The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 16, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Governor Adlai Stevenson had stated that he would not accept the Democratic presidential nomination. He added that he had repeatedly stated that he was only a candidate for renomination as Governor of Illinois, and that his duties as Governor did not leave him time to campaign for the presidency. When he made the statement, the Governor was taking off for Omaha and a meeting with the President and other governors in the region regarding the flooding of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

The statement had moved up Averell Harriman in the bid for the nomination, but his approval of the Yalta agreement of February, 1945 and other Administration foreign policy actions would become fodder for Republican criticism. The statement by Governor Stevenson also removed a major obstacle to the nomination for Senator Estes Kefauver.

It looks like it will be Kefauver-Russell. That is where our bets are going to be placed. You would be wise to do likewise. Call up some gamblers in New Jersey and place all the money you can get your hands on. But don't do it on margin, because word is that they play for keeps when you lose.

Prior to the meeting in Omaha with the governors of seven states regarding the flooding, the President flew over the flooded areas. He said that it appeared in many respects worse than the vast flooding in the area the previous year and that it convinced him more than ever of the need for a comprehensive program of flood control.

The Missouri River flood waters in the area around Omaha and Council Bluffs had reached 28.3 feet, compared with a previous all-time high of 24.6 feet and a flood stage of 19 feet. Forecasters continued to predict a crest of 31.5 feet but had revised its expected time from the following morning to the following night. That high-water mark was expected to remain for 12 hours. Some 14,600 workers, both from the Army and civilians, were busy raising the height of the dikes and levees. Most of Council Bluffs and East Omaha had been evacuated.

Price administrator Ellis Arnall said this date that the $12 per ton price increase sought by the steel industry to offset the 17.5-cent per hour wage increase recommended by the Wage Stabilization Board would increase the cost of living for everyone by at least 5 percent or $300 per year for the average family. He said that he intended to hold the price line on steel. Meanwhile, the Administration, through Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, placed in charge of the steel industry during the seizure, appeared ready to implement the recommended wage increase to the steelworkers. An anonymous official indicated that it was unlikely that the union shop would be granted by the Government. The steel industry was planning court action to fight against that move as well as the seizure, itself.

Robert Murphy of Milwaukee was nominated by the President this date to be the first postwar Ambassador to Japan, following the ratification by the Senate of the Japanese peace treaty, to become effective April 28. Mr. Murphy was presently Ambassador to Belgium and had served previously in many diplomatic posts in Germany and France during a 31-year career in the State Department.

In New Jersey, General Eisenhower won the primary of the previous day by a margin of 150,000 votes over Senator Taft, in the first contest in which both had been on the ballot since the General had won the New Hampshire primary the prior month. The General carried all except one of the state's 21 counties and won a minimum of 31 of the state's 38 Republican delegates. Senator Taft obtained four delegates and former Governor Harold Stassen, one. At present, Senator Taft had a total of 206 delegates to 119 for General Eisenhower. Taft organizers indicated that it was "a moral victory" and that the General had made "a poor showing", based on the fact that the Senator had sought to remove his name from the ballot, having been prevented because he was too late in so doing, and, thus, had not campaigned in the state. His supporters claimed that the Governor of the state, Alfred Driscoll, and the state Republican organization had thrown its support to the General, thereby having "stacked the cards" against the Senator.

In the Democratic primary, Senator Estes Kefauver, the only candidate on the ballot, obtained around 160,000 votes.

On page 15-A, another Gallup poll appears, indicating that many people were not familiar with the name of Adlai Stevenson, but that those who knew of him approved of him as a candidate for the presidency.

In Columbia, S.C., Governor James Byrnes urged South Carolina Democrats this date to wait until both major party candidates had been nominated before deciding who to support or launching any third-party movement. He expressed hope that they could affiliate with the national party, but also said that they should make it clear that they would not return were they to be treated as "stepchildren". He again stated his strong support for Senator Richard Russell of Georgia as the nominee. He also said that South Carolina Democrats did not apologize for having led the 1948 Dixiecrat movement, of which former Governor Strom Thurmond had been the presidential nominee.

In Paris, noted French sculptor, François Cogne, had died at age 76 the previous day. His busts of well-known persons included those of Winston Churchill and Georges Clemenceau.

In Huntsville, Texas, a former deputy sheriff in Jim Wells County, serving a life sentence for the murder in mid-1949 of a radio commentator and newspaperman, had hanged himself in his cell. He had claimed self-defense at his trial.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports on the gubernatorial race in the state and the debate between the four candidates in Charlotte this date, that they were behaving as old fraternity brothers, shaking hands with one another and patting each other on the shoulder while cracking jokes. The four candidates were William B. Umstead of Durham, Judge Hubert Olive of Lexington, Manley Dunaway of Charlotte, and Herbert F. Seawell of Carthage, the Republican nominee. The debate would appear on WBTV television, channel 3 on your dial.

Bet on Mr. Seawell, says the smart money out of New Jersey.

In Brighton, England, a man was fined a pound for speeding along the streets of the city in his motorized wheelchair. The speed limit was 20 miles per hour and he was caught doing 41. The police superintendent was apologetic for bringing up the case, but indicated that they had received many complaints of speeding wheelchairs, which overturned easily and became a danger to motorists.

That'll teach him. Throw him in the lockup for 21 years, a year for each mile per hour over the limit.

On the editorial page, "The Missouri Mocks Us Again" comments on the flooding of the Missouri River and the continuing debate regarding establishment of a Missouri Valley Authority, similar to TVA, to prevent such flooding and carrying away of valuable farm topsoil.

An eleven-person commission was studying the matter, with the intention of submitting a plan which would integrate the land and water needs of the region. It suggests, in addition, the need for the removal of river, harbor and flood control from the Army Corps of Engineers for their working "shamelessly" with members of Congress for the authorization of pork barrel projects disapproved by the Administration, and the need for public realization that a coordinated plan of development of the Missouri Valley made economic sense. It also urges that public indignation needed to be aroused at those who proclaimed such a project to be "socialization" for being "planned economy", as such a plan made more sense than the unplanned waste caused by the annual flooding of the region.

"It'll Be Dull without Old Tom" finds that the Senate would be dull with the retirement of Senator Tom Connally, which he had just announced. The Senator had steered many critical pieces of legislation through the Foreign Affairs Committee which he chaired. Lately, he had berated anyone or any nation tangling with him, not adding to his stature.

If the Senate were to become Republican in the election, the new chairman would be Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, who was somewhat unpredictable. Senator Walter George of Georgia or Francis Green of Rhode Island would become chairman should the Democrats retain control.

It quotes from the Congressional Record in the debate on admission of Greece and Turkey to NATO and Senator Connally's colorful colloquy with Senator Arthur Watkins of Utah, with Senator Connally analogizing the discussion to chasing rabbits and foxes and then challenging Senator Watkins as to whether he could read the treaty.

It concludes that the Senate might not be much better or worse without Senator Connally, but would be duller.

"Now New Jersey" tells of Senator Taft and General Eisenhower having appeared on the ballot in New Jersey the prior day for the first time since the New Hampshire primary, the latter also won by the General, albeit with a spare majority. This time, the General won easily, with 60 percent of the vote, with additional write-in votes registered for him on the Democratic side, more than those received by the President. Neither Senator Taft nor the General had campaigned in the primary, Senator Taft having tried to withdraw after feeling back-stabbed by Governor Albert Driscoll, who threw his support to the General, but being disallowed from withdrawing because it was too late. So the piece concludes that the primary probably demonstrated an even effort of the two sides, as some of the Taft supporters had continued to campaign for him. His supporters had claimed a moral victory but the piece finds none, only a substantial victory for the General.

"Professor Truman at UNC?" tells of Roulhac Hamilton, Jr., of the Robesonian in Lumberton having come up with a rumor in Washington that the President might become a professor at UNC or some other North Carolina university after he left office. William Hillman, who had recently published the compilation of interviews, diary entries and letters of the President, Mr. President, had recently said that the President had every intention of teaching history after his Presidency.

The question had then arisen as to where he might teach, and observers, knowing of the President's admiration for Frank Porter Graham, former president of UNC, had speculated that he might take a post at the University. The facts that a prior biographer and former Presidential aide, Jonathan Daniels, was a UNC trustee and that Governor Kerr Scott was a Truman admirer and was ex officio chairman of the Board of Trustees, also added to the rumor. Furthermore, Presidential assistant, John Steelman, was an alumnus of UNC. (It omits the fact that present president of UNC, Gordon Gray, had been appointed Secretary of the Army by the President and had held other positions in the Administration.)

It says that it would heartily welcome such an addition to the UNC faculty and his appointment would be in keeping with the trend in higher education whereby the theoretical was being supplemented by the practical.

It suggests that William B. Umstead, for instance, whose dull gubernatorial campaign was becoming duller by the day, could benefit from instruction from a Professor Truman, especially regarding the "give 'em hell" strategy. So, it urges the President to join the faculty, as there would be plenty of pupils, young and old, for his courses.

When he would occasionally show up for a lecture adventitiously, we would say, "There's ol' Prof. Harry, again."

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Pat McCarran, chairman of the Judiciary Committee, having dropped his Senate duties and returned home to Nevada to mend some political fences, and, in so doing, leaving the confirmation hearings of Attorney General-designate James McGranery in abeyance. The Committee would not dare act without the presence of its chairman, as he was quite vindictive.

His reason for returning to Nevada had resulted from his having the previous month phoned to Las Vegas to give an ultimatum to gambling friends to remove their advertising from the Las Vegas Sun because of that newspaper's support of Tom Mechling, running against Senator McCarran's law partner, Alan Bible, for the other Senate seat. The gambling interests did withdraw their advertising, but Hank Greenspun, the Sun's publisher, then filed a lawsuit against Senator McCarran, his secretary and members of the gambling world, alleging restraint of trade.

Mr. Pearson suggests that it was not the first time that the Senator had shown a vindictive streak, including an investigation launched recently against corruption investigator Newbold Morris for belonging to an organization which had contributed to Senator McCarran's election opponent, and launching an investigation against the Alsops to see if they had violated the Espionage Act after they had criticized the Senator in their column for his high-handed handling of the Internal Security Committee.

Two trends were occurring in the presidential campaign. Among Republicans, the prospect of a Taft-Eisenhower deadlock at the convention was becoming increasingly likely, in which case Governor Earl Warren would be the person to watch as emerging. Among Democrats, Senator Kefauver was becoming increasingly acceptable as having real appeal to voters, with Averell Harriman possibly to become the vice-presidential nominee, balancing the ticket regionally.

Six months earlier, Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico had urged the President to appoint Senator Kefauver as Attorney General.

One of the key factors in the write-in victory of Senator Taft over the write-in campaign for General Eisenhower in Nebraska, was the voters' inability to spell the latter name, thus causing their ballots to be discarded.

The palace guard was gloomy at the prospect of being out of a job come January 20, 1953. Their only hope was for Governor Stevenson to become the nominee, but they believed he had two great handicaps, his divorce, and that he had testified for Alger Hiss, which they believed to be political suicide.

James Marlow looks at the President's seizure of the steel mills under his claimed inherent executive power based on the national welfare. Critics had blasted it as unconstitutional, while Administration lawyers claimed that the executive powers went beyond those specific ones enumerated in Article II in the case of protecting the national welfare. Both Presidents Roosevelt and Truman had effected seizures of plants and industries about twenty times in the prior dozen years, sometimes under an emergency proclamation and at other times under the war powers act of 1943, the Smith-Connally Act, which gave the President express power of seizure in the interest of national defense. But that Act had expired in 1947. The President had seized the railroads the prior August, but that was under the Railroad Act.

This time, the President was effecting seizure without specific statutory authority, and court tests of that power were already in the works.

Republican Senator Wayne Morse had taken the stance that the President would have been "derelict" not to have taken the action, while Republican Senator Styles Bridges had contended that the action exceeded the President's powers and was unconstitutional.

Marquis Childs looks at the McCarran Internal Security Committee's efforts to tie persons within the State Department to sympathies with Communist China, influencing Far Eastern policy. The Committee had achieved some success in either coercing testimony or getting witnesses to claim the Fifth Amendment, but critics found these tactics to be merely trying to place a different set of facts extant in the period 1944-47 into the 1951-52 context, after the Chinese civil war had resulted in 1949 in the Communists coming to power and driving the Nationalists from the mainland to Formosa.

There had also been many who had worked tirelessly for the Nationalist cause and expended large sums of money to try to influence U.S. policy. Some of that money had been funneled to Capitol Hill and many believed it explained the failure of Congress to undertake an investigation of the China lobby. Alfred Kohlberg, the New York textile importer who was a major influence within the China lobby, had been a major contributor, for instance, to Senator Bridges. The Reporter had provided a detailed account of the lobby, showing that Tommy Corcoran, former FDR braintruster, and his associate, William Youngman, had worked closely with T.V. Soong, wealthy brother-in-law of Chiang Kai-Shek. The son of wealthy H. H. Kung, another brother-in-law of Chiang, had been one of the most active agents in the lobby.

Senator Morse had put into the Congressional Record a series of messages to Chiang from Chen Chih-mai, counselor of the Chinese embassy, showing that the American Government was to be infiltrated by agents seeking aid for the Nationalists. Chen had reported to Chiang that he had convinced Senator Taft that Chiang was the most natural leader for Asia and the best partner of the U.S. in that region. And, indeed, Senator Taft had given a recent speech in Seattle in which he urged aid to Chiang, including transport of the Nationalist troops to the mainland for an assault on the Communists.

Mr. Childs suggests that the disaster in China should have convinced Americans that the situation was too dangerous for it to be involved in bitter partisanship and campaign rhetoric or to be used to support one side against the other, pitting Americans against Americans in the process. He urges that an impartial commission should have been appointed much earlier to examine every phase of the matter and determine where American interests lay.

A letter writer opposes a statewide referendum on liquor sales, supports the Mecklenburg County ABC program, although displeased with some of its administrative aspects. He wants to be rid of the bootleggers and finds the ABC system to be the best available means to do so.

A letter writer, a "transplanted Yankee", responds to a letter of April 10 from a minister in Matthews, condemning segregation. He thinks the man had quite a command of the English language to be so "unintelligent". He indicates that he had never practiced segregation in his home, was godfather to a Chinese boy, an artist from Hong Kong. "The colored people" whom he and his wife had employed as gardeners, nurses, and maids had never noticed any discrimination. And there were many white people he would not wish to have in his house and so if he was practicing discrimination, it might be against some whites.

He indicates that the offspring of the mating of a tiger and a lion only lived a short time and was a novelty at the zoo, and therefore he was a firm believer in each race, creed or "other origin" pursuing their lives "according to their own tenets".

He believes that the only Americans were Indians and so he doubts that the minister was an American. He assumes that the minister was an ardent reader of the Baltimore Afro-American or the New York or Chicago newspapers of the same name, all of which created "a racial hatred to keep up circulation with a group of un-Americans."

You don't discriminate. You just assume that those who disagree with your position on segregation are un-American and engaged in racial hatred. That is perfectly logical. What does your most honorable number one godson think about it? Get him to paint us a picture of your non-discrimination. Why, we bet if one of those black boys came up right to your door, uninvited, you probably wouldn't even shoot him, would you?

A letter writer, identified as "Bus Rider", does not like the proposed rate increase by the company seeking to obtain the bus franchsie from Duke Power. He thinks it would be better to discontinue the bus service until a company could run it without being "money crazy". He thinks every citizen ought instead buy a car, and if traffic became worse, "Heaven help us".

A letter from a corporal in Korea tells of being lonely and seeks pen pals, provides an address to which to write in San Francisco.

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