The Charlotte News

Tuesday, December 30, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that counter-attacking allied troops this date had regained frozen outposts near Chorwon on the central front in Korea after the outposts had been captured by a reinforced Chinese Communist company the previous night. About 30 Communists had been killed and 100 wounded in the attack by about 225 enemy troops. Allied defenders had withdrawn after an hour of fighting, but then stormed back with reinforcements to reoccupy the positions.

The previous day, allied troops had repulsed about 40 Chinese troops who had attacked "Pinpoint Hill", the key height on "Sniper Ridge", in a ten-minute battle, and the enemy had made other light attacks on the south slope of "Jane Russell Knob" of "Triangle Hill" and on "Rocky Point", east of "Sniper", both of which were repulsed by the allies. The U.S. Eighth Army estimated that the enemy had fired nearly 5,000 rounds during the 24 hours ending at 6:00 p.m. the previous day.

Air activity was hampered by heavy clouds over most of North Korea, but Marine and Air Force planes hit Communist positions near the western and west-central fronts, with unobserved results. Snow, rain and sleet fell along the front, with temperatures ranging from 6 to 13 degrees.

A female voice told U.N. front-line troops, in a propaganda broadcast the previous night, that the Communists would launch a "general offensive" on January 4, with the woman having opened the program with a tirade against the "poor" food provided to allied troops. The Communists had launched a major offensive on New Year's Day, 1951.

Rear area troops in Korea would need two additional points for rotation home after January 1, according to U.N. supreme command headquarters in Tokyo, citing lack of replacements from the U.S. as the reason. There would be no change in the rotation requirement of nine months of service, equivalent to 36 points, for soldiers at the front. Rear area troops would need 40, instead of 38 points. Troops at the front received four rotation points per month and those at the rear, three, with soldiers far to the rear, two. Soldiers in Japan whose families were with them received one point monthly, while others received 1 1/2 points.

Roy Cohn, special assistant to Attorney General James McGranery, in testimony before the House Judiciary subcommittee, said this date that "a number" of Americans known to have been heavily involved in spying and other Communist activity in the past were still employed by the U.N. He said that the State Department had given a clean bill of health to some "very bad" subversives on the U.N. staff, and that the continued presence of David Weintraub, director of economic stabilization and development for the U.N., was "absolutely disgraceful", for the fact that Mr. Weintraub had admitted hiring five or more persons who had turned out to be "thoroughly disloyal". He said that Mr. McGranery had told him that the situation at the U.N. was "shocking and disgraceful", and supported the inquiry, but that lower officials at the Justice Department had tried to delay the investigation and the State Department could "only be blasted on the record". He said that the New York grand jury report on the U.N. situation had been held up by the Attorney General and others in the Department until after the election against Mr. Cohn's objections, out of concern that it might be used as a political football. The subcommittee was investigating why the grand jury report had been delayed.

In London, Dr. Alan Nunn May, the West's first convicted atomic spy, who had been released from prison the previous day on parole, issued a written statement to a reporter, in which he said that he had been wholeheartedly concerned with securing victory over Nazi Germany and Japan and with the furtherance of the development of the peaceful uses of atomic energy in Britain, when he had provided uranium used in the production of the first atomic bomb to the Russians. He said that he believed that he had acted correctly and to those who believed otherwise, he reminded that he had been punished by his service of six years and eight months of a ten-year sentence in prison. He clarified that he had not been convicted of treason and that the word had not been used by the prosecution or the judge at his trial, and that he had no treasonable intentions.

Elton C. Fay, the Associated Press military affairs reporter, reports on the atomic explosion at Eniwetok on November 1, which had been hypothesized as the first detonation of an hydrogen bomb. He indicates that it might have been the world's first blast from the fusion process, but that there were reasons to believe that the device detonated was not transportable or handily packaged, such that it could be loaded into and dropped from an airplane. In the lexicon of weapons builders, there was a distinct difference between a "device", the tool of experimenters, and a "bomb", the finished product. The difference in time interval between the test at Trinity on July 16, 1945, the first blast of an atomic bomb, and its actual use as a dropped weapon three weeks later on August 6, could be much greater in the case of the hydrogen bomb. The atomic era had actually begun three years earlier, in December, 1942, when scientists had engineered the first successful atomic chain reaction. It was possible that the hydrogen bomb would not need to be brought down to the size of an ordinary bomb, that the scientists might determine that they could build one into a heavy bomber and equip the plane with remote controls for guidance from a mother plane, using the guided bomb-plane as a missile.

Senator Taft arrived 35 minutes early for a conference this date with President-elect Eisenhower in New York, along with other Senate Republican leaders, set to discuss the new administration's legislative program and other matters. There was no indication whether Senator Taft intended to meet initially alone with the new President. Others at the meeting would be Senators Styles Bridges, prospective president pro tem of the Senate, Eugene Millikin of Colorado, chairman of the conference of Republican Senators, and Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts and Milton Young of North Dakota, members of the Senate Republican policy committee. The President-elect hoped to complete his plans for a legislative agenda during the session.

Philippine Airlines said this date that a DC-3 passenger liner was missing over northern Luzon with seven passengers and three crew members aboard. U.S. Navy and Air Force planes, along with Philippine Air Force and Philippine Airline planes, were searching the area where the plane had disappeared.

In Little Rock, Ark., a 12-year old girl who was the sole survivor of a fire-explosion caused by a kerosene-lit stove at her family home on December 17, which had taken the lives of her six siblings and her parents, would be the recipient of a fund for her created by a Little Rock newspaper and a local bank, which had collected nearly $9,000, including two contributions of $500 each, one from Chicago and the other from California. She also received from a local jeweler a watch on which her mother had deposited 50 cents, to have been a Christmas gift for the girl. She had been unaware until Christmas night of the death of her parents, though had known that her siblings had died. When informed of her parents' death, she had asked the doctor why he had not told her before. She was still in the hospital, recovering from severe burns from the fire.

In New York, Fletcher Henderson, 55, a black orchestra leader, died the previous night in Harlem after a long illness. He had been in show business for three decades and lived in Manhattan with his wife.

In Coventry, England, a 47-year old motorcycle engineer was upset that he would not be able to spend two weeks in jail after having refused "on principle" to pay a nominal fine of about five dollars, imposed by the local magistrate on December 17 for parking his car without lights outside his home on a dead-end street. A friend had paid the fine, according to police, but the man said that it was a ruse and a "face-saving climb-down by the authorities", as he had instructed them not to accept the fine from anyone. He had been ready to spend Christmas in jail and had thrown a farewell beer party, then presented himself at the Birmingham jail two days prior to Christmas, at which point he was told to return home and await proper orders for surrender. The man said that he was sending the chief constable a bill for his expenses, including the cost of the beer party.

In Winston-Salem, a nervous gunman who said that he was "just out of Raleigh and desperate enough to kill" held up the manager of the downtown ABC store during the morning and made off with $600 in change and small bills. The store manager provided police with a complete description and the license number and make of his car. Police believed that the robber had been casing the store for several days, as he appeared familiar with the manager's practice of opening the store and leaving the front doors unlocked during the few minutes prior to the arrival of the clerks.

You won't need the description, which the piece omits, for you can tell him by the cut of his jib and pick him out of a crowd of hundreds. Simply then approach and exclaim, "J'accuse!" All will fall on the ground except the culprit, and you will be a hero. Gun him down and ask questions later.

The Charlotte "Man of the Year" for 1952 would be announced the next day by The News, which had established the selection in 1944. It was based on unselfish service to the community, the selection made by former recipients of the award, with The News in an advisory capacity.

We vote for Superman....

On the editorial page, "This Loyalty, above All Others" indicates that 1952 was drawing to a close amid a spate of Congressional investigations of American loyalty and promises of probes and legislation to come in the new 83rd Congress. The previous day, Senator Pat McCarran's Internal Security subcommittee had issued another report, this one charging that the leadership of the International Union of Mine, Mill & Smelter Workers was "heavily impregnated with Communist influence", a report lauded by the probable next chairman of the subcommittee, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan, who announced plans for investigation of the armed forces, information media, schools, the U.N., and youth organizations. He would urge Congress to pass a law permitting an employer to discharge any person who was a member of one of the organizations listed as subversive by the Attorney General.

Also the previous day, Senator Joseph McCarthy had indicated that the Committee on Government Operations, which he would chair in the coming Congress, would conduct a vast investigation of subversive elements in schools and colleges, a plan echoed by the new HUAC chairman, Congressman Harold Velde, who also wanted to prohibit Americans from traveling in Iron Curtain countries.

The piece finds that the tempo of loyalty investigations would thus increase during the new year and the new Administration.

Insofar as the subcommittee investigation of the UMMSW, it had relied primarily on the testimony of one young man who had appeared before it many times, who had been a member of the Communist Party from October, 1947 until his expulsion in January, 1951 "for being an enemy agent". For months, this young man had been making reckless and sometimes preposterous charges, sometimes on behalf of ultra-conservative candidates during the recent campaign. He claimed that the churches, the press, the schools, the State Department, the U.N., the Voice of America, the Boy Scouts, the American Newspaper Guild, CBS, the Farmers Union, the YWCA, the YMCA, among others, were all infiltrated with Communists.

The McCarran subcommittee report contained the falsehood, to which this young man had testified, that the New York Times had well over 100 dues-paying Communist Party members, and that Time, Inc. had 76 Communist Party members working in editorial and research—to be noted, somewhat ironically, that Whittaker Chambers had been working as an editor at Time when he stepped forward in August, 1948 to claim that Alger Hiss had been a former Communist, later that fall, in the context of the civil suit for defamation filed by Mr. Hiss, leading to his claim that in 1938, Mr. Hiss had passed to him secret State Department documents for forwarding to the Russians, the microfilm of which wound up in the pumpkin on Mr. Chambers's Maryland farm in November, 1948.

The young man had also charged during the campaign that the New York Bureau of the Associated Press contained 25 "hard-core Reds", and that to get a job as a radio writer or director in New York required that one be a member of the Communist Party. He had also claimed that the New York Times Sunday section had 126 "dues-paying Communists" on its staff.

Though the statements were demonstrably false, this man was called upon repeatedly by Congress to testify, in reliance on which the members issued their reports. Senator Joseph McCarthy had relied on his testimony to provide his "case" against Governor Stevenson, enunciated in a broadcast shortly before the election.

The piece finds the press partially to blame. The previous March, for instance, the same young man had told the subcommittee that the Communists had tried to infiltrate the Boy Scouts 20 years earlier, and that he had heard that a minister was trying to "indoctrinate" some Scouts, and when asked by a subcommittee investigator whether the Communists were presently seeking to infiltrate the Scouts, he had responded affirmatively, that he had read it in the "Lenin pamphlet"—when Lenin had died in 1924. As a result of this testimony, some Washington reporters built up a story, resulting in nationwide headlines proclaiming present Communist infiltration of the Boy Scouts.

Many editors were also concerned about the discrepancies in the testimony of Louis Budenz, another witness before the McCarran subcommittee, but, it posits, this young man merited more attention.

It quotes from retired Federal Court of Appeals Judge Learned Hand, from a speech abstracted on the page two weeks earlier, that he believed a community was "already in process of dissolution where each man begins to eye his neighbor as a possible enemy, where nonconformity with the accepted creed, political as well as religious, is a mark of disaffection; where orthodoxy chokes freedom of dissent; where faith in the eventual supremacy of reason has become so timid that we dare not enter our convictions in the open". Judge Hand had indicated that truth could not emerge unless it was subjected to the utmost scrutiny.

The piece finds the antidote to hysteria that simple, that "loyalty to truth, honestly and searchingly sought" would ferret out the real subversives while maintaining the right of all to think their thoughts and travel where and with whom they chose.

Don't say that within earshot of Mr. Cohn or he will relate it to Senator McCarthy, and you, too, will become suspect.

"Needed: A Better Farm Program" indicates that President-elect Eisenhower's appointment of a bipartisan advisory committee to study long-range farm policy might not please all of the leaders of the Congressional farm bloc but was clearly in the national interest. During the campaign, the General had also favored a parity schedule trending toward 100 percent and a system of price-supports for perishables, currently excluded.

Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan had stirred a great controversy among farmers with his plan to let retail prices fall to their natural level, instead of keeping them at artificial levels through purchase of surpluses with public finds and then holding those surpluses off the market, the problem occurring because the Government had to establish rigid production controls in return for guaranteeing the farmer a fair return on perishables. The piece does not know how the Eisenhower committee would resolve that basic conflict, but it would have to be resolved, lest the price supports for perishables would drain the Treasury dry.

It concludes that the approach chosen by the new President offered a chance for all aspects of the national farm policy to be weighed calmly and objectively in an atmosphere free from Congressional partisan politics.

"More Efficient and Cheaper, Too" tells of a plan for hooking up towns in the county with the County Police Department radio network, providing an advantage of a consolidated county-wide police department. The City Police Department had its own radio network, while the County Police Department operated another on a different frequency. The County Police did a major part of their law enforcement work within the five towns in question and it would thus be to their advantage to be in constant communication with the County Police.

The Congressional Quarterly tells of a campaign for a constitutional amendment to limit Federal income taxes to 25 percent having been renewed by one of the most active supporters of the proposal, Robert Smith, eastern director of the Western Tax Council, despite the announced opposition by President-elect Eisenhower and differences of opinion over validity of half of the states' petitions to Congress for the amendment. The Council claimed that 28 states had sent in petitions asking Congress to forward such an amendment to the states, but the validity of 14 of those petitions was open to question.

It sets forth the arguments for and against such an amendment, the proponents favoring the tax limit for lowering the tax rate and increasing the national income by encouraging investment and free enterprise, while the opponents, led by the AFL, saw it as a threat to the interests of the low income groups. The House Select Committee on Small Business had issued a report the prior February criticizing the proposal and estimating that only one percent of the taxpayers, the large corporations, would benefit from the limitation. Opponents of the plan had labeled it the "millionaires' amendment".

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, having been defeated in the late election, wishing to remain in Washington as part of the new Administration as Assistant Secretary of State, though he had one time been a vigorous opponent of General Eisenhower. He had been on the phone lobbying old friends and promising Senator-elect Fred Payne, who had defeated him, that he would retire on December 31, to give the new Senator a chance to obtain seniority ahead of other new Senators, provided the latter would endorse Senator Brewster for the position. Herbert Brownell, in charge of appointments, had told the Senator that he would first need to obtain the support of Senator Margaret Chase Smith, also of Maine, whom he had once tried to defeat, and of Mr. Payne. The reason for this treatment was that Senator Brewster had become known as the Senate spokesman for Generalissimo Francisco Franco of Spain and of Pan American Airways. A Senate probe had revealed that he had been involved in tapping the telephone of Howard Hughes of TWA on behalf of competing Pan Am in 1947. Senator Brewster had also supported Senator Taft and was credited with attempting to smear General Eisenhower as "Stalin's stooge". As a result, Senator Smith had gone on a state-wide radio network to denounce that smear and vigorously defend General Eisenhower. Later, Senator Brewster stated that he knew nothing about the smear.

The Indian Ambassador to the U.N., V.K. Krishna Menon, had been interviewed by two college students, one a graduate of Catholic University and the other of LaSalle, on Ruth Hagy's junior press conference television program, eliciting remarks that the U.S. was sabotaging the Korean peace, to which U.S. Ambassador Chester Bowles protested to the Indian Government.

The Czechoslovakian legation had just bought 12 shortwave radio sets at $480 apiece, so that they could tune in Prague radio.

Lobbyists were preparing to wine and dine members of Congress again.

Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont returned from a trip to Argentina recently with the impression that the country was becoming Nazified. El Presidente Juan Peron's five-year plan, according to Senator Flanders, "promised everything that the heart of man desires". He had a bad feeling, he said, that he was seeing the "Nazi thing all over again". The Argentine Legislature burst into applause or stood up and applauded whenever they got the signal, and would repeatedly shout "Peron" at the right moments. The Senator had not visited with El Presidente, for he knew that the dictator had nothing to tell him which would be believable and that the Senator had nothing to tell the dictator which would interest him.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President-elect and Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles considering a conference with Premier Stalin, under consideration even before the Premier's recent statement to the New York Times that he was willing to have such a meeting to try to effect a truce in Korea. In the State Department, the thinking of the foremost diplomatic experts had been along the same lines. The latter advisers reasoned that it would be quite difficult to limit the Korean War in the event of a spring offensive by the U.N. forces. They believed that the only way to end the war, short of a negotiated armistice, was to make it hurt the other side more. They also believed, however, that neither the Russians nor the Chinese wanted an unlimited war in the Far East. So, they reasoned, there was a good chance of a peaceful settlement if the President-elect and Premier Stalin got together "to talk cold turkey".

The new President and the new Secretary of State were still inclined to provide priority to the problem of Europe, for if the President-elect were to meet Stalin with the NATO alliance divided and dissolving, the new President would not have any bargaining position on which to stand. The Alsops indicate that, based on the highest of sources, Mr. Dulles would go to Europe and meet with the Allied leaders as soon as he took office, in an effort to shore up relations.

Former U.S. High Commissioner to West Germany John J. McCloy had made an informal appeal to the new administration to make such a trip. Mr. McCloy had collaborated closely with General Eisenhower when he had been supreme commander of NATO, and had brought Jean Monnet of France together with the General for a discussion of the proposed European army, immediately after which, the General delivered a speech calling for a European union. Many of the European leaders were aware of that background and many were also close friends of Mr. McCloy, who had been a natural confidant. M. Monnet and West Germany's Chancellor Konrad Adenauer were known to have been among those who had sent informal warning of the trouble in Europe to Mr. McCloy, combined with pleas for President-elect Eisenhower to turn his attention to the European problem, messages relayed to the President-elect, Mr. Dulles and Mr. McCloy in mid-December. The mere news of that meeting had caused a significant improvement in the political tone in Germany, where Mr. McCloy's name carried great weight. A trip to Europe by Mr. Dulles as Secretary of State would further improve relations.

The Alsops observe, however, that the French political crisis would complicate the matter of the European army and the issue of the German divisions. But if the President-elect and Mr. Dulles could guide American policy around that problem, a new perspective might open. With the Western alliance again united and confirmed in its purposes, the President-elect would then be able to speak to Stalin with unchallengeable authority, the type of tone which the Russian dictator might well understand.

Robert C. Ruark, in Cairo, tells of a crowd having gathered at his airplane as he took off from Rome bound for Cairo, a crowd which appeared fit to greet the President-elect or at least Frank Sinatra. Instead, they were there to greet the arrival of Charles Chaplin, the "dreadful little man who has been tentatively denied re-entry to the land from which he drew his riches while refusing to embrace his citizenship while actively supporting subversiveness while offending public morality". Yet, he was still adored in Europe, and there was talk in Britain of knighting him. That was so, despite the fact that most of the people who had gathered to see him had not been born at the height of his silent film career in Hollywood during the Twenties.

He concludes that there was likely no moral in the matter, but that another "character of somewhat doubtful personal charm is currently exciting the adulation of the public" in Italy, as exiled King Farouk of Egypt had taken a villa and was about to be launched into Italian society. He muses that sometimes they said, "Americans, go home," but then worshiped the "castoffs from our and others' shores".

Sixth Day of Christmas: Six dogs now after the bone, and none prepared within, without it, to return home, including the one named "Mr. Cohn".

Happy and prosperous 2020, insofar as the vision thing.

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