The Charlotte News

Friday, May 23, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Sam Summerlin, that the Communist delegates to the truce talks this date agreed to a three-day recess after the new U.N. chief delegate, Maj. General William Harrison, Jr., told them again that the U.N. stand was unshakable regarding there being no further concessions. Thus, the next session would not occur until the following Tuesday.

In the air war, U.N. warplanes hit a large industrial complex southwest of Pyongyang this date in the culmination of what the Air Force had called the greatest saturation bombing of the war. The attack had begun the previous morning and ended during the afternoon this date, involving nearly 800 fighter-bomber sorties. The targets included a hand grenade arsenal, the surface works of a coal mine, storehouses and nearly a half mile of machine shops and warehouses. Rain blotted out the target late in the afternoon.

In the ground war, the Communists sent out an artillery barrage in a small U.N. sector on the western front the previous night, in less than an hour pouring about 2,400 artillery and mortar shells across a 3.5 mile front northwest of Yonchon. The allies returned infantry and artillery fire, killing about 46 Chinese troops. Allied infantry repulsed a grenade-tossing Chinese platoon also on the western front, killing 10 enemy troops northwest of Chorwon.

In Bonn, West Germany, the Big Three foreign ministers arrived to offer West Germany a key place in Western Europe's defenses against Soviet aggression. It was the first foreign ministers conference on German soil since World War II and it was anticipated that the Big Three would sign a peace agreement with West Germany binding the latter to the Atlantic community politically and militarily. It would then need to be ratified by the legislatures of the four nations. In response, East German Communist leaders were warning of civil war and impliedly threatening a blockade of Berlin. The peace agreement with West Germany came at the end of eight months of negotiations, and most of the details had been finished the previous night, with the signing slated for the following Monday. Secretary of State Acheson had departed Washington the previous night so that he could sign the agreement. Sir Anthony Eden would sign for Britain and Robert Schuman for France. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who was also the Foreign Minister, would sign for West Germany. The European army would be set up under a companion treaty which was hoped to be signed the following week, merging the armed forces of France, Italy, the Benelux countries and West Germany. Under it, the West Germans would be able to muster some 400,000 men to serve in the unified army.

Joseph W. Weinberg, a scientist who had helped to develop the atom bomb, was indicted by a Federal grand jury in Washington this date on three counts that he lied when he denied under oath to HUAC on May 25, 1949 that he had not been a member of the Communist Party. HUAC had described him only as "Scientist X" during its investigations of atomic spying. He had worked at the University of California radiation laboratory at Berkeley during the war. He had previously refused to answer questions before the grand jury and had been cited for contempt of court, but was acquitted based on the defense that he had properly asserted his Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination. Following that assertion, he had been fired from his position as a professor at the University of Minnesota.

The House rejected this date moves to deny military and economic aid to Spain and to cut deeper into economic aid for Austria. The efforts came in the form of amendments to the foreign aid bill. The previous day, the House approved cuts totaling 615 million dollars from the proposed aid for Western Europe. In all, the President's proposed 7.9 billion dollars had been trimmed thus far to less than 6.3 billion, approved when Republicans were able temporarily to control the session for the absence of too many Democrats. A roll call vote this date, however, might nullify those cuts.

The Senate passed a new half-billion dollar Federal housing bill, sending the measure to the House.

Union and company officials agreed to terms to end the Western Union strike. The agreement provided for a wage increase on condition that the company received Government permission to increase telegraph tolls. The strike had lasted 51 days. The agreement remained subject to ratification by the rank-and-file membership of the Commercial Telegraphers Union. The agreement had been facilitated by Federal mediator Cyrus Ching.

The Army would return full control of the nation's railroads to the private owners during the afternoon this date, following 21 months of Army control, after the seizure pursuant to the Railway Labor Act by the President to avert a strike in August, 1950. The three major railroad Brotherhoods had reached agreement with the railroads the previous day.

It was reported from Manila that a 26-year old widow awakened to find a man pulling her panties from a wardrobe, prompting her to chase him from the house with a bolo knife. It turned out to be the town's vice-mayor, according to the woman. In another town, a policeman was charged with robbing a young coed of her panties. No explanation was provided, except that it did not appear to be quite in the tradition of the college panty-raid.

In Cleveland, a 30-year-old man walked down a busy street wearing a coonskin cap with a red visor, a white dinner jacket, a zebra-striped shirt, a luminous green tie, red plaid pants and blue and white tennis shoes, plus a false nose, carrying a white pipe and a red, green and blue luminous bag filled with trick gadgets. His head was shaved along the sides, with a Mohawk cut in the middle. Police arrested him as a suspicious person.

He was possibly a supporter of Senator Kefauver seeking to become a cab driver, or just a fan of Senator Nixon.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of a young duck swimming on the Freedom Park lake in a "sort of half-Australian crawl", with a knee coated in mercurochrome, the result of having been caught the previous day by a little boy fishing after the duck had swum right into the fishing line. As the boy reeled it in and tried to disentangle the fishing hook, a dog tried to interfere and have the duck for dinner. A woman passing by took off her shoes and waded into the lake and picked up the wounded duck, bringing it ashore, eventually disengaging the hook from its knee and applying the mercurochrome. She had tried the Children's Nature Museum and the Humanitarian Society, but could find no one equipped to remove a hook from a duck's knee.

Call a quack.

As pictured, a 13-year old girl from Hudson, N.C., won the National Spelling Bee the previous day in Washington and received a plaque for her school, $500 and a trip to New York. It does not provide the word she spelled correctly to win the competition, but based on the picture with the runner-up, it could have been "sapphic", or, perhaps, "sympatric", which the runner-up misheard.

On the editorial page, "A Lively Convention", a by-lined piece by editor Pete McKnight, writing from Raleigh, tells of the North Carolina Democratic convention having endorsed Senator Richard Russell for the Democratic nomination, while the large majority of delegates in favor of the Senator had been unable to overcome the opposition of Senator Estes Kefauver's supporters to sending an instructed delegation for Senator Russell to the Chicago convention in July. That had been the most significant development in the three-hour convention, winding up in a note of harmony.

The North Carolina Democrats were not prepared to quit the national convention should Senator Russell fail to obtain the nomination, and no cries for bolting the party were heard.

He imparts of other events taking place at the convention, regarding the gubernatorial race and the announcement of national committeeman Jonathan Daniels that he would not be a candidate for re-election to the post. There had been reports that he would have been ousted at the Chicago convention had he not resigned voluntarily.

A piece from the Baltimore Evening Sun, titled "Moscow-on-the-Chesapeake", tells of Gilbert C. Klingel pointing out in his book, The Bay, serialized in the Evening Sun, that the Chesapeake Bay was teeming with strange sorts of life, including blossoms which left their stalks and walked around. Now, it included a bear which talked like a man, as the Government had provided permission to Soviet diplomats and their families to spend their vacations at Chesapeake beaches during the coming summer, though exceeding the limit from Washington of 25 miles within which the diplomats were ordinarily confined. It hopes that the Soviets enjoyed association with the jellyfish, sharks and other creatures of the Bay. It concludes: "Bears, sharks, nettles and splashing Stalinists—let's hope there's still room in the bay for some ordinary, quiet, capitalist fish."

Ralph Cooper Hutchison, writing in the Christian Century, suggests that the "glamour and the fog of criticism" surrounding football be penetrated by the church-related colleges, that intercollegiate sports, and particularly football, did not qualify as physical education because those who benefited most from it needed it the least.

He suggests that another "fairy tale" about football was that it was a superior means of character training, urging that, if so, then the rest of the student body ought be admitted to the teams. Colleges, he finds, had methods of character training far superior to intercollegiate athletics.

He posits that a third myth was the story that the colleges had to have football games to make money, while very few were actually making money in that manner. Intercollegiate athletics wound up, in fact, being very costly to colleges which supported them.

Football had become the emotionally integrating force of the American college, supplying it with a medium through which loyalty to the college was expressed. He indicates that football was one universal experience which had developed on the campus in the current period of "intellectual and social disintegration". When football grew beyond being a spectacle and became a symbol of such great intangibles, it developed its excesses and dishonesties.

He indicates that the church-related college had to have football and intercollegiate sports, and that the church-related colleges which had recently dropped football would take it up again.

He finds that the cardinal sin of football had been its anti-academic excesses and resultant dishonesties. The potential athletes were underprivileged educationally in most instances and were frequently from homes which could not give them cultural assistance. They came from poor schools where teachers had given them a free ride academically because of their athletic abilities. The colleges then wound up admitting young men who were not qualified, leading to cheating to keep them eligible to play.

He concludes that reform in the matter would come from within the colleges and universities, as it had already occurred in many of them. The colleges, he predicts, would eventually limit their admissions to authentic students, which would take the institutions so doing out of big-time competition, the "price of integrity".

Drew Pearson tells of Congressman Frank Karsten of Missouri having been authorized by committee chairman, Congressman William Dawson of Chicago, to proceed with the probe of the misappropriation of U.S. funds sent to China but having done nothing about it thus far over the course of several months.

He publishes verbatim a cable, dated March 1, 1951, sent to Chiang Kai-shek from his military attaché in Washington, involving Congressman Walter Judd of Minnesota, indicating how American politics had become mixed up in Chiang's affairs and how mercurial Chiang had been at times regarding different American leaders. The cable indicated that the previous year, Congressman Judd had cabled General MacArthur to persuade him to appoint General Albert Wedemeyer to go to Formosa to assist the Nationalist Chinese, but General MacArthur, following a visit to Formosa, having discovered that the Nationalists were utterly disgusted with General Wedemeyer and would not accept him, resulting in the suggestion by Congressman Judd going without action. But as of the date of the cable, the Congressman was trying to convince the Nationalists to forward a secret message to General MacArthur expressing their intention to welcome General Wedemeyer.

Mr. Pearson suggests that the cable raised the question, first, whether Congressman Judd had violated the Logan Act by trying to get certain U.S. officials appointed to foreign posts when it was not within his province to do so. Furthermore, at the time the cable had been sent, General MacArthur had not yet been fired and the President had warned him not to meddle in the affairs of the State Department vis-à-vis Formosa. The White House had long suspected General MacArthur of working secretly with Congressman Joe Martin, to whom the General had sent his final letter resulting in his dismissal. But it had not known of the contacts with the General by Congressman Judd.

A lot of people in the country were wondering why they could not buy potatoes when a year earlier there was an over-abundance of them, such that they had been shipped to Spain for practically nothing, whereas a year later they were being imported from Canada. It proved that Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan had been correct in asserting that the American farmer was just as entitled to crop insurance as the aviation companies were to mail subsidies. The potato shortage showed that crop insurance probably saved American consumers money in the long run, taking the form of a price support, which guaranteed the potato farmer 60 percent of the parity price. That price support had been removed in 1951 because of the huge surplus, resulting in farmers switching to other crops, leading to a reduced potato crop in 1951, about three quarters of that in 1950, resulting in the current paucity of potatoes. Consumers would thus wind up therefore paying more for potatoes in the current year than the previous year. He notes that the potato shortage would ease in about a month when the new crop started coming to market and that during the nine years of potato price supports, the average cost of potatoes to consumers was less than the cost in 1951-52.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of Secretary of State Acheson having appointed a special committee, consisting of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer, Dr. Vannevar Bush, John Dickey, president of Dartmouth, and Allen Dulles, brother of John, of the CIA, charged with taking a fresh look at the problems of disarmament and control of atomic energy. The decision of Secretary Acheson to do so derived from several sources, first, that the leading scientists had become so concerned several months earlier at the prospect of the atomic arms race taking a turn toward the hydrogen bomb, with both sides ultimately then having world-destroying weapons at their disposal, with guided missile technology on the horizon, that they had gathered on their own to develop new proposals for control.

Meanwhile, American policymakers had encountered trouble with the U.N. Disarmament Commission, starting the previous year when the President had announced a bold new proposal to the U.N. and then Secretary Acheson merely rehashed the former plans for disarmament and atomic control, resulting in great disappointment in Europe. The result was that the Soviets were being perceived as peace-lovers based on their "peace" initiative, while the U.S. was being perceived as warmongers. The need to counter the Soviet propaganda strengthened the pressure being placed on the State Department by the scientists to create a new initiative. The feeling at the State Department was that nothing much concrete would come of it, but that it would at least show that the U.S. was trying to make an effort. The committee members, however, were in earnest in developing a new proposal which might be acceptable to the Soviets.

In the meantime, the U.S. and the Western world generally appeared to have grown complacent regarding the atomic problem, despite the fact that Soviet strategic air power was constantly being increased. The Alsops posit that it might be impossible to formulate a plan of disarmament and atomic energy control acceptable to the Soviets, but that no stone should be left unturned in trying to do so. But even if the committee failed, it could at least acquaint the country with the outlines of the actual menace which was posed and urge all possible defensive measures to keep that menace within bounds.

Robert C. Ruark looks at one of his favorite whipping-boys, former New York Mayor and present Ambassador to Mexico William O'Dwyer, asks again sarcastically why he would not come home to face the music and answer questions about all of the graft and corruption which was being uncovered as having occurred during his term as Mayor and District Attorney for Manhattan. Mr. Ruark urges the President and Secretary Acheson to get rid of Mr. O'Dwyer for the sake of the country.

He does not mention that Ambassador O'Dwyer had appeared the previous year before the Kefauver crime investigating committee and provided extensive testimony at that time. And, with only nine months to go before the end of the Truman Administration, he had to know that it was not very likely that the President would call Mr. O'Dwyer home, as, by all accounts, including that of Mr. Ruark, he was doing a very good job as Ambassador. Either his topics for columns were becoming scarce or he was becoming quite obsessed with getting rid of Ambassador O'Dwyer. Write your Congressman. It is getting tiresome. You are starting to sound like the obsessive-compulsive nuts on Fox News in 2019. And that is pretty bad.

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