The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 6, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the truce talks in Korea had bogged down even further this date as Communist negotiators insisted again that the neutral inspection teams include Russia, and also include the inspection of secret equipment. The allied proposal had specified that the inspection teams would not be allowed to check "secret designs or characteristics of any combat aircraft, armored vehicles, weapons or ammunition." The Communists insisted that the allies were trying to block thorough inspections.

The prisoner exchange subcommittee met for only 12 minutes, after negotiators agreed that there was no point in retracing old arguments.

The deadlocks had become so severe that observers said they believed that only action from top-level officials could end the stalemates.

U.S. Sabre jets destroyed a Communist MIG jet this date and damaged another in a ten-minute battle, which had ranged as far south as Pyongyang. Allied pilots had good weather for bombing Communist supply positions.

In ground fighting, hit-and-run allied raiders killed 40 Communists and wounded 30 others in four firefights west of the Mundung Valley in eastern Korea. In other action, about 160 Communist troops were repulsed in a 75-minute fight near the Kumhwa-Kumsong Road, in the areas of the old Iron Triangle.

The President, in his message to Congress, stated this date that the defense program would cause cutbacks in consumer items, but that on the whole, they would fare better than during World War II. He stated that by the beginning of 1953, production should be high enough to permit total civilian consumption and capital investment at least 50 percent higher than during World War II. Automobile production would be cut only slightly less than the average production in 1948 and 1949. Should housing dip below a million units in a year, he reminded that there had been only three years in the nation's history where there had been more than a million units built.

He urged the Congress to pass the entire proposed 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid package, to meet the Soviet threat to the "survival of civilization". The President would deliver a message over radio and television this night regarding the aid program.

Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota denounced "blood-soaked profits" received by a New York shipping firm which hauled cargoes to Communist China after the start of the Korean War. He said to the attorney for the firm that no laws had been violated but "faint-hearted ethics" had underlain the firm's actions. The attorney was the law partner of Newbold Morris, recently appointed by the President to clean up corruption in the executive branch. He testified that he and Mr. Morris had been lawyers for the China Trading and Industrial Development Corporation involved in the shipping, but had not been the chief counsel. He said that it was a Chinese Nationalist firm which had delivered oil to Communist China almost until the start of the Korean War, and had delivered other goods six months into the war. A non-profit charitable foundation, headed by Mr. Morris, was also involved in the transaction, as two tankers owned by the foundation carried oil to the Communists under contracts negotiated with Russian groups just prior to the start of the war. The attorney said that one of the firms involved had checked by telephone with the State Department in 1949 before accepting the oil charters and had been informed that it was not contrary to U.S. foreign policy at the time. Senator Mundt referred to this telephonic communication as "pint-sized evidence" to justify the trade with the Communists. He indicated that then-Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson had complained in a letter to the Maritime Commission in 1949 that use of the two tankers to haul oil for the Communists was "a definite threat to national security". The attorney said that he had been unaware of this fact and that the Maritime Commission had not clamped down on the trade until more than a year later.

A U.S. Army spokesman disclosed that the Communists had obtained parts of a diary of a former military attaché to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Maj. General Robert Grow, and had been circulating it as propaganda against the U.S. The Washington Post had stated in a story this date that the extracts had been reproduced in a book recently published in East Germany, aimed at convincing Germans that America was a warmonger. The Army spokesman said he did not know whether the diary contained any secrets regarding vital information.

The Government eased building controls on housing, commercial, highway and school projects, as the National Production Authority dropped an earlier plan to limit the size of dwellings and restrict new homes to one and a half bathrooms each.

In Tokyo, a Stratocruiser hospital plane carrying 58 patients had crashed on takeoff from the Haneda airport this date, but only two persons aboard were injured. The plane never left the ground as the landing gear collapsed while it taxied down the runway.

A special Federal grand jury in Charlotte indicted three Charlotte businessmen on income tax evasion.

In Hayward, California, a man who had received a corneal transplant the previous week said that he would provide one to someone else at his death, as it was the least he could do to show his gratitude for the man who had donated his cornea.

On Guam, the police commissioner ordered boys to stop using the sheet metal roof of the Guam Daily News building as a target for their BB guns, following a complaint by the editor that someone had tried to shoot him on Wednesday night. The commissioner stated that the investigation had turned up no evidence of the attempt but did show that the boys enjoyed hearing the ping of a BB shot against the metal roof.

On the editorial page, "Reform Cries Have a Hollow Ring" tells of two Democrats and five Republicans on the Senate Expenditures Committee having undertaken a heavy responsibility the previous day by rejecting the approval of the President's IRB reorganization plan. The plan would go to the Senate floor for further debate and a vote the following Tuesday. The burden would be, it indicates, on these Senators to disprove the testimony of disinterested persons who had spoken in favor of the reorganization. It recaps some of the testimony of two such witnesses.

It finds that the opposition was primarily motivated by the reluctance to give up the appointment by the President of the 64 collectorships, in favor of reducing them to 25 districts, with collectors to be appointed under the Civil Service system. It indicates that some collectors had good records despite political appointments, but nevertheless had obtained their jobs through political favoritism rather than merit and so were never immune to political pressure.

The seven Senators who had voted on the Committee to reject the plan, including Senators Clyde Hoey, Karl Mundt and Richard Nixon, had been among the severest critics of scandals in the executive branch and it finds that there was a disparity between their insistent demands for reform in the IRB and their vote on the plan.

"Goodbye for Now to UMT" tells of the House having shelved the UMT bill the previous Tuesday, voting to send it back to committee, and Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia, floor leader on the bill, having said he would not call it up again. The piece indicates that it had hoped the bill would pass, as it thinks it would have brought a degree of order to the haphazard military personnel policy, requiring battle-weary veterans of World War II to serve again after they had established themselves in civilian life, while younger persons, who would make better soldiers and did not have family or business obligations, were able to stay out of training.

It compliments the four North Carolina Congressmen, including Charlotte's Hamilton Jones, who had voted against sending the bill back to committee, despite considerable pressure to vote otherwise.

"Let's Keep Up This Truth Campaign" tells of the Government suddenly having boosted its information and propaganda program. The previous Friday night, Secretary of State Acheson had explained the results of the recent NATO meeting at Lisbon to a radio and television audience, and then on Tuesday, had countered the Communists' recent propaganda charge that U.N. forces were waging germ warfare in Korea, challenging the Communists to submit their claims to impartial investigation, suggesting that the plague being suffered, while regrettable, was the result of the inability of the Communists to care for the health of their people.

Then the prior Tuesday, the President appealed to the people of Russia and China to drop their policy of hate and terror and declare the U.S. their friends. On this night, the President would deliver his foreign aid address, to be broadcast over radio and television.

The speeches informed the people on complex subjects in clear language and also served to educate audiences abroad. It urges keeping up "this campaign of truth".

"Every Mosquito for Himself" tells of Bill Sharpe's State Magazine having disclosed the news that, despite a 1951 law restricting the commercial shipment of the Venus Fly Trap, native to Wilmington, it remained threatened with extinction. The reason for it was not its commercial exploitation but rather persons digging drainage ditches through the area where it normally grew by the thousands, feeding off the bugs and caterpillars.

Photographer Hugh Morton had written that it needed damp, acidic soil to thrive, difficult to simulate artificially. One such drainage ditch could lower the water level enough to destroy 100,000 plants.

Charles Darwin had called it "the most wonderful plant in the world", and it views that as reason enough for the state to view with alarm its possible extinction and to promise to support any reasonable proposal to dam up the ditches.

"Dominant Dames" discusses the comics page. You may read it for yourself if you're interested. We have enough trouble just keeping up with the news, then and now.

It's another slow day at the editorial desk.

A piece from the Wall Street Journal, titled "Futile Fables", tells of a man who had obtained his big-game license, and headed for the hills in his Model A hunting vehicle, then having his usual luck, being just missed by the bullets of 19 hunters and being bawled out by the game warden for hunting in restricted areas, as well as exploding his gasoline camp stove and accidentally dropping his last quart of liquor on a rock. But then as he was driving home, a big buck started across the road just in front of him, and after the car bumped it, the deer turned and rammed its antlers into the radiator, puncturing it, causing alcohol he had poured into the radiator to stream forth. As the deer wobbled away, the man retrieved his rifle and shot the deer, whereupon the owner of the local newspaper stepped out of his car and said that it would make a swell headline: "Sober Hunter Kills Drunken Deer!"

Bill Sharpe, in his Turpentine Drippings, snippets from newspapers around the state, presents one from Floyd Ellington of the Burlington Times-News, in which he states that he missed the sound of a railroad like an aching tooth, having lived around railroads for the previous two and a half years, now living on a quiet street in Graham, far from trains and trucks, concluding, "Peace, it's wonderful!"

The Whiteville News-Reporter tells of a local deputy sheriff, along with three other deputies, having destroyed a 200-gallon still and emptied 30 barrels of beer mash in a hog pasture on the edge of Robeson County near Boardman, at which point, 100 hogs gathered around and began gulping up the mash until they were lit as bright as the moon, would lumber away only to return for more, the deputies finding the scene "worse than slobbery drunk men".

Mrs. Theo Davis of the Zebulon Record tells of her lapboard having been burned up when her home caught fire, explaining that the board was intended to be laid across the lap when cutting material, writing, eating, or in pursuit of any of many varied activities, especially good for cutting pieces of quilting. She says that she missed her board and had been begging for another, which had been promised but continually forgotten. When plywood had become common, her longing for her lapboard became even stronger, but her husband indicated that she would have to nag him until he made it, which is what she had done, and now, she reports, she had the nicest board ever, lighter and smoother than the old one had been.

We are glad to hear that.

Ginny Shankle of the Morganton News-Herald tells of her search for her Confederate paper dollar which had turned up everything else, including old love letters, one of which had prompted her to remember Reginald, who had been working on a motor in which Westinghouse had indicated an interest, and had also written sonnets, her husband's curiosity having caused him to read one, to which she adds "no comment".

Why? Did the first line begin with something to do with "ineluctable"?

And so on, forth onward, onward so, and more onward.

Drew Pearson covers some of the same ground which Robert C. Ruark covers this date, regarding Newbold Morris threatening to resign if he had to report to Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, the man whom he was supposed to be investigating. The President then begged him to remain and guaranteed full support of his investigation, at which point Mr. Morris indicated his need for subpoena power, after which the President appealed to Congress to give it to him. He had also asked to have his headquarters moved out of the Justice Department into the old Post Office building, a request also granted.

Senator Homer Ferguson desired more to ask questions than answer them regarding the Institute of Pacific Relations, in his capacity as a member of the Senate Internal Security Committee, trying to show that IPR was dominated by Communists. Senator Ferguson the previous week had probed Owen Lattimore about his association with IPR, but during a press conference, when reporters had asked the Senator whether he had ceased being a member of the organization, the Senator snapped that it was in the record, saying he did not remember the exact date he had quit. Mr. Pearson notes that he had boasted of his membership as late as the 1950-51 edition of Who's Who in America.

House Republicans had wrangled in executive session the previous week regarding the UMT bill and tempers had run hot. He recaps some of the exchange. The House, as reported the previous day, had voted 236 to 162 to shelve the bill.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of a poll taken among the editors and political experts of 23 leading Southern newspapers, indicating that the Southern Republican leaders, almost unanimously, favored the candidacy of Senator Taft. Those leaders had run their state parties for decades as exclusive clubs, even sometimes holding their political conventions in their private homes. They controlled the party machinery and would, if they could, send Taft delegations to the convention in July. They were generally expected to succeed in Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and West Virginia.

The Southern popularity of General Eisenhower had precipitated an effort to break into the clubs in Alabama, Louisiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas, but it was probable that the Republican leaders would be able to hold several of those states for Senator Taft. In others, General Eisenhower's supporters might pick up some delegates, as they had in Kentucky and might potentially in North Carolina.

Another factor was that Senator Taft would likely not carry any Southern state in the general election, whereas General Eisenhower likely would carry several.

They cite a response from Brodie Griffith, executive editor of the News, wherein he had written: "If Truman is the Democratic nominee I think Eisenhower could carry the state. I am confident Taft cannot carry it regardless of the Democratic nominee. (But) if the party officials can keep control, the state will go for Taft at the convention."

Fred Taylor of The Birmingham News had reported that Senator Taft was favored by the professional politicans but General Eisenhower enjoyed the bulk of popular support.

Grover Hall of The Montgomery Advertiser had said that General Eisenhower enjoyed "popularity second only to Jefferson Davis on his inauguration day."

Of the 23 editors and political experts responding, 14 provided views on the national election, only one of whom, E. D. Lambright, of The Tampa Morning Tribune, expressed the belief that Senator Taft might carry his state if running against the President. None of the others gave the Senator any chance of carrying a Southern state. But all 14, in varying degrees of confidence, asserted that General Eisenhower could carry their state in the general election. Thus, it appeared, if the responses were correct, the majority of Southern delegates would be going to a person who could not carry a single Southern state in November.

The Democrats had strength in the North and in California, where Democratic registration outweighed Republican by two to one. No Republican candidate could hope to make inroads into these areas without appeal to independent voters, and Senator Taft had no hope of doing so.

If the Republicans nominated General Eisenhower, Senator Richard Russell would likely step down as a Democratic contender. But if Senator Taft received the nomination and President Truman were nominated by the Democrats, Senator Russell would likely run as a third-party candidate, and any votes that might otherwise go to Senator Taft would go to Senator Russell. The Alsops conclude that these were all practical problems which the Republicans had to ponder.

Grover Hall, incidentally, was singled out in The Mind of the South by W. J. Cash for having won a Pulitzer Prize for his editorials in the Advertiser against the Klan and the Fundamentalist anti-evolution movement during the Twenties.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Newbold Morris, the President's appointed ombudsman to clean up the executive branch, having threatened to resign if he did not receive the full support of the President to fire the guilty, mentioning the President's military aide Harry Vaughan and Ambassador to Mexico, William O'Dwyer. Mr. Ruark believes, therefore, that his job was over, that "this is one cowboy who never should have left his range."

He suggests that the President would never allow General Vaughan to be fired, no matter how many scandals in which he might be implicated, for he made the President laugh. Nor would the President call home former New York City Mayor O'Dwyer.

Mr. Morris had been a Republican and a sworn political enemy of the President's "outfit". All he would be able to do, in all likelihood, posits Mr. Ruark, would be to point the finger at certain people for the sake of the coming election. And the President could then claim that it was just politics causing him to reach those conclusions. He urges Mr. Morris, therefore, to come on home.

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