The Charlotte News

Monday, June 9, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a settlement in the steel strike was believed imminent after the dispute had continued for two years. The reported compromise would allow an increase in wages and other benefits totaling 22 cents per hour, of which 16 cents would be actual wage increases. The proposal would be roughly equivalent to that recommended by the Wage Stabilization Board in January, previously accepted by the union but refused by the industry without a substantial price increase in steel, subject to Government price controls. The primary difference was that the WSB recommendation was to be incrementally introduced in three steps, whereas the reported agreement was to go into effect at once. It was anticipated that the meeting during this afternoon would be crucial to the outcome. The negotiations had transpired for five days, since the beginning of the strike the previous Monday, in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling that the President's seizure of the steel industry on April 8 had been unconstitutional. It was anticipated that the agreement would be long-term, such as the five-year contracts of the automobile companies. It was believed that there would be a two-year agreement, which would probably contain a provision for the union to ask for higher wages in a year, while freezing most other contract provisions for two years.

The President had informed the Senate that the negotiators might be on the verge of settlement and thus asked the body to refrain from any action providing the President with seizure power or other remedies for the strike, pending the outcome of the negotiations. The Senate, in response, postponed until the following day further consideration of the various proposals for legislative action.

The Supreme Court this date agreed to hear two petitions regarding desegregation of public schools, one out of Topeka, Kansas, the Brown v. Board of Education case, and the other out of Clarendon County, South Carolina, Briggs v. Elliott. The court would hear oral arguments during the fall term and it was anticipated that the decision could come by the end of the year or in early 1953. The decision, of course, would wind up delayed until May, 1954, in large part because of the intervening death, in September, 1953, of Chief Justice Fred Vinson, as well as by a decision to hear further oral arguments and the pendency of other similar cases in the lower Federal courts. In both cases, the lower Federal District Courts had held segregation per se not to be unconstitutional, and the Briggs court had ordered the school district to show that the facilities were substantially equal, Brown having determined that the black and white achools of Topeka were comparable. The parents of the students and the NAACP were bringing both cases in an effort to have struck down the Plessy v. Ferguson separate-but-equal doctrine, established in 1896, as being violative of the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection clause because its promise had never been realized. In the Topeka school district, segregation ended after the sixth grade and the junior high and high schools were racially integrated. Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina had stated that if the state lost its fight, it would abolish public schools. Georgia, Virginia and Alabama had taken steps which could lead to the abolition of their public school systems.

The high Court held this date, by a 6 to 3 vote, in Railroad Trainmen v. Howard, 343 U.S. 768, a decision delivered by Justice Hugo Black, that the Railway Labor Act prevented unions from using their position and power to destroy the jobs of black porters and provide them to white workers, who would do less work for more pay. The decision said that the Federal Courts had to issue injunctions to protect those threatened by such unlawful use of power. It found that the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen and the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway had threatened black porters on trains with loss of their jobs only because they were not white. It found that the porters had been doing the work for several years of brakemen, but at lower wages, commensurate with porter wages. Justice Sherman Minton wrote the dissent, joined by Chief Justice Vinson and Justice Stanley Reid.

The Court also this date dismissed a case in which three large unions had questioned the legality of the Government's August, 1950 seizure of the railroads, which was justified under the Railway Labor Act, and therefore was not subject to the same inherent executive powers argument which the President had claimed in the steel seizure case. The reason for the dismissal, however, was that the case had been mooted by the fact that the President had returned the railroads to private operation after the settlement of the wage dispute on May 23.

The Government relaxed its restriction this date on down payment requirements for purchases of homes, enabling purchasers to make down payments which were 20 to 50 percent less than those presently required under Regulation X, in effect for nearly two years. It provides details, in case you are preparing to purchase a house in 1952.

Spokesmen for the Charlotte Home Builders Association and the Charlotte Board of Realtors expressed gratification for the relaxation of the requirements.

Penang marine police seized $329,000 worth of opium aboard a stalled Burmese vessel off the Malayan coast the previous day, the biggest interdiction of illicit narcotics in Malaya since the end of the war. Some 6,000 pounds of opium had been discovered in a cargo of sugar aboard a vessel which was stalled with engine trouble. The opium was confiscated and the vessel and its crew, detained.

An independent Chinese newspaper reported that the Chinese Communists had put to death 3,400 jailed Chinese Nationalist Army officers since May 20, following orders from Peiping to clear jammed prisons of inmates considered beyond conversion to Communism.

Supporters of General Eisenhower this date challenged a move by supporters of Senator Taft to name General Douglas MacArthur as the keynoter for the Republican national convention the following month. General Eisenhower's supporters were opposed to the selection because General MacArthur had publicly supported Senator Taft. A backer of General Eisenhower, however, conceded that the Eisenhower supporters would likely be outvoted in the arrangements committee by the Taft backers.

The General had met with Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania the previous day for a three-hour lunch. Of that state's 70 regular delegates, 20 were reported as being favorable to the General, 18 to Senator Taft, and 32 uncommitted. The latter group would likely take their cue from the Governor as to whom they would provide support. After the meeting, the Governor told reporters, however, that he would not seek to influence the views of the delegates and that he was still open-minded as to his preference for the nominee. He said that the Pennsylvania delegates would meet the following Friday with the General at his farm near Gettysburg, but that it was unlikely that any definite action would result from that meeting. The delegates would also meet with Senator Taft at a later time, upon his request. The latest Associated Press tally of delegates to the Republican convention had 462 committed to Senator Taft and 390 to General Eisenhower, with 604 needed to nominate.

In Cherryville, Mo., a fasting preacher of the Ozarks, the Reverend J. J. Ivie, 57, Minister of the Assembly of God Church, died early this date in his home on the 51st day of his fast, having said that he would eat nothing until his prayers were answered for "the more perfect will of God for my own life". His wife, also a minister, indicated that he was conscious until the end. As of 12 days earlier, he had reportedly lost 36 pounds and weighed 130. He had taken no nourishment except occasional sips of water since April 20. He had been a minister since age 17.

In Asheville, N.C., a search was being conducted for Don L. West, 47, the managing editor of the Spartanburg Journal and former employee of the Asheville Citizen-Times, who had been reported missing from Spartanburg since Friday. He was believed to be suffering from amnesia, according to his cousin, who said that he had suffered such an attack several weeks earlier but had then returned to normal. Mr. West had been seen the previous afternoon in the vicinity of East Flat Rock, but a search by the Highway Patrol had failed to find him.

During the previous weekend, violence had resulted in 29 deaths in North Carolina, as thousands sought relief from the heat on the highways and in the ocean or inland lakes and streams. Automobile accidents accounted for 16 of the deaths, drownings for seven, guns for two and a fall caused one. The total death toll in automobile accidents in the state for the year, thus far, had reached 441, ten percent more than the previous year at the same point.

In Hollywood, actress Jennifer Jones had broken a bone in her hand the previous day when she struck actor Charlton Heston during filming of a scene for "Ruby Gentry", at Morro Bay, California. Filming would continue during her recovery, limited to scenes in which she was not appearing.

On the editorial page, "The Purge in Raleigh" tells of Governor Kerr Scott having fired the assistant budget director after also firing the paroles commissioner and the director of the Department of Motor Vehicles, each of whom had supported William B. Umstead in the gubernatorial primary a week earlier, rather than Hubert Olive, supported by the Governor. The first two firings were of persons who had been undistinguished in their positions, but Dave Coltrane, the assistant budget director, had a contract with the Governor to serve through June 30, 1953, six months beyond the expiration of the gubernatorial term. He also had written evidence from members of the General Assembly's appropriations subcommittee indicating his excellent service.

Mr. Coltrane, therefore, was planning to wait before giving up his position, and had the promise of financial support from his friends in the event that the Governor halted his salary.

It suggests that these political purges made the Governor appear "smaller than he really is". He was nearing the end of his term, in which "near-miracles" had occurred within the state. He was appreciated at present more than at any time during his four years in office and he had the opportunity to leave the office as a respected and popular Governor. But now his support for Judge Olive and the consequent dismissal of three of his appointees because of their refusal to support the Judge, had reduced his stature considerably. It suggests that the people of the state, who paid the salaries of public officials, had a right to expect that fidelity to the job and efficiency in its performance counted for something.

"Honesty Has Its Rewards in Politics, Too" tells of State Senator Roy Rowe having determined to withdraw from further contest of his opponent in the primary in the lieutenant governor's race, Luther Hodges, an amateur at politics. When Mr. Hodges had determined to run, his friends doubted that he could win, finding that he was not well known enough and fearing that his wealth and affiliation with the textile industry would be a handicap. They also believed that his refusal to barter promises for votes would hamper his chances. Yet, he had won anyway.

He had campaigned in all 100 of the state's counties, meeting thousands of people and talking to scores of clubs and organizations. He told of the state having been good to him and he felt it his duty to offer his services. He made no promises or commitments of any kind, except to pledge his full time and energy to the job. The people had sensed that he was a man of outstanding ability and experience, whose modesty and honesty brought a refreshing note to the political scene. It concludes that even had Senator Rowe not decided to decline a runoff, Mr. Hodges would have won anyway.

As indicated, as Lieutenant Governor, he would succeed to the Governor's office following the death in 1954 of Governor William B. Umstead, would be elected in 1956 on his own hook, and would be appointed Secretary of Commerce by President Kennedy in 1961.

"Taft Can Prove His Integrity" finds that when Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had rejected Senator Taft's proposal for a compromise regarding the contested delegations from some of the Southern states, he did the only thing which an honorable man could do. Senator Lodge had said that he would never compromise with dishonesty, and promised to carry the fight to the convention floor.

The piece approves of Senator Lodge's position, indicating that the "brazen theft" of delegates in Texas and Louisiana, in particular, as chronicled earlier by Joseph Alsop in his column, was "one of the blackest marks against the Taft organization". It thinks that the Eisenhower supporters ought win in a convention showdown, if based on honesty and integrity regarding majority rule. Senator Taft had to realize that if he obtained the nomination through corruption and thievery, he would weaken his own effectiveness in the fall campaign and in charging the Democrats with corruption and thievery at the national level. It finds that the Senator's offer of compromise had been an admission of guilt, and that he now had an opportunity to prove his integrity by disavowing the Texas and Louisiana "conspiracy" and throwing his influence at the convention on the side of honor and justice.

"Shay, Lesh Have an Operashun" tells of anesthesiology having come a long way since it was discovered by an inquisitive chemist, Sir Humphrey Davy, whiffing nitrous oxide in 1799. Now a doctor at Washington's Freedman Hospital had come up with an "anesthetic cocktail", comprised of a mix of standard barbiturate anesthetics with alcohol, rather than with water. The doctor said that the results had been remarkable, and that it soon might be possible that a patient could just sip such a cocktail prior to surgery. He found that the alcohol stimulated the blood and breathing enough to offset the depressive effects of the barbiturates.

It wonders how the hospital would accommodate Washington's dry martini drinkers and whether the bartender would have to come to the hospital. It also wonders whether the hospital would plan to serve a variety of alcoholic mixes. It further wonders how the WCTU would react.

It concludes: "Shades of Sir Humphrey. After one hundred and fifty three years it looksh (hic) like anashetic shyunsh ish right where it shtarted."

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Highway Insurance", urges adoption of compulsory automobile insurance, to provide financial protection for accident victims and drivers. Such insurance, however, was very expensive, especially in Massachusetts, the highest in the nation because of the extent of claims covered and because the law encouraged fraudulent claims, and juries had been very liberal with dispensing insurance company proceeds to plaintiffs.

In New Jersey, a bill had just been signed into law which would set up a fund from which to compensate accident victims, not only where the offending driver was not financially responsible but also in the case of hit-and-run injuries. The fund would be comprised of a small percentage of the insurance premiums collected and by adding a one dollar registration fee for insured drivers and three dollars for uninsured drivers. The piece finds this concept interesting and suggests that it ought be watched.

Drew Pearson tells of the House committee investigating tax frauds getting ready to wind up its business at the end of the month, but not before investigating the tax returns and business operations of Congressman Eugene Keough of New York. He had been elected to Congress in 1938, and for eleven years had taken no appreciable interest in Spain, until, in 1949, he had suddenly become the champion of dictator Francisco Franco, making Francophile statements and inserting such editorials into the Congressional Record. He had offered an amendment to include Spain in the Marshall Plan. He was seen often in the company of the chief lobbyist for Spain and, during latter 1949, visited Sr. Franco in Spain, accompanied by Senator Owen Brewster of Maine, another Franco enthusiast.

Prior to 1949, the Congressman had opposed the natural gas lobby and voted against a bill which would have raised gas rates for his constituents in Brooklyn. In 1949, he reversed these positions and adopted those of the gas lobby, introducing two amendments which would have made the Kerr gas deregulation bill as strong as the prior bill which he had previously opposed.

Mr. Keough received a series of checks from a lobbyist for supposed legal advice on a tax case which the Federal Government had against a third party of Miami. Such payments were illegal for a member of Congress to accept. Mr. Pearson had provided this information to the Justice Department, prompting it to inquire of the matter with Mr. Keough and the party who had paid him the fees. At that point, Mr. Keough terminated the relationship with the lobbyist. When contacted by the column, Mr. Keough said that the lobbyist had merely dealt with his New York law firm and not with him, personally. But the lobbyist said that the fees had been based on very helpful advice imparted by Mr. Keough.

A short time afterward, the tax fraud committee, of which Mr. Keough was a member, reprimanded former Congressman Vincent Quinn of New York for taking fees in connection with tax cases while he was a member of Congress.

When asked about why he had changed his position on natural gas after the lobbyist in question had come into the picture, the Congressman had stated that he preferred not to go into the arguments regarding gas legislation but did not see anything inconsistent about his position.

Mr. Pearson concludes that it would be interesting to see if the committee investigators proceeded with an investigation of their own member.

Raymond Moley, in the seventh of his 12-article series abstracted from his 1952 book, How to Keep Our Liberty: A Program for Political Action, urges that the Government limit its lending to loans which were clearly in the public interest and which contributed to the safety and stability of the nation and the entire economy, and that such loans should be made only to an intermediary private agency, such as a bank, rather than directly to the borrower. Loans by the Federal Government to states, cities or other units of government, for such purposes as the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge, should anticipate self-liquidation and be justified by public, not private, necessity.

He favors ending the Government monopoly on the production and sale of electricity, as well as of atomic energy. He finds such enterprises essentially to be monopolistic. While the government needed to regulate utilities, they should be privately owned and operated. Where electricity was generated incidental to other projects, it should be sold equitably to private distributors. The Government could also enter into cooperative arrangements with private companies, as in the case of the Bonneville Power Administration. The Government should be limited to wholesale operations, rather than retail.

In the field of labor-management relations, the ideal should be that of the free market, and legal compulsion by the government limited to protection of the freedom of all parties in the industrial relationship. The principle should extend to the right of an employee to join or not a union and to protection of all parties from violence and other forms of intimidation. The right of free speech should be protected, as well as the right to strike, except where public safety, health or national defense was involved.

In selection of members of administrative boards and mediation agencies, strict impartiality should be observed. Strikes, boycotts and picketing for reasons other than those directly affecting the company itself should be prohibited. Secondary and jurisdictional strikes should also be outlawed and unions should be subject to antitrust laws. The accountability of union officials for fines should be enforced in the same way as for corporations. Unions should have the same responsibility of maintaining contracts as management.

Insofar as taxes were concerned, he advocates the election of a President and members of Congress who would preserve liberty under a sound system of taxation. He outlines certain principles which he believes should underlie tax policy. He thinks that the theory of the taxpayer's ability to pay as the basis for taxation should be reconsidered, as those with the ability to pay large taxes could also have the ability to use the money for productive and wealth-creating purposes.

He urges a balanced budget, doing so in part by returning to the state and local governments a large number of functions taken over by the Federal Government. Government expenditures abroad for the development of underdeveloped areas and for recovery and expansion of friendly allies could be measurably reduced by encouragement of private investment. He also favors the elimination of useless jobs and other forms of waste in the bureaucracy, more than across-the-board cuts or aimless cuts undertaken by Congressional committees.

He concludes that the election of an economy-minded President could save billions, and that therefore the problem was a political one.

A letter writer from Spartanburg, S.C., objects to the newspaper having moved the features page from the back page to elsewhere in the newspaper, causing a "busy man" to have to look through the pages to find it. He says that he was not going to quit purchasing the newspaper because of the relocation, but that the paper could not prevent him from cussing the editors for doing so every time he picked it up.

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., laments the passing of Fulton Oursler, author of The Greatest Story Ever Told, and finds that his death had left a huge dent in modern journalism, as he would miss his daily column. He had found that reading his articles had been like going to church, leaving the reader feeling "clean all over". "He opened the cathedral of his heart pouring forth an everyday sermon of everyday life as it is. Yet everything he wrote had a moral to it."

A letter writer indicates that the safety equipment at the municipal airport afforded little or no protection to the aircraft using the facility, a condition extant since they National Guard Fighter Squadron had departed and taken their fire-fighting equipment with them. He urges the City Council's attention to this situation and that they allocate the necessary funds for purchase of a new crash truck, presently proposed.

A letter from the chairman of the Mecklenburg County Chapter of the American Red Cross thanks the newspaper for its cooperation during its recent Emergency Flood Relief campaign.

A letter from the chairman of the program committee of the local American Legion post thanks the newspaper for its stories publicizing the annual memorial service held the previous Tuesday afternoon at the "Veterans Rest" plot at Evergreen Cemetery in the city.

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