The Charlotte News

Friday, February 29, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George A. McArthur, that allied truce negotiators told the Communists this date that the U.N.'s rejection of Russia as a Communist-nominated member of the neutral inspection commission was final and "irrevocable", that further debate on the matter would be "futile". It was the strongest statement since the prior July when the Communists were warned that armistice talks would break down unless they abandoned demands for a ceasefire line at the 38th parallel. The Communists responded by saying that "any such attitude of arrogance and arbitrariness will be categorically rejected".

The subcommittee on prisoner exchange made little progress in its first session since February 6, dealing with the voluntary repatriation issue, not considered by the staff officers who had been dealing with the other prisoner issues for the previous four weeks and had resolved them.

U.S. Army officials said that a special commission had completed its investigation of the Communist-led revolt at the Koje Island allied prison camp, but the report would not be released until higher authorities had reviewed it. The Communists were again raising the issue in the subcommittee on prisoner exchange.

Allied tank raiders hit the former Communist supply base at Kumsong on the central front this date, attacking entrenched Chinese troops in the hills north of the city, while another group of allied tanks fought against Chinese artillery and mortar positions on the western front, the attack lasting for more than three hours in the former battle and 90 minutes in the latter. About a third of the enemy's mortar shells were filled with propaganda leaflets, accusing the allies of "indiscriminate bombing" and blaming the U.N. negotiators for delaying the truce talks.

The Eighth Army engaged in a few patrol actions, but ground activity was generally absent along the 155-mile front, as spring weather began to appear.

For the second successive day, allied jets saw no enemy jets in the skies over northwest Korea in MIG alley. Fifth Air Force planes hit enemy rail lines at 130 locations, as on the prior day.

In Alloway, N.J., the angry father of a soldier sentenced to ten years under a court martial for sleeping on guard duty in Korea, was fighting to gain his son's freedom, retaining a lawyer to appeal the military tribunal's decision. His son said that he fell asleep after being on duty for three consecutive days without rest and had felt numb all over at the time. He had been court-martialed with four others for sleeping on duty at the front lines on November 14. They had set up rocks on which to sit as they knew they would fall asleep if they got too comfortable on the ground. Three of the men had escaped punishment after the sergeant who was supposed to testify against them was killed in combat two days later. The slated dishonorable discharges had been lifted from the remaining two.

They need to court martial the commanding officer who assigned them to such continuous duty for three days, especially under minimal combat conditions. If you disagree, try staying awake under cold, miserable and stressful conditions outdoors for three straight days. What good is an awake guard who is not alert?

Backers of Senator Richard Russell believed that he would be able to capture the Southern delegates from Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee in the quest for the Democratic nomination, and might block nomination of the President should he run. Senator Russell had announced his candidacy the prior day.

Senator Taft was upset that his name would be last in alphabetical order on the March 11 New Hampshire primary ballot, but the officials refused to change the order. He predicted that he would obtain four of the state's GOP convention delegates out of 14.

He could always change his name to Dewey.

Senator Kefauver decided not to contest favorite-son Senator Hubert Humphrey in the Minnesota primary, Senator Humphrey standing in for the President. Senator Taft decided not to contest former Governor of Minnesota Harold Stassen in the Republican primary in that state.

Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania, one of the primary backers of General Eisenhower for the nomination, complained on a television program the previous night regarding the "scandalous un-Americanism" being demonstrated in the campaign against the General, for instance caricaturing the General as being decorated by Stalin under a caption, "Served him well".

In the News straw poll of candidates for the November election, General Eisenhower so far led with 36 percent, to Senator Taft, in second with 29 percent, followed by the President with 11 percent. Governor Adlai Stevenson had received only three percent of the ballots, tied with Governor Earl Warren. Responses to the informal poll were still being submitted. The story provides some anecdotal comments of respondents, one of which, in rationale for supporting General Eisenhower, read: "We need someone we can trust—a Christian." That person may not like the fact, come 1959, that President Eisenhower will appoint Christian Herter Secretary of State to replace deceased John Foster Dulles, even said to have considered him as a replacement for troubled Vice-President Nixon on the ticket in 1956.

In Brazil, 425 miles northwest of Rio de Janeiro, eight persons had been killed and another 23 injured in a plane crash the previous night during an attempted landing in fog. All aboard were said to be Brazilian.

The North Carolina State Patrol had determined that one of the two men killed in the wreck between a car and truck near Matthews, in the area of Charlotte, early the prior day was likely a traveling salesman in a company car who was seeking to take the photographs of service men in Eastern North Carolina during recent days, but the dead passenger remained a mystery. The car had been identified as belonging to the man's company, a spokesman for which said he was traveling in the state for the purpose.

In Raleigh, the Greater University Board of Trustees passed a resolution by a vote of 47 to 23, indicating that the statements by trustee John W. Clark of Greensboro regarding segregation and racial questions were his individual responsibility and that it was inappropriate for the Board to recognize them officially. Mr. Clark had written a letter to the UNC Dialectic Senate seeking to know the names of its members who had taken the position that segregation should be abandoned in the state. He also had described a "rotten fringe" surrounding the University seeking to abolish segregation, listing several instances at the University in which whites and blacks had mingled at functions. President Gordon Gray of the University said that Mr. Clark had not intended, as charged, to intimidate the members of the Dialectic Senate and that he did not question Mr. Clark's sincerity, but also requested that the Board determine what statements and actions should be carried on in its name.

Parenthetically, to provide a little context to the above-linked material from August, 1898 regarding Mr. Clark's father, then-State Supreme Court Justice, later Chief, Walter Clark, one of the witnesses testifying for Dr. John C. Kilgo, then-president of Trinity College, later to become Duke University, being challenged by Justice Clark as unfit to serve for, among other things, allegedly being a ward-heeler type and "scrub politician", was John Spencer Bassett, professor of history at Trinity. Dr. Bassett, as recorded in 1941 in The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash, had in 1902 spawned a controversy by supposedly saying in the South Atlantic Quarterly that after General Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington was the greatest man born in the South in a century, prompting calls for his dismissal from the faculty and "one of the most liberal and intelligent editors the South has had", Josephus Daniels, by 1941 Ambassador to Mexico and former Secretary of the Navy, as such "chief" of FDR in the latter's first Federal Government job during the Wilson Administration, regularly to print the professor's name as "bASSett" in the Raleigh News & Observer. Actually, unless it was misdated by a year or so, more probably mangled in the retelling, the actual quote did not refer to General Lee, but rather stated that Mr. Washington was "one of the greatest men who has lived in the South". Professor Bassett's heresy to the South was more likely the last line of the paragraph, phrased as a rhetorical question. For in his praise of Mr. Washington, he only echoed that of Walter Hines Page, one of the more venerable men of North Carolina and of the nation in his time, partner in Doubleday & Page and subsequently Ambassador to Great Britain during the Wilson Administration. Of course, Professor Bassett's question also only suggested the truth of Mr. Page's assessment, that slavery had held the whites of the South a hundred years behind "their fellows in every other part of the world".

In Toledo, O., a desk sergeant at the police department had requested removal of a barrel of volatile dynamite stored beneath his desk and the press room for nearly a year, lest it explode and send police officers and journalists into the great beyond, indicating that he was not prepared yet to go.

In Cleveland, a wife seeking divorce from her husband said that he had registered with a "wife" at a hotel, but that she had not been the other person. He had, she said, also broken rules of conduct she had laid down, which included forgoing all "prior transgressions", letting her handle the household finances, to be debonair and gallant, neither to provoke nor engage in any arguments, and taking her out once per week, while letting her have custody of their two children in the event of disagreement.

In Marysville, Calif., members of the California State Farm Bureau Federation decided to submit their shirts to their Congressmen to show their disgust with high taxes, and were encouraging others across the nation to do likewise.

On the editorial page, "A Warning to Mr. Truman" considers Senator Richard Russell's entry to the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, finding the timing of it the most interesting aspect. The Southern Democrats dissatisfied with the President had, for some time, wanted Senator Russell to contest for the nomination in 1952, but there had been no indications that the Dixiecrats would move so early, to the contrary, indicating recently a wait-and-see attitude until the convention.

Senator Harry F. Byrd had said recently at the strategy meeting of Southern Democrats in Selma, Ala., that the Southerners would seek at the convention to restore the two-thirds rule for selecting the nominee, replaced by the simple majority rule since 1936, and to write a platform and nominate a candidate acceptable to the South. Apparently, the Southerners now believed that the President would run again, and the early entry by Senator Russell appeared as notification to the President that it would be a bad idea for him to do so.

It indicates its opposition to a third party movement in the South but finds admiration for Senator Russell, as his record on foreign policy and service as chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee left little to be desired, plus had gained stature before the nation by being fair, impartial and businesslike in the MacArthur hearings of a year earlier. But any Southerner representing an anti-civil rights stance had little chance of success of being nominated or elected. Both parties, it indicates, ought be national parties and there was no room for a sectional party.

It concludes that if the Southern Democrats were dissatisfied with the ultimate nominee, their best option would be to vote for the Republican candidate, which would also help to create a two-party system in the South.

"The Root of the Evil" finds that the state needed a stronger law to attack Klan-type mob violence, as was suggested by State Attorney General Harry McMullan, indicating that such a statute should outlaw organizations using masks and hoods to conspire against the general welfare while purporting to regulate public morals and exercise police powers. It finds that the people would support such a law and that it should pass the General Assembly with ease.

It remarks on the editorial on the page from the Whiteville, N.C., News Reporter asking a number of searching questions for the residents of Columbus County, indicating that the citizens needed to dedicate themselves to elimination of the conditions which were conducive to the flogging activities of the prior thirteen months involving Klan members.

The piece indicates that the conditions were not limited to Columbus County.

"Crash in the Night" remarks on the fiery crash around a curve near Matthews the previous early morning in which two persons in a car had been killed and one other seriously injured while the driver of the truck, carrying explosive paints and chemicals, was also injured, the crash having occurred without witnesses and so the cause of the crash had yet to be determined. It remarks that had it been a plane crash, as the three recently in Elizabeth, N.J., resulting in the loss of lives on the ground, it would be investigated extensively, but because it was a vehicle crash, would simply be entered as a statistic in the record books and quickly forgotten, as drivers would continue to drive heedless of the dangers on the roads.

"Off to a Good Start" tells of the Urban Redevelopment Commission of Charlotte, under the leadership of Paul Younts, having gotten off to good start in clearing slums in record time. The Commission had been appointed in November and had selected the most critical areas on which to focus its attention, selecting two areas for demolition and two others for long-range housing development, then making application for a preliminary planning loan. Senator Willis Smith had reported the previous day that the loan had been approved, enabling the Commission to proceed with a more detailed plan for the first two projects.

It indicates that while the national emergency might delay demolition of the slums and substitution of improvements, a good start had been made.

An editorial from the Whiteville News Reporter of Columbus County, as indicated in the above editorial, comments on the recent Klan arrests based on flogging incidents in the county during the previous fall, focusing on the arrests of the ten former Klansmen on Federal charges of kidnaping and civil rights violations in connection with the abduction and flogging of a white couple. It indicates that the unmasking of these and others of the Fair Bluff Klavern, as well as other klaverns, was not the only task ahead for the citizens of the county, but that also the conditions which caused this mob action to flourish had to be addressed. It asks the questions how the community was failing in its programs of education and religion and whether members of the Klan and their sympathizers had been neglected by society to the extent that they developed a perverted sense of human values, whether the churches, civic organizations, fraternal organizations and others engaged in public service were doing enough for the poor and misguided who were not sending their children to school or church and were not providing the proper atmosphere for raising their children, rather drinking up their earnings and not supplying food, clothing and housing which they otherwise could afford, while often indulging in immoral relationships. It wonders whether any agency had really tried to help these people and whether anyone had put into practice the doctrine of love.

The piece also questions whether the community could afford to put into practice a policy, such as California had, of bringing parents of juvenile delinquents into court and sentencing them to a course in family relations and home management, whether it could afford to hire a trained investigator who would look into the causes of the unwholesome atmosphere which the Klan claimed it was seeking to correct.

It suggests that if the answer was no to these questions, that the county did not have time or money to attend to these problems, it would be an inadequate answer, while asking the Federal Government, the State and county to spend many thousands of dollars to investigate, arrest and prosecute the nightriders.

It concludes that mob violence had to go, that the "contemptible cowards who hide behind a hood and robe to deprive men of their liberties, even if only for an hour," had to be caught and punished. But the citizens also had to encourage rural slum dwellers to develop a sense of responsibility regarding their duties as parents and citizens, and that failing that, little would have been learned from "this horrible experience with hoodlumism."

Drew Pearson tells of an exchange between the President and Congressman Clement Zablocki of Wisconsin, the latter favoring bringing Spain within NATO, opposed by the President because of its continuing human rights abuses, especially aimed at Protestants, under dictator Francisco Franco. The Congressman pointed out that the U.S. had human rights abuses against Catholics, Jews and blacks, noting stoning of synagogues in certain areas recently and Klan activity against those with foreign-sounding names. The President pointed out that, while true, the difference was that Franco did nothing about the abuses in his country whereas he was doing all he could to ensure recognition of equal civil rights within the U.S. The Congressman persisted in his belief that NATO would be more effective and U.S. aid more effective therefore with Spain as a NATO member.

Senator Taft had of late been openly critical of the Joint Chiefs for putting forward such a high defense budget, pointing out that chairman General Omar Bradley had said two years earlier that if he ever recommended 30 billion dollars as a budget, he should step down, whereas since the start of the Korean War, the budget had soared to its present height of 55 billion.

The conference on psychological strategy heard a report from Philip Ryan, former head of the mission of the International Refugee Organization, regarding shoddy treatment by the West of refugees from Iron Curtain countries. He stated that the refugees were herded into overcrowded camps and then, when the West had finished milking them of all information, they were turned out into harsh economic conditions in West Germany, faced with unemployment. The fact gave Russia propaganda for its anti-Western mill and produced resentment among the refugees who regarded their plight as little worse behind the Iron Curtain. One such refugee who had fled aboard the "freedom train" the previous summer from Czechoslovakia, had told Mr. Ryan that the only way a refugee would get attention now was to be shot from a cannon from behind the Iron Curtain.

Marquis Childs tells of there being a confident sense of victory within the Taft camp of supporters, a genuine conviction that the nomination was now within their grasp. But there also had developed within the Republican ranks a disquieting attitude that either other Republicans were with the Taft organization or against it, and if against it, it was too bad for them. Taft organization men were everywhere, as evidenced during the traditional Lincoln Day statements, ensuring that if one was not pro-Taft, there was no room on the rostrum. Tentative invitations had been extended to two Eastern Senators, one supportive of General Eisenhower and the other neutral, to speak in Michigan, but a little while later, these invitations had been withdrawn. The son of the late Senator Arthur Vandenberg, who was an organizer for the General throughout the country, had also been given the cold shoulder when he considered running for the Senate from Michigan.

Loyal Republicans were concerned that such an attitude would produce a split in the party which could prove harmful in the fall campaign. The neutral observers within the party suggested that a palace guard was forming similar to that which had surrounded Governor Dewey in 1948, such that nobody could get to Senator Taft with any new ideas, the difference being that it was now starting six months earlier than in 1948. They regarded that palace guard mentality as having been one of the reasons for the Governor's defeat four years earlier. They had been so sure that they were going to win that they believed that they did not any need anyone's help, even that of the voters.

There were not enough fundamental Republicans to win an election for a nominee who would not have anyone but the fundamentalists within his camp. Senator Taft had spoken on numerous occasions with scarcely concealed scorn regarding the independent voter, and while it was conceivably possible that he could win in November without that vote, it could not be done without also having a united Republican Party.

He concludes that, increasingly, it appeared that there would be a Taft-Truman election, presenting voters with a distasteful choice between a foreign policy which was unpopular, that of the Senator, and the existing Administration, with the possible result that many independents and some Democrats might stay home on election day, leaving the way open for the regular Republicans to elect the Senator, the scenario which apparently the Taft supporters were hopeful would occur.

A letter writer quotes from his own letter printed shortly after the 1950 Ohio Senate election, which had set forth his reasons for support of Senator Taft, which he presently reiterates regarding the Republican presidential nomination.

A letter writer finds Charlotte to be the modern equivalent of Sodom and Gomorrah, more so than any other city in the continental U.S., Mexico or Canada, the most "brazenly ungodly city of them all". One reason he cites was that one could buy beer on Sunday, another that the police were "high and mighty", talking to people like dogs, behaving as gestapo, locking up people they did not like. He also finds residents of the city to be deadbeats, as residents had not paid him for his work. The city also had the biggest liars in the country, he suggests, even bigger than those in Texas, and therefore he was shaking the dust off of his feet for good.

A letter writer indicates that the editorial on the oil depletion allowance of Tuesday had told him more than he wanted to know about the topic.

A letter from South Carolina Congressman J. P. Richards, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, responds positively to the February 16 editorial, "Let's Start Another Great Debate", finds it particularly impressive as most Americans seemed puzzled about NATO and other world organizations. Debate, he finds, would serve to educate the public on the issues surrounding those organizations, concluding that NATO was "the keystone of the arch and must not fail."

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