The Charlotte News

Tuesday, March 4, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Rear Admiral R. E. Libby had indicated this date that after arguing with the Communists as to whether 50,000 missing allied troops actually existed, the truce talks in Korea had reverted to the position they had been in on December 18, the date on which the negotiators on each side had exchanged lists of prisoners of war. Admiral Libby had demanded that the Communists account for the missing men, who were South Korean soldiers incorporated, according to the U.N., by the Communists into the North Korean Army. A North Korean spokesman, however, indicated that they did not exist, calling it an allied fabrication and "attempt to block our progress by creating another hindrance." The Communists conceded that there were some South Koreans within the Communist Army but contended that they were volunteers and that many had deserted the South Korean Army. The Communists also asserted that the prisoners whom the allies claimed did not want to be repatriated were only so refraining through intimidation at the points of "bayonets". In contrast to the Communist shouting of the previous day, the Communist generals, according to Admiral Libby, were well behaved this date.

Allied staff officers trying to work out the supervision of the truce heard again the demand from the Communist staff officers that Russia be included on the neutral inspection commission, a position which the allies adamantly opposed for the fact that Russia had aided the Communist effort in the war with training of pilots, aircraft and munitions.

U.N. fighter pilots bombed and machine-gunned two front line positions this date while the opposing ground armies sent out only light patrols. Twenty-eight U.S. Sabre jets damaged one enemy MIG-15 in a five-minute engagement with 50 of the enemy jets near the Yalu River boundary with Manchuria.

At an allied airfield in Korea, a colonel who was the commanding officer, in response to a rain dance, followed by four days of snow, staged by a group of South African pilots attached to a Marine air group, posted a notice that stated snow would not fall on the airfield, that all incoming snow-bearing clouds and foreign nations would be diverted to the Chinese Communist Air Forces airdromes, that request for blizzards would not be approved, and that no rain or snow dances would be allowed until further notice.

An earthquake and tidal wave this date had killed at least 31 people in northern Japan, injured hundreds and destroyed more than 2,500 homes. The center of the destruction was at Kushiro on the southeast coast of Hokkaido Island. No Americans were reported injured at two U.S. military facilities in the area. General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, ordered the divisions at these locations to turn their facilities over to aid of the stricken and thousands of homeless. The seismologists at Weston College in Massachusetts indicated that it was the strongest earthquake recorded in a decade. Columbia University indicated that it was the largest since August, 1950, when an earthquake struck Assam, India, the largest in 50 years.

In Paris, Antoine Pinay continued to try to put together a new cabinet of experts from the fragments of France's non-Communist parties. Few observers gave him any better chance of success than his several predecessors who had sought to construct a similar government. Wartime Premier Paul Reynaud had already tried and failed to put together a national union government of technicians drawn from all parties except the Communists. René Plevin, whose Government had fallen in January, refused even to make the attempt. The crisis was in its fifth day, having begun because the National Assembly had voted the equivalent of about four billion dollars for arms, including expanded defense of Western Europe, and then refused to pass a 15 percent tax increase to help pay for the bill. The longer the crisis dragged on, the better was the chance for General Charles de Gaulle to come to power. His party had the largest membership in the Assembly and it had decided that it was time to join the talks for a national union to meet the increasing crisis. Were it to become the dominant force in a new cabinet, it would likely cause a major shift in present French foreign policy, as General de Gaulle had called for sweeping changes in the major Western defense programs to which France had recently committed itself at Lisbon.

Some French deputies were calling for further U.S. aid to France to help pay for defense, but Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, had stated angrily that until France did its utmost for its own defense, it could not rely on large appropriations from the U.S. for both economic and military aid.

The President said from the deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Courier in Washington that the world's differences could be settled if Communist rulers would turn "from their senseless policy of hate and terror and follow the principles of peace." He indicated that the U.S. remained friends with the Russian and Chinese peoples and that its differences were only with their rulers. The occasion for the speech was the recommissioning of the Courier as a powerful floating radio transmitter for beaming the Voice of America, which had celebrated its 10th anniversary this date. The speech was carried to Europe, Latin America and the Far East via relay stations all over the world, and was being translated into 45 languages for rebroadcast. A large part of the text of the President's message is printed on the page.

Backers of universal military training won a test vote in the House this date by defeating an opposition motion by a vote of 196 to 167, which would have struck the bill's enacting clause, a maneuver seeking to send it back to the Armed Services Committee for further hearings. A further effort to send it back to the Committee was expected, and if successful, would likely kill the measure in the House.

Defense Mobilization director Charles E. Wilson urged the Senate Banking Committee this date to extend price and wage controls for two additional years, necessary, he said, to restrain inflation.

In the first of a series of articles, Associated Press reporter William L. Ryan, in Vienna, relates of the danger signal extending across Western Europe at present, not a war alarm, he says, but a warning against a Stalinist Trojan Horse, a fifth column element being organized with care to serve Kremlin imperialism on a long-range basis, to be centered in central Europe and extend across Europe to Italy, West Germany, Greece and the Middle East. The Soviets had a chain of command running from the Kremlin through the Cominform into a tight organization with headquarters in Vienna, all headed by Georgi Malenkov—who would succeed Stalin at his death in 1953. There would be a "Unity of Action" movement through this network toward labor in Western Europe, playing upon nationalist sentiments to create a "National Resistance" within these countries, utilizing former Fascists, Nazis and any other opportunists or unwary persons willing to cooperate, while the Communists would remain in the background.

Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota stated this date that the next president would inevitably be a Republican if the Democrats were to retreat from the President's civil rights program. He called for a showdown on the matter with Southern Democrats who were backing Senator Richard Russell of Georgia for the Democratic nomination. He indicated that a strong civil rights candidate could likely win in 1952, just as the President had won without the solid South in 1948. He said that if the party backed away from the civil rights platform of 1948, it would lose such states as New York, Illinois and California, all with large electoral votes. He added that he had high regard for Senator Russell and that his candidacy was an honest, straightforward way of bringing the issue to the fore. In 1948, the President had carried Illinois and California but lost New York. Mr. Humphrey, as he ran as Mayor of Minneapolis for the Senate in 1948, had introduced the civil rights plank to the convention—and, of course, received the active support at the time of actor Ronald Reagan.

Near Rio de Janeiro, more than 100 persons had been killed and about 200 injured in a train collision, the worst in the history of Brazil. A commuter train had crashed into a stalled passenger train in a suburb about 19 miles from the capital. An observer said the scene looked as a battlefield.

In Karachi, Pakistan, thieves got away with $500,000 worth of gold and diamonds from a jewelry store in a daylight robbery, having entered through the roof before the shop had opened. Their getaway car or other means of escape is not stated, and so you probably won't be able to collect any reward.

In Whiteville, N.C., State and Columbus County officers were in the process of arresting more Klansmen, in this instance on charges stemming from the flogging of a white automobile mechanic of Whiteville and Florence, S.C., who had been lured from his home at night on the pretext that two men required his assistance in fixing their car. The officers said that they intended to bring the arrestees in one or two at a time, but did not disclose the identities of those being sought. Two men arrested this date were identified, and officers indicated that they had gone to serve another warrant on the former police chief at Fair Bluff, the former Exalted Cyclops of the Fair Bluff Klavern, who had already been arrested on two previous occasions in relation to other instances of flogging. The method of arrest differed from the two large group arrests of 26 persons made on February 16 and February 27 in Columbus and Robeson Counties, some of those arrested on those occasions having been involved in both groups. The group of 12 arrested on February 27 under the State's kidnapping law, regarding the abduction of a black woman and cutting a cross in her hair after they discovered that she was pregnant and therefore ceased in their threatened flogging of her, were to have other charges presented to the grand jury, involving the flogging of a black sawmill worker, allegedly occurring on the same night the previous November. The men arrested on February 16, had been charged with Federal kidnapping and civil rights violations in the abduction of a white couple, who were transported across state lines into South Carolina and there flogged.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott praised the State and local officers for their work in rounding up Klan members in Columbus and Robeson Counties, singling out Lumberton Solicitor Malcolm Seawell for special praise for his work in the arrests, saying that he had acted "boldly and very forthright."

On the editorial page, "A Favor for Truman?" finds that the President's political acumen should never be underestimated, that a few weeks earlier, when he had praised Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson as a good man, he had done so without antagonizing Southern politicians, restraining his praise, allowing the press and politicians to build up the capable Governor. Meanwhile, by not announcing his own intentions, the President had given the impression that he might run again, inducing Senator Richard Russell of Georgia to declare his candidacy the previous week. Governor Stevenson appeared acceptable to the Russell supporters, who realized that the Senator had little chance of winning the nomination. Even though, if elected, the Governor might do more than the President in terms of the matters so objectionable to the Southerners, his name was not Truman, "which is the important thing to most of the rebels."

It concludes that the President might be "forced" to back Governor Stevenson, which he probably had figured on doing all along. It suggests that maybe its analysis was wrong, but sounded logical, that the Russell camp might have done a great favor for the President, who was really disposed not to run again, according the wishes of First Lady Bess Truman.

"Crossing Party Lines" tells of the Congressional Quarterly reporting that in 48 roll call votes lost by the Democrats because party members had bolted and voted with Republicans, Senator Clyde Hoey had voted against his party 58 percent of the time, while Senator Willis Smith had voted against the party 73 percent of the time. It finds that party labels and party platforms, therefore, as well as the pledges of presidential and Congressional candidates meant little. It observes that the U.S. did not have the same party discipline which was present in Britain, that maybe the U.S. system was better but was also confusing when one went to vote.

"Not Bad Off" remarks on the farmers of the Farm Bureau in California having taken off their shirts and mailed them to their Congressmen in protest of high taxes, observes that when persons could afford to give the shirt off their back to the Government, they must not have been hurting very much.

"Come Back to the Farm, Congressman" tells of Congressman James Richards of South Carolina having been so impressed by Secretary of State Acheson's report on the Lisbon Conference that he declared Mr. Acheson to have "taken time by the forelock and brought home the bacon".

It suggests that Congressman Richards must have studied the Greeks in coming up with his mixed metaphor, as the Greek poet, Posidippus, had imagined a conversation between himself and a statue of Time, in which he asked, "Why dost thy hair hang over thy face?" providing the answer, "For him who meets me to take me by the forelock." It concludes that the Congressman ought to "go whole hog for one kind of metaphor at a time."

Speaking of Greek, taking someone by the forelock, and bringing home the bacon—which may also relate to the 1957 exhortation by Governor Luther Hodges to the UNC basketball team as they departed for Kansas City to contest for an undefeated season and an N.C.A.A. championship against Michigan State, and then Kansas—, we have explored a little further the issue begun last Friday and again addressed yesterday, regarding the controversy in 1903 over Trinity College Professor John Spencer Bassett and his suggestion that, aside from Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington was the greatest man to come out of the South in the 19th Century, and the effort of Raleigh News & Observer editor and publisher, Josephus Daniels, to have him dismissed from the Trinity faculty as a result, focusing now, momentarily, on the sub-issue of Mr. Daniels's printing, on at least one occasion, of Professor Bassett's name as "bASSett", that having occurred, in the single such instance found, under Mr. Daniels's nom de plume of "Rhamkatte Roaster", in which he adopted the persona of a semi-literate country bumpkin writing either an editorial or letter to the editor. We had questioned yesterday whether W. J. Cash, in relating briefly of this episode in The Mind of the South, to cite one of several examples of attempts by academics at enlightenment on racial issues at the turn of the century having been met with scorn and sometimes loss of employment, had been accurate in his statement that the mockish rendering of the professor's surname by Mr. Daniels had occurred "regularly" or only on the one occasion.

In looking a bit further and running "Rhamkatte" through the search engine in relation to Dr. Bassett's name appearing in 1903, we found at least two more instances of "ass" being present in a Rhamkatte item in reference to the professor, though the actual reference to "bASSett" may have been unique to the one instance found on November 3, 1903. In any event, the two additional references occur on November 26 and December 8, 1903, both under the "Rhamkatte Roaster" moniker. There may have been yet more, as we do not make pretense of having done an exhaustive search on this particular part of the controversy, as it is of even less gravity than the principal controversy, itself, though the episode was indicative of the seriousness with which such statements were treated in 1903 in the South, the reason Cash raised it in 1941. The additional references, one as a "pote" and the other as a mock letter to the editor appearing in Mr. Daniels's North Carolinian and titled, "Too Hard on Indepindant Fellers", by one Samivel Veller of Durrum County, presumably some sort of half-assed, wild-locked German immigrant, do provoke question as to how seriously Mr. Daniels, himself, was treating the controversy, though certainly with Professor Bassett's job on the line and the continued willingness of Mr. Daniels through time to harp on the matter years after the fact, albeit in the latter instances only vicariously through reprinting of editorials appearing in the Mount Olive Tribune in 1907 (sixth column) and the Charleston News & Courier in 1909, his making light of the subject on some occasions perhaps suggests the "Comic Dictionary" entry on the front page of this date, defining "Philanthropist" as "[a] man who doesn't let his left hand know where his right hand got it." So it might have been, figuratively, in 1903 with Mr. Daniels...

But, in the end, not unlike at the beginning, it's all Greek to us.

Having opened this can of sticky worms, we would be remiss not to note again that, in his last position in public life, that of Ambassador to Mexico between 1933 and his retirement in October, 1941 at age 79, Mr. Daniels, in his genial manner, was able to facilitate better relations with Mexico, under FDR's Good Neighbor Policy, than any other U.S. Ambassador to that country ever had, thereby quelling some of the fires of the theretofore continuing discord which had erupted in the wake of the 1916 punitive expedition of General Pershing to capture Pancho Villa after his rampage in Columbus, New Mexico. With the outbreak of World War II and the heavy German population in Mexico, those improved relations prevented the Nazis from gaining their attempted toehold in North America, which could have proved quite problematic in terms of diverting resources to protect the southern border of the U.S., had it been otherwise. And Jonathan Daniels, the son of Josephus, became an aide to FDR and had just begun as his press secretary when the President died on April 12, 1945, subsequently appointed by President Truman in 1947 as a delegate to the U.N. subcommission for Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, on which he served until early 1953 at the conclusion of the Truman Administration, as well as serving as an adviser to the Marshall Plan administration between 1948 and 1953, as well as in other Federal positions during the Truman years. He remained active in North Carolina politics as editor of the News & Observer after the death of the elder Daniels in 1948, and attended the 1964 Democratic convention as a member of the North Carolina delegation, heartily endorsing President Johnson, a couple of months after passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

So it would be a gross error in historical judgment to seek to brand the elder Mr. Daniels as a racist because of his positions taken at the turn of the century when he was in his early forties, when white supremacy was the accepted order of the day throughout the nation, not just in the South. There was never any borderline on racism in the country, beyond which one stepped into the promised land of open and positive attitudes, any more than such imaginary borders exist today. Xenophobia is a human condition, from which every individual, in differing degrees at different times, is recovering on a continuing basis.

As the country progressed from the horse and buggy age into modernity, times changed and people changed often with them, just as the Democratic Party changed, while the Republicans remained aligned with big business and, after the Lincoln Administration, never again championed civil rights with the same ardor that the Democrats, including many Southern Democrats, displayed. There are people today, however, most of whom appear callow and not very astute to history, and some of whom, apparently, have a hidden political agenda in the hope of turning the naive or those seeking rationalization for their own racial or xenophobic feelings to the Republican side of the ballot on election day, seeking to tar the Democratic Party, counter-intuitively, with a racist brush for its history during Reconstruction and the early years of the 20th Century, and, insofar as some Southern segregationist pols, on into the modern civil rights era of the Fifties and Sixties. It is wise not to be confused by such purely political rhetoric, uninformed and uninforming of history as it actually transpired through time, not dot by immutable dot, isolated in a vacuum from other events and members of society and the world, mechanically responding as puppets to predetermined ascribed characteristics, on someone's silly history-course timeline, preparatory to some examination, fine for pedagogical and recitative purposes but not for actually understanding history as it daily develops in its human dynamics, complexities, interactions and personal changes.

"We Thought So" tells of the Washington Post relating recently that the Senate librarian had been browsing through John Morley's biography of Gladstone and had found that Arthur Balfour referred to Gladstone as "the greatest member of the greatest deliberative assembly that the world has ever seen". So, it finds, the oft repeated phrase, "the greatest deliberative body in the world", applied to Commons, not, as it was commonly used in the U.S., to refer to the Senate. It concludes that it had always thought that the Senators, when using that term, had been exaggerating.

"Let's Get Up a Temperature" tells of a reporter asking Congressman Robert Doughton of North Carolina about the status of a couple of bills on government reorganization which had been before his House Ways & Means Committee, and Mr. Doughton, after checking with an aide, having determined that the Congressman who had introduced both bills had not sought a hearing on them or pressed for any further action. As hundreds of bills came before his Committee, he explained, he tried to give serious consideration only to those which were pushed by Congressmen. Some were introduced with scarcely little subsequent effort put into them, such as the pair of bills in question.

To circumvent this process regarding reorganization, it suggests that the President put forward the 50 or so reorganization plans which had been prepared but which lay dormant at the White House, for putting forward such a plan mandated House and Senate action on it or it would become law, whereas a bill to do the same could languish in committee until it died. Since reorganization had bogged down in the Congress, it posits, it was up to the President to push the remaining plans through.

Drew Pearson, in San Juan, tells of three different U.S. Senators, Owen Brewster, John Butler, and Olin Johnston, making charges that Governor Luis Munoz Marin of Puerto Rico was a dictator. In fact, what was in back of these speeches was that a South Carolina contractor, L. D. Long, owed a million dollars in back taxes to the Puerto Rican Government and if Puerto Rico did not forgive it, the Senate was going to investigate the island's Government. The matter was not being well received in the Caribbean. Mr. Long was well known in Puerto Rico and was a likable, hustling contractor who had constructed more FHA housing projects on the island than any other person in history, housing which was badly needed, even if opinions differed on its durability. Mr. Long and his family had been strong supporters and contributors to Senator Johnston.

Shortly after he had begun operations in Puerto Rico, Mr. Long offered a $25,000 contribution to the political party of Governor Munoz, which the Governor declined, saying that their campaigns did not cost that much and that if he accepted the money from one person, voters might hold it against him and he would be defeated. When Mr. Long persisted, the Governor told him to take the money to the secretary of the party and obtain a receipt and the money would be used if needed. Mr. Long did so, but at the end of the campaign, which saw the Governor elected, the money was returned.

Mr. Long's tax trouble had arisen when the previous Governor, Jesus Pinero, told him that his petition for tax exemption would be favorably treated. Former Governor Pinero had since gone to work for Mr. Long, but still maintained that Mr. Long was never promised the tax exemption, only that his petition for same would be favorably treated. Since that time, the issue of his taxes had gone before the Federal District Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals, both having decided the matter adversely to Mr. Long.

Mr. Pearson believes that Mr. Long had been given every conceivable right in the courts to contest the matter, and it did not suggest a dictatorship, as he and his friends had claimed was the case. He was now seeking to try the case before the Senate, leaving a bad taste in Puerto Rico. His tactics with FHA had caused the agency to fire its representative in Puerto Rico.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of why the great majority of the South's 192 Republican delegates would likely go to Senator Taft rather than General Eisenhower, despite the General's popularity throughout the South. They use Washington as an example, the largest of the Southern cities at the time and possessed of a typical Republican Party structure locally.

There, three men ruled an exclusive Republican club, which had formed a dynasty over the previous 32 years. They followed the cardinal rule that the fewer Republicans, the better, as the party members were then easier to control and patronage could be distributed among fewer people. The same was true in other large Southern cities. Only 500 Republicans in Washington had registered at the single designated polling place in 1948. The reason for the low turnout was understated pre-polling advertising and the need for the Republicans to prove that they were in fact Republicans before they could register. Each person then had to attend a precinct meeting to elect delegates to a local convention which, in turn, elected delegates to the national convention. The meetings were private affairs and the times and dates of the meetings were disclosed only to a small circle of people. One of the primary criteria for determining whether one was a true Republican was whether that person had given money to the party. Precinct captains also registered reliable Republicans out of their pockets, a method which in Washington had registered 1,400 more Republicans in 1948.

The Eisenhower supporters had sought to open up this system by proposing a well-advertised general primary in Washington, with a secret ballot, but one of the ruling triumvirate got mad at this proposal and stomped out of the meeting, calling it "perfectly ridiculous". The Eisenhower supporters at the meeting had called him "Gromyko" and "Malik", but there was nothing they could do.

So, the 192 Southern delegates would be delivered by Southern regular Republicans, in all likelihood, to Senator Taft, and that process, the Alsops find, could very well determine the election of the next President.

As it turned out, most of the Southern states would vote for Governor Stevenson, the only states, indeed, which voted for him, and did not turn the tide for General Eisenhower.

Robert C. Ruark favors finally settling the matter of universal military training without sending it back to committee for further study, as it had been thrashed out completely in previous hearings. Life in the country, he posits, had to proceed on some military basis until the Soviet Union was either defeated or was victorious. Until the showdown came, the only hope he sees for delaying the outcome was strength. If UMT was wrong, he believes, then so, too, was the draft, along with the notion of the Korean War, the U.N., NATO agreements and "everybody in our current way of life".

But if everybody was not wrong, then preparation had to be more systematized and UMT was a practical method for doing so, even if not ideal. Thus, he encourages a showdown vote on the matter in Congress.

A letter writer from Swannanoa says that though people might think him a witch, whenever he looked into his crystal ball and saw a picture, he had to communicate it to someone, and so proceeds to do so in this instance, his picture showing that some financial speculators among politicians of Western North Carolina, some of whom were highly placed with newspapers and some of whom were "pseudo-sportsmen" with a hunting and fishing lodge in the Smoky Mountains National Park, had decided to rename the Blue Ridge Parkway Robert Doughton Parkway—at least, that is what we think he is trying to say, as his vision seems to have rolled out of his crystal ball onto the floor and disappeared somewhere in the corner without resolution...

A letter writer tells of there having been much criticism of the way the Eisenhower clubs were functioning, that while it was true that the majority of those who were working for the General's nomination were not seasoned politicians and did not necessarily have the inside knowledge that professional political machines possessed, the fact was encouraging. The writer puts in boldface print the belief that the General was the man for the job.

A letter from Senator Clyde Hoey comments on the editorial, "Let's Start Another Great Debate", indicates that it was true that the country did not have a well defined policy regarding NATO and what its attitude would be with regard to the Atlantic Union. He agrees that a full discussion of these matters would be helpful. He was not prepared to say how far he thought the nation should become involved, but opposes the idea of world government, as he was not willing to yield any sovereignty to such a government to levy taxes on the American people. He was, however, anxious to go as far as reasonably possible to achieve a peaceful solution of the problems confronting the nation and the balance of power in the world, centering largely in the North Atlantic region. He thoroughly agrees with the editorial regarding the benefits of public expression and analysis of NATO and its related problems, thinks that there ought be a full and complete discussion and analysis of the whole situation before any further commitments were made by the nation.

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