The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 14, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist negotiators in Korea this date announced that they would insist on daily truce talks. The U.N. command had stated that the Communists had turned the talks into "propaganda attacks which contribute nothing" toward establishing the peace. The Communists rejected the allied three-point armistice package proposal and provided no counter-proposal, but also stated that they had no intention of breaking off the negotiations. Lead Communist negotiator, General Nam Il, charged that the allies were treating the Communist prisoners inhumanely, indicating that it had been proved by the concessions made to obtain the release of Brig. General Francis Dodd the previous Saturday. He quoted the wording to which the Joint Chiefs had objected the previous day as being misleading. Lead U.N. negotiator, Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, indicated that General Nam had brought up the matter solely for the purposes of propaganda, out of fear of open joint screening of the prisoners of war to be conducted under fair and equitable circumstances. That was the remaining point of disagreement, the Communists claiming that there were more than 70,000 prisoners held by the U.N. who wanted voluntarily to repatriate, that they should receive at least 132,000 prisoners. This date's session lasted 22 minutes and another session would be scheduled for the following day.

Small fights lasting as long as four hours had erupted along the Korean front this date, the Eighth Army having reported that an allied patrol had killed 36 Communist troops in one early morning raid on the central front. The longest predawn skirmish, also on the central front, had taken place when the Communists probed a sector where U.N. tank patrols had tested Chinese defenses on Monday and Tuesday. Nearby, two Communist platoons had fought for nearly an hour and a half with allied outposts, with 31 Communists reported killed in the two fights. Lighter probes and long-range rifle duels erupted elsewhere.

Air Force and Naval planes reported nearly 200 new cuts having been made in North Korea's rail lines on Tuesday.

It was not clear when the Supreme Court would issue its ruling in the steel dispute, following two days of oral argument on Monday and Tuesday. Justice Robert Jackson had stated from the bench the previous day that he would oppose any hasty announcement of the Court's decision prior to it being reduced to a written opinion.

Secretary of Labor Maurice Tobin told cheering CIO steelworkers at the United Steelworkers Union convention in Philadelphia this date that he stood "heart and soul and spirit" behind them in their fight for a wage increase. He said that the only way to settle the dispute was through the acceptance of the recommendations of the Wage Stabilization Board. A late bulletin indicated that the steelworkers had unanimously agreed to hold a new strike if the industry failed to grant promptly a satisfactory wage increase.

The Senate Banking Committee voted 7 to 3 this date to strip the WSB of its controversial powers in labor disputes and to reorganize it as an all-public body, whereas presently it was comprised of six industry members, six public members and six labor members. The criticism of the WSB's powers had arisen from its recommendation for a union shop in the steel dispute. The Committee also voted the previous day to continue wage and price controls until the following March 1. Senators Paul Douglas of Illinois and Blair Moody of Michigan complained that the Committee had not adopted any strengthening amendment which favored the consuming public, though allowed that the extension was better than nothing. The President had requested an extension to the end of fiscal year 1953. The Committee did vote to extend rent controls and authority to allocate scarce civilian materials through that latter date.

Rowland Evans, Jr., reports that the WSB was preparing to place a general but flexible ceiling on the amount of wage increases which the 90,000 striking oil workers might obtain under wage controls, as the strike entered its third week without signs of settlement.

Late returns from the West Virginia primary gave Senator Taft a 14 to 1 delegate lead over General Eisenhower, after heavy voting. The Taft managers had said that they had expected a clean sweep but that losing one delegate would not bother them. General Eisenhower's name was not on the preferential ballot and write-ins were not permitted. Senator Taft had easily beaten former Governor Harold Stassen in the popular vote, 55,000 to 15,000. The Democrats held no presidential preference primary and, without a fight, named a 20-vote delegation to the nominating convention. Both parties' delegations were officially unpledged.

Before the National Press Club in Washington, Ambassador Averell Harriman, a Democratic candidate for the presidency, said that General Eisenhower, as a Republican President, would be "surrounded by those men who blocked progress in the country", including Senator Taft.

The News begins another straw poll of readers to determine their choice for the Democratic presidential nominee, listing Ambassador Harriman and Senators Estes Kefauver, Robert Kerr, Brien McMahon and Richard Russell. Vote your conscience. Keep your remarks clean.

In Manila, a man regained his honor by slashing the throat of another man and then leaping to a burning death in a barbecue pit, having left suicide notes which stated that the man whose throat he slashed had persecuted him and that death for both of them was the only way he could redeem his honor.

From London, it was reported that robbers boarded a train from Brighton to London the previous afternoon and stole 11,000 pounds from an unguarded mail car. Police believed that the robbers had unlocked the mail car door at a station stop, shut themselves in it and slit open a pile of registered mail bags, then slipped from the train at a later stop, money in hand.

In Angleton, Tex., two of four escaped convicts were recaptured prior to dawn this date after they had released their three hostages unharmed, the second group of hostages they had taken since escaping from a prison farm the previous night. A mother and daughter who had been taken hostage reported that they were not mistreated, despite being in the midst of running gun battles with police and an attempt by the convicts to steal an airplane, abandoned when they could not get a gasoline pump near the hangar to begin pumping. One of the convicts was a pilot but not, apparently, a gasoline pumper. One of the two recaptured convicts had been serving a life sentence for murder, and the other a sentence for robbery by means of assault.

In Charlotte, a fire of unknown origin had swept through the Clean Sweep Manufacturing Company located on Smith Street shortly before noon this date. No estimate of the damage was yet available.

On an inside page, appears the sixth of eight articles by Dr. W. C. Alavarez, in the series titled, "How To Live with Your Blood Pressure".

On the editorial page, "Taft As Commander-In-Chief" quotes from a speech delivered a few days earlier by Senator Taft, as distributed by his campaign headquarters, which had stated his recognition of the importance of maintaining a free Europe, while also indicating that because NATO's supporters had not promised success, European aid could not be the nation's number one priority, which instead had to be building up the Air Force to a point that it would be able to control the air over the North American continent and the oceans which surrounded the continent, and be fully able to deliver atom bombs for the destruction of Russian bases, fuel, supplies, communication lines and manufacturing plants.

The piece thinks the statement deserved further examination, as it assumed that maintaining a free Europe was presently the first defense priority when it was not. Defending the U.S. remained the first priority, with a budget of 50 billion dollars allocated to that defense, versus 7.9 billion dollars for the Mutual Security Program of foreign aid. The second priority was Korea, followed by maintenance of a free Europe. It also disagrees with his statement that NATO's supporters had promised "certain success", just as building up the Air Force in accordance with the criteria established by Senator Taft would not afford "certain success". But unless the airbases in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East were prevented from falling into Russian hands, the ability of the country to attack any Russian aggression would be critically limited. The Senator also had failed to take into account the effect of the loss to the U.S. of European labor, steel and productive capacity, should the strategic materials of the world and the potential fighting forces fall to the Russians while the U.S. maintained control of the air. In that event, it posits, Russia could force the U.S. to its knees.

Senator Taft's additional statement, that the basic thinking of the entire defense program was wrong, finding it to have been the result apparently of the control over the policy exercised by the land generals under the leadership of former Defense Secretary Marshall, was of the same arrogant variety as his earlier statement of "no confidence" in the Joint Chiefs. It concludes that it shuddered at the thought of a man with no experience in global military strategy, but possessed of many confident notions, becoming the commander-in-chief and starting to play soldier.

"The Koje Mess" finds the situation surrounding the Koje Island U.N. prisoner camp "increasingly weird", following the two riots of several weeks earlier resulting in a number of prisoners having been killed, and the taking hostage by the prisoners of the commandant of the camp, Brigadier General Francis Dodd, the previous week, after which negotiations had resulted in his release the prior Saturday. His successor, Brig. General Charles Colson, had, presumably following orders to obtain the release of General Dodd, agreed to certain conditions which the Joint Chiefs had, following the release of the General, found objectionable. General Mark Clark, after the release, suggested that the U.N. was not bound to follow the conditions because they had been made under duress.

It finds that both the wording of the conditions themselves and this statement by General Clark were propaganda victories for the Communists, who could claim that the U.N. bargained in bad faith. Then, when journalists were admitted to the compound, they found that the prisoners were in charge, with U.N. guards outside the barbed-wire barricade.

It suggests that it would take more than a military investigation to clear the air surrounding the matter, that perhaps some of the journalists would be able to provide the missing details, though likely not until they returned to the U.S. and would not be any longer subject to the strictures of military censorship. It urges that getting out the facts regarding the "fiasco" would prevent another setback in the psychological warfare.

"A Small Incident, but Meaningful" tells of an incident occurring at Woman's College in Greensboro, wherein four years earlier, the present senior class had adopted a project whereby they supported one deserving member of the class during the four years. The money was collected and then turned in to a faculty adviser, while the recipient of the money each year remained anonymous. From time to time, the students were informed that the chosen student was doing good work. Recently, the members of the class had held their last meeting and the faculty adviser told them that it was time to reveal the identity of the person they had been supporting, whereupon a waitress in the college dining hall from Salisbury was introduced by the student body president. She had an impressive resume of service to the college, including being student body president and permanent class president, as well as being an outstanding scholar. Thus, the student body president introduced herself.

The piece concludes: "Feel better? We do."

It is not entirely clear why it's so "meaningful", but maybe you had to be there, in a time when the leading evangelist of the day suggested that it might take an atomic bomb hitting the U.S. to awaken the country to the need for a spiritual revival. And, we suppose, we were not very far from that prospect in October, 1962. Whether, incidentally, that was due in any respect to the connivance of Senator Capehart and the Luces, not to mention others who were of the dedicated belief that it would be better to suffer a nuclear holocaust than to continue in the "godless" direction the country was going, we leave to your consideration.

A piece from the New York Times Magazine, titled "The Bard Scans Election Year", provides a series of quotes from Shakespeare, starting with "I eat the air, promise-crammed," from Hamlet, and proceeds to, "Oh welcome home, and welcome, General," from Coriolanus … through, "Who chooseth me shall get as much as he deserves," from The Merchant of Venice. No commentary was included.

They probably left at least one out: "Or as the Snake, roll'd in a flowring Banke, With shining checker'd slough doth sting a Child, That for the beautie thinkes it excellent." —Henry VI, Part 2, Act III, Sc. 1. But they couldn't have known—yet.

Drew Pearson tells of lobbying ongoing in Washington on behalf of higher-priced toilet facilities in railroad stations, lobbying undertaken by former Truman Administration counsel Clark Clifford and Delaware Senator Allen Frear. Both were seeking to help the Pennsylvania Railroad raise the legal price of toilets from a nickel to a dime. To that end, Senator Frear had introduced an amendment to the wartime controls act which would become known as "the toilet amendment". The amendment was still under study by the Senate Banking Committee.

The railroad, meanwhile, had already installed dime slots in its paid toilet doors, despite the Office of Price Stabilization having opposed the increase. But the railroad had claimed it would cost them $45,000 to reconvert the locks, to which OPS had replied that the locks had been installed after the price freeze and so the railroad had acted at its own risk. He also notes that Grand Central Station in New York City had set up higher-priced turnstiles in its pay washrooms a day before the price freeze took effect, and, though technically within the law, had, nevertheless, voluntarily changed the locks in response to the OPS ruling, without argument. The dispute between the railroad and the OPS had simmered for ten months, until the OPS sued the railroad for treble damages amounting to $385,245 and sought an injunction to stop the overcharge. Faced with a losing court battle, the railroad began lobbying in Congress. Senator Frear's amendment would have the effect not only of providing for the increase in toilet fees, but would also nullify the Government's suit. In the meantime, the railroad was collecting overcharges at the rate of $400 per day—that is to say, 8,000 additional nickels.

It ought be available freely.

U.S. Steel had been able to pull backstage wires recently in the Senate Banking Committee to get it to cancel a public debate of the important steel issue. It was done by secret vote at a meeting of the Committee after the Committee had already voted to hold a public debate, in which representatives of industry, labor and Government would engage in a round table discussion and argument of the issues. Senators Homer Capehart of Indiana and Willis Robertson of Virginia, both of whom had been "buzzing around" with the big steel moguls throughout the steel crisis, had been supportive of the change to a private meeting. Senator Robertson said that he would feel like a "nitwit" if the Committee admitted that it could not get at the essential facts without a public debate. Chairman Burnet Maybank of South Carolina ultimately agreed on the point. Senator Blair Moody of Michigan argued, however, that all sides should be heard before the public so that the public could determine who was telling the truth. Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois indicated that without public hearings, those with the most money could place the most ads and hire the best press agents to get out its version of the facts. He provides a list of the Committee members and the way they had voted on the issue, five of whom having voted for holding the public hearing, including, in addition to Senators Moody and Douglas, John Sparkman of Alabama, William Benton of Connecticut and Republican Irving Ives of New York. The other seven members voted to hold a hearing in private.

Marquis Childs tells of the Republican attempt to prevent the confirmation of Federal Judge James McGranery as the new Attorney General, being no more than a protest, with the real attack to come after he would be confirmed. It was a strategy of the Republicans to be used generally against the Administration on the eve of the political conventions.

The opponents of Judge McGranery had cited publicly several instances which they used to challenge his discretion or integrity, but no one had found anything which reflected on the Judge insofar as influence-peddling. The rumor mill had it that a World War II black-market liquor prosecution, dropped following an out-of-court settlement while Mr. McGranery had been the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division, was the result of influence-peddling which involved Mr. McGranery. The Republican private investigators, at least, were trying desperately to find such matter to use it as a deliberate smear.

He suggests a parallel with the recent hearings on Newbold Morris, after he had been appointed by the President as the investigator of corruption in the Administration, with the hearings in that matter having focused on Mr. Morris's law firm's role in a tanker deal with the Nationalist Chinese and the use of the tankers to transport oil to the Communist Chinese right up to the time of the Korean War.

The confirmation hearings on Judge McGranery had revealed a new, growing factionalism within the Democratic Party, as one of the primary witnesses against him had been Richard Dilworth, the District Attorney of Philadelphia, who had testified in an executive session that Judge McGranery was completely unfit to be Attorney General. Mr. Dilworth had led the fight to clean up corruption in the Republican machine in Philadelphia, and so was especially impressive to the Republicans of the Senate Judiciary Committee. He had taken a leading role in the Americans for Democratic Action, largely comprised of Democrats from the labor-liberal wing of the party. After Mr. Dilworth had left the Committee room, Judge McGranery informed the Committee that Mr. Dilworth had refused to sign a loyalty oath and had been a leader in the ADA in Pennsylvania. The Committee then recalled Mr. Dilworth and questioned him about the accusation, to which he responded that the loyalty oath had been contained in a bill which had been so loosely drawn that it covered not only past but future groups which might be critical of the Government or current laws. He replied that the ADA had Senators among its membership. Chairman of the Committee, Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, responded, however, that those were colleagues of whom he did not think highly. In any event, concludes Mr. Childs, the exchange appeared to have nullified the effect of Mr. Dilworth's testimony.

The Committee approved, by a vote of 8 to 4, the nomination of Judge McGranery, with seven Democrats on the Committee joining one Republican, Senator William Langer of North Dakota.

He concludes that as Attorney General, Mr. McGranery would have an opportunity, even in the short span of the remaining nine months of the Administration, to "help clear the noxious atmosphere" of Washington.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Senator Taft having been quoted recently that there had not been such a struggle as in 1952 for the Republican nomination during the previous 40 years, when his father, President William Howard Taft, was challenged by former President Theodore Roosevelt, who had the support of the Republican rank-and-file, while President Taft controlled the party machinery, resulting in Mr. Roosevelt winning numerous primary victories, but leading President Taft's campaign manager to declare that, notwithstanding those victories, they had the credentials committee—which enabled the President ultimately to win the nomination, carrying only Vermont and Utah ultimately in the general election.

It was true that in 1952, by a stroke of historical irony, a similar situation had manifested itself, whereby Senator Taft's organization controlled much of the party machinery, while General Eisenhower had been winning most of the primaries without campaigning.

In Louisiana and Texas, the loyal Republican Party organizations were strongly for Senator Taft, but in the South generally, many Democrats were declaring for General Eisenhower, enabling him to develop a popular surge, even in Texas and Louisiana. According to the leading backers of General Eisenhower in Texas, a typical incident had occurred in the district of John Zweifel, head of the Republican organization in Texas, whereby he called a local caucus in his own home, but finding himself heavily outvoted at the gathering, allegedly abandoned his home to the enemy and led his few faithful across the street, arranging matters to his liking in a rump, minority meeting. Thus, it was unclear what would happen with the Texas delegation, as well as other similarly situated delegations in other states.

A letter writer tells of the perils of having to drive every day along South Boulevard, especially as one approached the Morehead intersection, where opposing traffic had the green light at the same time and it was "every man for himself". He hopes the police would begin cruising the boulevard and hand out tickets.

A letter from Clarence Streit, president of the Federal Union, Inc., the advocacy group for establishing the Atlantic Union, the economic and political union of the NATO nations, responds to a number of the newspaper's readers who had urged him to keep up the good work after he had spoken recently in Charlotte, indicating that his organization had issued a "13-Year Report", stating the progress which had occurred since the organization was formed in 1939. Indicative of that progress, he suggests, was the fact that both General Eisenhower and Senator Kefauver were identified with the concept of Atlantic unity. Senator Kefauver was the chief sponsor of the resolution presently before Congress calling for a federal convention to explore the possibilities of Atlantic Union, and had won the Nebraska primary, despite being attacked for his advocacy on the point by Senator Robert Kerr. General Eisenhower, in his recent report as NATO commander, had urged that the NATO alliance be strengthened to the point where Moscow would be ready to reduce its armaments. Mr. Streit provides an address where readers could obtain the report and thanks the friends of the organization for their support during the years.

A letter writer from Monroe takes issue with gubernatorial candidate William B. Umstead, saying that he remembered him as "an ardent crusader, a hyper-cocky reactionary, a champion of an unjust cause whose poisonous ideology should have died at Richmond, Gettysburg, and Atlanta." He remembered him in 1950 displaying an "arrogant tantrum like a spoiled child" in his "over-aggressive and almost savage defense of inequalities in the educational system of Durham." He indicates that he had given his talents to the City of Durham free of charge, "not in behalf of segregation, the tradition of the South, but in an effort to prevent Negroes from acquiring just educational facilities." He says that Mr. Umstead had sought to prove that the dual system of schools in Durham were equal, declares that to have been a "farce". He allows that Mr. Umstead might have changed his views in the interim, but finds it unlikely, despite saying that he was for better schools for all. He was not surprised that Mr. Umstead was against allowing North Carolina to vote on a veterans' bonus.

It is not quite clear, given his suggestion that segregation was "the tradition of the South" just what this letter writer advocates.

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