The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 27, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that truce negotiators in Korea swapped detailed explanations of how they wished to exchange prisoners, with an allied spokesman saying that neither optimism nor pessimism was warranted in the newly initiated secret sessions, designed to make them more conducive to open discussion. During the three such sessions, according to the allied spokesman, some clarification had occurred on issues.

In the staff officers meeting on truce supervision, the Communists stated that the allies could not represent the Korean people, after the allied spokesman reminded that the U.N. command represented the South Koreans. The underlying issue was the Communist insistence that the U.N. command in Korea be known as "Allied Forces", whereas the U.N. preferred "International Allied Forces".

Stormy weather over North Korea grounded allied warplanes early in the day. The Far East Air Forces had flown 925 sorties the previous day, and during the night, B-29s had dropped 67,000 pounds of bombs on the front. Navy planes reported having blasted 256 new gaps in enemy rail lines.

In ground action, only light, squad-sized Communist thrusts were reported.

The Defense Department added 22 American battle casualties to its list, of whom nine had been killed, 12 wounded and one injured.

An Air Force helicopter completed ten shuttle runs this date to supply 4,000 pounds of rice to a snowbound Japanese village, without food for three days.

Nathan Feinsinger, chairman of the Wage Stabilization Board, told reporters this date "hell no", after being asked whether Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson had asked the WSB to reduce its recommendations for settling the steel dispute. He had just left a meeting with Mr. Wilson, who had previously said that the WSB's recommendations, including a 17.5 cent wage increase, were a threat to anti-inflation efforts. Mr. Wilson also met with Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam and Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall, in apparent efforts to head off the threatened April 8 steel strike. Both had no comment regarding their conversations. Nothing had yet been accomplished in meetings begun the prior day between the United Steelworkers union and U.S. Steel and Jones & Laughlin Steel. Both sides were looking to Washington for guidance on the matter, especially with regard to the steel industry's insistence that they would need to be able to raise the price of steel by $12 per ton to meet the wage increase. The Administration would have to determine whether the W SB recommendations should be followed and, if so, whether any price boost, beyond that allowed by existing price controls, was justified to meet the wage increase in light of steel profits.

Senator Styles Bridges testified before the House subcommittee investigating the tax scandals that he had taken an interest in a seven-million dollar tax case against a Baltimore liquor dealer because he wanted to encourage quick action by the Government and that it was nothing more than official interest, as he had taken in thousands of other matters. The subcommittee's investigators had shown that the Senator and Henry Grunewald had taken an active interest in the case, making repeated inquiries to the IRB about it. The owner of the company said that he was not acquainted with either the Senator or Mr. Grunewald, a statement confirmed by the Senator.

The Senate Agriculture Committee excused a former Agriculture Department aide from testifying because he was under investigation by a Federal grand jury, looking into charges that he misappropriated large quantities of grain stored on his farm in South Dakota. He had inquired of the Committee as to whether they thought he should testify, to which Senator Allen Ellender, Committee chairman, responded that he should not answer questions out of concern that his testimony could be used against him in the grand jury proceeding. Senator George Aiken of Vermont protested that the Federal Government could block any thorough investigation of the Agriculture Department by starting a grand jury inquiry, as the proceeding had begun the same day the Committee had started its investigation. The Committee had also excused an investigator who had interviewed the witness, on the same basis.

Before the Senate Internal Security subcommittee, a Yale professor testified that he regarded Owen Lattimore as "probably the principal agent of Stalinism" among U.S. Far East specialists. The inquiry was trying to determine whether the Institute of Pacific Relations, of which Mr. Lattimore was a trustee, had a subversive influence on U.S. Far Eastern policy.

Congressman Albert Gore of Tennessee said before the Office of Defense Mobilization Surplus Manpower Committee this date that to award Government contracts on any basis other than by competitive bidding would "reward inefficiency and destroy the national economic pattern". He agreed with the North Carolina Congressional delegation, appearing before the Committee the previous day, that the depression in the textile industry in New England was not related to the defense mobilization program and the Government lacked authority to engage in negotiated cost-plus contracts. He said that the New England depression was the result of "water seeking its own level" and not from favoritism or war. He believed the cost-plus contract approach would result in increased unemployment, extravagance and confusion. The Committee was considering proposals to channel textile contracts to areas with high unemployment.

Near Merriman, Neb., three persons were shot to death and two others wounded at a ranch in the early morning hours by an unknown assailant using two guns. Roadblocks were erected and six airplanes were being used to search for the killer.

Near Somerset, Pa., eight persons, six of whom were children, burned to death in a farmhouse fire. One of the children at home at the time had escaped unhurt, jumping out a window.

In Lumberton, N.C., the jury trial of three Robeson County men began this date regarding charges of belonging to the Klan, and a fourth defendant was set to have his trial after the conclusion of the case. The defense attorneys had accepted the jurors after each had indicated that they were members of families who had lived in the South since before the Civil War and would not be influenced by newspaper reports of Klan activity in the area. All four defendants had denied that they were members of the Klan, having been among 16 men who had been arrested February 27 under an 1868 state statute prohibiting membership in secret military or political organizations. Twelve of the 16 defendants had renounced their affiliation with the Klan and thus, pursuant to the statute, had their cases dismissed.

Query whether the statute—which did not, as the Federal Smith Act, for instance, upheld at the time by the Supreme Court as constitutional, forbid organizational activity involving advocacy of overthrow of the government by force or violence, but only that seeking furtherance of a political aim—, violated freedom of assembly, of association and speech under the First Amendment. Does the statute's language, stated in the disjunctive, "for the purpose of ... resisting the laws ... or circumventing the laws", add anything to the constitutional viability of the statute or merely render it overbroad, encompassing both conduct constitutionally cognizable, i.e., free speech and association, and that subject to prohibition under Tenth Amendment states' rights doctrine, the recognized police powers to ensure the health, morals, safety and welfare of the citizenry? No matter how loathsome the activity being proscribed by statute, the rights of all are at risk when the state seeks to invoke its power to suppress the rights of a few who are unpopular. Advocacy of that point in this instance is not advocacy for the Klan, of course, but rather for the Constitution, that it be applied to all through time so that it will not ultimately wind up applied to none but those with royal prerogative of the moment.

The statute, as previously indicated, was considerably supplemented, though not abrogated, by the 1953 Legislature to get around any Constitutional infirmities of the post-Civil War statute and to proscribe with more definition other Klan-type activities, as the burning of crosses on the property of another and the wearing of masks in public not in association with any holiday or public celebration. It might be noted that insofar as the burning of crosses on the property of another, that was always subject to prosecution as simple arson.

On the editorial page, "Up Wages, Up Steel, Up Prices" finds that the steel dispute would likely have several results, including adoption of most of the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendations, necessitating a substantial increase in steel prices to accommodate the recommended 17.5 cent per hour increase in wages, resulting in the public complaining to Congress, where there was a major effort to diminish or eliminate wage and price controls.

In turn, the rise in steel wages would likely result in another round of wage and price increases in other industries, though the steelworkers were actually just catching up to other industries, were the WSB recommendations to be implemented. Average hourly wages in all manufacturing industries had risen about eight cents per hour the previous year, whereas in steel they had not risen at all.

The union shop issue, also recommended by the Board, would, if implemented, likely give rise to the same in other industries. It also appeared likely that management would be allowed substantial price increases to absorb the increased wages and benefits for labor, which would trigger inflation.

It concludes that if the steel strike occurred, as threatened on April 8 unless the recommendations were accepted by the industry, the only persons to benefit would be Russia and their propagandists. It hopes that point would be kept uppermost in the minds of the parties to the present negotiations.

"This Stumps Us" finds that the anti-Eisenhower propaganda contained the paradoxical statement that, on the one hand, objection should be made to the General for the public not knowing what he stood for, while on the other, suggesting him as another Fair Dealer and "me-tooer". It questions how, if no one knew what he stood for, they could know that he was the latter.

"Speak Up, Mr. Chairman" tells of state Democratic Party chairman B. Everett Jordan, future Senator, having not proved his case in the continuing dispute over the appointment of county election boards in the state, charging that the State Board of Elections had ignored the recommendations of 80 of the 100 county Democratic executive committees and skipped over either the first or second names on the list submitted to choose a third person. Mr. Jordan had hinted that Governor Kerr Scott had been involved in the matter, which the chairman of the Board had denied.

The piece understands the law to provide that the Board had full discretion in choosing county election board members from the lists handed in by the regular parties, not requiring it to name either the first or second choice. Nor had Mr. Jordan proved that the Board had acted unwisely in its choices, only stating that they departed from precedent. It urges that Mr. Jordan ought document his case, and that until he did so, it would appear that he was laying the groundwork for a subsequent battle to control the state convention and the North Carolina delegation at the Democratic national convention.

Mr. Jordan was said to favor William B. Umstead for the gubernatorial nomination and Senator Richard Russell for the Democratic nomination for the presidency. In both instances, he was working against Governor Scott, and his criticism of the Board appeared, for the present, without further justification, to be an intra-partisan dispute.

"Good Idea" applauds the fact that Senator Joseph McCarthy had filed a two million dollar damage suit against Senator William Benton, after the latter had waived his Senatorial immunity and dared Senator McCarthy to sue him for defamation for Senator Benton's statements in the Senate that Senator McCarthy had employed fraud and deceit in his claims of infiltration of the Government by Communists. It hopes that Senator Benton would file a counter-suit.

It also hopes that the allegations by former Communist Louis Budenz against Owen Lattimore of the State Department, regarding the latter's supposed Communist affiliations, would likewise wind up in court so that the public could evaluate who was telling the truth. It did not expect much in the way of objective information to flow from Senator Pat McCarran's Judiciary Committee, which had heard the testimony of the two men, as it appeared to be engaged in a preconceived course of attacking Mr. Lattimore.

"We're on Course in the Atlantic" tells of the stature having risen of Canada's Foreign Secretary Lester Pearson during the previous few years, having been one of the most vigorous champions of NATO and the choice of his colleagues to head several important NATO committees. Recently, he had stated at the Ottawa conference that there had been Communist attempts to wean West Germany from NATO and to isolate the rest of the NATO countries from the U.S.

Many in Congress had praised the progress on the Schuman Plan for sharing of French, Belgian and West German coal and steel in Europe and the creation of the European army, favoring also formation of a federal European union. They had also praised the achievements of NATO. Yet, many of the same Congressmen expressed a longing for the day when Europe would be independent of the U.S., such that the country could withdraw to its own shores.

The piece finds that to be wishful thinking, as the commitment in Europe would have to be long term, which it regards as a good thing, that the interdependence should increase rather than decrease. It would be better, it suggests, for the U.S. to be included in the Schuman Plan, the European army and even the federal union concept. For if emphasis were placed only on unifying the European part of the community rather than on the entire Atlantic community, then the democratic forces would be divided. It posits that the economy of the U.S. would be stronger if trade barriers were reduced among all the Atlantic nations and that the security of the U.S. would be better insured were the European countries bordering the satellite nations dependent on the U.S. and their other democratic neighbors. It concludes that the country was on the right course and should not deviate from it.

Drew Pearson tells of former IRB commissioner Joe Nunan having testified in executive session the previous week to the House subcommittee investigating the tax scandals. Mr. Pearson had been able to obtain details of his testimony, indicating that while he had been commissioner, his outside income had gone up from a little over $13,000 to over $77,000 between 1944 and 1947, that he attended a party given by gambling kingpin Frank Costello at the Copacabana nightclub, owned by Mr. Costello, worked for the nightclub in New York after leaving his Government post, and had also thrown a $3,000 cocktail party for Attorney General J. Howard McGrath and Supreme Court Justice Tom Clark, also after he had left the Government, with the purpose of introducing the two to his law clients.

Adrian De Wind, chief counsel for the subcommittee, had brought out that Mr. Nunan had continued to operate his law practice while serving as IRB head, having earned from his firm over $13,000 in 1944, $27,000 in 1945, over $57,000 in 1946, and over $77,000 in 1947, all while serving as commissioner. He said that he had given little time to the law firm during that period, but that the law firm had done substantial tax work, while his earnings were not supposed to include those fees. He also admitted not having itemized his expenses, contributions and other deductions during that time, despite the forms having called for that itemization. He had refused to answer under the Fifth Amendment regarding details of the cash in his safe deposit box and his business dealings.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find disgraceful the failure to deliver weapons and war goods to the NATO command in Europe in the quantity promised. About 10 billion dollars had been appropriated to strengthen Western Europe against Communist aggression, the bulk of which had been for arms, but only 1.4 billion dollars in weapons had actually been delivered, most of it from surplus stocks in the U.S. and in Germany. By the end of the fiscal year, estimates indicated that no more than 2 billion dollars in arms would be delivered, 50 percent behind an already ticked-back schedule. Five billion dollars of the amount appropriated had not yet even been obligated and by the end of the fiscal year 1953, it was anticipated that there would still be 5 billion dollars unspent.

The fact was having a dangerous effect throughout the NATO nations. Winston Churchill had recently told Parliament of the deficiency, that rearmament had been delayed for at least a year because of it. Britain produced most of its own arms and so the deficiency was even more problematic for the other allies, such as France, whose promised arms had simply not been delivered. The U.S., itself, according to the experts, would be in great danger if Western Europe remained indefensible at the point when the Soviets had a decisive stock of atomic bombs. By any reasonable test, the U.S. was losing the arms race to the Soviets.

The Alsops lay the primary problem to complacency in the face of increased American production. The American economy was performing miracles of a sort, producing five million cars and a million houses per year while prices were going down, all on top of the massive defense program. But, they conclude, consumer products did not weigh heavily on the scale against Soviet jet planes and tanks.

Marquis Childs finds the dual role being played by General Eisenhower, both as supreme commander of NATO and as a presidential candidate, to become more problematic as time passed. The General had periodically submitted progress reports to the American, British and French military representatives, reports which were classified. On the first anniversary of his taking over the command, it was thought appropriate to issue a public official report, which included not only the military achievements but also an analysis of the progress in bringing about the Schuman Plan for sharing of the steel and coal resources of West Germany, France and Belgium.

The British and French representatives, however, believed that the report would provide too much credit to General Eisenhower, to be used as a campaign document, and would suggest that his departure would leave an impossible vacancy to fill. American officials were aware of this problem, but nevertheless believed that a progress report to the public was due and would be helpful in securing the proposed 7.9 billion dollar financial aid program.

On April 4, it would be three years since the ratification of the NATO pact. The cynics had predicted that it would never be anything more than a hope. Yet, tangible progress had been made, especially during the year since General Eisenhower had taken over as supreme commander.

Until the General reached his own decision, nothing could be done about the duality of his role, but he had also always demonstrated a good sense of timing, and that sense, suggests Mr. Childs, could be relied upon to bring him home at the right moment.

A letter writer from Pittsboro says that he would probably not buy or read the William Hillman collection of diary entries, letters and interviews with President Truman, contained in Mr. President, as he could cuss too easily without such provocation. He doubted that the President had chastised former Secretary of State James Byrnes, as the book had suggested, denied by Mr. Byrnes. He thinks that the agreement made at Potsdam in mid-July, 1945 should never have been concluded, that the U.S. Army in Europe should have been utilized to push Russia back behind its western borders, utilizing the help of the Balkan nations. He concludes therefore that Potsdam was an error.

That would have been very bright, given that Russia had just saved the day for the West by crushing Germany from the east, saving the Western nations untold casualties and possibly even loss of the war. It would have been extremely smart before the court of world opinion to have shown unprovoked aggression toward Russia, a solid Western ally at the time.

He also wonders what General Eisenhower stood for, suggesting that the people liked to be deceived and would believe what they wanted to believe.

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., wonders why there was a depression in the textile industry, whether big business had decided to bring on a "little depression" to swing votes in November or whether it was the result of a planned break-up of the unions. He indicates that the mills were moving south because of cheap labor, a deplorable condition.

A letter writer from St. Pauls, N.C., wonders how the Southern Weekly knew that General Eisenhower could win and that Senator Taft could not, furthermore how the Alsops knew that Senator Taft was losing in the South when in a previous column they had stated that he was unlikely to carry pivotal Southern or seaboard states, thus wondering how he could be losing something he never had in the first place. He wonders whether the News and the Southern Weekly had turned Republican and wished to dominate the party's choice of a nominee. He thinks that these Democratic publications figured that if the Republicans could be hoodwinked into nominating General Eisenhower, the country would be assured of a "New Deal-Fair Deal" president regardless of who would win in November. He indicates that he was an anti-New Deal Democrat who never voted for FDR or President Truman, and would therefore not vote for a New Deal Republican. He concludes that Senator Taft was the only candidate with the intestinal fortitude to expose and vote against "crookdom as now practiced by the party in power." He thus intended to vote for the Senator, but would vote for the President if the Southern Democratic press succeeded in nominating General Eisenhower on the Republican ticket.

He appears to prefer the devil he knew over the one he didn't—and, wih 20-20 hindsight in store, that would appear a wise choice at least insofar as the vice-presidential nominees to be.

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