The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 1, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the Communist truce negotiators in Korea had indicated this date that they would "eternally reject" the non-inclusion of Russia as one of their three nominated neutral nations for the supervisory commission of the truce. A U.N. delegate acknowledged that it therefore appeared that there was "no prospect" of an early Korean armistice. The Communists accused the U.N. negotiators of "deliberately serving notice" that they planned to delay the armistice negotiations.

The subcommittee on prisoner exchange, trying to resolve the voluntary repatriation issue, the only issue remaining in that area, "accomplished nothing" this date. In fact, the Communists appeared to renege on a previous agreement to give priority to exchange of the sick and wounded, by refusing to agree in principle to a U.N. proposal to exchange the sick and wounded forthwith. The Communists also refused the request of the allies to permit the Red Cross to distribute packages in prisoner of war camps. The Communists also denied that a majority of the South Korean soldiers captured, some 53,000, according to the allies, had been "re-educated" and inducted into the Communist armies. But an allied spokesman said that 11 percent of the Communist troops captured by the allies during February had been former South Korean soldiers. The U.N. command said it was aware of one Communist division in which 20 percent of the men had formerly been South Korean soldiers.

U.N. tanks this date entered the fight for the second straight day, hitting enemy targets south of Pyonggang on the central front for more than an hour at dawn, with Chinese artillery and mortar fire damaging two of the tanks. After the fight, the tanks withdrew to allied lines. A total of 12 allied tanks had been destroyed or damaged this date and the previous day. U.N. infantry resisted a company of charging Chinese in early morning darkness near Chorwon on the central front.

Allied planes, flying in clear weather, had spotted a camouflaged enemy tank convoy north of Pyonggang and destroyed three and badly damaged six of the tanks. Allied light bombers hit enemy rail lines in 46 places during the morning and Sabre jet pilots damaged one enemy MIG-15 jet in brief fights with nearly 100 enemy jets.

In Cairo, Prime Minister Aly Maher Pasha resigned unexpectedly this date on the eve of talks he had confidently predicted would lead to settlement of Egypt's feud with Britain regarding Egypt's renunciation of two treaties providing for British protection of the Suez Canal and the Sudan in exchange for use of the Canal. The Prime Minister's Government had been installed by King Farouk on January 27 after bloody, anti-British riots in Cairo, and his resignation came, according to his son, because of his inability to work "due to mysterious currents behind his back".

Investigators for a Senate Internal Security subcommittee made public for the first time testimony that President Roosevelt had appointed Owen Lattimore as an adviser to Chiang Kai-shek in 1941 on the recommendation of Lauchlin Currie, at the time an assistant to FDR, accused since by former Communist Louis Budenz at earlier hearings before the subcommittee of having been a Communist, a charge which Mr. Currie had denied. The subcommittee had been questioning Mr. Lattimore for the previous five days regarding charges that he had engaged in pro-Communist activities, charges which he denied. Stanley Hornbeck, former special assistant to Secretary of State Cordell Hull, had testified to the recommendation of Mr. Lattimore by Mr. Currie, that he had received this information directly from FDR. Mr. Lattimore had served as personal adviser to Chiang for two years. The subcommittee was going to try to obtain the testimony of Mr. Currie, who currently was an adviser to the Colombian Government.

This date, Mr. Lattimore was questioned by the subcommittee regarding an invitation he extended to Alger Hiss to stay at Mr. Lattimore's home during a visit in Baltimore, after Mr. Hiss had been accused by Whittaker Chambers of providing secret documents to him to give to the Russians. Mr. Lattimore said that Mr. Hiss had declined the invitation, having made other arrangements during his stay in Baltimore.

Nobody but a Commie would invite a Commie to stay at their home.

The President would address the nation on the Mutual Security Program the following Thursday night, according to an announcement by the White House. The address would concern the Administration's opposition to any Congressional cuts in the proposed 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid budget. Secretary of State Acheson had told a nationwide radio and television audience the previous night that the foreign aid program deserved the country's "utmost support" and was vital to the success of the Western European defense plans.

Senator Taft had narrowed the gap versus General Eisenhower in polls regarding the New Hampshire primary, scheduled for March 11, to 10 percent or less. It appeared significant, as Senator Taft had consistently played down his chances of success in New Hampshire, stating the previous day that he would be happy to receive four of the 14 delegates to the convention. Eisenhower supporters were concerned that anything less than a landslide for the General would be perceived as a loss, given the high expectations, it being the first contest of the primary season and the last until the April 15 New Jersey primary.

In The News straw poll, General Eisenhower strengthened his lead over Senator Taft to 39.5 percent to 28 percent, with the President still coming in third at 11.5 percent, Governor Adlai Stevenson falling from 3 percent down to 2 percent. The previous day, the General had led the Senator 36 percent to 29 percent. The story provides more anecdotal remarks submitted on the straw ballots.

In New York, Keats Speed, executive editor of the New York Sun from 1943 until it had been merged with the New York World Telegram, had died this date at 72.

In Fayetteville, Tenn., a tornado hit the previous day, causing two deaths and injuring an estimated 150 others, leaving a 300-foot wide path of ruin in its wake.

In Candor, N.C., a gentleman farmer carried enough stuff around in the trunk of his car to stock the country store, but not a single item was for sale, as he carried the items for the benefit of his friends and neighbors, including food, tools, playing cards, medicines, smokes, soft drinks, pencils and pens, and candy bars for the children. He had earned the nickname "Mule Train" in the Sandhills area of the state and said that he was the lifetime president of his own organization, "The Royal and Ancient Order of the Sons of Rest".

In Reno, Nevada, burglars entered the home of a millionaire investment broker the previous day and escaped with a safe containing about 2.5 million dollars in cash, jewelry and negotiable securities, leaving behind another million in securities packed in a suitcase. During the entire heist, the millionaire's watchdog, described as vicious by friends, had been in the bedroom munching on a hambone retrieved from the refrigerator. Police were seeking a dark green pickup truck believed to have been used in hauling away the 500-pound safe, which had been hidden among clothes and suitcases in a bedroom closet.

Take the hambone away, let the dog sniff the closet again and send it on its way, bolting the door behind it.

On the editorial page, "A Blow to Taft in the South" tells of Senator Russell's entry to the Democratic race for the presidency having been a curve ball thrown at the supporters of Senator Taft in the South, as the candidacy could only hurt him and help General Eisenhower in the region. Realistically, Senator Russell could not obtain the Democratic nomination but if he were to do so, Southern Republicans might as well stay at home on election day, as he would carry the South. The main objective of his candidacy, however, was to persuade the President not to run again. If accomplished, the supporters of Senator Russell would not bolt the Democratic Party and would support a ticket generally acceptable to the South.

Senator Taft's chances of carrying any Southern state were nonexistent, as most of his strength derived from opposition to the President rather than any pro-Taft sentiment. General Eisenhower might not do much better but did have some positive support among Southern independents.

If, on the other hand, it posits, Senator Russell's candidacy did not serve to deter the President from running or failed to entice the Democrats to provide a ticket acceptable to the South, his supporters could either bolt the party or vote for the Republican nominee. If Senator Taft became the nominee, however, they would likely bolt and vote for a third candidate, hoping to throw the election to the House. But if General Eisenhower became the nominee, the Southerners might instead elect to support him in a run against the President.

It thus concludes that the only hope of victory for the Taft forces in the South depended on a race between the Senator and the President, with no third-party candidate in the race. In any other combination, Southern Republicans would fare better with General Eisenhower as the nominee.

"The State Department Is No Milk Run" tell of the Alsops and Marquis Childs dealing this date with the problems of NATO and the French in Indo-China, the latter in need of immediate additional American aid to withstand increased efforts of the Vietminh guerrillas, receiving help from the Communist Chinese. Secretary of State Acheson, having just returned from the Lisbon NATO Council conference, where he had achieved considerable success, now had to deal with these issues and seek further aid from Congress, reluctant in an election year to expand the aid program. Iran and Formosa also required his attention, as, of course, did Korea.

On top of that, there continued the perennial McCarthy smears and various charges of Communism within the State Department. He also had to push along Point Four and the Voice of America before Congress, attend U.N. meetings, NATO meetings, Cabinet meetings, Pan American meetings, and greet visiting statesmen.

It thinks that it would be nice to see more of Mr. Acheson, but he was carrying so much of a load already, it does not believe he would likely add to it public relations on a regular basis. The previous night, he had, however, addressed the public via radio and television regarding NATO and the accomplishments at the Lisbon conference.

It concludes that few men in public office had been criticized or condemned as much as Secretary of State Acheson, but he was doing a pretty good job and history might treat him well in performing a tough, often thankless task, that the American people might owe him more than they presently realized.

"United for a Common Goal" tells of the success of the first United Preaching Mission in Charlotte virtually being assured before it opened with a mass meeting at the Armory-Auditorium the next afternoon. It would be the largest religious event in the city's history, with more than 70 meetings scheduled, ten of which would be in the Armory. There were ten denominations and 141 churches participating, under the sponsorship of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ministerial Association. The test of its effectiveness would come afterward, based on how impressed with spiritual inspiration the anticipated thousands of visitors would be.

It indicates happiness that Charlotte, "the city of churches but often too materialistic in its outlook", had a part in such a great movement.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Time and Inclination", tells of the leaning Tower of Pisa set in the ensuing hundred years to lean so far as to topple over, even though engineers had assured just a few years earlier that it would not fall before 3500. The increase in the lean began to be noticed more than 40 years earlier. The problem was how to stop it, and about 18 years earlier, engineers had placed about 1,000 tons of concrete underneath the foundation, which, for a time, had halted erosion of its underpinnings by seawater. But then during the war, vibrations from bombs had undermined this buttress.

The Tower had begun to sag even as it was being constructed nearly nine centuries earlier as the campanile for the Cathedral. The fact had discouraged the original architect and he never finished the job, but about 100 years later, another architect added a few more stories, and some years after that, the tower was capped by its belfry. By then, it was leaning so far out of perpendicular that people saw it as a kind of miracle that it stayed up, attributing the miracle, as many Pisans still did, to Saint Ranieri, the patron of the city.

Even in the previous two centuries, when rationalistic thought had supplanted belief in miracles, the Tower remained a venerated place because Pisan scientist Galileo had dropped his iron balls from it to prove that bodies of different weights fall at the same velocity.

Pisans currently were not greatly disturbed about the reported doom of the Tower, though aware of its significance as a tourist attraction, as they believed Saint Raneiri would still protect it. But, it concludes, they did not want him to set it aright, as that would be just about as bad as letting it fall.

Drew Pearson tells of Republican policymakers quietly loading Republican Senators with ammunition against the military aid program, communicated through a confidential memo to Republican Senators from the Senate Minority Policy Committee, headed by Senator Taft. He quotes from the memo. Among other things, it objected to military technicians being scattered throughout the world in 24 countries, including five nations not yet included in formal treaty arrangements, Iran, Indonesia, Indo-China, Thailand and Liberia. In response, one unnamed pro-Eisenhower Senator stated that it appeared that the GOP policymakers were against stopping the Communists until they had arrived on America's shores.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had received a letter from a woman in Seattle who had written that the immigration laws of the country were too liberal and that no true American wanted the country overrun by the "unassimilable hordes", that it would be "tantamount to treason" for any member of Congress to vote to liberalize the immigration laws. Senator Morse responded with the inscription on the Statue of Liberty and added that unless one was a descendant of the native Americans who lived in the country before the coming of the white man, one's ancestors had come to the country as immigrants "no doubt with high hope of living a fruitful and useful life". He asked what their reaction would have been had they been turned back and told that they could not enter, that America was for Americans.

The conference on psychological strategy had recommended that Communism had to be defeated and destroyed and not merely contained, and that the U.S. had to move boldly with ideas, not guns. Congressman O. K. Armstrong of Missouri recommended giving hope to the hopeless millions that the country intended to work unceasingly for their liberation, then to employ the best methods of strengthening resistance among the victims of Soviet enslavement. Edward O'Connor of the Displaced Persons Commission also advocated creation of a central psychological strategy agency to develop a campaign of truth to be disseminated behind the Iron Curtain.

Mr. Pearson notes that State Department officials had enthusiastically cooperated with many people-to-people projects, such as having young schoolchildren broadcast over the Voice of America and distribution of rubber friendship balls by the Amvets to the children of Italy and other countries. The overall policy, however, had been to contain rather than penetrate Russia.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Secretary of State Acheson, General Eisenhower, and Averell Harriman having averted disaster at the recent Lisbon conference by incorporating West German rearmament into the NATO plans for establishing an integrated defense of Western Europe. Without West German support, those plans could have completely collapsed. The French had greatly objected initially to German participation, but, in the end, the traditional French and German nationalism dissipated, the Germans abandoning their demand for unconditional sovereignty and the French jettisoning their demand for conditions for French participation in the army, which the Germans could never have accepted.

The result was that the European army concept had been unanimously approved in principle and General Eisenhower's plan for a 50-division NATO army by the end of the year had also been approved. As well, the issue of the size of Germany's defense contribution and each country's appropriate share of constructing and maintaining NATO bases had been determined.

One French diplomat had indicated that the reason for this success had been "Acheson's obstinacy". The four principal representatives, Mr. Acheson, Anthony Eden, Robert Schuman and Konrad Adenauer, all had affinity for one another, contributing to the amicable atmosphere which developed. The Germans and French realized the disaster ahead if they failed to reach agreement on establishing the common defense, the Germans foreseeing indefinite occupation and the French, a rearmed, independent German army which would dominate Western Europe, leading to an ultimate result that the U.S. would withdraw in disgusted frustration, leaving Europe to resist the Soviets on its own.

Yet, what had developed was still only a blueprint, which could still collapse. A Communist victory in the forthcoming Italian elections, the victory of the Gaullist nationalists in France or the Schumacher nationalists in France or Germany or the fall of the Churchill Government in Britain could lead to its downfall. One or more of those events would surely occur if Congress, deciding to limit foreign aid in an election year, refused to appropriate the necessary funding for the European army. They conclude, therefore, that it was a year of crucial decision.

Marquis Childs tells of the French, at the recently concluded NATO Council meeting in Lisbon, having imparted to Secretary of State Acheson the urgent need for American aid on a large-scale in Indo-China, to combat the new surge by the Vietminh forces of Ho Chi Minh, pushing so hard with new equipment supplied by China that the French position was in peril. If Indo-China were to fall, the shaky regimes throughout the rest of Southeast Asia would likely fall "like a house of cards".

The alarm resembled the crisis of 1947 when the British had said that they could no longer maintain sufficient force to hold back the tide of Communism in Greece, leading to the advent of the Truman Doctrine, providing foreign military aid to countries to enable them to withstand Communist guerrilla activity, eventually successful in Greece after injection of nearly two billion dollars worth of American economic and military aid.

Secretary Acheson, however, would inevitably meet resistance in Congress in an election year, but the problem was significant enough that it could not be set aside lightly.

Returning from Lisbon with considerable success in setting up a NATO army and obtaining French and German agreement on West German participation, Mr. Acheson was receiving an unusual amount of praise from Capitol Hill, but would still have to find support to meet a new threat of Communist aggression, though the threat in Indo-China had appeared imminent at least twice during the previous year. The French had been forced to expend a half billion dollars during the previous year for maintenance of an army of 150,000, and the cost was expected to rise in 1952. The previous September, the late General De Lattre de Tassigny, commander of the French forces in Indo-China, had visited Washington and urged the need for much more aid. Similarly, when General Alphonse Juin had visited Washington in January, he had pleaded urgently for increased aid. The French were asking for twice as much assistance as presently being provided, especially in two categories, planes and trucks. The Communists had recently received from China anti-aircraft weaponry, responsible for recently shooting down ten French planes.

During recent weeks, the same thing had been occurring in Korea, where jet fighters were being shot down by anti-aircraft fire, signifying that the Communists were using the very latest radar-controlled weapons, the only way that ground fire could track planes traveling at speeds of 600 mph or more. The development had created great disquiet among those studying intelligence reports in Washington, for if the Soviets intended to intervene in these local wars by equipping troops with the latest arms, the danger existed that it would quickly turn into an all-out conflict.

Working through the Chinese, the Russians, he posits, might believe that they could go further in Indo-China than they had gone in Korea, suggesting the need for the U.S., preferably in partnership with the U.N., to provide a clear warning to the Communists against further intervention.

Robert C. Ruark discusses Willie (The Actor) Sutton, who had been portrayed "as a kind of super brain among criminals and quoted almost reverently as a master Raffles and a modern Robin Hood", having made for Mr. Ruark the best argument against all crime. Mr. Sutton, who owed the various states over 100 years in prison time, had been caught while on the lam by two cops who were almost dumb enough to let him go after he had been fingered by a "fuzz-cheeked youth". The two had waited an hour before frisking him for the gun he was carrying while they consulted with a detective on whether to arrest him.

Mr. Sutton, during his time as a fugitive, had served as a porter at a poor farm for two years, and during the previous five years had stayed away from the same restaurants twice, living in a tiny furnished room and daily fearing being recognized and arrested. He had spent 20-odd years heisting banks and swiping jewels and the only temporary security he had ever known was during his sporadic jail stints. Fear pervaded his life always, as it did any professional criminal. He could not trust a partner in crime or making new friends, could not indulge in love or normal relaxation, could not even get drunk or take dope with any impunity, could not sleep without wondering whether the police would crash into his room. His favorite pastime had been going to the park to feed pigeons.

When the end finally came, he had not sought to pull his gun, either the one the cops had found during the frisk or the one they missed. He went quietly, as he was tired of the horrible life on the lam.

New York had devoted two flamboyant weeks to detailed coverage of his decline and fall, as he had always been billed as a kingpin criminal. But, in reality, observes Mr. Ruark, he had not been a super crook, but rather "just another punk".

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