The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 3, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the brevity of this date's secret plenary session in the armistice negotiations had led to speculation that the Communists had, in effect, rejected the allied package proposal for resolving the deadlock in the negotiations. The terms of the package had not been disclosed. The allied spokesman stated only that there had been no agreement reached at the 24-minute session, which he described as "coolly impersonal". Most of the session had been taken up by North Korean General Nam Il reading a prepared statement, at the conclusion of which Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, the senior U.N. delegate, replied briefly and suggested then a recess until the next day. The story indicates that the fact that the allies were willing to meet again so soon suggested that the Communists' statements required little, if any, study.

U.N. artillerymen on the eastern front had caught three groups of enemy soldiers in the open the previous day and inflicted about 76 casualties on the 144 enemy troops sighted. Enemy artillery hurled 2,200 rounds across the front.

U.S. Sabre jets had shot down four enemy jets and damaged an enemy propeller-driven fighter in two air battles this date near the Yalu River. In one of the battles, 19 Sabres had engaged 15 enemy MIG-15s, and in the second, 40 Sabres had battled an undetermined number of enemy planes.

The U.S. Fifth Air Force, in its weekly summary, indicated that 1,283 sorties had been flown on Friday, a record for the war, and that the total for the week had been 5,415 sorties. The Air Force had lost eight planes during the week, raising the number of combat losses to 657 for the war. One F-80 had been destroyed in an air fight, five planes had been shot down by enemy ground fire and two had failed to return for unknown causes. In the same period, allied planes had shot down seven enemy jets, probably destroyed two and damaged six, raising the total number of enemy planes destroyed since the start of the war to 442, with another 122 probably destroyed. Most of the enemy losses had been in air battles, with 304 enemy jets having been shot down in dogfights. The allies had announced only 71 planes destroyed in air battles.

The President told steel industry leaders this date, in a nine-minute talk to union and industry leaders at the White House, that the Government was prepared to increase the wages of steelworkers unless the industry reached an agreement in the dispute by the following Monday. The President said, "I sent for you for action and, gentlemen, I want it." He said that there was only one way to end the controversy and that was for the parties to reach agreement on the issues in dispute and for the companies then to present their claims for price increases to the proper Government officials.

The oil workers' strike in the Southwest had prompted the Air Force to issue orders cutting flying hours outside the Korean war zone to the minimum number required for continuing training, to perform essential command missions or absolutely essential administrative flights. Earlier, the Eighth Air Force headquarters at Carswell Air Force Base near Fort Worth had ordered a "considerable cutback" in flying of its largest bombers, the B-36, the B-29 and B-50. Some commercial airlines reportedly had less than 30 hours of fuel remaining at the start of the strike. It was estimated that production of aviation fuel had been cut by 35 percent by the strike.

Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana stated the previous day that he planned to send to the Justice Department a transcript of conflicting testimony taken in two days of public hearings before the Senate Agricultural Committee which he chaired, and request that the Department take over the investigation of alleged influence-peddling in the Government's huge defense program regarding stockpiling of cotton. Meanwhile, Senator George Aiken of Vermont said that he would hold up on his announced plan to reveal on the Senate floor the names of two Cabinet members who had known about this "smelly deal" and had attempted to cover it up.

The President, the previous night, had made a speech, aimed at Republicans, to the 70th anniversary meeting of the National Civil Service League in Washington, in which he defended government workers' reputations and the loyalty review program. He stated that "political gangsters", who hid under the cover of Congressional immunity, were besmirching the character of Federal employees and were "worse than Communists", threatening to undermine the country. He did not mention any names. The Republican reaction was quick and blunt. Senator Richard Nixon of California called the President's remarks "smear tactics for political purposes". Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota and other Republicans likewise responded.

If the shoe fits, comment on it...

Record numbers of American youth were reported to be turning to religion and most church authorities were not sure why that was in a "secular age". Approximately 62,000 pre-ministerial students were presently enrolled in seminaries and theological schools, nearly double the number in the years during and before World War II. The enrollment was 18 percent higher than two years earlier. The trend was for both young men and young women, the latter training as missionaries, church secretaries, teachers and social workers in church centers. Most church leaders had cited the gravity of the world situation, revitalized church recruitment programs and evangelism, plus the keen demand for ministers to fill empty pulpits as the reasons for the increased enrollment.

In Topeka, Kansas, a young man had chosen to attend church the next day and confess his participation in a bank robbery occurring four years earlier. The Baptist minister refused to give the man's name, indicating that the man's wife had convinced him to "turn Christian" and confess his role in the robbery which had occurred on May 17, 1948 at Hoyt, Kansas, where three men had stolen $835 and forced a cashier to accompany them as a hostage. The county prosecutor said that he and police officers would attend the church service the next day and would arrest the man if the confession were made.

That's not very sporting. They ought at least give him a half-hour head start down the road.

In Johannesburg, South Africa, the De Havilland Comet, a British jet airliner, had arrived ahead of schedule this date on its maiden flight from London. The four-engined craft completed the 6,734-mile flight in 6.5 hours less time than propeller-driven aircraft, opening the jet age of commercial air travel. It carried 36 paying passengers, a crew of six and 30 bags of mail.

Near Charlotte, a Charlotte-Asheville Southern Railroad freight train had seven cars derail during the morning, but no one had been injured. The accident had been caused by the drumhead, the device joining the cars, having broken loose.

In Lexington, N.C., two truck drivers were summoned to a coroner's inquest regarding what police believed to have been a "William Tell" rifle death of a third truck driver, all of whom worked together. A sheriff's deputy said that "incoherent" reports from the two drivers indicated that the decedent had been shot to death the previous night while the men were shooting sticks from each other's mouths during a fishing trip in an arm of High Rock Lake, and that whiskey had been found in the men's automobile.

Your guess... They may have had something a little more potent than whiskey aboard somewhere.

Pleasant week-end weather lay ahead for most of the country, with top temperature readings the previous day having been 105 in Yuma, Ariz., and in the 80's and low 90's in the Southwest and Plains states.

In London, the "cup of tea" strike at London's largest hotel, the Cumberland, had ended this date after 40 waiters and waitresses had walked off the job the previous day following the transfer of a waiter to another job after he was caught sipping a cup of tea while on duty. The strike was ended by an agreement between union officials and management, whereby tea-drinking on the job would be subject to arbitration while the accused waiter's transfer remained in place.

On an inside page appeared the sixth installment of the series of nine articles by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, titled "How To Live with Your Heart Condition".

Not on the page, the President this date took the nation on a televised tour of the reconstructed interior of the White House, to which he and the First Family had returned at the end of March after living at Blair House across the street for the previous three years.

On the editorial page, "Economic Warfare with Our Allies" finds that since the end of World War II, a majority of persons on both sides of the Atlantic had supported the idea of joint military defense or at least supported the governments which had worked for that goal. To a lesser degree, the political and economic policies of the NATO countries had been coordinated. But now a series of seemingly minor demands for protection of various U.S. products by increases in import tariffs on similar foreign products had developed into a trend which might have serious and far-reaching consequences. During the previous 20 years, the U.S. had been a strong advocate of low tariffs, initiating reciprocal trade agreements and taking the lead in forming the International Trade Organization, as well as promoting the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade with Western Europe. A primary goal of the Marshall Plan had been to enable Europe to pay its own way.

But the U.S. had not joined the ITO and had raised tariffs through the escape clause in the reciprocal trade agreements. The country had unilaterally and in violation of the General Agreement placed quotas on imports of cheese and milk products, seriously impairing the dollar-earning capacity of Italy, the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries. The country still had various "Buy American" laws in force, which required the U.S. Government to purchase domestic goods unless the same foreign product was 25 percent cheaper.

Under the reciprocal trade agreements escape clause, the Tariff Commission was authorized to raise duties if it found that a domestic manufacturer had been seriously injured by foreign competition. A year earlier, only two applications for such relief had been before the Commission, whereas now there were 16, embracing a wide variety of products, from wood screws to candied cherries.

One of the results of tariff increases had been the expected retaliation, as the Belgian Government had withdrawn tariff concessions on U.S. industrial wax in response to the U.S. increasing duties on furs used in hat manufacture. Several governments had protested the tariff increases, including that of Italy, Britain and Canada.

The effect of raising tariffs had been to diminish the effectiveness of the billions of dollars in foreign aid, ultimately hurting the American consumer, who paid high prices for domestic products while being unable to receive the cheaper imported products. The protectionist drive also came at a time when the Soviet Union was making a major attempt to break the economic front of the free world by offering vast markets for Western products in return for large quantities of goods from the Soviet bloc. Two weeks earlier, for example, West Germany's parliamentary foreign policy committee had demanded restoration of Soviet-bloc trade with West Germany.

Michael Hoffman of the New York Times, an experienced American correspondent in Europe, had written that the ultimate casualties of this protectionist trend would likely be "the whole of the United States-sponsored commercial policy for the Western world and the institution of private enterprise in much of Western Europe".

Secretary of State Acheson had strongly opposed restrictive tariffs, stressing the impact of the Soviets' trade drive.

Business Week, in urging more liberal trade policies, had noted the problem of damage to a particular group and suggested it as a national responsibility.

The piece posits that it appeared to be time for fresh thinking on the whole problem of tariffs, that economic warfare with the country's allies was not economical in the long run and could prove dangerous.

"Protector of the Good Earth" tells of North Carolina's Dr. Hugh H. Bennett having been a champion for soil conservation from his post at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for nearly 50 years, now retiring. It suggests that when the records of the century were written, he might rank alongside those of greater public acclaim, as the first to recognize that soil resources of the continent were not unlimited and that the steadily increasing population and industrial base demanded intelligent care and use of the soil. He had first seen more clearly than others that depletion of forests, overgrazing of pastures and careless farming practices would destroy the topsoil, leaving it open to wind and rain erosion and endangering the cities built along the banks of consequently flooding rivers.

The piece refers to editor Pete McKnight's piece on the page written from Israel, anent another great American conservationist, Dr. W. C. Lowdermilk and his efforts to reclaim the wasted areas of Israel's depleted soil. Whereas the job in Israel was one of reclamation, in the U.S., it was one of only conservation, but much needed to be done to avoid Dr. Lowdermilk's "11th Commandment" and its warning of the inexorable results to a people who did not act as proper stewards of the land.

It concludes that thanks to Hugh Bennett, the job ahead in the U.S. was not so large as it might have been.

"May the Gypsies Roam Again" indicates that gypsies, like most people, did not care to work, but took their conviction more seriously than the rest. For centuries, they had been nomads, during the day engaging in the professions of tinkering, fortune-telling, trading horses, collecting goods where they were to be found and then dispensing them to those persons who disregarded the old free-enterprise rule of caveat emptor. In the evenings, they played their violins, issuing the haunting melodies which had inspired Franz Liszt to write his Hungarian rhapsodies and Johann Strauss, his Gypsy Baron.

Now, according to reports reaching Vienna from Hungary, the gypsies were being forced to become "useful members" of Soviet society. They were being placed in factories and their children forced to attend school, changes about which they were not enthusiastic, and some gypsies who had been allotted farms had again begun to wander. "They would rather be moving through the countryside, or wandering through a dimly-lit café, replete with Tokay and young love, drawing from the vibrant strings of their violins the strains of Golden Earrings and other gypsy tunes with which their ancestors have fostered love and happiness along the Danube for centuries."

It suggests that there was a little of the gypsy in all persons, the force which beckoned from seemingly greener pastures to live on love and laughter, letting the world go by.

It hopes that the gypsies whom the Soviets were trying to convert to conventional lifestyles would continue to resist and quickly return to the life they loved, "so we may follow them, if vicariously, as they trod laughing down the roaming road."

Drew Pearson tells of former Defense Mobilizer Charles E. Wilson, in his testimony before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee during the height of the steel crisis, having bitterly criticized CIO and United Steelworkers president Philip Murray, such a bitter attack that the Senators, though in closed session, had asked the stenographer not to record it. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas had been questioning Mr. Wilson regarding certain amendments to the bill to extend controls, and Mr. Wilson had stated that the chief matter they should consider was the control by labor leaders over labor in the country, with those few men able to shut down the whole country with strikes. He indicated that Mr. Murray had the power to shut down not only the steel industry, but also aluminum, copper and all other metals industries. Senator Fulbright had asked whether there was any use, therefore, in the Government trying to control labor when labor was tending to control the Government, to which Mr. Wilson had declined answer.

Benjamin Fairless, president of U.S. Steel, the largest steel corporation in the world, had been talking to Price administrator Ellis Arnall, who asked him how many shares of U.S. Steel stock he owned, to which Mr. Fairless replied 1,000 shares, to which Mr. Arnall expressed amazement, saying that he had nearly that many shares in various steel stocks, himself. Mr. Arnall, he notes, had been particularly steadfast in refusing to budge on granting the steel industry any price increase beyond the three dollars available under existing price controls. Economic Stabilizer Roger Putnam, a manufacturer, had agreed with Mr. Arnall on that point.

When Colonel Robert McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune, had been in Europe recently, 20 of his top editorial pundits had taken an informal political poll, with the result that nine favored General Eisenhower, five, Senator Taft, five, the President, and one, Senator Kefauver for the presidency, pretty much the opposite tendency of the isolationist Colonel McCormick.

Prior to Governor Adlai Stevenson having withdrawn his name from consideration for the Democratic nomination, Paul Hoffman, one of the key organizers for General Eisenhower's campaign, had sent the Governor a letter saying that he could sleep well on election night if he knew that either Governor Stevenson or General Eisenhower would be the next President.

A secret poll taken by General Eisenhower's headquarters had predicted that 586 delegates would be supporting the General by the time of the Republican convention in July. They had found that 481 would support Senator Taft, 76, Governor Earl Warren, and 25, former Governor Harold Stassen, with two for General MacArthur and 47 undecided. Senator Taft disputed those figures.

The Democratic National Committee was beginning to worry about its campaign expenses as they were only receiving a trickle of the money they needed for a big fall campaign.

Pete McKnight, News editor, writes again from Jerusalem, this time, as indicated in the editorial above, regarding the centuries of neglect which had resulted in permanent loss of topsoil from the cutting away of all of the trees and overgrazing the land with sheep and goats to the point where there were only deep gullies cut by the soil running off with the rain water to the sea.

The Food and Agricultural Organization's Dr. Walter Clay Lowdermilk, a renowned author and soil conservationist, was dedicated to restoration of those portions of the land which were still subject to reclamation through proper irrigation techniques and planting of millions of seedlings to sprout into trees to hold the soil in place. He believed that there was something lacking in man's theology which would allow the waste of the "good earth" which provided the long-range sustenance for mankind.

The Israelis were extending their efforts at agriculture to the Negev desert area to the south, to which pipelines carrying water for irrigation were extending in increasing numbers. Near Beersheba, cultivated lands lay alongside desert sand.

Mr. McKnight concludes that the people of the United States did not know how fortunate they were to have so much good soil, despite their carelessness in cutting away the forests and letting the land waste away. Americans, he finds, had been treating their soil as an "expendable luxury" instead of a necessity to last into the future. He recommends the "11th Commandment" of Dr. Lowdermilk, which commanded that man had inherited "the holy earth as a faithful steward" to conserve its resources and productivity across generations, and should therefore safeguard it against soil erosion, preventing the waters from drying up, the forests from desolation, and the hills from overgrazing. He warned that those who failed in that stewardship would have their fields become "sterile, stony ground or wasting gullies" and their descendants would "decrease and live in poverty or perish from the face of the earth".

Robert C. Ruark, in Albuquerque, finds one of the more curious aspects of the times to be the appearance of the gastric ulcer in women, something which had been a medical rarity until recent years, but had increased to the point among women that it rivaled the incidence in men.

He explains that the ordinary ulcer was caused by a nervous condition precipitating a physiological reaction, ulceration of the stomach. Ulcers appeared in all professions, but the highest rate occurred in those with high nervous tension. As the 20th Century had progressed in tempo, the incidence of ulcers had increased. Yet, only recently had women reported their occurrence in great numbers.

He suggests that the trend showed that women had fretted themselves into nearly complete equality with the men, such that they now laid claim to this "badge of accomplishment", the duodenal ulcer. A distinguished physician-surgeon, whom he knew but would not identify, had stated that women had "reaped the penalty of emancipation". He had said that in his time, women had not consciously thought in terms of active competition with men and were not generally engaged in commerce or running for political office or, except for occasional "sentimental poetry", not delving too much into the arts.

Mr. Ruark concludes: "Ah, well. You have stolen our trousers and you smoke our cigars. You run our businesses and you spend our money, and you tell us what to do in terms of you. It is meet and fitting that you should pay the penalty for success. Pass the crackers and milk to Mummy, son, and tell her to wear her new triumph in good health."

But whatever you do, son, don't pick up and shoot that loaded pistol which daddy done loaded to go out and shoot someone he done had a grudge against. For that is Mummy's job, leastwise down here in the trailer park in Sou' Car'lina. Didn't you done seen the tv show a couple of months ago? Then there'n that 'un a couple weeks back 'ere, which we hain't figered yet how that figers.

A letter writer from Pittsboro comments on the editorial of April 28, "A Repugnant Concept", indicating that it did not express the concern for constitutional government which the current situation warranted. He goes into the history of the establishment of the Federal Trade Commission in 1914 and traces it through the early Roosevelt Presidency, finding that FDR "had no respect for the traditions of our country respecting the two-term limitation", and had known that he was a "dead man in substance though not in form" when he was elected in 1944 to his fourth term, suggesting to him the conclusion that President Truman therefore had not needed to go to Congress to obtain a war resolution before plunging the country into Korea, a war "that we can neither win nor conclude". He suggests that it it was absurd for anyone to indicate that the President had powers superior to the other two branches, but that the President was caught off guard probably at the press conference and did not intend to suggest seizure of the press and television. "Anyway, the first Amendment to the Constitution is too obvious for anyone other than a pure 'nut' to make such a claim." He thinks the sum total of it was that the record he had laid out showed "a calculated disregard for government by law against personal whim and caprice." He thinks therefore that it was more than one involving "repugnant concepts".

Whatever you say. Looks like it all started with the establishment of the Federal Trade Commission…

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