The Charlotte News

Friday, July 4, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the second greatest allied air victory of the war had occurred this date, in which twelve enemy MIG-15s had been shot down and probably a thirteenth, the record bag for one day having occurred the previous December 13, when thirteen MIGs had been shot down and two others probably destroyed, with one damaged. The battle took place between 97 U.S. F-86 Sabre jets and 115 MIGs, involving eleven separate engagements. The Sabres were providing cover for allied fighter-bombers raiding Communist installations near the Yalu River, though the precise targets were not disclosed.

In the ground war, fighting erupted in three sectors of the front.

Allied truce negotiators accepted this date the proposal by the Communists to hold secret sessions and expressed hopes that the Communist negotiators were ready to modify their demand that all allied-held prisoners be repatriated, regardless of their individual wishes. The negotiators held a 40-minute secret session this date and another was set for the following day. It was believed by the allies that the secret sessions might enable the Communists to modify more easily their adamant insistence regarding the only issue remaining, the voluntary repatriation of prisoners. A spokesman for the U.N. negotiators indicated that the first secret meeting had been "quietly impersonal".

Despite the holiday, Congress remained in session this date, to try to finish legislation prior to the pre-convention adjournment. Hundreds of bills had been passed the previous day, including a 1.4 billion dollar military construction authorization bill, passed after less than five minutes of debate and without copies available for the members. The bill had cut 368 million dollars from the corresponding House measure and was now therefore headed to conference.

In Chicago, most of the planks for the Republican platform were roughed out this date, but party leaders hoped to shape them more before public display. Senator Eugene Milliken of Colorado, John Foster Dulles and Clarence Kelland had worked for hours the previous night on the major foreign policy planks. Eight of the 15-member subcommittee drafting the foreign-policy plank supported Senator Taft, while five supported General Eisenhower, one, Governor Earl Warren, and one remained uncommitted. On civil rights, a subcommittee was reported to favor Senator Taft's idea that a Fair Employment Practices Commission, rather than being compulsory, as advocated by the Administration, would use educational persuasion to end discrimination in hiring and firing.

General Eisenhower, on his way by train to Chicago, expressed hope of a revolt by Republican delegates against the forces of Senator Taft, as a means of gaining the nomination. He said at one stop, "If I know the American people, this ruthlessness in Chicago will boomerang." This night, he was to appear on a "We the People" television broadcast on NBC at 7:30, from Ames, Iowa, and later would provide a brief talk in the Ames football stadium, scheduled to arrive in Chicago the next day at noon. He accused the Taft forces of using Iron Curtain tactics to conceal from the people the process by which disputed delegations were being given convention seats. The entourage had departed Denver the previous day at 12:30 p.m.

Among the disputed seats, in addition to the seating of the primarily pro-Taft Florida delegation and the all-Taft Georgia delegation, Kansas, with 22 delegate votes, one being in dispute, had been settled for the General, Louisiana, with 15 votes, 13 of which were in dispute, had 11 assigned to the Senator and two to the General, Mississippi, with five votes, all assigned to Senator Taft, and Missouri, with 26 votes, one in dispute, going to General Eisenhower.

Former President Herbert Hoover sent a telegram to the RNC, urging it to try to reach "an amicable and equitable settlement" in the dispute over the 38-vote Texas delegation. He said that the campaign manager for General Eisenhower, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., had not accepted the idea, but that he had renewed it a few days later. Senator Taft followed up on the appeal for harmony, offering to split the contested Texas delegation, 22 delegates for him, and 16 for the General. Thus far, the supporters of the General in Texas were unwilling to compromise.

Across the country and abroad, Americans marked Independence Day with parades, ceremonies and picnics. The National Safety Council estimated that about 90 million Americans, riding in 40 million cars, would take to the highways during the three-day holiday weekend, and that at least 430 of those would die in accidents. During the first few hours of the weekend, the death toll had reached 16, with six of those having been killed in a collision between a car and a train the previous night in Monroe, Louisiana, during a heavy rainstorm.

The NLRB announced plans to investigate charges by striking steelworkers that the major steel producers had entered into a conspiracy to prevent settlements with any company without Big Six company approval. The President had made virtually the same charge the previous day at his weekly press conference, accusing the major steel companies of conspiring to draw out the strike, while indicating that the situation did not call for use of Taft-Hartley's 80-day injunctive provision, as recommended by Congress.

In Detroit, a strike of the Great Lakes Licensed Officers Organization caused a halt in service of 120 passenger and railroad car ferries on Lake Michigan and the Detroit River. The officers of the ships were demanding a pay increase from $28 to $40 per day for captains and corresponding raises for lower grade personnel.

On the editorial page, "These Principles Hold Good in 1952" quotes, verbatim, from the Declaration of Independence.

"Louisiana 'Purchase'—1952 Style" tells of Senator Taft having taken all save two of the disputed delegates within the Louisiana delegation the previous day in such a manner that it could only be wondered how much had been paid for it, having drawn the sharpest lines between right and wrong among the contested delegations.

The Republican national committeeman from Louisiana, John E. Jackson, who had been in that position for 20 years, had permitted registration among Louisiana Republicans to dwindle to a few hundred, producing the most rotten of all the "rotten boroughs" in the South. Mr. Jackson and a few of his henchmen lived from convention to convention, hoping to reap the rewards of a national Republican victory and divide the bounty among only a few.

The "regular" Republicans in Louisiana in 1952, favoring General Eisenhower, had taken the initiative, one being a candidate for governor, and turned out for the precinct meetings, electing pro-Eisenhower delegates to county and state conventions, all within the legal framework set down by the Republican Party regulations. In nearly every case, however, pro-Taft delegates formed rump sessions to select their own delegations, or, as in one case, the only Taft person present, a precinct chairman, called the meeting to order, nominated himself, and then closed the nominations.

Before the RNC the previous day, a New Orleans attorney, John Minor Wisdom, presented an array of proof supporting the notion that the Eisenhower delegates were properly selected. Mr. Jackson had told the committee, however, that, while not having time to collect documentation, he would present the case orally, after which the committee voted to seat eleven Taft delegates and only two Eisenhower delegates, among the thirteen in dispute.

It concludes that if the Republicans approved this kind of dishonesty when the matter reached the convention floor the following week, they would forfeit whatever claim they had on the office of the presidency.

"A Question" tells of Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina having introduced a bill during the week to curtail the activities of influence peddlers by subjecting them to prison and fines. Previously, there had been laws which made it illegal for Government employees to accept gifts in return for directing Government business to selected persons. The new bill introduced would make the go-between subject to penalty and would classify the briber in the same category with the bribed.

It indicates its support for such a law but wants to know why it did not include members of Congress as well as employees of the Federal agencies.

"McCarran's Wondrous Magic" suggests that, in light of the Senate Internal Security Committee, chaired by Senator Pat McCarran, having recommended that perjury charges be brought against Owen Lattimore, it would leave it to the Federal grand jury to indict him or not, and, if done, a subsequent jury to convict him or not, on the "rather insignificant points" on which he was alleged to have committed perjury.

Senator McCarran, addressing the Senate on the matter, stated that he was convinced that but for the machinations of a small group who controlled the Institute of Pacific Relations, China would have been a free bulwark against further Communist advancement in the Far East. It finds that statement incredible, considering the fact that the IPR was merely a study group specializing in Far Eastern problems, formed in 1929, and supported through the years by contributions from U.S. foundations and wealthy individuals, staffed mainly with scholars and research specialists, its primary function having been to publish the IPR Bulletin. While it was conceivable that the IPR had an effect on State Department thinking about the Far East, it was quite a stretch to suggest that but for that organization China would presently be free. For the bases for the Chinese revolution had been the waste and erosion of the land, the floods and famine which alternately swept the country, the illiteracy and poverty among the Chinese people, the landlordism, and the disease and misery. The Nationalists had never formed a cohesive, solid government representative of the people, but rather had been a loose liaison between Chinese warlords. The long war against Japan had left the nation destitute. The Communist fighters had been far superior to Chiang Kai-shek's troops, who often gave up without a fight and presented their arms, usually from American aid, to the Communists. The Chiang government was full of corruption and inefficiency.

Moreover, there was a form of restive nationalism abounding in the Far East, striking out blindly against feudalism and landlordism, poverty and misery, able easily to be exploited by the Communists.

In addition, Joseph Stalin had a great deal to do with the loss of China.

It concludes that in his long career as the leading magician in the Senate, Senator McCarran had never quite pulled such a rabbit from his hat.

Hattie May Pavlo, a member of the board of governors of the Atlantic Union Committee, tells of having spent seven weeks in France, Germany, England and Ireland, and, after returning home, looking sadly on the complacency of so many Americans who believed that the destruction of Europe, as occurring during World War II, could not happen in the U.S. She urges that only an Atlantic Union of free nations could stop World War III and that only America could make the offer, that such a union would control 80 percent of the industrial power of the world and thus end Soviet expansionism.

Drew Pearson tells of a year earlier, Americans having shown a shocking lack of knowledge and even fear of the Declaration of Independence, when a reporter for the Capital Times had asked 112 people attending Fourth of July celebrations to sign a petition embodying the words of the Declaration and the Bill of Rights, finding only one person willing to sign it. A reporter for the New Orleans Item had a similar experience, finding only 12 of 36 people willing to sign the same petition. Many approached had claimed that it sounded Russian and that the person circulating it had to be a Communist. The editorial reaction to the informal polls was that McCarthyism had instilled such fear of any free doctrine or belief that the people were afraid to sign anything having to do with freedom. Yet, he reminds, freedom was the founding principle of the nation.

Following those reports, Mr. Pearson had suggested to a printer in Virginia that he print several hundred thousand copies of the Declaration for distribution to schools, veterans' posts, and business offices, which was done for a charge of five cents per copy including mailing. The printer had arranged with the Sertoma Clubs to circulate a million copies of the Declaration in schools across the nation. The Bank of America in California had done the same thing.

Yet, he asserts, such distribution was only a drop in the bucket in a country with a population of 150 million and he urges starting a new drive toward the same end.

The Continental Army, which had opposed the well-equipped British and Hessians 176 years earlier, had been a "bobtail array of militiamen, farmers, and city riff-raff, carrying rifles, pitchforks, and anything else they could lay their hands on." They had eaten off the land, worn a bizarre assortment of uniforms, often went without shoes, even during the historic winter at Valley Forge.

Don't forget about the Air Force and the securing of the airports, a vital aspect of the success of the Continental Army, named for General Washington, all after Paul Revere had warned the British that fateful night that the Americans were coming.

During the weekend, a Senate report was being prepared by Senator Lyndon Johnson's preparedness committee, which would show that, in contrast to the days of the Continental Army, the American armed forces were the best equipped, the most expensive and least combative per man in the world. It would show that few American troops carried guns and that the Russians, with less equipment, less money and less fat, possessed ten times the firepower per man as the U.S. Army, most of the Red Army being trained for combat, whereas most of the U.S. Army was trained as cooks, orderlies, personnel experts, chauffeurs, mechanics, mailmen, grave-diggers and other such support personnel behind the fighting men. The committee also criticized this fact regarding the Air Force and Navy, indicating that it took 1,600 men to put 75 single-seat aircraft into the air, two men to handle every three pupils, and that ships were manned by three and a half times the number of seamen required to conduct a similar operation in private commerce. It indicated that victory had gone usually to the best-organized army and not the largest, that military superiority was measured not by the number of guns but by their destructive power. The Russians outnumbered the Americans in manpower and against that manpower and the greater Russian resources, the U.S., in the words of the committee, had to "counterpose our superior ability at organization and our superior productive capacity."

Marquis Childs, in Chicago, discusses the preparation by General MacArthur for his keynote address, to be provided the following week at the Republican convention in Chicago, touted to be the greatest political oratory at a convention since William Jennings Bryan's Cross of Gold-Crown of Thorns speech in 1896. The draft read by the General before a small group of people, including former President Herbert Hoover, had been impressive, but, normally, such speeches would undergo a number of revisions before delivery, though in the case of General MacArthur, it would be difficult to provide him direction. The Eisenhower forces were said to be hopeful that it would be delivered as written, as it contained the familiar warning by General MacArthur against having a military man in the White House, and would be perceived, therefore, as so blatantly anti-Eisenhower as to be repulsive to both the delegates and the public.

The hope by the Taft forces was that it would incline the convention toward the Senator. The whole machinery of the convention was being run by the Old Guard Republicans, who were identified with the Senator. The Eisenhower camp, however, was not defeatist, being under the direction of Herbert Brownell, the New York attorney, to become Attorney General under President Eisenhower, who had engineered both the 1944 and 1948 nominations of Governor Thomas Dewey. Their confidence stemmed from the belief that the Taft strategy of a first-ballot nomination could not succeed.

The Senator's floor manager, Wisconsin industrialist Thomas C. Coleman, had reduced the Taft optimistic claims of having more than 600 committed delegates, with 604 needed to nominate, to 540. If a first-ballot nomination was out of the question, then a new strategy had to be developed. Reports from reliable sources indicated that Mr. Coleman would announce at the start of the second ballot that General MacArthur had agreed to run on the ticket with Senator Taft, hoping thereby to instill the hope in the delegates that the MacArthur magnetism could both sway the convention to nominate the Senator and in the fall campaign would overcome the "Taft can't win" handicap.

He adds that the fact that Senator Joseph McCarthy was one of the invited speakers at the convention showed more than anything else the degree to which the Taft forces controlled the machinery.

Robert C. Ruark remarks on the Senate having just passed a bill to limit the recall of veterans of the Korean War to future active duty, without their consent or special Congressional decree. He suggests that it should have been enacted prior to the Korean War, shortly after the armistice with the Japanese. Instead, many veterans of World War II had been called back into service, forcing them to leave their reconstructed lives, where they had jobs and families, to return to "fighting a fool's war in which they have very small interest." He suggests that it was some retroactive payback by Congress for its cowardice displayed in an election year in killing off universal military training, which might have been the source of trained fighting men for Korea.

"There might have been some excuse for the impressment of married veterans if the Korean idiocy had not been dubbed a 'police action' by our all-wise President—if it had been a massive war instead of a minor meddle. But Korea has been such a war that it had to be fought under wraps for purely political reasons, with all sorts of odd limitations and restrictions on its prosecution."

He regards some of the idiocy, in his opinion, such as the firing of General MacArthur in 1951 because he wanted to fight to win the war, and the failure to control the prisoners of war on Koje Island in their several uprisings and taking hostage the camp commandant.

He indicates that Gerry Coleman, the former second baseman for the New York Yankees, was now flying a combat plane in Korea, having flown more than 40 combat missions in World War II, and despite having a wife and children at home. He asks whether Mr. Coleman was a policeman. He states that he had a lot of letters from men who were cynical about being involved in this second military conflict within a decade and were contemptuous of the war, "of the alleged ideals that freeze their feet." Such an attitude, he indicates, made a lousy military force, especially among officers.

He concludes that with this kind of attitude abounding, he suspected that Congress would not get itself completely off the hook with the veterans by giving them a "feeble sop for the future".

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