The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 15, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. negotiators working on truce supervision offered to the Communists this date a compromise package to settle five secondary issues which stood in the way of a final armistice, and the Communists indicated that they would accept only part of the package. U.N. staff officers offered to the Communists conditional acceptance of their proposal to inspect only five ports of entry, instead of six, during an armistice and agreement on two other points, dropping U.N. demands for reports on the location of major military units and guarantees that each side refrain from concentrating troops to threaten the other side during a truce, provided the Communists would agree to ban the inspection of secret weapons and to limit to Korea any provision of the truce which prohibited naval blockades during an armistice, thus not extending the ban to Communist China. The Communists accepted the three U.N. concessions but indicated that they were not interested in agreement on the other two points.

Communist negotiators regarding prisoners of war accused the U.N. of "illegally" killing prisoners of war in another bloody riot on Thursday at the Koje Island prison camp. The U.N. command spokesman indicated that it was likely the Communists would seize on the incident for all-out attack on allied demands that war prisoners be allowed the right of voluntary repatriation. The session ended after 21 minutes, after the two sides agreed to submit the negotiations again to staff officers.

At Koje Island, a U.S. Army captain stated that he had sought frantically the prior Thursday to stop South Korean security soldiers from firing on Communist war prisoners, 12 of whom had been killed and 26 wounded in a new outburst of violence at the camp. The shooting had lasted several minutes following a rock-throwing fight between Communist prisoners and a working party of other North Korean prisoners, who had renounced Communism a few days earlier and were passing along a nearby road, taunting the Communists and waving Republic of Korea flags while singing a South Korean marching song. Stones had hit the American captain and knocked him down, at which point he rushed forward to try to quell the outbreak. At that time, against orders, the South Korean soldiers and guards opened fire on the prisoners in the stockade, whereupon the captain ran along the road knocking down the South Koreans' rifles and shouting for them to cease fire, at which point the firing stopped.

In ground action, enemy infantrymen probed allied lines on both sides of the peninsula and U.N. troops repulsed them after short, bitter fights.

Overcast and scattered clouds hampered air operations, which concentrated on striking enemy front lines, with pilots reporting of having killed 40 enemy soldiers and knocking out 12 gun positions.

U.S. Sabre jets destroyed at least 15 enemy MIGs during the week, probably destroyed one more and damaged 10 others, with the loss of only one Sabre in air combat, according to the Fifth Air Force. Seven other U.N. planes had been lost during the week to ground fire and other causes. The allies had flown 4,400 sorties during the week, claiming 19 locomotives and 225 boxcars destroyed or damaged, 125 gun positions destroyed and at least 200 enemy soldiers killed.

The Government increased its efforts to provide a recommended solution to the labor dispute in the steel industry before the threatened strike by the United Steelworkers union on March 24. The Wage Stabilization Board scheduled a rare Saturday meeting and suggested the possibility of meeting even on Sunday to try to resolve the dispute. The following Thursday, the Office of Price Stabilization was expected to disclose what steel price increases it would allow, and the WSB hoped to obtain settlement prior to that point, as the steel industry had indicated that it could not meet the demands of the union, an 18.5-cent per hour pay increase, without a large price increase of nearly nine dollars per ton. The Administration had indicated that the industry could expect only an increase of no more than two dollars per ton under existing price controls.

In Detroit, the executive board of the United Auto Workers this date set up a board of administration for its large Ford Local 600 and directed it to fire any officers found to be members of or subservient to the Communist Party. UAW president Walter Reuther was to serve as chairman of the new six-man board. He had charged the union vice-president, its recording secretary and its treasurer with failing to abide by the UAW constitution, which prohibited Communists from holding office within the union.

The House Ways & Means subcommittee investigating the IRB deemed "unbelievable" IRB agents' explanations for five-figure spending on four-figure salaries. Several such agents had appeared before the subcommittee without adequately explaining how their spending had exceeded their salaries. One explained that his best friend was a bookie who gave him tips on hot horses, accounting for $7,500 in winnings during the previous year. Another, who had failed to appear, had ventured $41,600 in the stock market between 1944 and 1946 and had insured for $23,000 such items as furs, jewelry and Chinese art, all on a $3,900 per year salary.

In St. Louis, former IRB tax collector James Finnegan was convicted this date by a jury in Federal District Court of receiving money from two firms for representing them before Government agencies. He was acquitted on three other accounts, including two for bribery, which involved allegations that he took money to influence his decision regarding resolution of a company's tax troubles and another to influence an RFC loan application. He had claimed in defense of the two counts for which he was convicted that the money received from the two firms had not been for any representation before the Government but was for outside work which he had done for the companies. He would be sentenced on March 24 and faced a maximum of four years in prison and $20,000 in fines.

The President flew into New York from his vacation in Florida this date to deliver an extemporaneous speech to more than 3,000 teenagers and to a nationwide radio audience.

In Raleigh, statements by several North Carolina Democratic leaders indicated that Senator Richard Russell of Georgia would receive some support in the state for his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. Governor Kerr Scott, who supported the President for the nomination, had told an Atlanta audience during the week that he thought Senator Russell would receive some North Carolina delegate support. State Attorney General Harry McMullan stated that Senator Russell was his preference for the nomination and State Secretary of State Thad Eure indicated that he would like to see a Southerner as the nominee, either Senator Russell, Senator Kefauver or someone else. Both Senators Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith had indicated the hope that the President would not seek re-election and both thought highly of Senator Russell. State Democratic chairman, and future Senator, B. Everett Jordan said that it appeared there was a strong trend toward Senator Russell within the state.

In Cincinnati, representatives of three branches of the Presbyterian Church had agreed on basic principles for a union of the three into a Presbyterian Church of the United States, which would have a total membership of over 3.3 million.

In New York, police quietly entered a funeral chapel the previous night and arrested 36 men, 35 of whom were allegedly playing dice alongside a candle-decked altar, with the other being the owner who, according to police, received $25 per night for use of his chapel for gambling. A large table, five pairs of dice and other gambling paraphernalia were seized.

At St. Clairsville, O., a prisoner trying to escape the county jail became trapped halfway through the wall for more than an hour, and wound up having his picture taken, as appears on the page.

On the editorial page, "Look Homeward, Angels" examines the record so far in the present session of Congress, with the second half of the year promising to be virtually empty of legislation following the political conventions. Thus far, the Congress had continued its emphasis on investigations, which had characterized the 1951 session. It had recalled Owen Lattimore and had heard from Newbold Morris and new RFC chairman Harry McDonald, and planned to hear from Attorney General J. Howard McGrath. It had acted on three major issues, universal military training, statehood for Alaska, and the IRB reorganization plan, only the latter having been approved.

It had approved admission of Greece and Turkey to NATO and approved SEC chairman McDonald to become the new RFC chairman, and former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall as Office of Price Stabilization administrator, as well as Mr. Morris as chief corruption investigator.

Otherwise, not a single major piece of legislation had been passed, though some bills were still in committee. Some of the bills which the piece regards as being worth bringing to a vote were those proposing nationwide direct primaries, electoral college reform to divide votes among the presidential candidates in direct proportion to the popular vote, limitation of campaign spending, mine safety regulations, the remaining Hoover Commission proposals, aid to medical education, defense housing, flood control measures, aside from pork barrel projects, Congressional reform, including electric voting in the House and return to the omnibus appropriation bill, plus other matters which it does not list.

It concludes that while Congressmen decried governmental inefficiency and mismanagement, it proposes to them, "Look homeward, Angels."

"Let's Hear Ike on Mutual Security" tells of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee getting ready to vote the following Monday on whether to ask General Eisenhower to be called home to testify on the President's 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid bill, that political overtones would figure into the formula as to whether or not he would return. Overriding the political concerns, however, was the need for him to testify and explain the necessity of the aid, as he would understand it better than anyone else.

Democratic Senators Brien McMahon, J. William Fulbright and John Sparkman, and Republican Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin had requested the General's testimony, while Senators Alexander Smith of New Jersey and Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., were not enthusiastic about the prospect, both being supporters of the General for the presidency. Some Senators of both parties believed that his testimony would associate him too closely with Administration foreign policy and that such association would weaken his chances for receiving the Republican nomination.

The piece prefers to ascribe to the Senators patriotic motives rather than partisanship in making the request. It finds it lamentable that top planners had to spend so much of their time before Congress, but that their presence indicated the importance the Administration and Congress attached to mutual security. It further ventures that if the Senators believed that General Eisenhower's testimony was required to obtain a full picture, then they should have it. All of the top officials in the Administration had already testified in favor of approving the total proposed amount.

It also asserts that if the General did return, he ought, in addition to addressing Congress on the matter, provide an address to the people via radio and television, to help put the program in its proper perspective and lessen public confusion.

"Note of Sympathy for the Tax Collector" tells of tax day being Monday and tax collectors, therefore, being able afterward to devote their time to those who had not paid their taxes rather than to those who did and had threatened the collector with everything from mop handles to Congressional investigations. The Federal tax collectors would be operating under a new system, whereby they would be appointed through Civil Service rather than political patronage, which might decrease the number of bad apples in the IRB. It expresses sympathy for the tax collectors, who were also taxed and were just doing their duty for the most part. It urges speaking to them kindly and smiling at them, as most were really nice people.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Part of the Answer?" tells of the Asheville Citizen having recently commented on Tennessee's substantial lead over North Carolina in the tourist trade, subsequently having sought to explain this difference by the fact of inaccessibility of North Carolina's featured tourist spots. Tourist interests in Kentucky and the Midwest were routing motorists through Tennessee, especially during winter, given the inferior roads in North Carolina.

The piece indicates that tourism was the third largest industry in the state and that no opportunity therefore should be lost to develop it further, suggests that the Highway Department be urged to promote the need for better roads to provide accessibility to the tourists and not give all the stress to making secondary roads better for farmers to get to market.

A piece from Time parodies President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address in the form of an ode to Form 1040. Sample: "One score and 19 years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this nation a new tax, conceived in desperation and dedicated to the proposition that all men are fair game. Now we are engaged in a great mass of calculations, testing whether this taxpayer, or any taxpayer so confused and so impoverished, can long endure..."

Drew Pearson tells of an estimated five billion dollars of potential revenue escaping the Government via tax loopholes, which ultimately had to be plugged by raising taxes on taxpayers earning less than $10,000 per year, that without such loopholes, there would have been no need for the recent tax hike to close the budget deficit. The loopholes had been largely the result of the Senate Finance Committee, dominated by millionaire Senators who benefited from those loopholes, such as Senators Harry F. Byrd of Virginia, Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, Eugene Millikin of Colorado, Edward Martin of Pennsylvania, and Robert Taft. The loopholes were camouflaged behind technical language which the average Senator could not fathom and so wound up accepting the recommendations of the Finance Committee on passage. He indicates that 79 of the technically worded sections of the 1951 tax bill had turned out to be rife with loopholes, which never would have been discovered had not some tax experts at the Treasury Department risked their jobs and tipped off Senators Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota and Paul Douglas of Illinois as to what was transpiring. The latter two Senators then blocked an attempt to ram through the tax loopholes without debate, but in the end, the Committee brought enough pressure on individual Senators to save most of the loopholes. The largest loopholes were in depletion allowances for big oil and mining companies and provision of the lower capital gains rate for big speculators trading in stocks and bonds, as well as enabling big businessmen to spread their income through family partnerships and exempt interest and dividends from withholding taxes. The excess profits tax also had plenty of loopholes for corporations.

Senator Kefauver's humility and sincerity had won the hearts of New Hampshire voters. After a television speech which had been dull, his wife had asked him how he thought it went and he whispered that he believed it had not gone well as he could not make the words come out the way he wanted. They had not known that the whispering had been picked up by the microphone, and though the people of New Hampshire had not been impressed by the speech, they had been impressed by his humility afterward. The voters also did not like the impression given of the President sunning himself in Key West while the primary was taking place, and muttered that the President was taking too many vacations and spending as much time in Florida as in Washington. Democratic leaders were worried about the rank-and-file workers having ignored labor-leader orders to vote for the President, instead voting for Senator Kefauver.

The large Eisenhower vote had been a bigger blow to the Taft supporters than they had admitted. The Senator had depended on three things, conservative support in the small towns and rural areas, editorial support from the Manchester Union Leader, and personal appeals to the voters. But in the end, Senator Kefauver's personal appeal was greater than that of Senator Taft.

Marquis Childs tells of a new sense of hope within the Eisenhower organization in the wake of the victory in New Hampshire, with Congressman Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania being made a kind of field general in charge of state Republican organization, with the aim of reaching the professional Republicans after the demonstration of the General's vote-getting potential among the rank-and-file voters. One of the weaknesses of the Eisenhower movement had been the lack of approach to the party professionals, and Congressman Scott understood the party from the inside. His work would complement that of Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas.

A letter from General Eisenhower, assuring that he would not forget the loyalty to organization and to the rank-and-file supporters had been kept hidden with an Eisenhower supporter until recently. He quotes from the letter. The fact demonstrated the lack of organization heretofore in the Eisenhower campaign.

There was also pressure being placed on Paul Hoffman, presently head of the Ford Foundation, formerly head ERP administrator, to take over as full-time head of the Citizens-for-Eisenhower groups across the country. But Mr. Hoffman was unlikely to try to divide his duties with the Ford Foundation, having told Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., that it would be better for a Republican with professional organizing experience to take the post, and for him to continue as co-chairman of the advisory group.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the awkward appearance of Senator Taft in a Texas sombrero recently, finds it as ill-fitting as his donning wife Martha's millinery. The present campaign, he ventures, was not in need of comedic embellishments. He recalls when President Calvin Coolidge had worn a ten-gallon hat one time, as well as an Indian war bonnet, both appearing ridiculous.

He also posits that Senator Kefauver would likely want to dispense with the coonskin cap, which had been his symbol since defeating Boss Ed Crump's machine candidate in 1948. Senator Kefauver had not made his national reputation as a crime-fighter by appearing unduly folksy on television and there was no reason for him to try to appear as a bumpkin in headgear. In the wake of his victory in New Hampshire, such an accouterment would do him little good across the nation.

He concludes: "It may be just possible to run this campaign without turning it into a costume barn party, and I sincerely hope this may be so. We got a long tough Summer of campaigning ahead of us, and you may weary of sombreros and Injun feathers ere November releases us from awkward coyness for another four years."

A letter writer comments on the column of Erich Brandeis and his recent comment regarding the "costliness of the efforts" of the annual financial campaigns of the Red Cross, the YMCA, the Heart Fund and the Community Chest, wondering how much of the money remained with the promoters. This writer thinks Mr. Brandeis could have found out this information in a few minutes and determined that collecting the funds was not that costly, citing the annual Charlotte Cancer Society campaign which cost under 3 percent of that raised. None of that money remained with the promoters as the promotion was done by volunteers. He suggests that the timing of the Brandeis column could not have been worse as it was Red Cross month throughout the nation and, by Presidential proclamation, Cancer Control Month in April. He indicates that an estimated 20 million presently living Americans would die of cancer, indicating the urgent need for research and support thereof.

A letter writer from Hamlet regards it a pity that universal military training had failed to become law. He indicates that with all men trained and put in the reserves for seven and a half years, they would not suffer any more hardship, possibly not as much, as they might if called to defend their country without any training behind them. In the event of war, they would have to be drafted. He points out that Switzerland had UMT and had not been involved in a war for a long time, reminds further that George Washington had said, "In time of peace, prepare for war."

He had also cautioned against formation of a professional standing army, that it was the way to despotism. His ideas on the need of a "well-organized militia"—not a bunch of unorganized, individualist gun-nuts—was satisfied by the creation of the National Guard. Granted, times have changed since he wrote his words, but it was the letter writer who quoted him.

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