The Charlotte News

Monday, July 7, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the 25th quadrennial Republican national convention got underway this date, with Senator John W. Bricker of Ohio, a Taft supporter, moving that the 1948 rules be adopted, a motion countered by the Eisenhower supporters, who proposed a substitute motion under which contested delegates would be allowed to vote as each state contest was settled individually, except in the case of contested seats not settled by two-thirds of the RNC. The latter proposal would prevent voting by the contested delegations of Texas, Louisiana and Georgia on the contested seating of delegates, with some 50 delegate seats at stake. The pro-Taft delegation from Florida, under the Eisenhower proposal, would be able to vote on other contested delegations, as it had been seated unanimously by the RNC. Under the rules of previous conventions, the recommendations of the credentials committee would be voted on at one time rather than state-by-state. RNC Chairman Guy Gabrielson told a reporter that he hoped some agreement would be reached between the Taft and Eisenhower forces, but that none had appeared yet. Senator William Knowland of California, mentioned prominently as a possible vice-presidential nominee for either Senator Taft or General Eisenhower, had suggested a compromise identical to that proposed by the Eisenhower forces.

In opening the convention, Mr. Gabrielson called for party unity to end "the scandalous Democrat years". He declared that it would be a "fair convention" and that the only steamroller would be the "determined will of a majority of the 1,206 delegates".

General MacArthur would deliver the keynote address to the convention this night.

General Eisenhower said this date to the pro-Taft Florida delegation that as the party nominee, he would hit hard at Democratic "errors", but would not "scrape up dirt" just for the sake of doing so. After the talk, he met with Governor Earl Warren of California, a meeting regarded as significant, after which Governor Warren told journalists that he and the General were in agreement that the convention rules should be changed to prevent contested delegations from voting on the seating of other contested delegations. He said there had been no discussion of his or the General's chances for the nomination or to whom the California delegation would throw their support if Governor Warren were to release them. The Governor invited the General to meet with the California delegation, and the General had replied that he might do so.

Senator Taft told a press conference this date that he would fight the proposed rule change sought by the Eisenhower forces but declined to predict the outcome of the dispute. He said that he had heard that Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the General's campaign manager, had suggested several compromises, but that he did not favor any of them and so would fight them. He contended that he had between 607 and 609 pledged delegate votes, with 604 needed for the nomination. He said that he and his advisers would see what came up before deciding whether to push for a first-ballot victory.

John Foster Dulles had stated this date that both General Eisenhower and Senator Taft had approved of the foreign policy plank in the convention platform. Mr. Dulles had been working on the draft of the plank, which criticized the Truman Administration for "tragic mistakes" in dealing with world Communism and inviting the Korean War by following an "Asia-last policy". The plank was to endorse a program of free world collective security against Communist aggression, would call for strengthening of the U.N. and would criticize the agreements made with the Russians at Tehran in November, 1943, at Yalta in February, 1945, and at Potsdam in July, 1945. It would also promise aid to freedom-loving people behind the Iron Curtain, expansion of assistance to friendly nations and would favor lower tariffs as long as they did not endanger American jobs or industry stability.

Regarding the still not submitted civil rights plank, the subcommittee assigned to draft it had been unanimous in opposing compulsory legislation, including a compulsory Fair Employment Practices Commission. Four of the six members had suggested a voluntary Federal commission with power to investigate state and local conditions and make recommendations. The remaining two members insisted that the Federal Government should leave such matters to the state and local governments. Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, chairman of the platform committee, expressed confidence that all of the presidential candidates would favor the committee's plank proposals.

Convention staff told reporters the previous day that the credentials committee, where the disputes over delegations would next be heard, was considering opening its sessions to television and radio.

Local Republican candidate for Congress, Charles Jonas of Lincolnton, N.C., had resigned from the credentials committee the previous day after he publicly announced his support for General Eisenhower and suggested that the North Carolina delegation take a new vote. The delegation then voted this date 13 to 11 to retain him on the credentials committee.

A piece on the front page by Marquis Childs tells of one set of generals campaigning to oust another set of generals presently helping to shape military policy, the real meaning of the active participation by Lt. General Albert Wedemeyer in Senator Taft's campaign. General Wedemeyer was an admirer of General MacArthur and, in a sense, his spokesman. Both opposed General Eisenhower for the nomination and had strongly hinted that they would remove General Omar Bradley as chairman of the Joint Chiefs, along with almost everyone down the scale who had anything to do with the building up of NATO. Within the Pentagon, there were honest doubts about NATO and its strategy to build up the defenses of Western Europe against potential attack from the Communist bloc, with many believing that it was of greater importance to build up air strategy. But there were others who based the decision not on strategy but rather on jealousy, resentment, frustration and deep animosities. General MacArthur had long borne hostility toward General Marshall, who had been Army chief of staff during World War II.

Congress, still not having adjourned after a late week rush to complete its legislative agenda, was trying to break a deadlock on two money bills which Democratic leaders were hopeful would pass both chambers this date and thereby enable adjournment. One of the measures appropriated funds for flood control, rivers and harbors, and whether $50,000 would be appropriated to start construction on the Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River rather than the four million dollars demanded by Senator Olin Johnston of South Carolina, who said he that would be willing to compromise. The other matter regarded a limitation on use of funds for an expansion of the atomic weapons program, added as a rider to the ten billion dollar defense supplemental appropriations bill, a rider which the Administration opposed, saying it would cripple atomic production and imperil national security. House Speaker Sam Rayburn said that if the House were unable to finish its business this date, it would resume the following Monday. Most Republican members had gone to the convention and many Democrats had also returned home.

Reporter John Scali tells of informed officials in Washington having indicated this date that the U.S. would not end military and economic aid to Denmark despite reports that it had turned over to Russia a 13,000-ton tanker. Senator Herbert O'Conor of Maryland was urging the State Department to inform Denmark that it could not supply bitter enemies with products to be used against the West and expect to be the beneficiary of U.S. aid. A ranking official of the Mutual Security Agency, which handled foreign aid, indicated that the Danish Government had stated that it could not refuse to deliver the tanker without violating its commercial code of ethics and had rejected the U.S. warning. The official also said that he believed the U.S. would be hurt more than Denmark if all aid were cut off, noting that the country had cooperated, perhaps more than other European governments, in halting the shipment of strategic items to the Soviet bloc.

On page 12-A, the first of 29 installments of the Beauty Book of famous cover girl Anita Colby begins this date—should you have a hankering to learn how to make people think you might be pretty, utilizing tricks of make-up—which, when he learns the truth, after you remove your false teeth and wig, and rub off the rouge which makes you appear to have high cheek bones, might make him scream in horror. Better to show yourself as you are, warts and all. But don't go too far in that regard.

On the editorial page, "A Major Crisis in the Republican Party" comments on the opening of the 1952 convention in Chicago, wherein there was a tug-of-war over control of the party between those who believed it should be a party of the people and those who believed it should serve the personal ambitions of its hierarchy. For five successive elections, since that of 1932, when incumbent President Herbert Hoover was defeated by FDR, the Republicans had lost, with Kansas Governor Alf Landon in 1936, Wendell Willkie in 1940, and Governor Dewey in 1944 and 1948, to FDR through 1944 and then President Truman in the previous election. The progressive wing of the party had emerged from the conventions triumphant since 1940, but the conservatives had sulked and sat on their hands during the general election, criticizing the party nominee as a "me-tooer" for essentially adopting the New Deal and Administration foreign policy, only vowing to do it more efficiently. The piece suggests that the Republican loss in 1948 had been narrow enough that some grassroots level of activity, together with a suppression of overconfidence, could have produced victory.

Now, the Old Guard was making its last desperate attempt "to turn the clock of history backward" and nominate Senator Taft. His forces dominated the RNC and had dictated all of the arrangements for the convention, including the railroading of pro-Taft decisions in all of the delegate disputes. But the fight was not over, as the crucial round would come this date when the convention as a whole would decide which contested delegations would be seated. If the Eisenhower supporters succeeded, it would be a victory for the people and the first setback for the politicians. The showdown would come later in the week, on Wednesday or Thursday, and if the will of the people prevailed, it posits, General Eisenhower would be the party nominee and would go on to win in November. But if the politicians succeeded, Senator Taft would be the nominee and likely would be defeated in the general election.

It suggests that the struggle would not only determine the nominee but whether the Republican Party would become a vigorous, positive force in the nation's politics or whether it would "shrivel up into a contentious, name-calling, hind-sighted, retrogressive group of malcontents"—as it clearly has become with a vengeance since the infamous election of 2016, when the ultra-rich sons of bitches finally took over and, quite literally, bought the presidency, with the considerable help of the Russians—not to mention the five-Justice majority in Citizens United.

"Whatta' Laugh" comments on the 22-16 "compromise" division of the Texas delegation at the Republican convention, favoring Senator Taft, based on a suggestion by former President Herbert Hoover, taken up by Senator Taft, and finally approved by the RNC. It finds that the man who had claimed that he would rescue democracy from creeping dictatorship had his wishes accorded by the RNC, and not on any legal basis.

"A Forum for Former Presidents" tells of President Truman having quietly slipped into his old Senate seat the prior Saturday as Congress rushed toward adjournment. The Senate was saying its farewells to retiring Senator Tom Connally of Texas, and several Senators greeted the President in the process, whereupon he was recognized and given a standing ovation and unanimous consent to say a few words. The President recalled his happy days in the Senate with a great deal of wistfulness.

There was still some talk that the President might reverse his decision to withdraw from the presidential race and stand as a candidate for re-election, or perhaps seek election to the Senate from Missouri.

The piece favors having all former Presidents accorded an honorary seat in the Senate, a proposal for which a bill had been introduced. It finds that their experience and ability would add to the stature of the body, whose standards sometimes fell "distressingly low". (Brother, you ain't seen nothing yet. Wait'll you get a load of Mitch and the sing-along gang.) It suggests that ex-Presidents could help bridge the gap between the White House and Capitol Hill and provide the legislators thoughtful insight into the problems of the executive branch. It hopes that in the closing days of the 82nd Congress, the bill would be passed.

"How To Get a Bill Passed" tells of a bill pending before the Senate the previous week to continue certain emergency powers having been initially stymied because Senator Kenneth McKellar of Tennessee, too feeble to do his work efficiently, had objected to its consideration. It provides the colloquy between Majority Leader Ernest McFarland of Arizona and Senators Lyndon Johnson of Texas, Thomas Underwood of Kentucky, Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, and Guy Cordon of Oregon, all extolling the virtues of Senator McKellar and his unequaled ability to handle bills. Senator McKellar had been touched so much by the accolades heaped on him by his colleagues that he had withdrawn his objection to the pending legislation.

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "Andrew Jackson—Tar Heel", tells of the dispute between South Carolina and North Carolina for the birthplace of "Old Hickory", the latest manifestation of which had been the dedication of a state park in South Carolina in honor of President Jackson. But all native North Carolinians knew that he had been born in Union County, North Carolina. Some pseudo-historians had developed the tale that his mother had traveled across the border to South Carolina to give birth, but no justification could be found for the story in any archive of North Carolina history.

A South Carolina Congressman had claimed that the Library of Congress had proved conclusively the birth to have been in South Carolina, but the piece suggests that the Library of Congress knew nothing about where the birth had taken place and demands a birth certificate or the name of the doctor who had attended Mrs. Jackson.

An eminent historian of "unimpeachable integrity" had said that a graduate student many years earlier had written a biography of Andrew Jackson and sent it to a publisher, and after publication discovered that a sentence of the manuscript had been altered to read that he had been born "on the border" between the two states, with the publisher explaining to the author that books could be sold in both states better by so indicating. The piece concludes, "What crass commercialism!"

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, datelined New Orleans, tells in detail of how the Louisiana delegation had been selected at the state convention, with the pro-Eisenhower delegates claiming 13 of 15 delegates to the national convention.

Drew Pearson, in Chicago, finds vivid contrast between the Republican conventions of 1948 and 1952, insofar as General MacArthur was concerned. In 1948, the MacArthur headquarters had been forlorn and deserted, without visitors other than an occasional journalist who wanted to see how the draft-MacArthur campaign was progressing. The General had informed his deputy in Tokyo that he expected to be drafted by the convention and might need suddenly to fly to Philadelphia to accept the nomination. Various newspaper magnates, such as Roy Howard of Scripps-Howard and Col. Robert McCormick of the Chicago Tribune, had informed the General that he was an indispensable man to lead the nation, a belief taken up by the General, himself. Now in 1952, the General, after having been fired by the President as Far East commander and supreme commander of the U.N. forces in Korea in spring, 1951, was making his comeback as deliverer of the keynote address to the convention. It would also be an opportunity for revenge against General Eisenhower, who had eclipsed him politically and perhaps militarily.

In 1948, General Eisenhower had to turn down a draft from both conventions. General MacArthur now had the ability effectively to veto the nomination of General Eisenhower in the keynote address this night. General MacArthur had already indicated that it would be a "tragic development" to have a military man as President, and had phoned Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania, who held the key to victory with members of his delegation, seeking to have him support Senator Taft.

Mr. Pearson recounts the early days of General Eisenhower's career when he was a lieutenant colonel serving in the Philippines for about a year before Pearl Harbor, under the command of General MacArthur. General MacArthur had fired Col. Eisenhower, though this story, when originally recounted by Mr. Pearson, had been denied by MacArthur headquarters. He indicates that he did not know why General MacArthur had had sent Col. Eisenhower home, but military friends of General Eisenhower indicated that he had become so popular with the Filipinos that he had been crowding General MacArthur for the limelight. For many years prior to that time, the two had been reasonably close, with Col. Eisenhower having written General MacArthur's famous farewell message to the Army when he left the post of chief of staff in 1935.

The irony was that had General Eisenhower remained in the Philippines, he would never have gone on to glory in World War II, but rather would have been a military prisoner at Bataan for the duration of the war. Instead, when he got home, he was groomed by General Marshall, becoming the fastest promoted lieutenant colonel ever to become a four-star general. He then achieved the victorious landing in North Africa, moving across to Sicily, Italy, and then across the English Channel in the Normandy invasion. All of that had to rankle General MacArthur.

Mr. Pearson thus believes that the keynote address would provide General MacArthur the great kick of welding strategic power and potentially vetoing the candidacy of General Eisenhower for the nomination, in retaliation for the veto which General Eisenhower had directed toward General MacArthur in 1948, when General Eisenhower had also declared that no professional military man should aspire to the presidency.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, tell of the dangerous power of simple faith, as they find held by Senator Taft's followers, to whom mention of either General MacArthur or the Yalta agreement would immediately provoke an emotional response which produced "paroxysms of adulation" in the case of the former or "contrasting violence" in the case of the latter. The suggestion that there was any connection between the two could produce "apoplexy". Yet, there was a connection between the General and that which had occurred at Yalta.

The Taft-approved version of history had it that the Chinese Nationalists had been sold out at Yalta for an empty Soviet promise to enter the war against Japan. The reason for the promise was that the highest military advisers to FDR had convinced him that it would take two years and 500,000 casualties to conquer Japan otherwise. But at the time, a minority at the Pentagon, in the Air Force especially, believed it would be better to pay the Soviets not to enter the Pacific war than to enter it.

The diaries of the late Secretary of the Navy and first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal disclosed a long interview with General MacArthur shortly after Yalta in early 1945, in which the General was said to have demanded the invasion of Manchuria by a Soviet army of no less than 60 divisions, which he had maintained was necessary to defeat Japan on the mainland of Asia. That was so despite experience indicating that if any Soviet army obtained a grip on Manchuria or any other territory, it was not likely to let go.

Lt. General Albert Wedemeyer had testified that General MacArthur had refused to lend to him surplus American divisions to assist in occupying Manchuria to prevent the Chinese Communists from gaining a foothold there, based on General MacArthur's belief that they were necessary at the time for the occupation of Japan and because General Wedemeyer had already acknowledged that the last chance in Manchuria had been lost.

In addition, the Defense Department had pre-Yalta cables from General MacArthur to the Joint Chiefs putting forward the notions stated in that evidence, proving that General MacArthur's headquarters had been the main source of the view that virtually any sacrifice justified getting the Soviets into the Japanese war.

The Alsops indicate that the judgment of General MacArthur in this regard had been sensible at the time, as had been, therefore, the reasoning at Yalta. But Republicans who regarded General MacArthur as an exalted figure also regarded Yalta as having been a sinister plot to undermine the Nationalists in China, and rejected any suggestion of these connections, making such adherents dangerous for their fervent belief in myths instead of orderly national policy-making.

Robert C. Ruark tells of the recent publication of Submarine by Commander Edward L. Beach, essentially the story of the U.S.S. Trigger, on which Commander Beach had served from the time he was an ensign onward, also being an account of the entire submarine service. Not much had been told about submarines during the war or afterward because of security. During 1944-45, when Mr. Ruark was working in the Navy as a press censor on Oahu, he had read battle reports from submarines which produced excitement, even though written in dry military language. Some accounts indicated that a submarine would penetrate a Japanese harbor and watch a horse race through the periscope or would torpedo a dock, sending several Japanese sailors to their fate. He had read one account in which a submarine had claimed to sink two transports, which it did not observe sinking, but the crew knew that it had sunk because the sub had sunk the two destroyers which had been picking up the survivors.

He concludes that submarines had done such a thorough job of destroying Japanese logistics that the enemy had nothing left to float men and supplies by the end of 1944.

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