The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 13, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Brig. General Charles Colson, who had been designated the commandant of the Koje Island U.N. prison camp in the wake of the hostage crisis the previous week, when prisoners took the prior commandant, Brig. General Francis Dodd, hostage for four days until his release the prior Saturday, had been removed from his post after he had made a sharply criticized deal with the Communist prisoners to obtain the release of General Dodd. The Joint Chiefs in Washington had demanded immediate clarification of the circumstances which had led to the capture of General Dodd and General Colson's ensuing promised concessions. They instructed General Mark Clark, who had just taken over command of the U.N. forces, to provide them an immediate report. Ground commander General James Van Fleet named Brig. General Haydon Boatner as the new commandant of the prison camp. General Colson was reassigned to his former job as chief of staff of the 1st Corps in Korea. General Dodd was assigned to U.S. Eighth Army headquarters, with an undisclosed position.

The primary objection by the Defense Department was the wording of the statement which had led to General Dodd's release, specifically the phrases: "Many prisoners of war have been killed and wounded by U.N. forces"; that "Humane treatment in the future would be accorded the prisoners; and that there would be "no more forcible screening or any rearming of prisoners of war". The Pentagon pointed out that prisoners had been killed only in incidents initiated by the rioting of the prisoners, that the prisoners had always been treated in accordance with the humanitarian principles of the Geneva Convention and the accepted practices of civilized nations, and that no prisoners had been subjected to forced screening or allowed to rearm.

Outside the prison camp, flame-throwing American tanks and combat infantrymen stood guard.

Meanwhile, in the air war, U.S. airmen this date destroyed five Communist jets, probably shot down two and damaged six in a half dozen battles over North Korea.

U.S. ground troops killed at least 100 enemy soldiers in patrol skirmishes.

Oral argument continued before the Supreme Court this date, for the second and last day, in the steel case, with the Government arguing that the steel industry's fears of "irreparable injury" from Government operation of the seized mills were "a lot of fantastic hobgoblins" and that the industry had failed to show that any irreparable injury would result. The Government argued that the President not only had the right but also the duty to take over the mills in the national interest. The industry had argued that the President had no authority under the Constitution to do so and regarded the Government as a "mere trespasser" in its operation of the mills. Much of the two and a half hours allotted to Solicitor General Philip Perlman to make his argument had been taken up in questions by the Justices. Chief Justice Fred Vinson had asked him this date whether the procedure of seizing the mills while not interfering with their regular operation of them could be changed to produce damage to the industry, to which Mr. Perlman replied that the only tangible basis for the industry's fears was that wages would be raised for the workers by the Government, but that any damages to the companies caused thereby would be paid by the Government, citing a coal case in which the Government had to pay part of a wage increase as damages. Mr. Perlman had explained at length why the President had not resorted to the 80-day injunction provision afforded by Taft-Hartley and instead elected to seize the industry, indicating that to have used Taft-Hartley would have invited an immediate strike, as the union had already delayed the strike for 99 days, and that, furthermore, the Wage Stabilization Board had already deliberated on the matter and issued recommendations, which would be no different from an executive board under Taft-Hartley doing so.

The Wage Stabilization Board entered the two-week old oil workers strike this date by ordering a series of informal Board discussions on possible resolutions. The WSB called representatives from more than 20 oil companies and a coalition of striking union leaders for a five-minute formal session, during which it outlined its approach.

The WSB was accused by George Armstrong, an industry member of the Board, in a statement before the House Labor Committee, of stimulating labor-management troubles and substituting its own dispute-settling powers for the Taft-Hartley Act. He said that the Board had gone beyond the neutrality policy expressed by Congress on the union shop. He also said that he believed the WSB's actions had not reduced disputes but had tended to stimulate them. Mr. Armstrong was president of Texas Steel Co. in Fort Worth, from which he was on leave to be a Board member. The Committee was investigating the WSB, with particular emphasis on its recommendations in the steel dispute. In that case, the six industry members had been outvoted by the six labor and six public members of the WSB.

Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall indicated in a speech to the annual convention of the Super Market Institute that food price ceilings would soon be increased.

In Bayonne, N.J., the captain of the carrier Wasp demonstrated how the destroyer-minesweeper Hobson had cut across his bow and was sliced in two with the loss of 176 men on April 26 while on maneuvers in the Atlantic. The testimony occurred during what was believed to be the first Naval board of inquiry captured on television and newsreel footage. Most of the testimony of the captain of the destroyer Rodman, which had rescued survivors from the Hobson, had been classified and reporters had been asked to leave the hearing.

In Berlin, the Russians bottled up both ends of the Berlin to Helmstedt autobahn and prevented Allied patrol cars from entering from either direction, according to American officials. The Allied patrol cars had been prevented for five days from entering the highway from Berlin but had been allowed to patrol from the Western or Helmstedt end. The U.S. Army's regular weekly convoy out of Berlin had been allowed to pass without hindrance. Regular civilian traffic was also flowing normally along the 110-mile stretch of road, the only highway connection which the Allies were allowed to use between Berlin and the Western zones.

In Chicago, a fortune in cash and securities was discovered the previous day in a safe deposit box owned by an 85-year old widow who had died five months earlier. The fortune, totaling over $120,000, had been tied up in pink bloomers, stockings and a pillowcase. She had executed a will leaving virtually all of her estate, estimated at $300,000, to her attorney.

In Wilmington, N.C., ten of the eleven Klan defendants on trial in Federal District Court for flogging a white couple the previous October 6, were convicted in a judge trial this date of kidnapping and conspiracy. Sentencing was delayed, pending arguments by defense counsel for leniency. The crime of kidnapping involving asportation over state lines was punishable under the Federal law by the death penalty, but the U.S. Attorney had indicated that he would not seek the ultimate penalty in the case. The judge had directed a verdict of not guilty in the case of one defendant, 18, who had been one of four defendants who had pleaded no contest and thrown themselves on the mercy of the court. The other seven defendants had waived jury trials in the matter. The judge had questioned several of the witnesses regarding the influence exerted upon them by Klan Grand Dragon Thomas Hamilton of Leesville, S.C., who was not a defendant in the matter. The witnesses testified that Mr. Hamilton received six dollars for every new Klansman and that the Klan had spread rapidly from South Carolina to North Carolina under a campaign to "keep Negroes in their places". The four defendants who had offered no defense and pleaded no contest at the outset, testified that all eleven defendants had taken the two victims from the home of the female, blindfolded them and then flogged them after crossing the South Carolina line. The female victim indicated that the men told her and her companion to quit drinking and go to church, and then let them go. The convicted defendants included the former police chief of Fair Bluff and head of the disbanded Fair Bluff Klavern, and a former deputy sheriff of Columbus County. An FBI agent showed to the court a rubberized leather strap which had been found in an outhouse behind the home of the former Fair Bluff police chief, matching the description given by the female victim of the device used to flog her. A farmer testified that when the couple came to his home shortly after the flogging, the male victim was black and blue and bleeding, and that both had told him that they had been flogged by Klansmen.

Incidentally, it was likely not coincidence that the group formed a band of eleven men, the Klan's favorite number, to conduct the flogging. But, that is not to say that we should allow the Klan or any other group to co-opt numbers and symbols and thereby make them subject to a permanent taint, rendering them taboo, anymore than the silly nonsense regarding the superstition connected with the number 13, resulting in "13th" floors being removed from buildings. Here's a hint, dumbbell: the 13th floor still exists whether you like it or not. If no one will rent on the 13th floor, then you will have to cap your building at the 12th.

In Charlotte, a young father confessed to the armed robbery of an attendant at a service station on Sunday, saying that he needed the money to see his wife who was in a sanatorium in West Virginia. The man, from Daytona Beach, Fla., had been shot by a merchant patrolman shortly after midnight this date as he attempted to flee another service station which he had planned to rob. He was taken to the hospital and treated for a flesh wound in the thigh, and after release from which would be charged with armed robbery. The merchant patrolman had become suspicious of the man when he was hanging around the service station after midnight and had asked to search his briefcase, finding a mask made from a white towel and a pair of overalls which had been used in the Sunday robbery. He also found a pistol, at which point the suspect attempted to grab it, leading to a scuffle, at which point the merchant patrolman pulled his pistol, after which one of the pistols was fired, whereupon the man fled and the merchant patrolman fired at him four times, striking him once. Police were then dispatched to the scene.

On page 5-A, appears the fifth in the eight-article series by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, regarding "How To Live with Your Blood Pressure", warning that the time might come when the person with high blood pressure might have to make the decision to ease up.

On the editorial page, "A Mighty Blow against the Klan" tells of a reporter for the Raleigh News & Observer, who had, for almost an entire year, covered the Klan activity in Columbus County, involving numerous floggings, having said, after the trial and conviction the previous week of the several Klan defendants in Whiteville, regarding the flogging of a Whiteville mechanic the previous December, that a "normal and unhurried" climate had been restored in the town, supplanting the previous air of "suspicion and mistrust", and that the convicted Klansmen also had changed, from an air of jollity at the start of the proceedings in February to solemnity and silence during their trial, with the result that most observers believed the "Klan's back has been broken".

It suggests that if true, the people of the state could again lift up their heads, thanking the vigorous investigation by Federal, State and local law enforcement and a spirited prosecution by a State solicitor, to bring at least this one group of Klansmen to heel. The stiff road sentences and heavy fines provided them by the judge should, it ventures, serve as a strong deterrent to other potential Klansmen in the Eastern part of the state, causing them to think twice before again seeking to take the law into their own hands.

The Klan had been able to exist in the South primarily because local law enforcement officers had winked at its activities and local jurors had excused its conduct, and, it finds, it was a sign of enlightenment and progress in North Carolina that this traditional pattern had been reversed and the perpetrators of Klan violence brought to justice.

"The Tragedy of Arms Spending" tells of taxpayers being acutely aware of the cost of military preparedness, but realizing that there was no alternative except to arm to the teeth. The individual taxpayer rarely stopped to think, however, what such large defense spending was doing to the nation as a whole, draining its resources into essentially wasteful war matériel, with the productive capacity of the nation tied up in guns, tanks and bullets, and its manpower, civilian and military, being frittered away. The individual was not able to visualize what changes might occur were even half of the defense budget spent on peacetime enterprises.

It was fortunate that the country could carry such an arms program and still maintain a reasonably high standard of living, in contrast to such places as Egypt, where thousands of troops were being trained, Jordan, where 6.5 million British pounds paid for the Arab Legion, and Israel, where fear of new Arab attacks forced universal conscription and demanded a large and highly mobile standing army. As undeveloped nations, they lacked many of the basic resources of modern industrial civilization, and their soil had been depleted by centuries of neglect and abuse. Whereas they needed water power, sanitation, education, housing and transportation, they were forced to spend their limited budgets on wasteful arms and armies.

It finds this pattern repeated all over the world in times of fear of war, suggests it as the tragedy of the times which could not be remedied by war but would be made even worse by it. No one had found a magic approach to enabling lasting peace which would permit the peoples of the world to devote their full energies and resources to productive activities and thus realize their full destinies.

"Irony" finds that the supporters of Georgia Senator Richard Russell for the presidency no longer were seeking a return to the two-thirds majority rule for the Democratic convention, as had been the case prior to the 1936 election, because they knew that Senator Russell could not achieve that amount of delegate support. Prior to his candidacy, there had been a move on to restore the two-thirds rule so that Southern delegates would have a greater say in who the nominee would be.

"The Spines Don't Tingle Any More" remarks on the comment by chief of staff of the Air Force General Hoyt Vandenberg that there was a shortage of fliers in the country because of lack of enthusiasm among the reservists, the casualties in the Korean War and insufficient pay. General Carl Spaatz, former chief of staff, believed that the shortage had been caused by a lack of opportunity for flying offered to young people who had grown up during World War II. The piece offers to supplement to those reasons that flying had become commonplace in the eyes of younger people, compared to the days when everyone went out to see the earlier generation of fliers perform their exploits.

Now, the routine of pilots had become a dull thing, as nearly anyone could now go to the local airport and take off, just as one might go for an afternoon drive in the car, or could take an airliner for a transcontinental or trans-Atlantic flight.

The new age had its advantages, as eleven international airlines had begun tourist economy flights to Europe, with off-season, round-trip fares to London and Paris costing a bit more than $400. The average income of passengers who had already departed on trans-Atlantic flights was $5,000 and most planned to spend less than $1,000 during their trip.

It suggests therefore that the "century of the common man" had arrived insofar as air travel, and it welcomes it, albeit with "nostalgic regrets, and clasped hands held high in salute to the old airman, scarf flying, as he guns her down the runway on that last, long flight into heroic history."

Yesteryear, it might be noted, to all those nuts who want "to make America great again"—whatever the hell that is supposed to mean—, has been gone a long, long time, before virtually all of us, even the centenarians among us, were ever born. Forget about it and move on, you stupid morons. We are not going back to the 19th century, no matter how hard you think on it and no matter how much you want to bring its misery to a revivified reality—replete with conditions which no one in their right mind would wish to revisit, any more than we would the conditions of the 1950's or 1960's. Take a look at some of the Arab states and third-world countries today which are virtually living in those kinds of Eighteenth and Ninetenth Century times. Your mental picture of what you desire never existed anywhere in this world, save in your carefully edited imagination, shaped by movies and television.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "We'll Take FitzGerald", tells of the Winston-Salem Journal having told of Professor Arthur Arberry, who taught Arabic at Cambridge University in England, suggesting that Edward FitzGerald's translation of Omar Khayyam had been all wrong when he wrote:

A Book of Verses underneath the Bough,
A Jug of Wine, a Loaf of Bread—and
Beside me singing in the Wilderness—
Ah, Wilderness were Paradise enow!

Professor Arberry had said that no educated Persian would have taken a book on a picnic in the desert and, in any event, would have had a store of memorized poetry available for the occasion, that there would be no trees and therefore no boughs in a Persian wilderness, and moreover would not have been wasting his time on verse but rather kissing the girl.

The piece ventures therefore that the more faithful translation would have been:

A Fifth of Bourbon and a little Snack,
A ripe Tomato and a full-lipped smack—
No Book, no Bough, no Sentiment—
(Isn't there Something that these Verses Lack?)

It concludes that, as a Frenchman had once remarked: "Translations are like women; when they are faithful they are not beautiful, and when they are beautiful they are not faithful."

Drew Pearson finds that while Congressmen who had put their wives on the Government payroll had dreamed up various excuses for such nepotism, the excuse of Congressman Ernest Bramblett of California took the prize. He claimed it was necessary to have his wife on his payroll to make sure that Communists did not sneak into his office and steal his secrets, as he had asserted in a letter to his constituents, from which Mr. Pearson quotes. He stated that he was certain that his wife was not a Communist and so could rely on her more than he could Government secretaries who might talk to "unsuspected 'friends'", potentially Communists. The Congressman, however, did not reveal what secrets he might have which the Kremlin was eager to obtain. As a member of the House Agriculture Committee, muses Mr. Pearson, he had access to nothing more top-secret than the "cure for chicken lice".

The President had considered placing the steel industry under an Army general after he had read that several of the steel companies were locking out the returning steelworkers following the brief strike in the wake of the U.S. District Court grant of the preliminary injunction against the seizure, followed by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals staying the injunction, prompting the return of the workers. The President had summoned an emergency meeting of Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, assigned to run the steel companies during the seizure, along with Defense Secretary Robert Lovett, acting Attorney General Philip Perlman and acting Defense Mobilizer John Steelman, telling them that he did not intend to allow the steel companies to get away with a lockout, whereupon Mr. Perlman suggested having an Army general run the steel mills. But Secretaries Lovett and Sawyer warned against doing so as being too drastic and suggesting that an Army general might not know how to run the mills. Mr. Perlman suggested bringing an injunction against the steel operators to prevent them from a lockout. Eventually, the news came to them that the steel companies were not actually locking out the workers but had been concerned about shutting the steel furnaces off and on. The President then cooled down.

United Steelworkers and CIO President Philip Murray was presently in a tough spot as the Steelworkers opened their annual convention this week in Philadelphia. The primary issue would be whether the union should go through with the strike, postponed five times since January 1. The rank-and-file were grumbling for action and Mr. Murray was quite aware of this unrest, part of which was directed at him for the several postponements. He would thus announce at the start of the convention that if the Supreme Court ruled against the Government seizure—as it would—he would immediately call a strike.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss Pennsylvania Governor John Fine and his new-found importance within the Republican Party for the fact that he controlled the largest group of still uncommitted delegates to the convention, estimated by the Governor to be between 30 and 50. As a result, numerous Republican leaders were courting him, seeking commitment for either Senator Taft or General Eisenhower. General MacArthur had paid him a personal visit, which had impressed greatly the Governor, as he had never been approached by a national figure before to discuss weighty issues. Governor Fine's natural tendencies were closer to Senator Taft in ideology, such as his criticism of "foreign spending" and related topics, than to General Eisenhower.

He had been elected in 1950 as an anti-machine candidate, along with Republican Senator James Duff, but now, out of a sense of political pragmatism, had found that running the state meant compromise with the political machine of Mason Owlett and Joseph Grundy. The Governor wanted to be a big fish in the Pennsylvania pond, as well as on the national scene, and knew that to achieve the latter, he would have to continue to dangle the delegation before the vying candidates as long as possible. He genuinely, however, appeared not to have any goal of higher office in mind. But he knew that if he backed a losing candidate, "all the unique glories of his present position will turn to ashes in his mouth."

He appeared to believe, based on political judgment rather than personal preference, that General Eisenhower was more likely than Senator Taft to be nominated, and so it was likely that he would wind up in the Eisenhower camp.

Richard L. Strout, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, tells of the farm vote having delivered the election in 1948 to President Truman, as confirmed by a study by Louis Bean in 1950, titled The Midterm Battle. Likewise, the 1952 election would be determined by this decisive farm bloc, as indicated by Samuel Lubell in his recently published book, The Future of American Politics. Thus, Senator Taft was courting the farm vote, as was Senator Russell, who could point to his long association with the Senate Agriculture Committee, his leadership in the Federal school lunch program and his personal interest in seeing agriculture thrive.

A curious irony among the farm voters in 1948, according to Mr. Lubell's findings, had been that they viewed the President as the "conservative" in the race and Governor Dewey as the "dangerous radical". The farmers had believed they had done well under the Democrats and saw no reason to change, despite their inherent conservatism. The basic rule of thumb was that farmers would vote for Democrats when there was a great fear of depression and for Republicans when the fear was of inflation and high Government spending. The Department of Agriculture had recently released figures which showed that 1952 might turn out to be one of the poorest financial years for farmers since prior to World War II.

He concludes that no one at this juncture could determine how far the trends would go, but both houses of Congress presently were competing feverishly for the farm vote. The House had just preserved intact farm subsidies while cutting most other Administration appropriation bills to the bone. He concludes that politicians knew the way the wind was blowing and that "[o]nce again the farmer in the dell may elect the next President."

A letter writer tells of it being the duty of each citizen to vote in local, state and national elections. To that end, the Boy Scouts had begun a campaign to get out the vote, an effort for which he urges support.

A letter writer from Rutherfordton tells of the Reverend Billy Graham, following a recent tour of England, indicating that it was a pagan and socialistic country, and that socialism was only slightly different from Communism. He finds that statement, coming from a man of education, to show "complete ignorance of facts". England and France, he indicates, were both in need of land reform, as had been recently pointed out by Justice William O. Douglas. Progressive socialism was perhaps the best antidote for "decaying capitalism", as shown by the most progressive countries in Europe, which had operated for 40 years under socialistic programs. He suggests that there was a vast difference between socialism and Communism, as evidenced in such socialistic countries as Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland, the only countries in Europe where Soviet Communism had no chance of developing. He says that he had seen socialism make its first appearance and had heard his father and grandfather shout with joy when socialistic organizers had been clubbed and beaten because they tried to obtain strikes for better working conditions. But in those same countries now, there was great freedom, prosperity and a high standard of living, with very little crime and no beggars. He assures that such progress was impossible under Communism.

A letter from the chairman of the Mecklenburg Society of the North Carolina Society for Crippled Children thanks the newspaper for its cooperation in the recent Easter Seal campaign for crippled children. She expresses pride in having as their state chairman Luther Hodges—who would be elected Lieutenant Governor in 1952, and would accede to the position of Governor upon the death of Governor William B. Umstead in 1954. Governor Hodges would be elected on his own hook in 1956 and, in 1961, would be appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Kennedy.

A letter writer compliments the "objective, impartial reporting" by News editor Pete McKnight, during his tour of the Middle East in April, regarding the Palestine refugee problem, indicates that such reporting provided more faith in the uncensored press in a time of "propaganda and prejudice".

A letter from "The Homesick Boys", three sergeants and two privates of the Heavy Tank Company, 19th Infantry Regiment, in Korea, tells of having read an item in Stars & Stripes out of Asheville, with the headline, "3 Razor Wielding Women 'Ravish' Young Marine", finding that it demonstrated that it was not safe for servicemen to come home anymore, but also stating that if it were one of them after a stint in Korea, they would not have the heart to holler. "It's a shame the guy can't be on the street alone."

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