The Charlotte News

Friday, February 22, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that the truce negotiating teams in Korea offered each other compromise packages on troop rotation and ports of entry this date, rejected by each side, though the differences were only by 5,000 men in the troop rotation and one port of entry for inspection. The U.N. also again rejected the Communist nomination of Russia as a member of the six neutral-nation inspection commission.

A recent riot in the allied prison camp at Koje Island which left 69 Koreans dead and 142 wounded was expected to have repercussions in the negotiations on prisoner exchange.

South Korean Marines resisted a Communist amphibious invasion of an allied-held island off the northeast coast of Korea in a 33-hour battle, as the Marines sank 13 of the 20 vessels in the enemy force, killing 70 and capturing six prisoners, suffering losses of nine killed and six wounded. The resistance was aided by carrier-based U.S. planes.

U.S. Eighth Army officials reported no fighting on Friday except brief clashes between small groups.

In Lisbon, the 14 member nations of NATO, meeting at the foreign ministers Council, unanimously endorsed the creation of a European defense army, including soldiers of West Germany. The Army would be comprised of troops from six nations, France, Germany, Italy and the Benelux nations, totaling two million men. Each nation's parliament had first to ratify the agreement. The U.S., meanwhile, had agreed tentatively to provide France an additional 570 million dollars in procurement contract aid to help its rearmament program, to enable France to close the gap caused by inflation.

An Air Force official this date told Senators of the Preparedness Investigating subcommittee, looking into reports of waste and extravagance in the costs of overseas airbases, that the Joint Chiefs had ordered rushed construction of airbases in North Africa soon after the attack on North Korea in June, 1950, resulting in increased expenditures because of the emergency program.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, tells of a number of bills gathering dust in Congressional committees which, if they were passed, would decrease bureaucratic red tape and Federal expenditures. Some of the bills, being urged by the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report, would continue to be pigeonholed while others might become law. The bills primarily dealt with the Post Office Department, the Agriculture Department and the Veterans Administration. It was not likely that the Post Office and VA would be reorganized, but there would likely be some minor changes made in the Agriculture Department.

At Valley Forge, Pa., the Freedoms Foundation observed the 220th anniversary of George Washington's birthday, awarding its third annual eleven top prizes of $1,500 each for outstanding contributions to the American way of life in the prior year. In addition, the Foundation awarded cash to 247 other persons and institutions, including 32 high school publications. A total of $100,000 was distributed, with an additional 350 honorary medals. The University of Denver won the $1,500 prize in the college campus division for sponsorship of a five-week public affairs institute. It lists the various other major winners by category.

Two of the prizes were awarded to residents of Charlotte, including Mr. Reinemer, for his six articles explaining the Hoover Report, published in The News the previous September 10-15, and to Vernon Patterson for an unpublished essay, "The Founders of Freedom". Mr. Reinemer, a graduate of Montana State University and former Air Force pilot, had joined the staff of the newspaper July 12, 1951 and had become associate editor on October 19. Other North Carolinians who had received awards included Ralph Mills, a Greensboro photographer, Chapel Hill playwright Paul Green, Gordon Tomlinson, an editor in Mocksville, and Max Tharpe, a Statesville photographer.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one asking respondents who, between Senator Taft and General Eisenhower, would do a better job of cleaning up the Government, with Republicans favoring Senator Taft by 49 percent to 36 percent, while Independents favored General Eisenhower by 43 percent to 29 percent, and Democrats favored General Eisenhower by 56 percent to 19 percent. Overall, respondents favored General Eisenhower by 45 percent to 31 percent on the question, with the remainder undecided.

In Newport, R.I., 13 merchant sailors who stayed aboard the stern section of the tanker Fort Mercer, which had split apart the prior Monday in the winter's worst Atlantic snowstorm, arrived in port this date. Twenty-one of their number had been rescued earlier from the stern section by the Coast Guard.

In Asheville, opposition mounted to a proposal to rename the Blue Ridge Parkway in honor of Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, following a House resolution passed the previous day so changing the name. But the president of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce said that his board of directors was opposed, and the head of the Chamber of Commerce of Roanoke, Va., and the president of the Blue Ridge Parkway Associated Chambers of Commerce also indicated opposition.

In Charlotte, William Henry Belk, founder of the Belk's Department Stores, was to receive his final rites the following Sunday after his death the previous day at age 89 following a heart attack. Many community leaders paid tribute to him.

On the editorial page, "George Washington—Public Servant" refers to the column by Marquis Childs on the page, contrasting current leadership in Washington with that of the Founders, especially George Washington, whose birthday was celebrated this date. It recaps the familiar history of the early life of the Father of the Country—which you may read on your own.

After serving as the head of the Continental Army during the Revolution, the General was called upon by his country to represent Virginia at the Constitutional Convention in 1786. He had urged through letters to influential friends the creation of an "indissoluble union", supported by Federal impost taxes. He presided over the Convention for four months and then took up the battle for ratification of the completed document, being influential in Virginia's adoption of it and also ratification by Massachusetts. He was then unanimously elected the first President in 1788 and served in that capacity for eight years, through March, 1797, refusing a third term. In 1798, he was appointed commander-in-chief of the provisional army, when a threat of war with France arose. Then, in December, 1799, he overexposed himself to cold and snow, contracting laryngitis which caused his death.

It suggests that the country now was full of George Washingtons, men of character, integrity and ability, with sufficient wealth and power to provide leadership to the nation. But instead of following the Washington example, they usually preferred to remain comfortable in their limited spheres, complaining about the sad state of public affairs, the immorality and inefficiency of the small caliber politicians who won positions of power and influence by default. It posits that it was the moral for the day to be taken from the life of Washington.

"William Henry Belk" pays homage to the founder of Belk's Department Stores who had died the previous day at age 89, having built from modest beginnings a chain of 305 stores in 14 states, with many thousands of employees. He had developed a simple formula for the business, selling good merchandise and, where possible, for less than the competition. He had also instituted construction of nice buildings with attractive displays and compelling advertising, with good service to customers. He continued to pay close personal attention to the business even at his advanced age. He had been a loyal churchman and contributed to building hundreds of new churches throughout the South. He had made notable contributions also to Davidson and Queens Colleges. While personally reserved and so not actively participating in public affairs, he had provided quiet and effective support to many worthwhile projects.

"Breathless Prose" tells of the New York Times issuing a correction to its weekly "News in Review" section in a long sentence regarding the U.S. High Commission now believing that democracy in Germany was sufficiently strong to withstand any surge from the right, having mistakenly inserted "hardly", to modify the sufficiency of money having been injected in aid to do so, in place of the intended "hardy". The piece suggests that the lengthy, breathless single sentence embracing the idea might have been shortened or divided with punctuation as well.

Just because English I and Creative Writing in the Style of Hemingway so recommends, doesn't mean you have to be a stooge to convention, Friday editorialist, especially when providing quick, compressed synopses of news. Of course, if one merely sets out to fill the editorial column with a couple of biographical expositions and a filler on another newspaper's correction of its print, maybe prosaic writing comes in handy.

Drew Pearson, in Los Angeles, discusses the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights on George Washington's birthday, each of which had been circulated by the Madison Capital Times in Wisconsin and the New Orleans Item the previous July 4, asking people, without the documents being labeled, whether or not they would subscribe to them, the majority having refused, based on either fear of McCarthyism or their ignorance of the basic principles set forth by the Founders. To rectify the deficiency, many people were circulating copies of the Declaration across schoolrooms of the nation, the printing being underwritten by the Sertoma Clubs as well as by the Virginia State Printers Association. Mr. Pearson suggests that Communism could only be stopped by placing the creed of the American Revolution alongside the false creeds of the Russian Revolution and allowing the world to choose between them.

James Roosevelt, who had been thoroughly beaten in the California gubernatorial race by Earl Warren in 1950, was busy paying off his campaign debt, said to be $90,000, and was making headway toward doing so. Helen Gahagan Douglas, who had lost the California Senatorial race to Richard Nixon, also had a large campaign debt, necessitating the sale of her home to satisfy.

Senator Estes Kefauver was so popular in California that supporters of the President were trying to discourage a delegation supporting the President from entry to that state's primary. But the Kefauver organization had been hastily put together, whereas the Truman machine was working smoothly. Thus, if the Senator were to win the California primary over the President's delegation, it would be a solid victory.

Mr. Pearson suggests keeping an eye on the rise of California Attorney General Pat Brown, the only Democrat to win statewide office in the 1950 election. Mr. Brown got along well with Governor Warren and had taken a forthright stand in interpretation of the law regarding the 160-acre limitation on land under reclamation, preventing thereby huge ranches from taking over, the trend in California. Mr. Brown was firm in disallowing loopholes in the Federal law. Of course, Pat Brown would become Governor in 1959, and win re-election over Richard Nixon in 1962. His son, Jerry, would serve two two-term stints as Governor, from 1975 to 1983 and 2011 to 2019, interspersed by a term as California's Attorney General, from 2007 to 2011.

The real estate lobbyists were working in Los Angeles to stymie the Taft Public Housing Act, stepping in to prevent the City Council from furthering its planned 12 million dollar program of slum clearance. Mayor Fletcher Bowron was resisting the Council's reversal of its earlier decision and had caused the matter to go to the State Supreme Court for resolution. The lobby was making Los Angeles a test case for the nation, calling the public housing law "creeping socialism", and so the outcome would determine the fate of the law. The battle also might reveal some of Senator Taft's real views, as he was further to the left probably on some domestic issues than General Eisenhower, having also championed Federal aid to education and a modified health care plan, and demonstrating a belief in elimination of slums as a means to combat Communist propaganda.

Marquis Childs, as indicated in the above editorial, contrasts the present state of leadership in Washington with the Founders, especially George Washington, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson, all of whom he regards as having been aristocrats "in the best meaning of that word." Yet, they had not been afraid of the rough and tumble of politics and had not drawn back in fear of the existing authority. George Washington had not liked being taken away from his self-sufficient world at Mount Vernon, but repeatedly accepted positions of responsibility on behalf of the new nation. In contrast to 1952, few men of wealth and power were willing to follow the concept of noblesse oblige.

While there were those in the large cities who had wealth and some degree of political power, they were not self-sufficient, having to rely on society for basic transportation, food and utilities. Rather than this reliance instilling a sense of basic responsibility for the whole society, the opposite appeared to have been the case.

The big cities could not run themselves, and when the leadership was left to those who were in it for profit, the adverse consequences were great, producing a chain reaction, sending to Washington "small bore politicians looking for favors and handouts." The whole system from top to bottom thus deteriorated, causing average citizens to speak with contempt of politics and politicians.

By the 1948 three-volume biography of George Washington by Douglas Southall Freeman, it was evident that the Father of the Country had been an ambitious man, but not merely for more wealth and power, rather possessed of a noble ambition to distinguish himself in the service of his country, willing to pay the price of that ambition in the toil of both politics and war.

Norman Walker tells of the Government, through the Wage Stabilization Board, studying another way to allow employers to provide workers higher wages through a "productivity allowance" or an annual improvement factor. The system had been urged by the labor unions so that workers could obtain a specific share of the improving production output of American industry. The industrial members of the Board thought such a productivity allowance might be good for some industries, but not across the board. The President's Council of Economic Advisers believed that such a bonus would give greater incentive for workers to produce.

Generally, according to Government statistics, productivity was improving at the rate of about 2 to 3 percent per year. Labor wanted wages therefore increased by 3 percent based on that rate, that being sought in the current steel dispute. In addition to more efficient worker output, better machinery and management also might be contributing to the increase. In the steel case, the industry contended that workers were already receiving more than that to which they were entitled based on increased cost of living and productivity. Moreover, if the average for the entire industry was three percent, then in some areas, productivity was remaining stagnant or even decreasing. Some firms paid for increased output through incentive plans based on individual performance, and so the question arose as to whether all employees ought benefit from increased performance by only some workers.

In addition, there was the problem of assessing productivity, fairly easy in a factory making only one type of widget, but more difficult where a more complex product, such as an airplane, was being produced, sometimes with a model more complex than the one of the previous year. Increased productivity was also difficult to assess in such businesses as insurance or a shoeshine parlor.

How about health food restaurants?

A letter writer from Pittsboro comments on an editorial of February 18, "The World, the Nation, and the GOP", in which had been stated that the central issue in the coming election would be foreign policy, and so proceeded to lay out the contrasting foreign policy positions of Senator Taft, generally contrary to the Administration and favoring drawing in of defenses to the two coasts and reliance on air and naval power abroad, and that of General Eisenhower, generally in favor of the Administration's internationalist foreign policy of containment of Communism. This writer thinks that the country could reach disaster by over-extension, making indiscriminate commitments around the world. He also wishes to curb the "welfare-state philosophy", which he believes had been borrowed from the "German police state", favoring the "traditional American way of life", without government controls.

In other words, he wishes to go back to the Nineteenth Century on all fronts.

A letter writer from Mooresville comments on the February 8 editorial, "The Earlier Jimmy Byrnes", in which the newspaper contrasted the earlier support for the New Deal programs by Mr. Byrnes when he had been a Senator in the 1930's, continuing during his time in the Administration during the war and thereafter, as Secretary of State under President Truman, with the approach he was now taking as Governor of South Carolina, that "big government" was "bad government". The writer agrees with the Governor that the order by Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson, allowing award of defense contracts on a formula other than merely the lowest bid, was indefensible regarding the textile industry, as, he asserts, the Congress lacked the legal authority to legislate special rights for selected groups, to be designated by the executive branch. But he also appears to disagree with the Governor regarding his interpretation of states' rights.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.