The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 24, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via John Randolph, that the U.N. forces had struck the greatest air blow of the Korean War on Thursday and Friday, but had also increased its losses of planes in the process, as the weekly tally of losses was one of the worst of the war. The Air Force indicated that U.N. pilots had destroyed 460 buildings and damaged 163 during the two days of attacks against North Korean industries and supply lines, but had lost 12 planes, while the U.S. had inflicted only four losses of enemy planes, and, for the first time in the war, enemy jets had achieved a five-to-four advantage in aerial dogfights. Three U.S. Sabre jets and two Thunderjets had been lost, compared to four confirmed enemy MIG kills. The other seven U.N. losses of planes came primarily from enemy anti-aircraft fire. The figures did not include losses of Naval planes, of which there had been at least two. American airmen attributed the losses to increasing skill and power of both enemy pilots and planes, as well as better-trained ground personnel.

On Koje Island, at the U.N. prison camp, a third riot, occurring April 10, had been reported, in which four Korean guards and three North Korean prisoners had been killed and 57 Communists wounded. Associated Press reporter William Jorden had obtained the story from South Korean witnesses nearly a week earlier but Army censors had delayed its transmission. He indicated that the witnesses had informed him that the fighting had taken place within sight of the former camp commandant, Brig. General Francis Dodd, who had been taken hostage by the prisoners on May 7 and released 78 hours later. An Eighth Army spokesman said that the Army had not announced anything about the riot because its investigation had not been completed. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma stated that a subcommittee of which he was a member might investigate the censorship of the report. Two other riots at the camp, one on February 18 and the other on March 13, had resulted in 90 Communist prisoners and one U.S. soldier being killed, reports of which had been released shortly after the incidents had occurred.

After two years of effort, some 200,000 Chinese Communist soldiers and policemen had succeeded in eliminating their strongest guerrilla opposition in South China, the Yao Shan, according to an independent Chinese newspaper.

In Bonn, West Germany, where finishing touches were being placed on the agreement to have West Germany join NATO and the formation of the unified Western European army, France's Cabinet had directed Foreign Minister Robert Schuman not to sign the peace agreement or the treaty forming the army until a stronger guarantee had been arranged to prevent Germany from pulling out of the agreement at a future date, a revision of the financial arrangements with West Germany, a promise made that the special French problems outside Europe, principally Indo-China, would be provided consideration at once by the U.S. and Britain, a promise by Britain and the U.S. not to interfere in Tunisia and Morocco by demanding more liberal attitudes toward independence, and that there would be continued Allied controls on German industrial production. The news was startling to the Big Three and West German foreign ministers, who had gathered with the intention of signing the agreements the following Monday. Added to this tension were the increased efforts by the Communists to sabotage the conference by closing three roads leading from the Russian zone to West Germany this date and ordering two more closed the following day, possibly preliminary to a blockade of West Berlin, prompting a protest from the British High Commission, accusing the Soviets of violating the agreement under which the 1948-49 Berlin blockade had been lifted. There was also an increase in the movement of Soviet troops in their late spring maneuvers. The general agreement on which the current conference was founded had been reached in London the prior November.

The President approved two bills to increase benefit payments to veterans and their dependent-survivors, but made it plain that he regarded them only as stopgap measures and that they were "bad legislation" in terms of the long-range objectives.

A high Administration official, the deputy director of the Mutual Security Agency, declared this date that the House cuts passed the previous night to the President's foreign aid program would, if also passed by the Senate, prevent the NATO countries from reaching their goal of having 50 divisions available in Europe during the current year unless the U.S. made up the difference. The measure had passed by a vote of 245 to 110, cutting by more than 1.7 billion dollars the proposed foreign aid budget, to a little more than 6.1 billion. Added to the billion dollars in cuts recommended by the Foreign Affairs Committee was an additional 726.5 million in cuts to European aid submitted from the floor, sponsored by the supporters of Senator Taft. The Mutual Security administrator, Averell Harriman, indicated that the House had "taken upon itself to undermine the idea of mutual security." He implied that it would hurt the pending agreement with West Germany.

Republicans in three states, Washington, Maryland and Minnesota, would select a total of 51 delegates to the national convention this date. In Washington, it appeared that General Eisenhower would control the bulk of the 24-member delegation, his supporters predicting as many as 22. In Maryland, Governor Theodore McKeldin, a favorite-son candidate, appeared likely to take the 24 delegate votes, which would carry over through the first ballot at the convention, after which a split between Senator Taft and General Eisenhower was likely. In Minnesota, three of 28 delegate votes remained to be selected. Senator Edward Thye swung his support from former Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen to General Eisenhower. Senator Taft, according to the Associated Press tally, currently led General Eisenhower by 393 to 339 delegates.

Among Democratic candidates, Senator Estes Kefauver led with 116, to 84.5 for Averell Harriman and 66.5 for Senator Richard Russell, with 616 needed to nominate. Senator Russell had won the support of 19.5 votes in North Carolina out of that state's 32-vote delegation at its convention on Thursday.

Five union locals, in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago and Portland, had indicated that they would refuse to sign the agreement reached between Western Union and the Commercial Telegraphers Union earlier in the week, impacting 30,000 employees. Only Cleveland reported acceptance. The union president said that he understood that a flat 10 percent boost in pay was being sought.

The end of the petroleum workers strike had resulted in the Government ending all restrictions on use of ordinary gasoline, kerosene and fuel oil the previous day, plus relaxation of the control on aviation gasoline. Delivery of gasoline for sport and pleasure flying would continue to be forbidden.

In New York, Fulton Oursler, 59, the author of The Greatest Story Ever Told, on the New Testament, and The Greatest Book Ever Written, on the Old Testament, both of which had been serialized in The News, died this date of a heart attack in his apartment. He was the author of several other books and magazine articles, many of which dealt with religious topics. He had originally been a Baptist and became a Roman Catholic in 1943. He was the former vice-president and editorial director of McFadden publications, had edited Liberty magazine from 1931 to 1942, and later was a senior editor for Reader's Digest. He had become a reporter on the Baltimore American in 1910 and later became its music and dramatic critic. He became editor of New York Music Trades in 1920 and editor-in-chief of Metropolitan magazine in 1923. He had written several murder mysteries as well in earlier years.

In Los Angeles, a man with the surname Goodnature was accused by his girlfriend of slapping her, blackening her eyes, splitting her lips, injuring her ear, breaking her right arm, yanking her to the floor by her hair and bumping her head several times, kicking her, breaking a rib, burning her with a cigarette and jabbing her near the eye with a bobbie pin. The man pleaded guilty to assault and was sentenced to five months in jail.

In Florence, S.C., law enforcement from both North Carolina and South Carolina were awaiting the surrender of Thomas Hamilton, the Imperial Wizard of the Klan, on charges of conspiracy to kidnap and assault, based on the recent spate of floggings occurring in and involving victims of the two states. Mr. Hamilton's attorney had informed the law enforcement personnel that he had agreed to surrender on warrants issued the previous day and was en route to Florence for the purpose. The North Carolina warrants were based on two alleged floggings in Columbus County, one of which involved the Whiteville mechanic who had been whipped on October 5 for supposed "excessive drinking", on which three Klan members had already been convicted in a prior trial, and the other involving a black woman who claimed that she was whipped by 40 to 50 men who had come to her home on January 18, 1951 to search for her husband, indicating that they had beaten her with sticks when they found that her husband was not at home. More than 40 Klansmen had been arrested in the crackdown since the prior February.

In New York the previous day, as pictured, thousands of men and women had waited in line to file past the bier of deceased actor John Garfield, who had died on Wednesday of a heart attack.

On page 9-A, appears a review of Witness, the new book by Whittaker Chambers.

On the editorial page, "Speed and Punishment" indicates that it did not feel sorry for the salesman who had decided to spend 18 days in jail in lieu of paying his $18 fine and court costs for going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone on Wilkinson Boulevard at 4:00 a.m. when there was no traffic, on the basis that he believed the speed limit should be accommodating to light-traffic hours. It indicates its disagreement for the facts that it was the function of officials to uphold the law and that the speed limits were based on fact and experience, designed to minimize slaughter on the highways, with due regard taken for stopping distances—which it provides at different speeds over 40 mph. (The basic rule of thumb which every driver ought bear in mind is that it takes approximately two seconds of following distance to stop at any speed relative to the car ahead going the same speed, with longer distance obviously necessary if your brakes are not in good order.) It also suggests that at nighttime, there was greater need for caution because of limited visibility.

The judge had reduced the man's recorded speed of 60 mph to 55, to save his license, as it would be automatically suspended for 30 days on a second offense within a year of traveling more than 55, as he was convicted a few months earlier of doing.

It suggests that there were speeders all the time who did not get caught and it was the man's misfortune to have been nabbed, but it was his choice to spend time in jail rather than pay the fine and costs. It also urges, however, that it was time for the Legislature to acknowledge a higher per diem average wage than a dollar per day, and thus provide more credit for each day in jail to defray fines and costs. It did not, however, favor changing the law to provide a variable speed limit at low-traffic hours. It hopes that officials would continue to enforce the traffic laws vigorously, and thereby save lives in the process.

"Ridgway Reports" tells of the several public reports by General Matthew Ridgway since his return from his command in the Far East to become NATO commander, having been sobering, though providing little new information. But his emphasis on the seriousness of the Korean situation and the magnitude of problems facing Japan following the end of occupation did not allow for much hope of rapid improvement in the Far East situation. It finds that the General was not a defeatist and remained confident, but qualified his confidence with recognition of the substantial problems.

He had reviewed the situation with Congress in a joint session on the prior Thursday and reported that the armistice now hinged on whether the Communists would accept the U.N.'s final offer, including insistence on the final sticking point of absolutely voluntary repatriation by prisoners, and not, as the Communists still demanded, a specific quota of repatriation, regardless of the U.N.'s survey of the prisoners' expressed desires. Regarding Japan, he stated that what the U.S. would do would have profound effects and that strengthening U.S.-Japan relations was of vital importance. He pointed out that the essentials of life were in short supply in Japan and that it had to have raw materials if it were to buy and import the things it could not produce. It was also vulnerable to attack and so had to be shielded. He had found that, notwithstanding these problems, the Japanese people remained hopeful and friendly, showing gratitude to the U.S. for the postwar situation.

It indicates that Japan had lost its island empire of a decade earlier and had fewer markets and potential markets available, while its nationals continued to be excluded completely from sparsely populated Australia and New Zealand and fewer than 200 Japanese were admitted annually to the U.S. under immigration quotas. Other countries had taken over much of the former Japanese trade, placing it under great pressure to trade with China or Russia. It indicates that it was glad that General Ridgway had chosen to emphasize the Japanese problems, as they would undoubtedly loom increasingly large into the future and require solution.

A large part of that solution would come with the development of rock 'n' roll music during the 1950's and the popularity consequent to radio stations which played it, necessitating that each teenager have their own little Japanese transistor radio. Those of us who listened were young patriots of the world, also contributing collaterally to the continued viability of Japan, and ensuring thereby that it did not go Commie, notwithstanding the fact that occasionally it was much to the consternation of our parents, whose eardrums were not altogether sympathetic, having become accustomed to lighter rhythms, though, in crescendo, not always of lower volume, only seeming so for the tinny speakers earlier available, as they had come of age. We were blessed with big boomers.

"Percentage Poor" tells of presidential candidate Averell Harriman recently, during a speech at which Maj. General Harry Vaughan was present, having indicated that the advocates of increased tariffs belonged among the "five percenters", referring to the influence peddlers who received fees for influencing deals with the Government, in which General Vaughan had been implicated during Congressional hearings on influence-peddling two and three years earlier. In addition, it observes that there was a proposal to limit individual Federal income tax to 25 percent of income, the proponents of which had become known as "25 percenters" by their opponents. There were also the 27 1/2 percenters who wanted to maintain the oil depletion allowance at that level, and the 60 percenters who opposed 90 percent or 100 percent parity for farmers in establishing the level for price supports.

It concludes: "Ah, the good old days. Then all that mattered to 100 percent Americans was a man's position on 3.2 percent." Presumably, the latter was in reference to the permissible alcohol content of beer.

A piece from the Richmond News-Leader, titled "But Is It Art?" finds that there was a lot to be said for a point expressed by three customs officials in Los Angeles the previous week when they inspected a shipment consigned to Frank Perls, an art dealer, after they came across an object which they could only describe as "packing material" and hence subject to a duty. Mr. Perls had objected that it was not packing material but rather a poster by French painter Henri Matisse. Eventually, the customs agents gave in and allowed the painting in without duty.

The piece indicates that its sympathies in such cases were always with the customs inspectors, as some of the abstractions on display in art galleries left the observer wondering whether the object was turned right side up. It ventures the opinion that art ought be a manifestation of beauty and evoke some emotional response in the observer, beyond the feeling that junior could have done a better job.

The Matisse was art to Mr. Perls, just as the "Little Giant Still Life" of Stuart Davis was art to the Virginia Museum, but, to the editorial writer, "just a nice letter job". It concludes that no one ever settled the debates on what was art but such incidents did inject some "eloquent comment" regarding the confusion of values in the current time.

Drew Pearson suggests to the newly confirmed Attorney General James McGranery that he hire subordinates who would begin investigation of some of the reports by other Government departments requesting that the Justice Department look into graft and corruption, such as at the RFC regarding Alabama Congressman Frank Boykin and the B. & O. Railroad, and from the Commerce Department, regarding shipping and sales of tin to China, as well as others. Mr. Pearson indicates that if the subordinates could not locate all of the cases, he would be glad to help them. He provides the details of the Commerce Department referral, involving Admiral Harold Bowen, former chief of Naval Research, who had assisted in developing the atomic bomb. Shortly after he retired in 1947, he had become a stockholder in U.S. Petroleum Carriers, Inc. and applied to buy four surplus tankers from the Government, then sold his stock at 124 times profit per share after the tankers had been delivered three months later, earning a total of $62,000 on an investment of only $500. His chief contribution had been the use of his name to obtain the tankers. Another quick killing was made by Robert W. Dudley through the same company, making the same profit in three months.

Mr. Dudley had represented a group of wealthy Greek shipowners who were attempting to purchase surplus tankers from the Maritime Commission, an application for which had been turned down on September 12, 1947 on the ground that the applicants were not American citizens. Two weeks later, the Petroleum Carriers company was formed with Messrs. Dudley and Bowen as the principal stockholders, with a third stockholder, who was an intimate of the Greek shipowners, holding 100 shares. The Commission then approved the sale of the four tankers to the company on December 30, 1947, with Messrs. Dudley and Bowen then selling their shares a week later to the third stockholder, who then sold a 48 percent interest to a Panamanian corporation owned by the same Greek shipowners. The third stockholder had been able to borrow $165,000 to buy out the shares without putting up anything as security.

The case had been investigated by the Maritime Commission and submitted to the Justice Department a year earlier, and it still remained there untouched. Mr. Pearson indicates that he had obtained the secret report prepared on the matter, which identified the dominant Greek shipowner as Aristotle Onassis, who lived in luxury in the U.S. while doing most of his business through South American corporations, which gave him the maximum tax benefits.

He next quotes from that report, indicating that Mr. Onassis and his foreign affiliates had entered the corporate picture on January 7, 1948 after the Commission had approved the sale of the tankers, the report indicating awareness that Mr. Onassis had probably obtained and owned undivulged interests in the Petroleum Carriers Corporation when the Commission had approved the sale. It indicated that the third investor in early 1948 owned 60 percent of the stock of Petroleum Carriers, while the company of Mr. Onassis owned 40 percent, and that during the ensuing six months, the third investor's share was reduced to 48 percent by his selling 10 shares to three men at a loss of $1,500 on each block and 90 shares to Mr. Onassis's company on a break-even basis. The report had asked the question as to what induced the third investor to do so, just at the time that the corporation had become a profitable operation, especially as he had suffered a loss and other avenues had been open for him to have liquidity without selling the stock.

As we indicated last year when this story surfaced, Mr. Onassis and his partners would eventually face criminal indictment in the matter in October, 1953, ironically occurring a month after the marriage of Senator and Mrs. John F. Kennedy, in mid-September, 1953.

Marquis Childs discusses the reluctance of Governor Adlai Stevenson to enter the race for the Democratic nomination and how baffling that had become. In early January, the President had determined that Governor Stevenson had the best qualifications for the nomination, but then in two conversations between the President and the Governor, the Governor had indicated that he only wanted to run for re-election as Governor of Illinois and nothing else. When, in late March, the President announced that he would not run again, the spotlight again focused on Governor Stevenson, until a couple of weeks afterward, on April 16, he provided a formal statement in which he indicated that he "could not accept" the nomination.

Nevertheless, the talk of the possibility of a draft-Stevenson movement had continued, especially among the Americans for Democratic Action. The belief was that at the Chicago convention in July, should the Democrats get stuck after several ballots, they would turn to the Governor and tell him that he had no choice but to accept the nomination for the good of the nation and the party.

To blunt this effort, the Governor was contemplating issuing a statement that he would not run for the presidency even if he were nominated.

Some were looking for motives hidden behind this reluctance to accept such an opportunity. The Governor would only indicate that the talk of a draft was getting in the way of his campaign for re-election as Governor and that he wanted it ended.

Shortly, Ambassador Averell Harriman would be speaking at Roosevelt College in Chicago, to be introduced by Governor Stevenson, and Mr. Harriman's backers were predicting that the Governor would on that occasion openly endorse Mr. Harriman for the nomination, and thereby squelch talk of his availability for any draft.

The Congressional Quarterly analyzes the upcoming Congressional elections, indicating that there would be at least 72 to 77 new Congressmen in the House in the 83rd Congress, commencing January 3, 1953. Many of the newcomers were expected to ride in on the coattails of the new President, 25 to 30 usually coming in on such coattails, many of whom would then typically fall by the wayside in the midterm elections.

At least 15 Congressmen would be replaced by freshmen because of redistricting in the states based on population shifts from the 1950 census. California had led the nation in population increase during the previous decade and would gain seven new Congressmen, with Florida following with two and Maryland, Michigan, Texas, Virginia and Washington each gaining one. Pennsylvania would lose three, while Missouri, New York and Oklahoma would lose two each, and Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee, each one. Some of those shifting districts had two incumbent Congressmen in one new district, meaning that only one of them could possibly win. Such was the case in a new Mississippi district, where incumbent Representatives John Rankin and Thomas Abernethy both sought renomination. There were also races involving incumbents of the same party in other primaries, which the piece lists.

In Tennessee, the district of Representative Albert Gore and in Arkansas, that of Representative Boyd Tackett, had been consolidated with other districts and both incumbents had decided to seek other offices, Congressman Gore running for the Senate and Mr. Tackett running for the gubernatorial nomination.

In 15 states, the districts had been so reorganized that the incumbents might not seek re-election, such as in Kings County, New York, encompassing Brooklyn, where redistricting had been so complicated that the Representatives had not determined whether they would run.

Thirty-two seats were being vacated by incumbents, to be taken over by freshmen. In addition to Mr. Gore, nine other Representatives were running for the Senate, among whom were Mike Mansfield of Montana, Henry Jackson of Washington, and John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts. Four others were running for governor in their state, including Christian Herter of Massachusetts. Two Congressmen had already been defeated in the primaries and 17, including Walter Brehm of Ohio, convicted of misappropriating taxpayer money in the form of kickbacks from salaries of disused staff, were not running for any public office. The others included John Wood of Georgia, current chairman of HUAC, Robert Doughton of North Carolina, current chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, and Thruston Morton of Kentucky, who would return for two terms as Senator in 1957.

A letter writer asks whether drinking was sinful and detrimental to mankind and suggests that the question could not always be answered with a simple yes or no. She indicates that movies often misled gullible people to believe that drinking was sophisticated and a steppingstone to a higher place in society. She finds that some people could take an occasional drink without harmful effects, but that most could not know in advance whether they might develop a habit which would ultimately turn into alcoholism. The result was akin to gambling, she finds, with one's health and happiness. She recommends that each person consider the acquaintances they had who drank and the few who did not and then to make a choice, as it was each person's life.

She might have added that it is not each person's choice, however, to drink and then drive, as that then becomes a choice affecting other people's lives.

A letter writer from Pittsboro responds to the editorial of May 16, "The Rip Van Winkle Republicans", suggesting a revision of the title to "The Rip Van Winkle Americans", as being more aptly descriptive of the situation at hand. He finds the current prosperity to be "artificial", achieved either through pump-priming or war financing during the previous 20 years. The result had been 250 billion dollars worth of Federal debt—the bulk of which, he fails to point out, consisted of debt run up fighting the Nazis and the Japanese imperialists during the war, without which he would be having to say "Sieg Heil" or salute dutifully to his Japanese masters, or otherwise be killed on the spot by the police.

He thinks that the Wagner Labor Relations Act was a complete surrender to labor and that Taft-Hartley had restored some balance for management. The farmer, he also thinks, was more preferentially treated and was provided an area of production monopoly and control, with a guaranteed profit.

He thinks that there might be significance in the a groundswell of support for General Eisenhower, that he might be "the man of God selected to be our ruler".

Let us hope not, for that is what the Nazis and Japanese believed about their leaders, explaining their fanatical nationalism and complete suspension of conscience to their thus anointed demigod. The result of an honest election is just that, has nothing to do with the will of God, any more than the winner of a sporting contest has anything at all to do with "God's will". If any dunce thinks otherwise, that person isn't thinking very clearly. For what does it say about the losers?

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that the president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. J. D. Grey, had recently stated, according to a report in The News, that Baptists did not want a new President who favored sending missions to the Vatican, as did President Truman. This writer wonders who Dr. Grey would support between the Devil and George Washington, if the latter favored sending a mission to the Vatican and the Devil did not.

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