The Charlotte News

Friday, May 2, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that the Communist negotiators in Korea this date refused to agree to a U.N. command package proposal for settling the armistice deadlock, communicated during a secret plenary session of the delegations. Another full session was scheduled for the next day, giving rise to speculation that the Communists might have offered a compromise plan. The chief allied delegate, Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, however, refused to make any comment. It was the first meeting of the full delegations since they had recessed the prior Monday to permit the Communists time to study the allied plan.

The Navy announced that two American destroyers were damaged slightly by Communist shore batteries in a gun duel which raged all of Wednesday afternoon in Wonsan harbor on the east coast of Korea. There was no indication as to whether there were any casualties. Gunners on the destroyer Maddox—which, along with the Turner Joy, would form the basis for the Gulf of Tonkin incident in early August, 1964, giving rise to the Congressional resolution which authorized President Johnson "to take all necessary measures to repel any armed attack against the forces of the United States and to prevent further aggression" and "to assist any member or protocol state of the Southeast Asia Collective Defense Treaty requesting assistance in defense of its freedom"—had been splashed by spray from 125 near misses and several shrapnel holes were found in the ship. The destroyer Laffey, which had moved in to support the Maddox, reported that 170 rounds of enemy fire had hit near the ship. Both ships returned 730 rounds at the enemy shore guns.

In the air war, 22 Sabre jets fought four Communist MIG-15s, probably destroying one, and the slower F-84 Thunderjets engaged four enemy MIG-15s but claimed no hits. Allied warplanes continued to strike at enemy supply lines in the western sector while fighter-bombers teamed with the First Marine Air Wing in hitting enemy revetments along the battlefront.

An Army corporal from Forest City, N.C., Jerry Crump, 19, of the Third Division, had been awarded the Medal of Honor for his valor in falling on an exploding hand grenade to save his comrades the prior September 6-7, and, though wounded, had lived. He would receive the highest award the country bestowed for valor from the President on a future date. Corporal Crump had twice rushed the advancing enemy with his bayonet fixed and on another occasion had left his foxhole to recapture an American machine gun from the enemy by means of hand-to-hand combat, and on four occasions had rushed into the battle to rescue wounded comrades, after which he had flung himself on the grenade thrown by a Communist soldier. After an American counterattack had cleared the area later in the morning, 17 dead enemy soldiers were found piled in front of the corporal's position and 21 other bodies lay in places which could have been covered by his fire. He had been born in Charlotte and had enlisted in the Army in June, 1950, just as the Korean War was starting, and had reached Korea four months later.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of three officers of the 378th Engineer Battalion, the local National Guard unit on duty in Korea, having returned home, leaving only three other original members still with the old outfit. All save a few of the original members had returned home several weeks earlier. The three returning officers had departed Korea about a month earlier. Each of their wives was present to greet them at the airport. One greeted a new son, 13 months old, whom he had never seen before.

Philip Murray, head of the United Steelworkers Union, called off the steel strike at the request of the President and agreed to a White House conference between the union representatives, industry and the President. The head of Inland Steel, who had originally vigorously denounced the President's seizure of the industry, said that he would attend the meeting and it was predicted that other steel company representatives would also accept the invitation. One steel plant, Allegheny Ludlum, had begun returning to production within two hours of Mr. Murray's order. About 35,000 workers in allied industries, such as railroads, remained idle, awaiting recall orders. Meanwhile, the steel industry filed a petition seeking review by the Supreme Court of the decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, staying the District Court temporary injunction of the seizure, finding that there was ample authority to support extraordinary executive powers in time of national emergencies. The Government filed its own petition as well.

Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall stated this date to the House Banking Committee, considering extension of price controls beyond June 30, that the steel companies "feel they have the country over a barrel and intend to extort their price increase or wreck the economy." He said that the steel industry had informed him that it was not opposed in principle to a wage increase, and that the controversy could be settled overnight if the industry were to receive the price increase it desired, that is $12 per ton, when present price controls limited the increase to three dollars per ton. He said that he remained unalterably opposed to any price increase beyond three dollars per ton. Mr. Arnall stated that former Mobilization director Charles E. Wilson had told him that he favored a "commensurate" price increase for the steel industry, interpreted by Mr. Arnall to mean that the industry would not have to bear any of the wage increase out of its profits. Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam, testifying before the Committee, stated that before he had resigned, Mr. Wilson had expressed a willingness to grant an increase of $7.50 per ton on the basis of the Wage Stabilization Board's recommendation for a package increase equivalent to 26 cents per hour for the steelworkers.

Howard W. Blakeslee, 72, Associated Press science editor and Pulitzer Prize winner, died this date of a coronary thrombosis at his home in Port Washington, N.Y. He had been a member of the A.P. staff since 1905 and had only recently returned from viewing atomic bomb tests in Nevada. He had also covered the first tests at Bikini in 1946.

General Eisenhower picked up eight new Republican delegates from Missouri, placing him ahead of Senator Taft for the first time in the Associated Press tabulation of pre-convention committed delegates, with the total now being 278 for the General and 274 for the Senator. Taft headquarters had the count at 344 for the Senator to 268 for the General, not counting the Missouri results. Senator Taft, meanwhile, said that he would not turn down an invitation to debate General Eisenhower after the latter's return from Europe around June 1. He added, however, that he believed debates were more appropriate in the general election campaign. In Salem, Oregon, Governor Douglas McKay, a supporter of General Eisenhower, said that Taft backers were trying to pull a "political trick" by putting eight candidates for the state's 18 Republican delegates on the ballot without naming the nominee they would support. Oregon delegates traditionally were bound by the results of the primary and the Governor claimed that the eight uncommitted delegates represented an attempt to disregard the choice of the people. Indiana Republicans approved advancing the state nominating convention from July 3 to June 7, just six days after the expected return of General Eisenhower, interpreted as a victory for Senator Taft. Republican leaders in Nevada predicted that the two principal candidates would share equally in that state's 12-vote Republican delegation.

On the Democratic side, in Florida, Governor Fuller Warren agreed to meet Senator Estes Kefauver in a debate the following Monday, a day before the primary. The two had exchanged jabs regarding Senator Kefauver's crime investigating committee's attempt the prior year to have Governor Warren testify as a witness, which he had resisted, after the committee had exposed campaign contributions to the Governor from gambling interests and organized crime. Meanwhile, Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, in a speech in Jacksonville, challenged Senator Kefauver on his stand on the Fair Employment Practices Commission, which would bar job discrimination based on race, pointing out that five years earlier, Senator Kefauver had spoken against FEPC but now was saying that he would accept it as a plank in the Democratic Party platform at the convention.

At his weekly press conference the previous day, the President said that he would not accept if nominated at the convention. He also commented on the recent announcement by Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut that he was a candidate, saying that he was qualified for the presidency. The President also stated that there was no truth to rumors that General Eisenhower was ill and added that he was as fine a man as ever walked.

The League of Women Voters presented a nationwide television broadcast from Cincinnati, with Senators Kefauver and Robert Kerr, plus Averell Harriman, and Republicans Harold Stassen and Governor Earl Warren, plus Paul Hoffman as a proxy for General Eisenhower. Questions and answers were prepared in advance and shed little new light on campaign issues.

In Barnwell, S.C., the sheriff was holding a former Charlotte woman for investigation in connection with the fatal shooting of her husband the previous day, the sheriff reporting that he had received conflicting stories regarding the shooting, the wife claiming that her husband had been accidentally shot when their 3 1/2-year old son had picked up a loaded pistol in their trailer home, but the little boy stating that his mother had fired the pistol.

You not gonna get nothin' for Christmas you keep defyin' yo' mama like 'at.

In Bristol, England, educators had refused to ban drinking of wine by British students traveling to France for the summer, contending that French wine was safer than French water, despite the ban having been demanded by the National British Women's Total Abstinence Union. The education committee said that no one in France drank water straight, because it needed wine to purify it.

On page 9-A, Dr. W. C. Alvarez, in the fifth installment of his series titled "How To Live with Your Heart Condition", indicates that if one had a pain in the chest, one should not jump to the conclusion that it indicated a bad heart.

On the editorial page, "Register Tomorrow—Not Saturday" notes increased interest by the average voter in government during the 1952 election cycle, stemming partly from a "feeling of relative insecurity in a troubled world and the desire to do something about it", but mainly from "a continuing revelation of inefficiency and chicanery and corruption in the conduct of public affairs."

It finds that spirited contests for local and state races had the people keyed up for the primary election and so reminds that the next day was the first of three registration days, and that there was no excuse for putting off until the next Saturday what the prospective voter could and should do tomorrow.

But what if you went tomorrow and upon getting back again, find it only to be today?

"Government by Retraction" refers to the corrections being made by White House press secretary Joseph Short recently to the President's use of the term "ultimatum" in reference to his warning to Joseph Stalin in 1946 to withdraw Soviet troops from Iran, clarifying that he was using the term in its lay sense. Then, the assistant Attorney General, arguing the case for the Government against an injunction of the President's seizure of the steel mills, had to clarify his own remarks in court which indicated that the President's executive authority in an emergency could not be curtailed either by Congress or the courts, indicating in a subsequent letter to the judge that he recognized that the President's power was not unlimited.

It finds that while the clarifications were good, the Truman Administration had repeatedly made assertions from which it had then to retreat. It suggests that President Truman was not the master of repartee which FDR had been, and was "hazy" about some of the things of which he freely spoke, thus being bound to put his foot in his mouth occasionally at press conferences. But in terms of the assistant Attorney General, it was another matter, as he was a top Government attorney and had a prepared brief on the subject of executive power. It appeared that either the Administration had planned to propound this thesis if it could get away with it or the leaderless Justice Department was something less than competent. It concludes that whatever the case, a "government by retraction" indicated once more the "confusion and incompetence" which abounded in the Truman Administration.

Nevertheless, it is better than a government of "alternative facts" or "limited hangout".

"Snafu in the Housing Program" tells of Congressional "bamboozling" having, at least temporarily, fouled up the housing program in Charlotte, after the Charlotte Housing Authority had been ready to issue a 6 million dollar housing authority bond, as had been 72 other agencies in 24 states, to finance construction for low-rent apartment projects. But then Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York decided that people who were to live in those apartments should be investigated and so attached a rider to the Federal funding for the program that no Federal funds could be spent on such housing for any tenant who belonged to an organization deemed by the Attorney General to be "subversive". The list included more than 100 organizations, Communist, Communist fronts, the Klan, the Silver Shirts, etc.

The problem in administering such investigations would be enormous, as there would be thousands of such tenants to be screened by the FBI, already overburdened with security work. No investor would purchase housing bonds if there was doubt as to the Government's obligation to pay the annual contributions to be pledged as security for them. As a result, the bonds had not been sold. After the situation had been explained to Congressman Gwinn, he appeared to be preparing to withdraw his rider when the bill reached the House-Senate reconciliation conference.

The piece trusts that the members of Congress would see the folly of the rider and eliminate it. It adds that it might be a good idea to provide space in the low-rent projects for extreme radicals or reactionaries, as with a good roof over their heads, many might be less interested in subversion.

"Worthwhile Activities at McCrorey YMCA" tells of local boys heading to the Y during the summer to play football, baseball, ping-pong, golf, tennis, to learn to swim, square dance, read, or watch movies or television. Older persons also took business courses there. In addition, the Y sponsored a fatherless sons' banquet, held Sunday vespers services, open forums, and the previous year, 47 organization had used its facilities for meetings and conferences. It urges participation in the current membership drive, as it would benefit the city's black community.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Spelling Bee", makes reference to the fact that in the Nebraska Republican primary, it had been required that write-in votes correctly spell the name of General Eisenhower or they would be thrown out. Many voters had written the name as "Isenhower" or simply "Ike", and those votes had not been counted. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the General's campaign manager, had thus characterized the contest as more of a spelling bee than a primary.

The piece next states: "Perhaps the principle of test by orthography could be extended to the candidates themselves", after the dictionary had dropped the hyphen from antiinflation, bipartisan, and cooperation, to see if the candidates omitted the hyphen or continued to include it.

But does that not fall under the category of punctuation, more than orthography? And what about "week-end", as it was still being written in 1952? (Query whether wildweekend should also be an uninterrupted word as being truistic.)

It indicates that Andrew Jackson, according to an apocryphal story, had given his approval in state papers with "O.K." for the Dutch, "oll korrect". "And to this day it's okay with us if a President skids on his consonants and vowels but keeps his acts in consonance with his vows."

But, what do you do with a "President" who does neither?

Drew Pearson tells of everything having been set inside the Government the previous weekend to provide the steelworkers a wage increase, prior to the District Court ruling on Tuesday issuing the preliminary injunction against the Government seizure of the steel industry, stayed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals two days earlier, pending Supreme Court review. Mr. Pearson provides the background on why the Government had balked, developing out of the intervention by the railroad brotherhoods, complaining that the Government had refused a wage increase to the railroad workers during the Government seizure, which remained ongoing since August, 1950, a refusal premised on the executive order which had authorized the seizure. The president of the Brotherhood of Railway Conductors had warned the White House counsel that if the steelworkers were to be granted a wage increase after less than a month, then there would be trouble with the railway brotherhoods and continued Government operation of them without any strike. At that point, the White House counsel advised John Steelman, who began immediately negotiating with the railroad brotherhoods, and, meanwhile, the planned steel wage increase was, for the nonce, halted.

Congressman Frank Boykin of Alabama, who preached "everything is made for love" but practiced "everything is made for loans", was facing a tough re-election fight in the following Tuesday's primary, the toughest of his career. He was flooding his home district in Mobile with publicity, including a helicopter equipped with a public address system. Mr. Pearson reminds that he had pulled wires to keep two notorious tax evaders from going to jail and had arranged a $700,000 RFC loan for a paper company in which, it turned out, he and his children owned a 40 percent interest. He had obtained also another $300,000 RFC loan for a lumber company which purchased lumber from Mr. Boykin, and later, three members of a bank which had benefited from that loan had been indicted.

Senator Spessard Holland of Florida might not be aware of it, Mr. Pearson suggests, but Senator George Smathers, also of Florida, had made some quiet overtures to get former Senator Claude Pepper, whom Congressman Smathers had beaten in the 1950 primary, to run against Senator Holland in the current Democratic primary. A friend of Senator Smathers had said that if Senator Pepper ran in the race, he could count on about 200 Smathers leaders for support, as well as money. The thinking was that it would be better for him to run against Senator Holland than to run again against Senator Smathers in four years. Senator Pepper had, nevertheless, decided not to run against Senator Holland, but had not yet decided whether he would run in 1956 for his old seat.

Pete McKnight, editor of The News, writing from Haifa in Israel, tells of being unable, as he had intended, to write a daily account since his departure on the Middle Eastern tour on April 1, because the American Christian Palestine Committee with whom he was touring had maintained such a full schedule as to preclude time for such correspondence. He had "cut classes" on April 20, however, so that he could write, instead of joining the group on its bus tour through eastern Nazareth to the Sea of Galilee. He thus recaps the previous week since his previous chronological report.

On the first day, Dr. K. J. Mann, director general of Hadassah, told the group of what Israel and Hadassah were doing to meet the nation's health needs. Then Dr. Burl Locker, executive of the Jewish Agency, gave them a complete briefing on the tremendous financial difficulties of the new state and what his agency had done to minimize them. They then visited the Ministry of Religious Affairs to hear the Deputy Minister, Dr. Warhaftig, and three of his assistants decipher the complex church-state relationship in Israel and the position of minority religious groups.

The following morning, they visited a transient camp for immigrants from Yemen and then ventured south toward the Negev desert area to the roaring frontier town of Beersheba, the southern outpost in Israel's drive to reclaim the wasted lands and render the desert fertile. On the return trip to Jerusalem, they stopped to visit one of the cooperative agricultural settlements, Yavne, before visiting a village for the blind.

Wednesday, April 16, had been the last day of Passover and most of the group went sightseeing on foot while the four journalists sought to bring their notes up to date.

On Thursday, they left Jerusalem for Tel Aviv, a crowded commercial, industrial and tourist center of almost entirely modern architecture. The labor federation, Histadrut, had its central headquarters in the city and a member of its executive committee told the group about its philosophy and method of operation, then directed them to one of the large general hospitals. Histadrut operated for those who belonged to its Sick Fund. They then visited a home for children who needed special dietary and psychological care and ended the day with a tea provided by the acting U.S. Ambassador.

On Friday, they traveled to Haifa, another booming coastal city in the heart of Israel's growing industrial power. They would remain there until the following day when they would return to Tel Aviv to prepare for their trip back to the U.S.

He concludes that in three weeks he had soaked up more information and a greater variety of impressions than he could coherently relate, and that in the ensuing few days, hoped to find time to fill in more detail about Israel.

Richard L. Strout, writing in the Christian Science Monitor, tells of the Democratic primary contest in Florida between Senators Richard Russell of Georgia and Estes Kefauver of Tennessee, helping to decide the outcome at the convention in Chicago. Senator Russell was cast by his supporters as the anti-Truman candidate, while Senator Kefauver was labeled a "Truman Democrat" by his opponents. The roles, he ventures, were not completely accurate, as both Senators had supported many Administration measures while opposing others. He finds that the bitterness toward the Administration by many of the Russell Democrats was scarcely equaled by Senator Taft. For many Democrats, the President had become the scapegoat for everything they disliked in Washington and his absence from the race had left a vacuum insofar as having a target at which to throw stones, similar to the reaction in the Taft camp. The unpopular Administration policies, however, remained and the steel crisis had revived the criticism. The irony was that the President had no warm feeling for Senator Kefauver.

The Atlantic Union issue was another problematic factor in the campaign. Senator Kefauver supported it in theory when he entered the Senate and it had become a major issue in the Nebraska primary when he was opposed by Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma, who had campaigned on the notion that Senator Kefauver had "Union Now" ideas, a primary which Senator Kefauver had easily won. Senator Russell now revived that same argument, though not so vigorously. Senator Kefauver, in the meantime, appeared to have qualified his approval of the Atlantic Union concept, which entailed economic and political union among the NATO nations, giving up a measure of sovereignty on foreign policy for the sake of a unified approach to combating potential Communist aggression in Western Europe. The Senator had stated in U.S. News & World Report, as a co-sponsor with other Senators of a resolution asking the President to call an international conference to make firmer commitments among the NATO nations for integration of defense and foreign policy, that his proposal was to "give political implementation" to NATO. Mr. Strout points out that General Eisenhower, possibly to become the Republican nominee, was working hard to bring about the federation of Europe.

He concludes that Senator Kefauver looked favorably on the first steps toward Atlantic Union, with the U.S. as a member, and it was at least conceivable that he would become the Democratic nominee. He interjects that the issue of the Administration's proposed Fair Employment Practices Commission with powers of compulsory enforcement was probably more important in Florida than the Atlantic Union issue. Both Senators had opposed FEPC on a compulsory basis, though Senator Kefauver had also supported a change in Senate rules to make filibuster more difficult as a tool used typically to oppose civil rights legislation.

A letter writer from Hamlet, who claims to be a moderate, suggests that a person viewing the world and nation as he did, would find three candidates presently in the race for president who were the best qualified, Governor Earl Warren, Senator Estes Kefauver and General Eisenhower.

A letter writer begins: "The Roosevelt compromise, and old Tom Pendergast stooge, that the American people have to stomach, and call Mr. President, has the audacity to tell the American people that he gave Stalin an ultimatum in 1945, to move out of Iran, and we know he gave him the authority to march into Manchuria, and Korea, and sack both countries that led up to the stooges' war in Korea, and to the sacrifice of 18,000 American boys' lives and 77,000 wounded." He goes on to state that he had fired "one of the greatest generals in American history" because he would not fight a war with one hand tied behind his back, and "now this moron says that we were in a position to meet the situation", while admitting that he knew the "mad dog country he was dealing with" but would not admit that "the greatest air, navy, and army, with the greatest equipment in the history of any country, were dumped into the ocean and left on islands, to rust and to rot." And he goes on, concluding: "This man should make Missouri proud of Jesse James."

He does not say for whom he would vote in 1952.

A letter writer indicates that the current presidential election was the most important in American history, that America would be saved from becoming a "socialistic, communistic state" or forever be lost. He questions what America needed with General Eisenhower, "a warrior and military leader, as President", but finds the Democrats to offer no leader other than Senator Russell, who, being a Southerner, would have a poor chance of being elected as "the northern Yankee states would not support any Southern man for President" while the "solid South will swallow any candidate from the northern states on the Democrat ticket." He thinks every "good citizen" ought support Senator Taft and General MacArthur for president and vice-president, respectively. He thinks either one could lead the country and would not need "a Socialist brain trust to advise them". He supposes that the nine big labor bosses would endorse the Democratic candidate as usual, regardless of who was nominated. He concludes that either Senator Taft or General MacArthur, with a Republican Congress, would save the nation from the "financial mess" it was in and restore states rights, that they would appoint "no Communists or other dopes to any public office or to any employment in Government jobs."

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