The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 17, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Communists this date had stated that they had moved their prize captive, Maj. General William Dean, from a prisoner of war camp in Pyongyang to another camp in North Korea, but did not provide the new location. The Communists indicated that there was a large-scale prisoner transfer, including General Dean and numerous Korean captives. No reason was provided for the transfer and the number of prisoners involved was not stated. General Dean had been captured in August, 1950, and had initially been believed killed. The allied communication in response demanded an accounting of 1,881 missing U.N. soldiers believed to be in Communist prison camps, saying they had been making the request since the prior December without success. The allies answered a request by the Communists for an accounting of 1,014 allied-held prisoners with information about all except four.

The five-man truce-negotiation committees were scheduled to resume negotiations at Panmunjom the following day, regarding the deadlocked voluntary repatriation of prisoners issue.

In Tehran, Premier Mohammed Mossadegh, who had been intensely nationalist, resigned this date and the Shah asked the lower house of Parliament to choose a new head of government. The resignation was believed to be the result of Parliament's failure to vote in favor of giving the Premier absolute powers by decree for six months, which he had claimed was necessary to resolve Iran's acute economic crisis. He had resigned on July 5 when the new Iranian Parliament had taken office and said that he would accept reappointment. He was immediately approved for re-installation by the lower house, but the Senate had balked before grudgingly giving its approval after the Shah intervened. He then sought the stated new powers, to which there was growing opposition in the lower chamber without first receiving an explanation as to how the Premier would use the powers.

In Chicago, Senator Estes Kefauver stated this date that big city party organizations were taking a more sympathetic attitude toward his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination. His efforts as chairman of the Senate organized crime committee in 1950 and 1951 had irritated many of the Democratic big city bosses. He believed that he would take the lead at the beginning of the balloting and never lose it, indicating that his closest competitor was Senator Richard Russell. He said that since the nomination of General Eisenhower, there was increasing support for his candidacy from large bloc groups, such as labor. He favored formation of a commission to settle the tidelands oil issue between the states and Federal Government. He also favored the resolution of Senator Herbert Lehman of New York for a change in Senate cloture rules, to allow for a vote to end debate by two-thirds of the Senate during the first 20 days of debate and by a majority thereafter. (The proposal had previously been stated as providing for a two-thirds vote of the Senators present rather than by two-thirds of the entire membership.)

The California delegation was pledged to Senator Kefauver and to a strong civil rights plank. State Senator George Miller, Jr., of Richmond indicated that the 68-vote delegation would stick by the Senator based on its pledge.

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia sought the support of the President in his bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, saying that he expected the President to make known his choice for the nominee early in the convention, set to open the following Monday. Senator Russell moved closer to the Fair Deal by denouncing Taft-Hartley the previous day, despite having helped to enact it over the President's veto in 1947. He said that he would not agree with a plank which called for a compulsory FEPC, indicating that he was opposed to punitive legislation of any type, whether in labor or civil rights. He predicted that a compromise civil rights plank would be adopted which would not satisfy anyone fully but would be one on which all Democrats could basically agree. He viewed it as highly unlikely that there would be any Democratic revolt, as there had been among the Dixiecrats in 1948 at the convention. He also said that he was confident that any "strong candidate" for the Democrats could beat General Eisenhower, as the country was suspicious of a professional military man in the presidency, and would want to know whether Governor Dewey or Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., or some others were advising the General on domestic policies.

Senator Kefauver was the overwhelming favorite for the nomination by 150 organized labor leaders and 50 editors of labor publications, according to the Eastern Labor Press Conference, based on a nationwide poll. He had received 52 percent support from the respondents polled. In last place among the announced candidates was Senator Russell, receiving no support. The Senator's new stand on Taft-Hartley, however, had not yet been announced when the poll was taken. Vice-President Alben Barkley came in second, with 15 percent, while Averell Harriman was next with 14 percent and Governor Adlai Stevenson, fourth, with 12 percent.

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of New York spoke on behalf of black delegates at the convention and Stanley Gewirtz spoke on behalf of the Americans for Democratic action, both indicating that unless there was a strong civil rights plank in the platform, there would be a widespread movement within the party to stay away from the polls in November. Congressman Emanuel Celler of New York called for a compulsory FEPC and claimed that such a plank had helped the Democrats win in 1948.

In Pittsburgh, United Steelworkers president Philip Murray waited for the White House or industry to take the initiative toward breaking the 46-day old strike, but neither side had made any visible effort to reach a settlement since the negotiations had broken down the prior Monday. He said that rumors of a secret agreement to end the strike were unfounded. The issue of the union shop continued to be the roadblock to a contract.

In New York, an Air Force veteran obsessed with a theory for prolonging life had been returned from Boston after he had been arrested there and then confessed to killing a young blonde he did not know on the Columbia University campus the prior Monday while she worked in her office. Police indicated that he had been given a mental discharge from the Air Force after he had told them that he wanted to kill someone, in response to the American Physical Society having refused to look at his thesis. The young woman killed was a bookkeeper in the campus office of the American Physical Society. He said that she had been the first person he happened to meet in the office and so he shot her. He indicated that he had bought the pistol in Bangor, Maine, the prior June while he brooded over failure of the Society to answer his letters regarding his theories of electronics. His only actual contact with electronics had been while he was briefly enrolled in a physics course at Northeastern University in Boston in 1946.

The Second Amendment empowers the little guy again.

On the editorial page, "Eisenhower's Opportunity" finds that the President was to be commended for directing a study group to investigate U.S. curbs of foreign trade. It suggests that the group should accumulate sound evidence in favor of decreased trade restrictions and extension of the Reciprocal Trade Agreements at the point when they would be up for renewal the following year.

It indicates that the Democrats had a good record of supporting and expanding free trade, while the Republicans had a record of favoring protectionism and support of high tariffs, at odds with their demands for free enterprise, although the GOP record had improved in that regard in recent years.

It finds that General Eisenhower was well qualified to lead the Republicans away from protectionism and that many Republicans had already emerged from the protectionist era, as shown by their voting record on the Reciprocal Tariff Act during the previous 18 years. In 1934, only five Republican Senators and two Republican Representatives had supported the Act. In 1937 and 1940, not a single Republican Senator and only a handful of Representatives had supported the Act, while it continued to have nearly unanimous Democratic support throughout that period. But by 1943, the Act received the vote of a majority of Republicans in both houses, while in 1945, House Republicans had opposed it, while GOP Senators approved. In 1949, Republicans were evenly divided for and against the Act.

But the Republicans still had doubts about decreasing tariffs, as shown by the 1952 platform which said that the party favored expansion of mutually advantageous world trade and for the elimination of discriminatory practices against the country's exports such as preferential tariffs, monetary license restrictions and other "arbitrary devices". It indicated further that reciprocal trade agreements would be entered and maintained on a basis of "true reciprocity and to safeguard our domestic enterprises and the payrolls of our workers against unfair import competition." Thus the Republicans would look out for the country's exports, but would not do anything about higher tariffs on imports, which were causing other countries to trade with the Soviet bloc. It did not mention the discriminatory "Buy American" laws or the country's unilateral violation of the General Agreement on Tariffs & Trade by placing quotas on imports of cheese and milk, or the country's refusal to join the International Trade Organization.

The Administration, realizing that trade was a two-way street, and that permitting foreign nations access to the dollar market would decrease the amount necessary for foreign aid, had a better record in favor of competitive free enterprise in this area than did the Republicans.

It finds that General Eisenhower, however, was well-briefed on the problems of Atlantic trade and had gone further in support of free trade than most Democrats. It indicates that the President had stated on the prior Sunday that the U.S. had not thoroughly thought through its insistence that the free world not trade with the Soviet countries, but he then had asked what could be suggested to replace the current system. The piece indicates that it could be replaced with a vast free world free market, free of the artificial bonds which free men had forged, thus increasing imports while making West European trade with the Communist bloc unnecessary. The country could thereby increase the purchasing ability of other free nations, which could then purchase more U.S. products. It indicates that it was a program through which the Republicans could prove that they were "out of the woods" on issues of trade. It hopes that the General would embrace it.

"A Personal Victory for Senator Byrd" tells of the overwhelming primary victory by Senator Harry F. Byrd over Francis Pickens Miller, a formidable opponent, demonstrating that the Senator was not out of touch with the people of Virginia. Six years earlier, the Senator had defeated Martin Hutchinson by 141,923 to 81,605. His latest victory had been by 85,000 votes and he had received 63 percent of the total, nearly the same percentage received in 1946.

It concludes that his attacks during the prior six years on the President and the Fair Deal had neither increased nor diminished his popularity in Virginia. But, it finds, the victory margin likely reflected the admiration which Virginians had for him for his consistency in favoring government economy and the courage to vote his convictions. While he had a potent machine at the state level, the victory was not attributable to that machine, but was rather a personal victory.

"Hideaway?" tells of Maj. General Wallace Graham, the President's physician, having said that the President had shaken off his virus infection, but that he decided to have him enter Walter Reed Hospital for a checkup. The piece wonders, with the Democratic convention scheduled to start the following Monday and with a number of candidates seeking the President's ear, whether he had found the hospital a convenient hideaway.

"We Welcome a Sturdy Ally" tells of O. J. Coffin, of UNC journalism fame, being a "nimble wit and sharp tongue" who could be either a formidable opponent or sturdy ally. He was a friend of Governor Kerr Scott and enjoyed a wide readership of the Greensboro Daily News editorial page column which he wrote. He had recently joined the News in its campaign to add signs to the thousands of roads across the state built by Governor Scott. He was not quarreling with the signs in place but swore that every other sign in Chatham County gave the direction to Silk Hope and that there were almost that number of signs around Chapel Hill indicating the route to Farrington.

It concludes that the Governor's blacktop roads had opened up fascinating areas of the state to the leisurely motorist and that it was time to have them numbered and placed on the roadmaps.

Incidentally, this is the second reference to Farrington on the page within the prior week, the other having been by Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly regarding UNC president Gordon Gray's attempt to conquer chigger bites after inspecting his property located off the Farrington Road. Without meaning in any way to denigrate Farrington, as we have, to our knowledge, never been there, we have to state that we had never even heard of it until last week, despite spending seven years in Chapel Hill. Where are you, Farrington? We have visited on occasion Efland but not Farrington.

A piece from the Philadelphia Bulletin, titled "English Have To Sell", tells of Britain having built 476,000 passenger cars in 1951 and exported 375,000 of them. Of the 259,000 trucks and buses manufactured in England, only 120,000 remained in the country. Such manufacturing for export had taken place since the end of the war. Britons wanted cars and many had the cash with which to purchase them, but the British Government, whether Labor or Conservative, would not allow Britons to have them because England had to export in order to eat. Many items which Britain manufactured were denied to the people, such as cloth and clothes, fine cutlery, shoes and dishes.

It indicates that Americans had been so desirous of having cars after the war that workers in Detroit had struck when they learned that 5 percent of the automobiles being manufactured were being sent abroad.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, provides the second of three articles on the Charlotte Health Department, this time focusing on its vital statistics services. One of the tables thus compiled showed infant mortality in the city being high within the black community, at 5.42 percent, compared to 2.59 percent in the white community, more than double the rate. Forty percent of all the infant deaths in Charlotte had been caused by prematurity. In an attempt to provide the information and education necessary to reduce such deaths, the Health Education and Maternal and Child Health Services entered the picture.

The most important and most difficult part of the venereal disease control program was locating the infected persons and getting them treated. The Health Department could require a suspected infected person to take tests for the disease and if they showed positive, require them to be treated. Such persons often gave information which led to detection of other infected persons. Increased use of penicillin during the previous few years had caused a substantial decrease in the incidence of VD. With the exception of tuberculosis, communicable diseases in Charlotte had decreased the previous year.

The Department's laboratory was used primarily for analyzing milk and water, but lab technicians could take blood tests, perform urinalysis, and check VD specimens.

The City Health officer indicated that most of the recent improvement in health in the community had been achieved in the area of communicable diseases, including VD and TB, but also in maternal and infant care, school health programs and features of sanitation. He believed that the three most pressing health needs for the community were a clinic for all black children, clinical facilities for handling alcoholism, and hospital care for extreme mental disorders.

Mr. Reinemer indicates that in the concluding article, he would address criticisms of the Health Department and responses thereto by both health officers of the City and private doctors.

Drew Pearson tells of Averell Harriman, a former polo player, millionaire stockholder of the Union Pacific Railroad, former Ambassador to England and Russia and presently Mutual Security administrator, being the most surprising of the Democratic candidates for the presidency. No one, other than himself, had taken Mr. Harriman seriously at the start of his campaign and some of his friends had observed that he might make a pretty good Vice-President. But having worked very hard during his campaign, he had become one of the top contenders for the nomination. One of the most surprised at his emergence had been his father, Edward Harriman, who built the Union Pacific Railroad and then engaged in a famous battle with Jim Hill to control the Northern Pacific, resulting in a crash on Wall Street. The elder Harriman's motto was that the public be damned, while the son's motto was that the public came first. The younger had done everything the exact opposite from his father, to the point where friends accused him of trying to atone for the economic sins of the earlier generation. But Averell Harriman appeared to be following in the footsteps of his grandfather, devout Episcopalian minister. Some of his old friends had said that if he had not been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, he would not have been able to feed himself. He had resigned as chairman of the Union Pacific and given up his directorships in the Illinois Central and Western Union. He had, however, kept a vigilant eye on the Union Pacific, with the result that its captive coal mines had the best safety record in the country. In 1944, the Justice Department had planned to bring a criminal antitrust suit against the railroad, along with most of the other roads west of the Mississippi. Mr. Harriman, himself, was to have been named as a defendant in a criminal conspiracy, but when FDR reviewed the case, he concluded that the Justice Department could not seek to indict the Ambassador to Russia. As a result, the Justice Department pursued instead a civil case. Mr. Harriman believed that the railroads had every right to conspire to fix rates.

He was campaigning as a great friend of labor and appeared sincere about the fact, but just four years earlier, when the Taft-Hartley Act was being discussed at the White House, Mr. Harriman, as Secretary of Commerce, had done his best to persuade the President not to veto the bill. He also had tried to dissuade the President in 1947 from sending a strong message to the Republican 80th Congress regarding economic controls. The Republicans had claimed that no controls were necessary and Senator Taft had led a heated battle to abolish them. The President had determined otherwise, going over the head of Secretary of Commerce Harriman.

Despite such mistakes, Mr. Harriman had been right on several important matters, for instance having been one of the first to warn Washington what lay ahead with Russia, having encouraged military aid to the Red Army and establishment of cooperation between the United States and Russia. When he found that impossible of realization, he began sending warnings about Russia back to Washington.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, tell of the movement to draft Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois for the Democratic nomination being "dead", at least during the first few ballots. The Governor was being counted out of the picture, even by national committeeman from Illinois, Jacob Arvey. The reason for the development was based on crude practicality. In 1948, Mr. Arvey and others had gone out on a limb in support of General Eisenhower for the Democratic nomination, and were left "naked as jaybirds" when the General refused to run. Mr. Arvey did not want to go through that same experience again.

The other proponents of a draft of Governor Stevenson, Governors Paul Dever of Massachusetts, G. Mennen Williams of Michigan, Paul Schricker of Indiana and Pennsylvania's leader, David Lawrence, all remembered Mr. Arvey's misfortunes of 1948 and wanted no part of those risks. They had all asked Governor Stevenson to commit himself in advance to acceptance of the draft and had also asked whether, if nominated, he would mount a fighting campaign, as they believed that General Eisenhower could be beaten by a hard fighter.

Governor Stevenson had been under enormous pressure since the nomination of General Eisenhower, with Democrats phoning him from all over the country and pleading for him to run. Nevertheless, he had stood on his previous position. He had even asked Mr. Arvey to persuade the Stevenson-for-President committee to give up its planned suite for the convention headquarters at the Hilton Hotel, and had brought heavy pressure to the Illinois and Indiana delegates to prevent his name from being placed in nomination, even stating that he was considering going to the rostrum, himself, to nominate his friend, Averell Harriman.

In the meantime, the President had cooled toward the idea of a draft of the Governor, based on his reluctance to run and his failure to endorse completely a Fair Deal program, after the President had early on urged him to run. The President was not against the idea but he was no longer urging it. Thus, on the day after the nomination of General Eisenhower the prior Friday, the coalition of pro-Stevenson Democrats had dissolved.

The Alsops suggest that this turn of events would create "an insanely complex situation" at the convention, with the delegates pulled in three different directions, toward either Senator Kefauver, Senator Russell, or Mr. Harriman, none of whose support appeared strong enough to attract the greater part of the delegates. Senator Robert Kerr had the longest way to go of all, and if all of those four failed, the convention might turn to Vice-President Alben Barkley. The Democrats believed that they could win based on the bitter Republican split and the fact that General Eisenhower had proved disappointing in his early campaigning, thus making them reluctant to accept the Vice-President, whose age, at 74, made him appear as a "caretaker candidate".

They regard it likely that one of those men would become the nominee, and if not, the only choices remaining would be either Governor Stevenson or the President. And those close to the President had said that he would not consider a draft unless every other possibility were totally exhausted, meaning that Governor Stevenson would have to be encouraged first to accept a draft.

We have a suggestion: put to him the question whether he really wants "tricky Dicky" a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, tells of two impressive reasons why General Eisenhower had won the Republican nomination, apart from the political maneuvering, the first being that he had a large following among independent voters and dissident Democrats, while Senator Taft did not, and, by the polls, could be beaten by almost any Democrat, and second, that the General was the spokesman for American responsibility in the world through a system of collective security, a system of which he had been a vital part as supreme commander of NATO. To most Americans, that system appeared as a realistic approach to the threat of Communist aggression.

The Eisenhower campaign, he ventures, had to be skillfully organized from the top, with a minimum of internal conflict, were the momentum which gave him the nomination not to be slowed. One of the angry charges heard during the Republican convention was that the supporters of the General were "summer soldiers", that they came for the hoopla of a convention every four years, but were not on the firing line when the party regulars had been holding down the fort in the interim. That which had been occurring in the wake of the convention gave some support to the charge, as Herbert Brownell, the backroom strategist for the General, was returning to his New York law practice, and had been closely identified with Governor Dewey, thus making his selection for a prominent campaign post problematic.

Mr. Childs suggests that a difficult balance had to be achieved between the professional politicians essential to the organization and allowing the General to be himself on the campaign trail. He counsels that the General would find nothing like the "simple directness" which went into the planning of a military campaign, where there was a chain of command with designated responsibility and authority in a clear and simple pattern. Such was not the case in a political campaign, and the General had to reach his own judgment both regarding people and events, and with little deliberation.

He concludes that perhaps the public mind was set against the Democrats for having been twenty years in power and that the General, therefore, could not lose, but, he indicates, it was still true that the Democrats were the majority party and had, therefore, the ability to offer a variety of lures to the bloc voters, such as labor and the farmers. "As the old timers say, you're not elected until the last vote is counted."

We certainly learned as a country that political copybook maxim, in bold relief and through the microscope darkly, in the 2000 presidential election.

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