation of the public official's chief political rival in an upcoming election, in exchange for a White House meeting which would help legitimize the recent election of the foreign head of state, and for release of a badly needed four hundred million dollars in foreign aid money for that country, even if the latter condition was not known by the solicited party until after the request of the "favor", as corrupt intent may join later with an act to form the crime—as in the scenario involving receipt of stolen property where the recipient only later finds out sufficient facts to suggest it stolen—, constitutes not only the 12-pound ham but the whole hog, smoked, spit-turned on the barbecue, and with an apple poised perfectly in its mouth. It is, in short, a bribe, thus expressly stated by the Founders as grounds for impeachment of the official. Unfortunately for the soliciting public official in this instance, it is not merely a pig which can be returned to the sender, as the public official was the one who solicited its receipt, and lipstick, sought to be applied by members of the public official's party, won't help one bit.

A letter from an attorney comments on the death on Tuesday of Charles W. Tillett, the well-known local attorney who apparently had committed suicide by leaping from the eighth floor of the Law Building where he had his offices on the sixth floor. The writer indicates that he had known Mr. Tillett, a few weeks earlier having been his guest at a dinner given for two young lawyers who had recently settled in the city. He indicates that Mr. Tillett had trained many young lawyers who now headed their own firms, and he believes that all of North Carolina appreciated the work he had done to lift the legal profession to ever higher standards, both educationally and morally. He had never tolerated shady practices, but condemned wrongdoing wherever he saw it, and was a believer in better and cleaner government, for which he fought. He had been a pioneer in advocating peace through the U.N. He concludes that "a noble, public spirited leader has departed."

A letter writer indicates the belief that the World War II massacre at Katyn Forest, in which several thousand Polish officers had been killed, their mass graves discovered by the Nazis in 1943, was being made into "a slanderous political weapon" by Congressional committees. Recently, a Congressional committee which had investigated the massacre had concluded that the Soviets were responsible, whereas the Soviets had placed blame on the Nazis. She suggests that historians were better equipped to determine such matters than Congress. She thinks that nothing was accomplished by antagonizing the Russians with accusation and that it would be better to try to build an international body under which such atrocities would be unlikely to recur.

A letter from A. W. Black indicates that it was time to reflect on "the folly to which man annually lends himself under the pretext of observing the birth of deity." He finds that Christmas had grown from its simple origins into the biggest merchandising event of the year, and was an "occasion for the greatest display of mass hypocrisy ever indulged in by mankind, and all riding on the broad coattail of religious conjecturalism and sentimentality." He finds that gift-giving was primarily done with the selfish expectation of receiving gifts in return and that season's greetings were offered without sincerity, "Merry Christmas" being expressed only mechanically. "Not one in a million who mouth these conventional phrases give a hoot down a hollow stump whether their fellow man has a morsel of food or lies a corpse on Christmas day. And the chantings of 'Peace on earth, goodwill to men' is as ridiculous as it is absurd."

Bah, humbug.

A letter from a sergeant in Korea indicates that he was not getting very much mail, says that he had been there for six months and had six more months to go, was distressed because his girl could not wait for him and had gone off with another guy, and so he was writing in the hope that the newspaper would put in a word for him, prompting someone to write him.

Third Day of Christmas: Three dogs now howling, as Fala joined the other two growling.

Fourth Day of Christmas: Four dogs have joined the fray, after Whiskers demanded his separate-but-equal say.

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