The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 24, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Air Force and Navy fighter-bombers again struck four of the five Communist hydroelectric plants which had been hit with bombs the previous day in the largest air raid of the war in Korea, involving 500 planes. This time, nearly 200 Navy planes from carriers off Korea's east coast had joined Air Force planes from dozens of Korean bases to hit the already shattered generating stations for the second straight day. The only plant which was spared from the previous day's bombing was the giant Suiho generating station, fourth largest in the world, which had been virtually destroyed the prior day, reduced, according to an official spokesman, to a "pile of junk". The Air Force said that the planes this date completed the destruction of two of the power stations near Changjin Reservoir and two on the Songchon River in eastern Korea. There were strong hints that other enemy targets would soon be hit, as the allies now realized, according to one unidentified spokesman, that the best chance for breaking the deadlock in the truce talks was to hit the enemy with all of the force at the allies' command.

All of the Air Force planes had returned safely from the previous day's bombing missions, but the Navy had lost one plane to anti-aircraft fire with four others hit, but no pilots lost. No one at U.N. headquarters indicated where the order had originated to bomb the power plants, which had been spared since the beginning of the war but now appeared to be an expedient by which to force the Communists to resolve the truce, which had been stuck on the single issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners for the previous month and a half, the Communists contending that the 70,000 prisoners held by the U.N. who had indicated their desire to repatriate were not enough.

In ground action, the U.S. Eighth Army reported increased patrol action along the front, with one allied patrol battling for almost two hours with a Communist unit west of Chorwon, an area of heavy fighting for the T Hill group during the previous two weeks. About 20 enemy troops had been killed.

In London, Labor Party leaders protested in Commons the attacks on the power plants, for threatening to extend the hostilities in Korea. Prime Minister Winston Churchill admitted that he had no advance notice of the bombings, but said that the attacks had "the entirely legitimate object of decreasing the enemy war potential."

Senator Taft stated to a news conference that he did not believe the bombing of the hydroelectric plants would lead to a third world war and that it should have been done much earlier. He also said that he believed that the Manchurian supply bases of the Communist armies in China could be attacked directly without playing with fire, but that the Russian Air Force and ground fire had become so strong that it was almost impossible now to bomb Manchuria adequately. He was meeting in Hershey, Pa., with Governor John Fine and a majority of that state's 70 delegates to the Republican convention. He said that he had a very pleasant conversation with the Governor about many national and international issues, as well as Republican politics. The Governor attended the press conference but did not indicate whether he had made up his mind regarding which candidate he would support, a decision believed to be crucial to how that important delegation would vote. The Senator indicated that he thought he had about half of the national delegate strength, a "very conservative" estimate. He believed that he had a minimum of 20 delegate votes from Pennsylvania.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee this date approved the agreement entered by Secretary of State Acheson the previous month, to have West Germany participate on an equal basis in NATO, and rejected a proposal which would have denied the President the right to send troops abroad without the consent of Congress. The vote on the West German measure was 9 to 1, with Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa casting the only dissenting vote. Senator Hickenlooper had proposed the restriction on sending troops to Europe. The Committee had approved the previous day the peace contract with West Germany, also entered by Secretary Acheson, which would end Western occupation. The agreements, in addition to ratification by the U.S., also had to be ratified by the other signatory nations, West Germany, Britain and France.

The Senate Labor Committee this date approved a bill sponsored by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota, permitting the President to seize the steel industry to end the current strike. The Committee also approved a measure sponsored by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon which would allow the President to seize any vital defense industry, subject to Congressional veto, to avert a strike. Both bills had been rejected by the full Senate earlier in the month when they had been offered as amendments to the legislation to continue wage and price controls. They would now be calendared for Senate debate, but whether the Senate would agree to consider them again remained unclear.

The Labor Committee also approved a new civil rights bill, forbidding racial or other discrimination by employers. But even its backers admitted that there was no hope for passage before Congress adjourned for the national conventions. The measure would establish a Fair Employment Practices Commission, albeit under a new name, the Federal Equal Opportunity for Employment commission, which would write rules forbidding discrimination in hiring and other employment problems for reasons of race, religion or national origin, applicable to industries engaging in interstate commerce and employing 50 or more persons. The commission would have no authority to enforce the rules, but could go to Federal court to obtain compliance orders, the violations of which would then be punishable as contempt. The former FEPC proposal had compulsory compliance measures, with criminal penalties for violation.

The Senate Appropriations Committee eliminated a House-approved rider to a bill financing the State, Justice and Commerce Departments, which had barred the President from sending an ambassador to the Vatican without Congressional approval.

The Government lifted its ban on the manufacture of color television sets for home and theater use, with the National Production Authority replacing the ban with an order permitting manufacture by firms which could prove that color television would not obstruct their defense output. The administrator indicated, however, that he believed few producers of radio and television sets could so qualify, as they were heavily engaged in the defense program.

In Denver, General Eisenhower said at a news conference this date that he hoped that a foreign policy plank acceptable both to him and Senator Taft could be written into the Republican platform at the convention. He said that he did not want to see a bitter convention fight over the plank. In his 15-minute foreign policy speech the previous night, televised via NBC, he had characterized the Senator as among the nation's isolationists, prompting a reporter to ask him this date whether he was trying to place the Senator on the defensive in the final stages of the campaign for the nomination, to which the General replied in the negative, stating that he believed someone had to preach the truth about those matters. He said that he believed the Senator, as President, would "sit at home with an Air Force to be dispatched into the wild blue yonder". He indicated that he did not believe that mere retaliatory power was enough to win the peace and that the U.S. had to lead the free world against the "godless dictatorship of Communism". He released a letter written by him to John Foster Dulles, outlining the fundamentals of a foreign policy plank which would be acceptable to him, saying that America could not live alone in the world and that its policies had to be developed for its own enlightened self-interest in combating Communist dictatorship, and that the minimum requirement for those programs was the ability to trade freely, in spite of anything Russia might do, with those areas from which the country obtained its vital raw materials. He indicated that meant the development of collective security measures for the free world. He also said that the Administration's foreign policy had been based on a year-to-year proposition.

Some supporters of Senator Taft were discussing a move to nominate General MacArthur as the vice-presidential candidate, provided the Senator became the nominee. The General, who would deliver the keynote address at the convention in Chicago, had openly supported the Senator for the nomination. The supporters of General Eisenhower stated in response that the Senator would not achieve the nomination and would have no say, therefore, in the choice of the vice-presidential nominee. An aide to General MacArthur, Maj. General Courtney Whitney, denied that General MacArthur wanted General Eisenhower to withdraw from the presidential race in 1947 so that the way could be cleared for General MacArthur to run for the Republican nomination in 1948, that "no political intercourse" of any sort had taken place between the two generals. (He would have been better advised, to avoid sophomoric titters, to employ the phrase "no political discourse". This is politics, General, not the military.) That assertion had been in response to a statement to that effect made by Lt. General R. L. Eichelberger of Asheville, N.C., in announcing his support for General Eisenhower for the nomination. General Whitney also stated that General MacArthur was not opposed to the election of professional soldiers to public office, but was strongly opposed to the development of a military state.

In Boston the previous night, former Senator Sinclair Weeks, chairman of the Republican finance committee, urged Senator Taft to quit the race for the nomination and support General Eisenhower, to which Senator Taft responded that the suggestion was "ridiculous". He said that it was too bad that Mr. Weeks did not have the same ability in politics that he had in raising money.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one providing the most current assessment of relative strength of the Republican candidates for the presidency, showing that General Eisenhower led among Republicans by 44 percent to 35 percent for Senator Taft, with General MacArthur in a distant third place with 10 percent support. Among voters who regarded themselves as independents, the General led Senator Taft by a 5 to 2 ratio. Among Republican county chairmen, however, Senator Taft led the General 61 percent to 31 percent. The poll showed only minor changes since the previous poll of June 4 reported that General Eisenhower led Senator Taft 43 percent to 36 percent.

In Charlotte, John L. Wilkinson, 65, who had for many years been a leader in numerous phases of Charlotte's business, civic and religious affairs, had died after a long period of declining health, with his condition having been critical during the previous month. He and his brother had founded the Carolina Transfer & Storage Co. and he had continued as president of it until his death, but had been inactive because of his declining health for the previous two years. He was nationally known as a leader in various organizations concerned with motor transport and commercial warehousing.

On page 3-B, radio and television critic John Crosby writes that the new medium of television and the old medium of circus acts were getting along fine together.

On the editorial page, "Two Years in Korea—The Positive Side" tells of the second anniversary approaching the next day of the start of the Korean War, as the North Korean forces had crossed the 38th parallel into South Korea. A year earlier from the previous day, chief Russian delegate to the U.N., Jakob Malik, had proposed that the sides enter truce negotiations, which then formally began July 10. The previous day, the largest bombing raid of the war had transpired against the power plants along the Yalu River, leaving most of North Korea and parts of Manchuria in the dark.

It reviews the positive achievements for the U.N. forces out of the Korean War, despite, thus far, the absence of an armistice. The Russian and Communist aggression, which had been moving apace without resistance prior to Korea, and had been emboldened by the Communist victory in China and the acquisition, without resistance, of European satellites, had been stanched for the prior two years.

Initially, with America demobilized, the U.N. forces had been thrown back to the Pusan beachhead, followed in September, 1950, by the end-around maneuver at Inchon, enabling the allies to penetrate North Korea, and eventually march to the Yalu by November. That was followed by the Communist Chinese entry to the war in force, pushing back the allies once again in December and January, and nearly forcing evacuation from Korea. But as the American forces, and hence the U.N. forces, began steadily to build up on the peninsula with troops increasingly seasoned by the fighting, the spring offensive of the Communists in 1951 had dismally failed with heavy enemy losses, leading to a stalemate, which had prompted the truce talks. For the previous year, fighting had been relatively light, while the allies continued, with their air superiority, routinely to bomb Communist supply routes and depots in North Korea.

Not only had the Communist aggression been thereby stopped in its tracks, the allied fighters had learned new lessons in combating infiltration, in night fighting, in dealing with fanatics, and in operating on unfavorable terrain. It revealed to the allies that the Communists were able fighters and that their Russian equipment was good. More importantly, the war had shaken the country from its lethargy, making it realize that the Soviets would resort to direct aggression where indirect means had failed. The result had been the rearmament program, strengthening of the country's military forces by several times and greatly expanding the industrial base on which the defense program depended. The Communist timetable for the conquest of the Far East had been disrupted, encouraging non-Communists everywhere and fostering new collective security agreements in Europe, with NATO, and in the Pacific, with the Japanese peace treaty and the separate U.S.-Japan pact, as well pacts with Australia and New Zealand, given rise to the Bonn agreement with West Germany, and prompted the building of a worldwide system of air and naval bases from which speedy retaliatory measures could be launched in the event of Russian aggression.

It concludes that the invasion of Korea two years earlier had marked the turning point in the struggle between freedom and Communism, such that Russia, which had been on the offensive up to that time, was now on the defensive to the initiative taken by the U.N. nations. These were intangible benefits, compared with the loss of American lives and the heavy tax burden to the country for the war, and it appeared at times that the country's ineptness had limited or even neutralized those advantages. But, it indicates, no matter what occurred in the future, it was confident that the previous two years would bulk large in the history of the 20th Century, as the free world had stood together in the face of the "greatest threat of modern times". It was no longer fearful of Communist aggression but was confident that it could be resisted anywhere, just as it had been in Korea.

"Patronage and Pork" finds that it had been a meaningful coincidence that the Senate had rejected the three reorganization plans submitted by the President, which would have taken the postmasters, the U.S. marshals and the customs collectors out of the patronage category and placed them under the Civil Service system, and at the same time defeated efforts to trim the fat from the Congressional pork barrel of the rivers, harbors and flood control bill. Both North Carolina Senators, Clyde Hoey and Willis Smith, had voted against the reorganization plans, and had also voted against the ten percent cut of the rivers and harbors bill, offered by Senators Homer Ferguson and Styles Bridges. Another amendment, offered by Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois, would have reduced the bill by 100 million dollars, and both North Carolina Senators also voted against that one. Senator Guy Gillette of Iowa had proposed to increase the appropriation by eight million dollars, for which Senator Smith voted, but Senator Hoey opposed. Senator Ferguson then had sought again to reduce the amount of the bill by about 13 million dollars, for which Senator Hoey voted but Senator Smith opposed. Another attempt by Senator Ferguson to cut funding for flood control by about 12 million dollars also failed, with Senator Hoey voting against it and Senator Smith for it.

In the end, the total 667 million dollars authorized by the measure passed without restrictions, an increase in the Senate from the House measure providing for 492 million dollars.

"The 'Utility' Editorial" tells of Hoke Norris of the Winston-Salem Journal-Sentinel having written a utility editorial for The Masthead, the quarterly publication of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, in which he presents boilerplate language with appropriate blank spaces, which an editorial writer could fill in with any particular issue, be it relevant to the state, nation, world, or universe.

The editorial is provided, should you have a desire to produce one on your favorite topic.

The question we have is whether Mr. Norris worked for the Journal or the Sentinel. Only the Sunday editions were dubbed jointly, and no one actually worked for both publications while the Sentinel was extant. Inquiring minds want to know.

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Where Are Those Hams?"—which might be smartly answered, "Probably with the pork"—tells of North Carolina producing the best hams, as had been validated by a judge from Mississippi at a ham show recently in Durham. But, it complains, Virginia had a better marketing and advertising system, such that one could not find out where to get the good hams in North Carolina, and so tended to shop for Smithfield hams. It counsels the state to quit hiding its hams.

Elizabeth Blair of the News tells of Charlotte Mayor Victor Shaw's investigating committee proposing to establish a United Community Services plan, which would eliminate the need for the Community Chest, performing essentially the same services, but including state and national services as well as local agencies. She explains the proposed new program in detail.

Drew Pearson tells of Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada having pulled a fast one in trying to slip an amendment past the Senate, requiring the taxpayers to pay for the net loss of any contractor who had lost money on a defense contract with the Government since the end of World War II and well into the future. Senator Francis Case of South Dakota had spotted something fishy about the amendment and insisted that the floor vote on it be delayed for 15 days, while he wrote to Comptroller General Lindsay Warren, inquiring about the bill and its fiscal soundness. By doing so, he had saved the taxpayers many millions of dollars.

Congressman Oren Harris of Arkansas had sought to laugh off a $200 dinner date with Pan American Airways vice-president, J. Carroll Cone, after Mr. Harris had voted against Pan Am in 1950 on the question of separating mail pay from Government subsidies, but switching his vote after the Pan Am representative paid the check for Mr. Harris and his wife at a Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner, and even took the initiative in committee by introducing the Pan Am substitute. Mr. Harris had joked that at least the Democratic Party got the money for the two $100 per plate dinners, but Mr. Pearson adds that Pan Am stood to gain 17 million dollars of taxpayer money from the bill Mr. Harris was now backing.

The President had urged the local Democratic machine in the District of Columbia to get out the vote for Averell Harriman in his successful primary race against Senator Estes Kefauver, beating him 4 to 1, only the second primary loss by Senator Kefauver. Mr. Pearson indicates that the President had resented Senator Kefauver trouncing him in the New Hampshire primary—though the President, at that point, had practically taken himself out of the race and remained in it only at the urging of the DNC chairman, Frank McKinney, so that the delegates pledged to the President would not lose their seats for the convention. The President had made his civil rights speech at Howard University during the thick of the D.C. primary race, fully aware that the black vote in D.C. would be determinative. Mr. Pearson indicates that the immediate result of the trouncing had been to put Senator Kefauver on the spot with black voters, but that the long-term result would be to defeat home rule for D.C., because it was obvious that the black population of the District would vote along racial lines if given the franchise. He indicates that election observers spotted taxis and two automobiles ferrying black voters to various polling places, where they redundantly cast their ballots, enabled by lax primary rules requiring voters only to sign a statement that they were Democrats, and not double checking their names or whether they had voted elsewhere on election day. He notes that only 19,000 votes had been cast in a city approaching a population of a million.

Frank Edwards, who was one of the most forthright radio reporters around, was about to have the rug pulled out from under him by three AFL unions, because his program, uniquely sponsored by labor unions, had done too well, such that the Republicans would not be cooperative with the AFL if they saw that the Edwards program was constantly fighting them on the radio every night.

He notes that two small steel companies had signed agreements with the union on the Wage Stabilization Board's terms and were now making money, without the industry-claimed necessity of a price hike in steel to meet the WSB's recommended increases in wages and benefits.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of people asking what had happened to General Eisenhower's magic, which had been evident in the days before he had become a presidential candidate. Now, the magic only worked about 80 percent of the time and had been particularly absent when he most needed it, in his important televised speeches, starting with the Abilene, Kans., speech and continuing with the Detroit speech.

They recount that the first draft of the Abilene speech, written while he was still in Europe, had possessed the Eisenhower magic, communicating the views of the "average, common-sensible intelligent man". But that draft had been reviewed and reworked by professional politicians before it had been delivered and the Eisenhower phraseology had been toned down. They provide an example in which, in the first draft, he had spoken of the founding fathers' struggle to create a society of equal opportunity "out of the brambles of man's passions and prejudices, out of the wilderness of nature." When he had spoken of the spiritual origin of political liberty, the original draft had risen to an elevated note: "You cannot hold freedom in your hand, any more than you can hold the soul of a man or a nation. Freedom is of the spirit, and only by the spirit of man can it be effectively maintained."

But the professional men had diluted such statements with more practical, down to earth revisions, adding the obviously political references to the Yalta Conference and the loss of China, laying it at the feet of the Administration. Thus, the Eisenhower magic at Abilene had been confined to his unprepared remarks to those who were assembled in his hometown.

The General had realized that something had gone wrong and insisted in the Detroit speech on being himself. But the question and answer method adopted for that speech, although better than the "contrivance" of the speech at Abilene, had still failed to project the General's "largeness and strength".

There were signs, presently, however, that the General was hitting his stride, and, they predict, the Taft forces, who were fearful of the Eisenhower magic, might be smiling out of the other sides of their mouths before the convention. For the millions who had faith in the General as the man to keep the country from becoming a one-party system, and to give it the leadership it deserved, "the Abilene story proves that the stuff is in the man, and is bound, eventually, to come out."

The Christian Science Monitor, in an editorial, begins by indicating that the country editors of small-town newspapers had learned to accept payment in kind, with a barrel of apples, turkeys or cord wood in exchange for a subscription to the paper. It advises that Americans recall this fact when they regarded the import quotas on cheese, olive oil or tuna, or higher tariffs on watches, bicycles, chinaware or hatters' fur, or regarding the "Buy American" restrictions on mutual defense appropriations.

U.N. statisticians had estimated recently that only a tenth of the people in the world had incomes above $600 per year and that most of that ten percent were in the U.S. and Canada, which had ten percent of the world's population but 43 percent of its annual earnings. With most of the world's gold already in Fort Knox, it stood to reason that the rest of the world would not have much money with which to buy American goods or pay debts to the U.S., unless they earned that money by selling to customers in the U.S.

If those countries and others could not sell their goods and services to the U.S., they would be forced to trade in larger volumes with Russia and the Communist bloc countries, or reduce their purchases of American products, or default on commitments to the common defense or on debts to the U.S., all of which alternatives were undesirable to Americans.

It again draws the comparison with the country newspaper editor whose friends and neighbors were on hard times, but whose prosperity was tied inextricably to the prosperity of those friends and neighbors.

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