The Charlotte News

Wednesday, April 30, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. warplanes this date shot down six enemy MIG-15 jets and damaged four others over North Korea, just south of the Yalu River.

In the ground war, enemy infantry struck at allied lines along the eastern and east-central fronts in predawn darkness, but were driven back after hand grenade skirmishes.

U.S. warships and naval planes hit the east coast, and British carrier-based planes and other allied naval units attacked west coast targets.

In Berlin, the Russians grounded nearly all of their fighter planes in the Soviet zone of Germany this date, resulting from the shooting attack by the two Soviet jets on an Air France airliner the previous day. The Allies and the Russians swapped contradictory charges regarding the incident, the Allies charging that the French airliner was flying within its proper corridor and that the attack on it had been "unwarranted" and "outrageous", whereas the Soviets charged that the airliner was out of the corridor and headed toward Leipzig, ignoring the signals of the two fighters for it to land, claiming that the fighters then fired "warning shots" across its bow.

The U.S. District Court in Washington issued a temporary injunction to the Government to end its seizure of the steel mills, in reaction to which the United Steelworkers Union members walked off the job, involving some 650,000 workers. U.S. Steel was prompted to lay off 14,500 coal miners in their captive coal mines. It was the quickest steel plant shutdown in history. Maintenance crews were left on the job to ensure that the furnaces were properly cooled down. It was the third shutdown of the steel industry since World War II. There was speculation that the President might resort to the Taft-Hartley 90-day injunction provision while a fact-finding board made recommendations. The Government immediately appealed the ruling, seeking immediate review before the Supreme Court on an emergency basis, proposing to skip the Court of Appeals. The District Court ruled that the seizure was unconstitutional and that the President did not have "unlimited and unrestrained power". The White House had no immediate comment.

In Congress, Representative Howard Smith of Virginia introduced a bill to keep the steel mills running, providing for appointment of receivers for both companies and unions if necessary to avoid a shutdown. It contemplated that in the event a Taft-Hartley 90-day injunction against a strike were to expire, then the receivers would be appointed and would enjoin both sides from interfering with the continued operation of the industry. It was one of several legislative proposals presented to Congress regarding the steel dispute. One group was contemplating providing the President with seizure power.

Approximately 87,000 unionized refinery and pipeline workers went on strike this date as negotiations with the oil industry continued regarding a demanded 25-cent hourly wage increase and higher night differential pay. The Government indicated that it had no intention presently of intervening. Motorists were expected to be hit the hardest by the strike should it go on for a prolonged period.

In Massachusetts, General Eisenhower won the previous day's Republican primary, polling 229,000 votes to 99,000 for Senator Taft and earning a near-sweep therefore of the available 28 delegates, virtually closing the gap between him and Senator Taft. In all, the General had 29 of the total 38 delegates from Massachusetts, with six uncommitted. Senator Taft had three. The total for General Eisenhower was now 265 delegates, with Senator Taft having 268, although his managers were claiming 305. The write-in votes for General Eisenhower were more than all the votes cast for the other candidates, both Republican and Democratic. He achieved also a large Democratic vote, earning him a second-place finish behind Senator Estes Kefauver in the Democratic primary. It was the most convincing primary victory by the General to date.

In Columbia, S.C., A. J. Clement, a Charleston insurance man who had made an unsuccessful run for the Democratic nomination for the House in 1950, speaking at the joint Allen University and Benedict College Citizenship Day program, contended that integration in South Carolina was not far away.

In Rome, film director Roberto Rossellini disclosed that X-rays had shown that his wife, actress Ingrid Bergman, was expecting twins in June.

The third in the series of articles titled "How to Live with Your Heart Condition", by Dr. W. C Alvarez, appeared on an inside page.

On the editorial page, "Irresistible Force vs. Immovable Object" , another by-lined piece by News editor Pete McKnight, writing from the Israeli sector of Jerusalem, again regards the refugee problem in Jordan and other Arab countries neighboring Israel and finds it to fall within the category expressed by the title. The irresistible force was the young and dynamic nation of Israel, which had neither the desire nor resources to handle the refugees out of the 1948-49 Arab-Israeli war. The immovable object was the stubborn refusal of the refugees to accept compensation for their lands and resettlement in other Arab nations. Thus far, no one had found a way around that dilemma and until it was resolved, there could be no permanent peace in the Middle East.

Arab spokesmen found that the cause of the problem was Jewish terrorism forcing some 250,000 Arabs to flee Israeli territory prior to the British evacuation in May, 1948, plus the massacre of the Arabs in a few sections and threats to others during the Arab-Israeli war, prompting Arabs to flee to other Arab nations, and that since the end of the war, abandoned property of the Arabs had been unjustly seized by the Jewish state. He notes that Arabs were also intensely bitter about the U.S. role in the creation of Israel.

Jewish spokesmen, on the other hand, attributed the problem to Arab-inspired terrorism prior to the British evacuation, the fact that after the fighting had erupted, the Arab nations had been so confident of victory that they had sent word to the Arabs to evacuate their homes so that the Arab armies would be free to sweep the Jews into the Mediterranean, that the restrictions imposed on Arabs during the war had been necessary to prevent fifth-column activities, that the refugees were simply the natural result of a war which their side had lost, and that Israel could not accept a million Arab refugees whose low educational level and backward economic status would overly burden the nascent Israeli state, now opening its gates to Jews from all over the world.

He suggests that the truth probably lay somewhere in between the two positions, that certainly there had been at least one major massacre of Arabs, resulting in the death of over 200 men, women and children, but that on the other hand, there had also been massacres of Jews and in the Jerusalem corridor, the Arab armies had asked their people to clear the way for what they thought would be a victory march to the sea.

Mr. McKnight suggests that fixing blame for the situation was important for the record of history, but that it could not be done within the heated passions of the moment, while the Arab radio in Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo put forth promises of a war of revenge, echoing the words of the Arab League spokesmen. Nor could it be done while the Israelis were developing their new nation on the one hand while carrying rifles on the other. But fixing blame was not so important at present as it was to move the idle refugees out of the caves and camps and place them into productive occupations. Several proposals to accomplish that objective had been put forward, and he promises in the final article on the refugees to provide some personal conclusions on those proposals.

"Confused and Alarming" finds that the Administration's concept of unlimited executive power, as expressed the prior week by the assistant Attorney General during arguments against the steel industry's attempt to obtain a temporary injunction against the seizure of the industry by the President, had been properly squelched by the assistant Attorney General's letter to the Federal judge indicating that he recognized limits to executive power.

In finds the steel dispute confusing and alarming, based on the legal and political morass involved in the issue and the immediate strike in the steel industry upon the District Court's decision to grant the injunction. It suggests that United Steelworkers president Philip Murray and his union had shown complete disregard for the nation's welfare in striking. The President probably could use his power and influence to induce the Steelworkers to return to work, but his typical response, it finds, would be to become more partisan than ever. It suggests that Congress should consider the court's decision that the Constitution provided to the Congress and not the President the power to provide for "the common defense and general welfare" of the country. It hopes that the Congress would consider a positive means of assuring continued operation of the steel industry and settlement of the dispute.

"The Command Shifts" tells of General Matthew Ridgway having been the first man to jump when the 82nd Airborne Division had descended from troop carriers into Europe in World War II. His men had liked him and were inspired by his leadership. Since V-E Day in 1945, he had added to his fighting ability with experience in the areas of diplomacy and administration. He had served several years on the U.N. Military Commission, had chaired the Inter-American Defense Board, and had held a Pentagon post before being appointed U.N. supreme commander in Korea and head of U.S. forces in the Far East a year earlier at the firing of General MacArthur from those positions.

It therefore finds him an able replacement for General Eisenhower as supreme commander of NATO. General Eisenhower's assistant, General Alfred Gruenther, had expressed warm praise for his old friend, General Ridgway, and that augured well for his administration.

General Mark Clark, who would replace General Ridgway in Korea and the Far East, would forever be plagued with the heavy losses suffered by American infantry at the Rapido River in Italy during World War II. The issue tended to overshadow General Clark's proven ability, which now might be impressed upon his critics.

"For Busier Busses" tells of Memphis having the same problem with regard to its buses which Charlotte and many other communities had, that being that the car was supplanting the bus as a means of transportation to and from work, despite the modernization of buses. Business Week had reported a few weeks earlier, however, that buses in Memphis which had once returned in the evening hours virtually empty, were now loaded because they were providing free rides into town during light-traffic hours and then received a great amount of revenue on the return trips in the evening.

It suggests that it might take more than salesmanship to increase the service of Charlotte's transit system and enable the company to have a profitable operation, but it suggests that Memphis was on the right track and commends their approach to the local public and transit officials.

Drew Pearson tells of Washington preparing to welcome an uninvited chief of state in General Anastasio Somoza of Nicaragua, the first time such a head of state had come to the U.S. uninvited since Queen Marie of Rumania had visited during the Hoover years. President Somoza had to undergo surgery in Boston and since he had to be in the country anyway, wanted to return a visit to the President, who, as Senator, had visited him while investigating the Pan-American Highway as chairman of the war investigating committee. The White House had obliged and would provide him a quiet luncheon the following day. It was done reluctantly because President Somoza was a dictator and had consistently upset democratic elections held under the auspices of the U.S.

The President's off-the-cuff remark regarding potential seizure of the newspapers may have blocked moves by the Justice Department seeking to break up monopolies among certain newspapers in given markets. One such move had taken place against the Times-Picayune in New Orleans on the basis of unfair advertising practices, and a second, against the Lorain (O.) Journal, resulting in a Supreme Court decision holding that any newspaper receiving press service news across state lines was engaged in interstate commerce, thus subjecting it to Federal legislation against monopolies. The Journal had refused to take advertisements from advertisers who also patronized a competing radio station. Justice Harold Burton had delivered the unanimous opinion of the Court, and because he was a conservative Republican, the Justice Department was using that decision as a basis for undertaking moves to break up other news-dissemination monopolies. Prior to this decision, the Justice Department had considered undertaking three anti-monopoly cases against newspapers which also owned radio stations in the same market, in Rochester, N.Y., Omaha, and Kansas City. But it had initially been decided before the Lorain case not to move against the Gannett newspapers in Rochester because it was not close enough to an adjoining state to be considered to have circulation in interstate commerce, whereas the Omaha and Kansas City cases presented such a scenario. But after the Lorain case, the Justice Department decided it was no longer necessary so to confine its cases geographically and so had broadened its efforts toward breaking up such monopolies. But in light of the President's remark in answer to a press question, future such moves were considered unlikely.

He notes that the Justice Department believed that moves to break up newspaper monopolies would strengthen any danger of government control over the press, as it was considered easier for the government to take over the press the more centralized it became.

Marquis Childs suggests the importance of understanding the perspective of Secretary of State Acheson and the State Department as they sought to guide foreign policy during the remainder of 1952. They believed that the so-called Soviet peace offensive contained nothing new or different, but was the old effort to try to divide and frustrate the efforts of the West to build a security system. The Russian proposal to unify Germany was viewed as just another trap for the West, the Soviet suggestion of a four-power commission, instead of a U.N. commission, to supervise East German elections having meant nothing to the State Department.

Shortly, the agreement would be signed for West Germany to participate in the Western European army, with nearly everyone in the West approving it. That unity had been repeatedly denounced by the Soviets and they had come close to suggesting it as a casus belli. But instead, in the view of the State Department, it would result only in demonstrations in East Germany, such as one staged recently by the Communists. A new blockade of the Western zones of Berlin might be threatened or even carried out. Whether, if so, that would result in a new Western airlift as in 1948, or whether fresh measures would be undertaken would be determined in time. While it was believed that the Russians would not risk a war, that risk could not be ruled out. Berlin remained the hot point.

That view at the State Department remained the same for two years into the future, during which the Soviets would intensify their preparation of the East German army in the event of a war with the West. While the Soviets viewed such a war as inevitable, the West refused to do so on the belief that accepting such inevitability would help to make it inevitable. He concludes: "This is a kind of whistling in the dark that is not very convincing."

Robert C. Ruark, still in Fort Worth, tells of finding unusually high skepticism regarding those running for the presidency, with most believing that Senator Taft could not beat most available Democrats, appearing instead to favor General Eisenhower, with skepticism remaining as to him as well. The popular conception was that a coalition between Senator Taft and General MacArthur would push aside General Eisenhower by the time of the Republican convention.

On the Democratic side, no one seemed to have a good idea of who would make an able nominee, with Senator Estes Kefauver being the most likely. Yet there was doubt that he could satisfy the South sufficiently to achieve the nomination. In Texas, voters looked longingly toward Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, but figured that he could not satisfy the Northern wing of the party. There was general regret that the President had chosen not to run again because people believed that anyone could beat him, and the solid South wanted the Fair Deal scuttled.

He finds it a peculiar approach to a presidential election year, as nobody to whom he had spoken had definite ideas about who best fit the role. They did not think much of Averell Harriman or too hard about Governor Adlai Stevenson.

There was an anger which manifested itself in the desire to throw someone out, but they did not know who to toss. They were angry about Korea, about higher prices and higher taxes, as well as about the Government scandals. They wanted some candidate to address draft policy. One woman to whom he had spoken had one son who had been wounded in Korea and a second son who had been assigned to Europe, a situation which she found to be morally wrong. He suggests the bitterness regarding Korea to be "vicious" and that the Democrats had made a great mistake in entering the conflict and then prosecuting it in a dilatory manner and dragging out the truce process.

A letter writer comments on the new tax assessment of property in the city and county, finding that the people had been led as lambs to the slaughter, having been propagandized to believe in the necessity of a kind of local New Deal for which it was necessary to increase local spending. He thinks local taxes ought be decreased rather than increased.

A letter writer comments on the recent editorial regarding the negativism expressed in recent Senate votes regarding condemnation of the steel mill seizure and the proposed abolition of the RFC, which both North Carolina Senators had supported. He finds it sad that both Senators Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith had gone along with these tactics. He suggests that if Senator Frank Graham had been re-elected to the Senate in 1950, there would have been at least one Senator from the state who voted his mind rather than merely following the lead of Virginia Senator Harry F. Byrd. He suggests, after reminding that one of the chief arguments put forward for the election of Senator Smith had been that his vote would not cancel out that of Senator Hoey, that if there were any Senator whose vote needed to be canceled out, it was that of Senator Hoey on each of the domestic economic problems of the previous two years.

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