The Charlotte News

Friday, June 20, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the House this date voted, 146 to 8, to end price controls on virtually all consumer goods, though the vote was subject to reconsideration. The only exceptions were for goods which were rationed, which encompassed no goods at present, and a few metals which were being allocated.

The Government scrapped its plan to relax building restrictions as of July 1, as Henry Fowler, head of the National Production Administration, indicated that the steel strike, in progress since June 2, after the Supreme Court had held the President's seizure of the steel industry unconstitutional, was "slowly but surely" strangling military and civilian production. He said that the only way the defense program could be supported was to place nearly all of the closed plants back in operation.

A survey of manufacturers and defense experts indicated that generally, there was enough steel on hand to continue production until sometime in August, but in some instances the stoppage of the industry was already being felt. In addition to the non-delivery of finished weapons, hard steels needed for tools could not be obtained and so the weapons could not be produced. One partial solution was to get the steel out of warehouses and into the defense plants, and the Steelworkers Union had telegraphed orders the previous night to pass those defense materials through picket lines. Shortages in ammunition were already appearing, especially in the 4.2-inch mortar shells which were used by the thousands daily in Korea. Each shell contained about 25 pounds of steel. Certain special types of steel for certain parts of new or converted ships could stop construction, even though there was sufficient steel available in the shipyards generally.

The Government announced this date that it was considering buying airplanes from European member nations of NATO, utilizing funds from the Mutual Security Program, with the planes to be used primarily by the European nations in lieu of aid in the form of U.S. planes. The plan did not need separate Congressional approval, as the Mutual Security Act allowed the executive branch to determine how to use the appropriations for procurement of military equipment for Europe.

The President signed the 6.5 billion dollar foreign aid bill this date, though it was 18.6 percent, or about 1.5 billion dollars, less than he had declared was minimally necessary for the following fiscal year. In addition, however, the Defense Department was authorized to ship a maximum of a billion dollars worth of arms from its own stocks, to be financed by defense appropriations rather than foreign aid, allowing for making up most of the difference in the event of an emergency. The bill authorized the spending, but the actual appropriations still had to be voted, leaving the possibility that the question of foreign aid might again be debated. The bill placed a limit of 4.6 billion dollars on worldwide military assistance and 1.8 billion on economic aid. The President had requested 5.4 billion dollars for military aid and just short of 2.5 billion for economic aid. The military aid was to consist almost entirely of guns and tanks. Spain was mentioned by name for the first time in the aid bill, although 100 million dollars had been previously authorized for the Franco-led fascist dictatorship.

Senator John Williams of Delaware said this date, in a speech to the Senate, that the Treasury had failed for years to collect delinquent income taxes from racketeers Frank Costello and Philip Kastel and had written off over $315,000 in taxes due from the latter.

The Baltimore Sun reported this date that the State Department had ordered customs officials not to allow Owen Lattimore out of the country on an American passport. The Department declined comment but said that Mr. Lattimore had not applied for a passport. Mr. Lattimore indicated that he did not know what the story concerned.

East Germany's Communist Government had begun training women for work in the coal mines, possibly to free men for military duty.

From Bonn, it was reported by the West German Government that Communist-led Czechoslovakia had steeply increased its armed forces to 22 "first-class" divisions and that most of Czechoslovakia's heavy industry had been converted to production of arms, the Skoda Works at Pilsen having been renamed the "Lenin Works".

In Salt Lake City, the Utah delegates to the Democratic national convention reported the previous day that they were favoring Averell Harriman and Senator Robert Kerr for the nomination, with an Associated Press poll of 17 of the 20 delegates showing that seven supported Mr. Harriman and five Senator Kerr, leaving five undecided.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia added to the statements reported the previous day by the President, Senator Taft and General Eisenhower regarding taxes in the coming four years, by indicating that he believed the people would be willing to make the present tax sacrifice to keep the nation strong and did not see how taxes could be reduced without wrecking rearmament, a statement partially echoing that of the President, albeit the latter saying that, in truth, taxes ought be increased to meet the budget deficit. Senator Kefauver indicated that the country should first win the peace and then talk about cutting taxes, that talks of cuts amounted to daydreaming and ignorance of fiscal matters, or an empty promise to obtain votes. Mr. Harriman indicated the previous day that he did not see how either Senator Kefauver or Senator Russell could win the major blocs of Democratic votes in the North and West. He also stated that while General Eisenhower was a fine soldier and patriot, he was captive of reactionary Republican ideas, adding that he also disagreed with Senator Taft on practically every issue, foreign and domestic.

Senator Taft's remarks regarding his intention to reduce taxes by 15 percent had been broadcast via radio as an answer to the Abilene, Kans., speech earlier in the month by General Eisenhower. He said that the General was ill-informed on several issues, for instance stating that he favored a 40-billion dollar tax cut when he meant a 40-billion dollar reduction of the Federal budget. The General told the Oregon delegation in Denver that he had been talking about a budget reduction all along. The General would meet with the Idaho and Washington delegations in Denver this date and then would fly to Texas, reportedly to comment on the disputed Republican delegation from that state, reported to be "stolen" for Senator Taft from the supporters of General Eisenhower. Senator Everett Dirksen of Illinois, who would place Senator Taft's name in nomination at the convention, promised the previous night to support whomever the party nominee would be.

In Raleigh, the State Board of Education this date voted to reduce the size of classrooms in public schools from about 32 pupils to 30 during the coming school year. The move would trigger the need for 1,000 additional teachers, at a salary budget increase of about 3.3 million dollars, enabled by the transfer of 1.7 million dollars in surplus in the present year's appropriation to the following year's budget, a transfer approved by Governor Kerr Scott.

And, we must correct, for the sake of proper orthography and supplication, the first line of the "Evening Prayer", which begins, as printed, "In the quiteness of the evening..." It should read, "In the quietness of the evening…" You do not wish to pray in misspelled words, as we understand that God punishes the lazy orthographer, for a misspeller might become subject to the Devil's spelling. We leave room for the possibility that the word was simply misprinted by the printer's Devil.

On the editorial page, "A Bundle of Prejudices" tells of thousands of San Franciscans greeting Col. Francis Gabreski, an airman who had just returned from Korea, where he had become the nation's top living ace, credited with 40 enemy planes destroyed, 6.5 in Korea and 33.5 in Europe during World War II. He had told his many admirers about his father, who had come from Poland in 1904, looking for freedom and an opportunity to live, and in spite of the lack of knowledge of the language and customs, had worked hard for a dollar per day in a grocery store, until he was finally able to own his own grocery business, sufficing to earn a living enabling him to send his five sons and daughters to the university to become better citizens.

It indicates that most of the Gabreskis still lived in the old country, as did most of the DiMaggios in Sicily, the Jabaras in Lebanon, and the Kagawas in Japan, all of whom would likely never get to the U.S. Immigration had become increasingly difficult during recent years and if the McCarran-Walter bill, passed by Congress and awaiting determination by the President, were to become law, it would be even harder, resulting in second-class citizenship for immigrants.

The bill relied on the old racist quota system based on the 1920 census, assigning large quotas to countries which did not use them, and small ones to countries where most of the potential immigrants lived. Polish immigrants on the waiting list would have to wait until 1980 for admission because of the backlog. Only 185 Japanese, 105 Chinese and 100 other Asiatics would be permitted to enter the U.S. annually. Under the bill, citizens might lose their citizenship if, within five years of naturalization, they joined any organization which the Attorney General had denominated subversive or a Communist front, or within 10 years of obtaining citizenship, if they refused to testify before a Congressional committee investigating subversive activities.

The bill had largely been formulated by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada, and permitted Basque sheepherders more liberal immigration terms, accommodating the ranchers among his constituents. As usual, North Carolina's Senator Willis Smith was falling in line with the Nevada Senator who was his mentor, telling constituents that the bill would prevent a "flood of immigration". The piece regards that as "pure twaddle", as nothing approaching such a flood could occur under existing law, "and this bundle of prejudices will exclude many deserving persons."

It concludes that immigration had always been and continued to be a great asset and source of strength, rather than a liability to the country, that the nation had grown great because of its immigrants and that Congress, in passing the bill, had missed a great opportunity to modernize and liberalize "our racist immigration policy". It urges that the President veto the bill.

"The Hospitals Get a Break" tells of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for years having sent charity patients to local hospitals for care and then refused to pay the full cost of treatment, causing the hospitals to operate at a loss or to charge paying patients more to account for the loss in the care of the indigent patients.

During the week, the City Council and the County Commission had remedied this longstanding injustice, whereby the hospitals would be repaid on the basis of actual costs, less the $2.50 per patient per day the hospitals received from the Duke Endowment and the State, less the tax depreciation allowance for buildings. The County Government would thereby purchase charity hospitalization, as it purchased other goods and services, at the market price.

It suggests that if there were to be a remedy for the increasing cost of indigent health care, it would be in tighter regulation of the screening process. But one local official told the newspaper that he thought the system was already too rigid, that some who were genuinely deserving of indigent care were being denied hospitalization.

"Stands Perhaps, But No Cab Cruising" tells of the City Government, after long study and debate, having made fundamental changes in the city's cab regulations, requiring that meters replace flat fares, that leasing of cabs and cruising be ended, and that the companies be required to install and maintain a system for answering telephone calls. This new system had eliminated all of the old evils of the old, and the business of the cab companies now appeared to be on a sound basis, with good service reported in all parts of the city.

Two proposals to change the system were presently before the City Council, one to authorize cab stands in the business district and the other to remove the ban against cruising. It indicates that only the first proposal had merit, as regulated and properly placed uptown cab stands could improve service from the center of the town to residential areas, but that the second proposal should be rejected, as cruising caused a great amount of traffic congestion and relieved the companies of the responsibility of answering telephone calls.

Where do you stand on this important issue? Make your voice heard. Go to the meeting. Carry signs. "No cruising in our city!"

"Politics Stays in the Post Office" tells of the Senate having voted the prior Wednesday to continue the spoils system as a means of selecting postmasters, U.S. marshals and customs collectors, vetoing the President's three reorganization plans affecting those jobs.

The most important of the three plans had been the one concerning postmasters. At present, the postmasters of the larger post offices were chosen by the President from a Civil Service list, and then confirmed by the Senate. The appointments were made on the basis of recommendations by the appropriate Congressmen, who were inclined to recommend those who had helped them in their campaigns. Senatorial courtesy was the rule, whereby Senators approved the recommended postmasters. The rejected plan would have allowed the Postmaster General to select each postmaster from the Civil Service list, as he already did with the smaller post offices, and Senate confirmation would have been abolished.

It posits that the proposed system would have been far better than the existing system. About 93 percent of all Federal jobs were presently under Civil Service, and the Senate appeared determined not to allow the remainder to escape political patronage. The President had sought sincerely to take the post office out of politics, and so, it indicates, the next time post office jobs were sold in Mississippi or padded payrolls were discovered in Boston's post office, the voter could thank the 50-odd Senators, including both of North Carolina's Senators, Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith, who had voted against the plan.

Drew Pearson indicates that a lot had been said about the reasons for Governor Adlai Stevenson not wanting to run for the presidency, the most likely regarding his family, being a divorcee. He was reported to have been unhappily married for many years prior to the divorce and was said now to be in love with Dorothy Fosdick, daughter of the noted Baptist clergyman, Harry Emerson Fosdick. She was now a member of the State Department's policy and planning board, one of the top diplomatic jobs in the country. His former wife, Ellen Borden of Chicago, daughter of a Chicago lawyer, had always appeared to look down her nose a bit at marrying a boy from the corn belt, despite Governor Stevenson being the grandson of the former Vice-President to Grover Cleveland.

She had not liked Washington when Mr. Stevenson was made special counsel to Henry Wallace's Agricultural Adjustment Administration for a year at the beginning of FDR's first term, and then returning, prior to Pearl Harbor, as assistant to Secretary of the Navy Frank Knox. She had complained that he was always assistant to someone else and that their friends just talked about politics or economics, without understanding her favorite topic, art. He later became assistant to the Secretary of State and assistant to the U.S. delegation in establishing the U.N. She had, however, liked England when he was assigned a U.S. economic mission toward the end of the war in London, meeting people who appreciated literature.

When Mr. Stevenson was elected Governor of Illinois, Mrs. Stevenson did not seem to become happier, though he was no longer just an assistant. On the day of his inauguration, she started out buoyantly hospitable to guests, but then became bored and inclined to insult the people who came to their home and the politicians on whose cooperation his career depended. Eventually, she proposed divorce.

The Governor reportedly dreaded the most the effect which a presidential campaign might have on his two sons, and the publicity attendant the first divorced President to occupy the White House, should he win. Were he to remarry, the Catholic vote might not be tolerant, especially given that the prospective new bride would be the daughter of an outstanding Protestant cleric.

He concludes that those were some of the things which were weighing heavily in his mind against running, despite remaining the top choice of most Democratic leaders and having been the best Governor of Illinois in many years.

Congressional leaders doubted that they would be able to adjourn Congress before the Republican convention began on July 7. Instead, both houses would likely recess on July 5, and return on August 15 or September 15 to finish the business of the Senate.

Ed Murrow, on CBS, presumably a transcript of a radio broadcast, tells of the President, in a Rose Garden ceremony on May 21, having congratulated Geraldine Jones of Santa Barbara, California, for having been selected as "Teacher of the Year", and in the process expressing his gratitude for his own teachers and teachers generally for taking young minds and training them "to be citizens as they should be."

Mr. Murrow suggests that the President might have expanded his remarks to include the fact that in Mississippi, school teachers received an average of $1,462 per year, being an increase over the salary a year earlier. He might have also indicated that the country was short of classrooms and teachers, that 250,000 children were attending school in basements, rented store buildings and other such quarters not suited for classroom study. He might have reminded that in 1930, the country was spending about three percent of its national income on schools, that in 1932, during the depths of the Depression, it was spending a little more than five percent on education, while the previous year, had spent only 2.5 percent. He suggests that it could hardly be considered progress.

In 1949, the country's total expenditure for public schools, including new buildings, totaled about 5 billion dollars, whereas in the same year, the country spent as much for tobacco, 8 billion dollars for alcoholic beverages, and about 2.5 billion for admission to amusements, suggesting that the country did not have its priorities straight. The country still operated on the basis that the child who happened to be born in a poor state would obtain less good education than the child born in a state rich in revenue.

More was expected of teachers than required of the ordinary worker, and parents tended to assign their responsibilities to the teacher, who was expected to lead a more exemplary existence than required of other citizens, while receiving second-class pay. Communities which offered good conditions of work and paid good salaries were able to retain their teachers and obtain new and good ones, while communities paying low salaries and affording unfavorable conditions wound up with shortages of teachers, in both quantity and quality.

Mr. Murrow indicates that the average citizen could recognize that there were not enough good schools staffed with enough competent and well-paid teachers and that the citizen could do something about the problem, "in the hope that his investment will pay dividends in terms of human beings better able to cope with the problems that will still be there when they grow up."

Marquis Childs finds that the old movie serial, "The Perils of Pauline", had nothing in the way of cliff-hanging suspense on the current Republican race for the presidency, which appeared headed for a photo-finish at the convention. The strategy in the Eisenhower camp would be based on the belief that on the first ballot, Senator Taft would narrowly fail to achieve the necessary majority for nomination of 603 votes. His total might reach 550, anything above that line sending chills through the Eisenhower managers, as favorite sons might be then moved to switch to the Taft camp even before the end of the first ballot. After the first ballot, the Eisenhower forces would storm the heights and win victory on the second ballot. The tipoff would come with California, fourth in the roll call of the states, as Governor Earl Warren would deliver to General Eisenhower not fewer than 50, and probably nearly 60, of the state's 70 delegate votes, touching off a wild demonstration, designed to lead to other states turning to the General. Michigan would also report a big gain for him on the second ballot, as would Pennsylvania, with Governor John Fine delivering virtually all of that state's 70 delegates. By the end of the second ballot, General Eisenhower would be nominated.

As a result of this strategy, Senator William Knowland of California would become the vice-presidential nominee, with the full consent of Governor Warren, who had been the nominee for the vice-presidency with Governor Dewey in 1948. Senator Knowland had recently won both the Republican and Democratic primaries in the Senate race, in California's peculiar cross-voting system.

He indicates that in several states, the old-timers had been replaced as national committeemen and committeewomen with younger leaders, accomplished in many instances with the votes from Eisenhower supporters. But the old-timers would continue to hold their seats on the RNC throughout the convention and would vote, even though they had been repudiated in their home states, regarding which delegates were to be provided temporary seats pending a convention vote on the contested delegations. Those lame ducks could do a lot to distort the convention machinery for Senator Taft.

"There may well be, as the Ike forces insist, a new Republican Party struggling to be born. But the stubborn hand of the past still has a grip on the future."

How different the history of the country might have been had the strategy of nominating Senator Knowland as the vice-presidential nominee been followed by the convention, rather than turning to the other California Senator. But, what might have been never was, and we cannot live our lives in the hypothetical past, for better or worse.

A letter writer indicates that a person was in Mecklenburg County rounding up an organization to work for Charles R. Jonas, the Republican nominee for the Congressional seat currently held by Hamilton Jones. The man intended to conduct "an intelligent campaign and educational program as well as a vote getting crusade," according to what the writer had heard. He suggests that Mr. Jonas would be better off without this individual, that the people of the district knew Mr. Jonas and did not need to be "rounded up" by anyone.

A letter writer from Pittsboro tells of finding that both the Greensboro Daily News and The News were for General Eisenhower for the Republican nomination. He indicates that he was for Senator Taft, but respected the editorial staffs of both of those publications. He responds to the contention that the Taft supporters had stolen delegates in the Southern states with the notion that it was a bit arrogant for the Democratic and independent voters who were supporting General Eisenhower, though necessary for the Republicans to win, to seek to supplant the Old Guard Republicans in the local organizations, after the latter had carried the burden of organization through the years.

A letter writer from Monroe indicates that he believed that the country was evolving toward a one-party system, where party loyalty would be subordinate to American loyalty. He indicates that instead of separating church and state, "true Christianity is the greatest need of the American government, and most of all a welfare state is needed." He believes that the government should be highly concerned with the welfare and well-being of all of the American people.

A letter writer responds to another letter writer who had written about the Texas Republican convention fiasco, and wonders whether the same writer would apply the same reasoning regarding Senator Taft, that possession was nine-tenths of the law, to the episode in which Russia had just shot down a Swedish plane while it searched for another lost plane off Estonia. If it were so, he posits, then Russia would be nine-tenths in the right, and Senator Taft, as President, would close his eyes to the matter until the Russians began shooting at U.S. ships, as the Senator was "right much of an isolationist". He indicates that the Senator was a smart man and would not likely do anything which he did not feel was for the good of the country, but unfortunately had not learned enough about foreign affairs. Thus, he believes it was the "time, place and moment" for a man with General Eisenhower's knowledge, both in foreign affairs and the armed forces, and that no other American was so well-qualified to lead the country at this time.

Rather than a wall, the present "Administration" should just erect a giant silkscreen copy of this date's Herblock. It would be much cheaper, si o no?

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