The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 11, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Senate this date rejected the President's request of the previous day to grant him vital-industry seizure powers during a national emergency. The vote was 54 to 26 against a measure introduced by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, the nay votes resulting from a coalition between Republicans and Southern Democrats. Many lawmakers believed that the rejection would force the President to resort to Taft-Hartley's 80-day injunction provision to end the strike. Senator Morse had said, in argument for his bill, that to invoke Taft-Hartley now would put the Government on the side of the employers. The President had said the same thing in his speech the previous day. The bill would have limited seizure to 60 days unless Congress extended the time. The same coalition had written into the anti-inflation Defense Production Act an official request that the President invoke at once the Taft-Hartley provision. Senator Taft had helped lead the effort against the seizure measure. Senator Burnet Maybank was planning to introduce a measure which would allow a 120-day no-strike period after the President invoked Taft-Hartley, and then would permit seizure, with worker pay frozen, if no resolution resulted during that initial period.

In Panmunjom, the armistice talks resumed this date with the Communists protesting the new bloodshed at Koje Island and repeating old accusations which had prompted the three-day walkout by the U.N. delegation. Meanwhile, General Mark Clark, U.N. supreme commander, said in a letter to North Korean Premier Kim Il Sung that he fully approved the walkout following the "maliciously false charges based on distortions and half sessions only for propaganda purposes." He indicated that the U.N. negotiators' patience had been commendable and that the manner in which they had conducted the negotiations had met with his full approval. There was no progress this date in the negotiations regarding the remaining issue, voluntary repatriation of prisoners. Lead U.N. negotiator, Maj. General William Harrison, indicated that it was as if there had been no break in the talks, as the Communists picked up right where they had left off with their complaints regarding claimed prisoner atrocities. The meeting lasted 37 minutes.

Meanwhile, another outbreak of violence the previous night on Koje Island had resulted in the Communist prisoners murdering 15 of their fellow prisoners before surrendering to U.N. troops this date for dispersal to smaller stockades. During the night, 20 anti-Communist prisoners had scaled the barbed wire fences of a stockade to escape, indicating that the Communist leaders were planning to kill them.

In the ground war, U.N. troops using bayonets and grenades repulsed about 200 Communist troops striking at a hill on the western front, near Chorwon. A battalion of enemy troops numbering about 750 men, supported by heavy artillery fire, had failed to take the position the prior day. A U.S. Eighth Army staff officer said that 123 of the 200 attacking enemy troops had been killed this date in the 50-minute fight. About a mile away, another Chinese attack was also repulsed by infantrymen defending a hill taken from the Communists on Saturday. A staff officer said that the Chinese were stepping up their attacks along the western and central fronts.

In the air war, U.S. Sabre jet pilots reported having shot down three MIG-15s this date near Sinuiju. The three had been among seven enemy jets which had engaged 12 Sabres.

The Department of Defense announced that U.S. battle casualties in Korea had risen to 109,712, an increase of 553 since the previous week, the greatest rise reported for any single week since the prior December 12. Most of the new casualties had been suffered by the Army and the Marines. No breakdown of the casualties is provided.

In Rome, police headquarters warned this date that demonstrations against NATO's supreme commander, General Matthew Ridgway, would be "smashed with the severity that the contingency demands." The General would arrive in Rome the following week on his first visit to Italy since becoming NATO commander.

The House Banking Committee voted this date to recommend a full year of extension of wage, price and rent controls and to drop all controls on real estate and consumer credit. The latter would mean the end of Regulation X, which had been relaxed, insofar as its requirements of down payments for a home purchase, by the Government earlier in the week.

One of the top advisers in General Eisenhower's campaign for the presidential nomination, former ERP administrator Paul Hoffman, complained to the arrangements committee of the Republican national convention regarding the selection of General MacArthur to deliver the keynote address to the convention the following month, protesting the fact that the General was a supporter of Senator Taft and that his selection was an attempt to put a pro-Taft "steamroller" in motion. In speaking with reporters, Mr. Hoffman stated that the nomination should not be decided by machine tactics and that he was surprised that the committee had not assigned the keynote address to Senator Taft, himself.

General MacArthur, meanwhile, had accepted the invitation to deliver the keynote address, expressing surprise at his choice. The Pentagon said that it would raise no issue with regard to the General's delivery of the address, despite Army regulations forbidding political statements or addresses to political conventions.

John Foster Dulles met with General Eisenhower for more than an hour this date, and afterward, stated to reporters that he had not made any public statement regarding his favorite for the nomination.

Senator Taft had tightened his control over the Republican convention machinery, with the apparent intention of fighting to seat the contested Southern delegations favorable to him. Supporters of the General had vowed to take the fight to the floor to seat a pro-Eisenhower delegation out of Texas.

Members of the North Carolina Republican delegation to the convention visited with the General at his Columbia University home the previous day, following which one delegate, a tobacco farmer from Johnston County, indicated that the General had won his vote with his views on farm subsidies. He said that the General stated that he did not favor subsidies to the same extent practiced in the previous few years. The official Associated Press count of North Carolina delegates was 13 for Senator Taft, seven for General Eisenhower, and six uncommitted. The chairman of the delegation indicated that presently, the vote was 13 for Senator Taft, 12 for General Eisenhower, and one undecided. He also stated that the General had assured him that he would actively campaign in the South, and he believed that the General had a fighting chance to win North Carolina in the November election—which he would not.

In Asheville, North Carolina Governor Kerr Scott this date unexpectedly called off a conference he had scheduled in that city regarding a road-building program for Western North Carolina, and returned to Raleigh. Plans for the meeting fell through when the chief locating engineer for the State Highway Commission failed to appear.

In London, a nightclub named "Churchill's" had met its demise, and someone, hearing the announcement on the radio, had started a rumor in New York that the Prime Minister had died. In fact, a judge in London had revoked the club's dancing and drinking license because it had been selling drinks after the legal closing hour. The Prime Minister's press secretary indicated that the Prime Minister had retired to bed "hale and hearty" the previous night and that no one had told him of his death, "as they would have if he had died."

In Norwich, England, a death certificate received by the commanding officer of a British Army detachment stated that a 19-year old soldier had died of "prolonged apoplexy, conjectural degeneration and final insensibility". It stated further that, therefore, the person should not be expected to be a soldier anymore. Police investigated and found that the soldier was alive at his home and had confessed to obtaining a blank death certificate and filling it out. The judge sent him back to the Army.

On the editorial page, "Congress Stands Firm against Seizure" finds that with the Senate having rejected the President's plea the previous day for legislation permitting him to seize the steel industry, it appeared that the Congress would deny such authority to the President. It left the President in the unhappy position of having to resort to the Taft-Hartley 80-day injunctive provision to end the strike temporarily.

It finds the President's reluctance to resort to Taft-Hartley understandable, as the United Steelworkers had already postponed their strike by 99 days prior to the President's seizure of the mills on April 8, and the matter had been heard by the Wage Stabilization Board which issued its recommendations, accepted by the union, but rejected by the manufacturers without a substantial price increase in steel. Thus further postponement would not be fair to the steelworkers.

It suggests that it would prefer the Government to stay out of the picture entirely, but recognizes that the steel strike adversely impacted the defense program, as the President had indicated in his speech to a joint session of Congress the previous day. Under those circumstances, the President said that he would have no alternative but to resort to Taft-Hartley. It remained to be seen whether the steelworkers would obey an injunction and, if not, whether punitive measures would then be approved by a Federal court to force obedience.

It finds that the President's speech the previous day had shown him to be taking a "dignified, thoughtful approach to a problem" which weighed heavily on his shoulders and that he had shown "more calm reasonableness and intellectual objectivity than his blindly-antagonistic critics, within and without Congress".

"Campaign Costs Brought into Open" indicates that, thanks to a law passed by the 1951 General Assembly, the people of North Carolina could find out how expensive political campaigns were in the state. Prior to that action, a legal spending ceiling of $12,000 existed for gubernatorial candidates in the initial primary, with another $6,000 allowed in the runoff primary. That law had been flagrantly violated, though technically observed. Thus, the Legislature had removed the ceiling.

The victorious Democratic candidate, William B. Umstead, revealed that he had spent more than $40,000 and received more than $42,000 in contributions, including $2,000 of his own money during the primary campaign. The losing candidate, Judge Hubert Olive, had spent more than $61,000, including $14,000 which he and his wife had contributed. His total receipts from contributions had been about $50,000, leaving him nearly $12,000 in the hole.

It indicates that no one had yet found a way to enforce rigid limits on campaign costs, which appeared to increase yearly. The rivals for the Republican presidential nomination had reportedly already spent more money prior to the convention than was usually spent during the election campaign as a whole. It suggests that it was better to keep campaign spending in the open until a system could be devised which enabled a person of moderate means to run for public office. It thus supports the wisdom shown by the 1951 Legislature.

"The Shame of Koje" finds that the hard-core prisoner resistance on Koje Island appeared to have been broken with the intervention of the U.S. paratroopers the previous day to break up a prisoner rebellion, after which the prisoners in another compound had meekly obeyed orders to be moved into smaller compounds. The achievement of some authority causes the editorial to express some shame at the fact that the lax Army officers had permitted the prison camp to deteriorate so badly, allowing the prisoners to accumulate makeshift weapons, which they had sought to use in the rebellion, which had as its ultimate intent the takeover of the entire island.

It regards the outbreaks of violence during the prior three months in the camp to have been the result of "gross incompetence" of the Army, the type of administration which could not accomplish what the U.S. had to do in Asia, maintain its authority while being respectful of the prisoners it had in its custody.

"Out of Time and Obscurity" indicates that when General MacArthur had landed in San Francisco on April 17 of the previous year after he had been fired by the President as Far East commander and supreme commander of the U.N. troops in Korea, he had disavowed any political aspirations. Shortly thereafter, however, he began making political speeches, which at first attracted national attention. But gradually, as his speeches continued to harp on the same theme, he was relegated to the inside pages. Now, he had been selected to be the keynoter at the Republican national convention in July.

It finds no fault with his selection, that it was a fitting honor to the General. After his speech, it indicates, the Republicans could then get down to the business of selecting a nominee, one who looked to the present and the uncertain future rather than the "glorious past".

A piece from the Atlanta Journal, titled "Forgive Us Democratic Sinners Too", indicates that the Presbyterians had debated in their General Assembly the correct wording of the Lord's Prayer, whether to use the word "trespasses" or the word which other churches, including the Presbyterian Church, utilized, "debts". Scholars at the Assembly had insisted that the word had been mistranslated and actually should be "sins". One person from Philadelphia, who declared himself to be a Republican, protested that he considered it an invasion of his private rights to tell him how to pray.

The piece wonders why he had not included Democrats and had made praying a political matter. It indicates that the broadminded people of the South had never figured that a man's politics mattered when he was down on his knees.

Drew Pearson tells of former President Hoover apparently not being as influential with Congress as Pan American Airways, as the latter had convinced the House Interstate & Foreign Commerce Committee to reverse itself on a recommendation, which profited the airline by 17 million dollars per year. Two years earlier, the same Committee had voted nearly unanimously against Pan Am, differentiating between government subsidies and airmail pay, instead of combining them, but the previous week, had reversed itself and voted nearly unanimously for Pan Am's position on the very same question. The issue was whether the Post Office should base its mail pay to Pan Am and other international airlines on actual cost or an inflated postal rate. Under the arbitrary rate favored by Pan Am, the Post Office would have paid Pan Am 25 million dollars in 1950, whereas under a cost-plus system, it would have paid it only a little over eight million dollars.

The cost-plus bill had been introduced in 1949 by Congressmen John Kennedy and John Heselton, the latter a Republican. At that point, the Pan Am lobby began to pull strings in the Senate with Republican Senator Owen Brewster and Democratic Senators Brien McMahon and Ed Johnson, who were able to stymie the bill.

The Hoover Commission was able to get the same bill reintroduced in 1952, but since that time, backstage wire-pulling in the House had resulted in the about-face of the Committee. He details some of the feting by the Pan Am lobby of members of the Committee. George Harrison, head of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, had written to the members in December, 1950, urging them to adopt the Kennedy-Heselton bill, but the previous month, the Brotherhood signed a contract with Pan Am to represent the Airline's traffic workers, and two weeks later, Mr. Harrison had flown to Washington, where he urged key committees to adopt the Pan Am-favored bill.

In August, 1949, and again in July, 1950, the New York Times had endorsed the Kennedy-Heselton measure in editorials, but on the prior May 12, during the secret House hearings on the matter, the Times switched its position against the bill. The latter editorial had been written by a member of the advertising staff, who handled airline ads.

The chairman of the House Committee, Congressman Robert Crosser of Ohio, had always supported the Kennedy-Heselton bill, but in 1952 had reversed his position, and when Mr. Pearson had inquired of him why he favored Pan Am when the airline did not fly within a thousand miles of Cleveland, he had stated that he did not talk on the phone to newspapermen he did not know. He warned Mr. Pearson to be careful about what he wrote as there were libel laws. At the time of the final, secret roll call, Mr. Crosser had not voted, leaving only Mr. Heselton voting against the Pan Am bill, as Mr. Kennedy was not a member of that Committee. He provides the names of the 16 members who voted for the bill.

Raymond Moley, in the ninth in his series of 12 articles abstracted from his 1952 book, How To Keep Our Liberty: A Program for Political Action, indicates that in his previous article, he had shown that nearly half of the eligible voters in the country had expressed their lack of interest in the two parties by staying away from the polls in consistently increasing numbers during the previous three presidential elections. He views the problem, therefore, to be one of getting those persons not voting to the polls in support of candidates who appeared most likely to restore and sustain the liberty of the country, indicating that the remaining four articles in the series would explore that issue.

He regards the political strength of the country as being concentrated within "the middle interest", rather than in the minority pressure groups. That major group could not be defined strictly by economic status. They comprised a group of average means with middle interests, who, in sum, controlled the great bulk of the nation's wealth. They included the great majority of the white-collar workers, the shopkeepers, those employed in management and professional people, but also most farmers, and in the previous few years, most manual laborers. The group was not united by material interests alone but also by "idealism, loyalty and pride associated with the home, the family, the local community, friends, ancestry, tradition, religion, and patriotism." The identification of those interests with such concepts as self-help, personal liberty, individual enterprise, and opportunity made that group the most appropriate spokesmen for the nation and they could become the possessors of deserved political power during the years ahead.

He suggests that the strategy of those who would conserve the country's free institutions had to be to awaken the people in this middle group to a consciousness of their shared concerns and to infuse them with the realization of the peril which confronted them.

He indicates that in his next article, he would consider the means by which this middle group could find leadership and develop its potential power into active force.

It sounds like Mr. Nixon's "silent majority"—who, in our experience, are actually usually pretty damned loud, obnoxiously so, yet always complaining about not being heard or having their petty little interests served.

Robert C. Ruark indicates that he wrote for his own amusement and wishes the reader to bear witness to it so that he could claim a tax deduction for his writing, as Kathleen Winsor had been able to do in writing her book, Forever Amber, receiving from the Government a tax rebate of over $26,000 because she had written the book primarily for her own amusement. Mr. Ruark wants some of the action.

He indicates that since the war, he had written approximately 1,750 columns, "all very amateurish, but personally very pleasing to me." He never dreamed that his personal diary would pay him money for such "childish chatter". He was surprised therefore when the armored car drove up each week to provide him his $12.50, less Social Security and withholdings. He indicates that he was giggling because he was having so much fun writing this piece for his own amusement.

The late Margaret Mitchell had accidentally gotten rich from her hobby when she wrote Gone With the Wind, causing the Congress to rewrite the tax laws to accommodate her hobby, dubbed the "Margaret Mitchell law".

He concludes that the piece he was writing was not for sale, "but I am killing me. Oh, hohoho and hahaha. Fetch the needle, mother, father just split his sides."

A letter writer says that he would vote for a "'Black Republican'" before he would vote for "Kefauver, the traitor."

A letter writer from Belmont suggests to Democrats in the South that before they turned Republican, they should remember that it had been the Republicans who had written a civil rights plank into their party platform in 1936, pledging to support equal opportunity for "colored citizens", and pledging protection of their economic status and personal safety.

A letter writer from Pittsboro says that he found himself in agreement with most of what General Eisenhower had so far stated, but that a good beginning did not necessarily mean a successful conclusion. He was not enthused about the idea of having a top military man as President, as there was nothing in the training and experience of a professional soldier which qualified him for such a job. General Eisenhower, however, had occupied purely administrative jobs and so was not the typical professional soldier. That fact allayed some of his apprehensions, especially when he remembered the problems which the civilian leadership had encountered in the last war.

He takes issue with the newspaper regarding its editorial statement that "the threat to our personal liberty and to the stability of the national economy is a direct result of international tension." He believes that unless checked, there would be complete socialism in the country, resulting in the loss of all freedom. He believes that the threat to world peace and security was another matter, something beyond the control of the country at home, and that the country would lose if it did not remain strong and sound at home. He thus concludes that the major issue in the campaign, as declared by Senator Taft, "liberty versus socialism", should be blended with the statement of the key issue by the General, "peace and security in the world", that both were necessary.

A letter from the president of "Youth for Russell" replies to another letter printed June 4, concerning the stand of Senator Richard Russell of Georgia on FEPC, indicating that the previous letter writer had been misleading when he quoted the Senator as saying that even if the Democratic platform contained a compulsory FEPC plank, he would not leave the party. He had said, in fact, that he would repudiate such a plank. He indicates that when the Senator had been in Charlotte the previous month, he had stated that he thought the Federal Government would eventually have to take over all of industry and agriculture if a compulsory FEPC law were put into effect.

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