The Charlotte News

Thursday, June 19, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. forces had repulsed sporadic Communist assaults in east-central Korea this date near Kumsong, killing more than a fourth of the attacking battalion, about 200 enemy soldiers. For the second successive day, enemy guns were silent near the allied-held T Hill, west of Chorwon on the western front. U.S. Shooting Stars made eight airstrikes against the enemy still dug in on the latter rocky ridge.

After being grounded by bad weather the previous day, Fifth Air Force fighter bombers provided close support missions for the allied ground fighters in the Chorwon and Kumsong sectors.

At the U.N., Soviet chief delegate Jakob Malik presented a resolution that the Security Council appeal to the U.S. and several other countries to ratify the 1925 Geneva Protocol, outlawing bacteriological weapons. He did not mention the previous charges made by the Soviets that the U.S. was using germ warfare in Korea. U.S. delegate Ernest Gross responded by indicating that the former charges of use of germ warfare had been part of a campaign of lies, without basis in any evidence. He said the Soviet proposal was a fraudulent effort to make the world believe that Russia and other parties to the Geneva Treaty had given up germ warfare. The U.S., Brazil and Pakistan were the only members of the Security Council which had not ratified the protocol. The President had withdrawn the pact from Senate consideration in 1947, describing it as an obsolete "paper pledge approach".

The House unanimously passed by voice vote a compromise bill giving the Marine Corps a stronger voice in military policy, and the bill would next go to the Senate. The compromise had been worked out by Senators and Congressmen on the basis of separate bills passed previously by the two chambers. A provision of the House bill had been eliminated which would have made the Marine commandant a permanent member of the Joint Chiefs and set a minimum strength of 220,000 enlisted Marines. Instead, the commandant would sit with the Joint Chiefs on matters affecting the Marines, with the same voice and right of appeal as other members of the Joint Chiefs. The maximum strength of the Marines would be 400,000 men plus officers and the proposed minimum would be eliminated. The law would also specify the organization of the Marines into three combat divisions and three air wings, to be maintained at full strength continuously. The House had originally proposed four divisions and four air wings. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana said that the compromise plan would ensure that the Marines would not be whittled down into small units, the size of a battalion or smaller.

The Government's cost of living index moved up by two-tenths of one percent for the month ending May 15, 4.1 percent higher than 18 months earlier when price and wage controls had taken effect, but a little bit lower than the peak during the previous January. The rise was attributed to an increase in food and rent costs.

The President urged Congress this date to pass special legislation before it adjourned to enable soldiers to vote without hindrance from state laws. He said that it would impact nearly a million members of the armed forces.

The President said this date at his weekly press conference that the steel strike was creating a serious situation, but did not indicate any steps he had in mind to meet the problem. He said that the morning newspapers had indicated that automobile manufacturing was being cut, and that posed a serious problem. He also indicated that General Eisenhower was still a friend and that no President could cut taxes by 15 percent, as Senator Taft had just announced he would do if elected. He said that taxes ought be increased to meet the budget deficit.

General Eisenhower indicated this date that he would cut taxes and balance the budget if elected, while assuring also that the allies would be as militarily strong as Russia, all taking about two years to effect.

While not providing the entire picture, the national debt had increased under President Truman, not counting 1945, the last months of World War II, by a net of only one billion dollars, whereas under President Eisenhower, it increased by 27 billion dollars over the eight years. So much for the "welfare state" being so expensive and "socialistic". One day, the morons will realize that when people of a conservative persuasion talk blithely about the "welfare state", they are actually referring to defense spending, meaning that the welfare recipients are those working in defense industries.

Meanwhile, Senator Estes Kefauver, leading in the Democratic delegate count, said that no matter who won the Republican nomination, the isolationist sentiments would dominate the party, and though he doubted General Eisenhower shared those views, his disagreement would not do him much good if elected President. He said that he was confident of winning the nomination, possibly on the first ballot, but more likely on the fifth or sixth.

In Philadelphia and Harrisburg, Pa., more than 5,000 Pennsylvania Republicans would meet for $100 per plate "unity" dinners this night, to raise about $400,000 in estimated funds for the general presidential and state election campaigns in that state the following November. None of the money would go to either the Taft or Eisenhower campaigns prior to the nomination.

United Steelworkers Union members were beginning to show signs of financial hardship after 18 days since their strike had begun in the wake of the Supreme Court decision holding the President's April 8 seizure of the steel industry unconstitutional. Several requests for financial assistance had been received from steelworkers by the head of at least one local in Pittsburgh. While the union did not provide strike benefits, most of the locals were in good financial shape and were prepared to provide aid in hardship cases. In Alabama, one of the hardest hit areas by the strike, locals reported no requests for assistance. A company in Philadelphia had reached agreement with its workers on the basis of adopting what was believed to be the first union shop agreement in the steel industry, affecting 3,500 workers. They had received a total benefit package equal to a 22 to 24 cents per hour increase.

As the President had indicated, Ford Motor Company was starting a four-day work week for most of its manufacturing operations and assembly plants, to delay plant shutdowns. A company which manufactured mortar and artillery shells in Ohio had transitioned to a three-day work week. A refrigerator company in New Jersey had notified its workers that it would close indefinitely on July 3 because of the steel shortage.

In Turin, Italy, five persons were killed this date in an explosion at the Nobel Dynamite Plant, as they were working on dynamite caps inside a small isolated building.

In Granville, W.Va., the women of the town of 1,000 persons decided to hold a summer house-cleaning spree, resulting in a big coal cleaning plant and two large coal mines being forced to close and about 700 men thrown off work. The mayor of the town had to call a special meeting to calm the ladies down and persuade them to permit the biggest industry in the area to return to operation. The dust from the coal plant had made the women angry, as they had to clean it up from their houses on a daily basis. They had therefore marched to the coal company's cleaning plant the previous day and set up picket lines, which the miners refused to cross, resulting in the work and plant stoppages. The UMW refused to intervene, but the mayor was finally able to bring order by telling the women that the company was promising to contact the firm which sold them their dust-dispersal equipment and determine if something could be done. The women then relented.

In Stornoway, Scotland, Max Conrad had reached the island location after completing a crossing of the Atlantic in his Piper Cub airplane, bearing invitations to mayors of Scandinavian countries to attend the Minneapolis Aquatenniel on July 18-27. The last leg of his flight had been a four-hour hop from Iceland.

In Weymouth, Mass., a woman gave birth to quadruplets this date, three boys and one girl, to add to her existing three children. The condition of the newborn was fair and the mother was reported to be doing well. Her husband was a bus driver.

In Rome, actress Ingrid Bergman shed tears of joy as she got her first look at her day-old twin daughters, Isabella, weighing 7 pounds and 3 ounces, and her younger sister by half an hour, Ingrid, weighing 8 pounds and 5 ounces. Both dozed in "fitful unawareness of their international publicity." Husband Roberto Rossellini was at the bedside, after a night-long vigil.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Ms. Bergman's former husband, Dr. Peter Lindstrom, was fighting in court a request by Ms. Bergman to have her first-born child, a 13-year old daughter, visit her in Rome during the current summer, on the basis that Mr. Rosellini was a drug addict and a man of loose morals.

Welcome to the show, girls.

And, regarding the piece by E. P. Holmes, on page 10-A, we really don't care to read about the "queer expressions used by North Carolina mountaineers". Wethinks we may have heard a few of those...

On the editorial page, "At Long Last, a Definite Promise" cheers the fact that Highway Commission chairman Henry Jordan had ordered that work begin on the last link of Independence Boulevard in the coming fall. There had been rumors that Governor Kerr Scott, angered over Mecklenburg County's cool reception to his road-school bond program, had informed the Highway Commission to hold back the State's 1.2 million dollar share for the project. Those rumors turned out not to be the case, as the delay had been caused by a bottleneck in the Commission's engineering office, burdened beyond its capabilities by the large road-building program in the state.

Until this last segment was completed, the Boulevard would only partially fulfill its purpose, as a connecting link between the two areas of heavy traffic density in the county, drawing away traffic from the central business district. The first link had been completed in early 1949, and the second link, in 1950. Those two were useful, but presently, the Boulevard only added to the bad congestion on East Morehead and on South Boulevard.

"Coltrane Has Made His Point" finds that Dave Coltrane, who had been fired by Governor Scott as assistant budget director, but had determined to remain in the job, though the Governor had stripped him of all but routine duties and had ordered all State officials to take their budget business to the appointed successor, had run his course. It was sympathetic with Mr. Coltrane as he had done a good job, and it believed that the Governor should not dictate the voting habits of his subordinates, having relieved Mr. Coltrane because he had supported William B. Umstead for the gubernatorial nomination rather than Hubert Olive, supported by the Governor. But now Mr. Coltrane had shown that he could not be fired, and his remitting back to the State his $1,000 per month salary, while admirable, did not change the basic fact that the Governor was in charge of administering the budget and was the people's elected representative, with the right to have men in appointive positions in whom he had full trust and confidence.

It finds that Mr. Coltrane, in holding onto the office just out of principle, was beginning to resemble Governor Scott, and suggests that he would be better advised to stalk disgustedly out of the office.

"Stockpiling Scheme Could Get Fantastic" comments on the Business Week piece on the page this date regarding Government stockpiling of lead, provided it received approval by the Budget Bureau. There was presently no shortage of lead, but rather supply exceeded demand to such an extent that the price had fallen, and to maintain production, it had been proposed that the Government purchase 5,000 tons of lead per month for the ensuing six months. If industrial demand increased, the lead would be released to civilian channels, and if not, it would be absorbed into the stockpile. In either event, tax dollars would be used to force the price upward in the open market, causing the defense program to cost more and boosting the costs of all industrial products using lead.

It suggests that if carried to its logical extreme, it would mean the use of U.S. tax dollars to buy billions of dollars worth of materials from all over the world, whether they were needed for the war effort or not, without any U.S. control over volume of production, just to hold prices steady and national economies abroad stable. It indicates that the Government had made a mess of farm price supports and if the Budget Bureau refused to disapprove of this "wild-eyed attempt to hold the world economy steady", then Congress ought exert its power to cut off appropriations for it.

"The Aggressive Cat Boat" tells of the Swedish unarmed plane which had been shot down by the Russians off Estonia while searching for another Swedish plane, also believed to have been shot down by the Russians, having been a Catalina flying boat, or "Cat boat", as the Navy crews called it. The Russians claimed that the two MIG jets acted in self-defense after the Swedish plane fired on them over Russian territory. The Swedish Government contended that not only was the plane unarmed, but that it was over international waters.

The piece indicates that only once previously had the Catalina been accused of aggressive action, that during World War II when a U.S. Navy pilot in the Aleutians, tired of patrol work, conducted a diving raid on some Japanese below. The plane cruised at a relatively slow speed and when armed, was usually equipped only with .30 caliber machine guns on either side of the fuselage. It could drop a depth charge, but had no chance against attacking fighter planes. Yet, the Russians claimed that this single Catalina had attacked their jets. It finds that the Russian pilots had to sacrifice their pride to ideology and propaganda.

A piece from the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, titled "When the People Judged the Judge", finds that the recent Democratic primary in North Carolina for a vacant seat on the State Supreme Court to have served as a model for popular election of judges. The Chief Justice, Walter Stacy, had died the previous September and Governor Scott had elevated Associate Justice W. A. Devin to be Chief, and then selected Itimous Valentine to succeed Justice Devin. Mr. Valentine had been a county and regional worker for Governor Scott's election in 1948.

The latter selection had been viewed as being too political in North Carolina, prompting five other candidates, each of whom was a Superior Court judge, to vie for the seat in the primary. They carried on their campaigns with dignity, mostly utilizing the mails. The voters then rejected Justice Valentine, who came in third in the race behind Judge R. Hunt Parker and Judge William Bobbitt.

It suggests the election results as an example to other North Carolina Governors not to engage in too much politics in the appointment of members of the State Supreme Court. It had been rare for North Carolina to have a campaign over the election of a Supreme Court justice. It urges that it was to be remembered that the candidates were of a high order, that an obviously political appointee, without prior judicial experience, had been defeated, and that whatever the result of the runoff primary between the two excellent remaining candidates, the Supreme Court of North Carolina would have a good justice.

As indicated, Judge Parker would eventually win the seat, but Judge Bobbitt would be appointed to the Court in 1954 by Governor William B. Umstead. Both Justices would serve as Chief in later years.

A piece from Fortune indicates that Western unity and U.S. world leadership appeared to be falling on bad times. U.S. protectionists were mounting a campaign for higher tariffs at the same time that the Kremlin was carrying on an offensive to divide the West economically. Europe was beginning to retaliate with its own protectionist measures.

There appeared to be little chance of fashioning a sound foreign economic policy during a presidential election year.

It concludes that what was urgently needed was a thoroughgoing, dispassionate study of the effects of tariff reduction, regarding each product, and suggests that perhaps the Ford Foundation might undertake it.

Drew Pearson indicates that there was more than met the eye behind the sudden resignations of three assistant Attorneys General. One, Graham Morison, head of the Antitrust Division, had been a tough, uncompromising prosecutor of big business monopoly and had been regarded as one of the best men in the Justice Department. He had, however, been the object of an inter-Cabinet argument a short time earlier, involving Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett and AT&T, whose former chairman, Walter Gifford, was now U.S. Ambassador to Britain. Mr. Morison had been pressing an antitrust case against AT&T and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Western Electric. Shortly before James McGranery became the new Attorney General, Mr. Lovett had asked acting Attorney General, Philip Perlman, to drop the case, arguing that the Bell Laboratories, also owned by AT&T, could not cooperate properly with the Defense Department if AT&T were under antitrust investigation. Mr. Morison, however, had refused to drop the case when Mr. Perlman asked him to do so. He explained that telephone rates were fixed on the basis of costs, and that with AT&T being the sole owner of Western Electric, which made all the equipment for AT&T and charged high prices, it enabled AT&T then to have an excuse to increase phone rates, even though AT&T could buy the equipment cheaper from another supplier, the essential basis for the antitrust suit. After the explanation, Mr. Perlman agreed with Mr. Morison.

But a few days later, when Attorney General McGranery took over the job, he had inquired of Mr. Morison regarding another antitrust matter, involving RCA. The head of RCA, David Sarnoff, who also controlled NBC, had given Margaret Truman her radio contract, and had such weight at the White House that during the visit of Prime Minister Clement Attlee, the President suspended his conferences, leaving the Prime Minister waiting while he had a long luncheon with Mr. Sarnoff and daughter Margaret. Yet, Mr. Morison had called a grand jury to investigate RCA's practices, and RCA had hired former Presidential adviser, Clark Clifford, to represent it. Mr. Morison had said little to Mr. McGranery about the case, but a few days later, Mr. McGranery had terminated Mr. Morison.

Mr. Pearson notes that Mr. Morison had long wanted to leave the Justice Department for the private sector, but had remained out of a sense of devotion to the antitrust work.

As indicated above, a piece from Business Week tells of Averell Harriman favoring U.S. stockpile-buying to stabilize the economies of allies. The notion of "civilian stockpiles" was scoffed at by the officials in charge of building the 9.2 billion dollar defense stockpile, designed to store enough strategic materials to carry the country through five years of total war. The stockpilers had found Mr. Harriman's notion fantastic, that the Government would never create such an "ever-normal granary" to shore up commodity prices.

But during the current week, the stockpilers were preparing to purchase some 30,000 tons of lead over the ensuing six months for just such an intermediate, civilian, or economic stockpile. The purpose was to maintain domestic lead production in a soft market. The collateral result would be to bolster lead prices, which had fallen from 19 cents per pound to 15.7 cents per pound since the prior February. Defense production officials had approved this deal and it awaited only the approval of the Budget Bureau to be put into effect. Officials were also studying the possibility of creating similar stockpiles for tin and tungsten.

The piece explains in detail how the stockpile of lead would work.

Shortly after the war, it had been fairly easy to promote the idea of a strategic stockpile, after the recollections were fresh of tin and rubber being in shortage during the war. After the start of the Korean War, the strategic inventory was used to keep both arms production and the civilian economy going. Now, General Services administrator Jess Larson and other officials believed the intermediate stockpile made sense.

Stockpiling was a lot easier to start than to stop, however, as there would always be a hue and cry when government supports were withdrawn. It was also nearly impossible to turn loose Government supplies during peacetime because of the depressing effect on domestic prices and the international outcry raised by any attempt to sell abroad. Yet, stockpiling of surplus cotton, aluminum and synthetic rubber had been suggested since the war. Mr. Harriman had been talking about those operations in his "ever-normal granary of metals for the free world".

The Government officials were treading softly as they entered this field, as they were aware that the lead producers would be loath to give up the support once it was provided. They also realized that other surplus metals producers would view the program with envy. The intermediate stockpile for lead was a beginning only, a "nose under the tent".

Marquis Childs tells of the ruthless drive of the Taft forces being explained only by a depth and intensity of feeling not always apparent on the surface. He feels it important, therefore, to understand what Senator Taft, as well as those around his campaign, were about. The political history of the previous twelve years had a lot to do with the convictions they held in 1952.

In 1940, Senator Taft was a candidate for the GOP nomination at the Philadelphia convention, his initial attempt at the presidency. He had been 51 years old at the time and had a total delegate strength of 377 on the fifth ballot. Then came the stampede engineered for the late Wendell Willkie, surprising and overwhelming the hard-core of the Republican Party, who had never believed in Mr. Willkie. But Senator Taft and most of the others had gone along with the selection nevertheless.

The Taft machine had ensured that there would be no gallery demonstration for General Eisenhower at the 1952 convention. The Taft supporters had gathered up every ticket other than the one or two issued to each Eisenhower and each Taft delegate

In 1948, Senator Taft had 274 votes on the second ballot, when Governor Dewey had just under a majority. At that point, on instructions from the Senator, the delegates were turned over to the Governor, in accordance with an arrangement made with former President Herbert Hoover prior to the convention, that there would be no compromise on a third candidate. Senator Taft then campaigned for Governor Dewey during the general election campaign.

Now, his loyal partisans believed that it was Senator Taft's turn. His supporters believed that given his age, it was his last opportunity to garner the nomination. It was also the last chance for the national committeemen and committeewomen who supported him. Thus, they were in a now-or-never mode of thinking, only a short step away from the idea that anything was justified to bring about the victory of Senator Taft and righteousness. Mr. Childs suggests that it was close to the dangerous doctrine, inherent in Communism, that the ends justify the means.

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