The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 29, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that two Soviet jet fighters had fired on an Air France passenger airliner over the Russian zone of Germany this date, wounding two German passengers and leaving 89 bullet holes in the plane's fuselage. The plane landed safely at Berlin's Tempelhof Air Base. Allied officials temporarily canceled all flights of Allied civil aircraft into Berlin. Pan American and British Airways resumed their flights, however, after a few hours, and only Air France continued to cancel flights until the following day. The pilot of the attacked plane stated that the two jet fighters made four passes as he was flying precisely in the center of the air corridor reserved for Western traffic into Berlin over the Soviet zone, at which point the fighters began firing their machine guns and cannon fire. There had been eleven passengers on the flight, none of whom were American. The weather at the time had been bright and sunny. U.S. pilots stated that the Soviet air patrols over the Russian zone were well-briefed regarding Allied rights in the three 20-mile air corridors between Berlin and West Germany. They said that Russian jet fighters frequently moved in to inspect foreign aircraft but that a pass by two fighters at the same time was "criminally foolish" even without gunfire. The U.S. High Commission said that an official protest had been made to the Russians regarding the incident.

The assistant Attorney General who had argued against a temporary injunction sought by the steel industry of the seizure by the President before the Federal District Court the prior Friday, suggesting that the President's powers were not subject to restraint by either the Congress or the judicial branch, stated in a written statement to the court this date that he did not claim that the President held unlimited powers. The court had still not issued its ruling.

Senator John Williams of Delaware told the Senate this date that three wealthy citizens, Marshall Field of Chicago, Richard J. Reynolds, Jr., of Winston-Salem, and David A. Schulte of New York, had been permitted to charge off their income taxes 90 percent of $410,000 worth of "loans" made to Democratic state committees during the period 1940 through 1948. He displayed what he indicated were copies of IRB letters authorizing the three men to charge off as non-business debts the major portion of the loans, which totaled $310,000 from Mr. Reynolds, $50,000 from Mr. Field, and $50,000 from Mr. Schulte. He suggested that those decisions showed that the Democratic Party had been financing a part of its political campaigns indirectly out of the Federal Treasury. Mr. Reynolds had loaned the Democratic State Committee of New York a total of $300,000 during the time in question. The Committee then offered in 1948 to settle the three notes for ten percent of their face value, which Mr. Reynolds had accepted. The resulting loss was deemed a non-business loss by the IRB.

The Treasury this date revised its savings bond program, raising interest rates on each series and discontinuing sales of series F and G bonds while initiating three new types. The most popular type, the series E defense bond, would have its interest rate raised from 2.9 to 3 percent.

Massachusetts voters turned out in the Democratic and Republican primaries this date amid temperatures in the 40s and drizzling rain, conditions not expected to depress the anticipated 124,000-voter turn out.

Congressman Reid F. Murray, 64, of Wisconsin died this date at Bethesda Naval Hospital. He was serving his seventh term in Congress.

A Pan American Stratocruiser carrying 50 persons was overdue this date on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Trinidad, with its ultimate destination New York.

Governor Kerr Scott stated in Raleigh in a press interview the previous night that because he and his Paroles commissioner, T. C. Johnson, did not agree on the candidate to support in the gubernatorial race, the paroles of some prisoners were being held up to avoid claims that the particular paroles were being given for political reasons. The Governor said it was unfortunate but that the two agreed on the matter. The Governor was backing Judge Hubert Olive in the race and Mr. Johnson was supporting eventual victor William B. Umstead. The Governor stated that his appointees who did not agree with him in the gubernatorial race ought resign their positions, but stated that he did not expect any resignations. He added that because the Governor did not have veto power in North Carolina and could not succeed himself, he was really a three-year Governor. He also asserted that another appointee, also a supporter of Mr. Umstead, was holding up the State building program and State spending so that the next governor would have a large surplus.

In Angier, N.C., a lone bandit brandishing a pistol in each hand robbed the First Citizens Bank of $44,500 and fled the scene. He was dressed in Army coveralls and a leather jacket and had ordered the cashier to fill a paper bag with money, then fled in a late-model Mercury or Ford. Roadblocks were immediately set up in the area by local law enforcement and FBI agents began a search for the man. A young teller stated that she was not tied up and that the man took the money and ran. He left about $4,500 in currency in the bank vault and made no attempt to get money from the cashiers' cages. The robber had attempted to lock the employees in the vault, but they had been able to emerge without trouble after he left. The same bank had been robbed in June, 1950 of $52,500 and the robber was later caught and convicted. If you see a man in Army coveralls and a leather jacket driving a late-model Mercury or Ford, call the police immediately.

On the inside of the newspaper appeared the second in the series by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, regarding "How To Live with Your Heart Condition".

On the editorial page, "Bitter, Idle, Homesick Refugees", another by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, this one written from the Israeli sector of Jerusalem, tells of the refugee problem in Jordan. He had visited the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, just a few miles from the recently excavated walls of Jericho, wherein lived 25,688 former residents of mandated Palestine, cut off from their homes by the Arab-Israeli war of 1948-49 and awaiting an improbable chance of return. It was the largest refugee camp in Hashemite Jordan, which held 500,000 refugees, causing problems in provision of basic services via overtaxed systems.

In all there were 800,000 such refugees, less than 250,000 of whom were living in camps provided by the U.N. Relief & Works Agency, the remainder living in tents or caves around the borders of Israel, in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt. All of the refugees received a basic ration of 1,600 calories per day from the U.N. agency and those in the camps received medical service, sanitary facilities, and instruction from school teachers. The refugees could build their own mud huts from the clay in the area but they had to rely on the U.N. agency for the few supporting timbers and reeds with which to construct the roofs. All of the inhabitants of the camp were Moslems, and so there was a mosque for their religious ceremonies.

He finds that the tragedy of the refugee camps was the continued idleness of so many potentially productive workers in an area which needed production if it was to lift itself from social and economic conditions reminiscent of the Middle Ages into the modern era. Only the U.N. agency officials and the children who attended school were occupied in the Aqabet Jaber camp. The Arab men spent their days in nearly complete idleness, hating the Jews, America, Great Britain, and anyone else on whom they could place blame for their troubles. The refugees came from all cultural, social and economic levels, some having been landowners in pre-Israel Palestine and others having been the equivalent of tenant farmers, while still others had been Bedouin nomads.

He tells of meeting one such refugee, 50 years old, who had owned 24 acres of land in what was now Israeli territory. He had estimated the worth of his holdings to be the equivalent of $18,000, though likely exaggerated. On the same night the British had surrendered the Palestine mandate in May, 1948, his village had been attacked by Israeli forces and the closest Arab troops were about three miles distant and occupied in another fight. He had assembled his family and gathered together a few personal belongings, then fled to Arab-held territory, where he had been since that time. He declared that he would not work anywhere outside his own land and would not accept compensation for the loss of his property and resettlement, but only wanted his land back. He did not hold the Jews responsible so much as the Americans and British, whom he believed had betrayed his people. He said that they would scorn them even if they gave them skyscrapers, that they only wanted their own lands and houses returned.

A Jordanian official with the U.N. agency had told Mr. McKnight and the group with whom he was traveling that this man's unwillingness to accept compensation and resettlement was typical of the majority of the refugees. That issue stood as a block to a permanent peace between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Israel did not wish to reabsorb the hundreds of thousands of Arabs, for understandable reasons which he promises to set forth in a future article. The Arab states best situated to absorb the refugees, principally Iraq and Syria, did not want them for equally understandable reasons. Thus, they remained in their present condition, idle, bitter and resentful, "a gold mine for Communist agitators and a mark on the conscience of a world that has not yet found the right answer to one of the biggest human problems of our times."

The next piece would deal with the conflicting Arab and Israeli viewpoints on the cause of the refugee problem and the responsibility for it.

"End of Another Era in Japan" tells of the war in Europe ending seven years earlier, as the San Francisco U.N. Conference began, Mussolini had been shot and hung in Italy, and in the Pacific, the island-hopping campaign continued, approaching closer to Japan, while B-29's maintained the aerial assault. At the time, soon to be fatally shot war correspondent Ernie Pyle's Brave Men and Richard Wright's Black Boy were non-fiction bestsellers.

Now, seven years later, the treaty with Japan had been signed the previous day, ending formal hostilities. That was not surprising, as attitudes and alliances changed quickly, and the times of April, 1945 now seemed in the distant past. It suggests that the ensuing seven years might record an even greater change.

Under the administration of General MacArthur and the negotiating ability of John Foster Dulles, with the statesmanship of Secretary of State Acheson, Japan had come a long way from its days under the divine Emperor and General Tojo. "The enthusiastic characteristics of the Japanese people and their leaders helped in the Democratic indoctrination."

It suggests that seven years hence, however, Japan might embrace some cause or creed with which the U.S. would disagree. Some of the problems which had caused Japan to become belligerent still remained, such as trade and tariff wars in the Pacific and Southeast Asia, and Japanese citizens being forbidden by immigration laws from entry to many countries. It suggests that the acid test of statesmanship would occur in the meeting of those and similar problems.

"Mesta Won't Miss" comments on the recent lauding of General Eisenhower's work in Europe by Perle Mesta, the Minister to Luxembourg, and the backlash it had caused among some leading Democrats for building up a Republican candidate for the presidency. She had discussed the matter with the President, and he had told her to keep right on making the speeches, and the previous week, she told an audience in Europe that he was a great man, adding that the President was also a great man.

The piece suggests that she would likely continue in her role, perhaps even becoming an ambassador, whether the Republicans or Democrats were to win the White House in November. It finds it an old technique, but one which usually worked.

Daniel R. Wright of the Wall Street Journal tells of the Textile Workers Union of America, the third largest union in the country behind the United Steelworkers and the UAW, being on the ropes. The union's membership was declining and its treasury depleted, as many of the Northern factories it had organized were fleeing to the South, where the TWUA had largely failed in its organizing efforts. The union claimed bargaining rights for about one-third of the 1.25 million textile workers in the U.S. and Canada. At its current annual convention in Cleveland, the union was faced with a potential schism, which would continue to hamper its effectiveness as a bargaining medium, regardless of whether there was a formal split or not.

The feuding leaders of the union, its president and executive vice-president, had worked in close harmony for many years, but in 1950, the president, Emil Rieve, had sought to purge the executive vice-president, George Baldanzi, but the latter had defeated the Rieve candidate. Mr. Baldanzi believed it was likely that there would be another attempt to unseat him at the current convention. The followers of Mr. Rieve believed that the trouble lay in Mr. Baldanzi's hopes to take over the union rather than supporting his boss. Mr. Baldanzi replied that he was not cut out to be a yes-man, indicating that Mr. Rieve ran the executive committee of the union as Joseph Stalin ran the Politburo.

Meanwhile, union members, subject to an adjustable cost-of-living contract clause, had recently taken a one cent per hour wage cut because of a reduction in the cost of living. The union's treasury, which had been at 4.5 million dollars early the previous year, now approached three million dollars. Unemployment and strikes had cut the dues-paying members to under 300,000 from its peak of 375,000 a year earlier.

Union people claimed that the union would recover its losses when the general textile picture improved, but the thing about which they worried most was the general failure in the South to organize to the degree they had hoped. Presently, 80 percent of the cotton and rayon industry was located in the South and all of the new synthetic fiber plants were being located there. The union bargained for about one-fifth of the Southern textile work force, about 125,000 workers, whereas it bargained for about 85 percent of those in the North, about 250,000 workers. During the previous two years, the TWUA had lost about 12,000 members in the South, for which the union blamed the employers and their anti-union campaigns.

A year earlier, a strike in the South of 40,000 workers had cost the union 1.25 million dollars to finance for five weeks, while at the same time it had cost only $50,000 to maintain 70,000 New England workers on strike for a month. The difference was that in the South, the workers asked for payments to keep up the installments on their cars and other consumer goods, whereas in the North, the strikers could be counted on to tighten their belts as soon as the strike was threatened.

Mr. Baldanzi meanwhile expressed great faith in the Southern textile workers and said that the TWUA's future hung on its success in the South.

Drew Pearson tells of a lot of people speculating that the President might yet change his mind and consent to be drafted by the Democratic convention at the last minute, especially if the Republicans were to nominate Senator Taft. A close friend of the President who had served under him as an ambassador had counseled him not to place himself in a position where he could not ultimately be drafted, but the President had responded that he was a mule who would not change his mind once he had made it up.

Chip Bohlen of the State Department had entered a staff conference the previous Thursday indicating that the President had dropped a diplomatic bombshell at his April 24 press conference regarding the alleged "ultimatum" to Russia in 1946 anent their withdrawal from Iran. Because the country's allies were concerned that just such an ultimatum might drag them into war with Russia, the State Department then worked for two hours preparing a diplomatic disclaimer regarding the President's impromptu remark, indicating that the President had intended "ultimatum" in its lay sense. The State Department had been equally unhappy about the President's statement at the previous week's press conference, in response to a question regarding seizure of the press and radio, that he had to do what he must in the interests of the national welfare. The State Department feared that it might impact the fate of the most free and fairest newspaper in Bolivia, La Razon, as the new Bolivian government had Communist links and could follow the example of Juan Peron in Argentina and seize the newspaper.

In addition, U.S. diplomats had been arguing at the U.N. for complete freedom of press and not all Latin American governments were in agreement, several having joined the Middle East and Asiatic countries in seeking to get the U.N. to adopt an amendment which would require newspapers to print statements by governments "correcting" supposedly erroneous news reports.

The Massachusetts primary taking place this date would be a tougher test of the voters' intelligence than even the Nebraska primary had been, where it had been necessary for the voters to write in correctly the name of Dwight Eisenhower, failing which would render their vote invalid. In Massachusetts, the voters had to know in advance the delegates pledged to General Eisenhower, as they were not labeled, whereas those delegates supporting Senator Taft were. The reason for the discrepancy was that the candidate had to provide written consent for his name to appear on the ballot, and General Eisenhower had not done so. In addition, the Taft managers had submitted a second set of delegates in several districts to provide further confusion for the voters.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the recent sticking point in the Korean truce negotiations caused by the disclosure to the Communists by the U.N. command that 100,000 of the 170,000 U.N. prisoners of war had decided against voluntary repatriation, preferring death to return to Communist hands. The disclosure had prompted the Communists to cry foul and provided yet another rift in an ongoing series of rifts in the negotiations. Originally, it had been estimated that only about 2,500 of the U.N. prisoners would decide against repatriation.

In addition, Secretary of State Acheson had brushed aside the Soviet peace offensive as simply more Soviet propaganda, with the result that the current deadlock in negotiations caused it to appear likely that there was little prospect soon for peace in Korea. Meanwhile, during the truce talks, the Communists had been able to strengthen their front line and middle supply positions, as well as their air strength.

They question whether the U.S. Army could remain stranded indefinitely in Korea. The prospect of either withdrawal or mounting a sufficient offensive to break the back of the Communists once and for all were not regarded by the U.S. as palatable alternatives, and so the war was likely to continue in its present twilight status while negotiations dragged on with little or no progress. The imminent departure in a month by U.N. supreme commander General Matthew Ridgway to take the place of General Eisenhower as supreme commander of NATO only complicated matters the more, as General Ridgway had been successful in the position.

They conclude that while the drift continued, the danger remained in Korea.

Robert C. Ruark, in Fort Worth, tells of Hank Green having established the Western Hills hotel, actually more of a deluxe motel, with such amenities as 24 hour per day room service, five kinds of air conditioning, and ice machines within a few steps of every room, plus special kennels for guests' dogs. The establishment had a fancy private bar, dress shops, and a steak bar which allowed the customer to select and brand their own slabs of beef, while attending dinner in any form of dress. He regards it as being the finest hotel, in many respects, which he had ever seen anywhere and presented a departure from the European-management style of hotels with which America had been cursed. No longer did it cater to the tip-grabbing bellhops.

That is a nice way to spend an afternoon, writing a column about the motel in which one was staying, amid air conditioned comfort with plenty of ice nearby.

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