The Charlotte News

Wednesday, February 20, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that Communist insistence that Russia be included as a neutral nation to help supervise a Korean truce had stalled the armistice discussions. The allies had offered to reduce their demanded troop rotation figure from 40,000 monthly to 35,000 as an accommodation, but the Communists refused to discuss the issue. In the staff officers meeting on exchange of prisoners of war, no progress was reported. No date was set yet for a staff officers meeting to work out the technical details of the agreed-upon recommendations to belligerent governments. In addition to the neutral nation dispute, there also remained the two issues of voluntary repatriation of prisoners and whether the Communists would be allowed to repair airfields during an armistice.

In air action, U.S. Sabre jets shot down two enemy MIG-15s this date and damaged five others in two air battles over northwest Korea. During a morning battle, three MIGs were damaged. U.N. fighter-bombers attacked nearly 1,000 enemy trucks on North Korean highways Tuesday night, with 120 destroyed.

As a frigid wind swept across the 155-mile front, there was no ground action reported.

The Defense Department announced that U.S. battle casualties in Korea reached 105,841 this date, an increase of 333 since the previous week, with no break down provided in the story.

In Lisbon, Secretary of State Acheson told the NATO allies, as they opened their ninth Council session this date, that the member nations had to take actions which would strain all of them to the "utmost" in developing a concrete military strength which could ensure their peoples against the destruction and suffering of another war. The two new members, Greece and Turkey, joined the 12 other Western allies at the meeting. The Portuguese foreign minister, acting as host, issued a plea for the inclusion in NATO of Spain.

The Senate investigating subcommittee looking into the profits made from the sale of war surplus ships purchased from the Government by an investment group which included Admiral William Halsey, heard from the principal investor in the group, Joseph Casey, called to testify about dealings of the group with Newbold Morris, the newly appointed investigator assigned by the President to clean up the executive branch. Nothing was yet reported regarding his testimony. Mr. Morris had denied receiving any money from the transaction, though the subcommittee's investigators had turned up information that his law firm had received large fees out of the deal.

In Chatham, Mass., heroic Coast Guardsmen steamed to port this date with 25 survivors from the broken tanker Fort Mercer, as 13 others aboard the stranded vessel passed up rescue the previous night and chose to stay aboard the broken stern half of the ship as volunteers in a salvage attempt, as efforts would be made to tow the stern to port. The other ship which had broken in half, the tanker Pendleton, had each of its halves run aground. In all, 57 crewmen had survived from the four drifting sections of the two vessels. Six crewmen were listed as dead and eight missing and presumed dead. Eighteen of the 25 men rescued the previous night were scheduled to arrive in Boston this date aboard the Coast Guard cutter Acushnet, which had teamed with another cutter, the Eastwind, to rescue the men from the stern half of the Mercer. The two rescue vessels had floated life rafts to the Mercer through 15 to 25-foot waves and then pulled the men to the Eastwind, but when that operation became too slow, the Acushnet made two dangerous passes alongside the Mercer, taking on 18 of the men. The rescue occurred 53 miles south southeast of Nantucket. The bow section of the Mercer had capsized after the men were rescued from it, some 30 miles from the stern. Five of the men had lost their lives in the bow section during an earlier rescue attempt. A sixth person who died had been crushed between a rescue craft and the stern end of the Pendleton. The eight presumed dead had washed overboard from the bow section of the Pendleton.

More snow and strong wind struck the Midwest this date, virtually halting travel in some areas, with South Dakota being the hardest hit by the snow, which also hit heavily in areas of North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

In San Francisco, a strike by Municipal Railway workers tied up the city's entire transit system, forcing many thousands of persons to drive or hike to work. Mayor Elmer Robinson stated that because of the emergency, commuting workers could park their cars anywhere, even in the middle of Market Street if necessary. He indicated that the City would seek an anti-strike injunction this date.

In Louisiana, Robert Kennon, a country judge, won a landslide victory over the forces of incumbent Governor Earl Long in the runoff Democratic primary election, beating Governor Long's handpicked successor, Judge Carlos Spaht. It was the first time that the Long forces had suffered a defeat since the late Huey Long had been beaten in the gubernatorial race in his first attempt in 1924. The State Constitution prevented the Governor from succeeding himself and his four-year term would expire in May. Judge Kennon, who promised elimination of governmental waste and reduction of taxes, had campaigned against the Long Administration and had come in second in a nine-candidate field to Judge Spaht in the first primary in January.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one asking respondents to assess whether they thought General Eisenhower or Senator Taft would do a better job of cutting down unnecessary government spending as President. The respondents favored Senator Taft by 44 percent to 26 percent on that question, with 29 percent undecided. When only Republicans were tabulated, the results were two to one in favor of Senator Taft, with independents agreeing, albeit by a smaller ratio, 46 percent to 42 percent. Among Democrats, the General did better than the Senator on the question, with 46 percent saying the General would do better, while 31 percent favored the Senator. Another poll would assess which of the two candidates would do better on cleaning up government corruption, with those results to follow.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of the News, reports from Washington that a number of citizens were in the halls of Congress talking to their Congressmen about pending legislation, after they had attended the second reorganization conference of the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, taking place two days earlier. Some of them appeared awestruck, treating their Congressmen as divine in nature, while others saw them as badgered and beset by numerous pressure groups who could determine how they would cast their votes. The Citizens Committee would cease to exist a few months hence as it would likely disband around convention time in any event despite its demonstrated bipartisanship, as election fever was beginning to be exhibited, as evidenced by some speakers before the meeting the prior Monday, taking that which was perceived as undeserved swipes at the Administration, while Senators Paul Douglas and William Benton pointed out, though humorously, that there were also Republican deficiencies in bringing about the reforms recommended by the Hoover Commission.

Near Fayetteville, N.C., masked night riders had forced a Cumberland County tenant farmer and his family to flee from their home the previous night, according to the County Sheriff, the third visit in as many nights by the masked men, who had told the farmer that they did not want to hurt him and his family but only wanted to get him "out of the woods". On their first visit on February 8, they had told the farmer that they were going to get him and on the prior Sunday morning, four such men had attempted to force their way into his home, and then the following morning, a number of masked men had battered at the hinges to his front door, until he fired four or five shots from his .22 rifle, causing them to depart. It was at that point that the farmer decided to leave with his family. As they were leaving, a green car had blocked the road, but the farmer had managed to get around it and find safe haven at the home of a neighbor. An examination of the farmer's yard showed a number of footprints near the windows and a crude cross drawn in the yard. The farmer said that he had no idea why he had been threatened, that he had moved to the area from the Fairmont section of Robeson County the previous December, where he had never been threatened previously.

As the story points out, the incident occurred in the wake of the arrests in and around nearby Fair Bluff the prior Saturday of ten former Klansmen on Federal charges of kidnapping and civil rights violations, stemming from an incident the previous October 6, involving the abduction of a white couple from their home by several masked men who then took them to a remote location over the South Carolina border and flogged each separately, one of several such incidents, involving at least eleven victims, reported during the previous year.

In Indianapolis, a man who was given a "temporary" job on the Indianapolis News more than 70 years earlier on the day that President James A. Garfield had been shot, remained on the job as he turned 93 years old this date, becoming the oldest man presently representing a newspaper among the Associated Press member papers. He had applied to the newspaper for a job on July 2, 1881, the date on which the President had been shot, and because the staff was busy and there was no one to take the place of the market reporter who had failed to show up, he was given the job on a temporary basis. He stated in a recent book of his memoirs that he was still waiting for that reporter to show up.

On the editorial page, "It Had To Be Said" tells of Gordon Gray, president of the Consolidated University, having stated at a private fraternity dinner the previous weekend that the University administration would "zealously protect and defend" the right of students "to think for themselves, to express their honest opinions, to criticize, to object, to complain, and to suggest." He said that the right carried with it the responsibilities to have a full understanding of the facts and that its expression be circumscribed by good taste and good manners.

The piece finds that such things should not have needed restating, along with his five responsibilities of the University, as they were the heart and soul of the University, but that in this instance, the restatement was necessary in light of the fact that student leaders had been concerned over what appeared to be an effort by one member of the Board of Trustees, John W. Clark, to intimidate students in exercising their free speech and thought, creating a protest in the student newspaper, the Daily Tar Heel.

Mr. Gray had said anent Mr. Clark that the difficulties in the controversy had arisen in part from a lack of knowledge of the true facts and an incorrect assessment of authority and responsibility, together with the tendency to blame the University administration for strictly personal pronouncements and actions over which the University had no control.

The piece indicates that while it disapproved of the attitude and past actions of Mr. Clark, University students should remember that he had the right to his viewpoint and served a useful purpose in stating it, as he was a constant reminder that reason had not yet triumphed over passion and emotion in the struggle to build an orderly society.

It does not state the substance of the controversy, that which Mr. Clark had done or said with regard to student views, but it may have had to do with his recent disapproval of the Board of Trustees action in voting to integrate the University law school and other professional and graduate programs by permitting admission of qualified black students. Also, the letter to the editor from Mr. Clark, printed on the page, may provide a clue.

Maybe it had to do with shoes, and ships and sealing wax. Or knickknacks. The sealing is the roof... Who knows?

"Schools and Dollars" tells of both City and County officials talking about the need for a multi-million dollar bond issue to build and improve the school facilities necessary for the increased population of students set to matriculate during the ensuing decade. At present, the schools in the city and county were bursting at the seams. It provides tables of the City schools and the County schools showing the increase in population of students between 1945 and 1952, an increase of 33 percent among white students and 21 percent among black students in the City schools, 28 percent overall, while far lesser increases registered in the County schools, with an overall increase of only 2.5 percent. Money for capital improvements in both school systems derived from a common source, the County Government. On the basis of present enrollment, with a total of 22,600 students in the City system and 13,600 in the County system, a division of two dollars for the City for each one dollar for the County would be an equitable split.

Buildings financed by the forthcoming bond issue would not be built for several years, and it remained to be seen whether the two to one split of funds would be equitable in the years to come.

It finds that short of consolidation of the two school systems, it would be sensible for the two school boards to coordinate for the future and reach an understanding of the division of bond money so that schools could be built and improved for the benefit of all residents of the city and county, rather than based on a per-child distribution.

"Double Reverse" tells of Senator Taft, in his recently published book, A Foreign Policy for Americans, providing his seven-point "basic strategy" for foreign policy, closely resembling that of the Truman Administration, prompting some observers to wonder whether the Senator intended to break from his isolationist past. That question had grown when the Senator stated recently that he did not think he would have any difficulty reconciling his views on foreign policy with those of General Eisenhower. But Roscoe Drummond of the Christian Science Monitor had revealed that the Senator had let it be known that the strategy was not in fact his own but rather a program which he wanted to put forth so that readers could consider it, while he remained willing to oppose it after he examined it more thoroughly.

In the book, the Senator had stated his reasons for opposing NATO, but had finally concluded that, following the Korean War and the entry to it by the Chinese, that the idea of enforcement of peace through the U.N. had to be abandoned in favor of reliance on U.S. armed forces and alliances with those nations willing to fight Communism. Yet, on the floor of the Senate recently, he had fought to amend the NATO treaty to restrict the President from sending American forces abroad in a manner which would necessarily involve the U.S. in war. That amendment had been ignominiously withdrawn by its sponsor, Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, after receiving no other support except from Senator Taft. The piece finds that the episode suggested that Senator Taft had not changed his views on foreign policy, despite the indications in his book, and that his isolationism was still intact, out of step with the majority of his colleagues in both parties.

A transcript of a speech in Detroit by Minoo R. Masani, a member of the Parliament of India, is presented, in which he states that he believed the things done in America which irritated its British, French and Italian allies were similar to the things which caused irritation in India, the same issues on which propaganda was focused against the U.S. with regard to economics and racial issues. As to the former, there was a wide disparity in living standards between the U.S. and India, creating great resentment among the impoverished people of India, making it easy to see faults in the U.S., even where they might not exist.

There was also a racial factor, such that past claims of white superiority had precipitated color consciousness in Asia, used with devastating effect by Communist propaganda, with every incident of racial discrimination, whether in the U.S. or in South Africa, adding fuel to the fire. They had seen, for instance, the headlines relating to the Cicero, Illinois, race riot, erasing all the goodwill which had been engendered by American black citizens coming to India and discussing their problems and ambitions. It was America's Achilles Heel when it came to a clash of ideas in Asia.

He suggests that there was a lot which the average American could do to remedy the problem, through patience and understanding, as well as through demonstration of strength. People in his country generally believed in the good intentions of Americans, that they loved peace, but that there was also considerable doubt about their strength and wisdom, as the record since 1945 had shown that the Soviets were constantly advancing in terms of conquest, with the score still about even in Korea and the question remaining as to whether a free and united Korea could emerge from the war there, enabling the Communists in India to take advantage of that doubt and inform the people that Russia and China were winning, encouraging those who wished to save their skins to hop on the bandwagon while there was still time.

He urges that the confidence in U.S. strength had to be brought home to the people of India, that the West would win in the event of a showdown. But there was also a question of wisdom, whether there was sufficient wisdom and maturity after winning a war, to win the peace. It was still necessary to work out a positive, democratic foreign policy. The West appeared to be following the lead of the Communists in terms of where battles were waged, rather than taking a positive role of leadership. He asserts that if the negative policy of containment were to be abandoned, and, in its stead, a positive policy of winning the world for freedom undertaken, apart from any question of military strength, it would receive increasing support in his country.

He does not explain how, specifically, that could be accomplished.

Drew Pearson, in Salt Lake City, tells of new Republican Governor of Utah, J. Bracken Lee, having stated to Mr. Pearson that Government spending was "creeping socialism", the ruination of the nation, and that nearly all spending should be curtailed by Congress. Mr. Pearson had responded that even big business might object to such curtailment. Later, he had done some research and found that the U.S. Steel Corporation was operating a steel mill at Geneva, Utah, which had been a boon to prosperity in Salt Lake City and the surrounding area, as confirmed by the Governor. But, before the war, U.S. Steel had been reluctant to locate in Utah, had even scoffed at the notion of a Western steel industry. Yet, when the Federal Government undertook all of the risk by first establishing the Western steel industry during the war, and afterward, following urging of the Federal Government by a former Utah Governor and a former Utah Senator to sell the Geneva plant to U.S. Steel for 20 cents on the dollar, providing an effective subsidy in conjunction with the State of Utah of more than 144 million dollars, U.S. Steel took over the plant.

Also in Utah, just above Salt Lake City, was Fort Douglas, an important Army installation.

In addition, the state benefited from quick airline transportation, which received an annual subsidy of 95 million dollars through the same "creeping socialism" of which Governor Lee had complained.

Another form of this socialism subsidized the shipping industry, and still another form helped the states to build the new superhighways, with an annual Federal contribution of about 500 million dollars per year, allocated across all 48 states. If that amount were curtailed, bus lines, trucking companies, and many private motorists would complain quickly to Congress that the funding be reinstated.

Marquis Childs tells of General MacArthur becoming convinced that he should throw his hat into the ring for the Republican presidential nomination, making that belief known to several recent visitors, a change in belief which had only come about in recent weeks. Until that point, he had been a supporter of Senator Taft. While still supporting the Senator for the nomination, he had become fearful that a deadlock would occur at the convention between General Eisenhower and the Senator and, therefore, that he should be ready to fill the breach. His decision would likely not be officially announced until the convention in July.

Part of that determination was believed to have germinated from the insistence of his long loyal aide, Maj. General Courtney Whitney, that only General MacArthur could save the country from doom.

Should the General be invited to address the convention before the nominations, it could have a profound effect on the outcome, as he would undoubtedly heap praise on Senator Taft and provide hints that General Eisenhower was not qualified for the job.

Senator Taft was consistently praising General MacArthur and should it turn out that the General would be the candidate to whom the convention turned, it would be an irony of history. It was not impossible, posits Mr. Childs, in the uncertain atmosphere enshrouding the Republican nominating process.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the people to whom he talked wanting General Eisenhower presently in the Republican race for the nomination before it was too late. The consensus was that he could beat anyone he faced in the general election should he be the nominee. But if he did not return soon from Europe, and state his positions clearly on the issues, it would be difficult for him to be nominated.

A big television demonstration for the General in recent weeks had received mixed reviews from Eisenhower admirers, who wanted to know what the General stood for, not what Hollywood stars said he stood for. While it was admirable for the General to remain on the job as supreme commander of NATO, it also remained separate from the campaign for the presidency. "All the cute songs and personal appearances and snake dances go fine at football rallies and picture premieres, but leaves something to be desired in a political build up."

Mr. Ruark suggests that a difference of a month or so in the General's organizational job for NATO would not make much difference at this juncture, and ventures that he ought to be able presently to return to the United States and begin campaigning. He had previously retired honorably from the Army and was a declared candidate for the presidency, and yet he could not speak as a candidate as long as he continued to wear the uniform on temporary duty. Mr. Ruark believes that people were eager to vote for the General, provided he gave them his views directly on the various issues of foreign and domestic policy. The longer he waited to make such a declaration, the less favorable would be the public assessment of his viability as a presidential candidate.

A letter from John W. Clark, referenced in the above editorial on the statement by University president Gordon Gray, states that an Associated Press story which appeared in the February 16 edition of the News, stating that Mr. Clark had said that an article written in the Daily Tar Heel by NAACP Associates of Chapel Hill under the name of a Mr. Murphy was a "damn lie", was incorrect, that he had never seen the Daily Tar Heel article and had never made any such statement.

Here is the editorial in question by Dick Murphy, plus a report on the response by the Dialectic Senate to a letter from Mr. Clark seeking information on the persons advocating integration in the state, as well as a letter to the editor from a faculty member in response to Mr. Murphy's editorial, correcting a misstatement therein that he and another faculty member had spoken out in a regular faculty meeting against the University's questionnaire regarding membership in subversive organizations. Also included, from February 19, is a complete report on president Gray's remarks, and a report on the response of the Associated Press to the letter of Mr. Clark sent to various newspapers, per the above, albeit with additional comments apparently charging the A.P. with spreading propaganda around the country in support of abolishing segregation.

Meanwhile, future WOR talk-show host Barry Farber was down in Rio soaking up sun. How was it?

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