The Charlotte News

Saturday, March 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that a U.N. truce negotiator this date had bluntly accused the Communists of secretly imprisoning captured allied soldiers, including Americans, and that Communist China had also threatened the U.N. command in a statement lambasting its treatment of war prisoners. The North Korean negotiator responded that the charge was a "fabrication" and an additional attempt to delay the negotiations. He charged that the Chinese Nationalists were tattooing the Communist prisoners with an anti-Communist slogan, making it easier to intimidate them. He also charged that the "infamous instructors" from Formosa in the U.N. prison camps were fomenting hunger strikes and stimulating desperate petitions among the prisoners.

The Communists on the subcommittee working on supervision of the truce retreated on their attempt the previous day to write into the armistice a ban on possible naval blockade by the allies of the Chinese mainland coast.

Senator Karl Mundt predicted this date that the Senate opponents of the President's plan to reorganize the IRB would achieve the necessary 49 votes to kill the plan on the floor. He said that the President's letter sent to Congress the previous day was a "brazen effort to divert attention from conditions of graft" in the Administration. Other Senators, however, indicated that it was not so certain that the plan could be defeated, as it would be rare for all of the Senators to show up for the vote and a majority of the whole body had to vote against it to defeat it. Senators Hubert Humphrey and Blair Moody indicated that the floor vote would show who was willing to stand up and be counted for the merit system and was against the patronage system of appointment of tax collectors.

The President had also stated the previous day in a letter to the House subcommittee seeking Justice Department records on tax cases that he was backing Attorney General J. Howard McGrath's refusal to supply such information by ordering all Government agencies to refuse such requests, as the Government had neither the time nor personnel to provide such data. The subcommittee had asked for a list of all cases during the previous six years in which the Department had failed to prosecute tax cases, delayed action on them, or returned them to the agency which originated the recommended action.

The Government, pursuant to the new gambling tax law, had assessed 1.2 million dollars in taxes against 16,029 registered gamblers throughout the country, and during the first full month of operation under the law the prior December, gamblers had reported receipts of 7.6 million dollars. Gamblers in Louisiana were the most prosperous, paying $167,987 in taxes for their receipts the prior November and December, indicating receipts of 1.7 million dollars. Illinois was second, paying $140,410 in taxes, and Ohio was third, with $136,247 in taxes through December. Income among gamblers was running far below that of the prior year, when estimated revenue due the Government was 400 million dollars.

The Senate Rules Committee voted $100,000 to study charges of huge profits, fat fees, "grave mismanagement" and "favoritism" in the Alien Property Office, controlling millions of dollars worth of war-seized assets.

A House Armed Services subcommittee, chaired by Congressman Edward Hebert of Louisiana, was set to investigate the 161,517 employees of the Pentagon to see if there was waste in manpower. Congressman Hebert called them "alibi artists" and wanted to know whether they were more interested in "spreading propaganda than in giving information". He had accused the Pentagon ten days earlier of a campaign to distort deliberately the results of the subcommittee's investigation into military buying practices and demanded a list of public relations officials. He asserted the previous day in a committee hearing that the list received was short by at least 211 names, having listed 72 persons. He believed that the same thing was likely being done in other departments as well. Deputy Secretary of Defense William Foster had explained that the mix-up had been caused by a misunderstanding between the Congressman and the Pentagon as to what constituted a public relations officer and that the complete list would be provided. The investigation was set to begin in perhaps two weeks.

Senators Pat McCarran of Nevada and Allen Ellender of Louisiana called for a cut of from one to two billion dollars from the President's 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid budget. Both were members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

In Paris, Premier Antoine Pinay formed a Cabinet to provide continued French support to NATO defenses and proceed with the plans for a European army, including German troops. Robert Schuman was retained as Foreign Minister and former Premier Rene Plevin, who had first proposed the European army, would be the Defense Minister.

With the New Hampshire primary set for Tuesday, Senator Taft said in a news conference that the President did not want to open the door to a full investigation of corruption. He said that he was very optimistic about the outcome of the primary. Former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen, also a candidate in the primary, attacked Senator Taft, saying that he had been silent on his record anent foreign policy, which had been wrong for the previous 12 years. On the Democratic side, Senator Estes Kefauver accused the Republicans of losing the peace by persuading the country that the future lay in isolation.

Meanwhile, the President had reached Key West and was on vacation until March 29, when it was expected that he would announce his decision on whether or not he would run again. He appeared unconcerned about the New Hampshire primary. The President intended to stump the land, state-by-state, during the campaign, whether or not he became a candidate. On this morning, he was taking a swim in the Atlantic and sunbathing at the enlisted men's beach of the Naval Submarine Station. It was his eleventh trip to Key West since becoming President.

Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia said that the South held the balance of power in the November presidential election. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina agreed and said that the candidacy of Senator Richard Russell of Georgia would make it certain that the Democrats would adopt a platform acceptable to the South. Both Senators were backing Senator Russell. Senator Maybank indicated, however, that there was scarcely any doubt that the President would win the nomination if he sought it.

In Charlotte, at Piedmont Junior High School, the civics and history students had participated in a presidential straw poll conducted by The News several days earlier and filled out their ballots, showing 120 for General Eisenhower, 10 for the President, 7 for Senator Taft, 4 for Senator Kefauver, and one for each of former Governor Stassen and General MacArthur. The story indicates that it was one of the few opinion polls in the region in which the President had received more votes than Senator Taft. The teacher of the classes, consisting of 170 boys and girls, of whom 143 had voted, indicated that they had been studying the candidates since early December. Among adults, the straw poll results had favored General Eisenhower by 39.5 percent, with Senator Taft coming in second.

On the editorial page, "For Taxpayers Only" tells of fiscally conservative Senator Harry Byrd of Virginia calling for reduction of nine billion dollars from the President's budget for the coming fiscal year. While that was a lot of money, and would be welcomed by taxpayers, it would, in fact, not result in reduction of taxes, as the Government would still be involved in deficit financing.

The Budget Bureau had estimated spending at 85.4 billion against revenue of 71 billion, leaving a deficit of 14.4 billion. Thus, the difference between the President's budget and that proposed by Senator Byrd was only in the size of the deficit resulting. Both would be inflationary. It offers a table of comparison between 1940 and 1952 regarding military spending, interest on the Federal debt, and all other Government costs, showing, significantly, that the first category had burgeoned from 1.6 billion to 65.1 billion, while the other categories had also increased, but to a lesser degree. It was not possible to reduce expenditures for veterans' programs and was legally impossible to reduce the interest on the national debt, leaving major security programs and all other Government costs as the only sources for budget-cutting.

If the cuts were made to "non-essential expenditures" only, it would virtually put the Federal Government out of business. Some savings could be effected, but the major portion of Senator Byrd's proposed reduction would need come from security programs, including the military and atomic energy program and foreign economic and military aid. That would imperil the nation's survival against the threat of international Communism. It was doubtful that the Congress would wish to assume the responsibility of cutting back the security program. The best political minds had not found any other solution than to stockpile arms and bolster the country's allies. And that, it concludes, was where the money was going.

"More Than a 'Boyish Prank'" tells of attorney Guy Carswell overspeaking himself when he told the County Recorder that his teenage clients' recent Charlotte cross-burning was "…nothing more than boys tying a can to a dog's tail; or something like I have done as a kid, like turning over a washtub… It was a joke like I play on your Honor or on Mr. Rankin."

It finds that trespassing on a person's property at night was bad enough, but burning a cross on the lawn of a black candidate for public office who had just announced for the position, during a wave of Klan terrorism, was no "boyish prank", but rather was a deliberate and calculated attempt to intimidate the candidate. It allows that it might have been a thoughtless deed in the sense that the teenagers who had burned the cross did not calculate the full implications of their hasty action, and might have been a joke in the sense that they received some amusement from it, but that it had not been funny to the recipient or the County policemen who had to track down the culprits, or to the people of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, who had been justly proud of their record of racial harmony and mutual respect for the rights of individuals of both races.

It concludes that there was no reason to punish the perpetrators severely, as they had learned their lesson, but that it should not be dismissed as merely a prank, just because they had not worn the robes and hoods of the Klan.

"'Friends' of Dubious Worth" suspects that although they had not said so publicly, the more thoughtful black graduate students at UNC would prefer that their "friends" tend to other matters and leave them to make their own way at the University. It finds that it must have caused them "acute mental discomfort" when a Durham attorney for the NAACP had charged that the University was "harassing" the black law students, trying to prevent their graduation and seeking to discourage others from seeking admission.

It indicates that if the University had a policy of harassment, it would have to have been set by president Gordon Gray and chancellor Robert B. House, or the dean of the Law School, Henry Brandeis. Knowing the integrity of the three, it finds that they would not brook any such policy if it were brought to their attention, and would certainly not initiate it.

It allows that there might be a certain amount of tension and sensitive feelings, and that some of the black students, "playing in a faster scholastic league than they have ever known, may be a bit jumpy and inclined to interpret in a false light some of the little incidents that come up from day to day."

It finds that the University and its Board of Trustees had met the obligation imposed on them by the courts, and the faculty and student body had adjusted quietly to the new era of integration, while the people of the state, by and large, had accepted the court decisions with equanimity.

It concludes that if left to themselves, the black students would make their way to their objective and should be delivered from these friends, whose charge against the "wise and tolerant" Law School dean Brandeis was absurd on the face of it.

Incidentally, we think not that the attorney for the NAACP said, "Southerners do not field that labor has the right to organize." If you were dictating that through the Dragon's mouth, we would assume that it was the Dragon which messed up, which it is prone to do. But since you did not have the Dragon then, it was the DTH reporter, probably draggin' on something, in keeping with the News "Comic Dictionary" entry of the day. Since exams, however, are on the horizon, starting Tuesday, we can find it in our heart to forgive.

Speaking of which, we have a question regarding the second quarter examination schedule, as to which session, between the 2:00, March 11 and 8:30, March 12, we are supposed to attend if one of our courses is so embraced by the specified schedule. We are confused, and will simply attend the later, if that is alright, and hope for the best, citing the DTH schedule, should the professor or proctor raise any question. We'll be there. We have to check our course syllabi, however, to ascertain whether we had any classes in that grouping, as we forget off the top of our head.

On second reading, perhaps we misread the thing and it merely is indicating that a bus will be available for transportation to the March 11, 2:00 p.m. session. But if so, why not for the other sessions? It seems mighty unfair. In any event, we'll be waiting at the busstop.

By dint of coincidence, in keeping with the tracks of the train during the week, we also take note of one of the book previews and so link to the book. You can read it or not. We don't care.

And that there local gov'ment regulation has already started there along S. Columbia and McCauley. It's goin' na be the ruination of us all 'fore it's over. We think if you pay your tuition, you ought be able to park anywhere you can find a spot, including in McCorkle or Polk Places if nowhere else is available. You need a 20-story parking garage right in the center of campus, with each student having a reserved space, with their name on a gold-embossed plate.

That Chapel Hill beauty contest, by the way, sounds rigged. Somebody's not playing cricket there. What happens to all of the would-be contestants for next year? They get left out in the cold, will have to move to Snow Camp to compete, probably. It's just not right.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "As It May Look from There", asks how a person might feel if they were a soldier fighting in Korea and heard someone say that the Korean War was useless or described it as "Operation Killer" or that the U.S. ought pull out and set up a new defense line in Formosa and Japan, or that the U.N. had proved helpless.

It indicates that these statements had been made by so-called responsible leaders, some of whom aspired to high political office.

Yet, the American soldiers fought on, obeying commands and doing their duty, as bickering continued within the United States over the propriety of the war, supposed not to have been provoked by Communists but rather by Americans. It wonders when "this shocking display of disunity and political immorality" would end.

Drew Pearson suggests that the boom for Senator Richard Russell might eventually move toward General Eisenhower at the last minute. The Senator was too smart to allow his candidacy to split the Democratic Party and his goals were only to dissuade the President from running again and block his civil rights program. If the President were to bow out of the race, Senator Russell was more than likely to lead a drive to draft General Eisenhower as the Democratic nominee, assuming the old-guard Republicans continued to support Senator Taft. Even the President recently had suggested that it was not too late to bring General Eisenhower into the Democratic camp, should the Republicans continue supporting an isolationist foreign policy.

Senators who appointed tax collectors had more power in their states than derived from appointing a dozen postmasters, which was why the Senate Expenditures Committee had voted 7 to 5 to disapprove the President's reorganization plan for the IRB, reducing from 64 to 25 the number of tax collectors and placing them under the Civil Service system. Thus, he concludes, while Senators blasted the President and the IRB for tax scandals, they refused to go along with him in cleaning up the source of the scandals, the patronage system. The opposition included Senator Walter George of Georgia, who was vehemently opposed to the reorganization plan, having benefited a great deal from the patronage system in his state.

Assistant Secretary of State Ed Miller, who had done more to promote the Good Neighbor Policy than anyone since Sumner Welles, had visited a town in Puerto Rico recently where he was born, welcomed by a series of gala events, presented with a gift from the people of a prize-fighting cock. Not quite sure what he would do with the cock back at the State Department, Mr. Miller nevertheless started to tuck it under his arm, when Governor Munoz Marin of Puerto Rico whispered to the Mayor of the town that the Americans did not appreciate the value of a fighting cock and were liable to eat it, suggesting that they should probably therefore keep the rooster and tell Mr. Miller he could make trips down to see it. The Assistant Secretary of State appeared relieved.

Canadian Foreign Minister Mike Pearson was angry at the British Ambassador to the U.S., Sir Oliver Franks, for turning down the post of Secretary-General of NATO. It had been offered first to Mr. Pearson, but he then called Ambassador Franks and asked him to take it, to which he had initially responded that he would like to do so, but then changed his mind, causing Mr. Pearson now to have to persuade the British to forget the original agreement to give the job to a Briton so that it could go to the Norwegian Foreign Minister, Halvard Lange.

Stewart Alsop, in Concord, N.H., discusses the upcoming New Hampshire primary set for the following Tuesday and the prospects of Senator Taft versus General Eisenhower, with the Taft forces promoting a "victory" even if in actual defeat, provided there was at least a close vote, hoping thereby to push into a cocked hat the notion that General Eisenhower had overwhelming popular support while the Senator was supported only by the professional politicians.

General Eisenhower had the backing of Governor Sherman Adams, to become President Eisenhower's chief of staff, and former Governor Robert Blood, plus Senator Charles Tobey. But Senator Styles Bridges had remained neutral, and presumably favored Senator Taft as he would be a good bet to have a place in a Taft Cabinet, Senator Taft having helped Senator Bridges become Republican minority leader. The support of Senator Bridges in New Hampshire was worth the support of the triumvirate supporting General Eisenhower.

Despite this fact, it was anticipated that of the 14 delegates, the General would obtain ten.

Too, the claim that a close race would imply sufficient popular support nationally for Senator Taft was a myth, as former Governor Harold Stassen would also be in the race and undoubtedly draw some votes from General Eisenhower, plus fewer than half of the Republicans who voted in the general election in 1948 had voted in the primary. Moreover, the independent voters and disgusted Democrats were the essential ingredient of a Republican national victory. And in New Hampshire, primary voters usually represented a "hard core of a hard core", with the rural and small town Republican voters, about as conservative as any in the nation, turning out in force while the city voters remained at home.

He concludes that under the circumstances, therefore, a good majority for General Eisenhower would be a "downright miraculous tribute to his universal popularity", while a Taft defeat would not hurt the Senator much, having been written off in advance even by the Senator. A Taft majority, on the other hand, would be interpreted as a catastrophic setback for General Eisenhower, and a close second by the Senator would be hailed as a proof of his strength with the voters even in an area which favored the General. So, he finds, it was difficult to see how Senator Taft could lose much in the primary. His entry, he finds therefore, had been a brilliant stroke.

Marquis Childs finds that political speeches rarely changed anything, as merely rearrangements of tired platitudes, but occasionally someone spoke with such courage, conviction and clarity that the words carried beyond the range of the immediate audience. Such had been the case at the University of New Hampshire, when Paul Hoffman spoke on behalf of General Eisenhower, powerfully and yet simply. He spoke as a salesman for the General, but without the negative connotations usually associated with that term.

Mr. Hoffman, who had been the first Marshall Plan administrator in Europe, believed that the country had three choices, to follow the belief that Communism could only be halted by another world war, which would undoubtedly wreck civilization, or, through a long period of cold war, to settle the matter by attrition, resulting in a heavy burden, potentially disastrous economically, for the process of continual armament, or, third, "to wage the peace vigorously, with such imagination and boldness that we can create conditions within Russia and her satellite nations and within the free nations—particularly the United States—which will in time result in acceptance by the leaders of Russia of a live-and-let-live philosophy." He believed that in this capacity General Eisenhower's leadership could be called upon in the office of the presidency.

Mr. Childs believes that the speech had put the General's candidacy in true perspective and was a valuable contribution not only to the New Hampshire primary campaign but also to national thinking during the campaign ahead.

A letter writer from Davidson expresses appreciation for the March 5 editorial, "A Few Words for France". He finds generally that the newspaper's editorials on international affairs were foresighted and constructive, and that the editorial in question was especially so.

A letter writer finds that the Republican county convention held at the courthouse on March 1 had illustrated how far the Republican Party in the state had failed to mesh with the basic principles and active practice of popular government. It had been controlled, he says, by a small group of old Republican Party hacks and office seekers of the type who had maintained the party in the South as a minority for three generations. There were about 300 people present but their every move was guided by four persons, "old, practiced, cunning manipulators who knew what they wanted and got it."

Another letter from "Wild Bill" Williamson, formerly of Charlotte, now of Phoenix, Arizona, tells of the President, should he run again, not being able to carry the state of Arizona regardless of his opponent. Many Arizonans who had grown up in the South would cast their votes for Senator Richard Russell. While some of the state's daily newspapers appeared to be leaning toward General Eisenhower, he was considered by many Republicans and independent Democrats as a stooge of the Truman Administration, and it appeared that Senator Taft was more popular among Republicans. He indicates that he had hoped that North Carolina Senator Clyde Hoey would throw his hat into the ring, as he hailed from Cleveland County where Mr. Williamson was born. He believes that Senator Hoey would bring purity to the Administration and honesty to the Government which had been lacking for a long time, but since Senator Russell had entered the race, he supported him as having all the necessary qualifications for the presidency, especially when compared to the incumbent.

You need to get on back up into the hills and search for some gold, as those city ways are polluting your judgment. Next, you'll be talking up the credit of gold in the water.

A letter writer from Dover, O., tells of the 29th Air Service Group Association holding its fifth annual reunion in Canton, O., on July 11 and 12, 1952 and wants to apprise the men in the Charlotte area of it, as they had been formerly called the 29th Air Base Group when stationed at Morris Field in Charlotte, going overseas in November, 1942 and returning in October, 1945, serving in the New Hebrides, at Guadalcanal, in the Northern Solomons, on New Guinea, Morotai and in the Philippines.

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