The Charlotte News

Thursday, May 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Elton C. Fay, that the President had announced that the current U.N. package plan on the table in the negotiations in Korea was the final U.N. position and had to be accepted in its entirety or not at all, leaving the Communists with the choice of either accepting the offer or continuing a war which had already cost them much and gained little. If the Communists refused to accept the three-point proposal, as set forth the previous day on the front page, including the voluntary repatriation provision, then the prospects for continued war appeared likely. The deputy Defense Secretary, William Foster, had stated at a news conference the previous day, in response to a reporter's question as to whether direct negotiations with Russia had been contemplated, that every alternative was being considered.

The biggest air raid of the Korean War took place this date, as U.S. planes attacked all day a major supply depot at Suan, leaving it in flames. The attack included high explosives, rockets, napalm and machinegun fire, resulting in the destruction of 165 supply buildings and damage to 81 others. American and Australian jets screening the raid shot down two enemy MIG jets and damaged another. The Air Force said that the attack was larger than one a year earlier, involving 312 planes, but did not indicate how much larger. There was no report of damage to American planes, as that would be contained in the weekly summary.

In the ground war, the U.S. Eighth Army indicated that two strong allied tank raids had smashed through Communist installations in brisk battles on the central front.

In Pusan, a Communist prisoner in the allied prison camp on Koje Island had taken the camp commandant, Brig. General Francis Dodd, and a fellow officer, as hostages the previous day, and General Dodd was still being held, while the other officer had managed to escape. The General had not been harmed, according to the last report, which was several hours old. There had been two violent prison disorders during the year on the island, one on February 12, in which 179 persons had been killed in a Communist prisoner uprising, and the other on March 13, in which 12 prisoners had been killed when anti-Communist and Communist prisoners engaged in a rock fight.

The President, at his weekly press conference, coinciding with his 68th birthday, said that after he left the White House, he planned to spend the ensuing ten years having a good time and doing just as he "damn" pleased. He said that he would like to travel to parts of the world he had not seen, but would do nothing which would embarrass the next president. He predicted that there would not be a third world war, provided that labor-management disputes did not cut American production and Congress restored the House reductions in the defense and foreign aid budgets. He said that he had no present intention to announce his choice among the candidates for the Democratic nomination, but would reserve the right to do so later. He also indicated his hope for an early settlement of the oil strike and that he was not considering use of Taft-Hartley at this stage of that dispute. He declined comment on the steel dispute. He stated that there was no politics involved in the Federal Reserve Board's relaxation of credit controls the previous day. He also expressed confidence that the Democratic platform at the convention would support a compulsory Fair Employment Practices Commission plank. Reporters at the news conference gave the President a round of applause for his birthday.

General Eisenhower delivered a written message to Congress this date which stated that any cut in the President's 7.9 billion dollar foreign aid package would tend to "curtail or retard" the nation's defense program. The House Foreign Relations Committee had voted to cut a billion dollars from the proposed budget. The House Foreign Affairs Committee had recommended the previous day cutting another 100 million. Most of the cut, 829 million dollars worth, was in proposed military aid to Europe. The Senate Armed Services Committee this day would begin its hearings on the measure.

The Government lifted its ban of shipment of steel from warehouses, which had been implemented on April 29 to preserve steel supplies for vital defense projects after the initially called strike by the United Steelworkers, following the U.S. District Court's preliminary injunction of the seizure, subsequently stayed by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, prompting the union to call off the strike, with the case presently pending before the Supreme Court.

The Federal Reserve Board the previous day, for the first time in 20 months, had suspended the restrictions on consumer installment purchases contained in Regulation W, which had drastically restricted retail sales. Authorities on the Board indicated that they expected the effects to be slight. Some trade circles predicted a boost in sales. A few dealers were expected to proclaim the $10 down and a dollar per week type of sale. The Government was still regulating terms of real estate purchases and officials indicated there was little likelihood of suspension of the regulations in that field. The National Automobile Dealers Association indicated that finance companies were expected to continue to require about one-third down on most cars, but that the payment period might be extended from the current 18 months to an average of 24 months.

John Daly of The News tells of leading businessmen in retail business in Charlotte expressing enthusiastic approval of the suspension of the regulation.

In Whiteville, N.C., the former chief of police at Fair Bluff and the alleged head of the disbanded Fair Bluff Klavern of the Klan, surprisingly entered a plea of nolo contendere this date to charges that he had participated in a flogging of a Whiteville mechanic the previous December 8. The plea came shortly before the scheduled start of testimony in the trial of the remaining five co-defendants charged with assault, conspiracy and kidnapping in the case. The former police chief was the eighth defendant to plead no contest in the case, while the other five continued to plead not guilty. Shortly after the plea, the alleged victim took the stand and related of the flogging.

In Leaksville, N.C., the FBI stated that one of the two gunmen who had held up the branch of the Leaksville Bank and Trust Company on April 17 and escaped with $50,000 had been arrested, making it the sixth arrest in the previous two days connected with that robbery.

On an inside page, the first installment of the third series of articles appeared by Dr. W. C. Alvarez, this series titled, "How To Live with Your Blood Pressure".

Dr. George Crane advises young women in his column on how to keep a conversation going during a date. Talk about Dr. Alvarez's column. Or, talk about the many different ways to declare and spell out one's name in song and story.

On the editorial page, "Russell Hustled, but Barely" finds that Senator Richard Russell's narrow victory in the Florida primary on Tuesday would not help him much or seriously damage the candidacy of Senator Estes Kefauver. The professional Democratic machine in Florida had supported Senator Russell, as had the entire Florida Congressional delegation.

When Senator Kefauver had stated that he would go along with a civil rights plank in the Democratic platform, it was tantamount to political suicide for a Southern candidate. Yet, Senator Russell had not performed to the extent his supporters had predicted, claiming that he would win by a two to one ratio, while in fact, Senator Kefauver had received 47 percent of the vote.

Senator Russell had chosen to enter no other primaries, while Senator Kefauver had entered a number of primaries throughout the country, including the ensuing one to take place in New York. The delegation there was pledged to Ambassador Averell Harriman, but would likely switch to a more promising candidate after the first ballot at the convention. Presently, that candidate appeared to be Senator Kefauver.

It finds that Senator Russell would undoubtedly achieve a greater number of delegates than any other candidate in the Southern states, Florida not necessarily serving as a bellwether, as there were several large cities in which Senator Kefauver had done well. The piece views nothing on the horizon which would help the candidacy of Senator Russell, and considers Senator Kefauver to be the "big dog in the Democratic kennel".

"U.S. Policy in the Middle East" refers to a piece on the page by L. S. Chakales, highlighting the disquieting situation which U.S. policymakers had to face in the Middle East. He emphasized the continued uneasy truce between Israel and its Arab neighbors and, posits the piece, that emphasis was not misplaced. Arab political leaders were bitter over the U.S. role in helping to establish the state of Israel. They vowed privately to wage a war of revenge against Israel when the opportunity arose. There was, in consequence, fear that arming the Arab nations against Communism could backfire by enabling new hostilities against Israel.

In addition, there was intense nationalism throughout the Arab world, which was expressing itself largely against the British and the French. The U.S. was forced to rely on France and Britain as the principal bulwarks of European defense and so could not turn against them in the Middle East, though some American diplomats believed that the U.S. should be aligned with the Arab nationalists, steering them toward a democratic revolutionary course. Arming the Arab world, therefore, could also backfire against the British or French.

Another factor in the equation was the questionable fighting ability of Arab troops, as they had been soundly beaten by the Israelis, despite superior equipment and numbers. Arab soldiers were considered to have neither the initiative nor the fortitude for modern warfare. It was said in Cairo that some Egyptian recruits were given an orange in the right hand and a banana in the left hand, and that squad drill orders were issued accordingly, as the trainees did not know their right from their left. Only the Arab Legion of Jordan was considered by American diplomatic officials to be worthy of fighting the Soviets.

For the foreseeable future, the best hope of Western defense against major Russian aggression in the Middle East lay in the huge military supply depot and staging area the British had prepared in the Suez Canal Zone, which, in the event of war, would be the center of operations by Western military forces, on which defense of the region would depend.

"As Others See Us" tells of the Ottawa Journal in Canada having reminded its readers recently that the Canadian dollar had not topped the American dollar "because of anything especially wise or wonderful that we ourselves have done, but actually because of some wise and wonderful things our American neighbors have done." It cited several such things, including the billions voted by Congress to be sent all over the world in aid. As a result, Canada's exports had grown because American aid had enabled Europe to buy Canada's goods and Canada was able to sell its products because those other countries could now purchase them. In addition, there had been American investment in Canadian oil and ore. The piece had concluded that "nationalistic pride" over the value of the Canadian dollar had been, at best, "juvenile".

The editorial suggests that there was a lesson in the matter for the "frenzied critics" of U.S. foreign policy who sought and found only its shortcomings.

"Round and Round She Goes" tells of the Federal Reserve Board sometime earlier having organized the voluntary credit restraint committee which supervised a program under which bankers, bond dealers and others had been urged to withhold loans and security issues which were not essential for national defense and hold back spending which might be inflationary. Around the country, several nonessential, inflationary plans had been in the offing, including a 67 million dollar veterans bonus issue in West Virginia, another such issue for 40 million dollars in Oregon and one for 22 million in Montana, despite a ruling against those issues by the committee. At that point, the veterans organization and state officials started writing letters and sending wires to Washington, while conferring with the Defense Mobilizer, until the President determined that because the issues and other such projects had been approved by local governments, the Federal Government should not interfere, leaving it up to local officials whether to sell the inflationary bonds. The predictable result was that the Governor of Montana sent out applications for bonuses to his state's veterans.

The piece finds that if there was centralized power, bureaucracy resulted, but if power were decentralized, there would be inflation. If mandatory controls were imposed, there was bureaucracy, but with voluntary controls, there was inflation. "Round and round she goes, and where she stops nobody knows."

L. S. Chakales, Associated Press correspondent and North Carolina journalist, as indicated in the above editorial, writes from Cairo that the American policy of creating "'situations of strength'" to meet Communist aggression was conspicuous by its absence in the Middle East. A diligent six-week search of Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf states had found no such American "situations of strength".

There was no American military mission and no American tanks, planes, guns or ammunition in the entire region, attached to any Arab forces. None of the Arab states would openly support a Middle East Defense Command with the U.S. in charge, or accept any other Western country as leader of such a command. Everywhere, Arab leaders stated that if they received arms, they would defend themselves. But no arms had been sent by the U.S.

One of the reasons the Arabs would not accept the U.S. or any other Western power as leader of such a command was the fear in that event that Israel would be included. He had found that Arabs universally declared that the creation of Israel had been the work of American Zionists supported by the U.S. Government. The chief of the Iraq delegation to the U.N. and its former Foreign Minister had stated that Israel should be kept out of any Middle East Command.

A high diplomatic source had indicated that one of the reasons the U.S. would not send arms to the Arab states was the fear that they would be used to attack Israel. And an Arab leader he had interviewed indicated that such might become the case. The U.S. was also not convinced that the Arabs would have the ability to fight if given arms.

The best "situation of strength" in the region was the Suez Canal Zone base, though Britain's control of it into the future was questionable. Britain's treaty with Iraq made that country the main line of defense against a potential Russian invasion through Iran, which had been written off as indefensible, suitable only for fighting a delaying action. Any thrust into the Middle East would result in the decisive battles being fought along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The British treaty provided them two airbases in Iraq and the necessary communications to support the fields in time of peace. In wartime, however, the treaty provided Britain the right to use all Iraqi territory, manpower and resources to repel an invader. Britain had a similar treaty with Jordan, whose Arab Legion of about 40,000 was acknowledged as the best equipped and trained force in the Arab world.

He concludes that if war came to the Middle East, the British would have to bear the brunt of the initial attacks.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly suggests that, based on descriptions in the campaign literature, the ideal candidate for the presidency would be someone born in a log cabin, with a photogenic mother, wife, children and a dog, possessed of an ingratiating smile, look good in civilian clothes and have a four-plank platform. According to the campaign literature, each of the candidates fit into this ideal portrait to one degree or another.

Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma had been born in a log cabin. Senator Richard Russell, a bachelor, lacked a photogenic wife, but his mother was a sweet, little old lady who appeared very proud of her son in the campaign literature. Senator Kefauver had passed out thousands of pictures of his pretty wife, his four children and two cocker spaniels. (What color were they?) General Eisenhower was shown grinning in his campaign literature, but the backers of Senator Taft claimed that the Senator could match it with his "friendly, infectious smile". The General was almost always shown in civilian clothes. Former Governor Harold Stassen had a four-point platform, and was plugging it harder than the other candidates had plugged their programs.

The piece concludes that none of the leading candidates had all of the attributes of the "ideal" candidate and wonders whether there was a dark horse who might meet all of those criteria.

Drew Pearson tells of one of the personal paradoxes of the steel dispute being that the President and Philip Murray, president of the United Steelworkers, had not been on good terms for many years. The public had the impression that they were good friends and that it was the reason why the White House had gone to bat for the steelworkers. While the CIO, of which Mr. Murray was also president, had given its support to the President, their interpersonal relationship had been cool since 1944 at the Democratic convention when Mr. Murray had strongly supported Henry Wallace to continue as Vice-President.

Democratic bosses, including Ed Flynn of the Bronx and the late Ed Kelley of Chicago, had told Mr. Murray that they had been trying to stop Senator Truman in his determination to be the vice-presidential nominee but had not been successful, and sought the intervention of Mr. Murray. At that point, Mr. Murray called Senator Truman and asked if he could come to see the Senator, to which Mr. Truman replied that he would come to see Mr. Murray, and upon doing so, told Mr. Murray that he knew what he wanted and that he would not withdraw his name from nomination. At that point, the Senator left, and since that time, Mr. Murray had never been invited to the White House alone, as he had been when President Roosevelt was in office. The only times he attended White House meetings were with other labor leaders.

Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa, the chairman of the Senate Election subcommittee, was in the process of subpoenaing several newspapermen to be questioned about news leaks, but had not summoned the nerve to serve them. The Senator had threatened a reporter for the Providence Journal with jail for a story he had written, unless he revealed his source, though not serving another reporter for the Des Moines Register-Tribune, who had written exactly the same story. The reason for the different treatment was that Providence was a long way from Iowa. The story in question had indicated that the subcommittee's staff had recommended hearings on five of the charges which Senator William Benton had brought against Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was credited with convincing Senator Gillette to crack down on the press. Other Senators on the subcommittee were upset about the situation, especially because a month had passed since the Senate had voted 60 to 0 on April 10 to continue the investigation of Senator McCarthy. But Senator Gillette had catered to Senator McCarthy's close friend, Senator Herman Welker of Idaho, by postponing further hearings until May 12, when Senator Welker would return from the West.

When the President had met with the steel industry recently at the White House, he made a special point of shaking hands with the president of Inland Steel who had made a bitter attack via radio on the President at the outset of the steel seizure.

Democratic bosses in Youngstown, O., were out to get Senator Kefauver in the recent primary in that state because of their memories of his itinerant hearings in 1950 and 1951 in Cleveland, when he subpoenaed various mobsters who had enjoyed political protection and had given praise to Youngstown Republican reform Mayor Charles Henderson and the Youngstown police chief for cleaning up the city.

Congressman Walter Brehm of Ohio, whom Mr. Pearson's column had exposed for taking salary kickbacks, resulting in his criminal conviction, had finally decided not to run again.

Delaware Senator John Williams had developed such a name for exposing scandals in the Government that when the Tennessee Gas and Transmission Company abused farmers by putting a gas line across western New York, people of that area appealed to Senator Williams, in addition to their own Senators.

Pete McKnight, editor of The News, writes again from Paris, relating of his one-day walking tour from his hotel off the Champs Elysees, finding the people friendly, with "certainly the most beautifully groomed women in the Western world", thousands of them. Despite the desperate economic struggle to curb inflation and bring the French budget into balance and the flimsy and unpredictable political structure, no hint of these problems appeared among the people.

He had two wonderful meals, but the next time he visited he would skip the experimental dish of frog legs which he had in a Left Bank café.

He found Paris to have beauty, culture, tradition and to be the loveliest city, architecturally, he had ever seen. Its hotels were run well and its restaurants were unexcelled. The pace was leisurely. As in every other city he had visited, the American dollar was sought, prompting the French to welcome U.S. tourists. Generally, most of the French spoke passable English, enough to have a simple conversation. He witnessed one American woman in a restaurant asking in a loud voice whether anyone spoke "American", to which the waiter replied, "No, madame, we speak only English."

He would return via London and New York. As the Air France liner flew out over the banks of the Seine, he mused that Paris was a place where "human beings had learned to live the full life, despite the menace of power politics and the grim economic maladjustments of the postwar era."

Marquis Childs tells of the supporters of General MacArthur having become reconciled to the fact that Senator Taft was not going to be able to beat General Eisenhower for the Republican presidential nomination and were planning in consequence a strategy whereby General MacArthur would make a speech to the convention, preceded by publicity designed to sway the convention to turn to him as the nominee. To this end, a pamphlet had been prepared, titled "Revitalizing a Nation", containing reprinted speeches by the General coupled with photographs showing adoring crowds listening to his speeches. The publication was underwritten by the Heritage Foundation, which was said to have backing from Col. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune and Frank Gannett of the Gannett newspaper syndicate. An introduction by Norman Vincent Peale likened the General to Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Lee.

General MacArthur would not be the keynote speaker at the July convention if present GOP intentions held, but would be afforded a prominent place on the program, probably at an evening session at which former President Hoover would speak.

Several times, the General had said that he was not a candidate but had not used the language of General Sherman to remove himself absolutely from consideration, as had the President.

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