The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 15, 1952


Site ed. Note: The front page reports, via Jim Becker, that General J. Lawton Collins, chief of staff of the Army, stated at a news conference this date that even tougher bombing of North Korean military targets was in preparation should the Communists insist on prolonging the war, that the U.N. command was prepared to use anything except germ warfare to protect its forces in Korea from being driven out. He stated that within a few years, the military would be using atomic artillery on the battlefield, but that, for a few technical reasons, it was not yet ready. He said that there were new weapons available which could be used were the Communists to launch a new offensive drive which seriously threatened U.N. forces. He also said that the U.N. forces could push the Communists from Korea if they thought it was worth the cost.

In Korea, U.N. warplanes this date again hit Communist targets near Pyongyang, and along the western front.

Ground fighting was limited to routine patrol skirmishes.

In Pittsburgh, the new efforts at resolving the steel strike ended this date with industry and the United Steelworkers still in disagreement, but standing by for further word from the White House. Philip Murray, president of the union, said that he expected to hear from Presidential assistant John Steelman within a few hours, after the latter had phoned both union and industry representatives the previous day and insisted on a new attempt at resolving the strike, and when the talks this date had failed to produce resolution, asked the representatives to stand by. Meanwhile, the Government freed for civilian use all steel not needed by the military, clearing the way for small and medium-sized manufacturers to continue production of such household goods as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, metal furniture and other household appliances.

The State Department this date ordered the Russian Embassy to cease publication and distribution of pamphlets in the United States, announcing also that it was suspending publication of a Russian-language magazine titled Amerika, which had been distributed in Russia. The action was taken in response to the Russians obstructing distribution of Amerika, which had been so popular in the Soviet Union that newsstands sold out their copies within a few hours of receiving them. Used copies were sometimes sold on the black market at many times the original price of ten rubles. The magazine was patterned after Life. A Russian propaganda attack on the magazine had begun in 1947, accusing it of "lying, rotten, bourgeois journalism".

Relman Morin reports from Chicago that Gael Sullivan, campaign manager for Senator Estes Kefauver, had asserted this date that the supporters of other Democratic candidates were "ganging up" to stop the Senator from winning the nomination. He said the campaign wanted to be free from the "fixers and masters of the double cross" at the coming convention the following week. He did not include the President or DNC chairman Frank McKinney among the suspects of participating in the stop-Kefauver effort. He also said that the Democratic candidates, themselves, might not be participants in the efforts of their supporters. Some California delegates had reported that they had been approached by supporters of Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma in that regard, that one delegate had been offered $500 if he could get three other delegates to join him in switching to another candidate after the first ballot.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that former Senator and Governor Cameron Morrison was headed to the Democratic convention in Chicago, supporting Senator Richard Russell for the nomination. He claimed that the Senator had half the electoral votes necessary to win the election at present and that he was the only man who could prevent every state from being doubtful in the general election. Mr. Morrison also said that he was opposed to any bolt from the party, that Congress could be relied upon to counter any President favoring the FEPC, which he believed to be unconstitutional, and that one did not have to believe every paragraph of a party platform to support the party.

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott, who was still uncommitted regarding his choice for the nominee, stated this date that the party would pick the person who could make the best fight against General Eisenhower. He believed that the choice by the Republicans of the General would cause the Democrats to realize that they had a fight on their hands and to get down to business. He said that Senator Russell was definitely "one of the strong men in the way of ability". A majority of the North Carolina delegation had expressed a preference for the Senator.

In New York, the passenger liner S. S. United States finished its round-trip maiden voyage by returning to New York harbor this date, beating the westward speed record across the North Atlantic the previous day, after beating the eastward speed record earlier in the month. It had crossed from England to New York in three days, 12 hours and 12 minutes, nine hours and 36 minutes shorter than the previous record held by the Queen Mary for the previous 14 years. It averaged 34.51 knots during the voyage, 1.08 knots slower than the eastward trip.

In London, a member of Parliament suggested this date that Britain ease military conscription because of the large number of trained soldiers presently available. British youths were presently called up for two years of training. The same Socialist MP the previous week had advocated turning Buckingham Palace into an apartment house.

The President was reported to have a mild virus infection but was improving, staying in the residential portion of the White House this date.

In Lincolnton, N.C., a guard was being held hostage by convicts at a prison camp. Prisons director Walter Anderson agreed to come to the camp from Raleigh to discuss conditions with the prisoners after earlier refusing to do so and instructing the prison camp supervisor to take law enforcement officers and free the guard. But concern for the safety of the guard had caused him to change his mind after the camp supervisor said that the prisoners refused to list their complaints without being able to talk to Mr. Anderson. The guard had not been harmed, according to the prisoners, but they intended to hold him until they were able to talk with prison officials. No details of the prisoner uprising had been released. There had been no shooting and no one had been hurt thus far. An unnamed guard said that the convicts had rioted over camp conditions. The camp housed between 80 and 90 long-term prisoners.

On the editorial page, "Primaries Have Shortcomings, Too" finds a suggested Democratic platform plank calling for nationwide preferential presidential primaries to have a meritorious purpose, providing the people a larger voice in choosing the party nominees. It indicates, however, that unless it remedied the basic defects of the existing meaningless primary system, it would be of dubious value. It lists among the defects that there was no uniformity in the state primary laws, that participation in them was likely to be smaller than in general elections enabling state and local machines to dominate, that in most cases, independent voters did not participate in primaries, though turning every election for the ultimate winner since 1940, that the primaries stretched over too much time, more than three months, that each one seldom included all major candidates, and that the favorite son and proxy techniques thwarted the purpose of the primaries to determine the popular favorite.

It indicates that the alternative to the primary was the convention system, which allowed abuse by party bosses. Yet, that system had chosen the likes of Abraham Lincoln, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Franklin Roosevelt, but also had produced William McKinley, Warren Harding and Harry Truman. A change to nationwide primaries would not constitute a major improvement, it concludes, unless all states held them at the same time and under the same rules, all candidates entered all of the primaries, and a larger cross-section of the voting population participated.

"Squawkers" regards a piece on the page by Representative Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, communicating his frustration in having tried to cut Federal spending during the year, receiving plenty of criticism and little praise for the effort. The piece indicates that Federal spending would never be reduced unless the taxpayers made just as much noise as those who were on the Federal payroll trying to protect their jobs.

"Toward Better Understand [sic]" tells of the members of the Chamber of Commerce study committee having, the previous night, discussed with Mayor Victor Shaw, City Manager Henry Yancey, and members of the City Council, the city's eight million dollar budget, with better mutual understanding as the result. The businessmen learned that the affairs of government in the city could not be handled on the same basis as a private business, and the members of the Council discovered that there was deep concern among taxpayers regarding the mounting costs of government. In consequence, the study committee members recommended that a job classification system be established in City Government, fixing fair compensation for the type of work performed. The Council indicated their approval of the proposal.

"Straw in the Wind" tells of the Sheriff of Horry County, S.C., having, two years earlier, rounded up a group of night-riders after a Klan outing near Myrtle Beach had resulted in the death of a Klansman-police officer during a raid on a black dance hall, but the grand jury had refused to indict anyone. Subsequently, the Sheriff's deputies arrested a group of Klansmen who had gathered at a Horry County church and charged them with violating an anti-masking law, but again the grand jury refused to indict.

The Klan had sworn to get the Sheriff, and was reported to have taken an active part in the campaign leading up to the previous week's primary. Despite the fact, the Sheriff had led the eight-man field in the election. The piece finds it a "straw in the wind", indicating that the people of Horry County were waking up to the "evil menace" of the Klan.

"Applying the Squeeze in Korea" tells of the U.N. forces in the Korean War having been getting tougher since the June strikes at the Yalu River power plants, in an effort to encourage the Communists to negotiate a truce, stalled for several months on the issue of voluntary repatriation of prisoners, the only remaining issue to be resolved. The previous week there had been a large raid on Pyongyang, prompting anger from the Communist radio, and the previous day, U.N. planes had staged one of the largest attacks on Communist front line positions.

The basic decision to proceed in this manner had been made in Washington. The U.N. forces had been heavily reinforced and ground reserves had been built up, resulting in the U.N. command taking the initiative in the war for the first time since the truce talks had begun in July, 1951. There was a calculated risk that the Chinese might launch a new major offensive in response, but a risk, it ventures, which the American people were willing to take in an effort to bring the war to an end.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "To the Rear March!" indicates that General Eisenhower had stated a few days earlier that the Republicans should not attempt to turn the clock back and that they could clean up government. It indicates that the Republicans had turned the clock back in Illinois, however, where the party had named former Senator Curly Brooks as their national committeeman. Senator Brooks was a primary representative of the Old Guard, had compiled such a reactionary record that when progressive Senator Paul Douglas had run against him four years earlier, the latter had won a landslide by nearly 400,000 votes. It ventures that it was a strange way to catch up with the political times, in going back to Senator Brooks.

Representative Norris Cotton of New Hampshire, as indicated in the above editorial, indicates his efforts and frustrations in trying to obtain economy in Government spending. The piece is a reprint of one of his weekly reports to constituents, published in the New Hampshire newspapers.

Drew Pearson tells of the hurriedly passed legislation in the closing days of the Congress before the adjournment for the conventions, with little or no debate on many bills, resulting in many members having no idea on what they were voting. In one such case, Senator Walter George of Georgia had introduced a complicated amendment to the excess profits tax, which had the effect of reducing taxes for one brass company of Bridgeport, Connecticut, whose owner was the outgoing president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Senator George had long been close to the tax adviser of the Chamber.

In another example, Congressman J. Glenn Beall of Maryland tried to slip through a bill, authorizing an engineering company in Baltimore to collect a $244,000 claim, after it had been turned down for the claim by the Court of Claims and the U.S. District Court. The Court even asked the FBI to investigate the company for alleged fraud. The effort by the Congressman had, fortunately, failed.

In another example, the big airlines had almost been able to booby-trap the small airlines with a bill which would have put the latter out of business, enabling the Civil Aeronautics Board to issue $1,000 fines on the small, unscheduled airlines for minor infractions of rules. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama had exposed the issue and blocked it on the Senate floor.

He next provides, in contrast, a step-by-step story of a tough, two-year battle to secure a combat bonus for G.I.s in Korea. It took the astute leadership of Senators Blair Moody of Michigan and Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming finally to get the bill passed, and it had now become law.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, tell of the effort by the Taft supporters to obtain the vice-presidential nomination for the Senator after General Eisenhower was named the presidential nominee. Senator Taft, or at least some of his leading supporters, had wanted the nomination for the vice-presidency. In the end, however, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the General's campaign manager—and eventual running mate with Vice-President Nixon in the presidential election against Senators John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson in 1960, nixed the idea on the basis that the General had reserved the final say on the choice. Thus, it had gone to Senator Nixon.

Some of the problems for the Eisenhower people in naming Senator Taft to the second spot on the ticket were that he would potentially overshadow General Eisenhower, that there would have been a great demonstration on the convention floor for his selection which would have dampened some of the enthusiasm for the General, and it would have been acknowledgment and proof of the continuing power of the Old Guard faction of the party. Some of the Eisenhower leaders favored the choice of the Senator, however, on the basis that it would reunite the badly divided party.

General MacArthur had also come close to garnering the nomination for the presidency, as there was a deal being formulated whereby Senator Taft was to throw his support to the General after a first-ballot vote which failed to nominate General Eisenhower. Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania had made his decision before the convention to throw his Pennsylvania delegation votes to General Eisenhower. But he was an admirer of General MacArthur, and the General had used all of his influence to try to enlist Governor Fine in the effort to try to produce a groundswell at the convention for General MacArthur, especially after the first day's balloting showed the weakness of Senator Taft, in the convention's decision to prevent the contested delegates from voting on other contested delegations. Governor Fine had committed to support General Eisenhower on both the seating of the pro-Eisenhower Georgia delegation and on the first ballot.

The MacArthur strategy depended on an indecisive first ballot and, for that reason, General Eisenhower's people decided to delay the first ballot voting until Friday rather than having it on the same night of the nominations. That avoided the prospect of a planned triumphant entry to the convention hall by General MacArthur after the first ballot with Senator Taft by his side, at which point the Senator would shift his support to the General. On Thursday night, the switch of the 19 Stassen-pledged Minnesota delegates, which finally had put General Eisenhower over the top at the end of the first ballot voting, was not certain. Had the ballot been indecisive, the MacArthur enthusiasts would have had the opportunity to work on Senator Taft, who had always resisted the proposal to provide his support to the General. Thus, putting the vote off until Friday had saved the day for General Eisenhower.

James Marlow discusses the nomination victory by General Eisenhower, described by some as a triumph of the internationalist wing of the Republican Party over the isolationist wing. That had been one element in the thinking of the delegates, but not the only one. Another claim was that the victory was that of the younger wing of the party over the Old Guard, and that, also, had been true. The permanency of this victory would depend on the Congressional races and whether the Republicans were able to win a majority of the seats.

"But there were other, and important, forces working in Chicago: a large chunk of personal self-interest among the delegates themselves; morality; some smart political tactics and some wretched ones; perhaps some symbolism; and faith; and hate."

He indicates that it was possible that a majority of the delegates had actually preferred Senator Taft to General Eisenhower, but had concluded that the General had a better chance of winning in the fall. That prospect was especially important to the delegates with a stake in jobs. The moral issue had also played a role in the selection of General Eisenhower, to avoid the prospect of party endorsement of the Taft grab of Southern delegates.

Also contributing to the victory of the General was the bumbling efforts of the Taft supporters to try to use brute force to obtain the nomination from the General. "And with the whole nation looking on for the first time, through TV, the delegates who weren't alienated by the Taftites were at least made self-conscious."

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