The Charlotte News

Monday, February 25, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that U.N. truce negotiators sought to break the deadlock regarding selection of neutral members for the supervisory commission of the truce by offering to withdraw their nomination of Norway, provided that the Communists would give up Russia, and that instead of three members from each side nominated to the commission, there would only be two each. That would leave the U.N. nominees as Switzerland and Sweden, and the Communist nominees as Czechoslovakia and Poland. The Chinese representative indicated that the U.N. had no justification for objection to any of their nominated neutral nations. There was also an alteration of the wording of the limits on inspections to be undertaken by the neutral teams, such that they would check equipment only to the extent necessary to ensure that it was of the same type being replaced and that no secret designs or weaponry would be subject to inspection or examination. The Communists had advocated more thorough inspections and appeared to continue to adhere to that position.

Staff officers working on the prisoner exchange issue made no headway this date.

Likewise, no progress was made on the issue of the number of ports of entry to be inspected.

The Communists demanded an investigation of a complaint of four allied aircraft flying over the Panmunjom conference site on Sunday, and the U.N. representative indicated that the statement was noted and that it would be taken up later when the facts were known.

There was virtually no fighting on the ground this date, with only patrol activity and a few brief clashes.

Heavy clouds and snow grounded most allied planes, with only a few fighter bombers striking at Communist supply lines in 180 sorties, far under the daily average. For the first time in eight days, there were no air battles between enemy and allied jets on Sunday.

In Lisbon, the 14 NATO members this date ended their Council of foreign ministers meeting, having produced a master plan for Western European defense. The only remaining problems before the final sessions were how much the U.S. would pay for an estimated 450 million dollar infrastructure program to produce airbases, communications networks and headquarters across Europe, the best guess being 40 percent, plus the streamlining of the NATO civil and economic organization under a permanent secretary-general. A Big Three meeting on Germany and Austria would take place after the departure this date of most of the 1,500 delegates. The Council meeting was said to have accomplished more than any of the nine which had thus far transpired, with a determination that by the end of the year, there would be a 50-division European army with a 4,000-plane air force, compared to the present fewer than 30 divisions and fewer than 1,000 planes. By 1954, this force would expand to between 88 and 100 divisions, costing Western taxpayers 300 billion dollars, necessitating tax increases in the Western nations. An estimated 200-plus airbases would provide insurance against sudden air attack. The Council also approved the European Defense Community, a supra-national force comprised of France, West Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries, of which General Eisenhower would have command, as with NATO.

Newbold Morris, appointed by the President to clean up the executive branch, stated this date that he was planning to ask officials throughout the Federal service for full details of their private income sources. Meanwhile, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to disapprove providing Mr. Morris with the requested power to grant immunity to some witnesses. It postponed action on the further request that he be given subpoena power.

Senator Irving Ives of New York accused the President of having "kicked around and coerced" the Senate Banking Committee in an attempt to win Senate confirmation of Harry McDonald to head the RFC. The Senator indicated that because the President had acted "in a contemptuous manner", he had decided to vote against the confirmation. The nomination had been approved by the Committee by a vote of 7 to 3 the previous week after having kept it bottled up for several weeks, pending the outcome of an investigation by a House subcommittee of the SEC, which Mr. McDonald currently headed. Senator Homer Capehart of Indiana said that he would make every effort to block the vote on Mr. McDonald unless he received assurance that two alternate pending bills relating to the RFC would be called up soon for a vote, one to abolish the RFC and the other to enact reforms of it.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, finds that a majority of the North Carolina Congressional delegation believed that the President would contest Senator Taft for the general election in November. All eight of the North Carolina Congressmen believed that the Senator would be the Republican nominee and most believed that the President would be the Democratic nominee. Governor Adlai Stevenson was mentioned most often as the alternative to the President if he did not run. Congressman Robert Doughton, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, said that the President would get it if he wanted it. Mr. Reinemer recaps opinions of the other members of the delegation. Senator Willis Smith would not venture a guess, but said that he had heard a lot of non-Southern and Southern Senators favoring Senator Richard Russell of Georgia for the Democratic nomination. The piece does not indicate the stance of Senator Clyde Hoey.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one tapping opinion on who, between Senator Taft and General Eisenhower, would make a better President regarding foreign policy, with the General getting the nod over the Senator by 70 percent to 18 percent, an opinion shared across the board by Republicans, Independents, and Democrats.

Congressman William Poage of Texas stated that the Agriculture Department had barred imports of cattle, hogs and other cloven-foot animals from Canada because of an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Saskatchewan.

In Khartoum, in the Sudan, scientists were jubilant over nearly perfect weather for recording a total eclipse of the sun for three minutes this date, while devout Moslems prayed and pregnant Hindu women hid in their homes out of fear. Seventy scientists from ten countries, including U.S. scientists, worked to record the eclipse, including further checks on Einstein's theory of relativity and seeking more information about that which was behind the sun. The eclipse was visible in the Atlantic region between Brazil and Africa, across Africa and the Arabian and Persian Gulfs to Soviet Siberia. A partial eclipse was visible in other regions.

Whether any senile old dope took off his sunglasses and looked directly into it is not recorded.

On page 11-A, the 31st installment of Fulton Oursler's The Greatest Book Ever Written tells the story of Job.

On the editorial page, "The Fair Deal—A Double Myth" tells of the myth being promulgated against the President's Fair Deal regarding its ushering in the "welfare state" being just as unfounded as the myth put forth by the President to curry favor with certain groups of voters that the Fair Deal had been a success. The general definition of the program included "socialized" medicine, the Brannan Agriculture Plan, and civil rights. But actually, it covered far more than those three areas. It proceeds to list the programs involved, at least by the measures requested by the President in his State of the Union message of 1950, prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. Not one of the proposals listed had been adopted by Congress in 1950 and none had been thus far adopted by the 82nd Congress.

There was some degree of threat, if one chose to call it that, that the Fair Deal might be implemented, and the President would at least pretend to push for it as long as he remained in office. But, it concludes, the hard truth was that the coalition of Southern Democrats and conservative Republicans had successfully blocked the program and would continue to do so into the foreseeable future.

"Brannan and Hoover Should Bury Ax" tells of a running feud between Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan and former President Herbert Hoover, possibly developing from the fact that during the 1930's, Mr. Brannan had been a rising young official in the Department of Agriculture and had worked to improve the lot of the poor farmers in the West, many of whom attributed their poverty to the policies of the Hoover Administration. After Mr. Hoover had been named in 1947 to head the bipartisan commission to examine waste and inefficiency in the executive branch, the resulting report had recommended reorganization of the Department of Agriculture, among many other areas. Mr. Brannan had not agreed with all of the recommended changes and his stance had been criticized by the Citizens Committee for the adoption of the Hoover report. Ten days earlier, Mr. Brannan had criticized some of the statements of the Citizens Committee and a week earlier Mr. Hoover had berated the "sickening conduct" of some Government officials, which Mr. Brannan apparently believed was directed in part at his Department, reacting by suggesting that Mr. Hoover had been a part of the Harding Cabinet during the Teapot Dome scandal of the early 1920's and had done nothing to prevent it.

The piece thinks that they ought to stop bickering. The former President had not mentioned the Agriculture Department, and it is certain that Mr. Brannan would not want to be saddled with responsibility for the current scandals within the Truman Administration for merely being a part of his Cabinet.

It suggests that some of the recommendations of the Hoover Commission regarding Agriculture had been appropriate, such as seeking to bring all of the Department's offices locally under one roof, while others were rejected by the farmers, such as having a county board comprised of farmers advising the Department on policy, when the farmers believed that would require too much of their time away from farming to become enough acquainted to provide such advice.

It concludes that the Department needed a lot of reorganization and the Commission had made sound suggestions which ought be adopted. Meanwhile, however, Mr. Hoover and Mr. Brannan needed to clear the air between them.

"Much Ado about Nothing" finds that the determination by the Army that General MacArthur should not have seven aides, but rather only three, was not, as had been suggested by some, a "reprisal" against the General by Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, but rather only brought him into accord with Army regulations for retired five-star generals. General Eisenhower, while he had been president of Columbia, had been allowed only three assistants.

"Ex-Commissioner Reaps the Harvest" tells of former commissioner of the IRB between 1944 and 1947, Joseph Nunan, Jr., typifying the lax interpretation of the law and ethics within the Truman Administration, as Mr. Nunan had been given permission to represent troubled taxpayers before the Government, on the theory that the law, enacted in 1919, which forbade "any claims against the United States involving any subject matter directly connected with which" a former employee of the Government had been associated, having been interpreted, in this instance, not to apply for the fact that the claims involved were against the taxpayers brought by the Government and not "against" the Government.

The piece finds the interpretation to admit of a violation of the spirit of the law if not the letter and that Senator John Williams of Delaware, who had unearthed much of the scandal involving income tax collection, had found that Mr. Nunan had represented clients with large tax issues, who had managed successfully to evade both prosecution and even payment of the large tax amounts due, in one case two million dollars owed by a brewery.

During the week, Mr. Nunan was scheduled to appear before the House Ways & Means subcommittee investigating the tax scandals. He had denied any improper or illegal actions, but, it posits, he would have a tough time explaining how the IRB, which he had once headed, had been so cooperative toward his clients and had allowed him, under a loose interpretation of the law, to represent them in the first place.

Drew Pearson, in Beaumont, Texas, tells of tidelands oil having become a fighting topic in Texas, despite the fact that there had been no profitable tidelands oil developed, the only wells beside dry holes having proved too unprofitable to continue production. Most of the fighting words surrounding it developed out of pride, with three of the wealthiest oilmen in the Southwest, H. L. Hunt, Clint Murchison and Roy Cullen, finding the issue an effective means by which to beat Washington over the head. Both Mr. Hunt and Mr. Murchison were vigorously against the President and both had provided Senator Joseph McCarthy money with which to campaign against Senator Millard Tydings against his Republican opponent in Maryland, John Butler, in the 1950 Senatorial election. Mr. Cullen had paid a million dollars for part interest in the Liberty Radio network so that he could replace liberal commentator William Shirer with propaganda aimed at Secretary of State Acheson. The three oilmen were leaders in the battle to oust Senator Tom Connally from the Senate, the reason that State Attorney General Price Daniel, who knew little about foreign affairs, had suddenly become an expert in the field, pleasing his big-money backers.

Louisiana, in contrast to Texas, had brought in some profitable tidelands oil wells.

In California, the City of Long Beach had undertaken to develop the tidelands oil, claiming it could do better at the job than the Federal Government, but had failed to meter the output of the wells and so had failed to determine the amount of royalties due to the City or the Federal Government, for whom the money was supposed to be held in trust. In addition, it had been reported that the tidelands oil was subject to being tapped by anyone with an oil truck, via insecure lines. The California State Legislature had found evidence of "substantial unauthorized use and administration of at least a large portion of the granted lands". He concludes that such a report suggested that the Federal Government could do a better job of administering the tidelands oil.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the military planners in Washington having formulated a policy for the contingencies of the cessation of the truce talks in Korea or, in the event of a truce, the violation of the truce terms. But they had not developed any strategy for the current situation, where the Communists consistently injected new terms, with minimal likelihood of acceptance by the allies, stringing out the talks indefinitely.

During the 30-day ceasefire, the wisdom of which the Alsops question in hindsight, the Communists had been able to dig in and shore up their supply lines, and had developed excellent positions from which to launch general war. What once had been a formidable position of superiority by the allies, able to hold that over the Communists in the truce talks, had now dwindled.

The prisoner exchange issue was the most important in the truce talks, and it had been determined that the allies could not return to certain death the Chinese and Korean prisoners who had indicated a desire to remain on the allied side. The allies might be able to convince the Communists to accede to this demand by simply reclassifying these prisoners as political refugees.

But the absence of a policy to confront the continuing delay in the peace talks had yet to be resolved, delay still occurring as it had been for several months, the truce talks having been initiated the previous July 10.

Robert C. Ruark states that while he was not a drinking man, himself, he believed it outrageous to impose a $10.50 tax on a gallon of alcohol. In 1933, the tax had been $1.10 and had risen to four dollars by 1941. The current tax worked out to about 16 cents per drink for the Federal tax alone.

The chronic alcoholic would not be deterred from drinking by these higher prices, but would instead drink shaving lotion, canned heat or moonshine, thus avoiding the high tax. Because of the higher prices, it was said that bootlegging was now bigger than during Prohibition. He suspects "that the bathtub once more [would] produce a substance more concrete than cleanliness, such as gin."

A letter writer finds it commendable that General Eisenhower was remaining on the job as supreme commander of NATO, despite the heavy pressure for him to resign and come home to run for the presidency. He likes the General's stands on issues and thinks he would make a good President, hopes that he would run, but finds that it would be "a greater pity to find that he did not have any more real character than to do what these shallow politicians want him to do".

A letter writer responds to the editorial by Robert Ruark on the merits of universal military training and the draft, wishes to draw attention to a fact which she feels had been overlooked, that young men graduating from high school were finding it difficult to obtain jobs because of the uncertainty of the draft situation, some employers refusing to accept anyone for employment under age 26 unless they had a year of military service. Industry had to train employees and if the person were suddenly drafted, the expenditure of the training would potentially be wasted, and if the trainee returned to the firm, he would have automatic job rights as a veteran, with the consequence that many industrial employers were not hiring men subject to the draft.

A letter from A. W. Black responds to the letter of Dr. George Pack of New York, who had objected to a misquote in the News, that he had not said during a talk in Charlotte that cancer could not be cured, but rather that cancer was being cured with increasing frequency, that he only meant to convey the fact that surgery to remove the cancerous organ or part thereof was the only known way to effect a cure at present in the majority of cases and that less drastic measures were being sought constantly. Mr. Black cites several authorities for the notion that cancer was not being cured and that even early detection was by luck or accident. He indicates that the World Almanac showed that since 1937 there been an increase of more than 5,000 cancer deaths each year, and concludes that even with 100 million dollars having been donated to cancer research during the previous decade, the medical sciences had not "set the woods afire with cancer cures".

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