The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 1, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. Sabre jets had shot down ten Communist MIG-15s over North Korea this date, the second highest total for any single day during the war, the highest total having been 13 on the previous December 13. It was likely that the Sabres had also destroyed three other MIGs and damaged ten more. Sabres had also destroyed ten enemy jets on January 25, but had only one additional probable kill that day and three damaged. A total of 319 MIGs and at least two of the new "type 15" jets were involved in the eight battles, some of which lasted as long as a half hour. The allies had a little more than half that number in the air.

The U.S. Fifth Air Force stated that its planes had destroyed 37 enemy jets, probably destroyed eight others and damaged 55 during March, whereas four U.S. jets had been shot down in air battles during the month, along with 30 other allied planes lost to Communist ground fire, mechanical failures or unknown causes.

On the ground, the enemy probed allied lines in seven places on Monday and early Tuesday and there were a few scattered patrol clashes.

Ground fighting had been relatively quiet the previous week, with enemy casualties numbering 1,785, the lowest in six weeks.

Prime Minister Josef Stalin, in a message sent to a group of U.S. newspaper and radio editors who had sought his views through written questions, said that a third world war was no closer presently than it had been two or three years earlier, prior to the outbreak of the Korean War. A list of the questions and his responses are presented. He also indicated that he believed peaceful coexistence of capitalism and Communism was possible provided there was a mutual desire for cooperation and no interference of the internal affairs of the other countries. There was nothing new in the statement, as he had said the same thing in February, 1951 in a similar exchange. He said again that he had no objection to meeting with the President at a mutually acceptable location, as long as that location was under Soviet control. President Truman had repeatedly indicated that he would meet with the Soviet leader in Washington.

In Las Vegas, a new series of atomic tests was initiated, as a clearly visible bright flash of fire appeared in the daylight sky at 9 a.m. from the direction of the Yucca Flats test site. There was no shock or sound sensed in Las Vegas, but the typical mushroom-shaped cloud was visible, albeit without the brilliant color display observed in some of the previous blasts.

Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall said this date, after conferring with U.S. Steel president Benjamin Fairless, that he feared a steel strike would begin on April 8, as threatened by the United Steelworkers if the industry did not meet the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendation for a 17.5 cents per hour wage increase and other benefits. Mr. Arnall gave the impression to reporters that he was not altering his position on denying any special price increase to the steel industry to compensate for the recommended wage increase, as the industry insisted was necessary.

The White House had asked for and received a transcript of Attorney General J. Howard McGrath's testimony the prior day to a House Judiciary subcommittee, in which he indicated that he was not sure whether he would answer a questionnaire regarding outside income and overall personal income, which had been prepared and submitted to all Government employees by Newbold Morris, assigned to root out government corruption. Meanwhile, the House Judiciary Committee voted to require Senate confirmation of any person selected to direct clean-up of corruption and that the person would have to work through the Federal courts to subpoena witnesses or documents.

The Nebraska and Wisconsin primaries were taking place this date, with 48 Republican delegates and 40 Democratic delegates up for grabs. In Wisconsin, observers expected a record turnout of a million voters, and in Nebraska, 300,000 were anticipated. A write-in effort was being promoted for General Eisenhower, who was not on the Nebraska Republican ballot. Supporters of Senator Taft were appealing to followers of General MacArthur to write in votes for the Senator. Supporters of General Eisenhower called it "a sign of weakness". Wisconsin did not allow write-in votes.

In the wake of the President's withdrawal from the race the prior Saturday, a Stevenson-for-President club had been formed by a group of Democratic leaders in St. Louis the previous day, and a professor at the University of Chicago and a Chicago lawyer opened a national headquarters for Governor Stevenson in that city. The Governor returned to Illinois from Washington, still insisting that he was only running for re-election as Governor. Meanwhile, there were efforts among some Democrats to urge Vice-President Alben Barkley and House Speaker Sam Rayburn to enter the race.

In New York, Willie Sutton was found guilty of robbing a bank of $64,000 on March 9, 1950, by an all-male jury, after more than nine hours of deliberation. His co-defendant was also found guilty. The two were remanded into custody pending sentencing. They showed no emotion at the reading of the verdicts, which included counts on robbery, burglary, assault and grand theft. Each defendant faced up to 30 years in prison. Mr. Sutton stated prior to the verdict that he believed it was the fairest trial he had ever received. A third defendant allegedly involved in the robbery was in the process of a separate trial, which had started two weeks earlier.

In Charlotte, Albert Reinhart, Jr., waived a preliminary hearing on charges that he had murdered the previous day former State Senator and lawyer Emmett H. Bellamy of Wilmington and assaulted his partner, Lloyd Elkins, 25, as the two stepped onto an elevator at the Law Building. Mr. Elkins was reported in satisfactory condition after a "fair night" at the hospital. He had been shot in the right shoulder and doctors indicated that the bullet had lodged behind his heart, near his spine, and had not yet been extracted. Mr. Reinhart appeared calm, reading a newspaper as he waited for the judge to convene court.

In addition to his own career in state politics, Mr. Bellamy had been the son of a former Congressman and member of one of Wilmington's oldest families, and his daughter had told the News via long-distance telephone that the facts contended by Mr. Reinhart as the basis for the shooting, that Mr. Bellamy had been "stealing" property from his mother, were defamatory, that in fact Mr. Bellamy had been given trustee power to act on behalf of Mr. Reinhart's mother and had taken steps to protect her interests by selling her two properties, one in Charlotte and one at Wrightsville Beach at Wilmington, and providing the proceeds for her benefit and maintenance during her lifetime, per the terms of the trust. She contended that the only amounts taken from the proceeds were fees properly chargeable by Mr. Bellamy. Details of the arrangement thus far remained vague.

About two hours after the killing, Mrs. Reinhart had arrived at the Law Building with the intent of speaking with Mr. Bellamy about her property, at which time she was told by an acquaintance of Mr. Bellamy that it would be better for her to return home. She had known nothing about the shooting or the involvement of her son at that time. She was so informed about four hours after the shooting, at which point she collapsed.

In Los Angeles, a dancer obtained a divorce from her husband the previous day, testifying that he had berated her constantly because she refused to drink with him, asking that her maiden name, Sober, be restored.

On the editorial page, "Truman Balks, So Wilson Walks" tells of the fact that the President had changed his mind on allowing substantial steel price increases to compensate for the Wage Stabilization Board's recommended wage and benefit increases, having prompted Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson to resign his post, while Price Director Ellis Arnall and Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam held the line and supported the WSB recommendations, with no special steel price increase to be allowed. The result was that the steel situation was grim. It indicates that it did not lay blame on these four men, as Philip Murray and the United Steelworkers and the steel industry were not blameless in the matter.

It summarizes the present status of the dispute, starting with the WSB's recommendations having been accepted by the Steelworkers but rejected by the industry, at least without being permitted a substantial price increase of about $12 per ton to compensate for the recommended 17.5 cents per hour wage increase and other benefits. Mr. Wilson had originally opposed both wage and price increases and thought the WSB's recommendations would pose a "serious threat" to stabilization, but then agreed to use the recommendations as a basis for negotiation. The President initially approved raising steel prices if necessary to meet the wage increases, but Mr. Wilson apparently had proposed only a modest price hike, which industry had rejected. Mr. Arnall and Mr. Putnam then talked to the President and he decided that it would be possible for the steel industry to absorb the wage increases without raising prices substantially, based on large profits. At that point, Mr. Wilson quit.

It indicates that the original mistake appeared to be in the WSB's wage and benefit recommendations, even though the Steelworkers were behind other industries in pay and fringe benefits because of the long-term nature of their contract, without a G.M.-type cost-of-lving adjustment clause, which had expired at the beginning of the year. The steel industry appeared to have been willing to agree to at least a modest wage increase without raising prices, but that solution would please neither the Steelworkers nor management. It would, however, not be inflationary and the Government would likely find the public behind such a resolution. But the President had complicated the matter by approving the recommended wage and benefit increases while disapproving any special price increase for industry, making a strike on April 8 practically inevitable.

"Smile, Businessman, Smile" tells of having heard businessmen complaining so often about high taxes robbing business incentive that it had looked at two conservative publications on which businessmen relied, Business Week and U.S. News & World Report, the latter forecasting an upturn in the economy by mid-1952 and into 1953 and that the Federal budget increase would be a boon for business, creating more buying power and adding to the money supply, enabling revival of the economy without inflation. It also predicted that there would be no rush to seek an increase in wages across all industries, after the steel industry had the go-ahead from the Government, and stated that the textile industry was on the verge of ending its depression.

Business Week gave a similarly glowing review, indicating that home builders were reporting no shortage of materials and were headed for another big year, and with no shortage of steel on the horizon, the entire construction industry had a free hand.

The piece finds, upon review of the newspaper's own business pages, similar trends being reported, that an Associated Press state-by-state survey had shown that business for the coming year was expected to be favorable in relation to prior years. The board chairman of J. P. Stevens & Co., the textile manufacturing chain, had indicated that he was "tremendously optimistic" about development of a large metal industry in the Southeast within a few years.

Notwithstanding these predictions, Business Week had found that there was still a wave of gloom over the business community, but also that it did not necessarily portend trouble ahead.

"McKinney Was Right" tells of DNC chairman Frank McKinney probably feeling better in light of the President's decision not to run again, as he would have been unable to erase the memory of the President's defeat in New Hampshire or the fact that it had been brought about by his own advice to the President to remain in that race to preserve for the convention Democratic delegates committed to the President, against the President's own better judgment at the time.

During the President's three-week vacation in Key West, the two had met and Mr. McKinney had stated afterward that the President would make a decision by May 15, that he would give the convention a free hand if he were not a candidate, and that he would not run if there were a truce in Korea. The following day, the President disavowed those statements. Nevertheless, the President had made his decision well in advance of May 15, even if the statement regarding giving the convention a free hand remained to be seen. As for the prediction regarding the Korean truce, CBS correspondent George Herman, who had just returned from Korea, had stated that it was his opinion that there would be a truce before the election, a matter on which he could not report, he said, while still in Korea, because of censorship.

It concludes that if the latter came true, Democrats would profit in November at the polls, and that unless the Republicans nominated a candidate able to obtain votes along with a platform to match, Mr. McKinney might be able to say, "I told you so."

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Portrait of Government", tells of the Senate Committee on Government Operations having published a fascinating chart of the organization of the executive branch, listing all the agencies and departments, with the number of persons employed by each. It showed a total of nearly 2.5 million employees, of whom 1.3 million were employed by the Department of Defense and another 511,000 by the Post Office, leaving 695,000 others to provide the other functions of the Government. Of those, 178,000 were in the Veterans Administration and 53,000 were concerned with the execution of foreign policy through the State Department, the Mutual Security Administration and the Panama Canal, the latter employing 19,000 persons. About 43,000 more worked for the Atomic Energy Commission and Selective Service, or other such agencies connected with defense.

In the end, employees dealing with normal peacetime domestic issues numbered only about 420,000, about 16 percent of the total Government workforce. Of those, 306,000 were employed in Cabinet-level departments.

It concludes, therefore, that of every 100 Government employees, about 61 worked for military agencies, defense agencies or veterans agencies, another 20 worked for the Post Office, 13 for Cabinet departments, one for old-line agencies and five for New Deal agencies.

Drew Pearson tells of friends of the President citing as reasons for his decision not to run again, first, the wishes of Mrs. Truman, followed by his age, the advice of party leaders, including House Speaker Sam Rayburn and Chief Justice Fred Vinson, the embarrassing setback in the New Hampshire primary, won by Senator Estes Kefauver, and, finally, the prospect that he would have to run against his old friend, General Eisenhower.

The President had indicated to members of his family and close friends for a long time that he did not wish to run, having indicated to one of his closer friends recently that the criticism was getting on his nerves, complaining, "There are too many bastards in this business."

About a year earlier, the President had planned to appoint the Chief Justice to a key post in the Administration, such as Secretary of State or Defense Mobilizer, to provide him a springboard to the presidency, the Chief Justice having stated that he would not run directly from the Court as he did not believe the Court should be a springboard to political office. But the constant barrage of criticism leveled by Senator McCarthy at Secretary of State Acheson had caused the President to insist that the Secretary remain on the job. As time passed, the Chief Justice believed that it had become too late to have such a springboard from within the Administration.

At that point, late the previous year, the President considered changing his mind about running, coincident with the gains being made by Senator Taft toward the nomination, believing that foreign policy would not be safe in the hands of the Senator were he to be elected President. At that time, the advice began to come from Speaker Rayburn and Chief Justice Vinson not to run, advising him that he would go down in history as a great President because of his courageous positions on foreign policy and civil rights, causing historians in time to overlook political bickering and the corruption issue, provided he chose not to run. But if he ran again, they believed, the Democratic Party would be torn asunder over civil rights and foreign policy, and the campaign would give the Republicans an opportunity to attack the foreign policy as not done in 1948 while Senator Arthur Vandenberg and his bipartisan approach to foreign policy remained alive.

Mr. Pearson believes that of all the factors entering his decision, the fact that he would probably be running against General Eisenhower was primary in the end. He had believed in 1948 that if the General allowed his name to be placed in nomination at the Democratic convention, he could have been nominated. His concern was such that he dispatched his friend, George Allen, also a friend of General Eisenhower, to New York to obtain a letter from the General guaranteeing that he would not run, while another close friend telephoned the General's brother, Milton, to obtain further assurance of the fact. The President had indicated through Mr. Allen at that time that if the General wanted to run in 1952, the President would help him.

During the prior summer, he had sent Mr. Allen again to see the General in Paris to try to obtain some clarity for the sake of the NATO allies as to whether the General intended to run in 1952. The President had relayed the message that he believed the General would be more at home in the Democratic Party than as a Republican, and that as a Democrat, he would not have to run openly but could be summoned home to run, that the President might even make the nominating speech, himself. Mr. Allen wanted the President to provide a letter to that effect, which he would then deliver to the General, and the President agreed. The response by the General was that he would not quit as supreme commander of NATO in the near future, that the NATO job would be completed by the following spring of 1952, and that if he did run, he would first talk to the President, also indicating that he was a Republican.

As we suggested previously, in terms of the President's decision not to run again, he had decided much earlier that it would not be "ethical" for him to run in 1952, given the 22nd Amendment, limiting the President to two elected terms or only one term if the President had succeeded to the office by premature end of the predecessor's term and served more than two years of that term. He so stated at a press conference on April 17, 1952 and again referenced the idea on October 30, 1952 in a speech in Detroit, when he said that he had "long ago decided" that eight years in office were enough for any President, both statements occurring after, of course, his announcement of his decision. Prior to that time, at the ratification of the 22nd Amendment the previous year, he had played his cards close to his chest to avoid the prospect of becoming prematurely a lameduck, refusing comment on it at a press conference on March 1, 1951, saying only that it did not apply to him as the sitting President. Later, at a press conference on May 24, 1951, he indicated, in response to a question regarding the two-term tradition, that he would express his views on the tenure of the presidency "at a later date", but that he considered the "first term" of a President to be that to which he was first elected as President. At another press conference, on October 4, 1951, he was asked to comment on a statement by Governor James Byrnes that the people regarded the spirit of the 22nd Amendment as applicable to President Truman, even though he was by its terms exempted, replying that he had no comment other than to say that Mr. Byrnes did not derive that information from him.

We have to correct, however, coincident with April Fool's Day, 1952, prior statements herein that the President had urged the amendment, himself, as early as 1945. That appears to be incorrect. Beginning in June, 1945, he had pushed for a revision in the law of Presidential succession so that the person next in line of succession after the Vice-President would be an elected rather than appointed official, passed by Congress in mid-1947, but we find no record of his having urged passage or ratification of the Twenty-Second Amendment.

Incidentally, while on the subject of the President's views on constitutional amendments, he expressed on February 2, 1950, his reluctance to comment on pending legislation and proposed constitutional amendments but expressed nevertheless support of the resolution offered by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., to amend the Constitution to make the electoral college votes of each state proportional to the popular vote in each state.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop examine the potential candidacy for the Democratic nomination of Governor Adlai Stevenson in light of the President's withdrawal from consideration for renomination, finding that a survey of party leaders across the Northern tier of states from the East Coast to Oregon, conducted by Governor Paul Dever of Massachusetts, had found that the Governor had in that region the solid support of the country, and, therefore, if he wanted the nomination, it could be his. That was so despite the fact that Senator Richard Russell of Georgia had control of virtually all of the Southern delegates and that, aside from Senator Russell, only Senators Estes Kefauver and Robert Kerr were declared candidates.

The prior January, the President had told Governor Stevenson that he did not wish to run again and that he favored the Governor as the nominee. Governor Stevenson had reacted by indicating that he only wished to run again for Governor of Illinois and did not wish to seek the presidency. He did not, however, rule it out. The President had been known to have been a little peeved by the response, else he would have mentioned the Governor in his withdrawal speech the previous Saturday. Nevertheless, the nomination remained for Governor Stevenson for the asking. The fact that the President had not openly endorsed him might actually prove advantageous.

James Marlow comments on the resignation of Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson, resigning because of Administration policies on price and wage controls and the belief that to meet the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendations of a 17.5 cent per hour wage increase for the steelworkers, a substantial rise in the price of steel would be required, destabilizing, in the view of Mr. Wilson, the entire fabric of controls.

Mr. Wilson had called a press conference at 4:00 p.m. on Monday to state how much he had enjoyed serving his country during the Korean War, and he was ready to take his exit immediately, at 5:02. He had dealt with adversity, including labor representatives having walked out of the Wage Stabilization Board at one point because they did not like Mr. Wilson's attitude toward labor. That rift was patched up and the WSB was reorganized and enlarged, causing the labor representatives to return. That had been his biggest squabble in the public eye until the most recent one regarding the steel dispute. In his last press conference, he did not wish to discuss further the steel dispute, instead sticking to the topic of progress in defense production.

A letter writer indicates that he had attended every meeting at the Courthouse to help General Eisenhower obtain the Republican nomination. They had elected Dr. Thomas Burton as chairman of the committee, as he had indicated that he was supporting the General because he believed in clean government and that the General would not allow any corruption in the Government if elected.

But he had then seen Dr. Burton's announcement as a Democratic candidate for Congress, running against incumbent Congressman Hamilton Jones, in which he had also said he would support the nominee of the Democratic Party once that nominee was determined. The letter writer wonders how anyone could vote for Dr. Burton for Congress and indicates his intent to "string along with Jones".

A letter writer in Palma Majorca, in the Balearic Islands, tells of the Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune of March 13 having carried a column by the Alsops regarding the 1952 election and General Eisenhower's chances, in which was contained the views of News executive editor Brodie Griffith, indicating that if the President were to run again, he believed General Eisenhower could carry the state, but that Senator Taft could not—eventually carried by Governor Stevenson. She indicates that the General's popularity in Europe was "phenomenal" among ordinary people. She agrees and urges his election.

A letter writer from Norwood responds to the letter which had criticized dancing as an evil pursuit, in which girls went wrong and boys thought evil things about the girls with whom they were dancing, that smoking was not nearly so immoral as dancing for the true born-again Christian. He had also read one of the reply letters, that of a woman who believed that people should stress the beauty in things rather than evil, and was thereby reminded that the devil in the Garden of Eden had used the same argument on Eve, showing her that the Forbidden Fruit was pleasant to the eye and to be desired, inducing her to partake and provide it also to Adam, resulting in Original Sin and the Fall. He indicates that before he had become a Christian, he had danced and met many dancers, but had yet to find one who would dance to give God glory, that if one taught a child to dance, the child would be naturally tempted to go to the modern dance hall wherein they would be subjected to "terrible temptation". For exercise, he suggested a walk to God's house at least three times per week.

What if one zippety doo-dahed down there on the way to God's house?

A letter writer from Pembroke responds to the same letter from his "good friend" and takes issue with the "crowd of nitwits" who criticized him for his view. He objects especially to one such letter writer who had said that she had danced in a location where a minister was in the audience, which he corrects, calling him instead a "wolf in sheep's clothing", the "blind leading the blind". "And the dance hall crowd are about the only kind who would listen to him."

Well, now, judge not that ye be not judged as a wolfish, blind nitwit, yourself.

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