The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that that Communist negotiators in Korea had indirectly hinted this date that they were ready to give up their insistence on nominating Russia as a "neutral nation" for the purpose of inspecting the armistice, provided that the allies would permit the Communists to repair their airfields during the armistice. But the proposal remained still just a hint.

Former Ambassador to the Soviet Union, William Bullitt, testified this date to a Senate Internal Security subcommittee that he had made a report in the fall of 1939, based on French intelligence he obtained from French Prime Minister Daladier, that there were two State Department officials named Hiss who were Soviet agents. He said that initially, the Prime Minister had not told him the names, but after Mr. Bullitt had inquired, he said that they were two brothers named Hiss. He said that he had laughed, saying that Hiss was the noise made by a snake, that he had never heard of anyone by that name in the Department, and suggested that the Prime Minister get better information. Mr. Bullitt added that he knew nothing which reflected on Donald Hiss beyond that statement by the Prime Minister.

He said also that in April, 1936, Owen Lattimore had urged immediate U.S. recognition of Outer Mongolia, telling Mr. Bullitt that the Mongolian People's Republic was "fully independent", when, according to Mr. Bullitt, it was actually controlled by the Soviet secret police. He had at the time concluded that Mr. Lattimore either knew nothing about the subject, despite his reputedly being the leading American expert on the matter, or that he was deliberately attempting to assist in the spread of Communist authority through Asia. He said that he did not therefore follow the advice.

Nathan Feinsinger, chairman of the Wage Stabilization Board, said that he had some confidence that the steel dispute might be settled this date before the strike began this midnight. Some 100,000 steelworkers were already idle as a result of the shutdown of furnaces. He would not indicate what his suggestions were to industry and the steelworkers, and there was no statement available from either industry or the Steelworkers Union. There was no sign from union president Philip Murray that he would again postpone the scheduled strike, already previously postponed three times.

Ernest Weir, board chairman of National Steel Corporation, said this date at a press conference that he believed that there must have been a deal between powers in the Administration and labor leaders whereby labor received assurance that their demands would have support in the steel dispute. He urged the President to use Taft-Hartley to seek an 80-day injunction against the strike. He said that the prospect of seizure by the Government of the steel industry was the "most amazing and most serious" of all the issues in the dispute.

Southern Bell still reported a full complement of workers on duty across the North Carolina, in spite of the nationwide strike by the Communication Workers of America, but a walk-out of some 800 telephone employees in Charlotte was threatened for the following afternoon. No picket lines had thus far been set up at any points in the state and telephone operations were normal. Thus far, only 100 persons, employed by Western Electric as installers of telephone equipment, were on strike in the state.

Across the nation, the strike by telephone workers was causing few delays in telephone service, but a union official indicated that increased picketing the following day would start to impact service. With Western Union also in its sixth day of a strike, long distance communications would primarily have to be by airmail.

In Illinois, it was anticipated that two million voters, the largest turnout in a decade, would cast their ballots in the gubernatorial and presidential primaries. On the Republican side, only Senator Taft and former Governor Harold Stassen were printed on the ballot, but there had been a concerted effort to write in the name of General Eisenhower. On the Democratic side, only Senator Kefauver's name was on the ballot, but several groups had organized to write in Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois, who was unopposed for the gubernatorial nomination. Election officials, however, had prohibited the writing in of his name for the presidential nomination if the voter also voted for him for governor. Each party would elect 50 delegates to the national conventions, with state conventions later to select ten additional delegates on each side. Most of the Republican delegates were expected to go to Senator Taft, as most of his delegates were running unopposed, and on the Democratic side, while Senator Kefauver would win the preferential contest, he would garner few elected delegates, as the Democratic organization in the state was backing Governor Stevenson.

Starting the following day, the Gallup poll would begin a series of reports designed to tap popularity of the candidates for the presidency, following the withdrawal by the President from the race.

In New York, gambling kingpin Frank Costello was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 18 months in prison for having been convicted of contempt of the Senate for refusing to testify the previous year before the Kefauver crime investigating committee.

At Fort Hood, Texas, it was reported initially that two F-51 single-engine fighter planes had collided during a large Army-Air Force maneuver involving 3,150 paratroopers making a single jump. Subsequently, however, it was reported that the mass jump had been canceled and it was not confirmed by headquarters whether the planes had crashed or remained aloft, or whether there had been any casualties.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott said that his key appointees could not remain loyal to his program if they were sponsoring someone other than Judge Hubert Olive for the gubernatorial nomination. He said that some of his appointees were looking for job security by supporting William B. Umstead for the nomination. He termed these persons, whom he did not name, as "deviationists". He also stated that the public could not blame the President for everything that went wrong in the Administration, such as the "mink coat stuff", that everyone the President had appointed had been recommended and pushed by someone else, such as former tax division chief of the Justice Department, Lamar Caudle, who had been recommended by former Senator Robert Rice Reynolds, before the latter's departure from the Senate at the end of 1944—presumably referring to Mr. Caudle's position as U.S. Attorney for the Western Disrict of North Carolina, as he did not go to the Justice Department in Washington until summer, 1945.

On the editorial page, "A Gain for U.S. Foreign Policy" finds that the nation's foreign policy was achieving results, as during the previous month the Communist line had changed considerably, reflecting Soviet anxiety regarding the growing strength and unity of the free world. The Russians had proposed a free, united Germany, with a German army, air and naval forces, and independent arms factories, previously opposed by the Soviets. Josef Stalin had chosen to answer one of the many queries he received from American newsmen, indicating his prediction for an East-West accord. And the Communist negotiators in Korea had begun to relent on the voluntary repatriation issue regarding prisoners of war. It also cites other such changes in the Communist position recently and finds it all indicative of a "lukewarm war".

It finds it a positive development that former State Department planner George Kennan, the architect of the containment policy, was to be the new Ambassador to the Soviet Union, and it counsels that it appeared to be a good time for the U.S. to renew its expression of desire for peaceful settlement of world problems and removal of the barriers between East and West.

The Soviet peace offensive was seeking to deter the U.S. from forming a European union militarily, economically, and politically, sufficient to withstand a Communist threat. It urges the country not to be fooled by the current phony peace campaign of the Communists but rather to redouble the efforts to achieve the free world's goal.

"For Women Only" tells of the executive director of the women's division of the national Republican Party, Bertha Adkins, having stated that women seeking to enter politics would find the going not easy, that there would be barriers in their way, that there was still the perception that women did not have the ability possessed by men. Her Democratic counterpart, India Edwards, had stated that men did not want women messing around in politics, that they would rather have them give a tea where the candidates could shake hands and drink punch. She recommended that women say "the hell with the whole thing and go home".

It hopes that local women contemplating a run for office would not be discouraged, suggesting that it was pleasing to envision women on the County Commissioners or the City Council, and advises that there were ten filing days remaining.

"Fading Away" tells of the leader of the MacArthur-for-President organization, John Chapple, having, just before the Wisconsin and Nebraska primaries, suggested a MacArthur-Taft Republican ticket, but after the General and his stand-in in the primaries had received only a few thousand votes, he had changed his mind and now instead favored a Taft-MacArthur ticket.

The piece suggests that the proposed ticket appealed only to the extent of wanting to see General MacArthur presiding over the Senate when some of the members began quibbling and cutting up. He would likely not put up with such nonsense very long, and would be able to quiet them very quickly, with some taps of his corncob. Since he had begun speaking to the public in speeches around the country, General MacArthur had increasingly made reckless charges and other statements which had convinced most voters that they did not wish to see him in the White House. It seemed that he was finally fading away. He had made his mark in history, just as had the President, and the two appeared destined to "walk together down the road to the hall of the has-beens."

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "Where Are Dixiecrats with Truman Out?" tells of the President's decision not to run again having had the effect in Virginia of relieving the state Democratic Party leadership of the burden of bolting the party in 1952. But it did not mean that the considerable backing in Virginia of Senator Richard Russell of Georgia would suddenly disappear. Some of those who had campaigned for him had exhibited such fervor that it would be hard for them to withdraw, and Senator Russell was an able man. The same scenario was being repeated further to the south, with the result that the Southern Democrats at the convention would fight for the nomination of Senator Russell, and hope that he might become the vice-presidential nominee.

The primary problem with the President, in the eyes of the Southern Democrats, had been his pushing for the compulsory FEPC, but even that had not triggered a full-scale defection to the Dixiecrat movement in 1948. But on top of that in 1952 had been heaped the demonstration of the President's personal inadequacies, involving corruption, high taxes, the continuing Korean War, and other matters which had broadened the Dixiecrat appeal.

None of the leading contenders for the Democratic nomination, Governor Stevenson, Senator Kefauver or Senator Robert Kerr, had endorsed a compulsory FEPC, and so that issue was now less potent for the Dixiecrats. Southern opposition to the Fair Deal would continue, alongside solid support for soil conservation payments, crop controls and farm price supports, despite all being part of the Fair Deal. But, with the President no longer in the race as a focal point for hostility of the Southerners, the strength of the movement would likely be reduced to little more than a squawk. It suggests that it was not clear how much the opposition by the Dixiecrats had influenced the President's decision, but his withdrawal would likely end the tendency to bolt the party structure and therefore would likely have an ameliorative impact.

Alan L. Otten, in a piece from the Wall Street Journal, recaps a 912-page volume issued by the House Appropriations Committee, which he finds to illustrate why so little real economy usually came from Congress. He provides details, stressing pork-barrel politics, which you may read for yourself.

Drew Pearson examines Attorney General-designate James McGranery, indicates that he was honest, married to a beautiful and brilliant female attorney, and so loyal to the President that the latter's every political whim would be anticipated in advance. He knew where most of the bodies were buried in the Justice Department and could probably dig them up if he wanted, but the chances were that he would not. For he understood also that the Justice Department had become the most important political arm of the Democratic Party, displacing the Post Office Department in that position.

It had taken courage, Mr. Pearson suggests, for the President to fire his 1948 campaign manager and friend, J. Howard McGrath, as Attorney General, but also explained why the President's old friend, Mr. McGranery, had been appointed in his stead.

When former Attorney General under FDR, Francis Biddle, had resigned at the start of the Truman Administration in 1945, and inquired as to who his successor would be, the President had informed him that he had settled on Tom Clark, at which point Mr. Biddle objected, stating that he had been about to fire Mr. Clark as chief of the criminal division, and suggested that the President speak with Mr. McGranery regarding Mr. Clark. But when Mr. McGranery came to the White House, he did not give a full report to the President, and shortly thereafter, Attorney General Clark recommended Mr. McGranery for an appointment as a Federal Judge in Philadelphia. The President subsequently appointed Attorney General Clark to the Supreme Court in 1949.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the candidacy of Senator Estes Kefauver now being taken seriously by professional politicians for the first time, as the Democratic race for the presidential nomination increasingly resembled the ancient roundelay:

"Four green bottles a-hanging on the wall,
"If one green bottle should accidentally fall,
"There'll be three green bottles a-hanging on the wall."

Two of the "green bottles", they suggest, had fallen from the wall, the President and Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, after the latter had suffered a bad defeat in the Nebraska primary at the hands of Senator Kefauver. That left Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois as Senator Kefauver's only major challenger. Others might crop up before the convention, but it was hard to see who they might be, Senator Richard Russell having never been considered to have a serious chance at the nomination because of Northern opposition. Vice-President Alben Barkley and House Speaker Sam Rayburn would likely be disqualified for their advanced age. The other candidates, such as Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, were really only vice-presidential hopefuls.

Senator Kefauver was likely to go to the convention with a substantial number of delegates, including the 68 from California.

The national committeeman from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's Democratic leader, strongly favored Governor Stevenson, and so that state's delegates would likely swing to him, while it was seen as likely that Senator Kefauver might pick up a significant number of that delegation, as well as those from New Jersey, previously counted as a sure Stevenson state, plus a significant number from Ohio.

Governor Stevenson was on the verge of pulling out from any consideration, immediately after the President's announcement that he would not run again, but his friends were convinced subsequently that he was a candidate, and he was being urged to clarify his position soon after the April 8 Illinois primary. It was hoped that he would explain that he could not campaign actively for the presidency while running for re-election as Governor, but would accept the nomination if offered, and therefore provide a speech explaining his positions on national policies. The Alsops suggest that if he were to do that, the Kefauver candidacy might again become a laughing matter. If not, the Senator might become the Democratic nominee by default, for lack of any other Democrat willing to contest General Eisenhower.

Robert C. Ruark tells of his experience during World War II in the Navy having been that the fighting men were treated as virtual children, with taffy pulls and square dances arranged at the USO, advising that girls were apt to be dangerous and whiskey wicked. A recent dispatch from an Army Special Services Club abroad had stated that soldiers were being treated to a "daffy taffy pull", with games including spin-the-bottle, human checkers, peanut pushing and finger-painting, recommended by Special Services magazine for off-duty soldiers. He suggests sarcastically that such activities would go a long way toward reducing the rate of venereal disease.

He finds that the country had never been realistic about its soldiers, instead being "mawkishly sentimental about them", imputing to them high ideals, assuming they were mama's boys, "weeping into the pillow for lack of delicate guidance". He indicates that it was not so, that once the boy was separated from his mother, he could get into all sorts of trouble. In fact, the young fighting man was more likely to engage in a fight, get drunk, pick up a dame, or shoot craps than to engage in taffy pulls or play parlor games.

On Mr. Ruark's typical ship during the war, the sailors had averaged an age of about 19, were good, competent fighting sailors, but also, without exception, were "as ornery a mob of rapscallions as ever busted up a taxi". To go to a USO club would have been unacceptable, unless they would go there to start a riot for laughs. He concludes that sooner or later, the country had to realize "that the noise down the street may possibly be mother's baby being hurled bodily through a window by another mother's baby."

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