The Charlotte News

Friday, July 11, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General Eisenhower had achieved the Republican presidential nomination at the convention in Chicago this date, first falling short of the 604 votes necessary for nomination during the initial roll call of states, obtaining 595 delegate votes to 500 for Senator Taft. Before the final vote could be announced, however, Minnesota changed its votes, initially cast for former Governor Harold Stassen, giving 19 additional votes to General Eisenhower, putting him over the top, with 614 votes. At that point, Texas and other states joined the Eisenhower bandwagon, and in the end, the official final tally was 845 for the General, 280 for the Senator, 77 for Governor Earl Warren of California, and four for General MacArthur. Following that first-ballot vote, the convention acclaimed the nomination of the General unanimously, after a motion by Senator John W. Bricker, spokesman for Senator Taft, and Senator William Knowland of California, spokesman for Governor Warren, to that effect. The nomination was followed by the usual convention demonstrations. The General was not present in the convention hall, waiting, along with wife Mamie and their three grandchildren, at the Blackstone Hotel, where they were staying.

A table is provided of each state's initial delegate vote during the first-ballot roll call.

Shortly after the decision, General Eisenhower called on Senator Taft, walking across the street to the Hilton where the Senator was staying, where the two entered a private conference. They emerged at 1:15 p.m. and walked side by side into the lobby of the ninth floor, chatting amiably and smiling broadly as they posed for television cameras. It could not be discerned above the din of noise, however, what they were saying. Senator Taft eventually was able to call for quiet and congratulated the General on the nomination and told him that he would win the election in the fall.

He did not say, "You won't have Bob Taft to kick around anymore because this is my last campaign,"—though, in fact, by the forces of nature, it would turn out to be so.

Congressman Carroll Reece, the Southern campaign manager for Senator Taft, said that he would support the nominee but felt that General Eisenhower's managers "should apologize to Senator Taft for their conspiracy to stigmatize him."

The stage, as it turned out, had been set for the eventual outcome the prior Monday, when the convention had voted 658 to 548 to adopt a rule preventing contested temporarily seated delegates from voting on other contested delegations, forecasting the turning of the convention tide to General Eisenhower, after Senator Taft had arrived at the convention with a lead in committed delegates.

The Republicans adopted the party platform this date after it had been approved by acclamation the previous day, including the controversial compromise civil rights plank, which nearly had precipitated a floor fight. The compromise had been worked out by the chairman of the resolutions committee, Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, with an eye toward pleasing both Northern and Southern Republicans. It promised "Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices," but added that "Federal action should not duplicate state efforts to end such practices." Before its adoption, black delegates had caucused to support a stronger plank and had a substitute prepared to submit from the floor. Senator Irving Ives of New York and Governor Alfred Driscoll of New Jersey had promised to back such a substitute plank, but had informed the black delegates that they did not expect to win, and so the substitute plank was never pressed. An editorial below provides further insight into the overall platform.

Senator Estes Kefauver and Averell Harriman, seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency, were quick to criticize the platform.

Relman Morin reports that five bands of Republicans had made as much noise on the convention floor as they possibly could, each supporting their nominated candidate for the presidency, nominations and demonstrations having lasted eight hours the previous night and into this day. They had used cow bells, whistles, sirens, a pipe organ, tin and wooden rattles, brass bands, and their voices to make the cacophony of supportive noise. He indicates that history would never be able to record which group had been the loudest or created the best mob scene in the aisles, "waving a forest of placards, flipping flying saucers and colored streamers into the air, releasing balloons, capering, cavorting and having, generally, a high old time." The demonstrations for Senator Taft and General Eisenhower had lasted the longest and been the loudest, but the one for Governor Warren had been "warmer and sweeter". There had been no demonstration for former Governor Stassen's nomination. General MacArthur's supporters sang "Old Soldiers Never Die" and "Oklahoma", the latter because an Oklahoman had entered the General's name in nomination.

James Marlow reports that the convention had been full of acrimony between the Taft and Eisenhower Republicans during the week, with the candidates almost obscured by the issues and events of the convention involving contested delegates. Senator Taft had prepared for the week all of his life, from the time he had been a boy living in the White House when his father had been President between 1909 and 1913. It had been his third try for the nomination during the prior 12 years, though on this occasion, he had the most likelihood of success. He had traveled widely during the campaign and made quite a number of speeches, and Mr. Marlow indicates that if desire and energy were guarantees of the nomination, the Senator should have been assured of it before the convention. He finds that the Taft supporters had overreached themselves in the Southern states, where the Eisenhower camp had accused the Taft camp of stealing delegates, becoming the great moral issue of the campaign, without which, the Senator might have sailed to the nomination. The Eisenhower supporters had made the most of the issue, indicating that it was a moral issue which spoke to the future of the party. On the convention floor, Senator Taft had suffered terrible defeats over the seating of the contested delegations. The Senator's lieutenants, with the handwriting on the wall becoming increasingly apparent, began trying to undercut General Eisenhower obliquely by attacking Governor Dewey as being ruthless, rather than directly attacking the General's merits for serving as the nation's president. The previous day, for instance, Taft headquarters had put out a newspaper-sized single sheet which had "Sink Dewey" as its headline.

William F. Arbogast reports that prior to the nomination of General Eisenhower, a number of names of members of Congress, along with several governors, had been mentioned as potential vice-presidential nominees. House Speaker Joseph Martin, the chairman of the convention, had told reporters that he knew of no general agreement on a running mate, that the delegates would let the nominee name him. He said that he assumed the running mate would come from the Midwest or the East, to provide geographical balance to the ticket. The names of Senators Everett Dirksen of Illinois, Margaret Chase Smith of Maine, and Karl Mundt of South Dakota, and Representative Walter Judd of Minnesota had been mentioned, along with Senator Richard Nixon of California—not "Robert" as the piece indicates—, thought possibly to be helpful in carrying that delegation for one of the candidates. Governor Earl Warren, also mentioned, said that he was not interested in running as vice-president, having done so under Governor Dewey in 1948.

A late bulletin indicates that Representative Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania—who, ironically, as a Senator, would be among the small coterie of Republican leaders, including Senator Barry Goldwater, who would report to President Nixon in early August, 1974, shortly after the House Judiciary Committee had returned articles of impeachment, that the President did not have the 34 votes in the Senate to withstand conviction and removal from office in an impeachment trial, leading shortly thereafter to Mr. Nixon's announcement of his resignation from the Presidency—stated this date that he regarded Senator Nixon as the "top prospect" for the vice-presidential nomination.

This night, after the selection and nomination of Senator Nixon as the vice-presidential nominee, the General would deliver to the convention his nomination acceptance speech.

In the air war in Korea—off the front page for the previous four days because of convention news—hundreds of allied warplanes this date had hit Pyongyang and two other prime military targets in one of the largest air raids of the war, leaving the capital in flames and rubble before bad weather had prevented further bombing. A total of 1,048 sorties had been flown in the action, compared with 1,373 on June 23 when the allies had bombed the three major power plants on the Yalu River. It was estimated that between 500 and 650 allied planes had taken part in the action, including pilots from five of the U.N. nations. The pilots reported destroying or damaging the enemy's communication headquarters, three munitions factories and several other factories, plus supply and troop centers in the North Korean capital.

In London, First Daughter Margaret Truman had lunch with Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, at Buckingham Palace this date.

What was on the menu?

On the editorial page, "The Republican Platform" tells of the Republican presidential nominee perhaps paying no more attention to the party platform than had the delegates the previous day who had accepted it by acclamation. Platforms were usually regarded lightly after the convention by members of the party, and served only as a vehicle of condemnation for the opposition and the promise of a rosy picture by its drafters.

The platform had deemed the goal of the Democrats to be "national socialism", that the Administration had "no foreign policy" and was "without will to victory" in Korea. It also stated that the Brannan Plan for agriculture was socialistic. It promised that the Republicans would "put an end to corruption" and bring about "peace" and "solvency".

It indicates that apart from cynicism, certain broad and encouraging conclusions could be gleaned from some parts of the platform, such as the fact that evidence within it of the party's isolationism was sparse and the MacArthur-Hoover school of foreign policy, distrusting of collective security and the U.N., had been rejected. The platform disagreed with the Administration's "Asia last" policy, but offered nothing of hope to the Far East for needed technical assistance. It favored expansion of world trade, urging "elimination of discriminatory practices against our exports", but failed to mention the restrictive tariffs and laws. It did not regard universal military training and brushed over the controversy between stressing air power and continued support of a ground army. It also promised a balanced budget and general tax reduction, despite promising "coordinated air, land and sea forces, with all necessary installations, bases, supplies and munitions, including atomic energy weapons in abundance." It promised an expanded soil conservation program and agricultural research, retention of Taft-Hartley in labor, with amendments as "time and experience show to be desirable".

The civil rights plank promised enactment of "Federal legislation to further just and equitable treatment in the area of discriminatory employment practices." A black delegate had indicated that the decision of black Republicans not to—not "to not" as the piece suggests—contest that plank was for the fact that they interpreted it as being favorable to an FEPC, but, points out the editorial, the plank was very different from the 1948 pledge to establish a permanent FEPC. (Our apologies, incidentally, to the platform committee for our suggestion yesterday that "to further adjust" was a split infinitive, when the plank always read as indicated, misheard by the Dragon in dictation. "In furtherance of", however, would have been preferable stylistically, and "to press forward" would have been desirable substantively—avoiding, perhaps, much racial violence later from another decade of delay.)

The platform also endorsed farmer cooperatives, rural electrification, Federally-assisted production of power "when not adequately available through private enterprise", and the stockpiling of strategic raw materials. But it also opposed "all-powerful Federal socialistic valley authorities" and also favored mineral depletion allowances and state control of tidelands oil.

It concludes that given the differences between the two main factions of the party, the platform had probably been about as solid as it could be to reach any kind of agreement, but there was a lot of room within it for interpretation by the nominee, who would, in the end, determine the party's course.

With the platform calling the Administration "national socialists" and the General in his acceptance speech this date referring to "total victory" in the fall in the "crusade" he was leading, one begins to get the impression that there was a subtle attempt to equate the Democrats with the Nazis of World War II. And, here, we thought all along they were Commies...

"Taft's Phantoms Failed Again" indicates that the vote on Wednesday by the credentials committee, 27 to 24, to seat the compromise Texas delegation, had shown that an astute politician could build "phantom support into major strength". The contested delegates of Georgia and Texas could not vote in the credentials committee and the 27 pro-Taft votes on the issue had come from 23 states plus D.C., Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, while the 24 pro-Eisenhower votes had come from 23 states plus the Virgin Islands, resulting in the difference in favor of the Taft backers being cast by three territories which did not vote in U.S. elections. The 23 states which had cast the pro-Eisenhower votes had been responsible for 14.5 million Republican votes in 1948, two-thirds of the total cast by Republicans, and had been responsible for 165 of the 189 electoral votes won by Governor Dewey. Those states included 12 of the 16 states which had voted Republican in that election and states which had elected 16 of the 25 Republican governors presently in office. The 23 states which had voted for Senator Taft's position on the issue of seating the Texas compromise delegation included only four which had voted Republican in 1948.

It concludes that the full convention, therefore, had no alternative but to overrule the Taft-stacked credentials committee, a first in Republican convention history. Had it done otherwise, it ventures, it would have approved one of the "grossest election frauds" in U.S. political history and allowed a "phantom minority" to run roughshod over the vast majority of "real Republicans".

"Progress in Government Reorganization" indicates that 39 months earlier the Citizens Committee for the Hoover Report had been formed, with the objective of seeing to it that the recommendations of the Hoover Commission would be enacted, to make the executive branch more efficient and less wasteful. The Committee had ceased operation the prior weekend.

The piece regards their performance as having been magnificent and a great service to the nation. The results had been that the three branches of the military had been fully merged under the Department of Defense, done by legislation in mid-1947, with one purchasing agency using a single supply catalog for the three branches. Accounting practices had been modernized and tax collection had been decentralized, with collectors placed under Civil Service, reducing the likelihood of political influence and thus corruption in collection of taxes. Other changes had been made, in personnel management, the post office, veterans affairs and Federal medical services, all resulting in economy and efficiency of operations. Not all of the recommendations of the Commission had been implemented in those fields, but 1.2 billion dollars per year had been claimed by the Citizens Committee to have been saved, with an eventual annual saving to reach four billion dollars. It was estimated that 70 percent of the Commission's recommendations had been adopted.

Powerful lobbies had prevented transfer of the pork-barrel civil functions of the Army Corps of Engineers to the Department of Interior, patronage still dictated the appointment of many postmasters, and the Veterans Administration was still rife with bureaucracy. The creation of a united medical administration and streamlining of the Department of Agriculture had also been stymied.

It urges the Committee to continue its efforts after the election in the fall, as Congress needed urging from organized citizens to do away with such antiquated practices as seniority to determine committee chairmanships and time-consuming, non-electronic voting.

"'Farmer Bob'" finds that the plaudits by Congressional colleagues of retiring House Ways & Means Committee chairman Robert Doughton of North Carolina, as contained in the Congressional Record, to have appeared to be more than just the usual flowery phrases expressing admiration. The sentiments expressed had obviously been sincere, reflecting the high esteem in which he was held. It indicates that his fellow citizens held him in equally high regard, even if they could not express their esteem quite so eloquently.

Drew Pearson, in Chicago, tells of General Eisenhower having done well at the convention for a man who knew practically nothing about politics. Such was the result of having an excellent organization behind him, headed by Governor Dewey, who, though unpopular with many Republican leaders, knew all of the political moves and had built up a well-functioning machine in New York, which worked to the advantage of the General at the convention.

The General also had a cause, handed to him by the "stealing" of the Texas and Louisiana delegations from the Eisenhower supporters by the Taft supporters in those two states. Thus, his supporters could argue that the Republicans should not participate in the corruption they planned to pin on the Democrats in the fall campaign, an argument which had proved successful.

The General also had a high-powered publicity campaign, unequaled since that which had supported the insurgent candidacy of Wendell Wilkie at the 1940 Republican convention. It had been organized by General Mills in Minneapolis and the firm of Young & Rubicam in New York, supplemented by a lot of spontaneous eruption of sentiment for the General. Pretty girls were in evidence everywhere at the convention, passing out buttons and promoting the candidacy of the General, whereas Taft buttons had been passed out with parsimony, one at a time.

Although Senator Taft appeared to have most of the money on hand at first, the Eisenhower forces, who were hard-pressed to pay their hotel deposit initially, had suddenly been bankrolled, probably by Wall Street, as charged by Senator Taft. Winthrop Aldrich, head of the Chase Bank and a member of the Rockefeller family, was an old and faithful supporter of Governor Dewey.

At every convention, in both parties, the deals and last-minute pressures tended to swing large blocs of delegates, as had been the case at the Democratic convention in 1932, when FDR was able to obtain the nomination by promising two Cabinet posts to friends of William Gibbs McAdoo and the vice-presidency to John Nance Garner, then Speaker of the House.

At this Republican convention, the Michigan delegation had been swung into line for the General, largely on the efforts of General Motors and Ford Motor Company, despite the head of the delegation, Arthur Summerfield, a large Chevrolet dealer in Detroit, having initally been a strong supporter of Senator Taft. But when G.M. notified him that he had to support General Eisenhower, it gave him pause. At the same time, one of the executives of Henry Ford II sent word to Mr. Summerfield that if he wanted any money for the Republican Party in Michigan, he had better depart from his support for the Senator. These efforts resulted in the Michigan delegation being swung to the General.

In Pennsylvania, Governor John Fine was originally uncommitted to either candidate, but the steel industry's support for General Eisenhower, combined with local political leaders also supporting the General, who told the Governor that the General would be able to win in November, wound up convincing him to support the General for the nomination.

Governor Dewey had cracked the whip on the New York delegation, to ensure that dissidents would fall in line behind the General. In the end, only one New York delegate dissented on the issue of contested delegates voting on other contested delegations, which had carried the day on the convention floor.

Mr. Pearson indicates that the primary mistake made by General MacArthur in his address to the convention had been that it was too long, with one delegate stating that he guessed the speech was all right but that he had gone to sleep.

He indicates that Governor John Lodge of Connecticut, brother of Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., of Massachusetts, had made the best speech of the convention, with less bombast and more appeal to reason. He finds also that RNC chairman Guy Gabrielson had done a good job of presiding over the convention.

He adds that one female delegate from Missouri had remarked that all the Republicans did was quote Abraham Lincoln and that all the Democrats did was to run against Herbert Hoover.

All we know is that the convention knocked off the air for a week our current favorite tv show, "Tales of Tomorrow", ever since "Dragnet" went off the air for the summer. Oh well, we missed an episode earlier.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, find that the professional politicians of the Republican Party had shown themselves at the convention "to be little better than a bunch of stumblebums." Senator Taft, in the wake of his re-election for the Senate in 1950, had been regarded by almost everyone as "Mr. Republican", with large numbers of Republican moderates willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on virtually every issue. The same was true of the normally Republican press for the most part, as well as nearly all of the party's financial contributors, plus nearly everyone else who was likely to have any say in the Republican nomination.

But the Senator treated his victory in 1950 much the same way he had treated the Congressional sweep by the Republicans in the 1946 elections, forgetting about his progressive domestic program and intensifying his isolationism, embracing Senator McCarthy "and all that mouth-frothing right wing of the Republican Party that makes a hero of McCarthy." In doing so, the Senator had alienated all of the moderate Republicans and provided the impetus for the Eisenhower movement.

Initially, the latter movement had been slow to accumulate any momentum, while the Taft forces were richly financed and highly organized, counting on the Southern delegations as being in the bag. But then the great popular surge for General Eisenhower occurred in the selection of Texas delegates, creating the controversy over the disputed delegation favoring Senator Taft. Some 15 delegates could have been provided General Eisenhower at the outset and the appearance of fairness might have been maintained, avoiding the claims that the Texas delegation had been stolen by the Taft supporters. Instead, the steamroller mentality took over and there was no initial compromise.

Then came the rigged national committee, the rigged convention list of speakers and the rigged credentials committee, all supportive of Senator Taft. The Taft supporters also overestimated their strength on the convention floor, and but for that fact, might have saved themselves by sacrificing the Southern delegations. Instead, "from sheer arrogant over-confidence", they entered the disastrous test regarding the contested Georgia delegation.

The real professionals in the Republican Party in this time, the Alsops indicate, were men like Governor Dewey, whom the Taft people loudly scorned.

They find that the Senator had been the victim of his friends and backers, and so deserved sympathy for his plight. When these supporters saw the danger confronting them, they advocated rigging of the convention. More phony contests had been planned, in Washington state and Maryland, for example. In so doing, popular opinion was defied, but Senator Taft rejected this latter advice, which the Alsops conclude demonstrated his "true Americanism", for which he deserved gratitude and sympathy.

As indicated, Senator Taft had only a little more than a year to live, dying of cancer the following July, diagnosed in May, 1953.

The State  Magazine indicates that real wages of a typical North Carolina factory worker with a wife and two children were 60 percent higher during the prior year than they had been in 1939, as revealed in a study of the earnings of factory production workers in the state made by Labor Department statistician C. H. Pritchard, reporting in the Department of Labor Bulletin.

In 1939, the average gross weekly earnings of such a worker had been $15.30, whereas in 1951 it had risen to an all-time high of $46, from which 69 cents had been deducted for Social Security. But when adjusted for inflation, that take-home pay was worth only $24.27 in 1939 dollars, thus a real increase of 60 percent.

The worker without dependents took home $39.21 after deductions for taxes and Social Security, worth $21 in 1939 dollars, a real increase, therefore, of 38 percent.

The biggest difference, however, was that neither such worker had to pay any Federal income tax in 1939, whereas in 1951, the worker without dependents paid $6.10 per week to the Federal Treasury, while the married worker with two children still did not have to pay Federal income tax.

The study had shown that across the nation factory workers fared even worse in terms of percentage increase, earning $23.86 on average per week in 1939 and $65.25 in 1951, an increase of 173 percent, versus the 200 percent increase, before deductions and withholdings, for the North Carolina worker.

A letter writer from Cheraw, S.C., finds that Senator Taft had not proven himself capable of serving as president, for his belief that the country could exist alone in the world, with nothing for defense save an Air Force. He also finds him to have been callous in his attitude toward working people, presumably referring to Taft-Hartley. The writer indicates that he was a Democrat and urges voters not to support anyone who was only interested in a privileged few. He urges re-election of the Democrats, who had helped all of the people, rich and poor. He urges election of Governor Adlai Stevenson, President Truman, Governor Earl Warren or General Eisenhower to the presidency.

A letter writer from Mt. Holly praises Robert C. Ruark's recent column which had condemned the recall of veterans of World War II for service in Korea. She finds that too little had been written about this injustice.

A letter writer wishes readers to suppose that there was no East-West conflict in the world, that atomic power could be used solely for constructive rather than destructive purposes, that there were no trade barriers between nations and that each nation only produced the articles it could most economically manufacture and exchange them for those items which it did not produce but needed. She indicates that she did not pretend to have the answer for what the world would be like under such circumstances.

A letter from a minister who had written earlier, condemning segregation, causing quite a lot of response for his suggestion that interracial marriage ought be accepted, indicates that the parable of the Good Samaritan showed that "faith of the despised member of an allegedly inferior race" was approved while "the professional piety of the formal religionists" was rejected. He finds that there could be no unity of purpose in the country as long as racial division was "maintained by custom, social pressure and unconstitutional legislation". He again stresses that segregation was wrong in principle and was evil per se, as separate facilities necessarily precluded equality.

A letter writer from Pittsboro wonders, after reading the editorial page of June 30, the editorials from the July 4 issue of U.S. News & World Report, and Walter Lippmann's comment on the situation presently in Europe, whether anyone knew what they were talking about. He indicates that he did not know whether Senator Taft or General Eisenhower was the better man to handle the presidency, finds that neither could say what he would or would not do if elected, and that neither knew what he could do. He indicates that the country had given Russia "the power of initiative in both Europe and Asia" and that what the U.S. and its allies could do presently and for a long time into the future depended, as a result, on what Russia did.

You seem to be of that school of history which has it that there was no history prior to February, 1945 and the Yalta conference, that there was absolutely nothing going on in the world which precipitated the agreements made therein, or at Potsdam the following July. Perhaps you need to consult your memory a little more wisely and thoroughly, and far less selectively, steered by the likes of Senator McCarthy—which we would also advise to some of the extreme right-wingers of today, on the radio and elsewhere.

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