The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 21, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that at the U.N. Koje Island prison camp in Korea, a Chinese prisoner had been killed by an allied guard the prior Saturday in the third prisoner of war incident reported in a four-day span from the riot prone camp. The other two incidents had occurred in the women's POW camp and at a prisoner hospital. The death of the Chinese prisoner, announced this date, was the first fatality reported from the facility since Brig. General Haydon Boatner had taken command a week earlier. He said that a preliminary investigation had shown that the prisoner had been shot when he resisted being searched, upon his return from a work detail outside the camp. The U.S. Eighth Army headquarters reported that American infantrymen had used concussion grenades, designed only to stun the person impacted, in a show of force to put down the violence the previous day at the Pusan POW hospital. The report indicated that the Communist rioters had been armed with makeshift spears, barbed-wire flails, rocks and similar weapons. One prisoner had been killed at the hospital, but the Army did not say how he had died, one correspondent indicating that he might have been bayoneted. Eighty-five prisoners had been injured, but half of those injuries had been only minor. The Pusan camp was presently quiet.

Former U.N. commander in Korea, General Matthew Ridgway, getting ready to take over as NATO commander from General Eisenhower in Europe, this date was quoted by Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire as saying that fanatical Communists in the U.N. prisoner camps had committed atrocities and conducted a reign of terror against other prisoners. He had confirmed that bodies had been found in those camps, according to the Senator, based on a statement by the General during an executive session lasting about two hours. Other Senators indicated that the General had said that the Communists had built up their forces during the truce talks and that he was not optimistic that a satisfactory cease-fire agreement could be reached. A Democratic Senator who asked not to be named indicated that the General's picture of Far Eastern conditions was "the most depressing thing" he had heard in months. Senator Richard Russell of Georgia issued a statement to General Ridgway, thanking him for his "magnificent job" during his year of command in Korea, but indicating bewilderment and shock at the recent taking by the Communists of the Koje Island camp commandant, Brig. General Francis Dodd.

In the ground war, a U.N. tank-infantry patrol fought a six-hour battle with Communist forces east of the Panmunjom truce site on the western front the previous day. A U.S. Eighth Army staff officer reported that the allied tanks ran into small arms, mortar and rocket fire from an enemy force of undetermined strength. The U.N. force dug in and hit the enemy with artillery, mortar and tank fire before disengaging. A delayed report from the central front stated that an enemy ammunition storage bunker had been destroyed and 31 others damaged by U.N. tanks on Monday. Another U.N. tank force on the central front had battled the enemy twice on Tuesday. Three Communist probing attacks had been repulsed on the eastern front.

In the air war, night-flying B-26 pilots reported the destruction of 67 enemy trucks, and B-29's hit an enemy rail bridge in northwest Korea.

The Defense Department added 12 more American casualties of the Korean War, one of whom had died, 11 wounded and one injured in a battle zone accident.

General Eisenhower was presented France's highest honor, the Medaille Militaire, in Paris at Napoleon's Tomb, as a farewell tribute during his final tour as supreme commander of NATO. The last foreigner who had received the award had been Winston Churchill in 1946. General Eisenhower drove to the Arc de Triomphe after the ceremony and placed a wreath of red roses on the tomb of France's Unknown Soldier.

Congressman James Richards of South Carolina, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told the House this date that America's European allies would "raise and support" about four million soldiers and would produce 3.5 billion dollars worth of weapons the following year. It would allow, he said, for an additional 1.6 million men over present European strength. He indicated that Allied forces already had 5.25 million men under arms or quickly available throughout the world. The active armies of the Soviet Union, including satellite forces, totaled about four million men. His statement opened debate in the House regarding approval of the 6.9 billion dollar foreign military and economic aid bill for the ensuing fiscal year. The bill was a billion dollars less than that sought by the President and was facing strong demands for further cuts, thought by observers to entail probably yet another billion.

Senator George Aiken of Vermont charged this date that political manipulators had forced grain prices down by a billion dollars in 1948 and that they would not do it again during the current year if he could stop it. The Senate Agriculture Committee was hearing testimony from Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, who had testified that some of the difficulties of his Department with grain storage had been caused by limitations which Congress had put on the Commodity Credit Corporation charter act in 1948, prompting Senator Aiken's criticism. The Senator had headed the Agriculture Committee in 1948 in the Republican-controlled 80th Congress. He said that actually the Agriculture Department had agreed with what the Congress had done that year and helped to draft the law, but that then someone had spread around the country the rumor that there was lack of storage space, forcing down the price of grain by a billion dollars and putting the blame on Congress for the problem, playing a "dirty trick" on farmers who had lost a billion dollars for "purely political reasons". The current chairman of the Committee, Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana, responded that it was Senator Aiken's opinion as to what had happened in 1948. Governor Thomas Dewey had testified on May 11 that the Truman Administration had caused farm prices to drop about ten days before the 1948 presidential election which he lost to the President. He described it as a political maneuver to scare farmers away from voting Republican. The President had replied that there was not a word of truth in those charges and that the Governor knew that it was not true.

The Senate Banking Committee was voting this date on a bill to continue wage-price controls until the following March 1 and rent and credit controls until June 30, 1953. The bill would strip the Wage Stabilization Board of authority to intervene in labor disputes and would change its membership to entirely public members.

According to the Dun & Bradstreet food index, wholesale food prices during the week made their sharpest rise since December, 1950, rising to $6.48 from $6.38 the previous week, the highest level since mid-March. A year earlier, the index had been at $7.17. The index was based on the wholesale cost of one pound of each of 31 foods in general use.

Playwright Lillian Hellman this date told HUAC that she was not a member of the Communist Party and had not been for the previous two years, but refused to testify as to her associations prior to that time, claiming the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. She had been named as a member of a Communist organization by Martin Berkeley, a screenwriter, during Committee hearings in Los Angeles a year earlier. She said in a letter to the Committee that she would talk about herself all the Committee wanted but would not talk about other persons. She said she had nothing of which to be ashamed. She did not wish to "bring bad trouble to people" who, in her past association with them, had been completely innocent of any speech or action which was "disloyal or subversive". Ms. Hellman was the author of such acclaimed plays as The Children's Hour, The Little Foxes, and Watch on the Rhine.

In New York, stage and screen actor John Garfield, 39, was found dead of a heart ailment in his apartment this date. Mr. Garfield had testified before HUAC 13 months earlier. Interest in him by the Committee was apparently based on an FBI report accumulated primarily during the war years, demonstrating how thin the foundation had to be to prompt HUAC inquiry of a prominent person, founded on named and unnamed informant hearsay as being known as a Communist or friendly to Communist-affiliated organizations, being cast for parts in plays, films or radio programs by persons known to be Communists or affiliated with Communist organizations, writing a letter protesting an action taken by prosecutors against a college in Arkansas for flying the Russian flag rather than the American flag, being considered as a speaker by Communist organizations or believed Communist-affiliated organizations, though never actually speaking or in some instances even being aware of consideration for such speaking invitations, knowing or being associated with persons who were known to be Communists, etc. Ms. Hellman, incidentally, is presumably mentioned on page 66 of the report, as "Lillian Hillman", for being selected, instead of the briefly considered Mr. Garfield, to speak to the American Russian Institute of Los Angeles, for her being able to speak intelligently on Russia. The same page refers to Mr. Garfield having been suggested in 1946 for the lead role in a radio program on the "Klu Klux Klan", to be produced by a member of the Hollywood Section of the Los Angeles County Communist Party, though a program never produced as the producer suggested by the organizers of the program had declined because of other commitments.

Query, based on lines in his last movie in 1951, the script for which was written by Commies, whether his ultimately fatal heart condition might have been linked to athlete's foot, probably caused by some Commie "friend" down at the gym.

Senator Taft won seven of Montana's eight Republican delegates to the convention in Helena the previous night, with General Eisenhower obtaining one, after his supporters had blocked a move to instruct the delegation for Senator Taft. That outcome provided the Senator with a lead of 384 delegate votes to 339 for the General, based on the Associated Press tally nationwide.

In Maryland, Governor Theodore McKeldin said that he wanted that state's 24 delegates to be picked at a Baltimore meeting the following Saturday, and to be uninstructed and uncommitted. It was anticipated that he would head the group as a favorite-son candidate, reportedly favoring General Eisenhower. In Washington, the Republican convention at Spokane on Saturday would wind up one of the bitterest battles in years for its 24 delegate votes, with Eisenhower supporters claiming at least 16, while Taft supporters predicted an even split. Eisenhower supporters expected to receive all 22 of Connecticut's delegates to be chosen at a Hartford convention on May 26-27, and Taft supporters were pessimistic about that outcome. In Texas, the State Supreme Court had taken under submission a suit aimed at deciding which set of contesting slates of delegates would be certified to the May 27 state GOP convention, after oral arguments had ended the previous day between the Taft and Eisenhower forces.

Meanwhile, during the General's farewell tour of the NATO countries, he stated, during a stop in the Netherlands, that he did not "aspire" to the Republican presidential nomination.

In Montana's Democratic convention, also held the previous day at Helena, a 12-vote uninstructed delegation was named, eight votes being uncommitted, two favoring Governor Adlai Stevenson, and one each for Senators Estes Kefauver and Robert Kerr.

In Raleigh, North Carolina Democrats prepared for their biennial state convention, with state chairman and future Senator B. Everett Jordan predicting an harmonious meeting. The primary purpose would be to select delegates to the national convention in Chicago in July. Some observers believed that the delegation would endorse Senator Richard Russell for the nomination but would be sent to the convention uninstructed.

In Chicago, police arrested two men at work the previous day as they were replacing a plate glass window which, according to the officers, they had helped to break to drum up business, which was so slack that they were only working four days per week. They had also broken other business windows.

A Pan-American Clipper pilot, 600 miles out over the Pacific Ocean, had glanced down and "suddenly saw this scrawny tail" for which he made a grab, "but whoosh—out jumped a monkey." It turned out to be a macaque, one of a shipment of a hundred from Bangkok, playing around in the nose compartment until the plane landed the previous night in San Francisco. Cargo attendants discovered six other monkeys running loose in the baggage compartment and it took two hours and four bitten attendants before the monkeys were finally rounded up.

On the editorial page, "This Lobby Issue" tells of a few words appearing to be in order regarding the "lobby" issue which had come up almost daily in the gubernatorial race between William B. Umstead and Judge Hubert Olive. Mr. Olive had said that he was the only candidate backing the program of the United Forces for Education, without qualification. He said that lobbyists would be "dethroned as princes of political privilege and influence" in the state were he to be elected Governor. But the United Forces for Education, the piece indicates, was one of the biggest lobbies in the state, suggesting that Mr. Olive was both for and against them.

During his campaign, he had frequently branded his opponents with the lobby label, but, it reminds, the country's government was not only of law, but, practically speaking, a "government by lobby". There were good lobbies and bad lobbies, depending on each citizen's point of view. There were lobbies for the farmer, the textile manufacturer, the textile worker, the veteran, the teacher, the tobacco grower, the tobacco manufacturer, the private power companies, the Federal Government, the State Government, blacks, whites, farm-to-market roads, primary highways, and for every other cause and principle for which legislation was either passed or thwarted. Thus, it concludes, being subject to the lobby label did not mean much.

Mr. Olive would only influence the opinion of voters by producing solid evidence that Mr. Umstead was in support of a lobby which was detrimental to their interests. It was pointless, it finds, however, to chastise lobbies in general.

"What's a 'Me-Tooer'?" tells of having wondered for some time what the more conservative Republicans meant when they charged one of their colleagues with being a "me-tooer", that it appeared to suggest flirtation with New Deal or Fair Deal ideas. One such idea which had been criticized and praised loudly for some time was the U.S. farm program and the Department of Agriculture. American consumers, beset by higher food prices, wanted to hear some new Republican ideas on farm policy, but instead, a special committee of Congressional Republicans had surveyed the situation and put together what it called a "suggested farm policy statement for Republicans", embracing practically all of the existing program. It would leave the Department of Agriculture alone except for its administration and wanted to retain the parity and supports program, desiring, as did the Democrats, that support prices be strengthened. It approved grain storage and the operations of the Commodity Credit Corporation, and also favored postponing any change in the law which would take effect January 1, 1954, to avoid lower price supports for wheat, corn, cotton and peanuts.

There were only two things with which the Republicans disagreed on current farm policy, the flexible "sliding-scale" provisions of the law, which the Democrats had employed to drop price supports when production was high and raise them when it was low, and would favor increasing tariffs on imported food products which competed with products being supported by the Agriculture Department. They would also declare agriculture to be "an essential industry" so that farmers would receive better treatment in defense production matters and more lenient draft deferments.

It concludes that it would have to wait for a more complete definition of "me-tooism".

"Atomic Collaboration Needed" indicates that there was some politics and some irony in Prime Minister Churchill's statement to Commons that Britain would not invite American observers to its forthcoming atomic weapons tests in Australia, based on U.S. legislation preventing the country from exchanging atomic information with other countries. The Prime Minister had expressed hope that the Congress would work out a more cooperative arrangement.

The piece joins in the hope that greater collaboration would occur between the U.S., Britain and Canada, as the three countries together had pioneered the atomic bomb in the Manhattan Project during the war. Each, however, had then erected barriers to the others regarding full exchange of atomic information, necessary to protect against the spies and turncoats who had been found within each of the countries' atomic projects. But, it suggests, there had to be a way to coordinate the work of the free world's nuclear scientists, as the current nationalistic arrangement was more costly than would be collaboration. There was duplication of testing equipment between the U.S. and Britain, costing needlessly each nation millions of dollars in the process, the expenditure in Britain essentially coming out of the pocket of U.S. taxpayers in the form of aid money. It favors putting an end to such expensive, duplicative "monkey business".

That was the macaques on the Pan Am flight over the Pacific from Bangkok. Or was that something else?

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "Feeling Low? This Won't Help Much", indicates that one of the more popular delusions, especially around tax day, was that the Federal income tax represented the most onerous burden the average citizen had to carry. But the process of collecting income tax through withholding had been made so painless that even that complaint was not heard so much anymore. A louder outcry arose from "Faceless Joe" regarding the payment of local real estate taxes and State income taxes.

But the Commerce Clearing House, an independent research agency, had recently reported that manufacturers' excise taxes, imposed by the Federal Government, had increased 13 times faster than all Federal taxes combined during the previous five years. Those hidden taxes had soared 324 percent while other taxes had risen only 24 percent. Purchasers of automobiles, parts and tires had paid about 1.1 billion dollars in excise taxes in 1951, versus 250 million in 1946, and it had been paid nearly without the knowledge of the taxpayer, who appeared only dimly aware that about $140 of the $1,800 he would pay for a new car went to Federal taxes. Liquor, cigarettes, cameras, radios and televisions, plane and rail tickets all were subject to excise taxes, which were contained within the purchase price. It added up to more than 9 billion dollars in the current fiscal year, more revenue than the Federal Government had received from all other sources combined in any fiscal year through 1940-41.

It suggests that the matter was worth a great deal of meditation the next time the consumer purchased a carton of cigarettes, which was 82 cents, plus 80 cents in taxes.

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman Emanuel Celler of New York having undertaken an investigation of the baseball monopoly without much result. After taking 1,643 pages worth of testimony, to be released during the current week, and hearing from such witnesses as Ty Cobb, Ford Frick, Pee Wee Reese of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and Ned Garver of the St. Louis Browns, the House Judiciary Committee took a firm stand only on about three things, that the Pacific Coast should not be denied major league baseball, that players who bolted to Mexico or another independent league should not be blacklisted, and that a monopoly did exist in baseball, but that Congress would not legislate against it. The Committee admitted that the notorious "reserve clause", sometimes referred to as baseball's number one evil, was an injustice, enabling a club owner to buy and sell players like personal property, binding a player to one team until the owner wanted to release him for trading purposes. According to the Committee report, the practice had been used in the past to fight the development of competing leagues, sometimes at the expense of individual players. It permitted a player to be barred for life from the sport if he joined a team in Mexico offering him more money, as well as permitting richer clubs to control the player market by making the highest offers to promising rookies.

Notwithstanding those problems, the Committee had concluded that professional baseball could not operate successfully and profitably without some form of the reserve clause. The Committee ducked the question of exempting baseball from the antitrust laws, as sought by the club owners, who had viewed with alarm the moves by the Justice Department to prosecute football for monopolizing radio and tv reports of their games. The Committee had concluded, however, that exclusion from the antitrust laws would deny the courts to those who had suffered arbitrary decision-making by the rulers of professional baseball. It indicated that club owners had to act as partners as well as competitors.

Mr. Pearson concludes that it left professional baseball about where it was when the Committee started investigating it, but that the Committee apparently had a lot of fun bringing famous witnesses to Washington. Meanwhile, the Justice Department was still free to move against the owners for monopolistic practices.

The liquor lobby was planning an assault against high liquor taxes, which would reach into every bar and cocktail dispensary in the nation. Bartenders would be asked to mix drinks while lobbying to tipplers against "prohibition by taxation". The liquor industry was preparing to spend millions of dollars for newspaper ads and pamphlets as part of the campaign, plus posting price lists with the resale price and taxes listed separately to impress upon customers how much of their liquor bill went to pay for Federal taxes. Most Congressmen believed that the liquor manufacturers could afford to pay higher taxes and that even if the taxes were lowered, the individual taxpayer would be asked to pay more to make up the difference in lost revenue.

Got to pay for the guns from liquor…

Don Shoemaker, editor of the Asheville Citizen, who had accompanied News editor Pete McKnight on a tour in April of the Middle East, tells of the idea being discussed in the N.C. General Assembly primary campaigns of allowing a deduction for Federal income tax payments from State taxes. Opponents indicated that it would send the State's budget, which had been flush, into a tailspin. Mr. Shoemaker provides some examples of the loss to the State under such a system. Meanwhile, Federal tax liability would be increased because the deduction for State taxes would be decreased for smaller payments. It was estimated that State revenues would be decreased under such a system by anywhere from 33 1/3 to 50 percent, requiring the cutting of State-funded school budgets from a third to a half and making comparable cuts in other services, or increasing taxes to compensate for the losses.

Nineteen states permitted such deductions, either in whole or part, for Federal income tax payments, but most of them conceded that the system was a fiscal headache, as the state could not properly estimate what its revenues would be for the fact of shifting Federal tax laws. At least two of the states were seeking to repeal the law but its popularity made politicians loath to stick out their necks for the purpose.

He concludes that North Carolina would be "sadly advised if it cut itself a slice of this sky-high pie."

Marquis Childs tells of the Middle East being in the throes of almost unreported drift toward deterioration and breakdown. For many months, there had been little news from India, where remarkable progress, however, in its development from colonialism to independent statehood, was being forged. National elections had been held recently, which had been on a larger scale than ever before in the history of the democratic process, as more than 105 million people had voted, a large proportion of whom were illiterate, enabled nevertheless by the ballots to make visual distinction between the candidates and parties.

The elections had been orderly and the great majority had voted for Prime Minister Nehru and the Congress Party. About five percent of the deputies chosen in the national Parliament were Communists, as the Communists had concentrated their strength in South India. The Socialists had polled about ten percent, but it was widely diffused and so they would have only a small representation in the Parliament. The electorate had apparently reasoned that because of all the troubles in India during the previous five years of Prime Minister Nehru's term, it would be unfair to turn him out without allowing him a fair opportunity to show what he could do. If the Nehru Government could demonstrate real improvement in the coming four to five years in terms of the standard of living for even a part of the people, there was continuing hope for freedom and democracy in the country. If, however, it did not occur, the Communists and their promises would almost certainly win the day. Thus, he reasons, the present was the time to save India from Communism rather than waiting until it was too late.

There were signs in Congress that the U.S. was recognizing that reality. Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, who had visited India recently, was so impressed that he invited the initiator of an industrial experiment at Faridabad, Sudhir Ghosh, an associate of the late Mohandas Gandhi, to visit the U.S. some months earlier. The U.S. Ambassador to India, Chester Bowles, had returned to the U.S. to suggest a five-year program of technical assistance from the U.S. to India at a cost of 200 million dollars per year, arguing that it would supply the needed aid, without which India's industrial experiments could not succeed. Mr. Bowles had brought about a remarkable change in Indian-American relations, gaining the confidence of Prime Minister Nehru in the process and traveling over thousands of miles of the Indian subcontinent in order to try to understand its people better. Whether his proposal would be approved in an election year, however, remained to be seen.

Mr. Childs posits that if nothing were done, then it would not be surprising within a few years for a crisis to develop. Wheat from the loan approved by Congress the previous year was still being shipped to India, designed to avert famine conditions. The food situation had improved, but it was a temporary achievement. "The way leads either up or down, and America can do much to help determine which it is to be."

A letter from the chairman of the Mecklenburg County Board of Elections thanks the newspaper for its map of Charlotte's precincts published as a public service to voters. He indicates that he believed it had contributed to the heavy voter registration during May within the county.

A letter writer says that he had been involved in politics all his life and had taken a keen interest in how people voted, rather than for whom they voted. He expresses delight in the showing made by the local Board of Elections in obtaining 12,000 new voter registrants during the previous three Saturdays when registration was open. He suggests that the facts that it was a presidential election year and that Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt was on the ballot running as a Justice of the State Supreme Court had created greater interest in the primary, but that the information campaign in the county had contributed also to the high registrations. He concludes that he had always found that persons who did not have enough interest in their government to register and vote to be rated only second-class citizens.

A letter writer from Pittsboro tells of perusing the May issue of North Carolina Education, in which appeared a questionnaire, with answers, put to the various candidates for state office, with an editorial addressed to the candidates as preface to the questionnaire. He indicates that Judge Hubert Olive claimed that he was the only candidate backing the program of the United Forces for Education without qualification, while candidate for lieutenant governor Luther Hodges said that he was no politician and was not accustomed to making specific statements as to what he would or would not do unless he was sure he could make good on his promises. The writer finds that their philosophies and approaches, while running for different offices, to be as far apart as they could be. One wanted first to study the whole state problem before committing, while the other stated a pledge to a group without qualification. He indicates that he was an independent voter, but in the general election, would vote for Mr. Hodges, as he saw in him the "elements of a statesman—rara avis in these parts and at this juncture of human affairs, but definitely and sorely needed."

As indicated, Mr. Hodges, as Lieutenant Governor, would succeed automatically Governor William B. Umstead at the latter's death in 1954, would then win re-election in 1956, and, in 1961, would be appointed by President Kennedy as Secretary of Commerce.

But weren't the rare birds in Virginia?

A letter writer from Belmont urges Americans to speak up for the rights of black people, saying that recently he and his wife had been in a bus station and witnessed a white man push aside a black woman who was seeking to board the bus ahead of him, with a police officer nearby who only smiled. He indicates that the bus driver appeared not to have liked what the man did, but nothing was done about it. He indicates that Chief Littlejohn of the Charlotte Police also did not like such incidents. He says that he was not ashamed to admit that black people needed white people to help and so asked them to speak up. "God doesn't like it and I know some of you all don't."

A letter writer from Shelby, a pupil in the sixth grade at South Shelby School, tells of her class having thoroughly enjoyed their tour through the newspaper's plant recently, and, as representative of her class, thanks the newspaper's staff for their kindness, indicating that it was the students' first visit to a newspaper plant and had found it educational and enjoyable. She adds that they also enjoyed seeing their pictures in the newspaper and trying to pick out each pupil.

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