The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 13, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that allied negotiators this date accepted a 60-day limit on exchange of prisoners and offered to compromise demands for supervising the Korean truce. The 60-day limit had been proposed by the Communists, to start at the point when the armistice was signed. The agreement, however, did not address the disputed point of voluntary repatriation. The allies, with 132,000 prisoners, had wanted thirty days more than the Communists, with only 11,559 prisoners, to process their prisoners.

One offer of compromise on truce supervision was that if the Communists would agree to a 40,000-troop rotation per month in addition to men on temporary leave, the allies would drop two demands which were opposed by the Communists, forbidding of shifting troops during a truce in a manner which would constitute an offensive threat and requiring weekly reports on the location of all major military units. The other offer of compromise was that both sides would meet each other halfway on the number of ports of entry through which troops and arms would move under neutral supervision. The Communists had increased their offer in this regard to four ports and the allies had reduced their offer from eight to seven. The staff officers working on this area still had not addressed the more troubling issue of repair of airfields during an armistice.

The Communists had still not responded to the allied response to the Communist three-point proposal regarding recommendations to belligerent governments.

In Paris, a former French war minister told the French Parliament this date that the U.S. might not defend Europe unless a European army with German soldiers was formed. He said that a vote against the European army would encourage U.S. isolationists and lead to American withdrawal from Europe, leaving Western Europe exposed such that, according to a plan for American withdrawal he had seen in 1946, it could be overrun in 10 days, taking years for liberation. He also stated that if West Germany obtained a national army rather than membership in the European army, it would turn to militarism and not toward democracy, causing the end of Europe. The National Assembly was in the final day of debate on the French-sponsored plan to create a common army of soldiers from France, West Germany, Italy, and the Benelux countries.

A spokesman for the American Veterans Committee, testifying before the Senate Armed Services Committee, urged Senators to approve a "gold approach" to universal military training for 18-year olds. He urged that both UMT and the draft could operate together and criticized the "timid approach" that only 60,000 18-year olds would be trained under UMT initially and then placed in the reserve subject to later call for active duty. He believed it would be unfair to allow the 18-year olds to return to civilian life while older men were required to remain in active service, and favored calling more young men initially for the training.

Most church witnesses testifying before the Committee bitterly opposed UMT but said that they were willing to go along with the draft system for several more years. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, stated to several witnesses that he could not understand why they supported the draft but opposed UMT, as the draft took men down to 18 1/2 years old for two years of active duty, while UMT only required six months of training from men when they turned 18 1/2, after which they would be placed in the reserve.

Benjamin Browdy, president of the Zionist Organization of America, stated that the President had told him this date that he would make up his mind within the ensuing 10 to 15 days whether he would run for re-election. Mr. Browdy said that after meeting with the President, he believed that he would run. Later, press secretary Joseph Short stated that neither Mr. Browdy nor Congressman Adolph Sabath, who had quoted the President the previous day as saying that he might make the "sacrifice" and run again if world peace required it, was authorized to quote the President.

In Mainz, Germany, Professor Otto Kuemmel, 78, noted German authority on Chinese and Japanese art and for many years director general of the Berlin State museums, died this date.

In Southampton, England, the Duke of Windsor, the brother of King George VI, who had relinquished the throne to marry an American, Wallis Simpson, in 1936, arrived for the funeral of his brother. His wife had remained in America, having never been received by the Royal family.

In Detroit, embarrassed police officers tried to explain why they had arrested a Detroit housewife and held her in jail overnight because she did not have a garbage can. A senior inspector and other high-ranking officers went to the woman's home to apologize. Thieves had stolen the woman's garbage can in December and in mid-January, police had ticketed her for not having a garbage can, the previous Thursday, had arrested her on a warrant charging a violation of the ordinance. Being an unemployed mother and having only 75 cents to her name, she was jailed overnight when she was unable to post a $10 bond and her 10-year old son was placed in a juvenile detention home, albeit sent home several hours later after neighbors protested the police action. The woman received a suspended sentence in traffic court the following morning after being found guilty without any testimony being taken. She wrote letters to the Detroit newspapers, complaining of gestapo-like treatment. The police claimed that she suffered from a "martyr complex" and that they had done what they thought was right—whether stated before or after the apology to her not being clear.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott declared this date that the State's General Fund would have a surplus of 17 million dollars at the end of the current fiscal year and that there would be no need for a special session of the Legislature, as his critics had predicted for his leadership supposedly set to cause a deficit. Speaking at the 16th annual meeting of the State Farm Bureau Federation, he urged the farmers not to become a third party movement but to keep themselves free and independent, and to be wary of efforts to cut from the Federal budget the things which they had gained during the previous 20 years.

In Gastonia, Earl Groves, prominent North Carolina textile leader who had given thousands of dollars to support Wake Forest College athletics, had died this date at the age of 54. He and his brothers, Henry and Craig, had been active in developing Wake Forest football teams and Groves Stadium at the old Wake Forest campus bore their family name. They had also contributed to the College's proposed new stadium at its new site in Winston-Salem—eventually, after opening in 1968, also to bear their name, until a bank took over the marquee about eleven years ago.

The day either Wallace Wade Stadium or Kenan Stadium bears the name of a damned bank is the day we shall know that the world as we once knew it is coming to an end. Really, Wake Forest. You have no shame left. Can't you do any better than that with fund-raising at that little school?

Dr. Brodie Nalle, one of the most prominent physicians for many years within the Carolinas, had died at age 73 in Charlotte. He was the founder of the Nalle Clinic, one of the earliest privately operated medical clinics in the area. He had obtained his medical degree at the University of Virginia in 1903 and took additional training at Bellevue Hospital in New York City and under Dr. Richard Cabot in Boston. He had come to Charlotte in 1905 to begin practice.

In Cleveland, 46 police officers were working part-time as cabdrivers, and the police chief said that he did not like the idea, was preparing to tell them to quit driving cabs as the job of being a police officer was incompatible with that occupation.

In New York, a 33-year old man was given a part to play a convict in a movie a year earlier, and he now had admitted to the FBI that he actually was a former convict. He had been arrested the previous day as a fugitive on charges of committing a Chicago bar holdup in 1951. After the holdup, he had hidden in Jacksonville, Florida, until learning of a Universal International Pictures movie shooting scenes in Jacksonville for "Under the Gun", starring Richard Conte, and managed to obtain a job as an extra in the prison road gang scenes. He had served five years in Joliet prison on a charge of armed robbery in Chicago in 1942. Cinéma vérité...

In Las Vegas, actress Jane Russell had a swollen jaw and black eye after her pro football husband, Bob Waterfield, had become upset at a remark by comic Ben Blue regarding Ms. Russell's figure. Mr. Waterfield had left town and Ms. Russell had shown up at the premiere of her new movie showing the bruises and bumps, saying that they were incurred when a taxicab door had blown against her as she alighted in a brisk breeze, that her husband had to leave for Los Angeles on business. One report had stated that Mr. Waterfield had stalked Mr. Blue after the show, grabbed him by his coat lapels and threatened to smash him to the floor, but Ms. Russell and Mr. Blue denied this version of events, Ms. Russell saying that the matter had been greatly exaggerated, that she and her husband had simply gotten up and left after the show, that she was hardened to such remarks.

You had better stay clear of those cab doors. They can be vicious in a strong breeze.

On the editorial page, "The Community Is in Good Shape…" regards the nearly complete countywide tax revaluation of real and personal property, showing large increases in valuation having been registered in every tax division, demonstrating the healthy and vigorous state of the community's economic life. It provides the figures.

Most importantly, the assessors had wiped out gross inequities in valuation which had penalized some property owners and benefited others, substituting an equalized system of values.

It promises a subsequent editorial to give taxpayers in the county a definite scale to guide them through the confusion of the revaluation period.

"…But There Are Big Hurdles Ahead" tells of Dr. N. L. Englehardt, nationally known educational consultant, having said as much to the City and County officials at a joint meeting during the week. The community was expected to continue its growth and could no longer afford to be conservative in planning for the future, especially as that growth would only accelerate. Dr. Englehardt had maintained his finger on the pulse of the community for many years in an effort to prescribe for the school planning problem, on which the community had spent eight million dollars since the end of World War II, much of which, however, having been consumed by inflation, such that a minimum of 15 million dollars more would be needed to meet the needs already evident, probably required before the end of the decade.

Along with the need for new schools would come streets, water lines, sewers, transportation, police and fire protection, health services, sanitation and many other municipal and county government services.

The heart of Dr. Engelhardt's message had been that the City and the County could no longer afford to go in separate directions, would require careful planning at all levels and cooperation between the City and County governing bodies, the school boards, planning boards, and other groups.

It hopes that the joint session of City and County officials marked the beginning of new cooperation to provide for the future of the community.

"Armed Service Extravagance" tells of a Congressional subcommittee studying military purchases having uncovered examples of waste and inefficiency, such that the military services had, regarding some items, a 240-year supply and about 10 billion dollars worth of "unserviceable and uncataloged" items. The Congress had been trying without success for 23 years to urge the military to adopt a single buying catalog.

Drew Pearson, the previous week, had provided some examples, such as the Marines paying $16.80 for the same combat boots which the Army bought for $24.65, the Navy having enough anchors to last 50 years, and the Army, Navy and Marines insisting on separate and rival coffee-roasting plants. It took 5 1/2 pages of specifications just to buy ping-pong balls.

It suggests that there had to be a better way to provide for the military, that while some extravagance might be excused on the grounds of urgency, the bulk of military purchases could be done efficiently if there were a will to do so. With military spending reaching 52 billion dollars per year, producing a huge deficit, Congress had a mandate to force a thorough revision of the Pentagon's purchasing policies.

"A Harvest of Death" provides a plethora of statistics regarding traffic accidents in North Carolina for December, 1951, versus December, 1950, showing an increase in total accidents during the year of 33 percent, from 28,251 to 37,605, and in traffic accidents by 29 percent. Deaths in traffic accidents had increased from 110 to 116 during the year, while total deaths increased by 8 percent. Persons injured in traffic accidents increased by 7 percent, while total injured persons increased by 22 percent.

Of the 6,875 drivers involved in the December, 1951 accidents, 244 had been driving while drunk, 1,062 had not possessed the right-of-way, 976 had been speeders, 637 had been traveling on the wrong side of the road, not in passing, 529 had been following too closely and 262 had failed to signal or given an improper signal. In all, 77 percent of the drivers involved in accidents had been guilty of at least one traffic violation.

It concludes that North Carolina motorists either did not know how to drive or were careless, that the only way to make them learn to drive carefully was to adopt stricter laws and enforce them more rigorously. The 1951 General Assembly had ignored the pleas of Governor Scott's special commission on highway safety to make the traffic laws more strict and, it posits, the results in death and injury were "the harvest of that disinterest".

Drew Pearson tells of the nomination of Harry McDonald, to become the new head of RFC, having been stalled in committee by Congressman Robert Crosser of Ohio, who had sought to bring pressure on the Securities & Exchange Commission, operating under Mr. McDonald, on behalf of financier Cyrus Eaton, who had been in trouble with the SEC, investigated for promoting a lawsuit against auto manufacturer Henry Kaiser as a trumped-up excuse to back out of a multi-million dollar contract. Mr. Crosser had telephoned the SEC commissioners repeatedly to influence them in favor of Mr. Eaton and when the SEC continued to rule against him, Mr. Crosser had hinted that the SEC's treatment of Mr. Eaton should be investigated by a Congressional committee, shortly after which a probe began by Mr. Crosser's Interstate Commerce Committee, of which he was chairman, though assigning the investigation to a subcommittee headed by Congressman Louis Heller of New York.

Mr. Heller had refused to provide to the Senate Banking Committee, considering the McDonald appointment, the House subcommittee's files on Mr. McDonald's record at SEC. Mr. Pearson indicates that the reason for the refusal was that the files contained nothing derogatory to Mr. McDonald. Meanwhile, Mr. Crosser asked Banking Committee chairman Senator Burnet Maybank to delay the hearings on Mr. McDonald until the Heller subcommittee finished its investigation, to which Senator Maybank acquiesced.

Dr. Walter Schreiber, wartime chief of medical science for the Wehrmacht, who had sanctioned some of the medical experiments which the Nazis performed on victims in the concentration camps, had escaped the Nuremberg war crimes trials and was presently working for the Air Force at Randolph Field in Texas. He had mysteriously disappeared until the deadline for indictment on war crimes had passed and when he emerged from hiding, was given the Air Force job. He was presently working on a secret project at the Air Force School of Aviation Medicine. Had he been tried, he would have been charged, according to war crimes investigators, with aiding in executing troublemakers without trial by injecting lethal phenol into their arms, the reported method by which Field Marshal Erwin Rommel had met his end. Dr. Schreiber had ordered experimental injections on human guinea pigs, and subsequently, at Buchenwald concentration camp, four or five prisoners were dragged in and injected with raw phenol, causing them to double up in cramps and die.

Kicking, screaming young Polish girls had been held down by SS troops and forcibly operated on at Ravensbrueck concentration camp in August, 1943, and at least three were killed by experiments in gas gangrene. Dr. Carl Gebhart, who was hanged for these experiments, testified that he had discussed his work with Dr. Schreiber and that the latter had received reports on the experiments through official channels. A Nuremberg document also showed that Dr. Schreiber was second on the list of prominent German medical officers who had been detached to the SS for two days in May 1944 to attend a meeting at the SS Hospital in Hohenlychen, at which the experiments on the unwilling Polish girls were presented.

Human victims had also been used in typhus experiments at Buchenwald and Natzweiler concentration camps in an attempt with human guinea pigs to develop a vaccine. Prisoners were inoculated with typhus just to keep the virus alive, a practice from which many had died. A professor at Natzweiler who was performing the experiments had written Dr. Schreiber on June 12, 1944, requesting more mice, though he had plenty of men, and Dr. Schreiber had responded with an affirmative reply on June 20, showing that he completely understood what was occurring at the camp.

Marquis Childs, writing from Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc., tells of Senator Taft racking up more miles in pursuit of a presidential nomination than perhaps any other candidate in history, exacting a grueling physical toll on him, but seeming to enjoy it. He was presently visiting Wisconsin for the second time, en route to the Pacific Northwest, and would return twice, one time for two intensive weeks prior to the April 1 primary.

When he had successfully run for re-election in 1950 to the Senate, he had stumped all over Ohio, visiting all of its 88 counties at least twice, and he was seeking to duplicate the same feat again in Wisconsin. Mr. Childs provides details of his daily schedule. The Senator stated that he did not get as tired as he once had in the 1950 campaign, but in the interim had his tonsils removed and felt much better for it.

Mr. Childs concludes that if it was the way to win the presidency, the Senator would win it.

Senator Taft would die in mid-1953.

James Marlow tells of those who ran the political parties, ranging from precinct workers to bosses, their reasons ranging from earnest beliefs in social responsibility to desire for power or loot.

Until the end of President Washington's second term in office, there had been no large political parties, and when his successor, Vice-President John Adams, was chosen, it was arranged between national and state leaders. For years afterward, presidential candidates were chosen by party caucuses in Congress, a procedure which declined in 1824 when the House chose John Quincy Adams over General Andrew Jackson for the presidency after neither achieved a majority in the electoral college, despite General Jackson having won both the popular vote and a plurality of the electors. But in 1828, General Jackson won the White House and remained for two terms. During each year of his term, he had urged Congress to establish direct primaries to let the people select the parties' presidential candidates, something which had, of course, never been done on a fully national basis until 1976.

Since about 1840, the candidates had been chosen by delegates from all the states at the parties' national conventions. The delegates primarily did the bidding of the party bosses, while theoretically representing the people back home.

In 1903, Robert LaFollette was able to convince his home state Legislature in Wisconsin to adopt a primary law, and by World War I, 18 states had such laws. Sixteen states still had primaries, each a little different from the other, some pledging delegates to vote as the people had voted, some giving the delegates a free hand at the convention, and others merely urging them to be conscientious. The preferences stated in the primaries, however, had no binding effect on the conventions, but as popularity contests, could provide an indicator of how people back home were thinking.

In their Growth of the American Republic, Samuel Eliot Morison and Henry Steele Commager had commented that the direct primaries favored by Mr. LaFollette, Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, had proved a disappointment for the professional politicians, who had quickly found ways to control the primary process.

Mr. Marlow suggests that just because these 16 states had failed in their primaries, did not mean that a national law providing for primaries in all of the states would not be successful in allowing the voters to pick the candidates. He suggests that Congress would be instrumental in providing for such a national law, which had been urged many times. In the previous few weeks, measures had been offered to establish such a national primary in one way or another. It was unlikely, however, that anything would be done about it in 1952.

A letter writer from Huntersville responds to a letter of February 8 in which the writer had stated categorically that high tariffs had never caused worldwide depression, a position which this writer goes to some length to dispute in great detail.

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