The Charlotte News

Friday, June 6, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Milo Farneti, that U.S. Sabre jets in Korea had shot down seven enemy MIG-15s and damaged two others this date, as the enemy jets sought to attack allied fighter-bombers bombing North Korean rail lines near Manchuria. One fight involved 36 Sabres against 15 MIGs and another, 28 Sabres against 12 MIGs.

The U.S. Fifth Air Force announced that to date, its planes had destroyed 316 MIGs, probably destroyed another 58 and damaged 507 during the war.

On the ground, action was light, with the heaviest fighting the previous day having been dug-in North Korean troops launching grenade, artillery and mortar barrages at allied raiders on the mountainous eastern front in a seven-minute battle. The big guns then fired 650 rounds of artillery and mortar fire at the withdrawing allies. Allied defenders had repulsed 40 to 50 probing enemy troops the previous night in the Satae Valley area, a few miles west of where the other fight had occurred, near the Punchbowl.

An Army private with the 45th Division rolled over onto an exploding Chinese grenade to save three of his buddies from death or injury, and only suffered minor bruises as a result, from wearing one of the new nylon armored vests. The explosion lifted him off the ground and knocked him unconscious and a three-inch piece of steel ripped into the vest, crumpling both of his dog tags. But the vest had not been punctured and the private was not hurt. He said that he rolled onto the grenade because he had nowhere else to go, as someone was lying next to him, and figured that it would have gotten him anyway.

General Matthew Ridgway, new supreme commander of NATO, marked the eighth anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings, by speaking at commemoration ceremonies on Utah Beach in France, warning that another war would bring "dreadful suffering" to the West, but would also bring destruction to the Communists and their power. General Ridgway had parachuted at the head of his 82nd Airborne Division behind the German lines at nearby Ste. Mere Eglise, several hours ahead of the Normandy landings on June 6, 1944. He said that the last time he had been there, thousands were with him to wage war, but that this time he had come to "wage peace". He would also stop along Omaha Beach, which, with Utah, had been where the bulk of American forces had come ashore. At Omaha, he would inspect the Bayeux and St. Laurent military cemeteries, where the graves of thousands of Allied soldiers and officers were perched on the cliff-top above rusted, half-sunken hulks of landing craft used in the invasion to form temporary jetties.

An auditor of the Government's General Accounting Office testified this date before a House Judiciary subcommittee investigating the Justice Department, that the Department had failed to prosecute a war-contract suit against a firm, after former Attorney General J. Howard McGrath and former DNC chairman William Boyle had visited the Detroit contractor. The subcommittee had heard previous testimony that the Government had been overcharged by at least a half billion dollars on war contracts. The GAO auditor testified that in another case, former assistant to the President, Clark Clifford, had received a fee of around $25,000 as attorney for a corporation which settled a 1.3 million dollar claim for $125,000. The Justice Department had been asked by the GAO to recover the money on the ground that the firm had charged the Government for training of veterans which had not actually been provided.

The Government reported this date that wholesale prices of white potatoes increased by as much as two dollars to four dollars per hundred pounds overnight, following the removal of price ceilings the previous day by the Office of Price Stabilization.

The Government-sponsored negotiation talks between the steel industry and the United Steelworkers Union, in an effort to resolve the contract dispute and the resulting strike, following in the wake of the Supreme Court decision the prior Monday, ruling unconstitutional the President's seizure of the steel industry, recessed for four hours this date to permit industry leaders to study bargaining proposals. Presidential aide John Steelman reported the previous night that "real negotiations" were taking place. The delay in the negotiations had been requested by the chairman of the board of Jones & Laughlin Steel Co., head of the management negotiating team. Philip Murray, president of the union, had readily agreed. There was some hope of an early settlement of the dispute.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Ernest McFarland of Arizona said that the two sides would have to reach settlement over the weekend, to forestall Senate action on legislation dealing with the strike, which had been postponed until Monday.

The President flew this date to Springfield, Mo., to attend the annual reunion of the 35th Division, the World War I unit with which he had served as a captain.

In Indianapolis, Senator Taft stated to a press conference this date that he was willing to compromise on a fair basis for contested delegations to the Republican national convention. He said that he hoped to avoid a fight before the credentials committee on the seating of contested delegations. The delegations included those from Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Georgia, among others. The Senator was asked by a reporter specifically about the contested delegations in Texas, about which Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., of Massachusetts, campaign manager for General Eisenhower, had contended that a delegate slate supported by a majority of the voters in the county conventions had been "stolen" from the General, in favor of a delegate slate supporting Senator Taft. The Senator responded that both sides claimed that they had elected delegations appropriately according to the law, and that he was confident the contest would be settled fairly by the national convention.

From Abilene, Kans., General Eisenhower departed for New York, preparing to step up his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination. Before departure, he had slipped away for a quiet visit to his old home and the creamery where he had once worked. He spent half an hour taking snapshots of the grounds and home, which was now part of the Eisenhower Memorial Museum, then picked some flowers planted by his deceased mother. He had been accompanied only by the manager of the memorial foundation. His wife, Mamie, had gone directly from the hotel to the train. Several hundred persons gathered around the train to say a last goodbye, and both the General and Mrs. Eisenhower were busy signing autographs. Senator Frank Carlson of Kansas, one of the principal supporters of the General, stated that the speech and press conference in Abilene had turned national sentiment to the General, and had won the support of some delegates who formerly had supported Senator Taft. The Senator suggested that it might not be necessary for a second ballot at the convention.

Warren Rogers, Jr., sets forth some of the views which the General had expressed during the two press conferences of the week and in his nationally televised speech on Wednesday evening. On foreign affairs, he had stated that the chances of deliberately provoked war were not great but that the satellite wars caused the country to be ever vigilant, that Korea and Indochina were just as important to the nation in their implications as any other sector of the world, that he believed the country could have peace with honor, that China was lost to the free world in one of the greatest international disasters, one which should not be repeated, a matter for which the Truman Administration had to take some responsibility, that he believed that it was necessary to devise a plan which minimized defense expenditures while keeping the country in a respectable posture of defense, that he had never understood how universal military training and selective service could operate hand in hand, that each step toward unification of Europe was a major victory, and that military requirements had to be calculated in an atmosphere of cold logic. As to domestic affairs, he believed that the Democrats had been in power too long, that the Government needed a "searching going over" by someone with no obligation to the build-up of it during the previous 20 years, that another evil which threatened the country was the gradual absorption by the central government of functions belonging to the local communities and to individuals, and that inflation destroyed free, competitive enterprise.

As pictured, Senator Estes Kefauver, following a visit at the White House with the President the previous day, sat on the lawn outside and discussed matters with correspondents Lewis Gilpin and Ray Scherer, saying that he hoped the President would remain neutral in the race for the Democratic nomination. The President had said the previous day at his press conference that he intended to remain neutral on the matter, but, as with any citizen, reserved the right to express a choice later.

On page 11-A, another Gallup poll appears, regarding the Republican race, showing that the Middle Atlantic states were supporting General Eisenhower, while those of the East Central region were favoring Senator Taft.

On the editorial page, "Where Does Eisenhower Stand?" finds that the General, during his press conference the previous day, had held up well in the face of questioning by some of the shrewdest newspaper and radio reporters in the country, with a nationwide audience looking on via television—though the New York Times had reported that the General's handlers had forbade the presence of tv cameras but that the networks had brought them in anyway.

It indicates that when he knew the answers to questions, he spoke forthrightly, and when he lacked information with which to answer, he said so with "refreshing candor". It had been obvious that he had made a deep impression on his questioners and the piece finds that what he had said would likely make sense to the American people.

As his first task would be to obtain the Republican nomination a month hence in Chicago, he set out to establish his Republicanism more clearly than he had done in the formal address in Abilene two days earlier. He cited his own Republican background and voting record, detaching himself from the previous two Democratic Administrations, both of which he had served as a General, and indicated his endorsement of the February 6, 1950 declaration of principles by Senate Republicans, pledging also his support for the Republican nominee, no matter who it would be. He also held the Truman Administration responsible for the loss of China to the Communists in 1949 and announced his opposition to socialization of medicine.

He had not been so specific on some other issues, declaring that he favored equality for all Americans but indicating that the Fair Employment Practices Commission was a matter for the individual states rather than the Federal Government to administer, as was education, though favoring Federal aid to education in areas which needed help. He asserted his belief in farm support prices as a guarantee against agricultural disaster but was unsure as to the precise level of supports he would recommend. He believed that labor-management disputes could not be settled by legislation alone. He also indicated that he had no formula for ending the Korean War quickly and easily.

He believed that the primary issue in the campaign was "real peace and security in the world", distinguishing his position from that of Senator Taft, who had stated the principal issue as being "liberty versus socialism". The piece indicates that it agreed with the General's position in this regard.

Whereas Senator Taft had condoned McCarthyism, the General said that he believed Communist influence in government could be removed "without besmirching the reputation of any innocent man". He hoped that the country could get out from under "the umbrella of fear and doubt and hysteria" which he believed now covered it.

The piece concludes that he had thus stepped into what might be the toughest battle of his career and had shown himself to be no political amateur in his performance at his first news conference as a presidential aspirant. He was shaping up to be the fighting candidate which the piece expected him to be—"a man who is bringing to the American political scene a fresh combination of sincerity and objectivity that it desperately needs."

"Basic Prison Reform Long Overdue" tells of it having been exactly two years since a famed prison expert, Dr. Austin MacCormick, had made a report following a study of the state's prison system, a report which had been highly critical, calling Central Prison in Raleigh "a disgrace to the prison system". He had heavily criticized the political appointment of personnel and the lack of a rehabilitation program, lead to high recidivism rates. He said that Central Prison was "a dumping ground" for incorrigibles, misfits, convalescents, the sick, the weak and the untrustworthy. He believed that remedy lay in improvement of the methods and personnel from top to bottom in the prison, that a thorough housecleaning was in order.

Since that time, the prison had been through three different directors, J. B. Moore having been discharged two years earlier on the grounds that he had used prison labor and materials for personal benefit—following a spring, 1950 exposé by radio reporter and front-porch sleuth, skilled at interviewing prisoner-painters and carpenters, Jesse Helms. Mr. Moore had been succeeded by John Gold, the former chief of police in Winston-Salem, who served for about a year before returning to Winston-Salem to become City Manager. He was then succeeded by former SBI director, Walter Anderson, who had taken over on August 1, 1951. Both of the latter two directors had made some effort to improve conditions in the prison system, but the four stabbings during the previous month, topped off by the brief riot occurring the prior Wednesday, demonstrated that something was still lacking at Central Prison.

It suggests that the problem, which had been included among Dr. MacCormick's recommendations, was that Central Prison needed to be separated from the Highway Department and, along with other correctional institutions, placed under a new State Department of Corrections. The present system was too subject to politics to be fully remedied.

Governor Scott has shown no interest, however, in separating out the prison system from the Highway Department. Neither had the 1951 General Assembly. It suggests that the riot during the week had been a grim warning to the next Legislature that action needed to be taken if the State's prison system was ever to come up to modern standards, able to reform and rehabilitate prisoners and return them to society as useful and productive members.

Now, who told you that was the point of penology? Don't you know that the point is punishment, and nothing but punishment, as Draconian as possible, to satiate every sadist in the society, and therefore to make the prisoners, while in stir, as mean and ornery as they possibly can be made, so that they will reenter society full of hatred for it, bound to rape, steal, pillage, plunder and kill to get even. That's the point. It's evident every day on the news. Some people just don't get it…

"On Not Voting for a Congressman" tells of News reporter Tom Fesperman, in his analysis of the previous Saturday's primary voting in Mecklenburg County, having developed some disturbing figures, that of the approximately 34,000 persons who had cast their ballots, only 22,000 had voted in the district's Democratic Congressional race. That left 12,000 who had not cast a ballot for either the incumbent, Hamilton Jones, or his challenger, Dr. Thomas Burton. Neither candidate had generated much enthusiasm among the electorate, despite the office they were seeking being very important. The piece indicates its unhappiness about that situation. It trusts that voter interest would be much higher in November when the presidential election would be at stake. At that time, Mr. Jones would face a formidable Republican challenger in Charles Jonas—the eventual winner. It indicates that the 12,000 voters who had not cast ballots, along with the 8,500 who had voted for Dr. Burton, totaled nearly 7,000 more votes than Mr. Jones had received in the primary.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "Galaxy", indicates that the subcommittee chaired by Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada had offered the public an "embarrassment of riches in its ceremonies on the eve of Memorial Day", as Senator McCarran had presented three former Russian spies, Whittaker Chambers, Elizabeth Bentley and Hede Massing, though the similarly situated Louis Budenz was absent, all agreeing that at least two Soviet espionage rings were still operating within the Government and that the lack of any documentary evidence to support that charge should not deter action against them.

The charges amounted to a renewed attack on the Institute of Pacific Relations and Owen Lattimore. It suggests that the fury of the subcommittee would fall upon those two for having dared to defend themselves in earlier proceedings. But it was also possible that Senator McCarran had devalued his own currency, as the three witnesses had only merited minor headlines on inside pages of most newspapers. It suggests that perhaps Americans were getting a little tired of hearing each other's loyalty repeatedly impugned by persons whose own past had involved ultimate disloyalty.

Drew Pearson finds that there had been some strange paradoxes regarding the fact that Justice Hugo Black had announced the majority opinion in the steel seizure case the previous Monday. The first such paradox was that the steel industry had done its best to prevent Justice Black from being confirmed to his seat on the Supreme Court when he was nominated in 1937 by FDR. Frank Prince, a noted private detective, had been employed by Republic Steel to dig into then-Senator Black's record as a former member of the Klan for a short time, between 1923 and 1925, turning it over to a reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and other newspapers, for which the reporter, Ray Sprigle, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for the exposé. Though it came to light only after the Justice had been confirmed, it nevertheless provoked challenges to his fitness to serve on the nation's highest court, causing Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes to withhold from Justice Black the customary note of congratulations. The press roundly criticized Justice Black at the time, led by Scripps-Howard, plus other newspapers who were now singing the Justice's praises.

The Alabama Klansman, R. P. Day, who had supplied the affidavits exposing the membership, had fallen under a train and was killed the following day after the exposé was printed. Various corporate lawyers had planned at the time to challenge Justice Black in sitting on their cases.

A second paradox had been that, as a Senator, Justice Black had been vigorously pro-labor, which was the real source of big business opposition to his original appointment. But now he had delivered this majority opinion which was generally criticized by labor. Coming from Alabama, it would have been easy for Senator Black to have been anti-labor. Instead, he had sponsored the Wage-Hour bill, to which his Alabama colleague, the late Senator John Bankhead, had been opposed, along with many other Southern Senators. Despite that opposition, Senator Black had managed to push the bill through the Senate, one of the most outstanding personal triumphs of the New Deal legislative program. Thus, it had been no surprise when the steel industry and big business generally opposed him for an appointment to the Supreme Court.

A third paradox was the editorial praise which Justice Black had been receiving during this week from some of the newspapers he had once battled as a member of the Senate. While in the Senate, he had gotten to know Tom Walsh of Montana, who had uncovered the Teapot Dome scandal of the Harding Administration. Senator Black had launched a probe of the Merchant Marine subsidies, which wound up saving the taxpayers millions of dollars. He also investigated airmail contracts, leading to an exposé which had rocked the country, in the course of which subpoenaing the records of certain newspapers, causing heavy criticism. Some of the press called him a demagogue, a dangerous radical, and the most unscrupulous member of the Senate, the same editors who were now issuing him plaudits.

Mr. Pearson suggests that Justice Black was a man of great courage, great human understanding and great determination to call the legal shots as he saw them, no matter whose toes were stepped on. The opinion in the steel case came from his conviction that it was the best course for the country, not for himself.

The Justice held a high personal regard for the President and the ideals toward which he was striving, but in delivering the opinion, he was not thinking of personalities or of any one President, but the future power of all Presidents.

Raymond Moley, in the fifth in the series of 12 articles abstracted from his 1952 book, How To Keep Our Liberty: A Program for Political Action, seeks to answer the question posed by the current Administration as to what the opposition would do differently. He suggests 18 principles to follow in determining economic liberty, with the guiding principle being a free market, followed by individual responsibility and voluntary cooperation, with detached administrators and legislators in government without ties to lobbies and special interests, and so on down the list—which you can read.

Marquis Childs, writing from Abilene, Kans., tells of General Eisenhower having spent his formative 15 years in the small Kansas town and those years being at the base of his character. His homecoming was the experience of millions of Americans in recent years, as they had returned from World War II, having learned while away terrible things about life and death and how to kill others in order not to be killed. They had been removed from the orbit of right and wrong in which they had grown up, and then, after their experience in the war, returned, some maimed in body or mind. The vast majority, however, had resumed their lives where they had left off, their neighbors perceiving them as not much changed, given what they had seen and experienced.

The General had been a professional soldier since his graduation from West Point in 1915, and during that long interim, his ties to Abilene had been slight, especially since the death of his mother in 1946. Nevertheless, the drama of his return was that of the small-town boy coming home from the wars, which might account for his hold on the popular imagination. It also might account for some of the hostility toward him within the Republican Party, as to many Americans, particularly those living in the Midwest and over the age of 50, the war had been sinful, immoral, and unnecessary.

A school of historians had developed around trying to prove that through the sly intrigue of a few men, especially FDR, the U.S. had become embroiled in the war and, therefore, everything about it had to be shown to be corrupt and wicked, with everyone connected to it thus becoming suspect, including the General.

A similar phenomenon had occurred after World War I, though in a much shorter period. A far greater number of Americans had participated in World War II and many of them had seen forces at work which caused them to believe that America could never again be isolationist.

For the small-town boy to aspire to the presidency was also part of the American tradition, even if the critics shrugged it off. It was not dissimilar to the process which led to the Republican nomination and subsequent election of Ulysses S. Grant in 1868, the only West Pointer by 1952 who had ever been President. President Grant was not a good President, even making allowance for the difficulty of the postwar years. Some cited it as an example working against any professional soldier aspiring to the presidency, suggesting that the chain-of-command mentality inherent in a West Point education and a subsequent military career caused the professional soldier to be unfit for the compromise necessary of political office.

He regards it as an unanswerable question as to what kind of a President General Eisenhower might make, but no more problematic than the same question applied to Senator Taft, Senator Kefauver, Governor Earl Warren or Governor Adlai Stevenson. But he regards the General, by reason of his intense involvement in the war and its aftermath, as having the possibility of unifying the majority of Americans regarding the necessity to face a world which had completely changed since the time of the General's boyhood in Abilene.

R. F. Beasley, of the Monroe Journal, finds that the efforts exerted on legislation by pressure groups to be bordering on causing danger to the nation. He cites the fact of a bill having been defeated in Congress recently, providing for an increase of five dollars per month to beneficiaries of Social Security, designed to meet the rise in the cost of living, despite the absence of known opposition. But suddenly, the AMA had voiced opposition to members of Congress on the ground that the measure would open the way to "socialized medicine". That assertion was premised on the fact that the legislation also provided for benefits for the permamently disabled, requiring that the doctor who certified a person as so qualified had to be approved by the Social Security administrator. Congressman John McCormick of Massachusetts charged on the floor that the telegrams from the AMA had caused 145 members of the House to change their votes on the measure, leading to its defeat.

Mr. Beasley finds that this beneficial bill had been defeated by folly and that the greatest agitators for what the doctors called "socialized medicine" were the doctors themselves, or at least the "unwise men" in charge of the AMA.

A letter writer from Pittsboro objects to the political primary system as not allowing effective "party government". Anyone able to pay the filing fee could enter the primary, promise anything they wanted, and if they received a majority of the votes, the party to which the candidate claimed to belong would have to accept the person and his positions as part of the policy of the party. He thinks the primary system lent itself to class appeal, as had been conspicuous in the 1952 primary campaign, which might have caused voters to think that they were divided into only two classes, the teachers and the farmers. At the close of the campaign, he allows, there had been some expressions of interest in the labor vote. He could not recall any campaign, except that in 1928, when Herbert Hoover was nominated by the Republicans and Governor Al Smith, a Catholic, was nominated by the Democrats, which had placed so much emphasis on a man's religion and the church to which he belonged.

Somehow we missed that latter point, and do not know to what exactly he refers. There was no discussion, at least contained within the prints, regarding any candidate's religion. And as all of the presidential aspirants in 1952 were white Protestant males, we cannot imagine why that would have been the case in any event.

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