The Charlotte News

Monday, May 26, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via William Jorden, that in the Koje Island U.N. prisoner of war camp, hospital officials indicated this date that Communist prisoners of war had treated each other with such barbarity that they had killed more prisoners than had allied guards in suppressing the three previous prisoner riots. Camp officials conceded that they did not have control inside the barbed wire enclosures. Communist leaders among the prisoners had organized themselves into a crude but disciplined army, with stones, clubs and other weapons fashioned from cans and metal bars. They also had acquired pistols and rifles, seized from guards during riots or bought from civilians. At least 115 prisoners had died from beatings, hangings or torture in clashes between Communists and anti-Communists within the camp, according to hospital records. Guards suppressing the three riots had killed 97 prisoners. In one instance, a prisoner had been buried alive by fellow prisoners. In another incident, the previous September, a prisoner court had tried, convicted and executed 15 prisoners, nine of whose bodies had been burned before camp officials learned of the killings and sent in troops to recover the remaining bodies. A favorite method of killing other inmates was to beat them to death with tent poles. Some had their throats cut with crude knives or the edges of tin cans and some had been hanged with rope or wire. Prisoners who had tattoos which were anti-Communist had them ripped from their bodies. Guards frequently heard screams from within the camp. Separation of the Communists from the anti-Communists had reduced some of the brutality, but many anti-Communists remained inside the camp. Some of the trouble was presumed to be caused by homosexuality.

Brig. General Haydon Boatner, recently appointed commandant of the camp, indicated that about two weeks earlier, the prisoners could have taken over, had they sought to do so, but that the time for such a takeover had now passed and adequate security measures implemented by the U.N. guards.

In Bonn, West Germany, the U.S., Britain and France this date signed a peace agreement with West Germany and welcomed their former enemy as a "new partner in the fight for peace and freedom." There was little jubilation over the milestone agreement in West Germany, where all nine states of the Federal Republic had turned down a government request to close the schools and make it a holiday. The agreement had to be ratified by each of the four governments before it would go into effect.

Senator Tom Connally of Texas, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, told the Senate this date during debate of the foreign aid bill that "a policy of timidity is a prelude to disaster". He recommended approval of a 6.9 billion dollar bill, rather than the 6.2 billion approved by the House. The President had sought 7.9 billion, but committees in both houses had cut a billion dollars from that request, and a coalition of House Republicans and Southern Democrats had cut another 738 million dollars the previous Friday. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, indicated that he believed a substantial cut should be made below the 6.9 billion figure.

William H. Draper, Jr., U.S. special representative in Europe, stated in Paris the previous day that the House cut could "seriously damage the entire defensive structure in Europe."

John D. Small, chairman of the Munitions Board, testified before the Senate Preparedness Committee, chaired by Senator Lyndon Johnson, that the country was still far behind Russia in its warplane production, particularly in jets. He also indicated that planned deliveries for 1953 and early 1954 would have to be reduced if the Congress passed the House-approved ceiling of 46 billion dollars for the defense budget. Committee member Senator John Stennis of Mississippi, however, stated that he did not believe Russia had general air superiority, that they had placed all of their eggs into one or two baskets, especially the MIGs, and therefore probably had superiority in those particular areas, but that they might find themselves in the long run with an unwieldy proportion of one or two types of aircraft.

The Supreme Court ruled unanimously this date, in Joseph Burstyn, Inc. v. Wilson, 343 U.S. 495, a decision announced by Justice Tom Clark, that movies were entitled to the Constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press under the First Amendment, striking down an action by the State of New York barring the showing of Roberto Rossellini's "The Miracle" on the grounds that it was sacrilegious. The Court held that the statute in question acted as a prior restraint on speech and was therefore Constitutionally impermissible absent exceptional circumstances, not present in the instant case, that "the state has no legitimate interest in protecting any or all religions from views distasteful to them which is sufficient to justify prior restraints upon the expression of those views. It is not the business of government in our nation to suppress real or imagined attacks upon a particular religious doctrine, whether they appear in publications, speeches, or motion pictures."

The Court also held, 7 to 1, in Public Utilities Commission v. Pollak, 343 U.S. 451, a decision announced by Justice Harold Burton, that radio broadcasts on buses and streetcars operated with the sanction of the government were not violative of the Constitutional rights of passengers, either the First Amendment right to engage in conversation in a public place or the right of privacy under the Fifth Amendment, as there was no right of privacy on a public conveyance substantially equal to that in one's home, that "[h]owever complete his right of privacy may be at home, it is substantially limited by the rights of others when its possessor travels on a public thoroughfare or rides in a public conveyance." Justice William O. Douglas dissented on the basis that "liberty" within the context of the Fifth Amendment right to privacy, part of which derived also from the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures, was to be construed more broadly than the majority had, that even in activities outside the home, the citizen "has immunities from controls bearing on privacy. He may not be compelled against his will to attend a religious service; he may not be forced to make an affirmation or observe a ritual that violates his scruples; he may not be made to accept one religious, political, or philosophical creed as against another. Freedom of religion and freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment give more than the privilege to worship, to write, to speak as one chooses; they give freedom not to do nor to act as the government chooses. The First Amendment in its respect for the conscience of the individual honors the sanctity of thought and belief. To think as one chooses, to believe what one wishes are important aspects of the constitutional right to be let alone," and that the involuntary subjection of the passenger to music and advertising via speakers on a bus operated with the sanction of the government interfered with that right. Justice Felix Frankfurter took no part in the decision.

The right of privacy to which the Court unanimously referred in Pollak is significant and worth understanding carefully in all of its aspects and implications, especially for those wishing to overturn Roe v. Wade, as it was that right on which Roe was premised. If one starts eroding that right, as balanced in the abortion context against the state interest in protection of life, based on emotionally laden issues such as objection to the right to have an abortion up to the point of viability of the fetus, that is when the fetus is capable of living as a separate being outside the womb, where does the right of the government to interfere with the right of privacy end? The inconsonant and paradoxical nature of the argument against abortion and hence the right of privacy—as the time of viability has not appreciably changed since 1973 and is a matter to be determined conclusively by medical science before it can be properly re-evaluated by legislatures and the courts—and that of the other beliefs usually found in the same persons, that government should be less involved with the affairs of the individual citizen, is quite beyond reason in terms of the Constitution. The citizen should not base views of the democracy on subjectively held emotional beliefs. The Constitution was not formed that way but rather through debate and recognition of liberty interests for all, with its inherent necessity for balancing those rights when competing against one another to accord that liberty reasonably, not just of the few.

The emotional notion of "right to life" for a fetus at the point of "conception" rather than viability, no matter how ill-conceived the "conception", grossly oversimplifies and misunderstands the legal issues and implications to liberty for all involved in Roe. In short, by trying to erode Roe, one is actually eroding one's own right to privacy. Often, the confusion arises in misunderstanding the distinction between permissive abortion to the point of viability and government compulsion to have an abortion, of which there is none; but yet such is the argument often promulgated by the hucksters who push this doctrine from either the pulpits or on right-wing talk radio and tv, thus causing, in rebellion, abortion for the immature to become an expression of "liberty", completely perverting the inherent basis for Roe, privacy.

When divested of all of its trappings acquired since the Nineteeth Century, abortion is purely a medico-political issue and not a religious or moral one, Roe having pointed out that there was no strong moral value attached to abortion, prior to "quickening" or viability, until the mid to late Nineteenth Century when concerns about the sterility of the practice arose for the protection of the life of the mother, the moral aspects growing out of the fact that the negative sanction was more easily transmitted via the church and moral appeals than through other means of argument and education in a still largely illiterate society, when, in 1850, for instance, only four million people had attended any school during the prior year and about 27,000 were enrolled in colleges, universities and theological seminaries, taught in the 239 institutions of higher learning by a total of 1,678 instructors, while there were churches accommodating over 14 million people or one church per 139 square miles, in a total population of 23.2 million. It is better by far to think rather than emote mindlessly, following the lead in the latter frenzied state of the radio-tv hucksters, at the end of the day only out to sell you products to sustain their six and seven-figure salaries.

In Amman, Jordan, Arab Legion headquarters charged this date that three Arab farmers and three donkeys had been killed the previous day by Israeli soldiers who crossed over the armistice line into Jordan from Israel near Ramallah. The report also indicated that the Israelis had fired about 200 shots at two U.N. truce observers.

The 52-day Western Union strike ended this date and workers returned to the telegraph offices across the nation after the Commercial Telegraphers Union announced that its Western Union membership had voted to accept the mediated settlement. The negotiated wage increases and hour decreases were contingent upon Western Union receiving permission from the Government to raise its rates.

The President this date, in a fiery speech to a conference of electric consumers, criticized private utilities, indicating that they were spending millions of dollars in a propaganda drive to "frighten, threaten and confuse the people" regarding public power. Getting in a dig at Henry Luce, he said that the utilities had run full-page ads in "Mrs. Clare Boothe Luce's Life Magazine", costing $17,000 each. (The newspaper story quotes him as saying "Mr." rather than "Mrs.", suggesting that the transcription may have cleaned it up a little, noting the reference in an end-note.) He also said that they had taken out full-page ads in the "big corporation-controlled Saturday Evening Post", costing $12,000 each. He said that the power resources of the country belonged to the people and not to anyone else. The group, comprised of advocates of public power, rural electrification and electric cooperatives gave the President a standing ovation when he said that he was the only person who represented the whole 155 million consumers of the nation, adding, "I'm their pull—I'm their lobbyist." He indicated that he might soon ask the new Attorney General, James McGranery, to determine whether the utilities had violated the Corrupt Practices Act. He said that some of the utilities had one set of figures for expenses on which they paid their taxes and another set, four or fives times greater, on which they based their rates.

In Montreal, the United Textile Workers of America announced the dismissal of its entire 12-person Canadian staff this date, after charges had been made that its leadership was Communist. The secretary-treasurer of the union indicated that he was convinced that there was a serious problem and that the charges were well founded.

In Texas, Republicans would meet the next day to determine how that state's 38-vote delegation would be sent to the convention in Chicago in July. There was a fight between the backers of Senator Taft and General Eisenhower, which could develop into a split, potentially keeping the count of delegates in limbo until the convention, as there were rival slates of delegates seeking approval. The Eisenhower supporters indicated that they would bolt the state convention if the state executive committee ran roughshod over them and the state convention upheld it.

There was also a potential split in the Texas Democratic delegation, between a pro-Administration group and a faction led by Governor Alan Shivers, who wanted an uninstructed delegation. The pro-Administration group indicated that it was prepared to walk out of the state convention the next day and send a rival delegation to the national convention.

During the weekend, based on the Associated Press tabulation of delegates, General Eisenhower picked up an additional 20 votes in the State of Washington to four for Senator Taft, but still trailed the Senator, 399 to 359, with 604 needed to nominate.

Connecticut also was holding a two-day convention starting this night, with the potential that General Eisenhower would gain more from its 22-vote delegation, as Governor John Lodge, brother of Eisenhower campaign manager, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., supported the General.

At N.C. State in Raleigh, chancellor John W. Harrelson submitted his resignation to the UNC Board of Trustees, to become effective June 30, 1953, and the resignation was reluctantly accepted. He had been the chancellor since 1934 and would be three years beyond the retirement age, at 68, when the resignation became effective.

On the editorial page, "Uniting the Free Democracies", a by-lined piece by News publisher Thomas L. Robinson, writing from Washington, tells of being in the Hotel Shoreham as he wrote his report on the strategy conference for the Atlantic Union Committee. He indicates that he had seen a lot of Americans at the conference with whom he was proud to be associated, having come to grips with the great problem of strengthening the unity of the free democracies within the Atlantic community.

He indicates that the confreres were strong-minded people from all over the country, some of whom were bankers, lawyers, diplomats, jurists, and writers, while others were dreamers with a clear vision and stout faith. Some were women.

The goal of the conference was to determine how NATO could be strengthened to produce full Atlantic Union, politically and economically. At present, NATO was a military alliance, with 14 separate governments rather than a single federated one.

General William Draper, Jr., , the permanent U.S. representative on the North Atlantic Council, had cabled the president of the Atlantic Union Committee, former Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts, that he would welcome the opportunity of receiving the recommendations of the Committee for increasing the effectiveness of NATO. His cable had caused the conference to make such recommendations, which were now ready for consideration by the Committee's board of governors before being forwarded to General Draper.

He sets forth those recommendations, essentially that an Atlantic Assembly would be created within NATO, with consultative powers only, to discuss and recommend solutions for unsolved problems faced by NATO, especially in the economic and political fields, and that more widespread public understanding of the purpose and function of NATO would be developed among member nations, with greater public education on its possibilities and limitations, such as through the increase of the use of Fulbright scholarships and other student exchange opportunities among the NATO countries.

There was a divergence of opinion at the conference as to whether Atlantic Union should occur by slow evolution of NATO into a federated government or by a definite decision to wait until an exploratory convention was called by the President to determine whether Atlantic Union would be acceptable to the original seven NATO sponsors, the U.S., Britain, Canada, France, and the Benelux countries. Such a convention would be called by the President after the Congress had adopted by a simple majority the Atlantic Union resolution, the enabling clause of which he sets forth. Participation in the convention would not commit the U.S. to joining the Atlantic Union, but only to exploration of whether it could be created. The American people would have the final say on all proposals made by that convention.

If the Atlantic Union were formed, nations could qualify for membership whenever they met the test of democratic government under free elections and a bill of rights.

Former Justice Roberts, Clarence Streit and Franz Martin Joseph, the international lawyer, had effectively rebutted the argument that Atlantic Union would adversely impact U.S. sovereignty, indicating that in a democracy it was the people who were sovereign, not the government, and that under the Bill of Rights, American citizens retained their basic rights, while they delegated some to their city, state and national governments. Atlantic Union would actually strengthen sovereignty of the individual by helping to ensure peace in the world and avert world war.

Mr. Robinson urges that the concept should be discussed, understood and championed at the grassroots level, not merely confined to the conference he was attending in Washington.

"Wind, Definitely" tells of meteorologists planning to remove from their weather forecasts such words as "possible" and "probable", a proposal being made at their summer meeting, to be tried initially by the Chicago Weather Bureau, which had an 86 percent accuracy rating for its forecasts during the previous decade.

It suggests that, while it would be helpful if they were correct, it appeared they were going out on a limb and that in short order, residents of Chicago would start berating the weathermen for inaccurate forecasting.

It concludes, however, that with both party conventions in Chicago, the forecasters could be certain of one thing through July, that being that there would be a lot of wind in the Windy City.

Alfred Steinberg, writing in Tax Outlook, tells of Lindsay Warren of North Carolina having been the U.S. Comptroller General in charge of the General Accounting Office since 1940, during which time he had been regularly losing friends in official Washington for his job of looking after the taxpayers' money. While having been appointed by FDR, he worked strictly for Congress, auditing the annual budgets of Government agencies. He also acted as judge over thousands of claims in which the Government was a party, either as debtor or creditor, there having been 492,000 such claims the prior year. The President could not overrule him in his determinations of what Congress had meant in its appropriations legislation. He also had the legal power to recover money spent by an agency which was not authorized by Congress.

His largest single recovery on behalf of the Government had been 9.9 million dollars, which had been overpaid to an aircraft manufacturer during the war, and his smallest recovery had been 50 cents, from a Government employee who had padded his travel expenses. In all, he had recovered 760 million dollars, while discouraging unauthorized spending by others. Mr. Warren, however, still believed that there were billions which he had overlooked.

He regretted that he did not have the ability to curtail waste in Government spending, but had sent thousands of reports on such waste to Congress.

The Comptroller General could only be removed by impeachment or joint resolution of Congress before the end of his non-renewable 15-year term. Mr. Warren, himself, maintained a frugal budget, having no official car or chauffeur as other agency heads, and the previous year, had asked for a cut of two million dollars in the GAO budget. He had turned the Office from an inefficient, overstaffed agency into a model for the rest of the Government. He had decentralized much of his staff so that they could perform audits of Federal agencies all over the country. Under the new law which he had urged through Congress, the Budget and Accounting Procedures Act of 1950, the GAO, with the assistance of the Treasury Department and the Bureau of the Budget, was calling in each agency one at a time and helping them install new accounting systems in accord with the new rules. When that task was completed, for the first time in the country's history, the taxpayers would know how much money was coming in and its source and how much of it was being spent and on what, one of Mr. Warren's chief legacies.

Mr. Steinberg provides a brief biographical sketch of Mr. Warren, that he had served 16 years in the House, after having attended two years at UNC before working as a runner in a bank and reading law in his spare time, in 1912, having passed the State Bar exam in North Carolina at age 23.

Drew Pearson discusses the accord between the Big Three and West Germany, to be signed this date establishing the European army. He indicates that it was a short document, but that behind it were thousands of unwritten chapters regarding hopes for the future, the history of the past, and the hurdles on the path to peace. It marked the climax of 300 years of warfare between the French and German armies, and he regards it as possibly the most significant milestone for peace the world had ever seen.

Yet, there were hurdles to be overcome before it could become a reality, one being that the Soviets were determined that it would never become effective.

He indicates that the arrival of General Matthew Ridgway as supreme commander of NATO would trigger anti-American demonstrations, branding him the "butcher of Korea", holding him responsible for the exaggerated prisoner troubles and accusing the allies of using germ warfare under his command. The people in Europe actually believed the latter charge based on the success of Communist propaganda, causing some of General Ridgway's best friends to believe that his appointment had been a mistake.

There had been a heavy Russian build-up around Berlin, while Communist civilians were reported to be planning to flock into West Berlin where they would stage riots and provide an excuse for Communist troops to enter the city. It was reported that the Russians planned to seize both Berlin airports, making it impossible this time for a repeat of the Berlin airlift of 1948-49, which had broken the previous blockade. In that event, Berlin would finally have to capitulate or the West would have to go to war.

European inflation was on the rise and posed another enemy, possibly equal to the Communist threat, as inflation tended to make the Communist propaganda seem the more appealing to an economically struggling people. The Communist members of the parliaments of France and Italy were seeking to create as much economic instability as possible to increase inflation.

He indicates that all of those factors would make ratification of the agreement to form the Western European army uncertain. But against these negative factors was the overriding historical significance of uniting French and German troops under one uniform, thus ending the source of 300 years of bloodshed.

He indicates that 24 years earlier, in 1928, he had been present at the signing of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, outlawing war, the signatories truly believing at that time that it might have that effect. But in the background were the forces of fascism and nationalism gradually undercutting that treaty and edging the world toward war. He indicates that at present, the same forces were operating, this time under Communism, intent on wrecking the pact, giving rise to the question as to whether they would succeed, with the answer ultimately being up to the U.S.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the President was busy planning the Democratic strategy for the November general election on the belief that General Eisenhower would be the Republican nominee. Formerly, the President had mapped out a strategy on the basis that Senator Taft would be the nominee, in which case the election would have been about foreign policy, and the appeal aimed at moderate independents and anti-isolationist Republicans.

After the New Hampshire and Minnesota primaries, Governor Adlai Stevenson was convinced that General Eisenhower would be the nominee and thus had taken himself out of the race. Previously, he had been willing to run, as long as the nominee appeared to be Senator Taft.

With foreign policy no longer an issue, assuming General Eisenhower would be the nominee, attention had been turned to domestic policy, seeking to appeal to the black vote in the North on civil rights issues, on the belief that the General would run strong in the South. The President believed that moderate, middle-class voters might be hard to woo from the General, and so he planned an appeal to the special interests among the lower-income groups, portraying General Eisenhower as the unwitting tool of barons of big business, that the General was correct in his instincts, but the prisoner of those oppressing the farmer, enchaining the worker and grinding down the faces of the downtrodden.

Marquis Childs looks at the Republican race for delegates, stressing the split between public support for General Eisenhower in states like Texas and Louisiana and the rump delegations put forth in those two states by the Old Guard supporters of Senator Taft, such that competing slates of delegates would inevitably go to the convention. The credentials committee would have to choose which slate would be seated and those determinations were not always based on strict fairness. The outcomes of such delegate competition could determine who the Republican nominee would be. If Senator Taft were to take the lion's share of the 158 Southern delegates, it could swing the balance in his favor, even though such delegate strength would represent only a paucity of popular votes.

He concludes that, perhaps even more than in 1948, 1952 would be an election year where predictions would not hold true; yet, one prophecy could be made with a degree of certainty, that if Senator Taft became the nominee based on the tactics of the Old Guard in the South, the nomination would not be worth very much.

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