The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 13, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that allied truce negotiators had told the Communists this date that they were wasting time trying to obtain the unconditional repatriation of all prisoners the allies held in exchange for a small portion of those held by the Communists. The allies informed the Communists that the next move on the issue was up to them.

A completely unproductive two-hour staff officers meeting took place regarding truce supervision, as the Communists renewed their proposed ban of a naval blockade of the Chinese mainland coast during the course of an armistice, while the allies insisted that only issues regarding Korea would be contained in the armistice. The previous day, it appeared that the Communists had withdrawn this demand and its resumption surprised allied negotiators.

American and Turkish troops stopped an enemy assault battalion the previous night in the heaviest enemy attack in a month, resulting in 200 of the 750 attacking troops being killed or wounded. The Communists attacked behind a heavy artillery barrage in the eastern mountains near Heartbreak Ridge. The enemy was halted 100 yards short of allied lines and withdrew after a two-hour fight. The entire front had been quiet this date, with the exception of patrol clashes in the center of the front. On the western front, allied troops reoccupied an advance position northwest of Yonchon without firing a shot.

Allied warships and planes combined to cut enemy rail lines in 146 places, also smashing five railroad bridges and sinking 30 small boats.

In Geneva, the International Red Cross committee stated this date that it had agreed conditionally to investigate Communist charges that U.N. forces had been waging germ warfare against Communist troops in Korea, the investigation being contingent upon receiving cooperation with authorities on both sides. Secretary of State Acheson had asked for the investigation, denying the Communists' charges.

South Korea's first wartime strike ended this date when most of the 6,000 workers returned to their jobs in a Government-operated cotton spinning mill, having struck the previous day in an unsuccessful effort to oust the Government-named president of the mill.

The Administration's top foreign strategists urged Congress this date to vote all of the President's proposed 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid program. Testifying before the joint Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees and the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Secretary of State Acheson said that a cut in foreign aid would have an immediate and destructive effect, undermining the whole economy of NATO. Averell Harriman, director of mutual security, said that a reduction would represent a decision to reduce the strength being built in the free world for common defense from the Soviets. Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett emphasized the Communist-led peril to the French in Indo-China, and urged a substantial increase in military assistance to enable the French to continue their efforts in that theater. General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, indicated that during World War II, average expenditures for the war were a little over seven billion dollars per month, meaning that the amount for foreign aid sought for the coming fiscal year was only a little more than one month of World War II, and the military portion of the aid, 5.3 billion dollars, considerably less. He also pointed out that war, as everything else, had gone up considerably in price since 1945.

Admiral William Smith, former head of the Maritime Commission, testified to the Senate investigating committee that he did not recall any White House assistance being provided to Newbold Morris, the newly appointed ombudsman in charge of cleaning up the executive branch, to facilitate the shipping deals which were presently under investigation, involving Mr. Morris's client, a Nationalist Chinese trading company involved in the shipping of oil to Communist China up to the start of the Korean war. Mr. Smith did indicate that former Congressman Joseph Casey had "thrown his weight around" in some of the negotiations, Mr. Casey having arranged the profitable purchase and sale of war surplus tankers for an investment group, three of the tankers having been sold to the Nationalist Chinese firm engaging in the oil trade, client of Mr. Morris's law firm. At the conclusion of his testimony, Mr. Morris criticized the "diseased minds" of the Senators investigating him, focusing on Senator Joseph McCarthy, prompting discussion of citing him for contempt. Senator McCarthy sought to widen the inquiry.

A revenue agent told a House Ways & Means subcommittee this date that he was so nervous at being questioned, being accustomed to asking questions in his job of 32 years, he had forgotten about $12,000 in cash which he maintained in a safe deposit box. He was grilled about spending approximately $25,200 more than his sworn income for the five-year period from 1946 through 1950.

The President, in a prepared speech to the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, delivered by Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, criticized opposition to the Federal power program as "vicious" and "one of the most cynical and dangerous developments in many years". Both the President and Mr. Chapman pledged to fight for continuation of the Federal power program. The message said that the "forces of reaction want to monopolize St. Lawrence power" at the point of production and even take over Niagara Falls for private development. It said that they were also trying to block the rural electric cooperatives in Missouri from tying together steam and hydro-electric plants which would result in more power at lower cost.

The Wage Stabilization Board ruled this date that pay rates covering between three and four million construction industry workers could be increased by 15 cents per hour during 1952.

Following the New Hampshire primary the prior Tuesday, in which General Eisenhower was victorious on the Republican side and Senator Estes Kefauver on the Democratic side, political opponents of both the President and Senator Taft ranked them still as being formidable adversaries despite the losses. Senator George Aiken of Vermont indicated that the President was a fighter, especially when he was hurt, and assured that he would now fight. The Senator had correctly predicted the previous month that Senator Kefauver would "beat the tar" out of the President in New Hampshire. Senator Irving Ives of New York, who supported General Eisenhower for the nomination, warned that Senator Taft was by no means out of the race and that the Eisenhower supporters were not taking anything for granted, as the July convention was still a long way off. Senator Ives indicated that the vote in New Hampshire had proved that the General could obtain the nomination without coming home to campaign if he so wanted. Senator Hubert Humphrey said that it was a "political mistake" for the President to have decided to enter the New Hampshire primary after first declaring that the primaries were "eyewash". The Senator said that the President had everything to lose and nothing to gain by allowing his name to remain on the primary ballot. Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico agreed with that assessment. Some of those close to the President were angry at the New Hampshire Democratic leaders who had prevailed upon the President to allow his name to remain on the ballot so that they would not lose their opportunity to become delegates to the convention, indicating that it was always a mistake to persuade the President to do something against his better political judgment.

A special three-judge Federal District Court in South Carolina entered its decision in Briggs v. Elliott, on remand from the Supreme Court, holding that racial segregation in the public schools of South Carolina had not violated the Constitution's 14th amendment Equal Protection Clause, thus denying a request by the NAACP to enjoin enforcement of the state's segregation laws and provision of the State Constitution, but granted an injunction directing the State "promptly" to provide equal educational facilities and opportunities within the district. The Court had previously upheld the constitutionality of segregation in its June 23, 1951 decision, from which Judge J. Waties Waring had dissented. Judge Waring had retired from the Court in mid-February, replaced by Judge A. M. Dobie on the three-judge panel. The present decision was unanimous. The previous decision had ordered a report by the schools on the relative conditions between the white and black schools in Clarendon County, and that report, though prepared, had not been ruled upon at the time of the Supreme Court's initial review, prompting the high Court to remand the case for review of the report, that having just taken place.

As indicated, Briggs would be subsumed under Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, holding segregation per se to violate the Equal Protection Clause, the separate-but-equal doctrine of Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896 having never been fulfilled in 58 years.

In Bologna, Italy, Giovanni Battista Cardinal Nasalli Rocca Di Corneliano, Archbishop of Bologna, died of a heart ailment this date at age 79, reducing the number of Roman Catholic Cardinals to 48 and increasing the number of vacancies in the College of Cardinals to 22.

In Worcester, Mass., a husband and wife each filed their sixth divorce suit against one another the previous Thursday, the previous five having been dismissed because of reconciliation. Each accused the other of cruelty in all 12 of the suits. The couple had been married in 1944 and the wife had brought the first suit less than two years earlier.

On the editorial page, "A Moral for Tar Heel Republicans" finds that the results of the New Hampshire primary, with General Eisenhower having soundly beaten Senator Taft, ought provide a moral for North Carolina Republicans, that the rank-and-file wanted the General, not Senator Taft, as the party nominee, and if North Carolina wanted to develop a strong Republican Party and cease being regarded as a one-party state, it ought consider getting on the Eisenhower bandwagon. The New Hampshire primary results had proven the fallacy of the claim that Senator Taft was invincible because of his strong organization and popularity among party leaders and regulars. General Eisenhower had not only won convincingly, but had done so by "remote control", not having campaigned in person at all.

"Disillusionment" tells of James Childress of the Atlanta Journal having reported of presidential candidate Harold Stassen, while campaigning in New Hampshire recently, having stated that it was unwise to allow the textile industry to move to the South from New England, as there were many other kinds of developing industries in the South which could sustain the region's economy, in consequence of which he would intend as president to institute a policy whereby the generals and admirals would concentrate their heavy textile buying on the mills of New England and would assist in a long-term program of modernizing that region's textile mills.

The piece concludes that it had always thought that the Republicans were against controlling the national economy.

"A Lesson for Wayward Lawyers" tells of six of the lawyers who had represented the 11 American Communist Party leaders convicted under the Smith Act, having been adjudged in contempt for their trial antics antagonistic of Federal District Court Judge Harold Medina, and sentenced to from 1 to 6 months in jail. During the week, the Supreme Court had upheld the convictions and sentences of the lawyers.

It finds the action appropriate and wonders when the legal profession would act to enforce its code of ethics with respect to the offending lawyers.

"The St. Lawrence Mud Is Settling" tells of Canada having determined to build the St. Lawrence Seaway, setting up an authority for the purpose which could issue bonds, borrow money, build navigation works, and operate the Seaway, charging tolls in the process. The Seaway would benefit both Canada and the U.S. and had long been proposed as a joint venture by every President since Woodrow Wilson. But Congress had sided with the railroads and the Atlantic and Gulf seaport interests who believed that the Seaway would hurt their business. The piece ventures that Congress, however, might now decide to join the project, realizing that if Canada were to put up all the money to build the Seaway, it would collect all the tolls from the expected heavy shipments of iron ore, grain, newsprint and pulp which would pass through the Seaway.

An excerpt from the Congressional Record, titled "Congress at Work", provides a colloquy between Vice-President Alben Barkley, as presiding officer of the Senate, and Senators Harley Kilgore, Ernest McFarland, Olin Johnston, J. William Fulbright, and James Eastland, each of the Senators wanting to know how their votes had been recorded on a particular resolution, in each case the Vice-President responding that it was in the negative. At the end of this exchange, Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire asked whether, based upon the long experience of Vice-President Barkley as presiding officer of the Senate, it did not seem to him astonishing that so many "instances of mental aberration on the part of Senators on the other side of the aisle" had occurred, to which the Vice-President replied that it was not a parliamentary inquiry, in fact was "very unparliamentary".

Bill Sharpe, in his "Turpentine Drippings", snippets from newspapers around the state, provides one from Mrs. Rena B. Lassiter of the Smithfield Herald, in which she laments the common cold, comparing the old-fashioned remedies of castor oil combined with a drop or two of spirits of turpentine, and applications of tallow to the chest, with the more modern remedy of soda and aspirin, or, for more troublesome infections, prescription drugs. She hopes that she would live to see the day when medical science could immunize humans from the common cold, which was said to account for a third of the lost days from work in the country.

The Sanford Herald tells of a couple on their honeymoon, who had hoped to elude friends in Sanford by making some members of the wedding party believe that they would stay at the Sedgefield Inn in Greensboro, while intending to stay at the Sir Walter Hotel in Raleigh, only to encounter a group of Democrats checking into the Sir Walter for the annual Jefferson Day dinner, including among them several Sanford residents whom they knew. It suggests that the couple probably wished they had stayed in Greensboro.

The Winston-Salem Journal tells of a judge in Hamilton County, Tennessee, having decided to put a stop to drunk driving and so sentenced two men to 30 days in jail upon their second offenses. According to the judge, the two men were intelligent, read the newspapers and kept abreast of the times, and knew the consequences of drunk driving; and many influential citizens, including the judge's own friends, had sought leniency for them, but he had indicated that he could not have acted otherwise.

The Raleigh News & Observer provides some statistics on the migration of black citizens to the North during the previous decade, indicating that in Raleigh, the white population had increased in the decade by 53.7 percent while the non-white population increased only by 13.3 percent. In Buffalo, by contrast, the increase had been 100.1 percent for the non-white population and only 11.4 percent for the white population. It provides similar statistics for other Northern and Midwestern cities, while citing Augusta, Georgia, as having a 36.7 percent increase in the white population, but a 3.4 percent decrease in the non-white population.

Mrs. Theo Davis of the Zebulon Record tells of a friend who was sleeping poorly the previous week and tried counting widows in Zebulon to facilitate sleep, but found that the more she counted, the more she remained awake, there being a lot of widows in the town, prompting Mrs. Davis to wonder whether it was out of proportion to other towns, and where she might find such statistics. She counted 40 white widows in the community, "sod only, not grass." There were only four widowers.

And so on, forth more, on more, and so forth on and on, more and onward more.

Drew Pearson tells of Government officials having, until the previous week, been warning that the second quarter of the year would be the tightest economically in terms of availability of civilian goods, yet, with the second quarter now approaching, materials having loosened up, the builders having been given more steel, the automakers having been given more materials, and aluminum having been loosened for production of civilian goods. There had been an ongoing debate within the Administration regarding how to proceed on the balance of military and civilian production. The Joint Chiefs favored military production, while Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett and Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson wanted military and civilian production.

The U.S. arms program had bogged down and the country was far behind Russian production of airplanes, leaving a surplus of most defense material, with the exception of copper. Aluminum, especially, was in abundance. The reason for this surplus was that at the outset of the Korean War, it was decided that a gradual rate of war production was better for the civilian economy, though the Joint Chiefs wanted a more abrupt transition to military production. Secretary of Defense Marshall, who came into the position in September, 1950, favored the gradual approach and so it was adopted. The effort by the Air Force to increase the number of air groups to 143 was delayed, on the recommendation of Mr. Wilson, who convinced the President to set a goal of 143 air groups by the end of 1954, instead of by the end of 1953. There was also a similar stretching out of other military goods. Part of the fault in this result was from the military, with slow production cutting the ground from the goals of the Joint Chiefs for quick mobilization. Fully 39 billion dollars of the previous year's appropriations remained unspent on arms production. Thus, the Joint Chiefs were hampered by the civilians of the Administration on the one hand and by their own production generals and admirals on the other. That was the reason why there had been only a small amount of weaponry being sent abroad, and why the Air Force was so far behind Russia in air strength, to the point where the country could probably not afford to risk bombing China.

Marquis Childs tells of 1.4 million dollars being requested as an appropriation for testing jet transport planes, but facing tough sledding in the Congress in an election year, despite the relatively meager amount. The U.S. was far behind both Britain and Canada in development of jet transports, the British producing 45 such transports, known as either Comet I or Comet II. The previous May, BOAC had started jet passenger flights to Egypt and South Africa, and the Comet II's would extend the routes through India and Pakistan to Singapore and Australia. In test flights a year earlier, passengers flying from London to Cairo reported amazement at the smoothness and quietness of the flight, without the usual vibration and harsh noise of propeller-driven aircraft.

During the previous session of Congress, 12.5 million dollars had been authorized for testing of jet transports, but the money had never been appropriated.

Most metropolitan airports were quite overcrowded, with passenger facilities outgrown and primitive, with progress in air travel held back until further testing could take place. The large airlines had been battling with the nonscheduled operators, most of the latter group being run by World War II veterans, companies which had shown they could compete while charging lower rates and without the benefit of the Government subsidies provided to the large airlines. After two crashes had occurred on the non-scheduled planes, however, there was talk of the safety factor, until shortly afterward, two major airliners had crashed at Newark airport, indicating that the safety factor was not necessarily related to the method of operation. The regular airlines were accused by some critics of wanting to maintain a monopoly, and Joseph Adams of the Civil Aeronautics Board had argued that competition was what the regular airlines needed. The Senate Small Business Committee also had been interested in the right of the nonscheduled airlines to compete, at least to a limited degree, a move which appeared to the industry as unwarranted intervention.

He concludes that competition was one of the ways which the barriers to progress in the airlines could be broken down, opening up expansion which still had great potential.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the murder on March 8 of Arnold Schuster in New York City, after the young clothing salesman had recognized bank robber Willie Sutton and contacted the police on February 18. Mr. Ruark had been away in Mexico when the murder occurred, and had just returned to find the city in its greatest rage regarding a murder since the notorious kidnapping death of the baby of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Mr. Schuster had become a symbol of the common citizen who did his duty and was killed for his efforts. During the three-week interim between his having spotted Mr. Sutton and his murder, he had received a lot of publicity, but no financial reward, there having been no substantial reward for the capture of Mr. Sutton. Even the two policemen to whom he had pointed out Mr. Sutton tried to steal his thunder. Indeed, Mr. Sutton, himself, "a publicity-happy little thief", had received more of a hero's reception after his capture than had Mr. Schuster. Ironically, however, there was now a $37,000 reward posted for the capture of Mr. Schuster's murderer.

There were no clues thus far as to who the murderer was, "some warped moron, inspired to action through idealization of violence; some old pal of Sutton kill-crazy for laughs; some local punk with a stolen gun; some minor hoodlum hoping to impress the local 'organization'—or possibly some paid gunner who was hired expressly to impress others with the futility of informing."

Mr. Ruark concludes that it was a peculiar story, "not lessened by the fact that the killer shot out the Schuster boy's eyes."

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