The Charlotte News

Thursday, July 3, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that in Denver, General Eisenhower had departed for the Chicago convention vowing to fight to keep the party "clean and fit to lead our nation", that it could not "go before the public and ask for its votes unless it comes into court with clean hands." He promised that his headquarters at the Blackstone Hotel would be open to delegates without the necessity of prior appointments. He indicated that he would not ask any delegate to vote for him but intended to express his views "honestly and openly" on any question which they raised. He said that what happened in Chicago would largely determine what happened to the country in November. The General had returned from his only fishing trip into the nearby Rockies, where he and his unnamed partner had each caught their limit of ten trout, using dry flies.

In pre-convention activities in Chicago, the RNC was considering the seating of 13 disputed Louisiana delegates, with General Eisenhower's supporters ready to abandon hope of seating their delegates in the Taft-controlled committee. They nevertheless assailed the tactics utilized by the Taft forces in Texas, Georgia and other states, in addition to Louisiana, vowing to take the fight to the convention floor if necessary. A late report indicates that the pro-Eisenhower faction in Louisiana had won a preliminary victory, as the RNC decided to rule on all 13 contested seats of the 15-seat delegation.

A national committeeman from Illinois took exception to the charge by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., General Eisenhower's campaign manager, that the committee's award of the 17 Georgia seats to the Taft delegation the previous day was a steal.

Meanwhile, Senator Taft met for 45 minutes with Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania, who controlled a large segment of the 70-person delegation from that state, both emerging from the meeting telling reporters that "nothing concrete" had developed and the situation was as it had been, with Governor Fine indicating he was still undecided. An aide to Governor Fine said that he would likely meet with General Eisenhower when he arrived on Saturday.

Senator Taft criticized the resolution on delegate contests which had been drafted the previous day by 23 governors and indicated that one of his supporters, Governor J. Bracken Lee of Utah, who had signed it, was "all wrong". The statement to the RNC by the governors had urged that a disputed state delegation should not be permitted to vote on disputes involving other delegations. Senator Taft said that the convention could not be conducted under such rules. Governor Lee called it a "moral issue", to which Senator Taft objected, calling it "purely parliamentary", indicating that such a rule would encourage "phony contests" in every state, encouraging groups to bolt from state and county conventions. The strategists for General Eisenhower were taking the same stance as the governors. The Senator claimed to have more than 600 committed delegates out of the 604 needed to win nomination.

In Reno, the bookies were not accepting wagers on who would win the Republican nomination, in part because the gamblers, themselves, could not agree on who would likely emerge as the nominee, and in another part because of State law. One bookie said that if he were to post odds, they would heavily favor the General, while another said that the Senator would win easily. A third gave the General a slight edge. The State tax commission had ruled that the bookies could not accept out-of-state bets or receive wagers by telephone or telegraph even within the state.

A Washington attorney, a Democratic leader in Arlington County, Va., stated that he would charge General MacArthur with violation of the Hatch Act if he delivered the keynote address to the Republican convention the following week. The Act prohibited partisan political activity by government employees, with penalties ranging up to a year in jail and a $1,000 fine. He made public a letter to the General in which he stated that the Act applied to Army officers. The Army had ruled the previous month that the General could deliver the keynote address without violating Army regulations.

At the U.N., Soviet chief delegate Jakob Malik warned in advance that he would veto the U.S. proposal that the Security Council hold an inquiry into the Communist charges of use of germ warfare in Korea, because the Security Council had refused to invite the Chinese and Korean Communists to take part in the debate. U.S. delegate Ernest Gross said that the veto proved the falsity of the Communist charges, and he immediately submitted a resolution calling on the Council to declare the charges false and to condemn "the practice of disseminating such false charges". It was the 49th veto cast by Russia in the Council.

The President, in his annual report on U.N. relations with the U.S., told Congress this date that the U.N. made it possible to stop Russia and that going it alone would invite World War III. Likewise, he said, force alone would not bring peace, that it would require work for international justice and morality through the U.N. He said that since the start of the Korean War two years earlier, the free world had made progress which had "begun to tip the scales toward real security for ourselves and all other peace-loving peoples."

Senator Joseph McCarthy, speaking before a Senate Rules subcommittee, swore that "fellow travelers, Communists and complete dupes" had been sheltered by Connecticut Senator William Benton when he had been in the State Department. Senator McCarthy claimed that at least seven such persons, dangerous to America, were so harbored by Senator Benton. He did not identify any of the seven persons. He also said that Senator Benton had been "wholeheartedly following the Communist directive to discredit and destroy, smear and libel anyone" who dared to hurt the Communist cause. He indicated that the Daily Worker provided those directives, stating that he did not suggest that Senator Benton was a member of the Communist Party but that "his soap selling abilities" were worth ten million dollars per year to the party. The same subcommittee had been investigating Senator Benton's accusation of fraud and deceit against Senator McCarthy, challenging his fitness to serve in the Senate. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma objected to Senator McCarthy's use of the word "chameleon" to describe Senator Benton, saying that the hearing was intended to develop leads and factual information and not for "picking out of the dictionary any low type of crawling animals." Senator McCarthy indicated that Senator Monroney had earlier listened to more than 30,000 words of name-calling from Senator Benton without objection.

The Senate, rushing to meet its deadlines before adjournment for the political conventions, met for 2 1/2 hours ahead of its usual time of convening, and passed scores of bills without debate, nearly all of which had been minor measures to which no member objected. The Senate had more than 300 bills on its calendar. The story lists the important measures still pending. The House had fewer bills to consider and began work at the usual time.

Near Bradenton, Florida, a B-47 medium jet bomber crashed and burned this date, apparently without survivors, the number aboard, however, not yet ascertained.

Near Winnipeg, Manitoba, eight persons had been killed and twenty others injured when a Greyhound bus crashed into the rear of a tractor-trailer truck, shearing off the right front side of the bus, throwing several passengers onto the highway, including a child who died as a result.

In Chesapeake, O., a man had been wearing shorts every day since 1935 in protest against "those darn infernal women who show their legs." In cold weather, he would don an overcoat, gloves and a hat, but underneath were shorts. The man said that he had not done any work since he started wearing shorts, and one time was thrown in jail for 106 hours, with doctors probing him to see if he was nuts. Another time, he had attended an open-air church meeting and three deacons had ordered him off church property, causing him to have to quit attending church. He stated, however, that if it were not for the strength he received from God, he could not have lasted 17 days, much less 17 years in his protest. He had been cussed, threatened, beaten and called everything but a man. His main hobby was roaming the hills for game and fish, affording, along with three of his brothers, provisions for his elderly mother and himself, 45. He said he might give up wearing shorts when the women did, but that it did not look like they were going to do so.

On the editorial page, "Happy July 4th (and 5th, Too) We Hope" tells of 360 persons having died on U.S. highways during the Memorial Day weekend a month earlier, and that in the previous six years, 8,936 Americans had died in holiday traffic accidents, nearly three times the number who had died in the attack on Pearl Harbor—actually closer to four times the official count, 2,390—, and half the number of Americans who had thus far been killed in Korea. It therefore counsels extra caution and driving more slowly, in an effort to cut that toll sharply. It suggests, however, that American motorists did not think about those things until it was too late.

It concludes by wishing everyone a happy Fourth of July weekend but also hopes that they would still be readers when the holiday weekend ended...

"New Definition of 'Regular' Republicans" discusses the RNC's seating of the "regular" pro-Taft delegation from Florida two days earlier and then, the previous day, also refusing to see the "regular" Georgia delegation, heavily favoring General Eisenhower by 15 to 2, instead seating the rump delegation, which was solidly for Senator Taft. In so doing, it underscored what was already apparent, that the "regular" Republicans, in the view of the RNC, were those pledged to support the Senator.

The national committeeman from Georgia, a strong Taft supporter, had taken the position several weeks earlier that the 15 Eisenhower delegates from Georgia were legitimately chosen by majority vote and had promised to fight for their seating in Chicago. He had, however, taken a powder the previous day, taking no part in the committee's deliberations.

Unless the credentials committee or the full convention corrected these injustices, Senator Taft would likely collect virtually all of the Southern delegations, including those chosen legitimately and favoring General Eisenhower. It was uncertain whether those delegates would be enough to win the nomination for the Senator on the first ballot, but the integrity of the Senator had suffered greatly in the first two days of the pre-convention activities, disillusioning millions of Americans who had been looking forward to a change from "Pendergastism".

"Pity the Poor School Board Member" tells of the City School Board members serving without pay and spending a lot of days and evenings on school business, wrestling with problems which appeared to get increasingly bigger every year. It would be easier if the members were patted on the back occasionally, but as a rule, they only heard complaints from parents who believed their child was not getting a square deal. It indicates that an account appeared in this date's newspaper regarding the overcrowded conditions in several local elementary schools and one junior high school, requiring the Board to turn down people living outside the city limits who wanted to send their children to those city schools. Some of the parents had been nasty in their objections to the ruling.

It indicates that the Board had no choice, as its first responsibility was to the children who lived within the city limits, that the Board could not permit overcrowded classrooms or arrange double sessions just to placate a few parents who chose to live in the county but wanted to send their children to the city schools. It indicates that the Board had been fair and tolerant in the past and counsels the parents to follow that example.

"GOP Hassle Opens Silly Season" tells of a story appearing by Tom Fesperman of The News, which recounted a story of a New Jersey man who had helped to beat Senator Millard Tydings in Maryland in 1950 and who had come to Charlotte to present a strategy for Republican Charles Jonas to beat incumbent Congressman Hamilton Jones in November. He had his picture taken with local Republican officials, which appeared in the paper. At that point, Guy Gabrielson, RNC chairman, became angry at this man, calling some of the Republican leaders in the district and fussing at them about it, urging them to map their own strategy without publicity, so as not to stir up the Democrats to pour big money into the campaign.

It suggests that Mr. Gabrielson had lost some of his marbles, as the Republicans in the district had the best candidate they had fielded in years and should be shouting from the rooftops about him. The Democrats, meanwhile, would be stirred up anyway by the fact of it being a presidential election year and it would not help the prestige of the Republicans in the district if the national party openly and vigorously supported the campaign of Mr. Jonas. It suggests that Mr. Gabrielson had prescribed the right formula for killing off the Jonas campaign, to work behind closed doors and use the same smear tactics used against Senator Tydings—including Senator McCarthy and a cooked-up composite photograph showing supposedly Senator Tydings smiling alongside former American Communist leader Earl Browder. It suspects that Mr. Jonas would run his own campaign in his own way.

"Harriman's Campaign Endangered" suggests that someone should have made an issue out of the fact that Averell Harriman was running for the presidency while being administrator of the Mutual Security Program. It ventures that he should have stepped away from the latter position, as that program should be free from politics and could not be so insulated as long as Mr. Harriman was attacking the Republican Party and adhering to the Fair Deal philosophy. The MSA was important enough that it needed the full-time services of its administrator and if the program could afford to have Mr. Harriman absent during the campaign, it was either overstaffed or the importance of the job had been oversold by the Administration.

Drew Pearson notes several things about the Eisenhower campaign, that there was of late less gloom around the headquarters as his managers believed that he had made inroads on Taft delegates, wooing 75 in his talks with the various delegations. The General was still veering from one policy to another, perhaps out of the realization that he needed not only to win conservatives to please Republicans, but also had to be liberal enough to please Democrats, to be elected in the fall. Wife Mamie, completely new to politics and expected to be difficult, had turned out to be the opposite, cooperating with photographers and journalists. The General also had continued to be in excellent spirits.

The General's staff had pulled in opposite directions, differing on policies and missing important cues. One major mistake had been made by Arthur Vandenberg, Jr., son of the deceased Senator from Michigan, prompting his resignation from the campaign. He had arranged a luncheon between the General and several Washington "trained seals", Charles Lucey of Scripps-Howard, Bert Andrews of the New York Herald Tribune, James Reston of the New York Times, Fred Collins of the Providence Journal, and others, but no wire services, networks or news magazines had been invited. Henry Luce, publisher of Time and Life, had remarked to Palmer Hoyt of the Denver Post that he would call his man Ed Darby to determine what had occurred, only to find that Mr. Darby had not been invited, causing Mr. Luce, who strongly supported the General, to be unhappy. The ensuing storm from those who had been snubbed caused the luncheon to acquire more headlines than would have occurred had the General made a speech.

Senator Hubert Humphrey had gotten into a backstage tiff with Democratic Majority Leader Ernest McFarland, telling the latter that his leadership "stunk" and that he was allowing Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada to run the Senate.

The extra pay for G.I.'s in the trenches, which Mr. Pearson had proposed two years earlier, had passed the Senate but had become stymied in the House by Representatives Carl Vinson of Georgia and Dewey Short of Missouri. The bill called for a combat bonus in Korea similar to that paid in World War II, and also similar to that paid presently to submarine crews and airmen for their extra risk. Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia also helped to stop the bonus, but Senators Mike Monroney of Oklahoma, Russell Long of Louisiana and Blair Moody of Michigan were making last desperate efforts to get it passed.

Congressman Graham Barden of North Carolina, chairman of the Labor Committee, was pushing the mine safety bill, despite opposition from Southern coal operators.

DNC chairman Frank McKinney was being extra considerate of visiting Dixiecrats, assuring key Southern Senators that they would be consulted before drafting the party platform. His wooing of Mississippi Dixiecrat J. P. Coleman, however, had not sat well with the White House. Former South Carolina Governor Strom Thurmond, the Dixiecrat candidate for the presidency in 1948, would be a delegate to the convention in 1952. Speaker Sam Rayburn and Vice-President Alben Barkley had been working quietly to avoid any Dixiecrat bolts. The Mississippi delegation was the most problematic.

He notes that in the District of Columbia primary, won by Averell Harriman over Senator Kefauver, the owners of two particular cars, which he had previously identified in the column by license number as carrying several black voters from precinct to precinct to make repeated votes, denied that they were carrying repeaters, but claimed they went to different polling places only because the lines were not so long.

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, discusses the "Taft can't win" idea, indicating that Senator Taft, after having unkind words for Dr. George Gallup at his first press conference after arriving in Chicago, had relied, while appearing on the "Meet the Press" television program recently, on the prediction by Emil Hurja, once associated with FDR kingmaker James Farley, who said that the Senator would win a minimum of 30 states with an electoral vote of more than 300 and would win the popular vote by more than five million. Mr. Hurja, however, had also predicted, in October 1940, on the basis of a poll conducted by his Pathfinder magazine, that Wendell Willkie, whom Mr. Hurja supported, would beat FDR in a landslide. In 1944, he had predicted a victory by Governor Dewey by two million votes, based on 28 key counties, and again in 1948, based on ten key counties, predicted a Republican victory as well. Since that time, his work had been mainly confined to publicity for several foreign governments, including Finland and Egypt. This year, Senator Taft was Mr. Hurja's candidate.

But Senator Taft the previous fall had written off the independent voters as being negligible in number. More recently, he had conceded that it was important to woo both independents and Democrats, given the fact that Republican registration only amounted to 27 percent of the electorate.

In recent days, Wisconsin Governor Walter Kohler had joined the chorus of "Taft can't win", saying that he doubted that the Senator could carry Wisconsin, a significant statement as the Senator's Midwestern director and floor manager was an industrialist from Madison.

He concludes that it was early to predict what might happen in November in the general election, but the concern in the Taft organization with the mentality that "Taft can't win" was indicative of the doubt which lay beneath their surface confidence.

Robert C. Ruark, home from his fishing trip, discusses boxing, and specifically the recent bout between Sugar Ray Robinson and Joey Maxim, for which the introduction had gone on for 10 or 15 minutes of "acute boredom" as "an acute illiterate with a profound worship for the florid phrase devoted more yammering time to introductions of third-rate pugs and announcements of future ventures in fistic mediocrity than is generally accorded a President when he formally declares war."

Mr. Ruark's main gripe, however, was regarding the constant employment of the national anthem to open everything from "lady rassling matches to cockfights." The "Star Spangled Banner", he ventures, was supposed to be a serious song, denoting love of country, but had been made a part of cheap entertainment as a means of sanctifying the little enterprises, where it was as out of place as a hymn or a prayer at such events. He noted at the introduction to the Robinson-Maxim bout that the anthem was being used "as a sort of apology for several gangster-owned pugs, a dishonorably discharged hoodlum, a convicted pervert, and a few dozen nasty, money-grubbing other figures of the fight racket."

He finds baseball to have been one of the more sanctimonious abusers of the anthem, as if beseeching the spectator to believe that the sport was "specially created by God as the noblest cultural outcropping of the American people—a second faith in which Durocher is the prophet."

He thinks the anthem completely unnecessary to such ventures, as one did not attend such events out of love of country or because of religious ardor. Too much patriotism, as with religion, could be spoiled by handlers who made a profession of it.

He indicates that he had been upset about this fact for a long time but it had come to a head during his fishing trip in the Canadian woods, after he observed several Americans in the kitchen standing when the radio played the national anthem as an introduction to the fight. He realized that Mr. Maxim's manager, Jack Kearns, was also standing, at which point he sat down as he did not "like enough some of the things that Kearns has been to jail for to share a sacred song with him."

A letter writer thanks the City Engineering Department and other City officials, including Mayor Victor Shaw, for tarring and graveling Parsons Street, on which he was a resident.

A letter from Superior Court Judge William Bobbitt thanks the newspaper for its support, editorially and otherwise, in his losing effort for the Democratic nomination for a seat on the State Supreme Court.

As indicated, Judge Bobbitt would be appointed by Governor William B. Umstead to the Court in 1954.

A letter writer from Forest City indicates that all of the military experts, including General Eisenhower, had for years advocated universal military training as the only safe and economical way to defend the country. Senator Taft, however, was against UMT and claimed that the Defense Department would thereby hold a mortgage on every American boy. The writer thinks that the Senator preferred Joseph Stalin to hold that mortgage. He indicates that the draft had served its purpose during two world wars, but under current conditions, the country had to be ready on 24 hours notice, and that the only way effectively to do so was to have UMT.

A letter writer objects to those who used 20-20 hindsight to engage in criticism, such as the critics of the Yalta agreements of February, 1945, suggesting that if different agreements had been made, they also might have proved unsatisfactory. She counsels that it was much easier to see just two sides, the known right and the known wrong, "than to seek new and undiscovered paths to improvement."

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