The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 3, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that there were rumors of a possible break in the prisoner exchange deadlock in the Korean truce talks this date, as an allied spokesman disclosed that the recently inaugurated secret talks on the issue were postponed for 24 hours for "constructive purposes". U.N. supreme commander, General Matthew Ridgway, Eighth Army commander, General James Van Fleet, and other generals had flown to Munsan in Korea for conferences with the U.N. truce negotiation team. The Eighth Army was set to handle the actual exchange of prisoners.

The subcommittee on truce supervision met for the first time in two months this date to attempt to break the deadlock over the Communists' demand that Russia be nominated as a neutral nation to inspect ports and other facilities for compliance during a truce, but it was reported by the allies that nothing new had taken place.

U.S. Sabre jets destroyed or damaged eight enemy jets this date, bringing the total number of enemy jets destroyed or damaged during the first three days of April to 40, more than a third during the entire month of March. This date's three battles included the longest jet battle on record, lasting 45 minutes between 18 Sabres and 60 MIG-15s.

The Administration threatened to seize the steel industry unless they reached agreement to avert the threatened strike set for the following Tuesday, April 8. About 700,000 of the United Steelworkers out of the union's one million members were ready to strike at that time. The other 300,000, principally in the steel fabricating plants, were still under contract and therefore ineligible to strike. The threat of seizure of the industry by the President prompted Senator Taft to state that it was "very high-handed and arbitrary" and, he believed, illegal.

Senator Taft's legal analysis would eventually be borne out by the Supreme Court.

Attorney General J. Howard McGrath fired newly appointed Government corruption sleuth Newbold Morris, issuing to him a curt letter notifying him of the decision. Mr. McGrath did not indicate whether the President had formally approved of the action, but it followed a series of talks with the President the previous day, including an apparently heated exchange at National Airport as the two awaited the arrival of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. Mr. McGrath had appointed Mr. Morris on February 1, but had become disenchanted with him after Mr. Morris had issued a questionnaire to top Government officials seeking disclosure of outside income and overall income. The Attorney General had released the letter of termination to the press even before Mr. Morris had received it, considered brusque by Washington standards. The Attorney General was surrounded by FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and others in the Justice Department when he made the announcement.

Daniel Bolich, formerly a top official at the IRB, refused to answer questions of the House Ways & Means Committee investigating the tax scandals, providing only his address, pleading the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to the rest. The Committee sought to explore testimony received the previous day from two special intelligence agents of the IRB that in five years as chief of the IRB's New York intelligence office and later as assistant commissioner, Mr. Bolich had been paid $53,000 by the Government, but had spent at least $115,000.

The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 2 in Ray v. Blair, 343 U.S. 214, that candidates to become presidential electors could be required to pledge loyalty to their national party, overturning an Alabama court ruling that a Democratic candidate for a presidential elector could not be barred from the state's primary ballot because he had refused to promise to cast his electoral vote for the eventual Democratic nominees for president and vice-president. The elector in question had refused to cast a vote for the President or for anyone who advocated the "Truman-Humphrey civil rights program". The Court indicated that full opinions would follow later, the decision this date, for reason of urgency, being rendered only in the form of a per curiam opinion. Justice Stanley Reed would deliver the opinion of the Court, with Justices Robert Jackson and William O. Douglas dissenting. Justices Hugo Black and Felix Frankfurter took no part in the decision.

In Paris, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., chairman of the Eisenhower-for-President movement, arrived to discuss with General Eisenhower the prospects that he could be nominated on the first ballot at the Republican convention in July. He expressed optimism regarding the outcome of the New Jersey primary on April 15. He refused comment on what he would specifically discuss with the General, telling reporters that the outcome of the Nebraska primary, won by Senator Taft in a write-in vote, would not impact the General's candidacy. He suggested that the method of write-ins in Nebraska had made it into a spelling bee rather than a popularity contest, as it was much harder to spell Eisenhower than Taft.

In Vermillion, Kans., a B-29 crashed early this date, killing two aboard, while 12 others parachuted to safety. The body of a colonel had been thrown clear of the wreckage and a corporal's parachute had failed to open.

Queen Juliana of the Netherlands urged a joint session of Congress not to imitate Iron Curtain countries which placed so much emphasis on defense that their economic, social and cultural well-being suffered. She stated that the U.S. could count on support from the Netherlands and indicated that, with the aid of the U.S., her country had been able to stand once more on its own feet economically. She stated that European unity was growing and that political integration might come eventually. She also predicted that the negative portion of the world embracing slavery would eventually have to yield to the democratic nations. She and her husband, Prince Bernhard, were the first guests to be received at the newly renovated White House, from which the Trumans had been absent for three years, living across the street at Blair House, until the prior Thursday.

A nationwide strike of about 30,000 Western Union Telegraph Co. operators began this date over a dispute regarding wages and hours. Meanwhile, Federal mediators arranged a delay until the following Monday of a scheduled strike of telephone workers in three states, Michigan, Ohio and Northern California.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of the nationwide strike of Western Union employees having brought local telegraph operations nearly to a halt, as the Charlotte local had directed its employees to join the strike. It was the first telegraphers' strike in the city since 1919.

In Boston, the Massachusetts Senate considered a bill to forbid drinking of beer or other alcoholic beverages in the seating areas at sporting events, but after long debate, defeated it by a vote of 19 to 9. One State Senator said that spectators at ballgames were fed up with having beer spilled on them while they were watching the games, while another Senator argued that the bill would be a hardship for football fans, that they would not have any way to stay warm.

How about coffee or hot chocolate? You're going to die of obesity or heart failure drinking enough cold beer to stay warm on a freezing day.

On the editorial page, "It's Still a Horse Race" tells of Senator Taft having re-emerged as a viable candidate for the Republican presidential nomination after the Wisconsin and Nebraska primaries the prior Tuesday, and that Senator Kefauver had so emerged on the Democratic side with the President now out of the race. On the other hand, Harold Stassen, it ventures, might as well go back to the University of Pennsylvania, where he was currently president.

Not so apparent in those results was the fact that one of the more isolationist states in the country, Nebraska, had voted about four to three for internationalist candidates running against isolationist candidates. Wisconsin had shown a similar trend, but General Eisenhower's name had not been on the ballot and write-in votes were not allowed, as they were in Nebraska, where both Senator Taft and General Eisenhower had been written in, winding up first and second, respectively, on the Republican side. Only Mr. Stassen and a proxy for General MacArthur had been on the ballot in Nebraska. It indicates that it regarded General Eisenhower, Mr. Stassen and Governor Warren as being in the internationalist camp and Senator Taft and General MacArthur and his proxy in the isolationist camp. And Senator Taft had failed to accumulate a majority in Nebraska.

It was still, however, a horse-race among Republicans, as Senator Taft currently had twice as many delegates committed as did General Eisenhower, albeit the total number still being small.

Governor Warren had shown enough strength in Wisconsin, it suggests, to warrant consideration as a compromise nominee or as the vice-presidential nominee, as he had been in 1948 with Governor Dewey.

Senator Kefauver had again demonstrated his ability as a vote-getter, as he had been actively challenged in Nebraska by Senator Robert Kerr, whose views were not very much different from those of Senator Kefauver, though somewhat more conservative. Marquis Childs had ventured the previous day that he believed Governor Stevenson would not enter the race, but the piece thinks that he still looked like a candidate. It ventures that the Senator would still be a potent candidate, even if the Governor did enter the race officially.

"The Proposed Fare Hike Looks Mighty Big" indicates that the new Charlotte Transit Line's proposed bus fare increase appeared unduly high. Presently, tokens sold at three for a quarter or a dime apiece for adults and four for a quarter for children, with no charge for transfers. One token would take the passenger anywhere on the line. The company proposed a straight ten-cent fare for adults, and transfers would cost two cents. Schoolchildren would be able to ride at 7.5 cents per ride, with a ten-ride book of tickets, or 9 cents if requiring a transfer. Trips which extended beyond a three-mile radius from Independence Square would necessitate entry to a second zone, requiring a nickel surcharge for adults and for children on non-school days. There were no compensating factors proposed, such as weekly passes or cross-town bus service.

The previous year, despite increased services, Duke Power Company had lost $290,000 on its bus operations and, therefore, a rate increase, it allows, might be justified, but would require some argument before convincing that the proposed rate increases by the new company were warranted.

It does not sound like L. A. Love for this new company to us.

But, apparently, at least the two zones were not laid out on the basis of some sort of segregationist city map, as one might expect down around Montgomery or Birmingham in this time frame.

"Here's Your Forgotten Man" tells of ministers having suffered more from decreasing real income in the country because of the rise in cost of living in 1950 than any other occupational group. The average full-time employee in churches and church institutions earned $2,276, whereas the average for all occupational groups was $3,024.

Nevertheless, seminaries remained crowded. At Duke Divinity School, for instance, enrollment had increased almost 100 percent during the previous four years. The need for ministers was great, with 15,000 empty pulpits in Protestant and Orthodox churches alone. It suggests that it was time for the public to take more interest in sustaining them.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Medals vs. Culprits", tells of Robert Ramspeck, Civil Service head, recently asking the National Press Club to help keep "rightdoers" in Government service from being smeared by wrongdoers. It points out that in the 225 Congressional investigations initiated in the 82nd Congress, many wrongdoers had been found, and of the 60 inquiries currently proceeding, many more would be. Yet, the Government was predominantly comprised of honest employees. So news organizations and the public had to keep things in proper perspective and take up the challenge of Mr. Ramspeck. The misdeeds of the few could not be used to indict the many.

Drew Pearson finds that the decision of the President not to run again would likely not change any policies of the Administration for the remainder of the term, as shown by the resignation of Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson the prior Friday. The President had known when he had his final argument with Mr. Wilson that he had no further political need to seek labor votes or kick big business in the teeth, and, yet, he continued to battle for the wage increase for the Steelworkers, just as he had for labor during the previous seven years of his Presidency.

Mr. Wilson was sulking at the Cabinet meeting of the previous Friday, when everyone else was welcoming the President home and telling of looking forward to his Jackson-Jefferson Day dinner speech the following night. After the meeting, Mr. Wilson met with the President and it was apparent from the look on Mr. Wilson's face that the two men were near the breaking point in relations.

He decided to tender his resignation after a meeting with Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam and Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall that afternoon, during which it became apparent that the latter two would not, because of the steel industry's large profits, allow an extraordinary price increase beyond that available under price controls. Mr. Wilson had argued that the recommended wage increase by the Wage Stabilization Board had to be offset by a substantial increase in the price of steel, to which Mr. Arnall objected on the basis that it would henceforth destroy all efforts at price control. Mr. Putnam agreed, as did the President, and the meeting adjourned with the understanding that it was better to risk a strike than to grant any greater price increase than that allowed under existing price control laws, about $2 per ton, well short of the $12 per ton sought by the industry. At that point, Mr. Wilson tendered his resignation.

On the day the President returned the prior week from his vacation to the remodeled White House, columnist Westbrook Pegler entered a Boston hospital, and Mr. Pearson suggests that it might have been the result of shock, as Mr. Pegler had argued that the White House should be destroyed as a symbol "of royalty and privilege and of the verminous infestation of the American Government by traitors, vile opportunists peddling imperial favor and trimming suckers."

Marquis Childs tells of plans being made to replace General Eisenhower as supreme commander of NATO with General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, set to replace General Eisenhower at the point in the near future when he would return home to run for the presidency. General Mark Clark was slated to replace General Ridgway. Previously, it was believed that Lt. General Alfred Gruenther, General Eisenhower's deputy, would be the replacement for General Eisenhower, but, instead, he was slated to be returned home to take over domestic field training, and then to become chief of staff of the Army when General J. Lawton Collins would leave that post when his tour of duty would end in August, 1953.

General Clark would also have the job of performing the transition of American troops in Japan from an occupational force to a mutual security force with a friendly nation, in light of the recently ratified treaty with Japan. He, along with the other generals, would have the job of continuing to be soldier-statesmen, as had been the case since the end of the war. Mr. Childs suggests that the country had been singularly fortunate to have men equipped and ready for these tasks, the outstanding example of whom had been General MacArthur in his administration of Japan in the postwar era.

He concludes that the final steps had not yet been taken toward effecting the changes he indicates, but they were indicative "once again of America's continuing responsibility in the four corners of the globe."

Robert C. Ruark tells of his hunch being that Senator Estes Kefauver would ultimately become the Democratic nominee for the presidency and that he would be able to beat anyone except General Eisenhower, and possibly even him. He suggests that Senator Kefauver was Southern enough to be acceptable by Southerners while being "Yankeefied sufficiently to appeal to the votes that don't fancy lynching, segregation and the kind of Mississippi insularity as typified by the late Senator Bilbo."

Senator Kefauver had gained national prominence the previous year from the televised hearings on organized crime and corruption in the country, at a time when the country was growing tired of the scandal-ridden Truman Administration. "Did he not stand four-square for motherhood and dogs on the TV sets of the nation? Aye, lad, and that he did."

General Eisenhower had not been around to cultivate his political popularity and was saddled with being a military man and a "hastily manufactured Republican who has operated under a Democratic aegis all his born days." He also appeared to be a "me-tooer", that is to say going along with the Administration's policies on foreign affairs and, perhaps, on many domestic policies as well.

Thus, he concludes that Senator Kefauver, with his principal obstacle, the President, now out of the way, appeared to him as a betting man to be the odds-on favorite for winning not only the nomination, but also the general election.

He adds that, after the President had finished his "give-'em-hell" speech at the 1948 Democratic convention, he proceeded to draft a piece which predicted that the President would win "over Tom Dewey's supine frame." But then he had said to himself that his thinking was ridiculous, that Governor Dewey was a shoo-in, and so ripped up the column, then kicking himself after the President achieved easy victory. So, this time, he was not going to tear up the piece on Senator Kefauver, but hopes that he would be wrong as he believed it was time for a change in the country's leadership.

A letter writer responds to a letter writer who had remarked on the controversy regarding the letter which the President claimed to have read to then-Secretary of State James Byrnes in January, 1946, anent the President's displeasure with Mr. Byrnes being overly coddling of the Soviets, completely denied by Governor Byrnes, both as to the coddling and having been read or aware of the letter. This writer wonders how the previous letter writer knew that the President had not read the letter to Mr. Byrnes, and states that he has a hunch that the President might have a note from the Governor acknowledging the letter. He concludes by quoting Mark Twain: "First get the facts, then distort them to suit your purpose."

A letter writer responds to a March 18 editorial, "Southerners Are Lazy Voters". She indicates that voting was one of the greatest privileges which a citizen had and that she, being a new resident in the state, had just investigated how she would be able to register, learning that she had to be a resident of the state for a full year before doing so. She favors revision of this law to prevent disfranchisement of voters new to the state regarding local and state issues. (She could, of course, vote still by absentee ballot in the Federal elections in her previous state of residence.)

A letter writer expresses appreciation to the members of the Golden Years Club of Hawthorne Center, of which she was a member during a three-month visit from New Jersey. She regrets that she had to bid au revoir to the other members, as she was departing again for her home state. She also wishes to congratulate the Recreation Commission of the city for its work with various centers, especially the Golden Years Clubs in bringing older people together to enjoy others of their age group.

A letter writer tells of having read in the newspaper of a bus driver who had warned people on the bus about their soul, thinks it one of the best things he could have done. "How many people go to Hell every day because no one seems to care? May God bless this good bus driver and keep him in His care."

Candidly, if a bus driver ever started lecturing us on the bus about our soul, we would explain that it was true that our holy shoes might be a bit worn from walking and so we would just as soon keep on doing so rather than suffer some idiot's proselytizing lecture on a bus regarding some religion of his own conjuration. You can just let us off at the next stop, you holier than now moron. We'll walk from here on, and, ten to one, we'll reach Loch Lomond afore ye.

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