The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 19, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that negotiators at the Korean truce conference had agreed this date on the final clause of the Korean armistice, regarding a high-level political conference to be held within 90 days after an armistice to consider "withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea, the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, etc.", the wording having included the Communists' insertion of "etc." Staff officers were assigned the duty of working out the mechanical wording of a preamble to the agreement. The other two staff officers' meetings, regarding the prisoner of war issue, and specifically the question of voluntary repatriation of prisoners, had almost reached agreement on the last five paragraphs of the nine-point clause, but the meeting working on armistice supervision made no progress regarding the Communist proposal to have the Soviets as a neutral observer in post-armistice inspections. The major question in that area, the rebuilding of Communist airfields during the course of a truce, was not being considered by the staff officers.

U.S. Sabre jets this date shot down three enemy jet fighter planes in two air fights over northwest Korea. Other allied jets reported destroying four locomotives on the North Korean supply network. Twenty-six Sabres fought elements of a 50-MIG formation during the afternoon in a five-minute running battle, after which the enemy fighters fled into Manchuria. About 100 enemy jets had been sighted in North Korea this date in the morning and 200 in the afternoon.

In London, the Big Three Western foreign ministers met again with Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany, indicating that they had removed obstacles to Germany's entrance into the European Community. Earlier in the day, the French National Assembly had voted a qualified approval of the European army plan for rearming Germany. The foreign ministers conferences were considered a prelude to the meeting of NATO in Lisbon, to begin the following day. France was said to be satisfied that the United States and Britain would maintain their armed forces in Europe to prevent any withdrawal from the European Defense Community by West Germany to embark on a new aggressive policy after it was rearmed.

A House Judiciary subcommittee unanimously rejected a proposal by the President to give Newbold Morris, appointed to clean up the executive branch, the power to grant immunity to witnesses in the course of his investigation. It had not yet determined whether to recommend the grant of subpoena powers, also requested by the President.

A Senate investigation subcommittee studying profits of an investment group, which had included Admiral William Halsey, made from the sale of war surplus ships purchased with an investment of $101,000 plus a large loan and sold three years later at a profit of 3.25 million dollars, had named the University of Chicago as one of the three major investors in the deal, having invested $15,000, acquiring stock in the two primary firms which arranged the transaction. The largest single investor had been Washington attorney Joseph Casey, who had put up $20,000 and received 2,000 shares of stock in American Overseas Tanker Corporation and 4,000 shares of stock in Greenwich Marine Corporation, its subsidiary. A witness the previous day had testified that about 2.2 million dollars per year in charter revenues from five of the eight vessels involved were not subject to U.S. income taxes, as they were under Panamanian registry.

Senators Richard Nixon and Karl Mundt of the subcommittee stated that evidence had surfaced from staff investigators that some large fees had been paid in one part of the shipping deal to the law firm of Newbold Morris, who had already declared publicly that he had not earned anything from the venture.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, reports from Washington that Senator George Aiken of Vermont had begun the second national reorganization conference of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report the previous day in front of several hundred citizens, many of whom had spoken during 12 hours of discussion by numerous high-profile speakers, including Senators Paul Douglas of Illinois and William Benton of Connecticut. Some of the citizens were angry, demanding Government reforms. The previous night, former President Herbert Hoover had closed the conference. Speakers indicated that about 55 percent of the recommendations had become law in the previous three years, with a consequent savings to the taxpayers of about two billion dollars annually, and that adoption of the remaining proposals could save an additional 3.5 billion.

Off Chatham, Mass., the Coast Guard cutter Eastwind moved toward the stern of the severed tanker Fort Mercer which had 33 survivors aboard, after it had split in half during the previous day's blinding snowstorm, causing the tanker Pendleton to suffer the same fate. Nine of the men aboard the Mercer were believed to be from the Pendleton. Nine others were missing and 32 had been saved the previous night from a fourth section of the two vessels. The Mercer was located 50 miles from Cape Cod. The weather meanwhile was worsening.

In Oslo, Norway, Norwegian author Knut Hamsun, who had won the Nobel Prize for literature, died this date at 92.

In Chicago, the only woman in Illinois reportedly paying alimony had won a reduction in her payments, but on the condition that her estranged husband become her roomer, to which she agreed, cutting her payments in half, from $10 to five dollars weekly. The couple had been married in 1938 and had separated the prior September 28.

In Raleigh, Democrats were planning a kickoff rally for the presidential campaign at the Haw River farm of Governor Kerr Scott, about which national headquarters was said to be enthused. The President said that he would either be there or send a "good man" in his stead. The Governor estimated that between 40,000 and 60,000 persons would attend, to be the first party rally following the nomination at the July convention in Chicago.

On the editorial page, "A Big Fish—for a Change" tells of the conviction of George Smith in Greensboro for conducting a numbers racket, along with four Greensboro policemen who had taken bribes in return for protection of the racket. It finds it a new step in the prosecution of such enterprises, netting the big fish rather than just the small fries, as had been the case for the previous 15 years. Mr. Smith had drawn a sentence of ten years in prison and had admitted running the numbers racket in several cities in the state from 1938 until 1948, including, at one point, during a six-month stint in jail.

It concludes that there might be more police officers yet to be involved in the case, based on the witness testimony during the trial, and that as long as there was easy money to be made from the lottery racket from suckers who played it, another person would take over from Mr. Smith and operate it, always in need of law enforcement officers from whom to buy protection. The rackets could not be operated successfully for long without the knowledge and complicity of law enforcement.

"On Wooing, Republican Style" finds that the continuing pilgrimage of high Republican orators to North Carolina indicated that the state was fast becoming a two-party political system.

Recently, Senator Taft had toured several colleges and universities in the state. Governor Theodore McKelvin of Maryland, of the Taft school, had appeared in Greensboro at a $100 per plate dinner in January. Former Governor Harold Stassen, a candidate for the Republican nomination for the presidency, had appeared at a Lincoln Day dinner in Winston-Salem the previous Saturday night, and on the same night, Senator John Butler of Maryland was speaking to a Lincoln Day dinner in Asheville. In addition, Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, executive director of the Eisenhower-for-President campaign, was planning to speak the following Thursday night in Charlotte and on Friday, in Asheville.

"Strange Bedfellows, Indeed" tells of an incident at the North Carolina College for Negroes in Durham the previous week in which circulars bearing the Communist Party name had been circulated attacking a Red Cross "Blood for Korea" drive as "Operation Bloodshed" and calling the Korean War "Operation Killer". The Durham Red Cross had immediately objected and indicated that the incident was being investigated by Army Intelligence officers, the Counter Intelligence Corps, the FBI, the SBI, and local officers, adding that intelligence sources believed that the Communists were establishing a new propaganda weapon with which to attack the national government.

It finds it strange when Senator Taft had stated his lack of confidence in the Joint Chiefs and called the Korean War "Truman's War" and a "useless war", and when former President Herbert Hoover's latest speech had been reprinted in full by Pravda in Moscow and therein praised in a long editorial, and yet both the Senators and the former President's statements had received great praise from many persons who would be horrified at the circulars making the rounds in Durham.

It suggests that it was time to revise the old saw about politics and instead make it read: "Communism makes strange bedfellows".

"Shutting the Barn Door, Etc." finds that the President had a blind spot with regard to his inability to reconcile the rights of a free press with its responsibilities to the people to report the news. He had not yet understood the public outcry against his order allowing all executive agencies wide discretion to decide which matters were subject to national security and thus not subject to public release.

A few weeks earlier, in one instance, the President complained about the publication of photographs of a new Air Force guided missile, despite the fact that the pictures had been officially released for publication by the Air Force. The previous week, he had complained to Fortune Magazine about its publication of a map showing the approximate locations of U.S. atomic installations, and, despite being reminded by a reporter that a Minneapolis newspaper had published the fact that the Atomic Energy Commission and Civil Aeronautics officials had issued 12,000 color maps showing air space reservations over atomic energy plants, the President had said it would be too bad if that information were to fall into the hands of a potential enemy, and that despite the awareness of the President that the maps were posted in all the airports of the country, a reporter's question on that point had brought a rebuke from the President that the reporter should not be calling attention to the fact.

It concludes that the President underestimated the talent of Russian spies, that a harmless question at a White House press conference by a reporter was not going to provide aid and comfort to the enemy when the maps in question were posted at every airport in the country.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "'Veritas'", finds it heartening to read of a plan at Harvard to create an important center of religious learning and of the start of a campaign to raise five million dollars to revitalize the functions and enlarge the scope of the Harvard Divinity School.

It finds that the quest by students for answers to the basic questions of the purpose of life, the destiny of man, and the nature of God to be signal of the times. The answers could not be found in the physics laboratory, though religion had to take account of the challenges to be encountered there. It finds in this regard the words of Emerson, which had shocked the Harvard Divinity School in 1838, still to be vital: "It is the office of a true teacher to show us that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake."

The Divinity School had removed from its seal the earlier words "Christo et Ecclesiae", but the motto "Veritas" still remained and, it posits, Truth could not be "divorced from the worship of God, who is Truth", that "perfect science is the knowledge of God."

It congratulates Harvard for seeking to bring its religious studies abreast of the times.

Drew Pearson, in Ogden, Utah, tells of former Federal Reserve Board chairman under FDR, Marriner Eccles, considering a run for the Senate from Utah as a Republican. He had been demoted to assistant chairman of the Federal Reserve Board by President Truman, eventually tangling with the Secretary of the Treasury over the basic policy of government bonds and their inflationary effect on the national economy, leading, the previous year, with seven more years to go in his term, to his resignation in disgust.

Mr. Pearson next corrects a mistake he had made with regard to a report on Rumanian industrialist Nicolae Malaxa, based on a CIA report to the FBI which had been found in Judy Coplon's purse at the time she had been arrested for espionage. The report, made a part of the court record in the Coplon case, had stated that Mr. Malaxa had been close to Hermann Goering's brother and had cooperated with the Communists in order to obtain payments on his property out of Rumania. But since Mr. Pearson had made this report, the former Prime Minister of Rumania, N. Radescu, presently a refugee in the U.S., had explained that his own Cabinet, not the Communists, had made the payments to Mr. Malaxa for his steel mills. Further study of the records in the case had showed that Mr. Malaxa had his home broken into by two Iron Guard members, and was not, as reported by the FBI, friendly with that organization. He had been the victim of a feud among Rumanian refugees in the U.S., some of whom were trying to obtain a Congressional investigation of his immigration status, on which Mr. Pearson had found no basis to challenge.

He also therefore takes back his former criticism of White House physician, Maj. General Wallace Graham, who had provided a character reference for Mr. Malaxa, admitting that the General had been correct and that he had been wrong in his assessment.

Republican Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah was regarded very differently at home, where he was head of a Mormon region and had organized a strawberry cooperative and a cold-storage plant along the lines of the New Deal, from the way he had come to be regarded as a Senator, where he voted consistently against the types of projects he had sponsored at home, becoming one of the most reactionaries Senators in the Congress. He had sought to defeat Democratic Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah on the ground that Senator Thomas favored socialized medicine, and yet Senator Thomas had only talked about a public-health bill, which Senator Watkins had actually put into effect to provide care for the teeth of schoolchildren in Utah.

Robert C. Ruark looks at the memoirs of Whittaker Chambers, Witness, two installments from which had been published in the Saturday Evening Post for a reported fee of $75,000. The memoir itself was reported to be fetching Mr. Chambers between $150,000 and $200,000. Mr. Ruark finds it unseemly that a former Communist was making his living from being a professional stool pigeon against Alger Hiss, while imparting the sad story of his life from birth onward.

Mr. Chambers was slowly being transformed into a kind of folk hero, a status which Mr. Ruark finds difficult to accept for a man who quit the Communist Party at a time when it was expedient to do so, now turning his "treason into an avalanche of dollars."

"It's a plumb shame I can't feel better over Mr. Chambers' loud whistle-toot on his old buddies. It may be a necessary job of high-flown stool-pigeoning, but I hate to see him reap the profits of the pure for a belated confession that he used to be a well-adjusted snake."

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the subject of flying saucers, reporting that on January 29, two incidents had occurred over Korea, many miles apart, both involving observations of flying objects by B-29 crews, flying at around 20,000 feet at 200 mph. In one instance, the unidentified object was round and appeared disc-shaped, orange with a series of small bluish flames around its circumference, appearing as the flames of a gas stove burner. It appeared to be close to the airplane and about 3 feet in diameter, appeared to both crewmen who observed it to be revolving. After about five minutes, the object moved parallel to the plane and then disappeared. The two airmen reported their observation to their squadron intelligence officer. Both had World War II and Korea flying experience and were considered stable and sensible. The intelligence officer therefore took the report seriously, as did headquarters.

The second observed object by another pair of airmen appeared globular and moving level with the aircraft or a little below it, following the plane for a minute or more.

The Air Force had replied that there was no doubt regarding the facts but that the Air Force did not believe in flying discs. The Alsops believe that the facts were worth recording "simply because they are symbols of the opening of the Pandora's box of science. Here is a tale: in source at least not laughable but close to laughable in substance, which is not being laughed off. In fact, it is the subject of anxious inquiry at high official levels."

They indicate that the Korean experience had convinced American experts of the earlier folly in underestimating Soviet technical capabilities.

A letter writer from Pinehurst comments on the editorial of February 14, "Lest You Be Led Astray...", finding it timely and to the point, hoping that it would inform people of the true facts relating to expenditures by the Federal Government, that is to say that the overwhelming bulk, about 88 percent, of the Federal budget, was going at the time to national defense and veterans matters, and only about 3 percent to the social welfare programs. The writer says that he was so impressed by the editorial that he had sent it to Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina. He finds some criticism due the President for his spending proposals, but that Congress deserved the bulk of it as they had the final say. He thinks that Senator Smith had been in error in seeking to place blame on "radical elements" and thanks the newspaper for reminding him of that misstatement.

A letter writer from Greenville, S.C., comments on an article in the newspaper from February 13, titled "Alcoholism Inborn Trait, World Health Group Says". This writer, identified only by initials, tells of the World Health Organization of the U.N., in 1947, having published a comprehensive report of its Committee on Alcoholism, which had been more damaging to the liquor industry than anything published in the previous 20 years, but was never made public until one person had found it in the archives at Geneva the previous summer and secured permission to bring it to the United States and present it to the Library of the National Headquarters of the WCTU. The writer continues that since the WHO had been headed by a professor from the Yale School of Alcohol Studies, E. M. Jellenik, the Organization's reports had taken a noticeably different stance. The writer also says that another organization which bore watching was the National Safety Council, which now had as a member the head of the Distilled Beverage Institute and received a subsidy of $20,000 per year from a distiller. The previous year, it had been reported by the Council that one in four motor vehicle accidents was caused by liquor, whereas during the current year, it had dropped to one in five, and yet Judge Porter of Chicago had placed the estimate at a minimum of 60 percent of all accidents.

Why not state your full name then?

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