The Charlotte News

Monday, April 28, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that stormy weather in Korea had held air and ground action to a minimum. The Fifth Air Force reported that its pilots had destroyed 29 enemy supply vehicles at Wonsan but that generally airstrikes had been fruitless.

About 100 Chinese Communists, supported by mortar fire, had attacked an allied position northeast of Kumhwa on the central front, but were repulsed after reaching to within hand grenade range. Two allied patrols on the central front had occupied an enemy position southeast of Kumsong after a daylong battle on Sunday.

Allied supreme command headquarters in Tokyo indicated that the enemy had built a defense belt across Korea during the course of the truce talks, begun nine and a half months earlier, but that the buildup did not yet pose any threat to the U.N. forces. The report indicated that enemy troop strength stood at more than 750,000 men, most of whom were Chinese, and that more than half of the enemy's 1,500 planes were jets. Allied planes, however, still controlled the air over Korea, but, nevertheless, the Communists had been able to build up their front line supplies. The buildup had not carried with it offensive intentions, but it did suggest the enemy's intent to maintain a strong position in Korea.

U.N. supreme commander in Korea, General Matthew Ridgway, was, as anticipated, appointed by the President to succeed General Eisenhower as NATO supreme commander in Europe. At the same time, as also anticipated, the President announced the appointment of General Mark Clark to succeed General Ridgway in Korea and as Far East commander of U.S. forces. General Alfred Gruenther would continue as chief of staff to the NATO commander, the same position he had held under General Eisenhower. The appointments would become effective June 1, at which point General Eisenhower had requested and was granted relief from his appointment. The President's statement accompanying the changes in command is included in the story.

The Japanese peace treaty, formally ending hostilities with Japan, became effective this date, and the Soviets immediately denounced it and the accompanying U.S.-Japanese security pact as "treaties for the preparation of a new war in the Far East". The treaty formally ended Allied occupation of Japan.

The Department of Defense reported 49 additional battle casualties in Korea, of whom 13 had been killed, 34 wounded and two injured in accidents.

The Army brought court martial charges against Maj. General Robert Grow, former military attaché in Moscow, whose diary had been copied by Communist agents in Germany the previous year. He was charged with "improperly recording classified military information in private records and failing properly to safeguard military information." He had written in his diary that he thought that war with Russia was imminent. A person, believed to be a Soviet agent, had slipped into his room in Frankfurt, Germany, the previous summer and photographed portions of the diary. His case had been referred to the commander of the Second Army, who would hold further hearings to determine whether the charges should be referred to a formal court martial.

The Federal District Court judge in Washington had still not issued any ruling on the application by the steel industry for a temporary injunction of the President's seizure of the industry and the impending Government imposition of wage increases, presumably to be consistent with the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendation for a 17.5 cent per hour wage increase. The President, in response to the criticism of the assistant Attorney General who had argued the case the prior Friday, indicating that the President had unlimited executive authority in an emergency, not subject to restraint by the courts or Congress, took a narrower view of his power, indicating that it was "limited, of course, by the provisions of the Constitution, particularly those that protect the rights of individuals." He added that he was certain that the Constitution did not require him, however, to "endanger our national safety by letting all the steel mills shut down in this critical time".

Meanwhile, Congressman Joe Martin of Massachusetts, House Republican leader, called into session the Republican policy committee of the House to discuss the seizure, stating that "a whole alien philosophy of government is being propounded which would scrap all precedents, all legal teachings, and 163 years of basic tradition in America."

The Supreme Court, in Zorach v.Clauson, 343 U.S. 306, upheld New York's released-time program for providing religious instruction to public school students off school grounds. Justice William O. Douglas delivered the 6 to 3 decision of the court, from which Justices Hugo Black, Felix Frankfurter and Robert Jackson each dissented. Under the program in various states, an estimated two million students were freed from regular classes to receive religious instruction. The New York program afforded one hour each week for such release, upon the parents' request, with the religious instruction occurring away from the school. Two mothers of pupils had contended that the program violated the Constitution's prohibition against establishment of a religion. The Court majority, however, held that because no one was forced to attend religious instruction and no religious instruction occurred on the public school property and that each student was left to his own desires, there was no implication of establishment or interference with free exercise of religion under the First Amendment.

The Supreme Court also upheld, in Madsen v. Kinsella, 343 U.S. 341, an 8 to 1 decision delivered by Justice Harold Burton, the conviction of a woman for the murder of her Army officer husband in Germany, for which she had been sentenced to 15 years in prison. She had shot her husband with a pistol on October 20, 1949, following a party at an air base, during which the wife had been teased about her Brooklyn accent. The issue before the Court was whether the military tribunal which tried and sentenced her was Constitutionally authorized to try civilians. Justice Black dissented on the basis that the military tribunal which tried the case in Germany was not set up by Congress but rather by executive officers appointed by the President, and therefore lacked jurisdiction under the Constitution to try civilians, the exclusive legislative authority under Article I belonging to the Congress, which should therefore have exclusive authority to establish any courts for the purpose of trying American citizens abroad.

Oklahoma, Delaware, Tennessee and Massachusetts were holding conventions to complete their convention delegations. Political observers were primarily focusing on Massachusetts, home state of General Eisenhower's campaign manager, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., who claimed that most of the state's 38 delegates would go to the General. Potentially, he would receive 30 of the delegates, while Senator Taft would only obtain two, with six going to the convention uncommitted. The voters would determine 28 of the delegates for the Republicans and 72 for the Democrats, though the results were not binding on the delegates and voters had to write in their preference.

The captain of the aircraft carrier Wasp, which had rammed a destroyer, the Hobson, in mid-Atlantic seas on Saturday night, reported that the 176 seamen listed as missing had apparently died in the disaster, one of the worst in the Navy's peacetime history. Sixty-one men had been rescued, though some of them seriously injured. The incident occurred in murky darkness amid waves surging to 25 feet high, during maneuvers 700 miles from shore, when the Hobson crossed the bow of the Wasp, the latter outweighing the former by five times. The Hobson had split in two and had sunk within four minutes after the collision. The captain of the Hobson was among those listed as missing. The destroyer had been involved in the battle for Okinawa during World War II. Several sailors from the two Carolinas had been aboard the Hobson and are listed in an adjacent story, though not necessarily among the missing.

In London, Queen Elizabeth announced that she would be formally crowned on June 2, 1953.

Dr. W. C. Alvarez begins another series, this one consisting of nine parts and titled, "How to Live with Your Heart Condition", advising that first, one should find out whether one's heart was actually diseased. He suggests that perhaps the only thing wrong was that a person had been turned down for life insurance or for military service or that a doctor had informed the patient that they had a heart murmur or that their heart missed beats. An able heart specialist would have told a patient complaining of a little chest pain or a small change in the patient's electrocardiogram that it was essentially normal and that the changes were the result of aging, a person's stout build, a small increase in blood pressure or medicine the patient was taking. Patients who became suddenly worried about such minor changes often ventured from doctor to doctor, spending hundreds of dollars on useless re-examinations and treatments, sometimes finding pessimistic doctors who would scare them even more. He suggests that such patients ought take to heart the maxim that he who treated himself had a fool for a patient.

He advises that electrocardiograms were the product of machines, like any other machine, and were subject to error or aberrant results based on transitory issues with the patient, such as drinking a glass of cold water or engaging in physical exercise shortly before the test.

As we have said before, the less you see of the doctor, the better your health will likely be. It is akin to going to the automobile mechanic every time you hear an unusual squeak or slight sound as your car gets a little older. Adequate rest and exercise are usually the best prescription for good health, and staying away from "wonder drugs" promoted by big pharmaceutical companies. There are, of course, diseases which are real and require serious treatment, but most people do not have them except in their worried imaginations, sometimes confirmed by bad, drug company-induced medical advice.

Get off the couch, fatso, and stop eating yourself to death. Fat-shaming is good for the heart. Do a favor for someone you know who is overweight and ask them how they got to be so repulsively and grotesquely corpulent. And damn the fat, stupid social-media people, most of whom are about four years old, at least mentally if not chronologically, who want to inhibit everyone from self-expression of personal opinion, except the fat, stupid social-media people.

And, whatever you do, stay away from that rayon and orlon, as they appear deadly.

On the editorial page, "A Repugnant Concept" finds the assistant Attorney General's statements during the court case between the Government and the steel industry, in which he had commented that the executive's authority was not subject to limit by Congress or the judicial branch, but was only answerable "to the country" and that his acts were "conclusive", to be "probably the most sweeping conception of executive power that has ever been pronounced in an authoritative case." It indicates that it could not stomach such a conception, which could lead to totalitarian rule by "an overambitious or irresponsible President".

The Government had asked the court not to rule on this constitutional issue, but only on the request by the steel industry for a temporary injunction of the seizure.

It finds that the makers of the Constitution had deliberately left large areas of it vague and that this vagueness had worked well for the most part in terms of executive powers, permitting expansion of those powers as civilization became more complex and rapid of pace, developing through court rulings and acts of Congress. It was of paramount importance in the atomic age that the executive be able to act swiftly in an emergency.

It indicates that it did not agree with those who were saying that the President was seeking to set himself up as a dictator, but also finds that his words and actions had increasingly indicated a "dangerous disregard for tripartite government." The steel industry had aroused his wrath and he appeared to be in a mood to say that he would "show 'em who's boss". And now the Administration was suggesting that even the courts could not restrain the executive.

It suggests again that the Congress ought address the issue of what to do about a strike or threatened strike in a critical industry, such as steel, involving the national interest and defense. If the seizure were merely held to be invalid or if Congress cut off funds necessary for the Government to operate the industry, leading to a strike, a disastrous situation would result. But to suggest that the President was beyond the jurisdiction of the courts was, it opines, "completely repugnant to democratic principles" and such a concept had to be challenged. If it could not be, then the Constitution ought be amended to clarify executive power and its limits.

Don't worry. About twenty years down the pike, we shall receive a primer on the issue from the new Vice-President in 1953.

"For War or Peace" indicates that if society had an active civil defense program, it would likely not be needed, whereas if it did not stress it, there was a greater chance that it would be needed and that many casualties would result in the event of war. Such a dilemma had understandably plagued the Congress, which had decided to have a little bit of civil defense, while the Civil Defense administrator wanted more.

It indicates that the little bit of civil defense had shown its peacetime worthiness during the Missouri Valley floods, when hundreds of volunteer firemen, policemen and first-aid workers, who had been trained by the civil defense organization, had gone into action. The civil defense organization had been able, for instance, to supply an inventory of the available trucking, which the engineers wanted initially. It suggests that Congress should bear in mind this dual purpose of civil defense when considering its appropriation.

"Bad Example by the ANPA" follows its Saturday editorial on the executive sessions being held by the local Board of Education, telling now of the American Newspaper Publishers Association, at its annual meeting the previous week in New York, having barred reporters from meetings at which publishers had criticized secrecy and "creeping censorship" in the government. The group had issued a statement afterward which, according to the New York Post, had failed to mention the strong position taken by at least one publisher against Senator Joseph McCarthy's attempts to intimidate publications by stimulating advertiser boycotts against Time magazine and other publications which had engaged in criticism of him.

It finds the action hypocritical, in having met in secret to criticize secrecy and censorship. ANPA was not a public body but was a very influential private one and deserved full news coverage.

"A Thought about Communism" quotes an editorial from the Richmond News Leader, saying that there was no jazz in Russia and, in consequence, the Soviet musicians, having to stick to the "pure and peaceful ideals of Stalinism", had produced increasingly worse music. It thinks the point valid.

It indicates that the majority of Russians prior to the Revolution had been uneducated, but that the majority presently had been educated under a rigid, restrictive system, suggesting that they were unproductive and dull, without creative spark. Yet, the free world was in fear of the Soviet divisions, its atomic bombs, and its jets in Korea, superior to U.S. jets. It wonders whether it could be said that slave labor, German scientists and a relatively few brilliant fanatics had been responsible for these strides forward in science and agriculture, suggestive of there being perhaps more freedom in Russia than Americans could discern through the filter of the Iron Curtain, or that Communism had proved to be more productive than Americans wanted to believe. It indicates that it does not know the answer, but that it was something to think about.

A piece from the LaGrange (Ga.) Daily News, titled "Don't Strike the Colors", indicates that it wanted to know what was wrong with flying the Confederate flag. It finds that the Navy had reported that its "Dixie" destroyer fleet would haul down its colors, having been so dubbed because its four captains were all from the South and were flying Confederate flags. A retired investment broker had written in complaint of the practice to Navy Secretary Dan Kimball, suggesting disciplinary action after he had read in a magazine that the four destroyers had flown the Confederate flag in Hong Kong and other ports.

The piece wants some "Rebel lawyer" to draw up a resolution for Congress, authorizing use of Confederate flags "'whenever the situation warrants'". "There are just some natural spots on the globe where a Yankee flag ain't wanted."

We suspect that at those spots, a Confederate flag would be even less wanted, assuming the beholders of it understood that which it represented.

Drew Pearson tells of a prospective Democratic delegate from Gary, Ind., having recently sought "expense money" from Senator Kefauver in exchange for the delegate's support at the convention. He had made the request in a confidential letter dated March 29, addressed to the Kefauver campaign headquarters. Mr. Pearson quotes at length from the letter, the delegate having suggested that he needed $1,000 for expenses, that which he said had been estimated per delegate in 1948. When contacted by the column, the delegate stated that he was a "political amateur" and did not ask the Senator for any money but had only asked his campaign manager whether he could help him out. He had stated in the letter that "for the time being" he would have to remain in the background of the campaign for Senator Kefauver. Meanwhile, the Senator indicated that he was not interested in subsidizing delegates but might be interested in trying to catch someone who was trying to do so. Mr. Pearson notes that the Republican Party in the South was notorious for buying delegates, and it looked as if the system was spreading.

He adds that the American people had little or nothing to say about the nomination process, which was why he was still conducting his postcard poll, now soliciting votes for the Democratic nominee. His Republican poll had shown that 49 percent favored General Eisenhower, while 36 percent supported Senator Taft.

Mobilization officials were talking privately of building up a four million-ton stockpile of aluminum, in case of war. Aluminum czar Samuel Anderson had indicated that a one million-ton stockpile would be conceivable by 1960, based on currently planned expansion and by limiting civilian consumption to the present level until 1960. He foresaw opposition from the civilian sector for being deprived of more aluminum during that period and so urged filling of civilian orders first and stockpiling only the surplus. A member of the National Research Council warned that long storage of aluminum could result in deterioration, as a coating formed on it after such storage which had to be melted off. Production boss Manly Fleishmann suggested that rotating the stored aluminum in an exchange arrangement with producers could avoid that prospect.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Senator Richard Russell having pledged to fight to avoid significant cuts in the defense and foreign aid appropriations bills, leading many Democratic leaders to wish that he were not from the deep South so that he could be taken seriously as a presidential candidate.

The less popular foreign aid program might not be cut by more than a billion dollars, half of what had been originally optimistically forecast. The intervention of one influential Senator therefore might serve to protect the most important national policies. The vote in the House to cut overall defense appropriations by 4.2 billion dollars and to forbid the Defense Department from spending six billion dollars of funds already appropriated for 1953, engineered by old Republican isolationists in coalition with Southern extremists, appeared as a suicidal impulse.

Meanwhile, the Soviet atomic stockpile was approaching a decisive size and the Red Air Force consisted of 20,000 planes, with Soviet aircraft production at 1,000 planes per month and a turbo-prop intercontinental bomber, similar to the B-36, likely already in production. The House cuts would condemn the U.S. to permanent inferiority in the air. Based on the President's budget, there were to be 96 air groups in 1953, 120 in 1954 and 126 in 1955, already considered dangerously delayed of achievement, as the Joint Chiefs had indicated that 126 groups constituted the minimum reasonable peacetime strength in the air.

Then, the House vote put off by two or more years the attainment of that minimum number. Unless the Senate reversed the cut, the effect would be to give the country 83 air groups in 1953, 104 in 1955 and the 126-group minimum in 1957, if it could be realized at all. Both the Strategic Air Force, the great deterrent to aggression, and the Tactical Air Force, the home defense component, would be crippled by those cuts.

Congressman Carl Vinson of Georgia, the chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, had fought hard against such election-year "madness". But Congressman Frederick R. Coudert of New York, echoing slogans supplied by the Chamber of Commerce and the National Manufacturers Association, had, with Southern help, pushed the cuts through to passage.

Not mentioned by the Alsops, Marquis Childs had pointed out two weeks earlier that Congressman John F. Kennedy, on April 9, had fought hard for passage of sufficient appropriations to enable a 143-group Air Force by 1955, but that effort had been defeated by the House.

Roscoe Drummond, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, indicates that two events during the previous week had taken on clearer meaning when viewed together, one having occurred in Lake Charles, La., where Judge Bernard Cooke delivered a 181-page decision acquitting five Louisiana newspapermen indicted on a charge of "defaming" public officials, and the other having occurred in Washington, when the President had asserted to the American Society of Newspaper Editors, in the context of his weekly press conference, that he had constitutional powers to seize the newspapers and radio networks any time he deemed it in the national interest. It recommends the decision by Judge Cooke to the White House, especially where it indicated that any citizen or newspaper had the right to criticize the public acts of officials and that without that right there would be a dictatorial form of government.

Mr. Drummond finds that the decision went to the heart of democratic freedoms under the First Amendment, without which there could be no liberty at all.

Press secretary Joseph Short had put out a statement the morning after the President's comment, attenuating its impact by indicating that the President had not intended for it to be taken seriously. Mr. Drummond, however, finds the disclaimer to be not very reassuring, even though it was plausible that the President's statement was intended to be jocular, though not making it any less ominous. He suggests that a jest sometimes would reveal a man's true thinking on a subject more than a carefully contrived statement. In the case of the President, he had actually seized the steel industry. (The President, at the start of his April 24 press conference, indicated that the press commentary on his answer to the prior week's question regarding seizure of the press and radio was "a lot of hooey", that he had never thought of doing so.)

The Louisiana case involved members of the press having carried on a sustained crusade against the failure of Lake Charles officials to enforce the laws against gambling, prompting a grand jury, which had been called to investigate gambling, to wind up indicting the newspaper editors for defaming the gamblers and criticizing public officials. Judge Cooke's decision effectively threw the case out of court.

He concludes that if the Government seized newspapers, the editors would be essentially working for the Government and would no longer be free to criticize public acts.

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., finds that Charlotte had the cleanest streets of any city in the U.S. or Europe, and that he had seen no girl or woman in the city who could be called "homely". He indicates that the city had some of the finest people in the world and that he liked it and its people. Its churches were overcrowded on Sundays and its schools were unsurpassed. Its Saturday night dances for the young people were a credit to the city. Its motion picture theaters compared to those in Hollywood. The streets were well guarded at night and during the day by "courteous cops who wear a bigger heart than they do a badge." Freedom Park was a thing of beauty and the wonderful hospitals were well-equipped and had some of the finest nurses.

"With a song in my heart I salute you of Charlotte. Keep it clean. Keep it Queen. Keep it where ugliness is never found. I can stand on the Square and fall in love with every young thing passing by N. Tryon St. Oh! it's criminal to have such beautiful women … but ah, who doesn't love it!"

Someone needs to get him a pair of glasses, without the rose lenses.

A letter from Donald S. Charles, chief of the Fire Department in Charlotte, thanks the newspaper for its editorial of April 22, which had given him credit for unraveling quickly the three church arson cases, which turned out to be caused by a teenage girl.

A letter writer, who intended to run for the State Senate in the Republican Party primary, indicates that the fight for rejuvenation of the party in the South had to continue, but that as presently constituted, the party could never be successful at the polls in the South. As long as it remained a collection of Federal office seekers and their "stooges" and "political coattail riders", only slightly above the old carpetbaggers "who disgraced the Republican Party in the South" 75 years earlier, it could never make a successful appeal to the intelligent patriots of the South. He indicates that in 1948 and in 1950, he had run as a Republican, but had received no support or cooperation from the Republican organization. He stands for a Republican Party of the voters and he wants to make it clear that he was appealing to the voters directly.

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