The Charlotte News

Monday, May 5, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert B. Tuckman, that there was no sign of headway in the truce talks this date, with only an 11-minute secret session occurring. North Korean General Nam Il, the chief Communist delegate, spoke from notes for nine of the 11 minutes and then proposed a recess until the next day. Vice-Admiral C. Turner Joy, chief U.N. delegate, stated after the conference that he was sorry to see that they were still in executive session and so could not comment.

The Independent Union of Petroleum Workers, one of 22 unions of oil workers on strike, had announced in Los Angeles the previous night a wage agreement with the Standard Oil Company of California, covering 5,000 of the striking workers. The agreement reportedly provided for a wage increase of 18.5 cents per hour, 7.5 percent of which would be retroactive to May 1 and 4.2 percent to January 1. Shift differentials would go to 6, 7.5 and 12 cents per hour. The wage rate had averaged $2.02 per hour and differentials 4, 5 and 6 cents. It was hoped that this settlement would set the stage for resolution of the strike throughout the oil industry, but the president of the Oil Workers International Union stated that it had nothing to do with the current nationwide strike, that the independent union was not one of a coalition of CIO, AFL and independent unions which had been on strike. He added, however, that if an oil company were to offer them an 18.5 cents per hour wage increase, the strike would likely end in a short time.

Meanwhile, the strike was placing a squeeze on commercial, private and military aviation, but pressure was mounting only slowly on the remainder of gasoline consumption. The Secretary of Interior, Oscar Chapman, had issued an order effective the following day, which would cut fuel for airlines by 30 percent and eliminate entirely pleasure and sports flights by private fliers. Orders would be limited to 65 percent of the gasoline consumed the prior year in March.

Steelworkers returning to work, following United Steelworkers Union president Philip Murray having ordered them back to work the prior Saturday, grumbled at the news that steel talks in Washington had collapsed, but followed the direction and steel production began to mount again. Mr. Murray said that he had no intention of calling the workers out on strike again against the Government and trusted that they would continue working as long as the Government operated the mills. In some of the mills across the country, however, there was reported some talk among the workers of ignoring the Government seizure and shutting down the plants.

Senator William Benton refused to testify this date at a pretrial hearing in Senator Joseph McCarthy's two million-dollar defamation suit filed against Senator Benton, because of Senator McCarthy's insistence on use of a tape recorder to record the testimony. The hearing was to be held in a Senate committee room with Senator McCarthy acting as his own attorney. Senator Benton had acted on the advice of his counsel. Senator McCarthy stated that he would ask the U.S. District Court to order Senator Benton to testify. The suit contended that Senator Benton had defamed Senator McCarthy by informing a Senate committee, considering a resolution introduced by Senator Benton to oust Senator McCarthy from the Senate, that Senator McCarthy had committed perjury in pressing his charges that Communists had infiltrated the State Department. Senator Benton had waived his Senatorial immunity to allow Senator McCarthy to bring his suit. Senator McCarthy claimed that it was typical practice to have a tape recording in pretrial hearings in Federal court. Senator McCarthy said the recording was necessary in case Senator Benton committed perjury. Senator Benton wanted the matter limited to the stenographic record.

A Justice Department attorney, Thomas McGovern, told House investigators this date that Peyton Ford, former deputy Attorney General, had asked questions about Newbold Morris's role in a surplus ship deal before Mr. Morris had taken the job as Government clean-up man. Mr. Morris had stated that Mr. Ford had recommended him for the clean-up position and that when he had taken the assignment, he had no idea that the Justice Department was investigating his law firm's part in the shipping deal. Mr. Ford demanded before the subcommittee to be heard, and he would be the following day.

Lt. General Albert Wedemeyer assumed the chairmanship of a national Taft-for-President committee and promptly announced that the Taft candidacy was supported by General MacArthur. General Wedemeyer said that he took the assignment on the recommendation of several prominent Americans, including General MacArthur.

The Maryland Congressional primary was scheduled for this date and voters would elect delegates to the state conventions which in turn would name the 24 Republican and 18 Democratic delegates to the national conventions. Write-in votes were banned. The only named candidate on the ballot was Senator Estes Kefauver. In some areas, delegates had openly endorsed General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination.

In all during the week, Democrats would choose 180 delegates and Republicans, 78. The most significant primaries would be in Ohio and Florida the following day. Additional delegates would be chosen in Alabama, Indiana, New Mexico, Illinois, Nevada, Utah and Michigan. By the end of the week, it was expected that Senator Taft would again pull ahead of General Eisenhower in the delegate count, as he would win handily his home state of Ohio. There was focus on the Florida primary as it would be the first head-to-head contest between Senator Kefauver and Senator Richard Russell, but no delegates to the convention would be chosen from the primary.

The Supreme Court agreed to hear at least one phase of the issue of public versus private power development, in determining whether private industry or the Federal Government should build a hydroelectric plant on the Roanoke River at Roanoke Rapids, N.C. Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had petitioned the high Court to hear the case on appeal from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, which had approved the granting of a Federal Power Commission license for the project to Virginia Electric and Power Company. Secretary Chapman had fought the development by the private company on the basis that Congress had approved a plan for development of the Roanoke River Basin, which included a Federal dam at Roanoke Rapids. The Court of Appeals had ruled, however, that until the Federal Government actually began the project, the Secretary of Interior had no more responsibility in connection with it than the Postmaster General. The Justice Department had taken a neutral position on the matter. The Court, the following year, would, while holding that the Secretary of Interior had standing to challenge the Commission ruling, affirm the Court of Appeals decision, with Justice William O. Douglas, Justice Hugo Black and Chief Justice Fred Vinson dissenting.

In Whiteville, N.C., a Superior Court judge ruled that a grand jury which had returned indictments the previous month against 27 alleged former Klansmen accused of floggings had not been properly constituted and so did not have authority to act. The judge discharged the grand jury and ordered court officials to draw a new one. Defense counsel for the accused had made a motion to discharge the indictments on that basis at the beginning of the trial the previous week, on the contention that Columbus County had not followed a 1949 statute calling for grand jury rotation. The defendants were charged with conspiracy, kidnapping and assault in the flogging of a Whiteville mechanic the previous December 8. The judge indicated that he had not yet ruled on the defense motion, but it was assumed that he would grant it. The prosecutor indicated that if the court did grant it, he would immediately seek new indictments from the new grand jury.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, reports that Clarence Streit, one of the chief supporters of Atlantic Union, the concept of economic and political alliance among the NATO nations, was in Charlotte, and stated that he believed that the election of either General Eisenhower or Senator Kefauver would help the cause of Atlantic Union. Mr. Streit had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in the area. He would speak this night at the Myers Park Presbyterian Church on the subject, "We Can Win Without War". He planned to answer the argument of both Senators Robert Kerr and Richard Russell regarding the issue of giving up sovereignty, indicating that both had the wrong idea about sacrificing national sovereignty under the Atlantic Union, that it would actually prevent sacrifice of sovereignty and enable greater citizen sovereignty, reducing taxes by preventing war. He said that he believed Senator Kefauver was the only Democrat who had a chance against General Eisenhower and was the only Southerner who could carry the North. He pointed out that Senator Kefauver had handily beaten Senator Kerr in the Nebraska primary, where the Atlantic Union issue had been raised by Senator Kerr as objection to Senator Kefauver for his general support of the idea, agreeing with other Senators calling for a conference to study the proposal.

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

On the editorial page, "The Dollar Reigns Supreme" tells of the dollar being very valuable abroad in dollar-starved nations, such as Israel, France and Italy, where inflation had watered down the national currencies. In Israel, for instance, the standard exchange rate for an Israeli pound at a bank was $1.40, whereas it could be had on the street in the gray market for 45 cents. Even in countries with relatively stable currencies, such as England and Egypt, it was eagerly sought.

The demand for the American dollar reflected in part a desire to guard against future inflation by obtaining a stable currency, but in a larger sense was a reflection of the facts of international trade and commerce, with foreign industrialists, traders and merchants in desperate need of purchasing items from the U.S. and needing U.S. dollars to do so, but prevented by high tariffs from selling their own merchandise as a means of obtaining dollars.

It provided another reason for not further cheapening the U.S. dollar, both to stabilize the domestic economy and maintain the leading currency position abroad, so that in time, the normal processes of international commerce, presently thrown into confusion by the arms race, might gradually be restored.

"This Contracting World" comments on the new jet commercial airline age ushered in by the successful flight from London to Johannesburg by the De Havilland Comet, landing on Saturday with 36 passengers. All around the world in air terminals, there were huge signs welcoming the new jet age in commercial travel. The Comet had a cruising speed of 450 to 500 mph, twice as fast as the fastest commercial propeller-driven aircraft, and was also quiet, with no vibration.

Britain was proud of its new commercial jet and hoped to become a world leader in the building of these planes. It suggests that U.S. plane manufacturers had best get a move on, as competition from the new jet would quickly catch up in a fast-paced world which had just been shrunk the more.

"Immigration Policy Needs Updating" quotes the words from the Statue of Liberty, as originally penned by Emma Lazarus, indicating that it was that spirit which had enabled the U.S. to grow and prosper from its immigrant population. But for some time, the descendants of those earlier immigrants had contrived a much narrower conception of immigration, which was unrealistic and in some ways meaningless.

A House bill before the Senate to be debated during the week was based on that outmoded idea, the quota system allotted to each country in proportion to the number of persons of that nationality residing in the U.S. in 1920. It resulted in Western Europe having disproportionately high quotas while Asian quotas were practically nonexistent. Under the House bill, immigration for the first time was opened to Japanese nationals, but only to the extent of 185 persons per year. The bill would allow admission of a total 154,657 immigrants per year, an increase of only 380 over the present number. But in practice, the actual number of immigrants would be far fewer than the quota system allowed, as very few citizens of foreign countries, particularly the NATO nations, sought to emigrate to the U.S. The combined annual quota totals for the six co-sponsors of NATO, Canada, Britain, France and the Benelux countries, was presently 73,364 and yet total immigration from those countries during the years 1947 through 1949 had totaled 26,195, 35,738 and 30,895, respectively.

The quota system also disregarded the population problems of other countries, such as Japan, where over-population was a major problem, one which was in the interest of the U.S. to help resolve, lest the treaty ending hostilities, which had just been signed, should become potentially a meaningless scrap of paper. Italy also had a population problem, but its immigration quota was only 5,799, as compared to the United Kingdom, with a comparable population, having a quota of 65,721.

It suggests abolishing quotas for countries which did not fulfill them in recent years and enlarging them for countries such as Italy and Japan, such that the overall immigration quota need not be higher than that proposed in the House bill. It indicates that people no longer held the strong resentments which had led to the exclusion acts vis-à-vis Orientals and the narrow, out of date concepts based on the 1920 census. It suggests that the Congress had a chance to look to the future rather than the past in the current immigration bill, and it hopes that they would make the most of it.

"Barbers Beware" suggests that under certain circumstances, though it was an election year, it was good to discuss non-political matters or at least political matters far removed from conflicting opinions at home, the proverbial Afghanistanism.

It relates of Tilford Dudley of Washington, an assistant director of the CIO's Political Action Committee, having recently addressed the triennial meeting of the Barbers & Beauty Culturists Union of America, telling them that they were the "CIO's missionaries" and that they should tell the person whose hair they were fixing why taxes were unequal and prices high.

It indicates that it enjoyed the banter of barbers as much as anyone, but in such times did not wish to have their barber sounding off on taxes and high prices with a razor delicately poised at the jugular. For discussion of such subjects encouraged passion and gesticulation, and the barber chair was no place for that kind of behavior. Furthermore, the cost of a haircut and shave had risen to two dollars from 75 cents and, with such talk from the barber about high prices, might prompt the customer to take immediate, unforeseen action. It suggests that if beauticians and barbers followed the advice of the PAC, the principal result would be "burned curls, band aids and balder, beak-busted barbers." It wants the discussion to turn back to baseball and meteorology or "let us suffer in silence."

Drew Pearson discusses the upcoming Ohio primary the next day. The state's primary system was supposed to be a model for the nation, but it had been so warped by the party bosses that it substantiated the President's statement that primaries were "eyewash". Yet, it had been the Democratic bosses which were responsible for making it so in Ohio. In 1948, Ohio Democrats had chosen as their candidate the 80-year old Treasurer of the United States, sending him to the convention as their favorite son, and this year their favorite son was 72-year-old Senator Robert Bulkley. So when Senator Kefauver dared to upset the plan by entering his own slate of delegates, the bosses retaliated with economic pressure, threatening the jobs or businesses of Kefauver delegates unless they withdrew. He provides examples. Governor Frank Lausche, a Democrat, became aware of the pressure tactics and put a halt to it, but not before all of the Kefauver delegates had withdrawn, save two.

The President had been very upset with the assistant Attorney General who had argued the case before the U.S. District Court against issuance of a preliminary injunction against the seizure of the steel industry the previous week, for asserting in court that the power of the executive branch could not be limited by either the courts or Congress. But that assistant Attorney General had been appointed, points out Mr. Pearson, through the influence of former White House counsel, Clark Clifford. Mr. Clifford had been a trusted adviser while in the White House, but had become one of the most successful influence-peddlers since leaving. He points out further that the assistant Attorney General in question was hard-working and understaffed, was sincere and had written an excellent brief in the steel case, but had been so fatigued when he argued it that he never should have been permitted to do so. He had been given the assignment because there was presently no Attorney General, the confirmation of Judge James McGranery still hanging fire in the Senate, and the acting Attorney General, Philip Perlman, had been so bogged down with other duties that he could not prepare the case himself in a hurry.

Pete McKnight, editor of The News, writes from Yavne in Israel, on the flat plains of the upper Negev desert, telling of the kibbutz, the collective arrangements in Israel, the one at Yavne being the habitat of about 600 people. He indicates that to an American nurtured on private enterprise and individual ownership, the concept of the kibbutz was foreign, nearly incomprehensible. Yet, it worked. He suggests that perhaps no other system would enable the people to achieve a degree of security while they battled to reclaim the land lost to centuries of neglect, and make a home for their families.

Yavne was a religious kibbutz of Orthodox Jews, who maintained the Sabbath strictly and supplied their children with a religious education. It was known as a "comprehensive cooperative" community, with no individual ownership of property. There were no individual rules of conduct or morality. The "general assembly", composed of all residents who had been present for more than a year and had been accepted by two-thirds of the membership, made all the rules and decisions. Everyone worked but no one drew a salary unless the person was assigned to work for an employer outside the kibbutz, and even in that case, the person turned in the earnings to the community. The community furnished all clothing, food, housing and other things necessary for a comfortable existence.

Membership in the community was entirely voluntary and no one had to join or remain. If a member wanted to leave, the person was provided an allowance in cash, representative of the fair wages earned while a member. Very few people had departed Yavne in the previous four years since its founding. The 1,200 acres leased from the Jewish National Fund and the 1,200 acres cultivated near Beersheba provided the residents with a good living. They had a large dairy, a large chicken farm, plenty of vegetables in season and their own cannery to preserve them for other seasons. They had heavy farm equipment and owned their own wells and irrigation system. Their houses were sturdy and adequate. There were homes for the children where they stayed all day until 4:00.

Yavne bought from a large cooperative owned by the more than 500 agricultural kibbutzim, and marketed its produce through another large cooperative.

They ate well in the large dining room which also served as a synagogue, pending completion of a permanent place of worship.

The rabbi explained that everyone who joined the kibbutz was an idealist and that it probably explained its success.

The community was estimated to be worth about a half-million Israeli pounds, about $700,000, and Mr. McKnight ventures that this financial success plus the strong Orthodox Jewish faith and the need for a common front in the battle against nature probably primarily contributed to the success of the kibbutz.

The kibbutz system had made it possible for many thousands of immigrants from Europe and Arab countries of the Middle East to come to Israel and settle after first entering through transient camps.

The rabbi indicated that when someone lacked personal initiative to carry their share of the work, they were usually spotted early and invited to leave. Incentive came from their capitalistic motivations to sell what they could at the most favorable prices, to provide everyone a better standard of living.

Some settlements allowed for individual ownership of small plots with everything else under a cooperative arrangement, with varying degrees of cooperation. The kibbutz system had served a useful purpose in the early years of development of the country and, he suggests, might disappear in time as it developed. For the nonce, the kibbutzim were serving an essential function and serving it well.

Marquis Childs tells of the Federal Trade Commission preparing to release what would likely be a highly controversial report on the world oil cartel. Originally, the report had been classified as "secret" under the President's new security order, which had caused the American Society of Newspaper Editors and others to accuse the Administration of suppressing important news. To make the report public, however, it had been declassified, following inquiry by Senator Thomas Hennings of Missouri who had challenged the secrecy classification, prompting the State Department and the White House to look into the matter. He suggests that had it never been classified in the first place, it probably would have attracted little attention.

The report indicated the powerful control exercised in the Middle East, and particularly in Iran, by the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company. It also showed the role of American companies, with Standard Oil of California and Texaco operating jointly through the Arabian American Oil Company in Saudi Arabia, increasing the share of the Arabian Government from oil sales and undertaking to train young Arabs for technical positions. Standard Oil of New Jersey owned a minor interest in Iraq Petroleum, in which Anglo-Iranian was also interested.

The study of the oil cartel was only one in a series performed by the FTC. Previous reports had covered combines said to exist on a worldwide basis in copper, sulfur, phosphates, steel and in the electrical and machinery industries. In almost every field, the reports showed a phenomenon of quotas and divided markets, agreements to increase prices, and restrictions on technical developments.

He suggests it as a backhanded argument against allowing the secrecy classification to be applied to documents which did not directly implicate national security.

Mr. Childs, incidentally, is the moderator of the above-linked "Washington Spotlight" program, following "Washington Close-Up", in 1951, presenting the short debate between Congressman Emanuel Celler and Senator William Knowland regarding the admission of West Germany to NATO, subsequently accepted in principle by the other NATO members in 1952, though not formalized until 1955.

A letter writer from Monroe wants to know why the Government had established the Wage Stabilization Board and why it was that the American worker was being asked to make all the sacrifices. He wants capital to start showing its love for the republic. He also wonders why the country had not taken the President to court for making war in Korea without the consent of Congress, suggests cynically that it might be that a ton of steel was more valuable than a ton of American flesh and blood. He finds constitutional inconsistency and greed leading inevitably to Communism.

To answer one of your questions, the President acted with full authority of Congress by virtue of Congress having ratified the U.N. Charter, and the President having acted as part of the U.N., pursuant to its resolutions in immediate response to the North Korean incursion to South Korea. Moreover, the Congress fully supported the President's actions. Had it not "consented", it need only have refused to appropriate the requested huge increases in defense funding in support of the Korean "police action".

You must be one of those listeners or readers of Alexander Jones in 1952.

A letter writer agrees with another letter writer who had gushed with unstinting praise for Charlotte. He indicates that in his travels, he had found that the way he was treated largely was a function of the way he presented and conducted himself. He disagrees with another writer from Greensboro, who had moved from Charlotte, and who had utter contempt for the Queen City, saying that he felt sorry for him, as he appeared to look for the bad side of cities. He indicates that he had been transferred from Atlanta to North Carolina and that he had liked Atlanta but also liked Charlotte and other places he had been, was scheduled to be transferred to Nashville in a few weeks, but hoped to be able to visit Charlotte at every opportunity in the future.

Sounds like you need to settle down somewhere, if you like it all so much, or obtain employment of a less itinerant nature. Maybe your short stays account for your finding no faults.

A letter from a minister in Matthews indicates that no group was more subversive than the "'respectable Bilbos' scattered throughout various organizations including many churches", creating disunity among the people at a time when harmony was imperative. "They infest the body politic with the putrid venom of their disaffection." He indicates that the fact that the society tolerated a pattern of discrimination based on race and color was a severe indictment of its intellectual integrity. The country professed Christianity but prevented its practical application; it avowed faith in the principles of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt, but rejected human equality and equal opportunity, worth, respect and dignity, which their "unique insight" demanded. He concludes that the country was neither Christian nor Democratic, but pagan and autocratic. Even so, those who were vigorous advocates for racial equality had cause for hope.

He indicates that the "general social character of North Carolina" was such that it would contribute substantially to the advancement of religious democracy and suggests that men could live together in collective harmony without regard to the superficial physical differences such as color.

"If we fail at home in the application of these ideals, we make ineffective our place of moral leadership among the nations. As we succeed, though, in this noble endeavor, all imperfections, individual and collective, will be relatively small in contrast to our good works."

This minister had written a similar letter earlier, which had provoked much comment, especially for his questioning why people had such a negative reaction to the concept of interracial marriage.

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