The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 12, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that the Communist negotiators promised this date to develop a new plan for correcting the latest truce issue, the recommendations to belligerent governments, the Communists having not indicated when such a proposal would be ready. The negotiators adjourned their meetings on this part of the truce negotiations until that plan was ready. The sticking points were that the Communist three-point proposal for a meeting to take place 90 days after the armistice would allow for talking about all the problems of Asia, would omit South Korea, which was not a member of the U.N., and would include Communist China, even though the Communists had repeatedly stated that China was not officially involved in the war but had only contributed "volunteers" to the action. The Communists had indicated that they would include South Korea but had not stated any other possible modifications of their proposal.

In the staff officers meeting regarding truce supervision, the Communists made two concessions this date, offering to increase the limits on monthly rotation of troops to 30,000 and to establish four points of entry for incoming troops and war materials to be inspected by neutral teams, but the allies indicated that these figures were still not high enough, as they were demanding a 40,000-troop rotation limit and eight points of entry. Previously, the Communists had proposed 25,000 troops as the rotation and three ports of entry for inspection.

In the other staff officers meeting working on the prisoner of war issue, two issues remained unsettled regarding "minor places and wording" in relation to voluntary repatriation of prisoners and the scope of work to be performed by joint Red Cross teams interviewing prisoners to determine whether they wished to be repatriated.

In the ground war, U.N. soldiers this date killed 96 enemy troops and wounded 130 in an hour-long fight near the Mundung Valley, just west of "Heartbreak Ridge" on the eastern front, the heaviest single action in several weeks. There was no indication by headquarters whether the allies had suffered any casualties. Other enemy probing attacks were reported all along the 155-mile front, and in one, on the central front, 12 enemy soldiers of one platoon were killed, while in all the other probes, the repulsed enemy had withdrawn.

The Eighth Army had inflicted 2,272 casualties on the enemy during the week ending the previous Thursday, including 981 killed, 1,260 wounded and 31 captured. Allied casualties were not announced.

In the air war, overcast skies kept fighter-bomber attacks to a minimum, such that by noon only 80 planes had attacked enemy supply lines. The Fifth Air Force flew 585 sorties the previous day, cutting rail lines in 87 places and destroying 56 supply buildings, a bridge, 20 boxcars, two locomotives, eight warehouses, 50 trucks and one gun position.

At U.S. Fifth Air Force headquarters in Korea, a spokesman defended the policy of keeping all jet pilots, including aces, in Korea until they had finished their normal tour of 100 combat missions. The issue had arisen since the death the previous Sunday of Major George Davis, Jr., top jet ace in the Air Force, who had been shot down over Korea after destroying 11 enemy jets and three enemy bombers in 59 missions. The first three American jet aces in the war had been returned to the U.S. after their fifth kills, the minimum for becoming an ace, so that they could instruct other pilots preparing for combat in Korea. Two of the pilots had returned to Korea, one having completed the 100 missions and the other having flown 70. The spokesman said that the Army did not send soldiers home after killing a certain number of Communists and the principle likewise applied to pilots. The spokesman said that, in reality, the jet battles were not as important to the air mission in Korea as the strikes of the fighter-bombers against supply targets.

The wife of Major Davis had contended that her husband should have likewise been sent home after his fifth kill, but that he had written her that the Communist MIGs were so much better than the Sabres that something had to be done. She said that the Air Force public information officer's contention that her husband did not wish to come home after his fifth kill was "an outright lie", that he had expected to be home by the previous Christmas after he had shot down his fifth plane in late November. She stated that it was a war without reason and desired a full-scale investigation of why her husband had been left in Korea. Air Force officers had promised an investigation into the circumstances surrounding his death.

The Senate Banking Committee this date unanimously approved former Governor Ellis Arnall of Georgia as the new head of the Office of Price Stabilization. The Committee chairman, Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, said that he would ask for a vote in the full Senate on Monday.

Congressman Adolph Sabath of Illinois, speaking to the press after meeting with the President this date, quoted the President as saying that he might be willing to make the "sacrifice" and seek re-election if he felt it necessary to accelerate the peace. He had also said that it was a "killing job" which had killed President Roosevelt and that he believed he had had enough. Mr. Sabath said that he had told the President that he owed it to the country to run again. He said that he had been among those who had urged FDR to run for a third term in 1940 and indicated that President Roosevelt had made some of the same arguments which President Truman had offered to him this date.

Stuart Symington, recently resigned as head of the RFC, after meeting with the President this date, said that he was more interested in running for the Senate from Missouri than he had been before the meeting.

A Gallup poll, appearing on page 6-A, showed that the popularity of the Democrats remained strong despite the unpopularity of the President.

In Chicago, Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee said this date, in an address to a meeting of the Inland Daily Press Association, representing Midwestern and Western newspapers, that "the corrupt politician threatens our democratic system on one front just as Communism threatens it on another front." He urged American newspapers to continue to expose and fight corruption wherever it might appear and whomever it might involve. He suggested that it would be useful were emphasis placed on the guilt of the person who bribed public officials as well as the official who took the bribe. During the talk, he made no mention of his presidential campaign.

Also in Chicago, the killing of a Republican ward leader six days earlier had resulted in the discharge from their jobs of 44 persons on the public payrolls, but the police appeared no closer to solution of the crime. The murder had brought the police commissioner under fire, as five unnamed aldermen had demanded his removal and replacement by a civilian of national repute. The candidacy of the ward leader for Republican Party committeeman in the upcoming primary had been considered part of organized crime's attempt to muscle into Chicago politics. In Springfield, Governor Adlai Stevenson said that he would do his firing selectively, as it was results which were important.

In Rock Hill, S.C., police stated that they believed the medical history of a 56-year old Methodist minister, who had suffered with extreme and prolonged headaches and had been discharged from a hospital the previous week, was involved in the slayings of four persons, including himself, with a shotgun the previous day, that it was "likely" that before committing suicide, the minister had killed his wife, their neighbor, and her infant daughter, while "mentally unbalanced". The police regarded it as a "clear-cut case of murder and suicide".

In Charlotte, one man had died and three men had been injured when a truck crashed into an ambulance at Graham and 11th Streets. It was not clear whether the man had died before the accident or resulting from injuries sustained aboard the ambulance in the wreck. The driver of the truck said that he did not hear the siren until he had already entered the intersection.

In London, in Westminster Hall, the people of Britain silently filed past the coffin bearing the remains of King George IV, who had died the previous Wednesday, paying their last respects.

In Philadelphia, police found an abandoned car during the weekend and towed it, having placed 37 traffic citations on it during the previous 10 months without ever hearing from the owner, who eventually appeared the previous day at the police station and was arrested, whereupon the chief magistrate fined him over $373, which the boy's father paid, freeing his car.

In Los Angeles, a woman was arrested on a drunk driving charge and she was taken into custody along with the live lobsters which were found by the arresting officers in the back seat of her car, pursuant to a city ordinance which required that live animals be impounded if found in the company of a vehicle owner who was arrested.

This is the case of The Big Lobster.

On the editorial page, "The Lesson of Elizabeth, N.J." remarks on the three successive airline tragedies at the Newark Airport during the previous two months, resulting in the deaths in each case of persons on the ground in Elizabeth, reaching a total in the three crashes of 117 dead.

There was a Congressional inquiry set to start the previous day into the first two crashes, which appeared to have been the result of mechanical failure, with pilot error also possibly present. It points out that the line between pilot error and brilliant piloting was narrow and vicissitudes of fate might in one instance produce a crash despite excellent pilot skills being demonstrated, while in the other, less than stellar handling of the plane might, by favorable prevailing circumstances, prevent a tragedy.

It points out that many more people in the country were killed each year in traffic accidents than in plane, railway and ship accidents, but that the latter group usually involved far more people killed at one time and so made a greater impression on the public in the news reports. The result was that more exacting standards were implemented for those forms of mass transportation than relating to the automobile. It was likely, therefore, that some new innovation or device might come out of the tragedies occurring at Elizabeth.

Urban areas had grown up around airports, such that there was little expansion to accommodate planes more safely in terms of runways. Charlotte was more fortunate than most cities in that it had room for expansion adjacent to the Municipal Airport.

It hopes that new regulations would prevent similar tragedies in the future.

"Caught Between Two Broadsides" tells of the President having been implicitly criticized by Senator Kefauver in Nashua, New Hampshire, recently, when the Senator said that he would visit the state often and did not view the primaries as "eyewash", as the President had termed them. He also implicitly had suggested that the President's "moral tone" had been set by his having originated from a Kansas City political machine freighted with corruption.

Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, meanwhile, stated that a small group of professional politicians would choose the presidential candidates at the conventions and that the people therefore might be forced to accept "hand-me-down candidates who do not really represent the real desires of the rank-and-file of each party."

It finds that both Senators had been candid in their statements, a refreshing relief for honest Democratic and independent voters who could thus be contented that within the party there were still men of high caliber who were willing to brave the wrath of the White House and speak their minds and hearts.

It quotes from the Washington Post, reminding that President Woodrow Wilson had said that it was intolerable for any President to determine who should succeed him, and adds that that such was especially the case "when the tone of the President's political morality, set in the hurly-burly school of Missouri politics, leaves much to be desired."

"A Bank of Blood Is Good Insurance" tells of the national campaign for blood donors by the Red Cross being short by one third of its requirement to meet the needs of the fighting men in Korea. That discrepancy had carried over to local drives, such that in Mecklenburg County, which, though having met its quota in January, had little left after meeting local requirements to send to Korea. Donations had picked up considerably when two free tickets to a musical show were offered to all donors two weeks earlier, such that in a single three-day period, 261 pints had been donated, but then fell off to a pitiful 26 pints the following Monday after the free tickets were no longer available.

It urges giving blood to assure a ready supply in case of an emergency and to provide for the fighting men abroad.

"Pity the Poor Editor" tells of the editor of the Henryetta, Okla., Daily Free Lance having decided to test his readers to determine response to editorials and so published on the front page, labeled as an editorial, a reprinted version of the 6th chapter of Matthew, containing a portion of the Sermon on the Mount. He had paraphrased it somewhat in modern parlance, quoted in the piece, so that it would not appear in the language of the King James Version and thereby tip off readers as to its source. Sure enough, a reader called about the editorial, saying that he did not agree.

It concludes: "Pity the poor editor. He can't win."

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Taft having gingerly backed off previous repudiation and criticism of Senator Joseph McCarthy, having the previous fall denounced the Wisconsin Senator's criticism of General Marshall for being sympathetic to Communist China. More recently, in late January, Senator Taft had announced that Senator McCarthy's investigation of the Communist sympathies within the Administration had been "fully justified" for the Administration having been "dominated by a strange Communist sympathy". For all that, however, Senator Taft looked very foolish, as Senator McCarthy had not reciprocated, instead supporting General MacArthur for the Republican nomination.

Mr. Pearson points out that Senator McCarthy had not started the charges of Communists in the Government, having largely originated from the HUAC investigations of 1948, led by then-Congressman Richard Nixon of California, exposing Alger Hiss, William Remington and others.

This date was the second anniversary of Senator McCarthy's Lincoln Day speech to fellow Republicans which got the ball rolling on his charges of "card-carrying members of the Communist Party" within the State Department, starting with a charge of 205 such Communists, made in his speech at Wheeling, W.Va., then, shortly thereafter, changing the figure to 57 in Salt Lake City, and then revising the figure yet again to 81. Yet, thus far, Senator McCarthy had never supplied a single name of a person who had proven to be a Communist. Former Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland still was offering $25,000 to Senator McCarthy when and if he produced a single such Communist in the Government. The only person who had been discharged from the Department as a result of Senator McCarthy's charges was John Service, who had been found by the Department's loyalty board to have been indiscreet in providing information to a newspaper, while the board had carefully pointed out that he was not suspected of any Communist sympathy or ties.

Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had recently conversed with the President on three occasions, once at the request of the President, chiefly because the President wanted him to try to obtain support from the veterans in his influential capacity within the American Legion. Mr. Johnson had responded that he did not believe he would have much influence over the veterans, having been discharged from his prior position. He advised the President that he did not think that General Eisenhower would get anywhere in his quest for the GOP nomination, but that he would create a deadlock at the convention with Senator Taft, enabling General MacArthur to get the nomination, and that General MacArthur was a man the President could not beat.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the struggle by the oil and gas interests for control of the Federal Power Commission. The President's most recent appointment of Dale Doty as a commissioner illustrated that struggle.

Some time earlier, the FPC was captured for the national gas industry by the President's oil and gas millionaire friend, Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, now an aspirant to the presidency. That control was jeopardized when the President's friend, Mon Wallgren, left the commission chairmanship and the President appointed in his stead Thomas Buchanan, the only commissioner who had voted for the consumers in the Phillips Petroleum case. After that had occurred, it was essential for the oil and gas industry to get a friend into the latest vacancy to block the consumer-oriented efforts of Mr. Buchanan.

White House presidential aides Matt Connelly and Donald Dawson, as well as former presidential adviser Clark Clifford, favored the assistant to FPC commissioner Nelson Lee Smith, William Tarver, and it was reported that $500,000 of oil and natural gas money would enrich the DNC treasury within a week after the appointment of Mr. Tarver. Yet, the President rejected him and eventually appointed Mr. Doty after the latter was supported by new DNC chairman Frank McKinney, Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman and several Northern Senators as friendly to consumer interests. Originally, their choice had been Raymond McKeough of the Maritime Commission, but he was nixed on the basis that he could not be confirmed by Congress for "not being a team player". It was unclear whether the Doty appointment could pass muster in the Senate, and it was also unclear whether Mr. Buchanan's chairmanship would be renewed during the year.

The Alsops note that such battles, with hundreds of millions of dollars involved in terms of consumer charges for natural gas, were always hard-fought and were considerably more important than the activities of former Justice Department tax division chief, Lamar Caudle.

James Marlow discusses the electoral college and its history, having been formulated by the 55 men who met in Philadelphia in 1787 to write the Constitution. They determined that the people should not have the right to elect their President directly, but would do so only through electors. At the time, delegate George Mason of Virginia had observed, "It were as unnatural to refer the choice of a proper character for their chief magistrate to the people as it would be to refer a trial of colour to a blind man."

As originally conceived, it was believed that each state's electors would vote for favorite sons as candidates, resulting in no single candidate receiving a majority of the electors, thus throwing the election in most cases into the House for final determination between the top five candidates, subsequently changed to the top three candidates by the Twelfth Amendment, ratified in 1804. But, as things developed, only two such elections had ever occurred, one in 1800 when Thomas Jefferson and Aaron Burr tied in the electoral college and the House selected Mr. Jefferson, then Vice-President, and the other, in 1824, when the House selected John Quincy Adams over Andrew Jackson after neither had accumulated a majority of the electoral vote, though General Jackson had won the popular vote and a plurality of the electoral votes.

It was left up to the states by the Constitution to determine the manner of selection of their respective electors, while Congress could determine the time of selection. At the time of the Founding, only one-seventh of the adult males had the right to vote, and a few of the legislatures chose to allow the people to vote directly for electors, while most of the legislatures retained the right for themselves. The Constitution provided that each state's electors are determined by the number of Senators plus Representatives. Each state also determined whether and to what extent there would be any relationship of the electors' votes to the outcome of the popular vote.

While most states have adopted the winner-take-all standard, some states have adopted the proportional standard, which, in the wake of the elections of 2000 and 2016, is a standard gaining more traction in the states. There is also the concept of the "faithless elector", who, though pledged to vote for a particular candidate, changes his or her vote to favor another.

Mr. Marlow concludes, "So far we haven't shown enough energy to change this ridiculous and outdated system which some time may let a little group of electors, chosen by the people, vote contrary to the people's choice for President."

He does not mention the recent movement in 1949-50, led by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., to put forward a Constitutional amendment to require a proportional vote by the electors, based on each state's popular vote, disregarding fractional proportions of less than one one-thousandth, eliminating state by state determination of how the electors cast their choice in relation to the popular vote, a proposed amendment which passed with the requisite two-thirds vote in the Senate but died in the House.

Nor does he mention the election of 1876, when Governor Samuel Tilden out-polled Governor Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, but, because of contested slates of electors in four states, rendering the outcome in the electoral college unclear, resulted in the appointment of a 15-man commission, consisting of five Senators, five Congressmen, and five members of the Supreme Court, to determine the outcome of the election, which the commission, populated by eight Republicans and seven Democrats, handed to the Republican, Governor Hayes—resulting, based on a deal between the Hayes backers to get the contested slates from the three Southern states, in the end of Radical Reconstruction in the South.

He also does not mention the election of 1888, in which incumbent President Grover Cleveland out-polled Benjamin Harrison in the popular vote by less than one percent, but lost decisively the electoral vote. President Cleveland would then beat President Harrison in 1892.

The only potential for repeating the scenario, before the 2000 election, in which Governor George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Vice-President Al Gore by a half million votes but won the electoral college by five electoral votes, one over the majority, on the basis of less than 600 popular votes in the contested state of Florida, had occurred in 1960, when Senator John F. Kennedy had beaten Vice-President Richard Nixon by about 112,000 votes, and, while ultimately winning handily in the electoral college also, theoretically might have lost the electoral college and still won the popular vote, had the 51 electoral votes in Texas and Illinois, won by 46,000 and 9,000 votes, respectively, gone instead to the Nixon column.

Incidentally, had the proposed Lodge amendment been ratified, the Kennedy-Johnson ticket would still have beaten the Nixon-Lodge ticket in 1960, the former receiving 266.204 electoral votes to the latter's 258.602 under state by state proportional allocation. While under the old standard requiring a majority of the electoral college to win, 269 in 1960, both tickets would have fallen short, sending the election to the House, the proposed Lodge amendment would have only required 40 percent of the electoral college to win by plurality, falling short of which would have relegated the outcome to both houses of Congress. Such an analysis, of course, cannot take into account how campaign strategies of the candidates and the party organizations might have changed based on such a system being in place. Under a proposed amendment put forward by Senator Hubert Humphrey in 1956, whereby each candidate who won a state would be awarded two electoral votes, with the remainder apportioned based on the national vote, the Kennedy-Johnson ticket, winning 23 states, would have garnered a total of 263.276 electoral votes to 268.534 for Nixon-Lodge, winning 26 states, thus resulting in the Nixon victory. That proposal passed the House but died in the Senate. The same caveat applies, however, regarding differences in campaign strategies in the face of a changed system.

Senator Price Daniel of Texas at the same time, in 1956, offered a hybrid amendment, giving the states the choice between the 1950 Lodge proportional system and essentially the existing electoral college system, except that the manner of choosing electors would be the same as that of the state's Senators and Representatives, Senator Kennedy finding this amendment to have been cobbled together merely to try to achieve a two-thirds majority and viewing it as worse than the inadequate electoral college system in place since the Founding as the second option would be subject to gerrymandering of districts to achieve more favorable electoral majorities for the party controlling the legislature, that amendment having passed the Senate by a simple majority—, Senator Kennedy voting against it and Senator Lyndon Johnson voting in favor of it, Senator Humphrey recorded as being opposed had he been present, as was Senator and former Vice-President Alben Barkley, Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut voting "nay" and Senator Albert Gore of Tennessee voting "yea"—, but having failed to reach the two-thirds majority threshold necessary for final passage, was referred back to the Judiciary Committee for further hearings.

The Daniel amendment would have done little, in the end, except to constrain the manner of choosing electors under the second option, as the states, under the original Constitution and the Twelfth Amendment, have the right to determine the manner of selection of electors, and are under no constraints to direct the electors' votes, whether proportional to the popular vote, winner-take-all, or simply by their individual preference, that being the choice of the legislatures. Under option two of the Daniel amendment, limiting the manner of choosing electors, gerrymandering of Congressional districts would have potentially allowed the party in control of a state's legislature to manipulate for advantage the vote for electors, just as for election of members of the House, as electors would have been chosen district by district, with two chosen statewide, consistent with the election of Senators, and constrained to vote for the candidates for which their constituencies had voted—ultimately to have been subject to the constraints imposed by Baker v. Carr, decided by the Supreme Court in 1962.

And, then, of course, there was the 2016 election, when former Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes but lost the electoral college to billionaire Donald Trump, who had never previously served in any elective or government office, on the strength of the latter's narrow popular vote victories, totaling 78,000 votes, in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania, each shifting to the Republican column for the first time in 24 or more years—probably considered strange even in Moscow, Wisc.

A letter writer takes issue with the page 3-A headline of February 7 announcing the "ascension" to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, stating that what was actually meant was "accession", as the new, young Queen had not ascended into heaven yet.

Let us call it instead "investiture".

The headline on the inside page had only tracked the first line of the Associated Press story from the front page. You can't expect headline writers, beset by deadlines and space limitations, to do more than skim the first paragraph or so of the wire stories and come up with something which makes a little sense. It beats some of the strange ones we see today, especially online, which sometimes require a couple of readings to make heads or tails of the meaning, apparently drafted by aspiring young journalists in the fourth or fifth grade, on loan to various major metropolitan newspapers and tv networks, sometimes not even utilizing the King's English.

Here is a minor example from today's prints: "FEMA Chief Brock Long Leaving Agency He Led Through Deadly Storms". Does that mean that some person named Brock has been long leaving FEMA? Did they want him to leave many years ago and he refused, staying on through the deadly storms, just to be stubborn? Well, at least they did not say "Lead", which, had it appeared in the sports news, ten to one, would have been so.

Or this one: "Johnny Depp shares a passionate kiss with younger mystery woman, plus more news". Does that mean that Mr. Depp is discussing the news with a younger woman (than whom?) while passionately kissing her, ensuring that she remain up to date on her current events?

Rather than being so concerned with the semantics of enthronement, however, perhaps the letter writer should have wondered aloud about the confluence of events, the ascension of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne the prior Wednesday, in the wake of the two airline tragedies in Elizabeth, N.J., the second having occurred January 22, followed by the third the previous day. What, if any, meaning can be derived from such coincident events? Does coincidence, even that of a more precise variety, mean anything in any ultimate, metaphysical sense? Or, in the mass psychological sense, is it at times suggestive of mass subconscious or conscious retention of memory, perhaps magnified as if by wave action among the populace, maintained then on a childish, primordial plane of superstition—jinx, foreboding "feeling", morbid expectation—leading to tragic results on occasion because of resultant childish fears overcoming rational thought to produce self-fulfilling prophecy of a sort? How does one distinguish between the external cause, either vis major or with human contribution, and the internal, psychological causation acting solely or in combination with external causation, whether by natural supervention, physical, material intervention, or, in the realm of the irrational, the preternatural, the deus ex machina, to account for such tragedies?

A letter writer comments on many notes having appeared in the newspaper regarding Mayor Victor Shaw and elephants. He offers to inform the Mayor that elephants loved peanuts, and some ate 150 pounds of food daily, and supposes that if the Mayor got an elephant and it refused to eat anything except peanuts, it would be quite expensive.

A letter writer from Bennettsville, S.C., comments on the February 5 column of Robert C. Ruark anent Universal Military Training, pointing out that it was peacetime conscription, of no use in time of war, and not sound from a military standpoint. She also states that if there was ever a plan that could be described by the overused word "undemocratic", UMT was it. She points out that Hitler, in Mein Kampf, had stated that compulsory military service was desirable. She favors taking a long, hard look at UMT before endorsing it.

A letter writer from New York, Dr. George Pack, comments on a report on his address in Charlotte, which had appeared in the January 9 edition of the newspaper, indicating that he was writing to a newspaper for the first time in his life because he had been misquoted, viz.: "Doctor Pack said that while cancer cannot be cured, it can be controlled." He had never made such a statement, because cancer was being cured in increasing numbers of cases throughout the United States. He had actually said that there were no medical means nor drugs which could effectively cure cancer, that the majority of cures available were effected by removing a part or all of an organ infected by the cancer when that organ was not essential for life, and that the ideal being sought was a cure which did not require any such removal.

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