The Charlotte News

Friday, April 25, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the U.N. command had proposed this date a full-dress meeting on Sunday of the armistice delegations, in a surprise move six hours after the Communists had terminated secret negotiations on the exchange of prisoners, following the announcement by the U.N. negotiators that they would return less than half of the Communists captured in Korea based on voluntary repatriation and the rejection of same by those not being returned. The Communists retorted angrily that there had never been anything like this "so-called" voluntary repatriation in history, and that it directly violated the Geneva Convention. The Communist press released a statement by the Communist delegation accusing the allies of using the secret negotiations to deceive the world on what was occurring in the talks, that the secercy was being used to conceal their aim of retaining captured personnel. The Communist negotiators indicated that they accepted in part the allied principle of voluntary repatriation on both sides, but indicated that the allied plan would result in voluntary repatriation for a portion of the prisoners and unconditional repatriation for the remainder. The U.N. command gave no reasons for suggesting the plenary session, not held since mid-February. The Communist negotiators did not immediately reply to the request. The secret talks had begun March 25 and the staff officers had met 17 times since, in an attempt to break the deadlock over voluntary repatriation.

The allies had disclosed that 70,000 of the 159,000 prisoners and civilian internees they held would be repatriated, and an allied spokesman indicated that they believed the Communists would have accepted a figure of 116,000. The Communists had flatly rejected the 70,000 figure as being accurately representative of those who desired repatriation. The allied spokesman said that interviews with prisoners during a two-week recess between April 5 and April 19 had shown that only 70,000 wanted to return home, while earlier, allied officers had said that most of the captives wanted to be repatriated. Of the 70,000 wanting to return to Communist-held territory, 9,000 were Korean civilians and 61,000 were North Korean and Chinese prisoners of war. The Communists had submitted figures during the secret talks showing that they held 12,000 U.N. prisoners, an increase of about 500 since the official Communist prisoner list had been provided the allies the prior December, most of the additional persons being South Koreans.

The other group of staff officers working on truce supervision met for only 14 minutes and made no progress, still being deadlocked on whether Russia should be a Communist-nominated neutral nation for inspection of the truce and whether the Communists would be permitted to repair airfields during the course of the truce.

In the worst loss of life by the Navy so far during the Korean War, a gun turret had exploded on the cruiser St. Paul while it had been firing on the east coast of Korea the previous Monday, killing 30 U.S. sailors. The explosion had been caused by a gunpowder fire of undetermined origin. No Communist fire had been directed at the ship at the time. The previous worst Navy disaster had occurred on June 21, 1951, when the U.S. destroyer Walke struck a mine off Wonsan, killing 26 sailors and injuring 40.

The Navy announced this date that Rear Admiral Ralph Ofstie had been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for meritorious service as commander of Task Force 77 off the Korean coast, from December, 1950, through April, 1951. He was presently chief of staff to the Far East Naval Command.

South Korea held its first nationwide local elections this date, choosing 17,559 city and county councilmen, with about 7.5 million voters being eligible to participate.

In Federal District Court, as reported by Rowland Evans, the assistant Attorney General stated that the President was accountable only to the country and was not limited by the Constitution insofar as his exercise of inherent executive power in times of emergency. The Federal judge said that he had never heard that theory expressed before, that there was no Constitutional limitation on the executive branch, as there was on each of the other two branches. The Government argued that the judicial branch was without power to enjoin the executive branch, as being sought by the steel industry, and that the President was an indispensable party to the suit, which had been directed at Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, who was placed in charge of the steel industry during the course of the seizure, and that the President could not be enjoined. The assistant Attorney General did not answer the judge's query as to whether the President had the right to seize one's home in the public interest, but indicated that the court ought look at the circumstances which gave rise to the emergency in the steel dispute.

The President's statement at the previous day's press conference, that he had forced the Russians from Iran by his personal ultimatum delivered to Premier Stalin, had caused British newspapers to suggest it as a blunder. Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina, who had been Secretary of State at the time, said that he was confident that the President did not imply use of force had been threatened against the Russians to get them to withdraw. He said that the only threat which had been made regarding the matter was in December, 1945, which he had delivered, that if the Soviets refused to withdraw, the U.S. Government would support Iran in filing a protest with the U.N., and had followed that three months later with urging the Security Council to recommend the immediate withdrawal, which the Council adopted, and within a short time thereafter, the Soviets had withdrawn their troops. In diplomatic language, an "ultimatum" was the last step before declaring war, and that had prompted the assistant press secretary to clarify after the press conference that the President had used the word only in its non-technical, lay sense. The President had cited that and the calling up of the Mediterranean Fleet to prevent Yugoslavia from taking over Trieste as examples of use of his inherent executive power, just as he had exercised it in seizing the steel mills to prevent a strike which would have crippled national defense.

Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin, in one of the first speeches by an Administration official attacking General Eisenhower as a politician, stated the previous night in Cumberland, Md., that the Democratic Party was not interested in a "mystery man" as a candidate, and would not be satisfied with a "smile or a good military record or a knack for kissing babies". In so stating, he did not reference the General by name. The State Department, meanwhile, indicated that it had stopped passing out to Americans planning to visit Europe pictures of General Eisenhower promoting him as supreme commander of NATO, indicating that there was no politics involved in the decision. Former RNC Chairman, Congressman Carroll Reece of Tennessee, a supporter of Senator Taft, said at a Boston press conference that the Administration had been spending large sums of money to promote General Eisenhower in that manner, as the Administration figured that he would be the easiest candidate to beat.

A campaign aide to Senator Taft claimed that his write-in vote in Pennsylvania the prior Tuesday, at 173,000, had set a record, topping Governor Dewey in 1944, who had received 146,000 write-in votes in the state primary. The final tally in the primary for the other major candidates in the race had been 847,000 for General Eisenhower and 121,000 for former Governor Harold Stassen, both of whom were on the ballot. The Texas campaign manager for Senator Taft said in Dallas that he would throw his support to General MacArthur if the Senator did not win the nomination. Senator Taft, speaking on the Mutual network radio program "Reporters' Roundup", said that General Eisenhower should speak out on the issues and predicted that he would be a weak candidate, like Governor Dewey in 1944 and 1948, were he to win the nomination.

In Taipei, Formosa, the Nationalists executed four Formosans as Communist fifth columnists, including two farmers, a schoolteacher and a merchant.

In Winston-Salem, Greensboro and Burlington, about 5,000 Western Electric production workers went on strike, as scheduled, for higher wages and other benefits, as part of the nationwide strike which was crippling production of secret electronic and other communications equipment for the armed forces. Union representatives claimed that the strike was almost wholly effective in three cities. The union was demanding a wage increase of 19 cents per hour, reduced from its original demand for 30.9 cents. The company had offered increases ranging from seven to seventeen cents. Union wages averaged $1.32 per hour.

In New York, negotiators agreed to a settlement of the 18-day Western Electric strike of 6,000 workers in 29 cities, with the terms subject to ratification by the members of the Communications Workers union.

In Charlotte, an unidentified black man held up a cashier at the State Capital Insurance Co. and all available police officers were searching for him downtown. The robbery had occurred just after lunch, when the man told an employee to sit down and keep her mouth shut, that he wanted some money, then walked around the counter to the cash drawer and grabbed some. Officials of the company said that he apparently had taken about $300. He stood 5'11" tall, weighed about 180 pounds and had a mustache, was about 25 years old, wearing brown trousers and a gray, open-front sweater. Police did not know whether he was armed or whether he fled in a car or on foot. Be on the lookout, and if you see any such black man, call the police.

In London, the Daily Express reported that the British Cabinet had advised Queen Elizabeth that June 2, 1953 would be a suitable date for her formal coronation. Buckingham Palace responded that there had been nothing confirmed and no decision on a date had yet been made.

Also in London, the British Horse Trough Association announced that it had two dozen spare troughs for any municipalities who wanted to set them up on main street. The organization had been established in 1850 to serve thirsty city horses and seemed to be fading out for some reason.

Another Gallup poll appears on page 11-A, indicating that there was still great popular support for Governor Adlai Stevenson for the Democratic presidential nomination, despite the fact that he had withdrawn his name from consideration.

The fifth in the six-part series by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, regarding "How To Live with Your Nerves", not on the front page, may be read here.

On the editorial page, "Jordan Needs Peace, Refugee Solution", another by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, writing from Amman, Jordan, tells of the city being an anomaly in the infant Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with its stone buildings, well-stocked shops, and air of vigor and enterprise posing in sharp contrast to the barren hills which surrounded it and the "dull and dispirited attitude of the poverty-stricken natives" who lived in those hills.

Amman was situated in the middle of a high plateau, around which was some of the best farm land in Jordan. A few years earlier it had been a small town of about 5,000 population, but when Trans-Jordan became a modern state under the rule of the late King Abdullah, Amman's population increased rapidly to 40,000 six years earlier and now had reached 150,000. That rapid growth had caused problems with provision of basic services for the people.

In several places in the city there were remains of Roman-built structures, such as a huge amphitheater situated, in contrast, right across the street from the ultra-modern Philadelphia Hotel. The group's first stop was at the American legation, where the acting minister gave them a briefing on American policy in the area. Then the director of the 4.5 million dollar Point Four program for Jordan told them of the several possibilities he had uncovered in his first month in the post for using the aid to improve Jordan's limited economy and to create new productive wealth.

A British representative also spoke to the group off the record about British policy in Jordan since the assassination of King Abdullah, who had been strongly pro-British and cool to the overtures of the Arab League. The new King Talal had reoriented somewhat Jordanian policy, as evidenced in a talk provided by the undersecretary of foreign affairs, whose statements perfectly dovetailed that which they had been told by Azzam Pasha, the secretary-general of the Arab League in Cairo. Jordan and Britain, however, remained on good terms, and Britain contributed 6.5 million pounds per year to the support of the Arab Legion, Jordan's fighting force, and another 1.5 million pounds to help prop up Jordan's sagging economy.

After lunch, the study group heard two other Arab leaders, the undersecretary of communications and a professor of Arabic literature, then returned to Jerusalem.

He observes that Jordan's problems were primarily economic, that the country had few natural resources, with much of its land barren and irrigation a costly enterprise. Jordan could absorb some of the nearly 500,000 refugees within its borders, but it would only be a small portion. The country needed capital, schools, hospitals and health services, but mainly needed a solution for the refugee problem and a firm peace with Israel. Not until those latter two issues were resolved would it be able to reduce its heavy expenditure for military forces, which comprised 64 percent of its budget, and thereby enable it to devote all of its attention to its domestic problems.

"N.C. Senators Accent the Negative" tells of a group of Senators having been acting irresponsibly during the week in voting 44 to 31 on Monday against permitting money to be used from a particular appropriations bill for running of the steel mills, when that money was not directly related to that subject, and that Senators Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith of North Carolina had voted with the majority. The Senate had voted on Tuesday 47 to 29 to consider a proposal to deprive completely the Government of funds to operate the steel mills, and both North Carolina Senators had voted in favor of it. That latter vote had failed because it needed two-thirds approval, falling four votes short.

The following day, the Senate voted 42 to 37 for a bill proposed by Senator Harry Byrd which would liquidate the RFC, with both North Carolina Senators again voting for it. Later in the day, the Senate backtracked and returned the bill to committee, where it would likely die.

It finds these reactions to have been negative and unconstructive, cutting off noses to spite faces. The Senators had justification in resenting the steel seizure, though lacking in justification for resentment of the currently constituted RFC, considerably reorganized since its problem days with influence peddling, as exposed in hearings the prior year. Instead of proposing an alternative to seizure or the changes in RFC operation, they were seeking to curtail the Government's power to run the mills and sought to abolish the RFC.

On Monday, the President had sent a message to the Congress saying that he did not believe it could meet its responsibilities and constitutional functions simply by paralyzing the operations of the Government in an emergency, and pledging support for any legislation which would provide for a cooperative effort in resolving the steel crisis. But the Senate had not listened to what the President advised, or to the advice of Senator Richard Russell, who had told them on Monday that he was willing to support remedial legislation which would take the steel mills from the President's control and provide a definite law for the settlement of the controversy, but that no such legislation had been proposed, and that the amendment they were about to vote on did not even pretend to solve the problem.

It indicates that the make-up of the Senate bloc which had voted in support of the negative measure on Monday included all but two Republicans, joined by 11 Southern Democrats, with the exceptions of Senators Russell, Olin Johnston, Lister Hill and John Sparkman. It was about the same on Tuesday, but the Republicans were joined by only five Democrats on Wednesday, including Senators Byrd, Hoey and Smith. It concludes that those who had hoped that North Carolina's Senators might take a constructive approach on the issues had reason to be discouraged.

"Prison Probe Needed" suggests that the principle of Western civilization, that "where law ends tyranny begins", should apply with even greater force in the prisons. Yet, it ventures that it would be unfair to society should the riots in New Jersey and Michigan prisons be ended simply with punishment for the perpetrators while forgetting the causes they had asserted for the rebellions. Governor Alfred Driscoll of New Jersey had called for a sweeping investigation of that state's entire prison system following the Rahway State Prison Farm riot. Governor Mennen Williams of Michigan had indicated a willingness to probe the system in his state, following the Southern Michigan Prison uprising.

The piece approves of these reactions, indicating that merely forgetting about the whole matter and sweeping it under the rug would only encourage later outbreaks. The prisoner grievances had not contended that any of them were being held without just cause, but rather involved prison operations, such as the handling of mail, the quality of food, infliction of corporal punishment for violation of rules, and the parole system. It indicates that what the prisoners had done was serious and dangerous, resulting in loss of life, destruction of property and the mental torment to the families of the guards who had been held as hostages. To prevent future recurrences, it would be necessary to consider the stated grievances and to address them with appropriate legislation to enable a better chance for rehabilitation of inmates through better penological care in the institution.

Drew Pearson tells of Perle Mesta, the U.S. Minister to Luxembourg, having had an interesting experience with the President in regard to General Eisenhower, in that the President, while she was visiting the U.S., had asked her to make some speeches before women's clubs explaining the goals of NATO and the work of the General, which Ms. Mesta did, finding the women's groups responsive and interested in her discussion. But then she found out that Democratic leaders in Washington had reacted adversely to her giving talks which had helped the General. The President, nevertheless, told her to keep on making the speeches, showing that the situation in Western Europe was more important than politics.

The rash of prison riots had resulted from two factors, the population of the country having increased and along with it, the criminal population, and the fact that most prisons remained behind in penology. The New Jersey Penitentiary at Trenton, where one of the first outbreaks had occurred, dated back almost to the time of George Washington, and other jails which were antiquated included the Maryland State Penitentiary at Baltimore, built in 1805, and the Massachusetts Penitentiary at Charleston, built during the Revolution. The Rahway State Prison Farm in New Jersey, which Mr. Pearson had just visited, was relatively modern, built in 1890, but looked as out of date as an English castle and was surrounded by suburban areas. It had been built to house 700 inmates but now had 1,000. The Rahway prisoners who had staged the riot had a legitimate gripe regarding not receiving adequate hearings before the New Jersey Parole Board, with full due process.

In contrast to these outdated methods, he had visited Folsom Prison in California and there listened to the parole board in action, under the direction of Walter Gordon, who had played football with Governor Earl Warren at the University of California and was regarded as one of the outstanding penal experts in the nation. A black prisoner from Arkansas came before the board, who had been convicted of murder after migrating to California to pick fruit, and one of the parole board members, who was a former police officer, had every detail of his record at hand.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find that the results of the New York and Pennsylvania primaries might well prove to be General Eisenhower's most significant wins since New Hampshire. Senator Taft's supporters had expected that he would acquire at least 20 delegates from New York, but, in fact, he had obtained between only one and four of the 96.

In Pennsylvania, 800,000 voters cast their ballots for General Eisenhower in a state where usually few people bothered to vote in the primaries. While the popular vote did not determine the number of the 70 delegates to be distributed among the candidates, it did indicate a substantial popular vote surge for the General, which could translate into a bandwagon effect. Pennsylvania Governor John S. Fine controlled the largest portion of the delegation, and while his personal choice appeared to be Senator Taft, the primary vote should influence him in the General's direction, which could translate into a stampede in states like Texas and Colorado.

Governor Fine was, however, subject to the state Republican machine which was pro-Taft, and had been involved in a sharp dispute with Pennsylvania's Senator James Duff, who was one of the primary supporters of General Eisenhower. So it was possible that the Governor might support either candidate and his decision would probably determine such vital questions as which delegation would be seated if a contest developed in Texas. It was quite possible that the outcome of the Republican race would hang on Governor Fine's decision, and under such circumstances, he could have about whatever he wanted from either of the two camps.

Robert C. Ruark, in Fort Worth, tells of encountering a woman who, after dinner, had lit up a cigar, to which he had expressed disturbance, telling her that men would not wish to kiss a woman who smoked cigars as they would be thinking only of the cigar at the time. That had annoyed the woman and she insisted that she ought to be able to smoke a cigar, just as men had been doing for years.

"But you dames are going to put yourselves right out of business as members of the human race, sezzi, if you keep on smoking cigars and running for office all the time and shooting the Injuns and molding the nation in direct competition to your opposite numbers, who are supposed to be strong and rugged while you are weak and kind of cute. And I would not, even with your husband's permission, want to kiss a girl who smokes cigars."

He thus complains generally about the tendency of women in modern times to seek to compete with men at every turn and at every level of society without regard to the damage it was doing to femininity in the process.

He indicates that the woman continued to be angry, but at about that time the floor show began with a singer who sang "the frightfully sophisticated stuff" about her husband being a bum for coming home late or not coming home at all, or else being so dreadfully dull that he was useless as a man around the house.

A letter from Republican candidate for Congress, Charles R. Jonas, in Lincolnton, indicates that he had just concluded two public debates, one with Arkansas Congressman Brooks Hays and the other with educator Dr. Thomas Burton, and was glad just to be alive after the experience, until he read in the News an editorial of April 21 about the "Take Your Choice" radio program in which he had participated, destroying all of his self-confidence. He gleaned from the editorial that it appeared he had not made himself clear in the debate with Dr. Burton and explains that he was responding to Dr. Burton's opening statement, in which he had credited the Democrats with all of the progress made in the country during the previous 20 years, which he believed was taking too much credit, that much of it was the result of the "native intelligence and skills" of the people and the freedoms which the country enjoyed plus competitive free enterprise. He believed that there were progressives and reactionaries in both parties.

So he had undertaken to cite some of the accomplishments of the 80th Congress, under control of the Republicans, and was not, per se, "bragging" on that Congress, as the piece had insinuated. He was merely indicating that the country had not been wrecked by a Congress with Republicans in charge. He cites other accomplishments of that Congress which he had omitted during the radio program. He also indicates that the cutbacks in defense had left the country completely unprepared at the time of the outbreak of the Korean War.

He promises that if elected—as he would be—he would not follow any party line and would vote in every instance for what he honestly believed would be in the best interests of the country.

A letter writer indicates that in the February 14 issue of the National Voice, published in Los Angeles, it had been reported that 225 million dollars had been set aside for rum advertising each year, mainly by radio, television, newspapers and magazines. He believes that translated to a lot of liquor to be consumed each year, causing more people to be killed and more homes wrecked. He indicates that the owner of radio station KAKC in Tulsa had terminated his contract with the Mutual Broadcasting System and he thanks him for being a "100 percent Christian" who took a "stand for God and the right" even though it might cost him business. He concludes that if all the drinkers would accept Jesus as their personal saviour, they would be saved and would have no more desire to drink.

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