The Charlotte News

Monday, August 18, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a typhoon packing winds up to 100 mph had hit Korea's West Coast this date, 80 miles south of Seoul, extending across the peninsula toward the Sea of Japan, interrupting air and ground fighting in the meantime. There had been no report of damage but torrential rains had followed in its wake throughout South Korea, with 4 to 5 inches of rain predicted for the battlefront this night and winds of up to 50 to 60 mph. A Japanese vessel had wrecked in the storm 160 miles from Okinawa and Americans used an oil-drum raft the previous day to rescue 40 of its 43 passengers and crew. In addition, a Czechoslovakian vessel, with 83 persons aboard, was overdue after being reported in distress 250 miles east of Shanghai.

Attacking Chinese Communists, supported by a heavy mortar and artillery barrage, won a hill outpost on the east-central front on Sunday, the third time the hill had changed hands in four days of bitter hand-to-hand fighting. The Chinese had first captured it the previous Thursday and the allies had won it back early on Sunday, until the enemy assault on the position prior to noon had won it back yet again.

In Moscow, Russia began consultations with Communist China this date regarding the international situation and a number of specific issues between the two countries. Chinese Premier and Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai and a large supporting staff of military and industrial experts were present for the consultation, occurring pursuant to the 1950 Sino-Soviet Treaty. High on the list of topics was the return to China of the Chinese Changchung Railway and the military base at Port Arthur, provision for which had been made in the 1950 Treaty, scheduled to take place not later than the end of 1952. The exact nature of the discussions, however, was being maintained in secret. Military discussions, based on the number of military advisers accompanying Chou, would undoubtedly be of high priority.

Thus far in the presidential campaign, General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson had not seriously attacked one another, but General Eisenhower's supporters had been bitterly attacking the President's record and seeking to associate it with the Governor, while Governor Stevenson's supporters, though not yet having undertaken an attack on Senator Taft, might be waiting for the Senator to begin an active role in the Eisenhower campaign before doing so. Governor Sherman Adams of New Hampshire, now the General's chief of staff for the campaign, had labeled Senator Taft during the pre-convention campaign an "isolationist", and the President had said before the Democratic convention that the Republican nominee would have to carry the weight of isolationist sentiment in the Republican Party. General Eisenhower was expected to confer with Senator Taft within the ensuing few weeks on how much the Senator would participate in the campaign. The Columbus Dispatch in Ohio had indicated on Saturday that the Senator would definitely take an active part in the campaign. The Eisenhower camp was reported to be split on whether to use the Senator and if so, how much.

In Jackson, Miss., the Democratic state convention was meeting, with one faction backing Governor Stevenson while the other was supporting General Eisenhower, and a third wanted a third-party Southerner on the state ballot. In Alabama, Democratic Party leaders were preparing a celebration for the homecoming of Senator John Sparkman, the vice-presidential nominee. In Arkansas, Democrats were informed that they could be suspended for two years if they supported the Republican ticket in November after having voted in the Democratic primary.

In Louisiana, Republicans supporting General Eisenhower encountered strife with supporters of Senator Taft, still embittered by his loss of the nomination. The Eisenhower supporters had failed in their bid to place new members on the state central committee, though succeeding in placing the General's name on the November ballot.

Tom Fesperman of The News indicates that a large rally in Charlotte for General Eisenhower was being discussed this date by the top campaign assistants of the General in Denver, as indicated by Arthur Vandenberg, Jr., one of the campaign aides, via telephone to the chairman of the local Eisenhower committee. The campaign stop would likely occur during the period September 2-4, when the General would make a swing through the South before delivering a major speech in Philadelphia.


Governor Stevenson took a short vacation in advance of the official start of his campaign, a speech in Detroit on Labor Day.

Another Gallup poll appears, assessing independent voter preference in the fall general election, with the party preference in the presidential election showing 52 percent Republican and 34 percent Democratic, with 14 percent undecided. If the undecided voters wound up voting as the remainder of the survey, it would result in 61 percent preference for the Republican candidate and 39 percent preference for the Democrat. If that were the result, it would represent a large shift from prior elections. In 1948, independents had divided 43 percent for Governor Dewey and 57 percent for either the President or third-party candidates, while in 1944, the split had been 62 percent for FDR and 38 percent for Governor Dewey, similar to the 1940 results when Wendell Willkie had been the Republican nominee. The story points out, however, that it was far from certain that independent voters would cast the majority of their votes for the Republican, as they were primarily characterized by their tendency to switch sides and remain open-minded politically. The poll had asked Republicans, Democrats and independents whether they were likely to change their mind prior to the election, and while few Republicans or Democrats said that they would, 37 percent of independents said that they might, and another 19 percent indicated that they did not know whether they would or not, meaning that fully 56 percent could change their mind. It points out that assuming a voter turnout of 55 million in the general election, it was likely that 22.5 million would be Democrats, 18.5 million, Republicans, and 14 million, independents, meaning that it would take at least nine million independent votes for the Republicans to win a popular majority at 27.5 million, while the Democrats would only need five million independent votes to do so.

House investigators of a Judiciary subcommittee were looking at a case of alleged fraud in the Justice Department which had been closed previously after a seven-year investigation without prosecution or civil action. The activities of a large number of prior officials of the Department were under scrutiny. The case had first reached the Department in 1944 and had been closed about a year earlier. At the time the investigation was initiated, the head of the criminal division had been former Assistant Attorney General Lamar Caudle of North Carolina, fired the previous year by the President as chief of the Department's tax division after disclosures by a House committee investigating influence peddling in tax cases. The particular case involved was not identified by the sources.

In Wellington, New Zealand, the British Government was preparing a Japanese maru to deliver cattle to Guadalcanal to begin beef-raising on the island, after the Japanese and American soldiers had eaten all of the cattle during the war.

In Camp Pickett, Virginia, an Army private, 19, from New York, was accidentally struck by a golf club and killed the previous day on the driving range, when another soldier, oblivious to the presence of the private, sought to hit his ball near him. The private had been in the Army for only three months.

In New York, the man who had randomly attacked and shot to death an 18-year old secretary on the campus of Columbia University on July 14 in an effort to get back at the physical society for which she worked because of their rejection of his theories on electronics and prolonging of life, was ordered confined to Matteawan State Hospital for the criminally insane at Beacon. Psychiatrists had recommended the confinement after finding the man too mentally deranged to understand the murder charge against him or the nature of the wrong, indicating that he was suffering from schizophrenia. The judge indicated that if at some future date he regained his sanity, he could be returned to the court system for trial.

Governor Kerr Scott of North Carolina, during a weekend interview at his farm near Haw River, defended his allocation of $750,000 from the surplus in the Highway Fund for road work in his home county of Alamance. He said that he knew that reaction across the state would not be favorable but that if Alamance County had been given its "rightful attention in the past", the funding would have been unnecessary, that the allocation would nearly bring the county roads up to the level of those of the rest of the state. He also stated that he was not thinking of his own political future when he made the allocation. He stated that he knew that a lot of people were speculating that he would run for the Senate against Willis Smith in 1954, but that he was not running for the Senate at present, that the only thing he had in mind regarding the future was to bring Alamance County up to date in the road program, as he believed it would take a long time to do so after he left office. He pointed out that several home counties of prior Governors had received road-building programs, albeit included in larger appropriations and so not obvious.

The Governor would run successfully for the Senate seat of Senator Smith, following the Senator's death in mid-1953, defeating the successor appointed by Governor William B. Umstead, Alton Lennon. Senator Scott would also die in office in 1958.

At Dover, England, a 27-year-old Cairo journalist, Abdel Monem, had swum the English Channel from France in 16.5 hours, about six hours off the record time. He was the fourth swimmer to do so during 1952. It was his third attempt, having abandoned the swim once in 1950 and again in 1951.

Comic Dictionary entry: "Genius": "A man with a clever press agent."

On the editorial page, "The Drift Toward Washington" tells of the August issue of The Commonwealth, the state magazine of Virginia, having arrived at the offices of the newspaper at the same time as the full text of Governor Stevenson's speech at the Illinois State Fair, and, by coincidence, the magazine having provided documentary evidence to support the Governor's warning regarding the steady drift of authority away from the states and toward the central Government in Washington.

It quotes from the Governor's Illinois speech, regarding the "tidal drift" toward the Federal Government of functions which were more properly performed by the states—call it the Watergate-Mills theory. It also quotes from the research director of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, indicating that the Federal Government had become the promoter and principal financier of a large number of comparatively new and special activities foreign to the historical and traditional role of the central Government. A long list is presented of such expenditures which the researcher for the Chamber had found to fall into this category. It indicates that the sum of the various listed Federal grants to Virginia was nearly 91 million dollars, closely approximating the total tax revenue collected by Virginia for all of its governmental functions.

The piece indicates that it was time to unravel such Federal services and ask whether each was really necessary to be performed by the Federal Government, as had been advised by General Eisenhower. It indicates that it was hard to detach a service from the Government once it had become established and advises that the states had to be prepared to accept and carry out those services which people believed to be necessary.

"Truman's Tariff Stand Helps N.C." indicates that the President had enhanced his good record of opposition to new trade restrictions and, incidentally, had helped North Carolina in the process, by refusing the prior Thursday to raise the tariff on imported watches, as having been recommended by the Tariff Commission. The President had explained that the tariff on watches was already substantial and that to increase it further would have only erected barriers against U.S. export markets, as the Swiss had already announced their intent to retaliate in kind, just as the U.S. and other countries did when they were discriminated against in foreign markets by high tariffs. The incidental benefit to North Carolina was that higher foreign tariffs would have been placed on tobacco, one of Switzerland's main imports from the U.S.

It indicates that it was to the credit of the Commission that it had turned down some of the requests of various organizations with special interests. The President had the right under existing law to trump the Commission's recommendation on tariffs, as long as he reported his reasons to Congress, which he had done.

It indicates that generally low tariffs meant increased markets for U.S. products and more dollars earned by Europeans in trading in the U.S. market, resulting in less U.S. economic aid being needed abroad.

It also indicates that the new port just dedicated at Morehead City in the state would benefit from a free-trade policy.

"Man or Mouse?" indicates that its admiration for Dr. Henry Jordan, chairman of the State Highway & Public Works Commission, had dropped after he had approved the allocation by Governor Kerr Scott of $750,000 from the Highway Fund to pave roads in the Governor's home county of Alamance. The Commission's chief engineer had said that he did not think that Alamance was any more deserving than other counties. Yet, nevertheless, Dr. Jordan had said that the Governor had been elected and that he would have to go along with him, even though the Commission had the power not to approve the disbursement.

The piece indicates that Dr. Jordan had carried out his duties in a fair and impartial manner and that he was highly esteemed by citizens of the state, but that he ought distance himself from this latter episode, to avoid any taint to that reputation.

"Chinks in the Curtain of Secrecy" indicates that it had taken a long time to smoke out the IRB scandals the previous year because of the secrecy which enshrouded the matters, so much so that even members of Congress were blocked from the information until the President had ordered some of the barriers lifted. The American Society of Newspaper Editors had placed pressure on the Government to allow more openness in the tax records, and the IRB, in response, was now going to allow the press to examine records of any tax settlement case when its propriety had been questioned publicly. The IRB was also going to make public the 20,000 organizations which enjoyed tax exempt status, so that newspapers could properly determine whether they qualified for that status. The IRB had also indicated that liquor license applications and the hearings on same would be open for inspection.

The piece finds each of those steps to be in the right direction.

Drew Pearson's staff, while Mr. Pearson was on vacation, tell of the House committee investigating tax fraud, chaired by Congressman Cecil King of California, having done an outstanding job, except whenever the trail led to a member of the committee. Congressman Eugene Keogh, of Brooklyn, was one such example, in the process of the committee's probe of the Alcohol Tax Unit of the IRB, which was sure to backfire on Mr. Keogh. He had made a profit of $12,000 in a case involving a liquor distributing company and a strange deal with U.S. Ambassador to Belgium, Myron Cowan, having also been in frequent contact with a former tax collector and deputy tax collector while the two had been under investigation by the committee. Details of the matter had been contained in a diary maintained by the former head of the Alcohol Tax Unit, who had resigned under a cloud.

The diary showed that a lobbyist and the Congressman had invited the diary's author to various parties. It also showed that the Congressman either telephoned or visited him two to three times weekly during that period, more than any other Congressman. The purpose of the visits was not indicated in the diary. The liquor company had been trying to obtain a permit, and having lost, then changed the name of the company and sought the permit again, at which time the Congressman was giving parties for the head of the Alcohol Tax Unit, at which point the license to the liquor company owner was then expedited. But then Governor Dewey refused approval of the permit on the state level because of the bad record of the head of the company.

The Ambassador to Belgium had purchased $72,000 of stock in the liquor company from Congressman Keogh in 1947, and then six months later, the Congressman repurchased the stock for $60,000, giving the Congressman a $12,000 profit on which he only had to pay capital gains tax. The Ambassador was an attorney for the head of the liquor company. The liquor business had been booming in 1947 and there was no reason why the stock value should have declined by $12,000 in six months. The Ambassador explained to the column that he had sold the stock because he was going into the diplomatic service and did not believe an Ambassador should hold stock in a liquor company, but regretted the transaction because he lost money on it.

It indicates that members of the King committee wanted to know why the transaction occurred when the Ambassador was reported to be the attorney for the head of the liquor company, which was then having trouble with the Alcohol Tax Unit, and also wanted to know why the transaction occurred when Congressman Keogh was making personal calls to the head of the Alcohol Tax Unit and entertaining him at parties.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop indicate that the public was commenting regularly that it was going to be the first television election in 1952, but that no one had thought about the alarming implications of the statement. In the headquarters of General Eisenhower, the New York gubernatorial election of 1950 was being assiduously studied, for the fact that Governor Dewey had presented a regular television broadcast during that campaign, in which he invited viewers into his living room, where he answered questions, discussed issues, sometimes inviting his wife to participate, and generally connected directly to the voters, a program which observers believed had contributed to his large win.

The Eisenhower strategists were therefore considering having General Eisenhower do the same thing, while being mindful that the "Eisenhower magic" might not come through on television, that a television program could not possibly be spontaneous, and that the General would be exposed thereby to the possibility of making gaffes.

A similar strategy meeting was taking place in Governor Stevenson's headquarters in Springfield, where Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma had recommended a weekly broadcast by the Governor of 15 minutes duration. The problem for the Democrats was that they had less money on hand than did the Republicans, and the planned program for the Governor would run between $500,000 and $700,000. The strategists had not made up their minds.

The Alsops conclude that, nevertheless, the central fact remained that technology had already drastically altered the relationship between politicians and voters, and that television was sure to change that relationship still more drastically.

Robert C. Ruark tells of a Marine, Corporal Frank Farkas, who had decided that since he owned a lemon automobile, which he had bought second-hand, he would paint on the car "lemon" and draw some other fruit to emphasize his point. He was then arrested for violating a D.C. ordinance against displays which tended to ridicule the maker of an automobile. A judge found him guilty, despite the Marine's defense that the car had cost him $600 in repairs in the 80 days he had owned it. He vowed, therefore, to take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court.

Mr. Ruark agrees with the corporal, finds that, as his lawyer had said, his right of free speech had been violated by the court's decision, as he, not the manufacturer, owned the car. Moreover, for all the judge knew, the corporal was merely honoring Cleveland Indians pitcher Bob Lemon or the individualist, Lenore Lemmon. He admires the pluck of the corporal in a time when too many people were simply shrugging off such matters out of desire for more politeness and civility.

He indicates that there was nothing more aggravating than owning a car which was falling to pieces and that unscrupulous used car dealers would paint up any old jalopy, stuff some sawdust into it and sell it as a practically new car. He advises that the person who had so been taken advantage of should feel free to kick and scream, and he hopes that the corporal would win his case, adding that he thought the judge was an "old sourpuss", as in a lemon.

A letter writer indicates that none of the newspapers supporting General Eisenhower appeared to be enthusiastic about his proposal for more Social Security benefits. He thinks that liberals should be grateful to the General for being willing to expand the New Deal and the Fair Deal, but that the silence of the General's followers was embarrassing. He concludes, sarcastically, that the people had no reason to vote for a "speech-making, synthetic Fair Dealer" in General Eisenhower when they could get the "real thing" in Governor Stevenson.

A letter from a group of Marines in Korea indicates that they had been receiving very little mail from the states and wonders if readers would mind helping them out, as there was "nothing better than a letter to read on a wet, lonely night."

They need a little help from their stateside friends.......

A letter writer thanks another letter writer who had responded favorably about this writer's letter, which had included Senator Vest's "Tribute to a Dog", and another letter which also had praised dogs, both in response to a prior letter by a reader who had taken exception to dogs roaming around loose in the streets of Charlotte in the heat of summer. He thanks the previous writer for suggesting that he manage the gubernatorial campaign of the other writer. He says that he firmly supported a "preserve our dogs" platform and that he would pledge that if the other writer saw fit, after he was elected Governor, to appoint him as his "right-hand dog", they would conduct a "doggy campaign", free of "mangy or flea-bitten tactics". He promises also that they would "bark long and loud at our mangy and uninoculated opposition". He reiterates that the dog was man's best friend.

A letter writer from Spindale indicates that he read every day that there was a supposed manpower shortage in the military, while the Government appeared to raise the defense force in an expensive manner. He favors universal military training, and cannot understand why the Congress had refused to adopt it. He indicates that everyone knew that the price of freedom was high and that each had to pay their full share, but that there was no possible excuse for deliberate waste of the taxpayers' money to "satisfy the dreams of our political manipulators". He believes financial chaos and economic bankruptcy were inevitably the results of such a policy.

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