The Charlotte News

Friday, March 21, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Communist negotiators in Korea stated this date that they might be ready to compromise on the deadlocked issue of exchange of prisoners, regarding the issue of voluntary repatriation, albeit not mentioning that specific issue in their two-sentence statement. The U.N. spokesman indicated that there was nothing new in the Communist proposal and on the surface did nothing to alleviate the roadblock. Other observers, however, interpreted the new proposal to suggest that the Communists were willing to compromise but were not ready to indicate how. Neither side suggested secret negotiations, to which the allies had indicated openness the previous day.

The staff officers working on truce supervision exchanged maps of the 10 ports of entry on which the two sides had agreed to use and inspect during an armistice. The allies expected final details to be worked out the following day.

U.S. Sabre jets destroyed or damaged between 13 and 18 enemy jets in a series of flights the previous day, climaxed by history's longest jet battle to that point, lasting 40 minutes, the previous longest such battle having lasted 35 minutes. During the prior three days, U.S. jets had compiled a record of at least 31 and possibly 36 enemy jets hit, including 11 shot down. The Air Force indicated that the total bag of enemy warplanes was now 232 destroyed, 39 probably destroyed and 426 damaged during the course of the war. The Fifth Air Force had conducted 969 sorties the previous day, seven more than its previous record set on April 30, 1951. Far East Air Forces planes cut enemy rails in 100 places, destroyed 105 trucks, 12 gun positions, four supply dumps, two rail bridges, 25 bunkers and destroyed or damaged 75 supply buildings. Marine pilots also set a record with 726 sorties, dropping tons of bombs and napalm on the enemy supply area near Karhwa. Carrier-based planes made 138 cuts in rail lines on the east coast.

At Panmunjom, allied demolition men blew up more than 30 unexploded artillery and rocket shells which had been lying around in the vicinity of the truce conference site. The duds had been fired into nearby rice and grain fields earlier during the war and were dumped into a hole and detonated while both Communist and U.N. security officers observed.

Ten steel industry leaders met this date in New York with Roger Putnam, the Federal Economic Stabilizer, to discuss the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendations for settling the steel dispute. The recommendations included a total package of benefits worth 18.8 cents hourly, including a 17.5 cent per hour wage increase to go into effect in three increments through the beginning of 1953, plus other concessions including the union shop. The industry members of the Board had dissented. The recommendations were approved by the executive board of the Steelworkers Union and led to a postponement of the scheduled strike, set to start on Sunday at midnight, until April 8. The union had asked for 18.5 cents per hour in wage boosts along with other concessions which were estimated to be worth a total of about 35 cents per hour. Steelworkers presently earned an average of about two dollars per hour including overtime. The proposal was to become part of an 18-month contract. A group of public relations advisers for the steel industry were working on the industry's reply to the recommendations, probably to be released during the afternoon. The industry heretofore had indicated that the anticipated price increase to be allowed by the Government under price controls of $2 per ton would be insufficient to cover the wage increase, that it would necessitate an increase of between $6 and $10 per ton.

The House Ways & Means subcommittee investigating the tax scandals referred to the Justice Department grounds for possible perjury charges against a New York attorney, following a session inquiring about his relations with Henry Grunewald, Senator Styles Bridges and a multi-million dollar tax case. The attorney was a former special assistant to the Attorney General and had left that post in 1946, and was presently acting as counsel for Mr. Grunewald. The alleged perjury concerned his failure of recollection of a $5,000 loan from Mr. Grunewald, which a subsequent letter signed by the attorney had confirmed, and his failure to recall ever representing Mr. Grunewald while the attorney was employed by the Justice Department, representation which was confirmed by a report of special Treasury agents, indicating that the attorney had interceded on Mr. Grunewald's behalf during a black-market whiskey investigation in 1943-44.

Congressman Gordon Canfield of New Jersey told the Office of Defense Mobilization labor surplus subcommittee, considering methods of relieving unemployment in the textile industry, that the only remedy lay in the channeling of negotiated contracts into distressed areas. Mr. Canfield criticized statements of some Southern Congressmen who had testified the previous day, describing the Northern industry as poorly managed and inefficient, saying that he regretted there was a sectional approach to the problem.

The cost of living index dropped .6 percent in February, the first decline since the previous June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The cause for the decline was attributed to a 2.1 percent drop in retail food prices, its largest decline in a single month since December, 1949. The decline would cause a one-cent hourly wage decrease on April 1 for 1.15 million trainmen and non-operating railroad workers based on the escalator clause in their contracts. The index remained, however, 10.4 percent higher than at the start of the Korean War in June, 1950 and was 2.2 percent above that of a year earlier.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one conducted among international respondents regarding the popularity of General Eisenhower in Canada, Britain, Norway, Denmark and Holland, and whether they wished him to remain as NATO commander rather than leave to run for the U.S. presidency. Of those in Britain, 45 percent preferred that the General remain in Europe, 12 percent indicated he should become President, 17 percent said it made no difference, and 26 percent expressed no opinion. The numbers for Holland were 40 percent, 10 percent, 12 percent and 38 percent, respectively. For Norway, the numbers were 56 percent, 16 percent, and 28 percent expressing either no opinion or that it made no difference. In Denmark, the numbers were 51 percent, 11 percent, and 38 percent expressing no opinion. In Canada, 65 percent of respondents preferred that he remain as supreme commander of NATO, 16 percent believed he should become President, 2 percent said neither, and 17 percent expressed no opinion. The poll was conducted shortly before the New Hampshire primary.

North central Colorado received its worst snowstorm of the year, with nine inches falling in Denver, snarling traffic amid four-foot, wind-driven drifts.

As indicated the previous day, not on the page, the first-round of the 16-team N.C.A.A. Basketball Tournment took place this date, with number 1 Kentucky beating Penn State 82 to 54, and number ten St. John's, coached by Frank McGuire, beating N.C. State, 60 to 49, both games in Raleigh. The two winners would meet in Raleigh the following evening in the regional semi-final. In Chicago, also in the Eastern Regional, number two Illinois beat number 11 Dayton 80 to 61 and number four Duquesne beat Princeton 60 to 49, with the winners to meet Saturday night in the other Eastern Regional semi-final. In Kansas City, in the Western Regional, number eight Kansas, whose star was not Dean Smith, beat Texas Christian 68 to 64 and number five St. Louis beat New Mexico State 62 to 53, the winners also to meet on Saturday night in one semi-final. In the other Western Regional quarter-finals, in Corvallis, Ore., Santa Clara beat number 19 UCLA 68 to 59 and Wyoming beat Oklahoma City 54 to 48, the winners likewise to meet on Saturday. The two regional finals would take place on Tuesday night in Seattle, with the national championship game to be played on Wednesday night in the same location.

Anyway, it's one down, and five to go...

On the editorial page, "Will They Still Call Him 'Fearless Bob'?" comments on the withdrawal of Senator Taft from the New Jersey primary, claiming that he had been undercut by the Republican organization in New Jersey and by Governor Alfred Driscoll by his having waited until after the deadline for candidates' formal withdrawal to abandon his neutrality and declare his support for General Eisenhower.

It posits that the real reason was the Senator's substantial loss in New Hampshire to the General and the substantial write-in vote for the General in Minnesota, prompting Senator Taft simply not to dare challenge General Eisenhower in New Jersey.

It suggests that while "Fearless Bob", as he had been dubbed, might have no fear of taking on the "lightweight" President Truman, he was fearful of getting into the ring with the "heavyweight", General Eisenhower. His decision, it suggests, exposed the weakness of his campaign, that it had been based on his strength among "regular" Republicans, enabling him probably to control the national convention, and his angry criticism of every error which had been made in the past, without offering any substitute program for the future. The American people wanted something more than that, a leader who could rise above smug partisanship and engage in hope and optimism instead of bitterness and criticism, and one whose record expressed harmony and faith rather than "vituperation and grossly exaggerated pessimism." They wanted a warm man rather than a "cold, calculating machine politician".

It concludes that Senator Taft was still a formidable contender for the nomination because of his strong organization and the fact that the Republicans were hungry for patronage after being out of power for 20 years. But, it indicates, it was convinced that the great voice of the American people would finally penetrate the inner councils of the GOP hierarchy and would work to effect a November victory by the nomination of General Eisenhower.

"This We Want to See" tells of Senator Joseph McCarthy having written Senator William Benton, accepting the latter's offer to waive Senatorial immunity, thus allowing Senator McCarthy to sue him for libel for his remarks on the Senate floor that Senator McCarthy had employed the tactics of Hitler in his "hit-and-run" charges of Communists in the Government. Senator McCarthy had suggested that his and Senator Benton's attorneys meet to draft the documents necessary for the waiver of immunity. Senator Benton had replied that it would not be necessary as his signature on the responsive letter would be sufficient.

Former Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, before his defeat in 1950, had offered Senator McCarthy $5,000 to produce one living, bona fide Communist from among the many persons he had slandered on the Senate floor. Subsequently, Senator Tydings raised the offer to $10,000, but it had never been accepted.

It hopes that Senator McCarthy would accept the dare from Senator Benton.

"Government by Compulsion" comments on a letter on the page to the president of the Southern Railway from a Charlotte resident who was a stockholder in the company, expressing the basic issue in the "recommendation" of a Presidential board that non-operating railroad workers be compelled to belong to a union shop.

It suggests that the union shop determined by negotiation between management and labor was restrictive enough of the right of a man to earn and hold a job on merit and ability, that it would be intolerable for the power and influence of the Government to be brought to bear to force union shops on workers who had not yet been persuaded that union membership was either necessary or desirable. It indicates that the railroads should ignore this "recommendation" and oppose any further effort by the Government to compel membership in labor unions.

It should be noted that part of the Government's recommended settlement of the steel dispute included the union shop.

"Washington Watchdog" thinks sound the suggestion of Secretary of the Army Frank Pace, Jr., stated at the Four Freedoms dinner recently, that a national citizens' committee be formed to keep an eye on the Federal Government. A similar suggestion had recently been made by Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, given that the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report would soon disband. Mr. Pace believed that such a committee ought be free from connection to the Government.

The piece adds that it ought be more than an advocate for economy but ought also to have a staff sufficient to present an understandable picture of what was going on in Washington. If that normally was the job of the press, it had become too big for any single newspaper or wire service to handle. It suggests that there was merit in the idea that a number of outstanding newspapers form a research organization, which could complement such a citizens' committee.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Something to Remember", tells of the Democratic gubernatorial candidates who appeared on the same platform at Wilson having been unanimous in declaring against any new taxes in North Carolina for the ensuing two years. That was not surprising as there was a surplus in the present budget, and the surplus was growing. As long as that trend continued, there was no worry as to the fiscal stability of the state. Through February, tax collections had been running more than 15 percent greater than the previous year at the same time. The piece indicates its belief in a relative balance between public service and taxation.

Drew Pearson states that while politics was not discussed in the matter of whether to recall General Eisenhower to comment on the need for the President's proposed 7.9 billion budget for foreign aid, it was of considerable concern in the background. The President had invited the General back to Washington well before the New Hampshire primary to testify on the aid budget. That invitation had played right into the hands of Senators Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., and James Duff and Governor Dewey, the prime supporters and organizers of the Eisenhower-for-President campaign. They had initially favored acceptance of it. But when General Eisenhower easily defeated Senator Taft in the New Hampshire primary without campaigning except through surrogates, they changed their minds, believing that the General could win without returning to the U.S. Senator Lodge, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, thus voted by proxy against the resolution to recall him. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey, also a supporter of the General, voted likewise.

Following the invitation, the President assumed, as had the Joint Chiefs, that the General would come home to testify. White House advisers believed it would be more diplomatic to have the two Congressional committees which passed on foreign aid extend the official invitation than to have the President order him back. Thus, Senator Brien McMahon proposed the resolution to have the Foreign Relations Committee extend the invitation. Senator Walter George of Georgia led the drive to block it, probably because he wanted to cut the foreign aid budget. Both the pro-Taft Republicans and those supporting the General were ultimately against his return. The pro-Taft Senators believed that the General might make political hay by winning over a Congressional committee, while the supporters of the General believed there was no sense in taking the chance of having him involved in the foreign aid controversy.

Senator McMahon had declared that it was the General's duty to inform the Senate how much money they should vote for the security of Europe.

Senator Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, a supporter of the General, was for his return on the basis that the General knew the most about the financial and military aspects of NATO and would, therefore, be the most important witness they could call on the matter.

Marquis Childs comments on the compilation of interviews, diary entries and letters of the President by William Hillman in his recently published book, Mr. President. He finds the book to show a lonely man experiencing the trials and tribulations of the office. That which had been omitted was that the President would turn 69 on May 8, and the fact that only five Presidents to that point had been elected past age 62, three of whom had died before completing the post-62 term, including William Henry Harrison, Zachary Taylor, and FDR. The two others were James Buchanan and Andrew Jackson, the latter of whom showed a huge toll of the office during his last term.

The President had longevity in his family and was in exceptionally good health, but the office had been nevertheless a drain on his energy. Friends of the President had indicated that he had given his solemn word to First Lady Bess Truman, just prior to his departure for his Key West vacation, that he would not run again. The First Lady had long been opposed to another term, and the President was quite faithful to her and her wishes.

Senator Taft would be 64 if he were elected and General Eisenhower would be 62. Governor Adlai Stevenson was 52 and Senator Estes Kefauver was 49.

Mr. Childs concludes that there was no arbitrary rule in the matter of aging and the Presidency, but history had shown how much the burden of the office pressed down on its occupants.

Robert C. Ruark also looks at Mr. President, finding it virtually a family album, with prosaic letters and uninteresting diary entries. He finds the only thing missing to have been a picture of a bespectacled baby on a bearskin.

He indicates that the President had said that the most important achievements of his Administration had been that they had prevented a third world war and maintained the American economy on an even keel. Mr. Ruark is unimpressed, as he finds that the President found Russians under the bed every time he wanted to raise taxes and cried "doom in a voice fit to frighten the birds." He also questions how even the economy had been.

He finds that the book had broken new ground in the sense that it was the first time a President had released such a volume while still in office, but that it was not revelatory of whether the President would run again.

He concludes: "The only-slightly expurgated memoirs of Harry S. Truman don't figure to upset the national mind beyond the point of realization that we hired an average man to do a giant's job. And this we have known for some time."

A letter writer, as indicated in the above editorial, addresses his concerns to the president of the Southern Railway regarding the "recommendation" by a Presidential board that all of the railroads in the country compel all non-operating employees to join a labor union or else give up their jobs. As a shareholder in Southern Railway, he believes it was inexcusable to follow such a recommendation, "that individual liberty in this land means freedom to join a lawful organization and likewise freedom not to join".

The issue is more complicated than that, of course, as the obverse of the coin is that, without the union shop provision in the contract, the company was able and likely to hire persons willing to state in advance their preference not to join the union, thus potentially used as an informal union-busting mechanism. Moreover, Government recommendations on a contract were just that, to facilitate settlement of disputes to keep vital industries and facilities up and running, not insinuating mandatory compliance for the two sides.

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