The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, with the exception of one story, entirely on the Republican convention, in its second day in Chicago. Associated Press reporter Jack Bell reports that the disputes over 93 delegate seats from seven states, presently before the credentials committee, would likely be resolved by the end of the day, with the outcome making clearer the relative standing of General Eisenhower and Senator Taft with regard to their chances for the nomination. The committee unanimously voted to seat the 18-vote Florida delegation, favoring Senator Taft, not surprising for their unanimously having been approved by the RNC previously.

Of the 93 contested seats, 68, from Louisiana, Texas and Georgia, including 50 Taft supporters, had been barred the previous day by a vote of the credentials committee and the convention, the latter in a vote of 658 to 548, from voting on other contested seats until their own were determined, except in the case of disputed seats approved by at least two-thirds of the RNC. About 70 of the contested seats were committed to one or the other of the two leading candidates. Others remained uncommitted. The committee met in the Gold Room of the Congress Hotel, with room for about 1,000 spectators.

In the convention hall, itself, delegates were slow to assemble and little business was scheduled on the floor. Senator Styles Bridges was scheduled to speak, favoring party unity.

The two leading candidates were visiting with delegates, and signs were that the General was chipping away at the Senator's committed delegates, as two New York City delegates transferred allegiance from the Senator to the General. Both sides wooed Governor Earl Warren, controlling much of the 70-vote California delegation. Senator Taft and former Governor Harold Stassen, at Governor Warren's invitation, met with the delegation, and General Eisenhower, who met this date with the Missouri delegation, would likely meet with them the following day. The General told the Missouri delegates that he wanted the Republicans to kick the Democrats so badly that it would take them 20 years to return to power. He also met with the Nebraska delegation, appealing for unity in the party. He said that the only thing about the foreign policy plank, drafted in large part by John Foster Dulles, with which he disagreed was that it contained too much verbiage "raking up the past", but added that he did not quarrel about the details as long as the principles were intact. He also said that he was not certain of his agreement with the plank on national security.

Drew Pearson reports on the front page that the most significant development at the convention had been the backstage maneuvering to nominate either the Senator or the General, with a group wanting to bury the hatchet between the two competing factions and nominate a compromise candidate, boiling down to a contest between the small number of delegates who were for General MacArthur and a larger group who favored Governor Warren.

The MacArthur adherents, with only five pledged delegates, were, he says, the most colorful. They had shipped a large number of corncob pipes to be used in spontaneous demonstrations on the floor during the nominations, with the General's name to be placed before the convention by Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania. The Idaho delegation expressed disgust with both General Eisenhower and Senator Taft, and some of them suggested they might switch to General MacArthur. Oilman H. L. Hunt of Dallas, once a Democrat, opened up the Chicago headquarters for General MacArthur and appeared to have plenty of money to spend. Taft supporters, having originally wanted the keynoter to be the General, were now worried about the MacArthur boomlet. The Taft supporters did not want the General to be the vice-presidential nominee, preferring an Eastern non-isolationist, as Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts.

Governor Warren, the other potential compromise candidate, had been too modest and self-effacing, suggests Mr. Pearson, to appeal to many delegates outside California. He commanded respect but lacked money and organization, needed in modern politics to appeal to "the yelling, sweating mass of humanity that comprises a political convention."

As reported by Edwin B. Haakinson, the party's resolutions committee would meet the next day to give its approval or not to the platform, which promised greater efforts to establish world peace and to trim "big government" at home. The committee would meet early the following morning and the platform would likely be laid before the convention on Thursday. Chairman of the committee, Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, said that there was some difficulty in obtaining agreement on the planks covering national defense and civil rights. Aides to General Eisenhower stated that he had objected to too much emphasis on air power to thwart Communist aggression and not enough on non-military measures, in the national security plank. Senator Taft had stressed greater dependence on air power. Senator Millikin was attempting to effect a compromise on civil rights acceptable to both the Northern and Southern delegates, split over the proposal that the party promise Federal action to combat racial discrimination. He said that if he could not achieve a consensus on the matter, he would put the two competing planks before the convention for determination. The Northern delegates were recommending establishment of a Federal agency with power to call witnesses and hold hearings for alleged violation of fair employment practices, but without the enforcement capability favored by the Administration, whereas the Southern delegates asserted that the mere fact of hearings would destroy persons and companies accused of discrimination, and so disfavored such a commission.

Correspondent Warren Rogers, Jr., tells of the reaction to the keynote address by General MacArthur the previous night, in which he had blistered the Democrats as a blundering "war party" and rallied fellow Republicans to rout them from office, uniting the convention hall in the process with the 57-minute speech, interrupted 73 times by applause and roars of approval, followed by a standing ovation at its conclusion. He assailed the Democrats, whom he said had a noble heritage, for being captured by schemers leading the country toward "the socialistic regimentation of a totalitarian state". He said the Republicans had to enlist all kinds of Americans "desperate for a plan which will revive hope". He did not name either Senator Taft or General Eisenhower during the speech but criticized the Administration's policy of containment of Communism, with which General Eisenhower was identified as supreme commander of NATO, and also called for more air power, consistent with Senator Taft's expressions. He said that the Administration's foreign policy "practically invited Soviet dominance over the free peoples of Eastern Europe". He claimed that in the Far East, the Administration had "proceeded with precipitate haste to divest ourselves of our own military strength", and questioned the fighting of the Korean War in a manner not intended to win it. He said that the President's claim of inherent executive powers, used to justify the April 8 seizure of the steel industry, held unconstitutional by the Supreme Court on June 2, had been "fictitious".

In Raleigh, Governor Kerr Scott stated that he believed that a compromise could be effected at the Democratic convention on the issue of civil rights and the FEPC, indicating that he was one of those who believed that it should be reserved to the states to take action, but said that he did not believe North Carolina would follow any other state in walking out of the convention on that basis. He said that he thought the Democrats could carry the South, despite a platform plank calling for a compulsory FEPC, as it had done so before. He said that at the recent governors' conference in Houston, there had been a sentiment expressed by both Northern and Southern governors to effect a compromise. The Governor continued to refuse to name the candidate he would support for the nomination, but indicated repeatedly that he would support the party's nominee. He said that he did not find any significant support among Northern governors for Georgia Senator Richard Russell and said that among the Democratic governors, all of the candidates were favorites.

On the editorial page, "Eisenhower Wins the First Round" tells of the first major test of relative Eisenhower and Taft strength having taken place at the Republican convention the previous day, with the result that the General had won, regarding whether contested delegates would be able to vote for other contested delegations, an important psychological boost to the General's candidacy, though by no means an assurance of the nomination. It explains the process leading to the final determination, which was that the contested delegates from Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas, in both the credentials committee and any ensuing floor fight, would be unable to vote on other delegate contests, unless the RNC had approved by at least two-thirds the seating of the other delegation. A vote of 658 to 548 had defeated an amendment to the latter proposal which would have permitted seven Louisiana delegates chosen by district conventions to be exceptions to the rule.

The result, it posits, showed that the Taft camp had either overestimated its strength among the delegates or had made exaggerated claims prior to the convention. It also showed that the General had a larger than predicted reserve strength in the states which had Republican governors.

It concludes that the result had raised the hopes of millions of Americans who had decried the Taft steamroller tactics prior to the convention, and whether it would become the trend of the convention would largely depend on the extent to which the American people registered their opinions in the ensuing crucial two days.

"MacArthur the Keynoter" remarks on the televised keynote address of General MacArthur at the Republican convention the previous night, indicating that prior to the speech, the convention appeared to be "completely obsessed with the bitter fight" within the party, and that the General had reminded them of the larger battle with the Democrats in the fall. It regards the speech, as keynote addresses went, as a "humdinger", throwing the book at the Democrats, charging them with everything from "simple ignorance and naïveté to deliberate perversion of U.S. traditions". He had attacked domestic programs and foreign policy, utilizing "embittered phrases and emotional outrage and seething indignation". From the viewpoint of the right wing of the party, it was an effective speech and one which likely gave a shot in the arm to the forces of Senator Taft, whom the General supported for the nomination.

But, it advises, it also had a tone of negativism and pessimism, ranging even to the despondent, "full of oversimplification and gross exaggeration and half-truths". Also, the General had said previously much of what his address stated, both when he had spoken to the joint session of Congress in spring, 1951 and in his several public addresses since. It had been a political speech and not an historic example of statesmanship, and political speeches were not expected to adhere closely to the truth. It concludes that the most significant thing about the speech was that General MacArthur, far from fading away, as he had told Congress the previous year, was still hopeful that an impasse at the convention might deliver to him the nomination which had eluded him in 1944 and 1948.

"A Suggestion" tells of American experts in the Middle East having completed a major Point Four project in Saudi Arabia, the establishment of a monetary agency to administer the finances of the country, with its principal functions, according to the State Department, being to strengthen the currency, establish and fix its value in relation to foreign currency, and "to aid the Ministry of Finance in centralizing the receipts and expenditures of the Government in accordance with the items of the authorized budget and in controlling payments so that all branches of the Government will abide by the budget." The piece suggests that these experts should next be brought back to Washington to advise the Federal Government.

"The Ups and Downs of County Taxes" finds that Mecklenburg County residents, still smarting from the increased property valuation, might receive some solace from the knowledge that many of the state's citizens were faced with increased local taxes, sometimes from revaluation and other times from higher rates of taxation. It was also a method by which county commissioners could commit political suicide.

Bill Sharpe had provided tax figures for The State and it discloses some of his findings. Pamlico County had the highest tax rate at $2.20 per $100 of valuation, as compared with Mecklenburg's pre-revaluation rate of $1.02 and the present rate of 69 cents. Yet, only four of the state's 100 counties had tax incomes smaller than that of Pamlico, where the last valuation had been undertaken in 1919. In Forsyth County, with the largest income from taxes in the state, there was also the lowest tax rate, only 60 cents per $100 of valuation and property valuation was about 35 percent of market value. A major part of that county's income had come from 230 million dollars worth of leaf tobacco inventory.

Hospitals were partially responsible for increased rates, needing to provide for indigent care at public expense. Additional school construction also would raise county rates in the future. County tax rates had dropped during the 1930's and had generally climbed since 1940 across the state. When the tax rate increased, the valuation tended to decrease, and vice versa. Mr. Sharpe had analogized, "the hotter the coffee, the colder the cream". The piece adds that the price of coffee had also gone up.

A piece from the Twin City Sentinel of Winston-Salem, titled "Ice, Mink and Collard Greens", tells of the Office of Price Stabilization during a single day the previous month having removed price ceilings on ice, mink coats and 77 "specialty food products", described as unimportant to the average family's living costs.

It observes that officials had been completely honest in saying that it had been accidental that the announcement came during one of the worst heat waves in history and that the week of delay in the announcement had been because they had removed price ceilings on whiskey a week earlier and could not bring themselves to remove controls on ice on the same day.

It indicates that not too many people were wealthy enough to worry about the removal of price controls on mink, but one of the "specialty food products" on which controls had been removed had been frozen collard greens, an action which it chooses to ascribe to a "damnyankee", as, frozen or fresh, collard greens, it claims, cooked with a piece of fat meat, with a slab of cornbread on the side and washed down with a glass of cold buttermilk, enriched the blood, strengthened muscles, built bones and ennobled the soul. "Besides, they taste good."

Unless you wish to make us sick, you can leave aside the buttermilk.

Vic Reinemer, associate editor of The News, discusses bipartisanship and foreign policy, indicating that Senator Taft had said that such bipartisanship was now a "fraud" and that the President, since winning in 1948, had not consulted the Republican leadership, even about the entry to the Korean War. The Senator had advised that there should be no hesitation about attacking Administration foreign policy or Secretary of State Acheson.

Mr. Reinemer, however, posits that notwithstanding these statements, there had been a continuation of bipartisanship during the previous four years. In 1949, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee had heard testimony regarding the proposed NATO pact, and the witnesses included many prominent Republicans, such as Robert Lovett, presently Secretary of Defense, Warren Austin, Ambassador to the U.N., John Foster Dulles, until recently a high-level State Department adviser, and Charles Taft, the brother of Senator Taft. Mr. Taft had stated that the matter had been conducted on a "wholly nonpartisan basis". In the end, 50 Democrats and 32 Republicans favored ratification of the NATO treaty, while two Democrats and 11 Republicans, including Senator Taft, voted against it.

The Mutual Defense Assistance Program had also passed in 1949 by a bipartisan vote, with 36 Democrats and 19 Republicans favoring it, and 10 Democrats and 14 Republicans, including Senator Taft, opposing. A year later, the Mutual Defense Assistance Act was extended by a unanimous vote of 66 to 0 in the Senate and 362 to 1 in the House.

When, on June 25, 1950, the attack occurred against South Korea, Secretary Acheson gave telephonic reports to both Senator Tom Connally, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Alexander Wiley, the ranking minority member of the Committee. The following day, the President invited a bipartisan group of members of Congress to meet with him and top Pentagon officials. After the President indicated his intentions to follow the U.N. resolutions and commit U.S. troops to the cause, he received bipartisan support in the Congress. During the following December crisis, after General MacArthur had advanced troops to the Yalu River, to be met and pushed back by Chinese Communists, the President and State Department officials again consulted with a bipartisan group of members of Congress.

In Europe, Republican William Foster, formerly deputy Marshall Plan administrator, replaced Paul Hoffman, also a Republican, who had headed the administration since its inception.

In September, 1951, Senator William Knowland, a Republican, upon his return from the Japanese peace treaty conference in San Francisco, said that he thought there had been a clear indication of bipartisan cooperation displayed in effecting the treaty.

There had also been bipartisanship in support of the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, which had passed Congress with only one dissenting vote, and for the bills supporting the Voice of America and the aid to India emergency food program.

By contrast, this bipartisanship had nearly broken down when the President had proposed 150 million dollars in aid to Korea a year before the war, with 130 Republicans and 61 Democrats plus American Laborite Vito Marcantonio opposing it in the House, and 170 Democrats and 21 Republicans favoring it, causing its initial defeat by a single vote. Subsequently, 20 Republicans and 20 Democrats, however, changed their minds, enabling the bill to pass, as it had in the Senate by a vote of 48 to 13.

The Republican-controlled 80th Congress of 1947-49 had reduced the Administration's requested 570 million dollar aid for China in 1948 to 400 million, with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee declaring that it could not underwrite the destiny of China. General Patrick Hurley, a Republican, had officially represented the U.S. in China, declaring as late as 1945 that the Chinese Communists were not in fact Communists, but were striving for democratic principles, and that he had persuaded Chiang Kai-shek to make liberal political concessions to the Communist Party, to give them adequate representation in the national government.

Thus, he concludes that despite all the bombast which would likely be heard through the general election, the record showed that the foreign policy remained quite bipartisan, and if Republicans attacked the "Truman" foreign policy, they would effectively be attacking a policy which many of their leaders had helped to develop and in which a majority of Republicans had usually concurred.

But, as Republicans are wont to do, their appeal, to provide a winning formula in national elections, is necessarily to those Democrats and independents who are not very politically savvy or at least naïve, indeed, in some cases, downright stupid, believing that the President acts unilaterally, apart from Congress, to effect all policy in the land, which includes, probably, in some instances, which way and how strong the wind blows.

Drew Pearson, in Chicago, tells of General Eisenhower having started out as a liberal and becoming a conservative in recent years, while the exact opposite was true of Senator Taft. The result was that the two men were not very far apart on domestic issues and, if anything, Senator Taft might be somewhat to the left of the General. He posits that the reason had come from the fact that the General had returned to the country in 1946 as a military hero, without understanding of economic or domestic problems, and quickly came in contact with economic royalists in the country, including Winthrop Aldrich of the Chase Bank and Tom Watson of IBM. The General had come from a poor farm family in Kansas who could not afford to send him to college. But his new friends had imparted a new economic philosophy to him. Senator Taft, by contrast, besides being the son of a former President, had one grandfather in the Cabinet of U. S. Grant as Secretary of War, and another grandfather, also under President Grant, who was Ambassador to Russia. The Senator owned utility stocks, real estate and a Cincinnati newspaper. It had been almost impossible for him to move any further to the right on economic issues.

When the General had initially returned to the U.S. after the war, in talking to Russell Davenport of Life, as well as to General Ed Clark, John G. Bennett, and Russell Forgan, the latter of a prominent brokerage firm, the General had proposed the idea that business make no profit from defense contracts, prompting immediate protests from these new friends, who insisted the stand was contrary to the free enterprise system. But the General had persisted that a boy's life in combat was worth more than corporate profits, to which his friends warned that he could not sell that to the Republican Party, causing the General to compromise and agree that a fair return on investments was acceptable. The more he had been exposed to these conservative political friends, the more he had drifted away from his earlier position of being a moderate liberal.

In 1948, when the Democrats were trying to persuade the General to run as a Democrat, the late Harold Ickes, former Secretary of Interior, who had begun his political life in 1912 as a Theodore Roosevelt Bull Mooser, sought out the General's political views, to which the General had responded that they were about the same as his brother Milton's, that being those of a progressive Republican.

Senator Taft had started out in the Senate being against Federal aid to education, Federal housing and the Federal medical bill, but had come to favor all three, even drafting the Public Housing Act which the real estate lobby branded as socialistic, and for a time having worked on a modified public health care bill. It was true that the Senator had shifted his positions so many times on so many policies that it was difficult to know exactly where he stood, having stated in a recent debate with Senator Estes Kefauver some kind words for the Point Four program, against which he had voted.

But on foreign affairs, the Senator had never really changed his viewpoint, the basic difference between the two leading Republican candidates. It was clear that General Eisenhower was an internationalist and that Senator Taft remained an isolationist.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop, in Chicago, tell of the first big break for the Eisenhower forces having come prior to the start of the convention, in the hotel room of Michigan national committeeman and large Chevrolet dealer Arthur Summerfield, when the latter agreed with Governor John Fine of Pennsylvania that they would both support General Eisenhower at the right moment in the balloting. This agreement had remained secret at the time this column had been drafted, but the Alsops indicate that it might become public before it was printed. It would be a heavy blow to the hopes of Senator Taft, as the Michigan and Pennsylvania delegations were the largest remaining uncommitted to either candidate.

Mr. Summerfield had privately committed to the General through his campaign manager, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., when the two visited Mr. Summerfield in Detroit, and thereafter Mr. Summerfield began lining up the maximum number he could muster of the 46 delegates within the delegation. Since that time, his leaning toward the General had become increasingly an open secret.

In the case of Governor Fine, however, things had remained a mystery. The Pennsylvania delegation was even more important, with 70 delegates at stake, of whom more than a third were either controlled or strongly influenced by the Governor. Both camps, in consequence, had been wooing the Governor, including hints of a Cabinet position or even the vice-presidential nomination.

The Eisenhower forces had even gone so far as to ask Pennsylvania Senator James Duff, a prominent backer of the General, to cede to the Governor his Senatorial patronage privileges. They also had suggested that the Governor place General Eisenhower's name in nomination, making him appear as a kingmaker.

The Taft forces had relied heavily on the influence of General MacArthur over the Governor, as the Governor admired the General greatly. Thus, the Governor had been summoned to visit with the General in New York. He had not been consulted about the keynote address, as previously reported, but he was the guest of the General for three hours. While Governor Fine believed that General MacArthur would make a good president, he did not believe he could be nominated, and so had been unpersuaded by the visit to throw his support to Senator Taft.

The Governor was content to remain in his present position and thus was not persuaded by promises of higher office. He believed that General Eisenhower was most likely to win in November and, following the defeat of the Philadelphia Republican political machine two years earlier, Pennsylvania Republicans had to worry about whether they could carry the state. The Governor found the majority of the county leaders in the state favoring the General for being the most likely to win, and to help the ticket, therefore, locally in Pennsylvania. It was on these practical bases that he had made his decision.

They conclude that while no one could predict the outcome, the agreement between Governor Fine and Mr. Summerfield had been a significant event.

Louis Graves of the Chapel Hill Weekly tells of UNC president Gordon Gray having gone out on the Farrington Road and walked over a piece of land he had purchased a few months earlier, spending about ten minutes and acquiring in the process a large colony of chiggers. The following day at a conference, confreres noticed that he would on occasion roll up his trousers and dab on his leg something from a bottle. Mr. Graves had heard about the matter by telephone and sought out Mr. Gray to determine the remedy, that he might pass on the advice when the occasion arose. He was informed that it was a lotion purchased from Eubanks Drug Store and that he had also used, with good effect, some of his wife's nail polish, sealing off the bite, thereby cutting off air from the chigger and its lair under the skin, killing it.

Mr. Graves had imparted to him that someone had advised him that sprinkling sulfur in the shoes and cuffs of the trousers before taking a walk in the woods would keep away the chiggers, that he had tried it once and it had worked. Mr. Gray responded that a State Forestry Department agent had advised the same thing and that he would undertake to do so the next time he went walking in the woods. Mr. Graves advises that the druggist at Eubanks mixed up the lotion in question, and simply called it Chigger Lotion, ingredients remaining unknown.

Thus, you had better rely on the sulfur. But, beware, those nuts out in Texas—still very much on the radio and still very much yammering away about pizzas and prominent Democrats being engaged in routine child molestation and ritual sacrifices somewhere between the symbols represented by the sausage, extra cheese, and pepperoni, in addition to guns and promotion of the godlike qualities of Trumpety-Dumpety, the nuts' primary obsession—, may associate you with something demonic, simply because you wish to ward off the chiggers during a walk through the woods. (You see these patches of cracks in the road, which are actually cleverly disguised ancient hieroglyphic symbols demarking where the human sacrifices took place for the New Deal and Fair Deal socialismic gizmos.)


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