The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 20, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the U.N. command suggested off-the-record negotiations in the Korean truce talks to attempt to break the long deadlock regarding exchange of war prisoners and the remaining problem therein of voluntary repatriation. Only the final report of such meetings would be reported publicly, without daily press briefings in the meantime. The Communist press had suggested repeatedly that such secret negotiations would facilitate breaking of the deadlock, though no official mention of the prospect had occurred.

Staff officers meanwhile agreed on the ten ports of entry to be used and inspected during an armistice, five on each side.

U.S. Sabre jets shot down five enemy MIG-15 jets and damaged five others this date, bringing the two-day bag to six enemy jets destroyed and 12 damaged in five air battles, two of which had taken place this date.

No ground action is reported.

DNC chairman Frank McKinney received a rebuff from the President this date in Key West when the President said, contrary to a statement the prior day by Mr. McKinney, that the events in Korea had no bearing on his decision whether or not to run for re-election. It raised question whether Mr. McKinney would long continue in the job. The President also told the press that he favored a loan to the Soviet Union in 1945, not in 1946, as a reporter had indicated former Vice-President Henry Wallace had stated. The President said that Newbold Morris would remain as the investigator of Government corruption, whether or not Congress gave him subpoena powers. He said that he had not received a request from the House Judiciary subcommittee for Attorney General J. Howard McGrath's tax returns. He also said he would not comment on what he thought of some Congressional committees investigating past relations of some witnesses with the Soviets before the war, as it would be unprintable.

The President said that it was up to General Eisenhower whether he would return to the U.S. at any time he deemed it safe and proper. The President said in response to a question that it was his duty to see that the objective in Europe was accomplished, not, as a column by Walter Lippmann had suggested, to call home General Eisenhower in light of his victory in the New Hampshire primary.

Meanwhile, in Paris, the General said this date that he was re-examining his political position following the New Hampshire victory and large Minnesota write-in vote. He said that he was especially astonished at the results in Minnesota. The position to which he referred was likely his statement issued January 7, in which he stated that he would not actively seek the nomination.

The President summoned Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson to Key West to discuss the steel dispute, with a threatened strike looming on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Wage Stabilization Board chairman, Nathan Feinsinger, had collapsed from fatigue this date after working all day and night to attempt to get a resolution to the dispute. Prior to the collapse, the WSB was deadlocked between its industry and public members on how to handle the issue of a union shop. The issue was whether all workers would be required to join the union and pay dues. The union currently had 85 to 90 percent of workers in its membership. The President had no comment on the steel matter at his press conference.

Senator Taft announced this date that he was withdrawing informally from the New Jersey Republican primary after being done political dirt by Governor Alfred Driscoll, who had waited until after the primary's formal withdrawal deadline to abandon his position of neutrality and announce his support for General Eisenhower.

Senator Lyndon Johnson, head of the Senate defense preparedness subcommittee, put pressure on the Pentagon to halt its North African airbase program until the "revolting" waste was cleaned up. He demanded an explanation this date from the Air Force and said that he would call Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett, if not provided by the end of the day. It followed two days of testimony showing that thefts from the air bases in Morocco might cost a million dollars per month.

The House Appropriations Committee recommended a budget for the Labor Department of 1.8 billion dollars, 197 million, or about 10 percent, less than that requested by the President. The Committee recommended a budget of 1.1 billion for the Atomic Energy program, a cut of 174 million dollars.

Southern members of Congress protested any change in Government competitive bidding policies to relieve unemployment, testifying before the Office of Defense Mobilization, which was seeking a solution to unemployment in the Northern textile centers. Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson had set up a system of negotiating defense contracts in labor surplus areas, withholding it in the textile, shoe and apparel industries until impact could be assessed.

Secretary of War Kenneth Royall of North Carolina remained in critical condition following surgery in New York.

In Golfe Juan, France, a story was being told by the U.S. Consul at Nice that a midnight craps game aboard the U.S.S. Midway was raided by a trio of masked sailors, who took at gunpoint $4,000 in betting money. The culprits had not been caught and the story remained uncertain. The ship's intelligence officer reported that the thieves and everyone involved in the game had suddenly vanished at the approach of officers, leaving behind the loot, as gambling was forbidden on ship, and that some mysterious person had then scooped up about $3,000, saying, as to discrepancies with the other version, "Everything I don't tell you is false."

Not mentioned on the page, the Academy Awards took place in Hollywood at the RKO Pantages Theater this date, with "An American in Paris" beating out "A Streetcar Named Desire", "Quo Vadis", "Decision before Dawn" and "A Place in the Sun" for the Best Picture award. Best Director was awarded to George Stevens for "A Place in the Sun", beating John Huston for "The African Queen", Vincente Minnelli for "An American in Paris", William Wyler for "Detective Story", and Elia Kazan for "A Streetcar Named Desire". Best Actor went to Humphrey Bogart for "The African Queen" and Best Actress went to Vivien Leigh for "A Streetcar Named Desire". Best Supporting Actress went to Kim Hunter, also for "Streetcar", and Best Supporting Actor, to Karl Malden for the same film. Best Story and Screenplay was presented to Alan Jay Lerner for "An American in Paris" and Best Screenplay from an Outside Source went to Michael Wilson and Harry Brown for their adaptation of An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser, in "A Place in the Sun". Best Story went to Paul Dehn and James Bernard for "Seven Days to Noon". Best Foreign Language Film was presented to "Rashomon", directed by Akira Kurosawa.

The N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournament would begin with its 16-team field the following evening, with the four regional finals to follow on Saturday night and the semi-finals and finals set for Seattle the following Tuesday and Wednesday nights. Kentucky, finishing number one in the final A.P. poll, was predicted to win the Tournament. Our money is on UNC...

As the N.C.A.A. Tournament was now gaining national prestige over the 12-team N.I.T., the field would be expanded to 22 teams the following year and 24, in 1954. The N.I.T. had only three teams in its field from the final A.P. top ten, St. John's, Duquesne and St. Louis, whereas the N.C.A.A. Tournament had six, including the three N.I.T. entrants.

La Salle and its star, Tom Gola, to win the 1954 N.C.A.A. Tournament, had won the N.I.T. the previous Saturday in Madison Square Garden, beating Dayton, 75 to 64.

On the editorial page, "TB Hospitals—A State Responsibility" examines the question of whether Mecklenburg County should plan to continue to operate a tuberculosis sanatorium. It indicates that in 1907, the State had issued its first appropriation for a tuberculosis hospital and that in theory, the care of the victims of the disease was a State responsibility, such that a seven million dollar construction program was currently underway at the three large State sanatoriums. A long waiting list of patients would be eliminated once those three hospitals were completed within 18 months. The theory of State responsibility, however, did not work out in practice as all of the tuberculosis patients in the state would not be accommodated by the 1,815 beds within the new hospitals.

Seventeen counties in the state, including Mecklenburg and other prosperous counties, such as Guilford, Forsyth and Durham, were operating their own tuberculosis hospitals from their own resources. The General Assembly had resisted all efforts previously to provide financial support for those county hospitals. Operating those hospitals imposed a tax burden on county residents, in addition to that imposed by the State for its hospitals.

The piece indicates that the newspaper leaned toward the conviction that the care of tuberculosis patients was a State responsibility and that the State should either contribute to the operating costs of county sanatoriums or provide enough beds in its own facilities to care for the patients. It finds no more reason for the county to operate a tuberculosis hospital than to run a mental hospital, to build its own roads or support the universities located within it. All were State functions.

But, it concludes, it was ultimately for the people to decide and it cautions the County Commissioners to seek their advice before spending a great amount of money to conduct repairs, needed for the safety of patients, to the existing Huntersville sanatorium.

"New Hampshire … Now Minnesota" tells of Taft supporters being fond of reminding that the polls which showed the popularity of General Eisenhower had been wrong in 1948 in showing the popularity of Governor Dewey over the President. That thesis, however, had been challenged in New Hampshire when the General soundly beat Senator Taft and without even campaigning. The General also scored 39 percent of a write-in vote in Minnesota to 42 percent for former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen while on the ballot.

It concludes that the two primary results had served notice on the right-wing of the Republican Party hierarchy that the American people were dissatisfied with the candidacy of Senator Taft and tired of the familiar faces on the national scene, believed that General Eisenhower had a better chance to win the office and unite the American people in the process. It suggests that if the GOP leaders refused to see that fact, they were either "incredibly myopic or insufferably obdurate, or both."

"Not So Newsworthy after All" tells of the fact that the Taft supporters had controlled the state Republican convention held in Charlotte the prior Tuesday being treated as big news when it was actually the least newsworthy part of the convention, as control of it by Taft supporters had been a foregone conclusion. The only surprise was how completely the Taft people had controlled the convention. Taft headquarters had stated that it had all 26 North Carolina delegates in the bag. Yet, it was still not certain how many delegates the state would provide to Senator Taft, and it was a virtual certainty that he would not obtain all of them.

It finds the most newsworthy part of the convention having been the strength shown by the Eisenhower supporters, showing the weariness of the country with the professional politicians and the desire for a more inspiring leader. It advises the Republican leaders that if they wanted to win elections, they should be aware of this strong tide of favorable opinion toward General Eisenhower's candidacy.

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "Words on Weather", tells of weatherman Wiley Sims possibly getting ready to remind of another surprise in the March weather, reminding of what the Miami Chamber of Commerce spokesman had told a visitor to that city, that if one waited just a minute, the weather would change. While it did not change quite that fast in the Piedmont of North Carolina, there was plenty of variable weather. During a given day it might be sunny, rainy, snowy, windy, with sleet and hail in the bargain, plus a bit of lightning and thunder.

It reminds that Mark Twain had been credited with the statement that everybody talked about the weather but did nothing about it, but believes that such was not the case in modern times where rainmakers were trying to influence the weather. Through the centuries, man had adapted to its vicissitudes by various means of housing and air conditioning. But it resigns to the fact that at this time of year, there was not really much one could do about the weather in the Piedmont, as it was "as fickle as a coquette with too many beaux." Yet, they managed to survive, "fascinated betimes by nature's quickly changing moods."

An editorial from the Louisville Courier-Journal recaps how the U.S. became involved in Korea, as a means of responding to the criticism leveled at the war by Senator Taft, as well as by Senator Homer Capehart and General MacArthur, the latter two indicating that the President had sent in the Army 36 hours before the U.N. could exercise its authority and determine that there had been a transgression warranting U.N. intervention. Senator Capehart characterized the U.N. action as seeing fit, as a result, not to help the U.S. The piece suggests that the line was reminiscent of that taken by the Soviets at the outset of the conflict, that the U.S. had been the aggressor in Korea.

The Saturday Evening Post, not a fan of the Truman Administration, had undertaken to document the actual history of those early days in June and July, 1950, right after the aggression against the South by the North, in the afternoon of June 24. It had taken some hours at the time for authorities in Seoul to realize that there had been a major invasion of the South and the first news flashes did not arrive in Washington until that evening, delivered to the State Department at 9:30 that night. Secretary of State Acheson informed the President an hour later and the President authorized him to bring the emergency to the attention of the U.N. Security Council as quickly as possible. U.N. Secretary-General Trygve Lie was informed shortly after midnight and called an extraordinary session of the Council for Sunday, June 25. The Council then met and adopted unanimously the U.S. resolution, declaring North Korea guilty of a breach of the peace and calling for immediate cessation of the hostilities and withdrawal of North Korean troops from the South. At the time, Russia was engaged in a boycott of the U.N. anent the refusal to allow substitution of Communist China for Nationalist China on the Council, and the Yugoslav delegate to the Council had abstained. The resolution called on members to assist the U.N. in execution of the resolution and to refrain from giving assistance to North Korea.

The editorial interjects that it did not appear from those events that the U.N. was being dragged along by the U.S. and the President, as charged by Senator Taft.

Eventually, the President, after meeting with the Defense and State Department advisers, made three decisions, to authorize General MacArthur to send all ammunition he could spare to Korea, to send ships and planes for its assistance and protection of the evacuation of U.S. dependents, and that the Seventh Fleet would head north from the Philippines for the protection of Formosa. The following day, the President authorized Navy and Air Force support for South Korean forces below the 38th parallel and for the Seventh Fleet to prevent an attack on Formosa. That afternoon, the U.N. Security Council again met and called on all member nations to give assistance to South Korea.

Thereafter, the South Korean forces were being pushed back daily and the news became increasingly worse, prompting General MacArthur to telegraph the Pentagon that the only hope of holding the Han River at Seoul was to employ U.S. combat troops. After the President was so informed, he made the decision to send in one combat regiment and later briefed Congressional leaders and Cabinet members and advisers that same morning of the urgency of the decisions. Congress and almost all of the U.S. press had responded that the President had acted with proper and bold leadership in the matter, that the U.S. would not allow Korea to become another Czechoslovakia. It concludes: "The ultimate cause of peace and a strong United Nations was well served."

Drew Pearson provides two examples of why the public became disillusioned over the double morality standard exhibited in Congress, the first being the strategy used by Republicans and Southern Democrats to attempt to kill the President's IRB reform plan which placed tax collectors under the Civil Service system, and the second being the strategy employed by some Senators attacking Newbold Morris, appointed to clean up the Government, attempting to smear him before he could get going on the job, an effort to prevent him from carrying weight enough to harm members of Congress during his investigations.

Behind the strategy to undermine the IRB reform plan was the fact that Republican leaders believed that while the public was behind tax reform presently, within a year or so they would forget about it, and so it would be sufficient for any Republican Senator up for re-election in 1952 to back the plan, explaining why Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, supportive of General Eisenhower for the nomination, had voted against the reform plan, as he would not be up for re-election until 1956. Most other Eisenhower supporters in the Senate voted for the reform plan. The same reasoning explained why Senators Owen Brewster and John Bricker voted for the plan, as they were currently up for re-election.

The three Senators who put across the plan were Democratic freshmen, Mike Monroney of Oklahoma, Blair Moody of Michigan, and Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. By so doing they risked the ire of very powerful Southern Senators, as Walter George, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, one of the most powerful bodies in Congress.

As to the matter regarding Mr. Morris, Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had dropped a probe of Senator Elmer Thomas of Oklahoma after the latter had written the former a private letter in which he had warned Senator Ferguson to lay off or be exposed regarding certain operations involving his son-in-law and Chrysler Airtemp Sales Corporation, as well as receipt of presents of fur coats by females within the Ferguson family. Senator Ferguson had dropped the probe and his conduct alleged by Senator Thomas had never been investigated. Various other members of Congress also had records about which the public had a right to know and which Mr. Morris might have been able to probe effectively, were it not for being denied thus far the requested subpoena power.

Marquis Childs finds that the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had acted wisely in delaying the proposal to summon General Eisenhower from Paris to testify on the foreign aid program, as to compel him to do so at that time would, in the estimate of Mr. Childs, impair the General's prestige and only confuse further the whole issue of his return to the United States. It would also not save the program for the Administration, as the General could not prevent cuts, given that Administration leaders were also divided on the matter.

In addition, if General Eisenhower testified before Congress on the matter, he could be just as easily summoned by the British Parliament or any other legislative body of the 14 NATO nations, all of which he represented as supreme commander. For Congress to invite him to testify would tend to deny his proper role, therefore, in that regard.

The General also understood well that to return to the United States prior to the conventions would subject him to tugging from political operatives on all sides, something from which he needed to remain aloof as long as he continued as supreme commander of NATO. The General believed strongly that if he were to receive the Republican nomination for the presidency, it had to be without strings. To do otherwise, having made the previous commitments, would make it difficult for him to restore unity on foreign policy were he to be elected.

While his testimony before the Committee might strengthen support for the 7.6 billion dollars in foreign aid requested by the President, it would not prevent cuts. To weaken the General's prestige by his early return in the manner which his supporters desired, posits Mr. Childs, would only make things more difficult for him as a candidate and as a potential president.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of a "silent surface calm" currently present in Egypt, the type of calm which had reigned in Iran a little more than a year earlier, prior to the assassination of Premier Razmara, which had sparked the crisis still threatening the entire Middle East. This calm, according to the most experienced observers, appeared to portend another similar explosion soon in Egypt, unless the paralytic Western policy for the region were replaced with action.

King Farouk of Egypt was capable of acting with decision, as he had proved by dismissing the corrupt Government during the bloody rioting of the previous January. Yet presently, the King was frightened, and for good reason, as the powerful Wafd party had become openly anti-royalist. The King and his new able and honest Premier, Hilaly Pasha, were considered in sympathy with the British as enemies of the country, and if the Wafd again were to take power, the King was doomed, as would be also any chance of reaching a reasonable agreement with the West. The only way to undercut this possibility was to have reasonably successful negotiations between the new Egyptian Government and the British.

The King, however, feared having the new Premier enter into such negotiations for the reaction it might provoke from the Wafdists. The British Ambassador and the American Ambassador to Egypt were urging the British to take the initiative in such negotiations, but the British commander on the scene believed instead in a military solution, including the occupation of Alexandria and Cairo. But to undertake such action would require an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 British troops for occupation of Egypt, and though that would preclude the British from contributing to NATO defense adequately, the Pentagon was also inclined to that view. The Conservative Party in Britain was urging the Foreign Office to stand firm against the Egyptians and hoped that the King and the new Premier could keep the Wafdists under control by using the issue of corruption against it, even though corruption had been a watchword in the Egyptian government for a long time and so not likely to prevent the Wafdists from coming again to power.

The State Department was divided, with the European division wishing to leave the matter up to the British to determine while the Middle East experts generally agreed with the British and American ambassadors on the matter, that negotiation was the better way to prevent disaster.

The Alsops conclude that some form of Western influence and power had to be maintained in Egypt and the Middle East generally, as Egyptian adherence to the Middle East Defense Command automatically ensured the availability of bases in Egypt to the Western alliance, and so some form of negotiation was worth a serious effort. They warn, however, that it was "already very late".

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