The Charlotte News

Thursday, February 14, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Olen Clements, that Communist truce negotiators had presented a new prisoner exchange plan this date, incorporating some of the allied ideas but continuing their demand for forced repatriation, counter to the repeated insistence of the allies that they would not return any prisoners against their will.

The Communists also indicated that on Saturday they would reveal a new plan for settling the final part of the truce negotiations, instructions to belligerent governments, after the allies had rejected the third point of their three-point proposal, indicating that a meeting 90 days after the truce could not touch on issues outside the Korean question, such as Indo-China or Formosa.

Staff officers discussing truce supervision made little progress, except that some minor differences had been worked out.

In the ground war, an estimated 1,100 Communists had attacked allied positions in the Mundung Valley on the eastern front, but had been repulsed after an hour-long struggle in the largest attack in the previous four weeks or more. There was no estimate of enemy casualties and one allied unit had been almost surrounded for a half hour before throwing back the enemy without suffering a single casualty. Elsewhere on the front, the Communists had made nearly a dozen small probes.

In the air war, stormy skies restricted flights, but some allied jets had flown cover for fighter-bombers which damaged one of 30 Communist jets which had sought to break through the protective screen.

The American Legion urged the Senate Armed Services Committee to tighten "civilian control" over universal military training so that the program would not become so costly and burdensome that the people and Congress would not support it.

Representative Cecil King of California, chairman of the subcommittee investigating the IRB and Justice Department tax collection scandals, said that his subcommittee had "clear evidence" that the Treasury Department had called a sudden hearing in New York on Monday to stifle the subcommittee's investigation there, set for mid-March. He said that the Treasury had broken an agreement by ordering the New York hearing and that certain documents retrieved from New York would remain in the safekeeping of the House sergeant-at-arms pending the subcommittee's hearings. Meanwhile, the IRB tax collector for south Texas had resigned the previous day and the deputy collector in North Dakota had been fired for alleged irregularities, was later arrested on charges of converting tax collections to his own use. The assistant chief of the income tax division of the San Francisco IRB office was suspended after being indicted on a charge of conspiring to defraud the Government.

A Presidential emergency board recommended this date that the nation's railroads accept the demand by non-operating workers for a union shop clause in their contracts, and also approved a union demand for a mandatory dues check-off provision. The board was acting in the dispute between the railroads and 17 unions representing all rail workers who were not employed on moving trains. The board's finding was discretionary with the railroads, but a board member indicated to reporters that the major railroads had never rejected an emergency board's recommendations.

The President stated this date at a press conference that he was not ready to make any announcement on whether he would run for re-election and that the announcement would not be made through any third party. He did indicate that it had been a difficult decision, the first time in months he had acknowledged such difficulty. Nearly a year earlier, he had said that he had made up his mind but was not ready to announce his decision. He refused to comment on the statements of Congressman Adolph Sabath two days earlier, who said that the President might make a "sacrifice" and run again if world peace demanded it, or on the representation the previous day by the head of the Zionist Organization, who indicated that the President would make his decision known to the public within 10 to 15 days, and that he thought he would decide to run again.

The President indicated that he would ask Congress to give Newbold Morris, his recently appointed Government clean-up man, power to subpoena both persons and documents. He said that he intended to see to it that Mr. Morris had access to all the information that he would need to conduct his investigation of the executive branch.

There were signs that some backers of General Eisenhower were beginning to doubt that he could obtain the Republican nomination for the presidency unless he returned to the U.S. and entered an active political role. Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon said this date that the General should consider it "much more" important to be elected to the presidency than to remain in Europe as commander of NATO.

In London, General Eisenhower arrived for the funeral of King George VI, scheduled to take place the following day.

A photograph appears of a 27-year-old woman, currently living in Boston, who had been subjected to medical and gas gangrene experiments while confined in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II and had identified Dr. Walter Schreiber, currently employed by the Air Force at Randolph Field in Texas, as being involved in those experiments—a matter discussed at length the previous day by Drew Pearson.

The remand of Briggs v. Elliott by the Supreme Court the previous month would be heard by a three-judge special court in Columbia, S.C., including Judge John J. Parker, senior judge of the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and District Court Judge George Bell Timmerman of South Carolina, both of whom had sat on the original three-judge panel which had heard the case and, while ordering a report by the Clarendon County officials, to be rendered within six months, regarding the progress toward remedying the admitted inequalities in the system of education in the county, had refused to hold the segregation of public schools per se unconstitutional, a point on which Judge J. Waties Waring, the third member of the special court, had dissented. Judge Waring, however, was retiring, effective the following day, and would not therefore sit on the remand panel. He had been asked to participate in the rehearing, but had declined. It was not yet known who the third judge would be. The Supreme Court had remanded so that the lower court could have the opportunity to consider the progress report and make findings thereon before the High Court would render its decision—ultimately, in 1954, to be subsumed under the Brown v. Board of Education decision, finding segregation per se unconstitutional and overruling Plessy v. Ferguson as not having fulfilled its intended function of assuring separate but equal public facilities during the interim since it had been handed down by the Supreme Court in 1896.

In Elizabeth, N.J., the Civil Aeronautics Board indicated that trouble in both right engines had caused the crash of the National Airlines plane the prior Monday, taking 32 lives, including four persons in an apartment house into which the plane had crashed in Elizabeth. According to the chief investigator for CAB, the loss of power on the right side could have caused a yaw to the right and loss of flying speed.

In Chappaqua, N.Y., the station-master at the suburban railroad depot was only one dollar short in his newspaper collections during the month as part of his operation of the newspaper concession at the station, which depended on the honor system. For months, his weekly shortage had averaged $12.50, lost to riders on one particular train. But the previous week, the station-master had bored a small hole in the ceiling over the change box so that he could see those who were taking money from the box, which included several well-dressed men and one woman, and also installed a motion picture camera in the location. He announced on his blackboard to the passengers that he was prepared to stage an "early show" of the films he accumulated. He commented that the person who had stolen the dollar during the morning obviously could not read.

In Oakland, Calif., a gunman walked into a grocery store the previous night and tossed a head of cabbage into a paper sack and then, at gunpoint, ordered the clerk to empty the contents of his cash register into the sack. The clerk had not estimated the loss. The short piece is captioned, "Was Cabbage Worth More Than Cabbage?"

We don't get it. He took a cabbage and some cash. What's the problem with the headline writer?

Oh, we see. Cabbages and kings…

On page 7-A, the twenty-second installment of the serialized version of The Greatest Book Ever Written, by Fulton Oursler, recounts the story of the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon.

On the editorial page, "Lest You Be Led Astray…" tells of Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina imparting to a Charlotte audience two days earlier that the "radical elements of the Democratic Party" were trying to bring about socialism. It tells of the Senator's good record in trying to effect economy in the budget, but that in fact 88.37 percent of the President's proposed budget for the following year regarded payment for past wars and preparing the defenses in case of another war. Thus, only 11.61 percent regarded other functions of government, including any "socialistic" programs. Those latter expenditures would include social security, welfare and health, agriculture, transportation and communications, general government, natural resources, educational and general research, housing and community development, labor, reserve for contingencies, finance, commerce and industry. It next provides a table breaking down those relative expenditures between security programs and all other government programs for the current year, the next year, and 1950 and 1951.

It then briefly traces how that defense spending, during and after World War II, had come to be. In all respects, both houses of Congress had been complicit, sometimes even overriding the President's veto of spending, as on a recent bill regarding veterans, in reaching the current state of the budget.

Thus, it takes issue with Senator Smith's characterization of the situation being the responsibility of "radical elements of the Democratic Party" and rather lays it on the doorstep of the Congress. The "welfare state" had been set aside for several years in terms of actual appropriations, most of the requested projects under the President's Fair Deal having never been enacted into law. Senator Smith had fought some of those programs since arriving in the Senate in 1951, but there was no reason for him to mislead the people into believing that the "welfare staters" were responsible for the "'military state'" which was now extant.

"Gambling Propaganda—Postage Free" tells of the Dominican Republic having wasted no time capitalizing on the Kefauver organized crime committee's attacks on gamblers and the resulting income tax and license drive on their rackets. A promotional brochure from the dictatorship was regularly arriving at the News offices, promoting the entertainment and gaiety of the roof garden nightclubs and winter season attractions, as well as legal gambling. It quotes heavily from the brochures.

It finds that the most interesting fact was that the propaganda was being carried by the Postal Service for free as diplomatic mail. All of the other publicity brochures which they received, including that from the Russian Embassy, had regular U.S. postage affixed.

It questions why, with all of the Congressional investigation into gambling and the efforts to get at gamblers who were evading taxes, the Government would allow such a dictatorship with legal gambling to obtain free postage for its propaganda.

"Dr. Brodie C. Nalle" laments the passing of the successful physician who had founded the first medical clinic in the area. He had enjoyed kidding his patients, calling them "Little Girl" if they were under 50 years of age. He had once set up a hospital intercom system so that two small children, prevented from visiting their mother and new brother, could communicate back and forth. It was such informality and friendly exuberance which had endeared him to his patients. He had been forced into retirement by illness in 1947 and younger doctors had replaced him at his clinic and in the Charlotte hospitals, but no one would ever quite take his place in the memory of the thousands who had received care from him.

Drew Pearson tells of an Egyptian cotton broker who had grossed 16 million dollars at the expense of the Department of Agriculture, causing anger among cotton dealers and likely to result in a Congressional investigation. The broker had acted on inside information just before the Agriculture Department suddenly decided to buy Egyptian cotton, and was able to buy 17,500 bales and then clean up. The broker was friendly with Clovis Walker, head of the Agriculture Department cotton branch, thus infuriating cotton-bloc Senators. Mr. Walker had denied providing the broker with any inside information, but the friendship aroused suspicion, as he had received gifts from the broker.

Armed services officials who had been involved in the abortive machine-tool contract which was suddenly canceled following an exposé by Mr. Pearson, had been roughly handled the previous week before a House committee probing military waste. He describes some of the exchange between Congressman Edward Hebert of Louisiana and some of the witnesses.

R. F. Beasley, of the Monroe Journal, comments on the previous News editorial which took issue with Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina on his recent statement that "big government" was "bad government" and comparing it to his prior record in support of the New Deal while a Senator in the 1930's and as part of the Administration during the war.

Mr. Beasley complains instead regarding Governor Byrnes's statement to the Georgia Legislature, that his argument on states' rights was not bold enough, not, as with others who spoke of the concept, only a "talking proposition" about which nothing was to be done. Mr. Beasley was as opposed to the "fanatical crusade against segregation" as anyone else, including Governor Byrnes. The Governor was planning to close the South Carolina public schools and get the Legislature to contract with private parties to run the schools, in the event that the Supreme Court ordered desegregation of public schools

Instead, Mr. Beasley believes that the states ought to ensure that the public schools were equal as between the races and, in that manner, defeat the arguments which had succeeded in the courts in recent years, showing that graduate, professional, and undergraduate programs in the states were not equal and thus not meeting the 14th Amendment standard for separate-but-equal facilities laid down in 1896 by Plessy v. Ferguson.

"If we are determined in our hearts to do justice to the colored man, and certainly the dominant sentiment is now to that effect, then it becomes us to assert boldly and determinedly that we shall do it in the way that we think best for both races. That is the answer that we should give the fanatics and meddlers everywhere. If this is done, no Supreme Court will ever undertake to abolish segregation in public schools. The question in relation to higher education and graduate schools rests upon an entirely different basis from the primary schools, as Judge [John J.] Parker has so forcibly shown."

You are in for a rude surprise in a couple of years down the track, Mr. Beasley: it is no longer the Nineteenth Century.

Joseph Alsop tells of a new contingency plan having been developed by the Air Staff for consideration by the Joint Chiefs for bombing of supply routes in mainland China in the event that either the Korean truce talks broke down and the Communists launched a new offensive, a truce was made and then broken, or if the Chinese Communists invaded Indo-China or attacked elsewhere. Because of the nature of China, it was particularly susceptible to having its supply routes interrupted, as it relied only on the Yangtze and Yellow Rivers, two or three railroads and the Grand Canal for transmitting its supplies, making it relatively easy to cut off whole sections of the country without attacking the major cities and thus engendering vengeful feelings.

This new plan did not entail the type of bombing envisioned by General MacArthur, that of the coastal areas and the cities.

The French and British were now being canvassed for their views on the proposals. The American planners, by putting forth this new policy approach, were hopeful that it would deter any Communist aggression elsewhere and encourage completion of the Korean truce.

It was now believed that the French military leaders had overestimated the likelihood of a Chinese attack on Indo-China, and so it was hoped that the worst scenario provoking implementation of this new plan would not transpire.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, again remarks on the campaign strategy of Senator Taft, that he hoped to capture the Republican nomination by aiming at the professionals and semi-professionals who controlled the party machinery throughout the country, of which Senator Taft had a great deal of knowledge. He believed that he would have the nomination firmly in hand by July 7 or shortly thereafter.

On the ideological side, the strategy rested heavily on General MacArthur and the unpopularity of the Korean War, with the Senator and his managers believing that the General's popularity had, if anything, increased during the year since he had been recalled from Korea and Japan by the President. The Senator's praise for the General at Wisconsin Rapids had drawn the loudest applause of the evening.

Mr. Childs believes that the Senator was taking too much campaign license in talking about the Korean War as being "unnecessary" and saying that if only American troops had been maintained in Korea and the South Koreans had been trained with planes and tanks furnished by the U.S., the war would never have occurred. Mr. Childs asserts that it appeared as a "dangerous oversimplification, if not an outright distortion of why the conflict in Korea occurred." Senator Taft and his wing of the party had been in favor of the economy program on defense initiated during the term of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson, and had supported bringing the U.S. troops home, thus had no ground to take issue with pre-war decisions at this juncture.

The Senator overlooked the conditions in the present world facing the threat of Communist aggression and the need to spend for both defense at home and abroad to resist that threat of aggression.

Mr. Childs concludes that while the Senator's approach might prove correct, it was also possible that he was only reaching a minority of the faithful who thought as he did.

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