The Charlotte News

Friday, April 18, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Rahway, N.J., 232 prisoners at Rahway State Prison Farm seized control of a two-story dormitory wing the previous night and held nine prison guards as hostages, in sympathy with a four-day mutiny at Trenton State Prison 40 miles away. It was the fifth prison outbreak in New Jersey during the previous three weeks. Prison guards, reinforced by State police, had regained control of the ground floor of the wing during the morning through a ruse, accomplished after the prisoners stated that one of their number was scheduled to be released this date, whereupon prison officials told them that if they were to remove part of the barricade on the first floor at the entrance to let that prisoner out, he would be released. After the prisoners had done so, the guards were able to penetrate the weakened barricade and regain control of the first floor. Because of the nine hostages, prison officials had been unwilling to use tear gas. The prisoners had hung huge bedsheets which had bold lettering, proclaiming that they demanded a new parole system.

At Trenton, 69 prisoners had barricaded themselves in the prison printing shop and had allowed one of the four prison employee-hostages to leave after he had suffered a mild heart attack. The story does not indicate whether the Trenton prisoners had the same complaint.

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports of Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, placed in charge of the seized steel industry by the President, having conferred separately this date with industry leaders and Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers Union. Mr. Sawyer was generally believed to be preparing to impose a wage increase for the Steelworkers, based on the Wage Stabilization Board's recommended 17.5 cents per hour increase. It was considered possible, though not likely, that he was still trying to arrange rapprochement between the union and the industry. He had told reporters that all concerned had agreed not to talk to the press, but indicated that he might have a statement later in the day. One company official told a reporter that the session with the Secretary suggested that the situation was as black as ever. The companies represented at the meeting with the Secretary included U.S. Steel, Republic, Bethlehem, Jones & Laughlin, Wheeling, Youngstown, Inland and American Rolling Mill. The Secretary had been in constant contact with the President. Meanwhile, Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall had called a press conference, but had not stated in advance what he intended to announce.

Senator Clinton Anderson of New Mexico, former Secretary of Agriculture, said the previous night, during a television program about the William Hillman book, Mr. President, that the President had given former Secretary of State James Byrnes "a very stiff curtain lecture" shortly after the late 1945 Moscow conference. Senator Anderson said that he sat in on all of the Cabinet meetings at the time and knew that the President had been shocked to find out that Mr. Byrnes, after returning from Moscow in late December, was planning to provide via radio a complete report to the American people without first having reported to the President. He also knew that the President had sent for Mr. Byrnes to meet him aboard the Presidential yacht Williamsburg, and at that time told him that he made the foreign policy of the country and that the Secretary of State could not announce what was going to happen in that regard on a nationwide broadcast without first having cleared it with the President, giving him a stern lecture on the matter. Mr. Byrnes had denied in the current issue of Collier's that the President, as he had claimed in Mr. President, had at the time read a prepared memorandum to the Secretary, dressing him down for being too soft with the Soviets. Jonathan Daniels, in his biography of the President, Man of Independence, had written that the President had read the "riot act" to Mr. Byrnes after his return from Moscow.

Governor Byrnes, in the Collier's article, accused the President this date of spreading falsehoods about him and of substituting fiction for history in describing the U.S.-Russian relations in late 1945.

In North Whittier Heights, near Los Angeles, a non-scheduled airliner operated by North Continent Airlines crashed and burned with 25 passengers and three crew members aboard. It had been attempting an approach to Los Angeles International Airport at the time in murky weather. There was no indication as yet as to whether there were any survivors. A rancher had located the plane which had been missing for more than six hours.

The Missouri River reached the area of Omaha and Council Bluffs this date, flowing during the predawn hours into the seven-mile long funnel of sodden dikes protecting the lowland areas. The ensuing 48 hours might determine whether the water pressures would burst the levees and cause more damage. All through the night, 24,000 soldiers and civilians had worked under floodlights to shore up the dikes and levees with sandbags, as the river reached a height of 30.15 feet early this date, over 11 feet more than flood stage and the highest level reached since 1881, when it was recorded at 24.6 feet. North of Omaha, the river spread across farmland for as much as 15 miles beyond its normal banks, inundating small hamlets and farms. For 50 miles upstream, the river averaged 10 miles in width, but shrunk down to only 1,200 feet in the channel at Omaha and Council Bluffs.

In Council Bluffs, a foreman on the levee build-up operations, complaining of a great number of headaches through the long hours of work, told an amateur radio operator to send out for 100 aspirins, and the Red Cross had delivered 1,000, plus a doctor to administer them, as they figured something had to be wrong when so many aspirins were being sought.

In Greensboro, two men who had been held for questioning in the $56,000 bank robbery at Leaksville the previous day, were released after the bank teller who was the only witness to the robbery failed to identify them as the culprits. The Rockingham County Sheriff said that there were no leads at present.

Simple solution: Round up every man in the state standing 5'8" or less, wearing either a red corduroy jacket or a blue coat, bring them all before the teller, and somewhere in that mix you're probably going to find the robbers.

Pictures are included of the rebuilt interior of the White House.

News editor Pete McKnight writes from Cairo in the next in a series of articles during his trip to the Middle East, telling of Haim Nahum, Grand Rabbi of Egypt and once Grand Rabbi of the whole Ottoman Empire, being nearly 80 years old with failing vision and living in semi-retirement, seldom receiving visitors. He had made an exception for three members of the American Christian Palestine Committee study tour, of which Mr. McKnight was a member, and had sent a message to the Jewish communities of North and South Carolina, that since it was only three days before Passover, he provided his best wishes for "the material and social welfare and prosperity of the Jews in America", and also for the good of the country of which they were a part. Mr. McKnight found him to be a "wonderful character", warm and hearty and full of enthusiasm and lively conversation. He liked Americans, having seen much of the U.S., and he liked newspapermen. He especially liked Roger Baldwin, former head of the ACLU, who was one of the three persons permitted to interview him. They had gone to find out how he believed Jews were faring in Egypt, still technically at war with Israel. He reported that some of the Jews in Egypt, mainly the younger ones who were not Egyptian citizens, wanted to go to Israel, but that those who were citizens among the 85,000 Jews in the country were quite satisfied. He said that there was no persecution of the Jews in Egypt and that during the Israeli war, there had only been 300 Jews, most of whom had been non-citizens, interned in camps, where they were not treated as prisoners. There had been only one attack on a synagogue, before the war had broken out, and there were 23 synagogues just in Cairo. That attack had occurred in 1946 and the Government had promptly apologized for it. A few bombs had been thrown in the Jewish quarter of Cairo.

On the editorial page, "Wanted—General Assembly Candidates" urges people to run for the State General Assembly, for as the deadline for filing approached on the following day, there were yet only five persons in the county who had offered to serve in the four seats to be filled.

It remarks that some would like to run but had decided that the $15 per diem compensation during the legislative session usually failed to pay hotel, food and incidental bills plus transportation costs to and from Raleigh, let alone any actual compensation for the time away from work. It was less than the $50 per month plus travel expenses received by the County Commissioners, who could live at home and did not have to travel to Raleigh. Thirteen candidates had announced for the four Commission jobs.

It comments that, notwithstanding the low pay, in a county of nearly 200,000 people, there ought be more than five persons willing to serve in the State Legislature and view it as both a privilege and a duty.

"Dull Club" tells of the South Carolina Republicans having held their convention in Columbia the previous Wednesday and that there had been no opposition to the names of nominees for the state organization, the list handed out to the press of the elected candidates having been prepared in advance of the vote. It concludes that the South Carolina Republican Party remained nothing more than a club, "a dull one."

"Wave Them All" tells of the DAR being on the march again over the fact that Admiral McCormick, who headed the NATO fleet, had raised the U.N. flag and hauled down the U.S. flag, prompting the DAR overwhelmingly to vote for a Congressional investigation, as they believed national sovereignty was threatened.

In suggests to the DAR that it look around, as the country had shared, pooled or given up some form of sovereignty when the Allies had stormed Normandy on D-Day in 1944, and indicates that it was a good thing, as going it alone got tough. When General Eisenhower had taken over as NATO supreme commander, he had commented that he was now one-twelfth of each of the 12 nation members of NATO, and he was now being considered as a prominent presidential candidate. It suggests to the DAR that perhaps national sovereignty was becoming outdated.

It quotes from Alexander Hamilton, one of the favorite DAR forefathers, that to look for a continuation of harmony between a number of "independent, unconnected sovereignties" as existed in the world of that time, would have been to disregard the accumulated experiences of the ages.

It concludes that the Admiral ought be allowed to wave the U.N. flag, that the DAR ought be allowed to wave their flag, and "we'll wave our li'l old Stars and Bars, and we'll all be happy." It suggests that they were all nice flags and that there was room for all of them.

Well, maybe not the Stars and Bars, as that never represented the United States, now, did it?

"Cheap Money, Well Used" tells of the Charlotte Housing Authority preparing to issue a six-million dollar housing authority bond, similar to bonds recently issued in Greensboro, Raleigh and Winston-Salem for the same purpose. Municipal improvement bonds had been issued in Landis, Roxboro, Raleigh, Goldsboro, Brunson, Gastonia and several other towns and cities. It indicates that the interest rates on the bonds ranged from 1.4933 to 2.6654 percent and the maturity periods ranged from 5 to 21 years, indicative of it being cheap money, which would provide a lot of housing and a lot of municipal improvement throughout the state.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "'Your OPS' and Its Blue-Eyed Economists", tells of strange, new economists being employed by the Office of Price Stabilization in an effort to continue price controls, despite clothing, furniture, television sets, shoes and many food items selling at from 10 to 30 percent below ceiling prices. Such "well-known economists" as Bob Hope, singer Martha Tilton and hillbilly band leader Hank Thompson were busy promoting price control over the airwaves. OPS had issued 300,000 cards for placement in buses and streetcars, 64,000 billboard posters and a million display posters to be set up in stores.

It suggests that the ultimate reason for this effort was the fact that unless Congress acted to extend wage and price controls, the OPS would go out of business after June 30 when the present control laws expired, resulting in numerous people employed by the agency losing their jobs.

It indicates that the price of running the agency was 69 million dollars for the current fiscal year, which appeared high for running the machinery to control below-ceiling prices. It suggests, therefore, that consumers could get along without all the publicity and economists, such as Ms. Tilton, "whose pretty blue eyes wouldn't know a CPR from a hole in the ground."

Drew Pearson tells of Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina having released a series of letters between himself and the President, which put Mr. Pearson right in the middle. A column he had written several years earlier had helped to cause the current rift between the two. One of those letters from the President to Governor Byrnes had contained the President's usual negative references to Mr. Pearson, saying that the President did not read or listen to him and that he had never told the truth intentionally. Part of that letter had been published by Mr. Pearson in his column of December 17, 1949. It had come out recently in the compilation by William Hillman of the President's diary entries, interviews and letters, published as Mr. President, that the President claimed Mr. Byrnes had been a poor Secretary of State, indicating that after the Moscow conference in late 1945, the President had summoned Mr. Byrnes and read to him a memo which berated him for being too soft on the Soviets and not communicating with the President enough while he had been in Moscow. Governor Byrnes said that no such memo had ever been read to him and that he had never seen it.

Mr. Pearson indicates that his columns written at around the time of the Moscow conference and shortly afterward supported the President's rendition of this episode. He had reported on his radio program on December 23, 1945 that the President was not happy with the Secretary of State's performance in Moscow. A column written after the conference stated that the President had resented the fact that Mr. Byrnes operated as a "one-man team", excluding the President from his development of foreign policy. The column had stated that the President had nearly fired Mr. Byrnes at the time, especially after the latter had announced, before consulting with the President, that he would provide a radio report on his efforts at the conference to the American people. Mr. Pearson had also reported at the time that the President had sent a cable to General Marshall asking him to replace Mr. Byrnes.

He concludes that those excerpts indicated that both the President and Mr. Byrnes were partly correct in their current claims regarding the dispute, that it showed that the President had been unhappy with Secretary Byrnes and wanted to fire him, but had never done so, the Secretary remaining until early 1947, when he was replaced by General Marshall. He adds that it was perhaps true that the memo in question had never been read to Mr. Byrnes, but that its substance was supported by the record. He advises the President on this occasion to read his column, as it supported the President's position, though he could never "tell the truth intentionally".

Roland Sawyer, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, discusses Senator Richard Russell of Georgia and his presidential bid. He quotes him as having said at one time that he was "as regular as any Democrat in the country", and suggests that his record in the Senate bore out that assessment. But it also did not exclude independence. His individualism ran deeper than the late Governor Eugene Talmadge of Georgia, for instance, as the Senator had voted with Democrats during his 20-year period in the Senate most of the time, albeit breaking away on such issues as economy, civil rights and labor.

He stood fifth in seniority among Democrats and during his early years in the Senate had supported the major New Deal legislation, such as NRA, TVA, work relief programs, soil conservation, rural electrification and public housing. In 1937, however, he came out against President Roosevelt's court-packing plan, whereby the Supreme Court justices who reached 70 years of age would receive an "assistant Justice", increasing the number of Justices up to a maximum of 15, the effort of FDR to obtain appointees to the Court, of which he had none during his first term in office. Since that time, however, the Senator had voted with the party most of the time, including approval of the foreign policy, placing him as an internationalist, even if voting against the 3.5 billion dollar loan to Britain in 1946, based on his criticism of the Labor Party and the British economy at that time. In 1947, he had even urged that England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales be added as four new states to the U.S.

He had voted to end the arms embargo in 1939, voted for the draft in 1940 and supported Lend-Lease in 1941. He worked hard in support of U.S. participation in the U.N. and voted for the Bretton Woods monetary agreement, the Marshall Plan and the present mutual assistance program. He had also been a strong advocate for universal military training. He had not, however, supported the Point Four program for technical assistance to underdeveloped nations, based on economy.

His conservatism had likewise been apparent in his consistent opposition to lowering of immigration restrictions to permit Europe's displaced persons to enter the U.S. following the war. But in 1951, he had voted for the shipment of wheat to India, threatened with famine, on the basis of a loan.

In 1951, he had established himself as a parliamentarian in his chairing the joint committee hearings into the firing of General MacArthur.

In 1939, he had sponsored the price support program, which had become a mainstay for American agricultural prosperity. He stood with farmers on flood control, soil conservation and public power. He spoke with special pride on his innovation of the school lunch program, which took up agricultural surpluses at the same time it provided lunches free or at cost for school children. That record had established him as a Fair Dealer, though his stances on labor and civil rights indicated otherwise. He had voted for a strike control bill in 1946 and for Taft-Hartley in 1947, including a vote for overriding of the President's veto of the latter. Later in 1947, he endorsed the ban of portal-to-portal lawsuits by the UMW.

In civil rights, he opposed the Fair Employment Practices Commission and had led filibusters against anti-lynching legislation. No Senator from the Deep South could be elected at the time if he supported FEPC or a Federal anti-lynching law. He had stated repeatedly that while he supported segregation, he opposed any effort to provide less than equal facilities for blacks. He also pointed to his record of economic and social gains, the benefits of which had inured to blacks in Georgia.

He remained, however, segregationist and expressed doubt that it could be ended anytime in the near future in the South. He believed that the President's civil rights program would do more harm to whites than good for blacks.

Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina had stated that Senator Russell was neither liberal nor conservative in the usual sense of those terms, but was a "progressive, sane, sound exponent of government who, during his long tenure in the Senate, has pursued a middle-of-the-road course."

The Senator had predicted that he would receive no less than 300, and maybe as many as 400, first-ballot delegate votes at the convention, with 616 needed for nomination. He believed, therefore, that he would be in a strong position entering the convention.

Ralph McGill, editor of the Atlanta Constitution, tells of the conservative Charleston News and Courier, though a supporter of Senator Taft for the Republican nomination, being upset with the attempts by the Southern Republican state organizations seeking to suppress efforts at support of General Eisenhower for the nomination. It had reported that in one district, two Republicans held a meeting in a parked automobile and declared themselves chairman and secretary of the district, after they had called a meeting and found that the forces favoring General Eisenhower were in the majority. It had concluded that while the national party policies and leaders were acceptable to a growing number of South Carolinians, the policies of the state party were not.

Such tactics were typical among southern GOP organizations, where the old guard dominated. It had not been until eight years earlier that any real effort had been attempted at reform, most of the progress having occurred in Florida and Georgia. Pleas to the National Committee had come from Republicans in Louisiana, Tennessee, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina and other Southern states, where the Republican organizations appeared determined to deliver their delegations for Senator Taft regardless of popular will.

In Memphis, for example, the Press-Scimitar published an editorial which stated that the old guard faction of the party, a holdover from carpetbagger days, which, "like lily-white days" were gone forever, had recently won an apparent victory in the local Republican convention through strong-arm tactics. The new Republicans, by contrast, were neither carpetbaggers nor lily white, it continued, and gave blacks the equal representation to which they were entitled, but not more. It had indicated that the future belonged to this group and the recent victory of the old guard would only hasten that process. It had predicted that the South would have two parties as the rest of the nation, and that only fair-minded citizens would be recognized as leaders of either party.

Mr. McGill concludes that there was a "grass roots revolution" going on in the South, and that it was Republican, not Democratic.

A "Congressional Quiz" asks the question whether the Federal order to channel more defense business to areas where unemployment was high meant that the Government would pay more for military goods, to which it answers that officials had said that it would not, as contracts still would go to the lowest bidder.

Herblock has an award-winning cartoon printed, showing Mao Tse-Tung shoveling men into a cannon for a pleased, onlooking Josef Stalin, given the Sigma Delta Chi Award for outstanding newspaper work for 1951, the fourth straight year that Herblock had been honored by the national journalism fraternity. He had also previously won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Headliners Award and the Heywood Broun Award.

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