The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 17, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Mark Clark, new supreme commander of the U.N. forces in Korea, had dispatched the U.S. 187th Airborne Infantry Regiment of paratroops from Japan to Koje Island prison camp to reinforce the U.N. guard there and prevent further mass outbreaks which would inevitably "result in additional violence and bloodshed". He indicated that he would not countenance further unlawful acts on the part of the Communist prisoners and civilian internees held in the prison camp. He said that he had dispatched the regiment at the request of General James Van Fleet, the ground commander in Korea. He also said that the Communist prisoners had acted obviously on instructions from outside agents of the "international Communist power conspiracy".

Defense Secretary Robert Lovett, in a Pentagon news conference, said that if the Communists engaged in germ or gas warfare, they would "wish they had never been born". The statement was in response to Communist propaganda which charged that the U.N. had used weapons of mass destruction, including germ warfare, in the Korean War, claims which Mr. Lovett said were lies. He indicated that it was a typical Communist technique to charge someone else in advance with a crime which they proposed to commit.

Parades across the country celebrated the third annual Armed Forces Day.

Senator Estes Kefauver recaptured the lead for Democratic presidential delegates, as he and General Eisenhower coasted to popular vote victories in the Oregon Democratic and Republican primaries. Senator Kefauver had been virtually unopposed in the Democratic race and received 12 delegates who were bound by the results. The Associated Press total for the Senator now stood at 101.5, compared to 92 for Ambassador Averell Harriman. A total of 267.5 delegates were uncommitted, with the remainder spread among 14 other candidates, and nomination requiring 616. In Washington, a state convention at Spokane was being pressured to elect Kefauver delegates.

On the Republican side, the Oregon delegation would be uninstructed but all, save eight, who were supposedly for Senator Taft, had agreed to support the preferential primary winner, General Eisenhower. Eisenhower supporters in Vermont were predicting that they would capture all 12 of Vermont's Republican delegates being named this date in a convention. Senator Taft picked up eight additional delegates in North Dakota when a convention at Bismarck put together a 14-vote uninstructed delegation. According to the Associated Press tally, Senator Taft now led General Eisenhower 374 to 306, with 156 delegates either uncommitted or in dispute, and 604 needed to nominate.

In Raleigh, North Carolina political leaders appeared to favor Georgia Senator Richard Russell in the Democratic presidential race, and indications were that a pro-Russell delegation would be selected in the state convention the following Thursday. There had been no organized Russell movement in the state, but both Senators Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith, plus several members of the Congressional delegation, had indicated their support for Senator Russell. Governor Kerr Scott, who had been for the President until his withdrawal from the race, had not indicated a second choice, but stated he would support the national convention nominee. It was believed that the state convention would not formally instruct the delegates to support any candidate. Future Senator B. Everett Jordan, state Democratic chairman, indicated that he believed the majority of the delegates selected would favor Senator Russell. A supporter of Senator Kefauver also indicated that he believed most of the delegates would favor the Georgia Senator.

Senator Russell had received 59.5 percent of the straw votes cast in the News poll of readers, while Senator Kefauver received 40.5 percent. The other three announced candidates, Ambassador Harriman and Senators Robert Kerr and Brien McMahon received no votes, despite their names having been on the straw ballot. Only a relatively few readers responded. It supplies some of the anecdotal remarks on the ballots.

On the 17th day of the nationwide oil workers strike, a large portion of the workers began returning to work, but settlements between the numerous companies and unions involved were occurring only slowly, after the recommendation by the Wage Stabilization Board of a 15-cent wage increase, regarding which many among the rank-and-file had expressed disappointment after the coalition of 22 unions had sought a 25-cent raise plus other benefits. Aviation fuel continued to be in short supply.

In Corpus Christi, Texas, a million-dollar oil fire which had burned all night was extinguished shortly after dawn this date, occurring at the General American tank terminal.

In West Warwick, R.I., a man identified as the principal suspect in the unsolved 1.2 million dollar Brinks robbery in Boston 28 months earlier had been slain by shotgun blasts and pistol fire outside his home early this date, the victim of a murder. Providence police quickly took into custody another man who had previously been questioned in connection with another slaying, but did not identify the person, also a suspect in the Brinks robbery. Both the murder victim and the other suspect had been named by a third individual, who admitted on May 14, while in prison, his role in the robbery, from which he had received $15,000 as his share of the loot at the murder victim's home, but having been immediately held up and robbed of the money.

In Charlotte, registrars at 70 city and county precincts opened their registration books this date for the last time before the primary, and were anticipating 5,000 new voters to register by nightfall. Prior to the start of the weekend registration days on May 3, 47,000 residents of the city and county were registered to vote.

Also in Charlotte, in the trial of Albert Raymond Reinhart for the first-degree murder of prominent Wilmington attorney, Emmett Bellamy, on March 31, the defense and prosecution rested their cases, and final arguments were to begin in the afternoon session of court, with the possibility that the all-male jury would receive the case early this night, possibly precluding the necessity of going into a Sunday session. One of the State's primary witnesses was Mr. Bellamy's legal associate, Lloyd Elkins, Jr., who had been wounded by the defendant at the same time Mr. Bellamy had been fatally shot, as they both entered an elevator in the Law Building in Charlotte. The State had been expected to call the defense counsel, who had talked to the defendant shortly after the shooting, but did not do so—undoubtedly on the basis of the attorney being ready to assert the attorney-client privilege to avoid testifying adversely to his client. The defense consisted solely of the contention that the defendant was temporarily insane at the time of the shootings. The defendant had contended that he shot Mr. Bellamy because he had stolen $40,000 from his mother, Mr. Bellamy having acted as trustee for the defendant's mother, whose mental state had deteriorated to the point, according to the defendant's testimony, that she could no longer recognize him as her son. The defendant was facing the death penalty unless the jury, in the event of conviction, recommended mercy, in which case a life sentence was mandatory. The prosecution's rebuttal evidence consisted of several police officers and detectives, plus two newspaper reporters, one from the News and one from the Charlotte Observer, all of whom had talked to the defendant after the shooting. The News reporter, A. M. Secrest, testified that the defendant had admitted to him killing Mr. Bellamy, adding that he was glad that he had done it, that a "human rattlesnake" had stolen $40,000 from his mother. Other prosecution witnesses in rebuttal included persons on the scene of the shooting and its immediate aftermath, some of whom testified that the defendant was nervous, but not extremely so, while others said he appeared normal. A secretary testified that she had heard Mr. Bellamy state to the defendant that they were going to give the property back, which they had sold in order to raise money to support the defendant's mother. Both psychiatrists who had testified the previous day, one from Duke University and the other from the Dix State Hospital, said that the defendant could have been temporarily insane at the time of the shootings, but neither found evidence of mental disease or defect. The Dix doctor said that part of the emotion displayed on the witness stand by the defendant might have been feigned. Both said that he was highly emotional and unstable, and that the instability had been caused by his unhappy childhood during which both of his parents had constantly quarreled and his father had been an alcoholic. The trial was being presided over by future Governor and State Supreme Court Justice Dan K. Moore.

In Rome, actress Ingrid Bergman was in the hospital this date, awaiting the birth of her expected twins.

On the editorial page, "Join the GOP, Jimmy" tells of Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina stating that the largest minority in the country was composed of the white people of the South, that he abhorred the division of the people into classes, but that the country had witnessed the success of the efforts of the organized minorities in the national conventions in doing so, with their efforts directed against Southern whites. He indicated that it was necessary that Southern whites, in defense of themselves, should act in concert.

It indicates that the minority of whom he spoke, which was not composed of all the white people of the Southern states, was well-organized and had been quite successful as a negative influence on the politics of the nation, despite being a very small percentage of the total population. It had effectively upheld its cardinal principles of states' rights and opposition to the Fair Employment Practices Commission, in the face of substantial opposition from larger minorities. It suggests that Governor Byrnes could profit from reading an article in the current issue of Time, discussing Senator Russell, saying that if the Republicans were to nominate General Eisenhower, he would likely get more Southern votes than any Republican in history, potentially leading to the extension of the two-party system to the South, and with it, the re-establishment of the Calhoun compromise, not requiring open threats of a bolt from the party organization.

It indicates that some Republicans would have no more use for some of the followers of Governor Byrnes than did some Democrats, but that if he wanted to do the South a service, he could lead his group into the Republican Party. It suggests that a two-party South could reduce the class division which Governor Byrnes and others like him were fomenting while indicating that they abhorred it.

"A Better Deal All Around" tells of strides forward having been made by the 16 million non-white population of the country, as recorded by the census, advancements which had been overshadowed by the stress on civil rights. The age-adjusted death rate had dropped 22 percent from 1940 to 1949, with sharp declines in mortality from tuberculosis, pneumonia and other infectious diseases. The infant mortality rate had dropped by more than a third and maternal mortality by two-thirds. The average length of life had risen almost seven years during the decade, compared to a gain of nearly four years for whites, to a life expectancy of 60.8 years, compared to 68.7 for whites. The family unit among non-whites had been strengthened, with the proportion of married men rising from 58.2 percent to 63.4 percent and of married women, from 56.9 percent to 62.1 percent. Educational opportunities had improved, with the proportion of persons between the ages of 14 and 17 enrolled in schools having risen from 68.2 percent to 75.6 percent, and those between 18 and 24 years of age, from 9.1 percent to 14.6 percent.

The increases indicated a promising future for the non-white population, 96 percent of whom were black. It also pointed out a corollary, that longer lifespans, better health, better education and greater economic opportunity would enable non-whites to make a far greater contribution to the total productive capacity of the nation.

"Half a Loaf" tells of Congress being no place for the person of modest means, there being so many demands on the pocketbook of the individual member. Thus, the Congress had belatedly passed a measure to enable members to deduct their expenses for tax purposes while living in Washington. But it only accomplished half of its intended purpose. There was need to increase the $12,500 annual salary and $2,500 allowance for expenses, so that better qualified people would be induced to run for Congress without the temptations of outside income sources, favors and payola.

"A Reminder" tells of Senator John Williams of Delaware having done the Republican Party and the American people a service when he warned his Republican colleagues not to get the idea that the Republicans had a monopoly on virtue. Coming from such a tenacious pursuer of corrupt officials, the statement had a real impact. Senator Williams had been digging into the income tax scandals for two years and had been responsible for bringing to light the irregularities at the IRB. The Senator informed his Republican colleagues that a scandal such as Teapot Dome of the 1920's could occur again in the future.

The piece indicates that it was a lesson the Republicans ought bear in mind as they approached the 1952 election, as the American people were aware that neither party was completely virtuous. Corruption would be an important issue in the forthcoming campaign, but the Republicans would err seriously if they relied on it to the neglect of sound and convincing domestic and foreign policies.

The full extent of the perspicacity of both Senator Williams and this piece could not be known yet at the time, but was considerable, and though with pre-indicants of the cancer eating at the party to be on display starting the following September, it would take yet another 20 years for it to be fully realized.

If big-business alignment cannot win without being dishonest, telling them what they want to hear in the spring and then running like hell back to the center in the fall, it is because the public rejects that alignment, and no amount of dissembling propaganda to sugar-coat trickle-down economics is ultimately going to make it more palatable to the American people, once they wake up to the trick, which has been played on them time and time and time and time again, including in the present, by the Old Guard Republican Party stalwarts. That there are saps born into each generation who continually buy into this charade and snake oil sales never ceases to amaze. They sell it to the average voter on such nonsense as banning abortions, similar to the old Prohibition argument, having nothing to do, at its core, with "Christian values", institution of "law and order", including quick infliction of the death penalty, quite contrary to "pro-life" considerations, exposing the utter hypocrisy of such movements, building a wall to keep out "dangerous" immigrants and "drug dealers", knowing full well that the drugs enter primarily via ships and airplanes, not by individual mules coming across the border on land and foot, keeping your guns safe from gov'ment seizure so that they can be used to shoot you and your family, not to mention others, and other such ad hoc issues, all while stealing the ground out from under the unsuspecting worker and farmer through big-business aggregation, ultimately designed only to make the rich richer and the poor poorer.

Where on earth did you conceive the notion that a multi-billionaire would be able to solve any of the nation's problems in such manner that it would ultimately benefit the individual scrapping to make ends meet? You have to be out of your blooming minds.

A piece from the New York Times, titled "A Patient, Persistent Mediator", finds that Frank Porter Graham, the U.N. negotiator in the Kashmir dispute, deserved a medal for his record of persistent mediation, despite having to talk in circles month after month, making no measurable progress in the meantime, while journeying back and forth between India and U.N. headquarters, cheerfully announcing on each occasion that he would try again. The Security Council had been struggling with the problem for four years, during which time there had only been one positive achievement, the establishment of a ceasefire line in January, 1949. But war had thus far been avoided between Pakistan and India regarding the disposition of Kashmir, and that was the most significant result from the ongoing negotiations.

Mr. Graham wanted to add to the negotiations the wise voice of Admiral Chester Nimitz, who had been named plebiscite administrator three years earlier for a plebiscite which had not yet taken place regarding whether the residents of Kashmir wanted to align with India or Pakistan. Many apparently wanted to become independent, though that made little sense.

In the unwillingness to compromise in the matter, India was to be condemned as being resistant while Pakistan had shown willingness to accept U.N. proposals. Mr. Graham had failed in the latest round of negotiations because India had demanded a tremendous advantage in the armed forces which would remain in Kashmir during a plebiscite, while Pakistan agreed to the proposed formula which would have given India about a 5 to 4 superiority in strength. India always insisted on returning to the origins of the dispute, in which Pakistan had largely been at fault, whereas the U.N. had consistently sought a solution based on wider considerations and the present danger.

The piece concludes that the only thing to say was more power to Mr. Graham and hopes that his patience would hold out.

Bill Sharpe and his "Turpentine Drippings", absent from the page for a couple of months, returns, providing one from the Zebulon Record, which recounts of a Piper Cub airplane having stuck in mid-air when its shadow started wallowing over the mud and mire of the country roads below.

Nell Battle Lewis of the Raleigh News & Observer tells of noticing a social phenomenon whereby the female students at Needham Broughton High School, some of whom often passed her house traveling in boy and girl pairs, were now carrying their own books, prompting her to wonder whether that was the custom at present. She recounts that when she had gone to the first Raleigh High School in the old Governor's Mansion at the foot of Fayetteville Street in Raleigh, it had been one of the "tenderest attentions a girl could receive" to have her escort carry her books home, no less than "heart-fluttering". She suggests that it was probably considered too mild an attention in 1952.

We just go...

The Concord Tribune finds that, in the era of speed, occasionally one found someone moving slowly enough to keep in touch with many of the realities, such as the little children playing in the yards along the roads or the friendly dogs or the flowers in the home gardens, from which one might be offered a sample to wear in his lapel. Or smiling and speaking to people, whose names the passerby may not know, but who would smile and speak in return. It suggests that everyone, from time to time, needed to slow things down "to gain the stuff for memories of tomorrow".

Speed is where it's at, daddy-o...

And so on and on and on and on forth, so forth.

The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles indicates that Saturday night had long been suggested in song and story as the wickedest night of the week, as people with paychecks and the prospect of Sunday morning in bed naturally wanted to kick up their heels in such pursuits as drinking parties at roadhouses or participation in crazy races along deserted country roads at speeds up to 90 mph, or accelerating their cars in tight circles in front of drive-ins, usually to impress female companions. At such times, the activities became the headaches of State Highway Patrolmen, whose days seldom ended before midnight or 1:00 a.m. during the weekend.

Recently, a Wake County resident had terrified the neighborhood with pistol shots, ordinarily the responsibility of the sheriff's office, but in this instance falling to the Highway Patrol, after it had been reported by the man's hysterical wife that he had attempted to kill her and then had roared down the road drunk in his battered old Ford.

The Highway Patrol also had to tend to couples necking in their cars, when they parked them halfway in the roadway, which often was the case, to their own peril.

Following a dance, sports event or show, people would hit the roads and "break bad", meaning to speed. It was not easy to lose a pursuing patrolman, who could spot a disappearing taillight in the distance and clock it, overtake it and cite the offending driver.

It was not surprising that the majority of auto collisions occurred on Saturdays, and particularly on Saturday nights. It concludes that the 500 men of the Highway Patrol were busy protecting life and property on the highways, and were a little more alert than usual on Saturday nights, ready to intercept the careless, drunken or speeding motorists.

Drew Pearson tells of Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley having become quite angry over the situation regarding the accepted terms of release of Brig. General Francis Dodd the previous week from his captivity by the Communist prisoners at the Koje Island prison camp, as accepted by interim camp commandant, Brig. General Charles Colson. General Bradley had demanded an explanation from General Mark Clark, who had just been assigned as U.N. supreme commander. He was especially concerned about the bad effect the published agreement was having on world propaganda, as the terms were freighted with bad implications. One such term had been that the prisoners in the future could expect "humane treatment in this camp according to the principles of international law", implying that there had been less than that previously. Another such term was that the camp commander would do all within his power to "eliminate further violence and bloodshed", when the only violence and bloodshed previously had been as a result of prisoner uprisings in the camp. The third such troublesome statement was that there would be "no more forcible screening or any rearming of prisoners of war" in the camp, whereas General Bradley stated that he had not been aware of any rearming of prisoners or forcible screening. He was also concerned about General Clark's statement that because the conditions had been agreed to under duress and should be interpreted accordingly, that they would not be honored, further having an adverse effect in the eyes of the world.

General Clark had replied that he was directing General Van Fleet to relieve General Colson from command during the investigation of the matter and stated that he also was having difficulty understanding General Colson's statement, suggesting a public statement be issued and that clarification would come out of the investigation. General Clark also indicated that no prisoner of war had been armed and there had been no contemplation of such, and that General Colson had stated that the Communist leaders in the prison camp had been referring to the possibility that prisoners of war and civilian internees transferred to South Korea would be rearmed and pressed into service against the Communist forces.

Marquis Childs discusses the House cuts in the defense budget having most drastically affected the Air Force, threatening to revive the old struggle between the branches. The original budget requests, totaling 55 billion dollars, meant that the Army would have 27 divisions, plus combat teams, the Air Force, 143 wings, and the Navy, a definite number of super-carriers, each with a complement of cruisers, destroyers and destroyer-escorts. The 55 billion was pared down to 52 billion by the Bureau of the Budget and the White House, and reluctantly Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett and the Joint Chiefs agreed to the reduction. But then the House, without exercising apparent reason in its cuts to the Air Force in particular, pared the budget to 44.37 billion dollars.

The original cut to 52 billion had meant delaying the 143-wing build-up until mid-1955 from mid-1954, and the House cut meant delaying it until mid-1957, over five years into the future, while Russia continued to build and emphasize its military, already possessed of superior air strength to that of the U.S.

Some members of Congress were suggesting that reallocation of the funds within the House-cut budget could still save the Air Force build-up target for mid-1955.

Those who directed the armed services, both civilians and military, were of the opinion that the Congressional cutting had been very arbitrary and casual, given that months were spent combing over the budgets to try to get them into manageable shape prior to ever being submitted to Congress, while then in one committee session, whole chunks were slashed away and the far-reaching plans sent out the window, causing the planners to have to start again.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the Democrats were heading into what appeared would be a bigger, louder and angrier convention than would the Republicans during the summer, for the fact that the President had apparently suddenly decided to make the Fair Deal a central part of the convention, much to the consternation of the Southern delegations. When the President had tapped Governor Adlai Stevenson to be the nominee, reconciliation of old wounds appeared to be the theme. But after the Governor had taken himself out of the running for the nomination, the old wounds appeared to be opening back up, with the President's support.

The President had agreed to make a speech at the annual convention of the Americans for Democratic Action, notwithstanding the facts that the liberal organization was anathema to the Southerners, and that the President had also disliked the organization for it having suggested that he not run again in 1948. The President had also indicated Senator Hubert Humphrey as his first choice as the keynoter at the convention, despite his having disliked Mr. Humphrey's role at the 1948 convention for his complete endorsement of the Fair Employment Practices Committee plank in the platform, whereas the President had favored a compromise plank with the Southern delegates. While DNC chairman Frank McKinney would likely dissuade the President from the choice of Senator Humphrey to deliver the keynote address, the fact that he had made the Senator his first choice indicated his decision to try to preserve the legacy of the Fair Deal into the future. Thus, there would surely be a fight at the convention between the Southern wing and the Northern wing of the party.

Averell Harriman had emerged as the White House choice for the nomination, and he was endorsing the FEPC without serious qualifications and was also emphasizing the Truman social programs. He was contending that he could beat General Eisenhower because of his appeal to the left-wing voting groups, while the General was expected to take a somewhat conservative line on domestic issues. Ambassador Harriman had consulted with the President regularly since his announcement that he was running and so his strategy had to have the President's full approval. He had impressed Northern politicians with his energy and determination in the campaign and had accumulated contingent pledges from such leaders as the Mayor of Pittsburgh and Governor Stevenson, who had promised to try to hold the Illinois delegation for Ambassador Harriman, despite the support given to Senator Estes Kefauver by Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois.

They conclude that if no movement materialized to draft Governor Stevenson as the party nominee, Ambassador Harriman might arrive at the convention with a more sizable bloc of delegates that had first been anticipated.

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