The Charlotte News

Friday, July 18, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports from Chicago, via Jack Bell, that labor leaders were determined to have a dominant voice in the selection of the Democratic presidential nominee. United Steelworkers Union and CIO president Philip Murray arrived in Chicago as candidates were bidding for union support. There were reports that the CIO and the AFL might combine to back a single candidate, possibly Senator Estes Kefauver or Averell Harriman. George Harrison, a vice-president of the AFL and head of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks, had been in Chicago several days being active for Mr. Harriman. Rudolph Halley, whose election as president of the New York City Council had stemmed from his time as counsel for the Senate crime investigating committee, chaired by Senator Kefauver, had told a press conference that he did not think that the Senator, leading in committed delegates, had been stopped in the convention voting. Senator Richard Russell, who had just renounced the Taft-Hartley Act, despite having helped to enact it over the President's veto in 1947, had arranged to meet with Mr. Murray at a time to be decided subsequently. This new stand of the Senator had provoked Southern reaction among delegates and leaders in a way which had come close to political violence. Senator Russell had already met with UMW leader John L. Lewis and William Green, president of the AFL.

Some of Senator Russell's backers stated that they regarded Vice-President Alben Barkley as his chief opponent, unless Governor Adlai Stevenson came into the race unexpectedly. The Governor, who was expected to arrive at the convention site later in the day, continued to maintain that he would not be a draft candidate. Supporters of the Governor for the nomination continued to assert that if the convention failed to select a nominee on the early ballots, he could be prevailed upon to enter the race.

The Vice-President arrived in town and, at age 74, walked from the railway station to his hotel, with a train of perspiring reporters trailing behind.

Senator Robert Kerr of Oklahoma predicted that he would have 150 delegate votes on the first ballot.

There was a battle ongoing within the competing Texas delegations, between one headed by Governor Alan Shivers, not pledged to support the party, nominee, and that of former Representative Maury Maverick, which would remain loyal to the party nominee. Both sides were trading insults. Unlike the delegation squabbles at the Republican convention, television cameras were permitted at the credentials subcommittee debates. Mr. Maverick said that the Shivers group was a bunch of "Republicans, Dixiecrats, bolters", and Governor Shivers said the Maverick group had been beaten by about 95 percent of the voters in Texas. Another similar contest, regarding 18 delegate votes, would later occur in the disputed Mississippi delegations. In that state, those not pledged to the nominee were concerned that the nominee might be a supporter of the Fair Deal and support the President's civil rights program. Mr. Maverick made a point of the same underlying issue in Texas, saying that his delegation represented Democrats of all colors and had been the first from Texas ever to include blacks and Latin Americans within its membership. A spokesman for the Shivers group stressed white supremacy and said that the party "regulars" had gone all the way back to 1840 to take their stand against abolition of slavery, while acknowledging it was a fundamentally wrong position to have taken. At stake in Texas were 52 convention delegate votes. The credentials committee, meanwhile, voted unanimously to seat all 98 excess delegates named in Idaho, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, and North Carolina, with those delegates having fractional votes, not impacting the overall total of 616 needed to nominate. The alternates for those delegates were denied seats.

In New York, General Eisenhower announced this date that he would speak on August 25 at the American Legion's national convention in New York. Senator Richard Nixon, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, would also be present with the General. The President and the Democratic nominee for the presidency would also be invited to speak at the convention.

The White House reported this date that it was considering a plan to seize part of the strike-bound steel industry under the Selective Service Act, that Justice Department attorneys had been instructed the previous afternoon to prepare papers leading to that possible partial seizure. The Act gave the President power to seize only plants which failed to produce under direct contract with procurement agencies, thus, in those applicable cases, avoiding the snafu which had rendered the previous April 8 seizure of the entire steel industry unconstitutional, as having been based solely on inherent executive power, as declared on June 2 by the Supreme Court, which also held that Congressional authorization for an emergency seizure would be appropriate. Former Solicitor General Philip Perlman had told both the District and Supreme Courts during the seizure case that the Government had considered seizure under the Selective Service Act but had determined that the method would be too cumbersome and too difficult to implement. The White House official who provided the information declined to be quoted by name. He said that any such seizure would be limited, involving those operations which produced high alloy and other special steel products for use in military items, such as guns, bullets, tanks and other matériel.

The President named career diplomat Walter J. Donnelly as United States High Commissioner for Germany this date, and at the same time, appointed Llewellyn E. Thompson, Jr., to succeed Mr. Donnelly as U.S. Ambassador and High Commissioner for Austria. Mr. Thompson had been minister-counselor at Rome for the previous two years. Mr. Donnelly succeeded John J. McCloy, who was retiring for personal reasons after three years in the position. The President had regretfully accepted Mr. McCloy's resignation and extended his personal appreciation for his "outstanding contribution" in bringing the Federal Republic of Germany into the family of free nations and in the development of friendly relations between the U.S. and the Federal Republic. Mr. Donnelly was expected to become the first postwar U.S. ambassador to Germany after the new peace contract would become effective.

In Tehran, newly appointed Premier Ahmed Qavam extended a peace bid to the British this date regarding the struggle over the nationalization of Iranian oil, and promised to resign if he failed to resolve the nation's oil problems. The loss of revenues from the nationalization of the British-operated Anglo-Iranian oil company had resulted in the near bankruptcy of Iran and had diminished British-Iranian relations to their nadir. The new Premier accused his predecessor, Mohammed Mossadegh, of following an erroneous oil policy and turning a legal question "into an enmity between two nations". He served warning on the pro-Mossadegh nationalist faction that he would not tolerate violence, that the instigators of same would face his "most serious reaction", and that the day of obeying Government rules and regulations had come. Police had arrested several persons when they tried to demonstrate in the center of the city against the new Premier, all members of the Iran Party and Labor Party.

In Raleigh, State Attorney General Harry McMullen's request that the State Utilities Commission reconsider the $1,909,328 rate increase it had recently granted to Duke Power Co., was rejected, with the Commission stating that it could find no basis for exceptions to its order. One of the commissioners wrote a vigorous dissent. Based on juxtaposition, the headline writer wrote a vigorous ascent.

In Washington, at 2:00 a.m. this date, an engineer at WRC radio station in the suburbs, looked up at the sky and claimed to have observed six or seven bright orange disks streaking across in a single line, the saucers speeding away for about five seconds and then each, in turn, veering sharply upward and disappearing.

We aren't too surprised.

In Springfield, Illinois, a radio official won a prize at a picnic the previous day, 12 tons of rocks, and if he wanted it, he would have to haul it away from the Athens Stone Co. which had donated the rocks. The man said it was the first thing he had ever won in his life and was open to suggestions as to what he should do with the rocks. We think you know...

In Berlin, the Communists urged unmarried women to kiss with caution, because Western agents and spies frequently used courtship methods to worm their way into Communist circles. It was urged by the leader of the women's committee of the Soviet zone railway system that unmarried women make certain that their friends and sweethearts were "ideologically safe".

Thus, presumably, the relevant question would be, "Is it safe?"

A picture shows a young man in jail for having posed as the "wife" of an Air Force sergeant in Corpus Christi, Tex., for several months, collecting dependency payments totaling $2,500. That relationship was a little more unusual in 1952 than in the present day, though it would still be illegal to receive such payments without actual marriage.

On the editorial page, "A Break for City Taxpayers" provides credit to the City Council and City Manager Henry Yancey for the City's businesslike budget tentatively adopted the prior Wednesday. A group of Charlotte businessmen, representing the Chamber of Commerce, also deserved credit. It explains its reasoning.

Dig yourself.

"Experience" indicates that five years earlier, Senator Richard Russell had voted for Taft-Hartley and had voted to override the President's veto of it. A month earlier, he had stated in an interview with U.S. News & World Report that he was not in favor of repeal of it. But on Tuesday, in the pre-convention discussions with delegates in Chicago, the Senator had suddenly stated that he was for repealing the law on the basis that five years of experience with it had shown its weaknesses and inequities.

The piece sarcastically concludes: "There's nothing like experience (with delegates, that is) to change a candidate's mind."

"A Limitation on Free Enterprise" tells of the McGuire Fair Trade bill which the President had signed recently being neither all good nor all bad, requiring all retailers in a state with fair trade laws to sell brand merchandise at the manufacturer's prescribed retail price if any single merchant in the state signed an agreement with the manufacturer to do so. The Supreme Court had held that non-signers could not be compelled to sell brand products at advertised prices, and the bill was designed to circumvent that ruling.

The manufacturer who spent advertising money to establish brand products had ground for complaint against retailers who cut prices, wishing all of the retailers to sell at the same price. Some of the smaller retailers resented price-cutting by the larger stores. The proponents of the bill had thus labeled it a device to protect the small businessman.

It remarks, however, that fixing of retail prices by the manufacturer was a fundamental departure from the traditions of free enterprise, as a retailer purchasing an item from a wholesaler or distributor bought his own property and should have the right to sell it at any price he desired. Eliminating differentials in price took away competition, harming the retail purchaser. The act also opened the door to indirect price collusion among manufacturers, which, without the legislation, would constitute an illegal conspiracy to fix prices. American business had denounced government intervention in private enterprise and so it was not consistent to encourage this sort of legislative meddling in the free market.

It indicates that fair trade laws had not been tested for their constitutionality, for effectively depriving a property owner of his basic rights under due process to sell the property at the price he chose. Meanwhile, the customer had some protection in that consumers could band together at the state level and get rid of the fair trade laws in the 45 states which had adopted them, as state legislatures were sensitive to public opinion.

"Senator Wiley's Suggestion Is Sound" indicates that Senator Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin, the ranking Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, had continued to show signs of increasing stature as a spokesman for bipartisan foreign policy, his latest suggestion having been that foreign policy experts of both parties consult regularly during the remainder of the year. It was sound, as Congress was not in session, the administration might change in January, and the campaign would encourage irresponsible and reckless charges regarding foreign policy. Secretary of State Acheson had spoken cautiously on the subject, awaiting word from the President. It suggests that the President and other Democrats might consider the proposal a sign of weakness, suggestive of victory by the Republicans in November. But some Republicans would also view such consultations as a sign of weakness, despite their nomination of General Eisenhower, who agreed with much of the Administration's foreign policy, as they wished to be free to criticize the Democrats on all issues.

Thus, it concludes that partisans in both camps might object to the suggestion by Senator Wiley, but it hopes that the President would accept it and implement it.

A piece from the Monroe Journal, titled "Hog Psychology", tells of an article from the Hartford County Herald informing that a farmer in that locality had used psychology on a sow, after two sows belonging to the farmer had pigs at the same time, one producing 14 and the other six, the one having too many and the other too few, such that the farmer tried to divide the pigs evenly between the two, having no initial success, until he sprayed all the piglets with kerosene at which point the sows reluctantly accepted their forced adoptees.

The piece hesitates to express an opinion on the phenomenon but suggests that it was actually an application of kerosene rather than psychology which had resulted in the success.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, in the third and last in a series of articles regarding the City Health Department, regards the criticism of the Department and the responses to that criticism by City and private doctors. The three major criticisms were that the Department was encroaching on private medicine through immunizations and vaccinations provided at public expense, by families getting free service at taxpayer expense, and by the Department soliciting visits to it and its clinics, at the expense of private practitioners. He provides the responses of the City health officer, Dr. M. B. Bethel, who said that certain immunizations were required by law for children before attending public schools, and that therefore there was no alternative but to provide that service at public expense, that all children benefited from such immunization. Since a lot of parents did not take their babies to family physicians, the City needed to fill the gap, and, furthermore, most pediatricians had more work than they could handle and the City was supplying them with more work than it was taking away from them. As to the third criticism, in response to a theory that people invented stories so that they could go to the public health department within an excuse not to pay, the Health Department regarded it as a well-taken criticism that the Department might be construed as soliciting services by merely mentioning to the patient the services available. The usual procedure was to advise the patient to see their family doctor or check with the Health Department, and there was no active attempt to solicit patients for Department services.

The overriding important thing was that persons go to a doctor, see a nurse, and learn how to take care of themselves, that it was better to get some treatment and advice, whether private or public, rather than none at all.

Mr. Reinemer indicates that after watching mothers with little knowledge of nutrition or health habits bring undernourished children to the public baby clinics, there obtaining basic education and immunization, as well as after following a public health nurse on her rounds, cheering, advising and ministering to the patients, and after talking with private physicians and Health Department officials, he had concluded that the private and public practice was well-balanced and that Charlotte residents had a Health Department in which they could take pride.

Drew Pearson indicates that before Vice-President Barkley had become an active candidate for the presidency, his family had discussed the matter and developed varying opinions, his daughter, whose husband was the nephew of General MacArthur, having been emphatically opposed to having him run, as she believed it might shorten his life. The other daughter and his new wife wanted him to run.

General Eisenhower was the oldest Republican ever nominated at 61 and, to that point, the oldest President ever elected had been William Henry Harrison in 1840, at age 68, who died a month after taking office in 1841 from pneumonia contracted at his chilly March inauguration—supposedly beginning the curse on the nation of the "zero year"-elected Presidents placed by the warrior Tecumseh, arising from either the Battle of Tippecanoe, involving General Harrison, or the War of 1812, that curse, if believed, having endured through 1963, through Presidents Lincoln, elected in 1860, James Garfield, elected in 1880, William McKinley, re-elected in 1900, Warren Harding, elected in 1920, FDR, re-elected in 1940, albeit surviving that term and not actually dying until the beginning of his fourth term, and, of course, President Kennedy, elected in 1960 as the youngest President, at 43, ever elected, Theodore Roosevelt having acceded to the Presidency at age 42 upon the assassination of President McKinley in 1901.

Mr. Pearson suggests, however, that Vice-President Barkley was one of the most vigorous men in Washington and that based upon his party loyalty, deserved the reward of the nomination. He indicates that FDR probably would have given him the nod for the second spot on the ticket in 1944 had it not been for the bitter speech which then-Senator Barkley had made against the President's veto of the 1944 tax bill in March of that year. The Senate had delivered a watered-down version of the tax bill sought by the President to finance the war effort, and the incident wound up cooling relations considerably between FDR and Senator Barkley. It had been FDR who had gotten Senator Barkley elected as Senate Majority Leader after a battle with Senator Pat Harrison of Mississippi, between the Southern conservatives and the proponents of the New Deal, Senator Barkley winning by only one vote, with Senator William Dieterich of Illinois switching his vote after pressure exerted by FDR on Chicago Mayor Ed Kelly, chief director of the re-election bid of Senator Dieterich. That, plus FDR's aid of Senator Barkley in his re-election fight with Governor Happy Chandler of Kentucky, had caused the President to remain miffed at Mr. Barkley for his denunciation in the 1944 Senate speech.

The Vice-President had become mellower in the four years since he had been a Senator, having once during his Senate years referred to Senator Tom Connally as "that boob Senator from Texas" and to Senator Millard Tydings of Maryland, who was demanding a processing tax on shoddy wool, that the Senator ought to know something about "shoddy, since that is something on which he is an expert." He had once interrupted Senator Huey Long, who had been bragging about his education, asking whether the Senator had ever studied music, to which Senator Long stated, "A little", followed by a suggestion by Senator Barkley that therefore he should "sing a little".

He had some problems in the past which Republicans would likely exploit, one being that his son had worked for the Garssons, who, with Congressman Andrew May of Kentucky, had been convicted of defrauding the Government on war contracts, though his son had not been involved in the fraud. He had, however, been hired to obtain influence in Washington, and thus it would play into the hands of the Republicans seeking to exploit the corruption issue. One of his sons-in-law had represented the three top dictators outside Russia, Rafael Trujillo of the Dominican Republic, Francisco Franco of Spain and Juan Peron of Argentina.

Those promoting his nomination had pointed out that Winston Churchill was 78, but they overlooked the rising tide of British criticism even within the Conservative Party regarding the aging Prime Minister, urging him to step aside for a younger man. Secretary of State Acheson had recently reported that Mr. Churchill's age was such that he could hardly follow a conversation. (Someone might have discreetly interjected that his penchant for booze, well known, might have accelerated the deterioration of his mind.)

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, tells of a mood of "pessimism and even defeatism" afflicting many of the delegates to the Democratic convention, particularly true of the professionals, not impressed by the claims of the declared candidates, as they did not see in that mix a winner. Governor Adlai Stevenson had effectively eliminated himself from the running, based on the determination of the party leaders.

Since March 29, when the President announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election, the situation had essentially not changed, with the party having only "pieces of candidates" who appealed to one or another bloc of voters but none having broad-based appeal. What could result might be a "caretaker ticket", should there be no agreement as to a nominee from within the top three or four candidates with delegate strength. The first choice, in that event, would be Vice-President Alben Barkley and the second choice would be Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman, the former because of his loyal service to the party through time and the latter because of his continued support of the New Deal and Fair Deal.

It was suggested that the President might accept a last-minute draft rather than have the party adopt such a fate. But Mr. Childs opines that under no circumstances would the President consent to run again, a sentiment shared by those closest to him. Persons close to him believed that he felt that he had done all that he should be called upon to do for his party and that someone else should now take up the cudgels. That, however, Mr. Childs remarks, overlooked the President's intense loyalty to the party and, should the Democrats go through the kind of torment which had beset the Republicans at their convention, he might be persuaded to enter the race.

Many delegates, however, believed that the President would carry into the campaign too many handicaps from the revelations of scandals during the previous couple of years.

He concludes that "the circus interludes of sound and fury" would be present at the Democratic convention as they had been at the Republican convention, "but their artificiality promised is to be even more apparent" at the Democratic affair.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the Democrats being almost certainly stuck with Senator Kefauver if they were looking for a strong candidate to compete with the charm of General Eisenhower, finding the contest settling down to one of charm. Women were now involved in the election campaign as never before, as were youth among the leaders, in spirit, if not chronologically speaking. The General appeared, at 61, to be as nearly youthful as Senator Kefauver, in his forties. "And, of course, Dick Nixon, the VP candidate, is the youngest ever recorded at a mere 39."

He imagines that Senator Kefauver would be a "bitter pill for some of the old jackass drivers to swallow", but that his showing in the previous year and his lead in delegates, plus the "sourness of his competitors on the public tongue" made him a common sense candidate.

The delegates preferred Governor Adlai Stevenson, but he had even said that he would as soon shoot himself as to be nominated. Mr. Ruark finds that to have been an all-time high in negation of nomination for the presidency, outdoing even President Calvin Coolidge's statement in 1928 that he did not choose to run. With Senator Kefauver, the Democrats had a chance, as he was known, young and Lincolnesque, had come out strongly against crime and shown amazing strength in the primaries, as well as having a charming wife and children.

He thinks that the average person would be unable to give an assessment of "Average" Averell Harriman, of Senator Richard Russell or the rest of the actual or potential candidates, with the exception of "Kissin'" Alben Barkley and the President, himself. And Vice-President Barkley, at 74, was considered too old.

He suggests that the Democrats were actually willing to concede the election and hence might be willing to forgo a Kefauver candidacy, who could achieve real power in the ensuing four years, and instead hand the nomination to someone who would clear the way in 1956 for a nominee who was less of a party maverick. He nevertheless makes a bet, with no money involved, that the Senator would become the nominee, as well as a second, that if he did not, the Democrats would be "murdered" in the general election.

The "Congressional Quiz", from the Congressional Quarterly, answers the question regarding the purpose in passing a special law to allow Federal prosecution of crimes committed on airplanes, by indicating that Congress wanted to plug a legal loophole which had prevented the Federal Government from prosecuting an individual for assaulting several persons during a flight from Puerto Rico to New York in 1948.

Another question as to whether the new G.I. bill would apply only to veterans who had fought in Korea, was answered in the negative, that it would apply to all persons who had served in the Armed Forces after the beginning of the Korean War, since June 27, 1950. It indicates also the educational benefits provided by the bill and the length of service required to obtain them.

It answers a question as to what had become of the proposal to allow 18-year olds to vote, indicating that the Senate Judiciary Committee had approved a resolution on July 1, calling for a Constitutional amendment to lower the age to 18, that only Georgia among the states presently allowed the vote to persons 18 years of age. To become law, the amendment had to be approved by two-thirds of both the House and Senate, and then by three-fourths of the states.

The 26th Amendment, lowering the voting age from 21 to 18 in all state and Federal elections, was proposed by Congress in early 1971 and ratified by the requisite number of states just a few months later. It had long been a rallying cry for the proposal, since the days of World War II, that if one were old enough to die in a war, one should be old enough to vote. But it finally took the Vietnam War, the first "televised war" to enter living rooms every night on the nightly news, in crimson red living color after 1966, plus the rancorous and troublesome election year of 1968, to drive that point home to the citizenry.

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