The Charlotte News

Monday, December 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Korea, hundreds of allied warplanes had hit Communist targets this date along the front and far behind the lines, with Sabre jets destroying one enemy MIG-15 over Sinuiju, having destroyed seven of the enemy jets the previous day, the largest single-day bag in nearly three months.

Ground forces reported another light day across the front, with only a few patrol clashes, most of which occurred in the "Sniper Ridge" area on the central front, where about 100 Chinese infantrymen launched an attack, repulsed by South Korean troops after a two-hour battle. Temperatures remained around zero all along the front.

President-elect Eisenhower this date opened a formal conference with advisers and future members of his Administration, including Secretary of State-designate John Foster Dulles, within two hours after they had been brought aboard the U.S.S. Helena at Wake Island, making its way back to Hawaii from the new President's trip to Korea, with the war being probably the main topic of discussion. Press secretary James Hagerty told reporters there would be no announcement of the subjects discussed or decisions made. A source close to the President-elect said that no definite military program had been determined, and it was made clear to the reporters that no announcement would likely be made until after January 20. Secretary of Defense-designate Charles E. Wilson left the Helena at Wake and flew on to Pearl Harbor, eventual destination of the ship. He would confer there with General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, regarding military problems in Korea.

In Belgrade, it was broadcast this date that a major new purge of six Communist leaders was underway in Czechoslovakia, quoting an official Yugoslav news agency as its source.

In Casablanca, anti-French rioting erupted in the French protectorate, as an angry mob of about 600 persons had caught three Europeans in a stone quarry during the morning and slashed the throats and cut off the hands of two of them, then crushed the head of the third with rocks. Three other Europeans were wounded. The mob then moved to the police station, swelling in the process to 5,000, and an ensuing shooting wound up killing at least 20 Moroccans. By noon, police had quelled the situation, and tanks and armed troops patrolled the trouble areas and a curfew was imposed.

In Tunis the previous day, some 300 Arab nationalists had attempted to march on the headquarters of French Resident General Jean de Hautecloque, in protest of the slaying of Farhat Hached, a Tunisian nationalist leader and general secretary of the Tunisian workers movement, but were driven back, after a police officer and two of the marchers had been wounded. Seventy persons had been arrested in the aftermath of the previous day's demonstration.

Republican Senators were being swamped with letters from seekers of Federal jobs, most seeking one of the approximately 40,000 postmasterships scattered around the country, now under the Civil Service system with no limit on the terms of the incumbents. Senators said that most would be disappointed as Federal clerical and stenographic workers did not make any more than comparable employees in private business, and that positions in those jobs were currently available as there was a 35 percent annual turnover rate. Moreover, living costs in Washington were so high that many persons would actually lose money by seeking employment with the Government. About 95 percent of the 2.5 million Federal civilian jobs were protected under Civil Service or some form of merit system.

The Supreme Court this date refused for a second time to provide review to Frank Costello, gambling kingpin, on his conviction of contempt of Congress for which he had been sentenced to an 18-month jail term. The Court had denied his petition for writ of certiorari on November 10 and had denied this date his motion for reconsideration.

The Agriculture Department, in its final report of the year, this date estimated the 1952 cotton crop would be 15,038,000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight each, 133,000 more than the estimate for November, and 106,000 less than the prior year's crop, but well above the average for the decade between 1941 and 1950, 11,775,000, and below the Government's goal for the year of 16 million.

In Santa Fe, a high official said this date that a "full-scale showdown" with rioting prisoners at the New Mexico State Penitentiary was scheduled for later during the day. Convicts were holding seven guards as hostages and the prisoners had control of a cell block and the prison hospital, and eight or nine were loose in the prison yard. The prisoners were demanding their release in return for release of the hostages. More than 100 armed guards, State policemen and members of the Santa Fe County Sheriff's posse and security guards had surrounded the prison early this date.

In Albuquerque, N.M., a five-year old boy, tired of learning to ski, sat down to rest, still in his skis, which then took him swiftly down the slope where he crashed into a fallen tree, fracturing his skull, necessitating six stitches. His condition was serious.

In Richmond, Va., a 27-year old "talking" horse had been called in to play detective in the search for a missing Rhode Island boy, nine years old, who had disappeared from the Exeter State School near Providence on September 23 and had not been seen since. His mother had called the Richmond Times-Dispatch the previous day and asked that a reporter be sent to query "Lady Wonder", whose amazing answers to questions had once prompted two psychologists at Duke University to dub it a "genuine phenomenon". A reporter responded and listened to the horse give its answers by pecking with its chin on a giant contraption, similar to a typewriter. The horse said that the boy, who was mute, was alive but hurt, and located in a truck in Kansas. The mother responded that she hoped he was safe but found it difficult to believe that he could have gotten to Kansas, unless he had been hit by a passing motorist and carried away. She had heard about the horse through a newspaper story printed three days earlier, which told of it helping to locate the body of a missing four-year old Massachusetts boy who had disappeared from his home in January, 1951. The horse had responded in that case that the boy could be found in the Pittsfield water wheel, whereupon a detective was dispatched to that location, but found nothing. The detectives decided that the horse might have meant the pit at the Field Wilde water, and so searched that quarry, where the child's body was found. The detective warned against putting too much faith in the horse's statements, as they happened to be lucky in their investigative efforts. The owner of the horse allowed the public to question it for a dollar per three questions. It had been the subject of numerous studies and articles by medical experts, one of the first of which having been the Duke study.

A horse is a horse, of course. But good luck on finding your missing boy.

Unfortunately, a year later, there would be no proof of horse sense, and the story would have only a sad ending.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott appointed six persons to State boards and commissions, the terms for which would last until mid-1955.

On the editorial page, "Why Didn't Mac Talk Up Before?" indicates that General MacArthur had recently stated that he had "a clear and definite solution to the Korean conflict", asks why he had not made that clear earlier, for instance during the previous June, after General Eisenhower had complimented the intelligence and professionalism of General MacArthur and indicated openly, during his Abilene press conference, that he would welcome any input from the General regarding the Far East.

It doubts, therefore, that General MacArthur had anything new to provide, other than that which he had stated before being called home in spring, 1951 as the U.N. supreme commander of the Korean and Far Eastern forces, that having been urging an all-out offensive against the Manchurian bases, use of Nationalist Chinese troops and blockade of the Chinese ports, potentially leading to a third world war. It also believes that there was no reason, if he did indeed have some new solution, to keep it to himself, that open and frank discussion in a democracy was appropriate, to let the people decide on basic political matters, even if specific tactics had to remain secret.

"Time To Wear the U.S. Hat" indicates that in 1939, 11 percent of the wheat produced in the country was exported, that by 1951, it had risen to 35 percent, and that in 1939, 28 percent of the cotton was exported and by 1951, 41 percent. In addition, one-fourth of the tobacco crop, a fifth of the tractors manufactured in the country, and a sixth of the trucks were exported during 1951. Such figures implied jobs at home and markets abroad, but the trend was reversing. The Agriculture Department had stated the previous week that during the period July-September, 1952, agricultural exports for the country were 31 percent below the previous year's level for the same period. Wheat, flour and tobacco were down 32 percent and cotton was down 40 percent. Some of the decrease was the result of a reduction in foreign aid, but also the result of a shrunken market, producing surpluses and consequently lower prices.

Tariffs prevented some foreigners from selling goods in the country and obtaining dollars from them with which to buy U.S. goods. In addition, Communist countries were underselling the U.S., purposely losing money in an attempt to regain Western European markets and throw a wrench into the world's economic system. The trade problem had to be worked out soon or it would have severe repercussions to the tobacco industry and its warehouses in Robeson County, and the cotton fields of Cleveland County, in addition to the farms and factories of Europe.

The new Congress and the new Secretaries of State and Agriculture would face this problem, as reciprocal trade agreements would need to be renewed prior to the end of June, when they currently expired. But Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, who would head the Senate Finance Committee, had said, along with many of his influential colleagues, that he did not put much stock in the reciprocal trade agreements, saying that it had wrecked some U.S. industries.

The piece indicates that perhaps it had, but it had not noticed many U.S. industries going under during the previous 18 years while the reciprocal trade agreements had been in effect. Overall foreign trade had increased remarkably during that period. The choice was between a few small problems and one large one, the latter affecting Senator Millikin's wool-raising constituents who sought tariff protection, as well as millions of others. It hopes therefore that the members of Congress would act on behalf of all of the people rather than for just the constituents and industries of their various states.

"Education on the Living Room Screen" indicates that a decision would have to be made before the following June as to whether the reserved number of television channels for educational programming would be used, or they would be sold to commercial broadcasters. It finds the concept of educational television good and hopes that a certain number of channels would be set aside for the purpose, suggests that if some of the programming were good enough, it might be picked up by sponsors and broadcast on the regular commercial channels.

Well, they've already got "What's My Line?" and that learns ye how to talk good and to be perspective of others when enlisting answers as you're telling questions.

"Wow—What Logic" tells of Admiral Ben Moreell, chairman of the board of Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp., having recently quoted to an audience excerpts from the Marx and Engels Communist Manifesto, written in 1848, to the effect that the country was "deeply infected at home with the virus" of Communism. Among the things he cited were a free education for all in the public schools, bringing into cultivation wastelands and the improvement of soil generally, and a heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

The piece finds that he might also have mentioned, consistent with the Manifesto, abolition of child factory labor and gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country by more equable distribution of the population. It concludes that he should have spent more time reading history rather than concentrating on being a top engineer. "How silly can some persons get?"

Drew Pearson indicates that prior to the President-elect's trip to Korea, General Mark Clark had worked out four possible alternatives for ending the Korean War, none of which were happy solutions. They were either to negotiate a peace with the Communists, appearing increasingly difficult without heavy concessions by the U.N. forces, withdrawal of American ground troops, leaving the South Koreans and possibly the Chinese Nationalists to continue a long war, with American air and naval support, to launch an offensive the following spring—as further discussed by Stewart Alsop this date—, or to launch an all-out offensive with bombing across the Yalu River, including atomic artillery and a possible blockade of the Chinese coast.

The last alternative, he indicates, carried the greatest political complications, as it would be quite different from the President-elect's pre-election pledge to work out an early peace. It would also cause problems for the U.N. allies and would risk the possibility that Russia would retaliate in other parts of the world, such as in Iran or Indo-China. But it was what General Clark favored, as had one of his two predecessors, General MacArthur. Some political strategists believed that, given the stature of General Eisenhower, the mere threat of such an offensive might result in success before it was fully started. General Clark had been bogged down during World War II in the Italian campaign and did not want a repeat in Korea. After the war, he had commanded U.S. forces in Austria, face-to-face with a Communist army twice the size of his own. In that experience, he had become convinced that the only way to handle the Soviets was to make a determined show of force. Thus, his advice to General Eisenhower during the trip might have been to risk an all-out offensive in the spring, as there was nothing more destructive to morale than the prospect of a long, drawn-out war getting nowhere.

Mr. Pearson notes that before Senator Taft had criticized the appointment of Martin Durkin as the new Secretary of Labor, President-elect Eisenhower was planning to appoint Charles Taft, the Senator's brother, to an important ambassadorial post, and his cousin, David Ingalls, to become the new Secretary of the Navy. He might still do so, though some of his aides believed it might be interpreted as appeasement of the Senator.

Senator Harry Cain of Washington, who had been defeated in the late election, was seeking to become Secretary of the Army, discussing the matter with Senator Styles Bridges, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, wielding thereby a lot of weight in the appointment.

Charles Kress, former mayor of Binghamton, N.Y., while a Coast Guard commander during 1946, had obtained a signature on a one dollar bill—a so-called "short snorter"—from General Eisenhower, telling him at the time that when the General became President, he would use it as a ticket to get into the back door of the White House. The General had replied that the possibility was so remote that he would permit him to use it for the front door.

Stewart Alsop regards the difficult decision ahead for President-elect Eisenhower as to what to do regarding Korea, as it appeared clear at this point that the prospect of a negotiated truce was dead. The President-elect was not considering evacuation of Korea, as that would be considered a major defeat for the free world. The other alternatives, a blockade of the Chinese coast, addition of other Korean divisions, the use of nuclear weapons in the war, and the use of Chinese Nationalist troops, depended on the major decision ahead of whether to have a new offensive in the spring.

The latter determination depended on whether there was sufficient power available for a successful offensive, whether it could be mounted without extending the war beyond Korea, and whether, if such an offensive were successful, it would end the war or at least materially improve the position of the U.N. forces versus the Communists.

According to those recently in contact with U.N. supreme commander General Mark Clark and U.N. ground commander General James Van Fleet, there was agreement that, with proper air support, a successful offensive could be mounted by spring, whereby an end-run strategy would be employed, similar to the Inchon landing by General MacArthur in September, 1950. Some weeks earlier there had been a successful rehearsal for such an end-run landing off the North Korean coast, convincing the commanders that it could be successful without intolerable casualties, provided there were adequate reinforcements. General Van Fleet appeared to be of the opinion that such an offensive had to entail taking out the Manchurian air bases beyond the Yalu River, whereas General Clark was dubious of that proposition for its likelihood of extending the war. There was no agreement also on whether a successful offensive would bring an end to the war, with certain Air Force leaders doubting the value of such an offensive on the basis that it would only bring U.N. troops to within easy range of the Communist air force, while other commanders, reportedly including Generals Clark and Van Fleet, believed that a successful offensive could seal off and destroy the Communist Army in Korea as an effective fighting force. The State Department believed that there was a concealed split between the Chinese and the Russians regarding the war, and the Indian delegation, which had proposed before the U.N. the compromise regarding repatriation of prisoners, believed that the Chinese were ready to agree to the proposal, though the Indians admitted that the evidence for that surmise was inconclusive.

He concludes that the decision on whether to undertake such an offensive would be quite difficult, and that General Eisenhower was not to be expected to return from his trip with a magic solution for ending the war or to provide detail of any plans he would formulate. But the new Administration would have the power to act decisively, in a way which the Truman Administration, he opines, lacked. He also indicates that General Eisenhower had been faced with difficult decisions previously and had chosen wisely.

Ralph Gibson of The News states that the State of North Carolina would issue its new automobile license plates in January, as usual, with official plates, numbered 1 through 200, going to various State officials, starting with the Governor receiving number 1, the Lieutenant Governor, number 2, and so on down the line, a list of which assignments he provides.

A letter writer asks readers to pause and consider how much the "sanitary men" of the city meant to it, as they were faithful in all seasons and the people could not exist comfortably or happily without them. He urges remembering them generously at Christmas.

A letter writer says that, as a parent and property taxpayer, she would like certain possibilities investigated before she voted in the coming bond election. You may read that yourself, should you have similar issues about how to vote.

A letter writer agrees with the December 1 editorial, "We Need Industrial Balance, Too". He says that the state also needed State-supported college balance, that there were presently 12 state-supported colleges and that the three closest to Charlotte were one in Winston-Salem and two in Greensboro, leaving Charlotte completely neglected. He indicates that a bill would be placed before the 1953 Legislature to provide a certain amount of State support for community colleges and that Charlotte College would benefit from that bill if passed. He favors building a State-supported college around Charlotte College. He informs that Cincinnati had one of the finest technical institutes in the entire country, quoting from National Geographic of February, 1950, that its graduates had been sent into the factories making such things as soap and beer-barrel bungs, as well as television sets and overalls. Gastonia had developed a technical institute several months earlier, which had 64 students. Charlotte, with five times the population of Gastonia, should have, he indicates, some 300 students enrolled in such a technical institute, if and when it was started, which he favors developing from Charlotte College.

Charlotte College, founded originally in 1946 as an adjunct college to accommodate the overcrowding of campuses resultant of returning veterans, would become UNC-Charlotte, part of the State system, in 1965.

A letter writer from Florence, S.C., indicates that James Marlow, in his piece of December 2 in the newspaper, had said that Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, which had voted Republican in the election, had stated that he would not accept Governor Stevenson as the head of the party. He corrects that South Carolina did not vote Republican, though Governor James Byrnes had favored General Eisenhower. He urges that Mr. Marlow look up the record. "Byrnes and the rich boys—those that got rich under the Democrats—wanted it to go Republican, but it didn't."

Better English asks five questions, the answers to which, respectively, are: 1. "It looks like it will snow before too very long, come January." 2. Nawn-par-ail. 3. Trick question. All are misspelled. Instead of "-ble", each word should end in "-bul". 4. When your bicycle won't pedal no more. 5. Volunteer.

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