The Charlotte News

Saturday, February 23, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that the Communist negotiators in Korea accused the U.N. of "barbarously massacring large numbers" of prisoners in the U.N. prison camp on Koje Island, where a riot had broken out the prior Monday among the prisoners, resulting in 69 Korean civilian internees being killed and 142 wounded. The Communists stated that the "latest massacre fully testifies to the brutal inhumanity" with which the U.N. treated its prisoners.

Despite this issue, the staff officers dealing with prisoners of war made some progress this date, having virtually resolved the issue of whether prisoners would be forcibly repatriated or allowed to stay with the capturing side.

The staff officers considering supervision of the truce agreed to the U.N.-proposed reduction in the ceiling on monthly troop rotation to 35,000, but the Communists continued to demand that only five ports of entry on each side be open to inspection by neutral teams during the armistice, whereas the U.N. insisted on six ports. The U.N. spokesman indicated that once this latter issue was resolved, there would still be remaining for resolution some minor issues, albeit not likely to pose any difficulty. This group of staff officers, however, were not considering the primary sticking point in this area, the insistence by the Communists that they be allowed to repair airfields during the armistice.

The Communists continued to insist that Russia be included as one of three Communist representatives on the neutral inspection commission, repeatedly rejected by the U.N. for Russia having taken part in the war, training pilots and supplying planes, munitions and some pilots.

In the air war, the allies the previous week had destroyed ten enemy MIG-15s, with one more probably destroyed, plus nine damaged. No U.N. planes were lost in air action, but ground fire had destroyed five allied planes and five others had failed to return. Some of the latter pilots had been rescued. The loss of ten planes in a week was about the allied average since the war had started, but only three had been lost the previous week, whereas the week before that, 14 had been lost. During the previous week, the Fifth Air Force had flown 4,026 sorties, with fighter-bombers and light bombers flying most of the missions against Communist supply lines.

In Lisbon, West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer promised that West Germany would give up the right to build certain important war industries rather than risk allowing Russia to capture it. Diplomatic officials said that the Chancellor would state the promise in letters to the U.S., Britain and France after the treaty setting up the projected European army had been signed. The industries covered by the promise included atomic weaponry, guided missiles, war chemicals, U-boats and military aircraft. The promise was in exchange for West Germany being provided virtual free rein in terms of war production to enable it to contribute to the European army.

Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett would be called before Congress after his return from the Lisbon NATO Council conference to explain a plan for further separation of the armed services set forth in a Pentagon document in Berlin, directing the Air Force to establish its own supply system, its own corps of engineers and other special services supplied in the past by the Army. One Congressman indicated that setting up separate Air Force services could run into the billions of dollars.

House tax investigators were expected to set a date for the start of the long-awaited hearings into the New York tax collection situation.

Senator Walter George of Georgia indicated that two committees, the Senate Finance Committee which he chaired, and the House Ways & Means Committee, would consider plugging recently disclosed tax loopholes. The Senator said that there had been laxness in granting former employees of the IRB special permission to act as counsel for companies with tax troubles. Two of the investigating Senators, Richard Nixon and Karl Mundt, described the loopholes as "glaring" and said that unless they were closed, their inquiry, as members of Senator Clyde Hoey's investigating subcommittee into the profitable surplus ship deal, would be futile.

In hearings on the ship deal, Joseph Casey, who had arranged the profitable deal, admitted that he led a group of investors who made 3.25 million dollars in profit on a $101,000 cash investment plus a substantial loan by sale of war-surplus oil tankers purchased from the Government. The profits had been aided by the formation of a Panamanian corporation not subject to U.S. taxes. Senator Mundt said that he believed the tax laws should be changed to restrict incorporation of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. corporations and to prevent foreign nationals from exploiting properties obtained from the U.S. Government.

Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma gained strength as a candidate for the Democratic nomination, should the President decide not to run again, by apparently lining up Democratic leaders in his state behind a favorite-son campaign. His first major test against Senator Estes Kefauver, already a candidate, would come in Nebraska's primary on April 1. Senator Kerr had said that he would back the President if he were to run. Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, who supported the President for the nomination, said that Governor Adlai Stevenson and Vice-President Alben Barkley would be the two leading alternate candidates to the President.

In New York, Senator Taft was challenged by commentator Tex McCrary to continue a television debate begun Thursday night, in which tempers had flared and the studio audience had booed and cheered, as Mr. McCrary had stated that the Senator was "careless with the truth" in his book, A Foreign Policy for Americans. He clarified that he had not called the Senator a liar, as the Senator had claimed.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, in an interview with Congressman Robert Doughton, tells of the long-time salon recommending that Democrats in North Carolina "get to work", indicating that there was nothing to the talk about the Republicans coming into power, that there was plenty of material within the Democratic Party. He was proud of the fact that he had never been defeated for re-election in his 41 years in Congress. He said that he would take no hand in selecting his successor when he retired at the end of the current session. He had recently corrected a rumor that he wore a size 15 shoe by indicating that he could fit into any eight and a half.

In Montréal, a three-year old girl, kidnapped from her home the previous night, was found by police this date walking along the street opposite a department store with a man. The kidnapper had demanded a ransom of $50,000. The police arrested the man, whom they believed had worked for the child's father. The child was unharmed.

In Columbia, S.C., a former Sumter County jailer was found guilty in Federal District Court this date on three of 14 counts of an indictment charging him with violating the civil rights of prisoners, and was sentenced to six months or a fine of $100. He paid the fine. All three convictions involved beatings of black women. The jury had deliberated nine hours.

Near Lillington, N.C., three persons had died in an automobile collision early this date, and the driver of one of the two cars had been killed along with his wife and an adult passenger, and the couple's three children were hospitalized, one of whom in critical condition. The other driver was being held without charge pending an inquest.

A three-man committee of the Bishops of America had suggested that American Roman Catholics be permitted to eat meat once per day on Wednesdays during Lent, except on Ash Wednesday. The bishop of the diocese would render the final decision for the Lenten period lasting from February 27 through April 13.

In Newburgh, N.Y., mystery writer Mickey Spillane stated that he would write no more of slayings and sex, but would devote himself to "preaching the establishment of the kingdom of God." He said that he had become a Jehovah's Witness and that subsequent writing would reflect his new views.

A photograph shows Market Street in San Francisco, the main thoroughfare, turned into a parking lot, by permission of the Mayor, during a transportation strike, which had ended the previous night after City officials and the Carmen's Union had reached an agreement on a maximum working day.

On the editorial page, "High-Handed Alumni" tells of chancellor John Harrelson of N.C. State College, because of his recent hospitalization, having had no chance to act on a petition signed by 16 Mecklenburg County alumni of the school, seeking punishment for the editor of the student newspaper, The Technician, for criticizing the chairman of the College Athletic Council. The piece thinks that the chancellor ought thank the alumni for their interest but firmly tell them to mind their own business, as the alumni should not be meddling in administrative policies of any institution supported by all of the people of the state.

Moreover, the note had been stated in brazen language, demanding that the chancellor take appropriate action against the editor, as when "any student reaches the point that he thinks he owns the institution, it is time for him to be advised to transfer elsewhere". It also sought the home addresses of nine students who had been connected with the newspaper's staff in the past, all having "non-Anglo-Saxon names".

It suggests, however, that the note may have inadvertently set off a belated full investigation of the power of the Wolfpack Club, an alumni organization which subsidized athletics at the college, and its impact on the firing the previous fall of football coach Beattie Feathers, as well as why the manager of the college supply stores received as much as $40,000 in a year under a contract by which he received 20 percent of the profits of the store plus a $6,000 per year salary, more in the aggregate than either the president of the University, the football coach or the Governor.

The only question we have is whether it is Technician or Tech Nician?

"Leave Well Enough Alone" tells of the House having approved the change of the name of the Blue Ridge Parkway during the week to Robert L. Doughton Parkway, in honor of the North Carolina Congressman, who had been instrumental in obtaining the Federal funding for the project. It indicates that after this proper respect had been shown, the resolution should be allowed to die in the Senate, per the desires of Mr. Doughton, whose name already graced a beautiful park along the Parkway near his home.

It indicates that a great deal might be lost by changing the name, as a lot of money had been spent advertising the Blue Ridge Parkway, and its name had become known all over the world. It was also aptly named for the Blue Ridge Mountains, through which it traversed from Shenandoah National Park to Asheville, eventually to reach the Great Smoky Mountain Park. It indicates that it would lose its identity with the hills if its name were changed.

"Step by Step" tells of law enforcement slowly dragging the "dark and evil" Klan out into the light where it could be seen for what it was and handled accordingly. The previous weekend, Federal, State and local officials had arrested 10 former Klansmen in Columbus County and booked them on Federal charges of kidnapping and civil rights violations regarding the flogging of a man and woman, taken from their home at night, driven over the South Carolina border and each separately then flogged.

Early Monday morning, a Cumberland County tenant farmer and his family had fled their home in terror after masked men had visited their front door for the third night in succession, after several such visits during the previous months. Toward the end of the week, the family had been able to move back into their home, while Cumberland County police maintained a vigil.

The prior Tuesday night, a cross had been burned on the property of a Wake County farmer, and officers had arrested three men and charged them with trespass.

Later during the week, two men from Horry County in South Carolina, scene of several Klan demonstrations, had been arrested by State officers and questioned about the reported beating of a mother of six children on February 11, the arrest occurring after the mother had written a letter to Governor James Byrnes, identifying her assailants.

Federal Judge Don Gilliam told a grand jury in Raleigh of the concern over the bands of men who were flogging people at night in violation of State and Federal laws under the guise of religious principles. The grand jury, therefore, would likely seek to root out, expose and bring to justice the culprits.

It concludes that mob violence in any form was a threat to basic liberties and security of all citizens and had to be countered with the sternest disciplinary measures, if the dignity of the law and the inviolability of individual rights were to be preserved.

"Signs of the Season" tells of Democratic Party strategists jeering at Republican contributors "who try to look happy with a greasy chicken wing in their well-manicured hands—but a national survey shows that the Republicans rely on a large number of one dollar-a-plate gatherings to fill their campaign coffers." It was return for the jeering to Democrats by Republicans over their Jackson-Jefferson dinners during lean years in the past for the Republican fundraisers, publicizing their GOP one-dollar chicken box-dinners.

The piece finds it to be the kind of politics it could understand, when the Democrats started throwing greasy chicken wings at the Republicans, and the Republicans started throwing big bills at the Democrats. "To heck with the atom bomb."

Drew Pearson, in Vernon, Tex., tells of the President's name being so splattered with mud in the Southwest that one almost felt sorry for him. The reaction was similar to that which existed in the latter days of the Hoover Administration during the depths of the Depression, when the President, touring the country by train, discovered how meager and hostile the crowds greeting him were, a few days before his overwhelming defeat in 1932.

Texans were intrigued over the prospect of re-election to the Senate of Senator Tom Connolly, with his Democratic opponent in the primary being State Attorney General Price Daniel—to be elected Senator in 1952 after Senator Connally decided to retire. Some of the Senator's colleagues on the other side of the aisle would like to see Senator Connally's caustic tongue eliminated from the body. Recently when he tangled with Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah regarding admission to NATO of Greece and Turkey, Senator Watkins had raised a question regarding the NATO treaty, to which Senator Connolly brusquely replied that to those who could read and think, the provision was clear. When Senator Watkins further inquired that he wanted to know whether the provisions of the treaty were to be implemented by Congress, Senator Connolly answered with the question whether he thought they were to be implemented by the "bootblack in the barbershop". It was likely that Senator Connolly would win again in Texas, after serving for 24 years.

Mr. Pearson drove to the heart of the Waggoner Ranch in Texas, where eight cowboys were rounding up mavericks, with each cowboy using six horses, resting five while he rode one. Each cowboy in the summer managed a string of 14 to 16 horses, sometimes using two or three in a day. On the Waggoner Ranch, branding and altering was usually done in the open prairie without a corral, as it took too long to corral the cattle. On the day Mr. Pearson arrived, however, the mavericks were so rowdy that they had to be roped, tied and then hauled to the corral by jeep. The modern ranch could not get along without the cowboys, but it was a job not attracting new recruits, as few youngsters wanted to become cowboys, instead opting to become mechanics or salesmen, or attending college.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that if the President were to run again, it would tear the Democratic Party asunder, as suggested by a recent meeting of the Southern Democratic leaders in Washington, including South Carolina Governor James Byrnes and Senators Richard Russell of Georgia and Harry F. Byrd of Virginia. In that meeting, the Governor and Senator Byrd sought to convince Senator Russell to become the standard-bearer for the Southern revolt in the event that the President was renominated and the Republicans nominated Senator Taft. Senator Russell, however, refused, and Governor Byrnes also refused, as did Senator Byrd. Whomever might be chosen as the titular leader in the event of occurrence of the aforementioned contingency, the Southern leaders expected to carry at least seven or eight states in the general election, instead of the four carried by the Dixiecrats in 1948. The fact that such Southerners as Governor Byrnes, who had not participated in the Dixiecrat movement four years earlier, were aboard this time suggested that such a prediction was not overly optimistic.

Should that take place, it would portend an "almost an unhealable, infinitely bitter split" in the Democratic Party and would reduce the President's chances of taking the required majority of the electoral vote, thus potentially sending the election into the House for final decision. It would not, however, increase Senator Taft's chances for taking the majority, as he would need the South to win, where he was unlikely to do well.

If, however, the Democrats nominated Governor Adlai Stevenson, the Southerners did not intend at present to revolt. That appeared somewhat mysterious, as the Governor was as committed to civil rights legislation as was the President, seemingly the primary issue among the potential Southern revolters. But as one Southerner had put it, "Stevenson has one great asset in the South—his name is not Truman."

Parenthetically, it might be suggested that the Southerners despised a turncoat above all other qualities, and the belief had been in 1944, when the party bosses nominated Senator Truman to be the vice-presidential nominee, that, being from the border state of Missouri, he would not, in the event of becoming President,—a known possibility, considered at the time because of FDR's health issues evident by mid-1944—, be a strong proponent of the so-called "welfare state" and civil rights, Vice-President Henry Wallace, a known supporter of those programs, having been dumped in large part because of that stance. Governor Byrnes had also been in line for the nomination for the vice-presidency in 1944 and, reportedly, was bitter about being passed over for it as he had supposedly been promised the nomination by FDR, having been, since leaving the Supreme Court after a year in 1942 to become the economic stabilizer and then war mobilizer, the "assistant President" during the war years, as dubbed in the press.

In the event that Governor Stevenson became the nominee, there would be less likelihood for a Democrats-for-Eisenhower movement, even though the General might be able to make some headway in the South, especially in the border states. That would be significant, as the 146 electoral votes from the South might conceivably decide the election.

The Alsops conclude that the President, as a loyal party man, had to be considering these various issues and whether it was worth tearing his party apart to run again, just as the professional Republican leaders had to be considering whether it was worth almost a sure defeat to nominate their choice, Senator Taft.

Marquis Childs tells of the cheating exposed in the Commodity Credit Corporation being examined more closely than any of the other scandals in Washington for its implication to the farm vote, which had been instrumental in electing the President in 1948. Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan was about to appear voluntarily before a Federal grand jury in Denver exploring one set of charges regarding the matter. Already 20 members of the Department had testified before that grand jury. Secretary Brannan was confident that the situation at CCC was in hand and that all suspicious cases were under investigation, with no more surprises likely. Two Congressional committees were also looking into the matter and 20 cases were before the courts, with 10 to 20 more under investigation by the Department.

Criticism of Secretary Brannan was directed at the way he had handled the investigation rather than any failure on his part to pursue the matter, having sought initially to keep it "within the family", even after a Senate committee began looking into the thievery.

Just how much the scandal would affect the farm vote was in question, as there were so many scandals at the local, state and Federal levels that their impact individually was discounted by many. Prosperity among farmers would also play a significant role. While there was some drop in the parity ratio, from 110 to 105, since January, 1951, the current ratio was considered quite good, despite some commodities, such as hogs at 81, being below parity. Yet, labor and materials costs had also been soaring. Farm experts were able to tie the farm vote directly to parity prices through several elections, such that the farmers voted for the status quo when the parity prices were high.

In an attempt to win the farm vote, Senator Taft was campaigning on the basis of the importance of farm prosperity.

A letter from Wild Bill Williamson, Sr., of Phoenix, Arizona, originally of Charlotte, who had not written the newspaper in a long while, tells of being photographed by the local newspaper in Phoenix after just having paid his 1951 income tax and appearing glum in the picture, as everyone usually was after paying their income tax. He supplies a copy which is reprinted with the letter. He wonders why they bothered to photograph him when there were far more interesting and attractive people on the street to photograph. He indicates that with the coming of summer, he would be going back up into the hills to his gold mine where he would live on a diet of beans, javelina hog, venison, etc., until December, when he would come down into the Valley of the Sun again and restore the 25 pounds which he would lose during the summer. He rarely found gold but there was wealth in the satisfaction that one was healthy, owed no one a cent, and could go into the hills and live like a king, sleeping under the stars, fearing neither man nor beast, "away from the hustle and bustle of an evil city". There was also music in the hills and desert, as one could hear the birds calling to their mates, the mountain lion singing his love song, or song of hate, as the case might be. He indicates that it was where he would live during the summers and where he would be buried when he eventually died.

Incidentally, the front-page box in the top left corner suggests that Mr. Williamson wrote the newspaper annually to provide an update on his Arizona gold quest, but, at least by the letters published, his correspondence was less regular, this being the second in the prior five years.

And imagine trying to charge folks $1.99 to watch a 55-year old thirty-minute sitcom, the blacked-out link from 33 months ago, which appeared repeatedly in syndication since its original presentation on November 11, 1963 for free. Hmmm-hmmm, that is not Mayberry living, but rather greed, greed, greed... The very type of thing which produced November, 1963.

A letter from three inmates in the Mecklenburg County Jail states that they had offered to donate blood to the Red Cross, but that the jailer had refused to take them to the donation center. One had been in the Marines and now had two brothers in the Marines on their way to Korea, and so wanted to know why it was that the jailer would not allow them to donate blood for the fighting men of the country.

The editors note that the jailer explained that prisoners could give blood at any time but only at the jail, that the jailer could not take prisoners out of the jail for the purpose because of the possibility of escape. The Red Cross director of blood recruitment, Ruth Lockman, stated that the standards provided that a physician and a nurse had to be present during the taking of blood and that the necessity of setting up the equipment made it impractical to go to the jail to receive blood from only three donors. The bloodmobile was sent out for groups of 100 or more. She also stated that prisoners generally did not make good prospects for donations as many suffered from diseases.

Well, now, that's a rather ruthless stereotype.

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