The Charlotte News

Friday, August 22, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.N. fighter-bombers this date had hit Communist targets all across Korea, with U.S. Sabre jets having damaged two enemy MIG-15s. Twelve B-26 bombers had hit an enemy supply area on the Haeju peninsula near the 38th parallel on the western front, while on the East Coast, allied planes had demolished five large warehouse buildings near Wonsan. Fighter-bombers also hit enemy battle lines. The total bag of enemy jets in August had reached 28 damaged, 26 shot down and two others probably destroyed.

In ground fighting, allied troops repulsed two light enemy assaults, one on "Bunker Hill" in the west and a probing attack, lasting 40 minutes, on the central front. The U.S. Eighth Army said that the enemy had flashed searchlights on allied lines early Thursday, probably for the first time during the war, in an attempt to locate loudspeakers which were broadcasting psychological warfare aimed at the enemy troops.

Selective Service director Lewis Hershey indicated this date that the draft was not going to take fathers until the following summer, but by that point, they would have to take "someone" or else decrease the armed forces. The long-sought armistice in Korea, of course, would finally be achieved in mid-summer 1953.

Another Gallup poll appears, this one finding that only 57 percent of respondents were completely certain they would vote in November, compared to 83 percent of adults who had voted in the 1951 Parliamentary elections in Great Britain and 92 percent who had voted in the 1948 elections in Italy. In 1948, slightly more than half of the eligible adults had voted in the U.S. presidential election, 49 million out of 94 million. Studies had indicated that the groups least likely to vote were inclined toward the Democrats and that if the Democrats could raise the voting level among manual workers to that of the level of business and professional groups, they could attract many millions of votes.

General Eisenhower and Senator Nixon would, according to the latter, support Senator Joseph McCarthy for re-election to the Senate in November, provided that he was renominated the following month. Senator Nixon said, however, that it would not necessarily mean endorsement of Senator McCarthy's views on the issue of Communists in the Government. He said that in supporting all Republican nominees for the House and Senate, it did not necessarily mean that he or the General would endorse the views or the methods of those candidates, when they were different from their own. He said that he would not comment on Senator McCarthy's methods or his charges until he knew the facts.

Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma, chairman of the Democratic speakers bureau, called the Eisenhower-Nixon position "incredible", given Senator McCarthy's attacks on General Marshall, who had helped General Eisenhower become a five-star General.

Governor Stevenson was preparing to deliver a major farm address in Iowa on September 6, the same day that General Eisenhower would speak at the National Plowing Contest in Kasson, Minn.

Tom Fesperman of The News reports that plans were being made for the largest get-out-the-vote campaign ever conducted in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, with a number of leading civic and commercial organizations pooling their resources to stage a coordinated drive aimed at registering thousands of new voters and obtaining a record-breaking turnout in the fall election. The meeting this date was held in the offices of News publisher Thomas L. Robinson.

Well, in that event, suppose we know for whom this bell will toll and why it is planned as the largest such campaign in the city's history...

Government officials said this date that UMW president John L. Lewis had given formal notice that his contract with the coal industry would expire at the end of September, setting up the possibility of a nationwide coal strike at that time. The Taft-Hartley Act required that the Government be notified of a labor dispute at least 30 days before the contract expired. Sixty days notice to the industry was required to be given under the existing contracts before the contracts could be ended, notice which had been provided on July 22 to the bituminous coal industry and on August 1 to the anthracite coal industry. Mr. Lewis had not made public any of his new wage demands, but it was anticipated that he would seek a substantial wage increase and possibly a shorter work day, among other things. The present minimum daily wage in the bituminous coal industry was $16.35 and anthracite miners received slightly more. The UMW represented 400,000 workers who produced about 80 percent of the country's bituminous coal.

In Raleigh, the State Supreme Court, in a test case brought by the public relations director of the Carolina Motor Club, unanimously ruled that parking meters erected by municipalities across the state were proper under police powers, as long as they were designed to enforce parking and not raise revenue. The majority of the court also ruled that mere ownership of the cited vehicle was insufficient evidence for conviction, unless the Legislature passed a new statute permitting the inference to be made. Chief Justice W. A. Devin dissented to that part of the opinion on the basis that evidence of ownership circumstantially proved owner responsibility for the parking, permitting a court to hear and weigh that evidence and reach a conclusion. The man who had brought the case on behalf of the Carolina Motor Club expressed disappointment at the Court's decision regarding the ownership evidence, as he believed it would make it nearly impossible to enforce parking across the state.

A report from Shelby, N.C., indicates that a missing honeymoon couple had been located in Denver, Colorado, unaware that their loss of contact had caused alarm. The couple had decided to open a radio repair business in Denver, the work in which both had been engaged in Charlotte when they met. The bride indicated to her mother in a letter that she had not written sooner because she had been ill for several days. The mother of the groom had died during the period when the couple were believed to be missing and possibly had met with an accident in Texas.

On the editorial page, "A Bad Way to Get Good Government" quotes from a bulletin published by the Fair Trade Committee of the North Carolina Pharmaceutical Association in Chapel Hill and distributed to druggists across the state, praising Senator Clyde Hoey for supporting the McGuire bill, which legalized fair trade laws previously adopted by 45 of the 48 states, and reserving judgment until the next Senatorial campaign on Senator Willis Smith, who had voted against the bill. The President had reluctantly signed the bill into law. The Supreme Court had previously held such state fair trade laws to be unconstitutional for binding non-signing merchants to fair trade contracts formed by other merchants.

It suggests that there were arguments against the principle of retail price-fixing by manufacturers and that there was grave doubt of the constitutionality of the McGuire bill. But the purpose of the piece, it indicates, was simply to point out that many druggists were in the forefront of the battle for the bill and had bombarded Senator Smith with hundreds of letters and telegrams urging his support. It indicates that it had disagreed with Senator Smith on many issues, but that he ought be left to vote his honest convictions without being threatened with retaliation at the polls by special interests. It trusts that the members of the Pharmaceutical Association would realize that point and consider it.

"Behind the Statistics" comments on Robert Ruark's column of this date, indicating that a new Labor Department survey showed that the average urban family spent $400 more than it earned in 1950. It finds some truth in the notion advanced by the column, that the "so-called prosperity" since the end of the war was illusory for the fact of inflation and high taxes.

But it also indicates that statistics could be misleading and had to be analyzed thoroughly. The Bureau of Labor Statistics had, in reaching these results, only sampled 10,812 families in 91 cities or towns, ranging in population from 2,500 to New York City. It suggests that such a limited sampling, therefore, might not be adequate to show the true picture. The survey had suggested that the average family spent only 15 percent of its income for housing, fuel, light and refrigeration, a statistic which had to be a low estimate given the cost of housing. Consumer spending had been among the highest in history in the last half of 1950, after the start of the Korean War. People were buying things rapidly, in anticipation of shortages or rationing. Thus, it was not surprising, given that much of the buying had been based on installment purchases, as well as cash, that consumer spending outran income. Many people had also bought houses during that period. And in the third quarter of the year, the proportion of income put into savings dropped to 2.2 percent, the lowest since 1946. During the fourth quarter, it had returned to 7.8 percent and had remained steady at around that level since that time.

It concludes, therefore, that the situation was not so bleak as presented by Mr. Ruark in his column.

"Much Ado about Margaret" discusses a report from Swedish newspapers that Margaret Truman's bodyguards in the country had roughed up a Swedish photographer who had gotten too close to the First Daughter. The piece recalls that the Swedish newspapers during the war had shown a repeated tendency to exaggerate events and create rumors, blowing things completely out of proportion. Thus it concludes that the incident probably amounted to no more than the bodyguards indicating politely that no pictures should be taken when Ms. Truman was in Stockholm's Town Hall.

The bodyguards in question, described as "gorillas" in the Swedish press, were actually Secret Service agents, charged by law with protecting members of the President's family.

It finds that the episode was quite unfair to Margaret Truman, as she and her mother, Bess, had conducted themselves with "dignity and decorum", since coming to the White House in 1945. It thinks that this incident, therefore, should not detract from that fact.

"Bipartisanship" tells of the President having approved of the long-secret FTC study of international oil deals. Missouri Senator Thomas Hennings had charged, based on his own investigations, that a British-American oil cartel was draining billions of dollars in excess profits from countries receiving American aid, and thus exploiting the American taxpayer.

The previous night, the Mutual Security Administration issued its report on cartels, accusing five U.S. companies of price discrimination on a worldwide scale.

Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan said that the FTC report was just a "rehash" of an exposé undertaken by the Republican-led 80th Congress, which had found that the activities of some American oil firms in the Middle East should receive the "utmost attention of the Attorney General". But that claim was refuted by one of the officials connected with the report, who said that the FTC study covered more countries and later developments than had the prior Republican investigation.

It concludes that, whatever the case might be, it was pleased to see a vigorous, bipartisan interest displayed in the cartels, and it would eagerly await the release of the FTC report and subsequent observation of whether it would have any impact on the coming campaign.

A piece from the Louisville Courier-Journal, titled "Bean Soup No Match for Steak", tells of the culinary arts now playing a role in presidential politics, as it had been made known that General Eisenhower could broil stakes over charcoal, while Governor Stevenson was only able to make scrambled eggs and bean soup, having the latter for breakfast. It suggests that the Governor would need to improve his kitchen abilities if he was going to catch up to General Eisenhower. It observes that no longer could a candidate for office simply rest on oratorical abilities, the President probably being the last politician who would be able to leave cooking to the cook. A politician's measure was now taken by how well he could prepare recipes at the barbecue.

Senator Blair Moody of Michigan, substituting for Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, writes from Detroit, urging a series of hour-long debates on television and radio between Governor Stevenson and General Eisenhower, to inform the public so that it could make an intelligent and wise choice in November. Senator Moody had made the suggestion during a radio discussion on CBS with Senator Allen Ellender of Louisiana on July 27, the day after the Democratic convention concluded. Afterward, CBS President Frank Stanton wrote a letter of interest, but also cited the law governing the FCC, providing that public service time had to be accorded all duly organized political parties, not just the Democrats and Republicans. Mr. Stanton had suggested that the Congress in the next session change the law to permit radio and television to play a vital role in the elections.

Senator Moody indicates that perhaps a change in the law was needed, but that by the time the Congress met, the campaign would be over. He suggests a more immediate solution by utilizing the existing nationally sponsored programs on public affairs as a forum for discussions between the two major candidates, increasing the airtime from the usual half hour to a full hour.

There would be no debates or discussions between the candidates in 1952. Not until the 1960 presidential race would there be debates between the two major party candidates, in that instance, Vice-President Richard Nixon and Senator John F. Kennedy, there having been four such debates, each broadcast on both radio and television. In 1948, there had been a debate on radio during the primaries between Governor Dewey and former Governor Harold Stassen. In 1956, there would be, during the primary season, a televised informal discussion between Governor Stevenson and Senator Estes Kefauver, both of whom eventually would form the Democratic ticket as the presidential and vice-presidential nominees, respectively. The beginning of regular quadrennial debates would not occur until 1976, between President Gerald Ford and Governor Jimmy Carter.

Marquis Childs comments on the facts that Communists in the Government and the charges made for the previous two and a half years by Senator Joseph McCarthy regarding same were bound to figure in the upcoming campaign, such that the recent deposition by former Marshall Plan administrator Paul Hoffman in the libel suit filed by Senator McCarthy against Senator William Benton of Connecticut took on special significance. Mr. Hoffman was one of the chief supporters of General Eisenhower and was also a close friend to Senator Benton. It was natural, therefore, that he would respond to the call of the Senator to appear at the deposition and provide his expert analysis of the claims by Senator McCarthy, made in his Senate speech in 1951, that the Marshall Plan was a key part of a conspiracy to deliver the world to Communism, Mr. Hoffman testifying that the claim was "fantastically false".

Governor Theodore McKeldin of Maryland had attacked Governor Stevenson for giving a deposition in 1949 in the Alger Hiss case, indicating that he had known Mr. Hiss from the early Thirties in their work together in the Government, at both the State Department and later, in 1946, in connection with the U.N., and had found that he had a good reputation for honesty and loyalty. The Governor, in response to the criticism, indicated that he believed that every citizen, especially a lawyer, had the duty to provide honest evidence in a criminal trial when requested to do so, regardless of the possibility that the defendant might be found guilty.

Similarly, Mr. Hoffman was testifying based on his knowledge of the contributions made by the Marshall Plan to assist Europe in resisting Communism, and regarding General Marshall's selfless devotion to his country throughout his life.

General Eisenhower was under great pressure to go to Wisconsin and provide approval for Senator McCarthy, running for re-election. General Marshall had more to do than anyone else with advancing General Eisenhower to the leadership of the European Allied forces in World War II. Mr. Childs indicates that what was more important, however, than the politics of the matter, was that Mr. Hoffman had freely testified as to his knowledge and beliefs.

Robert C. Ruark, as pointed out in the above editorial, tells of the Labor Department reporting that the average urban family spent $400 more than it earned in 1950, six percent more than the record family wage of $4,300 after personal taxes. He finds the fact to underscore the common complaint of working people that no matter what they earned, it never seemed to be quite enough to make ends meet.

He indicates that one of the major selling points of the Democrats in the campaign was the unmatched prosperity they had brought the country. But, he finds this argument to be illusory for the fact that inflation outpaced the rise in wages and salaries.

Moreover, those living on fixed incomes struggled to buy groceries and pay the rent.

No longer could a car be purchased for $600, now costing $2,000. No longer could a "medium-poor bloke" afford a bottle of whiskey "to keep off chills and fever". Only beer or bootleg whiskey could be afforded because of the high Federal taxes. No one but the very rich could afford to eat steak on a regular basis. Taxes at every level were high.

Thus, whatever higher income was earned was reduced by taxes and high prices to the point where there was less actual earned income than in earlier years. And on top of it, the national debt had skyrocketed, the most powerful weapon, he finds, which the Republicans could exploit in the campaign, as everyone would get the point immediately.

A letter writer comments on an editorial of August 13, "Victory Comes to Those Who Seek It", regarding the reluctance of many former Taft supporters to lend their support to General Eisenhower following the convention. She notes that everyone she had talked to planned to vote for the General and believes that certain "anti-Ike groups" were working to flood the newspapers with deliberately discouraging reports, hoping to produce apathy. She finds it amusing, relies on the "straight thinking" of the American voter, and suggests that unless the voters were gluttons for punishment, the General would be the next President. She believes he could win back the "respect of the world which Harry Truman and his ineffectual aides have lost for us."

A letter writer from Pinehurst comments on the August 16 editorial, "Don't Let Them Take It Away, Ike", decrying the handling of the General by the professionals rather than letting him be himself, as when he had responded testily to Governor Stevenson having met with the President at the White House the prior week. The editorial had then suggested that, had he been allowed to make his own statement, he would have probably said that he fully expected the Governor to meet with the President and that he probably would in the future. The writer believes that latter statement to betray the determination that Governor Stevenson was "Truman's man". He then references the August 11 editorial, "Two Independent Candidates", in which the editors had indicated that there was no known basis in fact for the idea that Governor Stevenson was "Truman's man", that the Governor appeared as his own boss. He indicates that the editors could not have it both ways and wishes to know which view they actually held.

The editors respond that the reader was "straining at a gnat", as its previous hypothetical statement by the General was not meant to indicate that it was necessarily a truthful assessment, something which was not to be expected in modern political parlance. They indicate their firm belief that the Governor was, in fact, his own boss, though the Republicans would not admit it.

A letter writer responds to the earlier letter writer, labeled by some a "dog hater" for wanting to remove stray dogs from the streets of the city, who had written in response to this writer and other writers earlier in the week after some had been critical. This writer said that when he had written his earlier letter, he had never seen or heard of the previous letter or its author, and that all he was doing in his original letter was putting in "a plug for good ol' Rover". He rejects the response placing him in the category of the "lovelorn, loveless, childless, frustrated, inhibited, and emotionally unstable" for defending dogs as man's best friend.

But you said your neighbor's dog was named Sparky, not Rover. Were you lying like a little dog? Or, maybe, on second glance, that was the letter of the prospective gubernatorial candidate they want you to manage.

A letter writer from Norfolk, Va., says that Governor Stevenson would not and could not deny having supported the FEPC and civil rights legislation in Illinois, as the bill had been defeated by a single vote in the Republican-controlled Legislature. The Governor had also supported laws abolishing segregation in public housing projects and in the public schools of the state. He believes that if that was emblematic of who the Governor was, the country did not need him as President. He urges voting for General Eisenhower and Senator Nixon and repudiating "the dastardly attempt to destroy the dignity of Dixie at the recent Chicago convention." He also favors keeping "our good Southern Democratic Senators and Representatives in office to defeat any civil rights proposals and vote for any good legislation Mr. Eisenhower may propose."

Anyone ever told you you're crazy?

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