The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 12, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Milo Farnetti, that allied infantry and tanks this date seized a hill on the western front, near Chorwon, in a 14-hour battle involving some of the fiercest fighting of the year. During the battle, allied warplanes dropped napalm across the Chinese position. About a mile to the west of that fighting, allied troops flushed dug-in Chinese troops from their bunkers with flame-throwers. Some of the allied tanks supporting the infantry had run into enemy minefields and were disabled, retriever tanks then pulling them back to safety. Allied authorities said that hundreds of enemy troops had been killed and wounded in the six days of fighting around Chorwon. In addition, the U.S. Eighth Army said that allied defenders had repulsed nine probes on the eastern front by about ten enemy platoons.

Russell Brines reports that the initial Army inquiry into the Koje Island prison camp uprisings of the previous month in Korea had cleared Brig. General Charles Colson of misconduct in his concessions made to the Communists to obtain the release of former prison commandant, Brig. General Francis Dodd, who had been taken hostage by the prisoners. General Mark Clark had contended that the concessions amounted to surrender to blackmail. Both Generals Dodd and Colson had been determined by a five-man Army board to have acted in the best interests of the United States and the U.N., according to testimony in executive session provided a House Appropriations subcommittee by Secretary of the Army, Frank Pace. He and General J. Lawton Collins, Army chief of staff, had pointed out that there was insufficient manpower available to control rioting prisoners on the island and that the Army had not been prepared for the outbreaks.

A piece on the front page by Marquis Childs indicates that tactical atomic weapons would almost certainly be used in Korea by the U.N. forces if the Communists launched a mass attack. The weapons were ready for almost immediate use in Korea and the personnel to assemble and direct them were already on the ground. General Mark Clark, U.N. supreme commander, had stated that a Communist attack en masse would be followed immediately by U.N. bombing of Communist airfields beyond the Yalu River in Manchuria. Mr. Childs indicates that what he had not said, which would probably be the case, was that that such bombing would utilize tactical atomic weapons.

In Berlin, the Soviet zonal government decreed this date an extension of its shoot-to-kill security measures to include the border around Berlin as well as the frontier with West Germany. It provided for sentences of at least two years in jail for violators, unless they were liable to receive higher punishment. The death penalty was available for major violators.

The House Banking Committee voted 15 to 10 against the President's proposal that he be empowered to seize and operate the steel mills. It followed the rejection the previous day of the proposal by the Senate.

The Senate passed, by a vote of 58 to 18, legislation extending wage, price and rent controls through the ensuing February 28, and included a declaration requesting the President to use Taft-Hartley to end temporarily the current steel strike. The bill continued the Wage Stabilization Board with its current 18 members, split evenly between public, industry and labor representatives, but its powers would be limited to entering a dispute only after the Federal Mediation Service had certified that its remedies were exhausted and provided that both sides asked the WSB to intervene. Its recommendations also would be limited to economic issues, not including recommendations for such things as the union shop, as had been the case in its recommendations for resolution of the steel dispute. The bill was next set to go to the House, where the House Banking Committee was working on its own measure.

Both Senator Taft and General Eisenhower were in New York City bidding separately for New Jersey's 38-member delegation, with the General holding conferences all week with state delegations to the convention, to start in Chicago on July 7. Senator Taft had arrived in New York the previous night for the same purpose. The New Jersey delegation was heavily for the General, but was slated to meet with the Senator this morning, and then, 90 minutes later, with the General. All except 13 of the 1,206 total convention delegates had already been chosen, and so both camps were now trying to win over delegates who had not made up their minds or were being sent to the convention uncommitted. Neither candidate yet had the necessary 604-vote majority for nomination. At present, the Associated Press tally had Senator Taft with 464 and General Eisenhower with 391 committed delegates, with 130 committed to others and 208 disputed or uncommitted.

General Eisenhower was quoted by delegates with whom he had met the previous day as saying that he favored a 40 billion dollar tax cut over the ensuing two or three years. He had also reportedly said that he believed a budget reduction would ease inflationary pressures and, as a result, the threat of war. Some Republican members of Congress had proposed a ten billion dollar tax reduction for the coming fiscal year.

On the Democratic side, 1,058 of the 1,230 total delegates had been chosen, with Connecticut scheduled to select 16 more at its convention the next day. The Associated Press tally showed 246 delegates committed to Senator Estes Kefauver, 86 1/2 to Senator Richard Russell, 85 1/2 to Averell Harriman, and 246 committed to others, with 394 uncommitted and 616 needed to nominate. The Democrats would also meet in Chicago, two weeks after the start of the Republican convention.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports on the visit to Charlotte of Senator Kefauver. He addressed a crowd of about 100 persons at the Municipal Airport, saying that he hoped the North Carolina delegation would "sometime support" him for the the presidency, as it was time for the country to have a Southern President again. He said that he felt right at home in the state, having been born just 25 miles from the border in Tennessee. Mayor Victor Shaw was on hand to greet him. He then went to the Hotel Charlotte for a luncheon, a press and radio conference, and talks with his local supporters. He would leave the city late in the afternoon and travel to Raleigh and then Greensboro. Earlier in the day, he had made a stop in Asheville.

In Munich, Michael Cardinal Von Faulhabr, Archbishop of Munich and Freising and Dean of the German Roman Catholic clergy, died this date at age 83.

Publisher William Scripps, 70, president of the Detroit Evening News Association and publisher of the Detroit News, died this date in Detroit.

The Greensboro Daily News had reported this date that since Governor Kerr Scott's election in 1948, the State had paved a network of roads through and around the Governor's Alamance County dairy farm. All of the roads, said the report, were near the church of which Governor Scott was a presiding elder. It quoted the Governor as saying that he had decided to make his own neighborhood a model for the state in terms of improved roads, rural telephones and power lines, and improved rural churches. He was also quoted as saying that if he had stolen a nickel, it was for the church, and that attendance had increased by 25 percent since the beginning of his administration. The newspaper indicated that the Governor owned about 2,300 acres in Alamance County and that the State had built about 15 miles of paved roads in a small triangle around his land, most of them passing through his property. The largest project involved a relocation of U.S. Highway 70, and the State and was preparing to pay the Governor about $12,000 in return for about 39 acres of land over which the highway would traverse, and for associated crop damage. The State had also built tunnels underneath the road for cattle to pass. One of the paved roads to the farm had been authorized by Governor Gregg Cherry, a few weeks before Governor Scott's inauguration, after Mr. Scott, as commissioner of Agriculture, had tried to get the road paved, but was initially blocked by the then-Highway Commission chairman. He said that he did not tell anybody to run the new bypass through his farm, that it did add value, but also hurt his farming operation while also enabling him to make more profit by being able to get his milk to market more quickly. The Governor was further quoted as saying that the story was part of a political plot to destroy his influence, that his political opponents were worried that he would run for the Senate against Senator Willis Smith.

In fact, the Governor would run for the Senate seat in 1954 and win against Senator Smith's appointed successor, Alton Lennon, after the death of Senator Smith in 1953. Senator Scott would die in office in 1958.

Ann Sawyer of The News reports that 12-year old Jimmy Mooney had won the local Soap Box Derby race in his Lizzie IV, following in the tradition of the first three versions of the racer, which had been champions or near champions in previous years. He did so with a record speed of 29.8 and 29.7 seconds down the course in the first four heats of the previous day and then, in the final heat, topped those records by .2 seconds. "The Class A finals also brought on a small doubt when he was pitted against Sonny Bankhead's Buttercup yellow racer, and Billy Waterman, a little Negro boy who came from behind to make yesterday's fans sit up, take notice and cheer."

This is how you know it was 1952.

On page 5-B, Marie Adams, society editor of The News, had attended the Debutante Ball the previous night with News photographers Don Martin and Jeep Hunter, and had "captured all the magic and grace of the event." You won't wish to miss that.

On the editorial page, "For Fairer Auto Liability Insurance" finds that a local father had applied for liability insurance and, despite him and his young son having clean driving records, the premium was about $30 per year more than it would have been had the father been a reckless driver without the young son also driving the family car. It had cost about as much as it would have if both father and son were reckless drivers. But since the son was under age 25, found by insurance companies to be the most accident-prone age group, the premium was high.

It advocates reconsideration of the liability insurance rating system, and agrees with an article in Best's Insurance News, which urged a system which would reward the careful driver.

"Of Course Taft 'Can' Win" indicates that the Senator had narrowly won the South Dakota Republican primary, despite heavy campaigning in the state, which had voted Republican in every election since 1896, except 1932 and 1936. To win the general election, the Republican nominee would have to attract Democrats and independents, and no one believed that Senator Taft had a very high standing within those two groups. Thus, another newspaper's statement that Senator Taft could win, after the narrow victory in the South Dakota primary, was theoretically true, as anything could happen in politics, just as it had in 1948. But it continues to assert that General Eisenhower had the better chance of the two of winning the general election. It posits that it would be "sheer folly" to put forth a nominee who had nearly lost the South Dakota Republican primary to a candidate, General Eisenhower, who had not even campaigned and whose name was not even on the ballot.

"Senators without Plums" tells of Congressional absenteeism during the election year perhaps resulting in three reorganization plans recommended by the Hoover Commission being implemented for want of majorities to veto them. The plans required Congressional veto by one of the houses within a specific time period or they would become law, and so many members of both houses were absent that it would likely be impossible to obtain majorities necessary to veto the programs.

The most important of the four bills pending would put more than 21,000 postmasters under Civil Service, whereas they were presently appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, thus being plums for patronage. Two of the other plans would also abolish patronage in other presently appointed positions. Primary opposition was within the Senate, but even the most critical Senators were conceding that it was not likely that they could obtain the necessary 49 nay votes before the June 21 deadline on the plans submitted by the President.

"A Ray of Hope for Rumanians" finds that one of the most awful aspects of long Communist rule was the censorship applied to history books, such that a younger generation did not understand what things had been like in the satellite countries prior to the arrival of Communism. Non-Communist adults in those countries sometimes told of their concerns to Westerners, that the children did not understand this earlier time. Such youth, for their lack of awareness, would descend deeper into unquestioning conformity, making revolt more difficult to achieve.

The fall from Soviet grace of Rumania's lead Communist, Ana Pauker, on which Drew Pearson remarks below, might raise doubts in the minds of the young. Only the previous month, the Rumanians had been shouting her praises, but now all pictures of her would be removed and she would be relegated to persona non grata status. It indicates that it would be unwise to overestimate the degree of doubt raised by this purge, but some small seed of doubt and question might be planted which might keep the small flicker of desire for freedom burning.

Drew Pearson tells of the President being friends with Amon Carter, a leading citizen of Fort Worth, Texas, but having drafted a hot letter to him when Mr. Carter had sent a letter to the President urging him to sign the tidelands oil bill, giving the tidelands back to the states, as to veto it would deprive the schoolchildren of Texas of the oil royalties to be earned by the states under the bill. The President eventually tore up the letter and instead made a speech before the Americans for Democratic Action, calling the tidelands oil bill "robbery in broad daylight".

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had displayed righteous indignation recently against Government-paid junkets for newspapermen. But when his own junkets had been criticized, he had censored the objectionable information from the Congressional Record, after Senator Tom Connally had criticized him to his face on the floor for this hypocrisy regarding journalist junkets. Mr. Pearson had obtained a copy, however, of the full remarks.

The conference the previous week between the President and Senator Kefauver had been pleasant but inconclusive. The visit had been polite and friendly, but nothing had been determined except that the President promised that he would remain neutral in the pre-nomination fight.

Senator Owen Brewster of Maine had returned to Washington in the middle of a campaign the previous week to try to stop an investigation of him on the ground that he had offered $25,000 to a liquor dealer to influence his opponent, Governor Payne.

Secretary of the Navy Dan Kimball had again defied his boss, Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett, by advocating again recently the construction of supercarriers.

Taft supporters and supporters of General Eisenhower had reached a deal in Alabama to split that state's Republican at-large delegation on the basis of two each. But after making the agreement, the Taft representative double-crossed the Eisenhower forces and rammed through three delegates for the Senator.

The Senate Armed Services Committee was not satisfied with the light punishment meted out to the Army generals in charge of the Koje Island prison camp, Brig. General Francis Dodd and Brig. General Charles Colson, who had been demoted to colonels.

British and American intelligence disagreed on whether the Communists intended to launch a new offensive in Korea, the U.S. not believing that they were preparing for any new attack, whereas the British believed that the buildup was prelude to a new gigantic offensive to be timed with the breakdown of the Korean truce talks. That latter belief was behind Prime Minister Winston Churchill's statement recently to Commons, warning of the dire situation resulting from the Communist buildup.

U.S. observers in Rumania reported that two new divisions of Russian troops were about to move into the country following the purge of Ana Pauker, the lead Rumanian Communist, after the Russian Ambassador in Bucharest expressed the belief that she was getting lazy and recommended the purge. She had sought to phone directly to Premier Stalin, but the Kremlin operator had told her that he was not in.

Raymond Moley, in the tenth in his 12-article series abstracted from his 1952 book, How To Keep Our Liberty: A Program for Political Action, finds it sad that so few people were stirred by a sense of duty to participate in public affairs. The effort to stir people to participate in politics had to be largely based on appeals either to material interests of those who stood to lose from present trends or to the possibility of personal advancement in public life. He believes that, instead, a moral sense ought motivate people to participate, from having achieved quite a lot from free institutions.

He finds that business and professional persons were too prone to limit their political action to applauding the speeches and writings of others or to heated private denunciations of the opposition and occasional small contributions to favored organizations and parties. But, if on election day, voters did not vote, all the effort on behalf of candidates went for naught.

Whereas fewer than half of the eligible voters in the U.S. had voted in the previous three presidential elections, about 84 percent of those eligible had voted in the British Parliamentary elections of 1950 and 1951. He suggests that the large turnout had checked socialism in Britain. In 1948, 54 percent of eligible voters had voted in the U.S. presidential election and he finds that discrepancy to be the heart of the problem.

In the United States, the decisive millions were in neither party but were independent. The machinery of one party, the Democrats, had been captured on the national level by the statists. If enough people organized to favor given policies and ideas, the party leadership inevitably would have to adopt those policies and ideas.

He suggests organization on a local level, either by city blocks, in a township or on a countywide basis. The Congressional district offered a wide scope for action, where results were measurable in terms of national influence. The citizens' movement, he recommends, within a Congressional district or state, should be subdivided into smaller geographical units. Leaders of such a movement should plan their activities based on the area in which resided the voters whom they wished to reach. They should have the resources and workers to reach every voter directly and to learn something about every family. An attempt to organize in too large an area would lead to imperfect work. He concludes that the best rule was set forth by Theodore Roosevelt when he stated: "Do what you can, with what you have, where you are."

Marquis Childs tells of Senator Taft appearing to have won South Dakota's 14 delegates to the Republican convention by a few hundred votes in the popular primary. It could, however, he suggests, become a costly victory, as propaganda used in that primary, with the candidate's knowledge, had involved an appeal to isolationism. When Senator Taft spoke in the East, however, he denied being an isolationist, and the whole thesis for his recent book, A Foreign Policy for the United States, was to establish that while he voted against many military and foreign aid measures, he believed in international cooperation. Yet, large newspaper ads authorized by the Taft committee in the state, had said just the opposite. He quotes from some of that advertising, which basically said that the Senator was for cutting back on military preparedness and foreign aid, amounting to isolationism. The same advertising painted General Eisenhower as standing with the Truman Administration on foreign aid and military spending.

Another propaganda line had accused the General of authorizing Russia to seize Germans as slave laborers following World War II.

In two of the counties where this propaganda was distributed, the Senator had won by nearly 2,000 votes in one and more than 1,150 in the other, a total of about six times more than his overall victory margin in the state. Another ad, which was distributed in Sioux Falls, portrayed the General as a "Swedish Jew". One of Senator McCarthy's assistants had managed the campaign in South Dakota. He had remarked after the primary that the "slave labor" ad had done the trick.

He concludes that these tactics would likely backfire, just as the Taft steamroller tactic used in Texas had backfired. Such methods could mean the difference between victory and defeat in the general election for the minority party already divided by a bitter feud.

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