The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 21, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. 45th Division infantrymen this date had repulsed a reinforced Chinese Communist regiment in a savage five-hour fight for "T-Bone Hill" in western Korea, with the enemy losing about 600 killed or wounded in the night fighting, which included hand grenade and bayonet contact. The reinforced regiment, estimated to number between 3,000 and 4,000 men, had attacked west of Chorwon under cover of one of the heaviest Communist artillery barrages of the war. For a time, advance U.S. units withdrew in the face of the heavy fire and some units were cut off at times, the battle ending at dawn with the 45th Division in firm possession of outposts along the hills. The Chinese attack ended a three-day lull which had followed six days of heavy fighting to regain the hill. A U.S. Eighth Army briefing officer estimated that Communist casualties numbered 300 killed and more than 300 wounded, bringing total enemy losses to more than 2,500 in the fight for the hills. U.S. casualties had not been announced.

On the east central front, the South Korean Sixth Division held against a Chinese battalion entrenched southeast of Kumsong. Elsewhere along the front, there was light patrol action.

At the U.N., the U.S. had put Russia on the spot by demanding a U.N.-sponsored inquiry by the Security Council into Soviet germ warfare charges against the U.S. in Korea. The proposal included a stipulation that the International Red Cross would be responsible for the inquiry. The Communists had already rejected U.S. requests for an investigation by the Red Cross and had denounced the Red Cross as a biased organization. The move would mean that Russia could either veto the proposal or Communist China and North Korea could refuse to allow investigators to enter their territories. In either case, the germ warfare issue as a propaganda move could backfire on Russia. The matter would be debated the following Monday afternoon.

The House tentatively voted to lift price controls from virtually all consumer goods and drastically reorganize the Wage Stabilization Board. A coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats were in control of the legislation, and Administration leaders had conceded that they had little chance to block adoption of a provision in the bill, already passed by the Senate, requesting the President to invoke Taft-Hartley in the steel strike. Absences during the primary campaign season had sapped the Administration's support.

The State Department had ordered customs officials to bar the exit from the country of Owen Lattimore, while it investigated an official tip that he was arranging to visit behind the Iron Curtain. The story had first been reported by the Baltimore Sun the previous day, but had not been confirmed until this date. Mr. Lattimore had stated that he knew nothing about the matter.

Senator Taft predicted at a news conference this date that he and General Eisenhower would agree at the Chicago Republican convention, to begin July 7, on a foreign policy plank, being drafted by John Foster Dulles, and thereby remove what the Senator called the "dangerous element" of a party split. He predicted his own nomination on an early ballot and charged Eisenhower supporters with using state patronage in efforts to put pressure on Taft delegates in New York and New Jersey to vote for the General. He said that he did not know how the Eisenhower forces could break through to win at this point. The Senator renewed his offer to settle the disputed Texas delegation.

General Eisenhower was heading for Texas from Denver this date, and from Texas, would then go to Nevada, to meet with supporters and delegates. Paul Hoffman, adviser to the campaign, said that he was having trouble raising funds for the campaign, as Wall Street was not behind them, that Senator Taft was more attractive to the people with large amounts of money. He also said that he would not accept appointment as Secretary of State in an Eisenhower administration as he wished to remain as head of the Ford Foundation. He said that with the General as the nominee, the party would pick up the votes of 3 to 4 million young people which otherwise it would not obtain. He said that it was likely the General would address a television and radio audience for 15 minutes on Monday night, regarding national defense and a program for world peace.

In London, the Government filed four new charges of espionage against William Martin Marshall, the 24-year old Foreign Office radio operator accused of spying for Russia. The prosecution said that highly secret documents had been found in his possession, and he was being held without bail. Three of the new charges accused him of providing the Soviets with information on three days in April, May and June, and the fourth charge accused him of obtaining secret information.

In Rio de Janeiro, troops, Air Force planes, and boats rushed to the aid of three Brazilian coastal towns being terrorized by 400 heavily armed escaped convicts. The previous day, the convicts had smashed their way out of an island prison, where some of Brazil's most desperate criminals were incarcerated. One of the convicts had been killed, another injured, and 16 captured.

In Pittsburgh, the striking United Steelworkers union was beginning to issue food orders for its members and their families. Hundreds of the strikers had appealed to the union for relief and had been referred to New York State welfare agencies, but in the meantime, the hardship cases were being issued food orders by the union. In Pittsburgh, where some 100,000 steelworkers were striking, grocery sales had been falling. Many of the strikers were looking for odd jobs, working for contractors or engaging in yard work or the like.

There was speculation in New York that the negotiations to resolve the steel strike were shortly to be renewed. Both United Steelworkers Union president Philip Murray and the union attorney, future Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg, had arrived in New York at the same time as Benjamin Fairless, president of U.S. Steel, and other steel executives, fueling the speculation. There was no confirmation, however, of the rumor, and Administration sources said they had no information about imminent renewal of the talks.

In New York, twenty more policemen, including five captains, had been suspended from the police force for allegedly protecting Harry Gross, Brooklyn's chief bookie. All twenty faced departmental trials. If found guilty, the accused policemen faced dismissal from the force and loss of pension rights.

In Austin, Nevada, black acres of dead crickets lay rotting in the desert sun this date, as the weary residents of the small mining community appeared to have won their battle against the "ravenous horde". The crickets had advanced on a 20-mile front before being stopped by 40 tons of poisoned barley spread in their path only a quarter-mile from the town's water supply, which, if contaminated by the crickets, would have forced the 325 residents to flee.

In London, the Duke of Edinburgh had a bad cold and had to stay indoors for several days, according to Buckingham Palace. He and Queen Elizabeth had been entertaining at Windsor Palace during the Royal Ascot race during the week. Life is tough all around…

On the editorial page, "Urban Redevelopment—Alive and Well" comments on the Urban Redevelopment law passed by the General Assembly in 1951, and the problems it was posing because of its definition of a "blighted area" and the resulting limits of the power of eminent domain to purchase the area and then redevelop it. The slum shacks in Charlotte fell within its definition, except for the fact that it qualified as "standard" housing under Charlotte's housing ordinance. The Urban Redevelopment Commission and the city, however, believed that the vast majority of the renovated slum houses would still qualify under the "blighted area" definition, and anticipated no problem therefore in being able to purchase them under eminent domain.

It expresses optimism that those dedicated to urban redevelopment would be able to compromise their differences and meet the standards of the law while taking care of the necessary redevelopment in the city.

"A 20th Century Potemkin" tells of Grigory Potemkin having loved his sovereign, Catherine II, and she had responded to his attention and fidelity by placing him high in Russia's governing circles. When she visited South Russia to see what he was doing, his loyal followers danced and clapped for her, leading her to believe that they loved Potemkin, when in fact he had kept the dissidents away from her and hustled his supporters from one spontaneous demonstration to another.

It indicates that it was reminded of the story by a news item from Chicago which had stated that the Taft forces, not content with snatching whole delegations, selecting the keynoter and temporary chairman of the convention, and packing key convention committees, had also gathered up all the tickets for the gallery seats, to pack them with Taft supporters. They also intended to put other non-delegate Taft supporters in a large anteroom of the convention hall and then turn them loose in "spontaneous demonstrations" on the floor at appropriate times.

It trusts that the Republican Party would not be so naïve as to fall for the 18th century tactics of Potemkin.

"Boating Is Fine—And Dangerous, Too" tells of small boating accidents not rating large headlines because typically the fatalities only amounted to one to three persons, unlike airline crashes, a polio epidemic, or the sinking of a large excursion craft. Nevertheless, small boats were dangerous, especially in the summer months, as revealed by a study by a large insurance company, showing that about 1,200 persons per year drowned as a result of such accidents. In 1949, motorboats, rowboats, canoes and the like accounted for four out of every five drownings from water-borne transportation accidents. The summer months accounted for the largest toll, and the 15 to 24 age group accounted for about a quarter of the deaths. Motor-driven craft caused about 60 percent of the drownings, and in a like percentage, the person involved was fishing. Sudden storms accounted for many of the drownings, while others were caused by overcrowding, speeding, riding waves, sharp turning, and changing places in midstream.

It advises that the small boat was a vehicle for pleasure, but could also become a death trap when operated carelessly by inexperienced persons.

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Machination and Morality", finds that the political steamroller carried with it more dangers than met the eye, as the Texas Republican delegation to the convention had been ramrodded through by the Taft supporters in Texas, while the arrangements committee at the convention had selected an array of pro-Taft men to fill crucial and traditionally impartial posts, including the keynote speaker and temporary chairman of the convention. These actions had prompted warnings from commentators and newspaper editorial pages that the tactics could split the Republican Party and smother for years the hopes of a two-party system in the South, repel independent voters, and thus potentially cost the Republicans the November election and perhaps exile the party to the wilderness for another long term of years.

For the Democrats to rejoice at such a prospect would be shortsighted, as some of the Democrats were also guilty of some steamroller tactics and neither party could remain immune from the effects of those tactics, including corruption in office and opposition by smear tactics, brought on by the general political immorality which surrounded the steamroller efforts.

The object of the tactics was ultimately to thwart the will of the people and ensure that their voices would not be heard at the convention. Such, it posits, was an affront to the spirit of democracy and representative government. It concludes that for a great political party to indulge in "cynical machinations" regarding the presidency, would be calamitous.

Drew Pearson indicates that the President, according to his close advisers, wanted to see the Republicans nominate Senator Taft. That desire had been behind the President's decision not to interfere with General MacArthur giving the keynote address at the convention, as the General was a supporter of Senator Taft.

The Judge Advocate General, ordered by Secretary of the Army Frank Pace to investigate whether the General could engage in any form of campaigning or convention speeches, had determined that the General had been violating the Hatch Act. He also uncovered that the General could not retire and continue to draw his $19,000 per year salary, and so desired to remain on active duty. If he were to retire, he could make all the political speeches he wanted.

Secretary Pace and the brass at the Pentagon, who were much more favorable to General Eisenhower than to General MacArthur, had been anxious to put General MacArthur in his place. But the President relented. Mr. Pearson posits that among the reasons were that the President had not been happy about the cracks which General Eisenhower had made about the Administration after all of the help the President had given to the General, that a MacArthur speech slanted against General Eisenhower would not hurt many feelings around the White House, and that if Senator Taft became the nominee, it was believed that Governor Adlai Stevenson, the choice of the President for the Democratic nomination, could be persuaded to run, as he did not wish to run against his old friend, General Eisenhower. The President also believed that Senator Taft would be easier to beat.

Senator Kefauver, however, had expressed the opinion privately that General Eisenhower would be easier to beat than Senator Taft, based on the fact that with General Eisenhower as the nominee, foreign policy would not be an issue and that with the campaign focused on domestic issues, Senator Kefauver would have an advantage, with 20 years of experience dealing with complicated questions of labor legislation, farm ceilings, and Social Security. While the Senator had cleaned up Democratic corruption, the Republicans had tolerated influence-peddling by retaining Guy Gabrielson as their national chairman, in addition to the activities of Senators Joseph McCarthy, Styles Bridges, and Owen Brewster. The General had no experience in domestic affairs and would have to rely on advisers to tell him what to say and do. Senator Kefauver also believed that with the General as the nominee, the campaign would be more honorable and gentlemanly, as Senator Taft's supporters already had condoned the worst type of McCarthyism, resorting to anti-Semitism, sex and poor health to question General Eisenhower's fitness for the job. Senator James Duff of Pennsylvania, one of the central backers of the General, had called it "the dirtiest tactics" he had ever seen in any American political campaign. Senator Kefauver also believed that with the General as the nominee, the Republicans would become too overconfident and make the same mistake they had in 1948.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss George F. Kennan's return to Moscow for the first time since the war, as Ambassador to Russia, having developed, as chief State Department planner, the policy of containment regarding Communism. He and Charles Bohlen had been the top State Department experts on the Soviets. Thus, the fact that Mr. Kennan was alarmed at the state of affairs in Russia was significant.

His understanding of matters had been borne out previously, such as when he warned that the Communist Chinese would intervene in Korea if General MacArthur sent his armies to the Yalu River in November, 1950.

He had stated prior to leaving for Moscow that he had no illusions about being able to negotiate the Soviet-American differences and that the Soviets would never cease their aggression. But he also indicated that the Kremlin did not wish to risk a general war, and it was on that basis that American foreign policy was being formulated for the previous several months. The Soviets had learned their lesson in Korea and henceforth would avoid any move which would risk general war.

The most disturbing thing to Mr. Kennan was the increase in Soviet propaganda against America, for the first time extending against the American people, not just the "imperialists" of Wall Street, and aiming that propaganda for the first time at the Russian people.

Marquis Childs discusses the victory of Averell Harriman in the District of Columbia primary during the week, winning by a margin of 4 to 1 over Senator Kefauver, who had only lost previously the Florida primary to Senator Richard Russell

Senator Kefauver's managers had dismissed the victory as the result of heavy campaigning in the District by Administration surrogates for the handpicked candidate. While the Hatch Act prevented Federal employees from engaging in campaigns, it did not stop their spouses, who had been quite active in support of Mr. Harriman.

Mr. Harriman, while a dedicated public servant, was perceived as humorless and somewhat solemn, and so reporters had been reluctant to take his candidacy seriously. But for the previous few weeks, he had begun to take it quite seriously and was enjoying campaigning as much as anything he had ever done. His great appeal was to the black vote, as he was uncompromising on civil rights, advocating a compulsory FEPC, the basis, according to some observers, for his victory in D.C. He believed passionately in the ideal that a Democrat could win only by taking an uncompromising stand on all of the major issues, that the Democratic nominee had to lead a crusade. On civil rights, for example, it was not just the black vote at stake in such key states as New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Illinois, but also other minority voters who had to be persuaded to vote. Their indifference could mean defeat in a close election.

William Bell, presumably a.k.a. "Wild Bill" Williamson, in the Arizona hills, writes that snakes of all descriptions were enemies of man and to be avoided at all times, though some species, such as the bull snake, seemed as humans and many people considered them pets. Ranchers he knew liked to have them around to catch rats and keep other snakes away from the premises. But to Mr. Bell, they were just snakes and he gave them a wide berth.

One type of snake which he had previously feared but had now befriended was the diamondback rattler, which had caused the deaths of many prospectors and others in the Southwest, causing suffering in the process. When he was armed, he killed every rattlesnake he came across, except the large diamondback, with several buttons and many rattles, because, while it looked and sounded vicious, it never coiled or offered to strike, always keeping its distance. He regarded it as one rattlesnake which was friendly, as it guarded the highest grade of gold, silver and lead ore he had ever seen in Arizona.

After he had made his discovery, it was several years before he could return, and initially had been unable to locate his claim, until a rattler guided him to the spot. After taking his ore back to town and selling it, he returned a few days later to find the rattlesnake again guarding the spot. Every time he went back for the high grade ore, he saw and heard the rattlesnake, following the same trail into the rocks. The snake appeared to be glad to see him. The sound of its rattles no longer sent chills up his spine and he was no longer afraid of this particular snake.

Because of the heat of summer, he had abandoned his project and would leave the rattlesnake to guard his diggings until September, when he would go again. If the rattlesnake were not there when he returned, he would miss it and if he knew what kind of food it liked, he would take it some. He wanted it to remain happy. He believed that if he were to die of thirst or hunger, the rattlesnake would guard his carcass until the buzzards came for the feast.

A letter writer from Hildebran asks the editors whether, if General Eisenhower were to become the Republican nominee, the newspaper would continue to support him through the general election.

The editors respond that it was highly likely, but that they could not state the problem or solve it until the various factors were known.

Come September, we are anxiously awaiting how you will regard the game of Checkers and cloth coats and Oldsmobiles... But all in good time.

Where will Mr. Bell stand on those issues?

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