The Charlotte News

Friday, May 30, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jim Becker, that eight Communist prisoners had been killed and 17 wounded in incidents at the U.N. prisoner of war camps on Koje Island and on the Korean mainland the previous day and this date. No U.N. personnel had been killed or wounded in the incidents. The total number of prisoners who had died from violence stood at 245, 115 of whom, according to the U.S. Army, having died from violence by fellow prisoners after mock trials held within the compounds, dominated by hardcore Communist prisoners. Four of the killings the previous day and 13 of the injuries had occurred in a brawl among captured personnel moved recently from the Koje Island camp to a new compound at Yongchon. One North Korean prisoner had been killed and another wounded the previous day by the accidental discharge of a U.S. soldier's automatic rifle, as reported the previous day. Four other North Koreans had been killed the previous day after one member of their work party had attacked a U.N. guard during a rest period, and, in self-defense, the guard had opened fire on the assailant and killed him, with one other prisoner having been killed and five wounded in the fracas. Two of the wounded died later at the hospital.

The Communist chief truce negotiator, General Nam Il, called the killing of the Communist prisoner on Koje Island the previous day from the guard's accidental rifle discharge an atrocity and hinted at possible reprisals against U.N. prisoners held in North Korea. He suggested that the U.N. was preparing "for another mass slaughter". This date's truce session lasted 42 minutes, taking place shortly after the announcement of the killed and injured prisoners this date and the previous day. The Communists insisted on meeting again the following day.

In ground action, U.N. troops resisted attempts by a pair of North Korean companies to capture an East Korean peak which allied soldiers called "Luke the Gook's Castle", overlooking several miles of Communist front lines. The Communists had tried intermittently to knock U.N. troops from its 3,000-foot peak during the previous month.

Who's Luke?

In Tokyo, three persons were killed as Communist Martyrs' Day demonstrators clashed with steel-helmeted police, when the police opened fire on a crowd of about 200 demonstrators who were advancing on a police box in a northwestern suburb of the city. Police had first warned the crowd that they would shoot if the demonstrators advanced any closer, and began shooting when the crowd, throwing bottles of acid and stones at the police, reached within 10 feet of the box. Small demonstrations were reported throughout Japan and about 100 persons had been arrested. Three journalists were injured in one town, including Associated Press correspondent William C. Barnard.

The President greeted Secretary of State Acheson at National Airport in Washington upon the latter's return from Bonn and Paris where the agreement had been concluded with West Germany to become part of the Western European army and the complementary Big Three pact had been signed with West Germany, formally ending hostilities and assuring mutual defense in case of an attack. The agreements still had to be ratified by the signatory countries. The President congratulated Mr. Acheson and told him he had done a "grand job". The Secretary would address the nation on Monday night via radio and television regarding the agreements and the necessity of their ratification by the Congress.

In Paris, General Eisenhower turned over his NATO command to General Matthew Ridgway in a brief ceremony at command headquarters. The General was leaving for the United States the following day and said that he would doff his uniform on Tuesday but would not be campaigning actively for the Republican presidential nomination, and if nominated, would immediately resign from the Army.

The campaign of General Eisenhower reported this date that the head of every Republican state delegation to the national convention had been invited to call on the General before the convention to learn his views on the major issues of the day. The talks would be held in the General's hometown of Abilene, Kansas, as well in New York and Denver. The spokesman indicated that the General would not take any transcontinental train trips or go around shaking hands, but would talk to anyone who came to see him, including party leaders and delegates.

He sounds a little snooty, too good to go out and mingle with the people. Besides, he can't make up his mind whether he's running or not running. Suit yourselves…

The supporters of Senator Taft in South Dakota purchased newspaper advertising assailing General Eisenhower, in advance of the Tuesday primary in that state. They objected to the General's support for universal military training and the draft of women in wartime, and linked him to the Truman Administration's "plan for unnecessary foreign aid and wasteful spending". Administration policies were unpopular in heavily Republican South Dakota, where the draft had taken many youths from farms. Eisenhower supporters countered that Senator Taft favored a form of UMT but not other types and had also supported some of the Administration's domestic policies. The Associated Press had predicted that the Senator would receive 51.2 percent of the vote and the General, the remainder. It would be the last clear-cut primary contest between the two candidates prior to the convention.

In Alabama, the Republican state convention pledged nine delegate votes to Senator Taft, four to General Eisenhower and one uncommitted. That left the Associated Press tally of delegates at 411 for Senator Taft against 386 for the General, with 604 needed to nominate.

On the Democratic side, Vice-President Alben Barkley, 74, announced that while he was not a candidate in the regular sense, he would accept the Democratic nomination. He had 28 1/2 delegate votes, including 26 from his home state of Kentucky.

Tennessee, Senator Estes Kefauver's home state, pledged its 28 delegate votes to the Senator, providing him a nationwide total of 150, against Senator Richard Russell, with 86 1/2, followed by Averell Harriman, with 85 1/2.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott revealed plans to allocate highway surplus finds for two long-discussed highway routes in the Western part of the state.

Gubernatorial candidates William B. Umstead and Hubert Olive were finishing up their campaigns this date, with hometown rallies scheduled for this night. In a statewide radio address the previous night, Judge Olive declared that it was time for "straight talk" and sharply attacked Mr. Umstead's record when he had served in Congress and as an interim Senator, indicating that he had introduced an amendment to a bill which provided for Federal inspection and grading of tobacco which had caused then-Congressman Fred Vinson to warn that if the amendment were adopted, it would stick a dagger into the heart of the bill, which would otherwise provide millions of additional dollars to tobacco growers of the country. He also indicated that Mr. Umstead, as a Congressman, had voted against the Rural Electrification Act of 1938, the only member of the North Carolina delegation to do so. He suggested that he was the candidate of the professional politicians and lobbyists. Judge Olive was being supported by Governor Scott. Mr. Umstead's campaign manager, J. Melville Broughton, Jr., son of the late Senator, stated that Mr. Olive was seeking at the last minute to confuse the voters.

On the editorial page, "All Vets Have a Stake in These Bills" tells of the House Veterans Affairs Committee having opened hearings on some of the bills during the week which were seeking reorganization of the Veterans Administration. It proceeds to outline those bills. It hopes that North Carolina veterans would urge their views upon their Congressmen, particularly Congressman Hamilton Jones of the Mecklenburg district, who was a member of the Committee, and upon its chairman, John Rankin of Mississippi. The American Legion was urging its members to ask their Congressman to oppose the bills, while the Independent Veterans Committee for the Hoover Report was urging support. The piece adopts the latter view, seeing no problem with the pending bills.

"Vote Twice for Judge Bobbitt" indicates that the ballot in the state Democratic primary the following day would require voting twice for the candidate of choice for the State Supreme Court, voting once for the unexpired portion of the term for the latter two months of 1952, and a second time for the full term, which would begin at the start of 1953. It provides a picture of the ballot and urges voting for Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt as the best qualified among the candidates, who included the appointee of Governor Scott, Itimous Valentine, serving only until the general election in November.

"And All Because of a Specter" suggests that the AMA, in justifying its opposition to a clause in the new Social Security law, that providing for the permanently and totally disabled, had made itself look silly by referring to it as "socialized medicine". After explaining with particularity what the provision did, it indicates that the AMA had not objected to the remainder of the bill which would have increased benefits to recipients without increasing premium payments. It suggests that the AMA was imagining things regarding the supposed socialized medicine, that the provision which allowed the Federal Security Administrator to determine what constituted a permanent and total disability and who qualified, was only natural as the Government was the insurer of the Social Security program, just as with private insurance companies determining the rights of beneficiaries in the case of claims. The AMA had not suggested an alternate plan, because, it urges, there was no logical alternative. But in so doing, it had scared enough Representatives to defeat the measure in the House. It suggests that the AMA would therefore have to answer to disabled Americans who were deprived of their livelihood and unable to maintain premium payments into the Social Security system.

Don't worry. They have everything in the bag for medical care, from the future, back to us here in 1952, although whether coming from the 21st or 25th century, not being quite clear.

Drew Pearson tells of the publishers of Frontier magazine, Gifford Phillips and Ludlow Flower, friends of Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan, having dropped in on him recently and begun to discuss politics, saying that they were for Senator Estes Kefauver, finding, however, Mr. Brannan bitterly opposed to him, saying that when the Senator had remained in the New Hampshire primary against the President, it had been an "insult". Mr. Pearson suggests that the Secretary and other leaders in the Democratic Party did not seem to understand that the public did not care whether present leaders were insulted or not, but were rebellious toward those in power, regardless of party. It applied not only to the Federal Government, but also to the party bosses in the states and localities. That resentment accounted for a large part of the popular acceptance of the candidacies of General Eisenhower and Senator Kefauver. He regards it as a healthy movement, encouraging those who had never before been involved in politics to become involved and vote, determined that there would not be nominations at the conventions decided in the proverbial smoke-filled rooms, a trend which the city bosses might not like, but was a fact.

He provides examples of this trend in the South among Republicans who favored General Eisenhower, despite party leaders on the local and state levels preferring Senator Taft, as had taken place in South Carolina, Louisiana and Texas.

In California, the same trend was evident among Democratic leaders, where Senator Kefauver, unable to obtain the support of celebrities, had relied upon youngsters and relative nonentities with plenty of enthusiasm but inexperienced politically. When the President had withdrawn from the race in late March, the Democratic Party bosses, left high and dry, persuaded State Attorney General Pat Brown to become the favorite-son candidate, though he had "no more desire to become President than Shirley Temple". Mr. Pearson indicates that Ed Pauley—the former DNC treasurer who had been nominated by the President in 1946 to become Undersecretary of the Navy, prompting the resignation of the late Secretary of Interior Harold Ickes, after Mr. Ickes raised concern about the nomination for the fact that Mr. Pauley, an oil man, had, according to Mr. Ickes, assured that California oil interests would make a substantial contribution to the 1944 Democratic coffers, provided that the Administration would reverse its stand on tidelands oil—was actually using Mr. Brown, in conjunction with George Luckey, the big cattleman, to try to retain control of the California Democratic machinery and the bloc of delegates to the convention.

In Ohio, Senator Kefauver's little-known delegates had swept the state, defeating well-known names, despite the party bosses having sought to keep the Kefauver delegates off the ticket, only adding to voter resentment.

In Florida, Governor Fuller Warren, along with every member of the Florida Congressional delegation and its two Senators, had campaigned heavily for Senator Richard Russell, leading to a narrow loss by Senator Kefauver, while at the same time ushering in a group of new leaders in the state, full of political enthusiasm, who were now turned against the Old Guard.

Marquis Childs finds that the U.S. had followed a course opposite to the one commonly maintained, protecting the more one's position the more it became endangered, by taking diplomatic steps, from the Japanese peace treaty signed the previous September, through the breakdown of the Korean truce talks, to the signing of the West German accords earlier in the week, all of which moved increasingly toward the line which the Soviets had drawn as being inviolable, without the U.S. taking commensurate steps to increase defense at the same time. Each step in the previous 18 months could be shown to be essential to the pattern of security for the free nations and, in many respects, represented a great achievement with far-reaching consequences in terms of diplomatic and political advances.

He regards the failure, however, to continue to increase defense as an invitation to further Communist aggression. "At times America must seem like a sleepwalker moving in a dream state through an uncharted minefield." He regards the wheel as having made nearly a full turn since the "dark days of gloom and fear" in December, 1950, at the height of the successful Communist Chinese counter-offensive to General MacArthur's November offensive to the Yalu River. At the time, many in the Government were urging all-out preparedness. Then-chairman of the National Security Resources Board, Stuart Symington, and others had been advocating that National Guard divisions be mobilized and economic controls implemented. But other advice had then prevailed, which appeared, in light of subsequent events, the wiser counsel, as large numbers of men on active duty could not have been utilized in Korea and the fact of them having been trained could have precipitated a push toward all-out war. Instead, the course which was followed was to build a military base which could be readily expanded by two to three times in the event of all-out war. But such a status, in between peace and war, was difficult for a democracy to sustain.

As the danger of such a war had diminished, the opposition voices had grown louder, with Senator Taft having suggested a cut in the defense budget of up to 20 billion dollars, while also advocating sending Chinese Nationalist troops back to the mainland of China, accompanied by American air and naval support. General MacArthur had insisted that there was no danger from the outside.

Meanwhile, there appeared to be confusion coming from within the Administration, as a few days after General Matthew Ridgway had given testimony to the Congress regarding the superiority of air strength of the Communists in the Far East, a defense official, John Small, of the Munitions Board, told a Senate committee the exact opposite. While the latter had been quickly corrected by others, it contributed to the general impression of uncertainty and doubt.

The present defense policy assumed that the Soviets did not want war and thus would make no move which would make war inevitable, but, he suggests, such an assumption, which he equates to the famous umbrella of British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain in 1938 at Munich, the symbol of appeasement policy, was no more offering of "stout protection against the realities of war and conquest" than on that earlier occasion.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that he never touched liquor because melted gold was cheaper and liquor made one feel so bad for having spent so much, sick and tired "of getting up sick and tired and busted, to boot." The Government had increased the excise tax on liquor from $9 to $10.50 per gallon, which had caused a drop in consumption of legal liquor, and thus a reduction in Government revenues from the sales, despite the opposite prediction having been made when the increase in the excise tax was enacted. Present estimates said that revenue would fall on liquor sales by about 150 million dollars.

Meanwhile, bootlegging had increased to a point that it was bigger than during Prohibition. He indicates that some months earlier, he had written a "bitter little piece" regarding putting one's self out of business if taxes on luxuries were carried too far. He regards it as emblematic of the Government's idea that anything which could not be construed as an absolute necessity was wrong and should be taxed as much as possible.

He argues that such "frivolities" were in many ways the real necessities for getting through this "misdirected rat maze of bureaucratic strife", that at times "a slug of hooch or a cigarette or a pretty play toy is more important than the grim business of rent and bread." Whiskey, he posits, had to be important to the masses, as they drank so much of it and talked so much about it, just as smoking had to be important or so many people would not engage in it. Entertainment and buying a new handbag or other decorative attire, likewise, had to be important. He questions what was so immoral about amusement that it should encourage the Government to impose high excise taxes on it.

He indicates that in other countries where the penalization of luxury had been attempted, it had never accomplished anything except to create sullenness in the people and foster greater political emergencies, eventually destroying the revenue for which the greedy had been grasping.

A letter writer urges voters to vote their "honest and sincere convictions" and to elect those who would represent all the people in an honest, fair and impartial manner.

A letter writer from Gastonia urges voting for Judge Hubert Olive in the gubernatorial primary, providing his background.

A letter writer praises Arthur Goodman for his work with children in Mecklenburg County who had cerebral palsy, and urges voting for him for the State House, where he had served previously in 1945-46.

A letter writer from Bena, Va., advocates that U.S. foreign policy embrace a federal union of the free Democratic peoples of the world, beginning with the NATO nations.

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