The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 23, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.S. Fifth Air Force announced that during the first 22 days of August, Sabre jets had shot down 26 enemy MIG-15 jets over North Korea in aerial battles, with only one allied plane lost, described by an Air Force spokesman as probably the most clear-cut victory of the war with the nearest competitor having been the entire month of June, when 22 enemy jets had been shot down with the loss of only one Sabre jet. Three enemy MIGs had been shot down during the previous week without loss of a single plane, though two Sabres and four other U.N. planes had failed to return from missions. Six other enemy jets had been damaged, for a total of 29 damaged or destroyed during August. A total of 17 U.N. planes had been lost thus far during August, albeit only one in air combat. The Far East Air Forces said that 1,318 enemy planes had been shot down during the war, against 753 allied losses, not including Navy carrier-based planes.

In the ground war, U.N. soldiers pushed back seven enemy probes the previous day and this date, including three at the allied-held "Bunker Hill" on the western front.

In Bakersfield, California, a sharp earthquake took place, the second major shock to hit that city of 50,000 in the prior 32 days, killing two persons, injuring 32 and causing millions of dollars worth of damage. It had lasted ten seconds during the peak of the afternoon shopping hour while the temperature was 100 degrees. Entire walls had fallen, roofs had crashed to the ground and parapets crumbled, with a few downtown thoroughfares having buckled. Most of the damage was confined to the business districts. The quake was felt 125 miles south in Los Angeles, and as far north as Sacramento, 250 miles distant. One of the two persons killed had been caught under a collapsing roof of a store in which she had been shopping, while the other had been trapped in the wreckage of an equipment company.

A witness account is provided, indicating that there had been no hysteria observed as people streamed from the sidewalks and from stores into the center of the street, where they stopped, looked around and waited.

Four major American oil companies and six subsidiaries were being sued in three separate suits for 67 million dollars by the Government on the basis that they had overcharged the Government on foreign aid oil shipments to Europe. The suits had been filed the previous day in Federal court in New York and Attorney General James McGranery said in Washington that they were a test of whether the defendants, with control over the supply of Middle Eastern crude oil shipped to countries participating in the foreign aid program, could block the effort of Government agencies to protect Government funds committed to European recovery and defense. The suits covered Middle Eastern oil deliveries to the Marshall Plan countries between May, 1949 and May, 1952. Financing of Middle Eastern oil for European countries by the Mutual Security Administration had been stopped the prior June after the oil companies reportedly refused to refund money from the purchases made during the three years in question. The story provides the names of the four defendant companies, starting with Standard Oil of New Jersey, with the other three continued on another page—likely Standard Oil of California, Texaco and, perhaps, Socony-Vacuum.

The IRB indicated that the law which Congress had passed the previous year to try to extract taxes from gamblers had not been working, as not much revenue had been collected and gambling remained widespread. The law provided that certain gamblers had to register and purchase a $50 occupation stamp each year, then pay a tax of 10 percent on their winnings. The IRB report indicated that only eight million dollars, or two percent of the originally estimated 400 million dollars, had been collected. While there had been a marked decrease in large bookmaking operations, considerable activity remained in the field of lotteries, such as policy, numbers, baseball pools, and the like, all going untaxed. A decision by a Federal District Court in Pennsylvania that the new tax law was unconstitutional had hampered prosecution, according to the IRB report, pending a ruling by the Supreme Court. It indicated that the state of Washington had more gamblers than any other state, or at least more honest ones, as it had the most registrations, while Louisiana had paid the most taxes on betting. The gamblers in New York and New Jersey apparently paid little attention to the law, as there had been only 189 registrations in the former and 79 in the latter. Meanwhile, West Virginia, for instance, had registered 494 persons, paying $273,000, whereas New York gamblers had paid $9,000 and their counterparts in New Jersey, $2,500.

General Eisenhower's qualified pledge of support for Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin, running for re-election, was criticized by Representative Michael Kirwan of Ohio, chairman of the Democratic national Congressional committee, as indicating that the General had placed party responsibility above questions of right or wrong. The General had responded to a press question the previous day on the matter by indicating that he would support Senator McCarthy as a member of the Republican Party but would not campaign for him or provide a blanket endorsement to anyone who did anything that he believed to be "un-American in its methods and procedures". The General appeared to respond angrily when asked more pointedly whether he would support a man who had attacked General Marshall as being sympathetic to Communism, saying, "Now look, General Marshall is one of the patriots of this country, and anyone who has lived with him, worked with him as I have, knows that he is a man of real selflessness…" He went on to say that he had no patience with anyone who could find in his record of service anything to criticize.

Governor Stevenson returned to his campaign headquarters in Springfield, Ill., following a three-day vacation in the backwoods of Wisconsin. He was scheduled to meet this date with Governor Allen Shivers of Texas, who would likely ask the Governor whether he favored Federal or state control of tidelands oil.

Another Gallup poll appears, reporting of a mid-August interview in which voters were asked to identify the Republican and Democratic vice-presidential nominees, showing that 45 percent could correctly name Senator Richard Nixon, but only 32 percent could name Senator John Sparkman. About 25 percent could name both and about 50 percent could name one or the other. The story capitalizes the first word in the phrase "ONE or the other", perhaps unwittingly predicting a campaign slogan for Mr. Nixon in 1968. But, it points out, some of the respondents called Senator Nixon, "Noxon" or "Gibson".

They just need to remember "Dick". Who is the Republican vice-presidential nominee? Dick.

Of course, that would leave Senator Sparkman open to a level of some suggestive ridicule as well.

In New York, where the American Legion annual convention was starting, a thousand men from New York state posts had been recruited to act as unofficial military police for the convention to enforce the rule of no horseplay among the gathering 100,000 Legionnaires.

In San Francisco, police had arrested a man wanted on suspicion of slaying his 16-year old niece, whose naked, battered body had been discovered near Palm Springs the prior Wednesday. The suspect and his wife had walked up to a motorcycle officer and said they were having some marital difficulty, leading to the arrest.

In York, S.C., the York County coroner said this date that an inquest would be held the following Tuesday night in the Rock Hill offices of a magistrate, regarding the death of a 20-year old student nurse of Lancaster, whose body had been found in the backwaters of the Catawba River on August 14. There had been no evidence found suggesting foul play and the doctor who performed the autopsy declared the death to have been by drowning. The inquest would determine all of the facts which had preceded her death.

In Asheville, N.C., four young Buncombe County men, ranging in ages from 19 to 22, charged with rape and carnal knowledge of a 14-year old girl, pleaded guilty this date to assault on a female, each then sentenced to 18 months on the roads, the sentences having been suspended and each placed on probation for three years on condition that each pay $500, half of which would go to the school fund and half to the victim.

In Raleigh, the Highway Commission's division of statistics and planning released figures which showed that there was some justification for Governor Kerr Scott's claim that his home county of Alamance had been neglected in road-building, resulting in his having allocated $750,000 from the Highway Fund surplus for rural roads in that county. At the start of the Governor's administration at the beginning of 1949, Alamance had 618.2 miles of county roads, of which 53.3 miles were paved, whereas there were 51,031.4 miles of county roads in the state, of which 5,109.3 miles were paved, thus meaning that while only 8.6 percent of Alamance County roads were paved, 10 percent were paved across the state. Alamance was considerably better off than Madison County, where only one percent of its county roads were paved, or Ashe, with 2.5 percent, Tyrrell, 3.2 percent, and Stokes, 3.3 percent. But it was worse off than several counties with similar populations, averaging 12 percent of county roads paved.

In Taylorsville, N.C., the Alexander Railway Company announced that its Apple Blossom Special, a train which would cover a ten-mile route between Taylorsville and Stony Point in Alexander County, would have a fare the following Friday of a pint of blood, part of the Red Cross Bloodmobile campaign.

In Charlotte, a policeman, Ernest Pressley, who had staged a traffic safety show for hundreds of thousands of schoolchildren in the Eastern U.S. and Canada, was planning to leave the following week, along with his eight trained dogs, to tour Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas and Texas, a tour planned to extend into the fall and winter, and then would travel to New England during the following spring. He would conduct two shows per day. The tour was co-sponsored by the American Trucking Association and the Charlotte Police Department. The Trucking Association had furnished Mr. Pressley with a new Ford Customline automobile and a specially built trailer for the tour, both of which are pictured on the page. The trailer would carry Laddie, a bird dog, Lassie, a collie, Elmer, a wire-haired terrier, and Susie, Jingles, Miggs, Annie and Dot, just "plain dogs".

Where is the hound dog? Every police department needs a hound dog, Officer Pressley.

On the editorial page, "Rube Goldbergish, but It'll Work" looks at the solution of the engineers for extending Independence Boulevard westward, finding it complex but probably workable. If you are particularly interested in that plan and how it came to be, you may read of the details.

The last sentence reads: "And by rejecting the previous scheme, they avoided the creation of a still greater problem at the intersection of Independence and Stonewall St."

Little did they know that they were predicting the problems of the Noxon Administration after mid-1972 for the fact that President Gibson did not reject the previous scheme.

But, as they said, why change Noxons in the middle of the stream? The answer was probably so that the country did not have to ford the stonewall at the end of the stream to keep from drowning in the resultant inflation from Noxon's pregnant enthusiasm.

"An Asset Worth Developing" tells of Governor Kerr Scott having delivered a good speech to the Farm & Home Week audience during the week, in the mold of his original "Go Forward" program inaugurated when he first came to office in 1949. He said that the state could not rest on its laurels but had to keep pressing forward. By the end of the year, 90 percent of the state's farms would be electrified and his administration had also invigorated a large amount of road-building in the state, now turning attention to conservation of water, soil and forests, and development of the state's waterways.

North Carolina farmers had lost around 200 million dollars worth of crops during the recent drought, but some farms with irrigation had produced bumper crops, though not nearly enough. Only about 10,000 acres of the state's farms were irrigated, and in some places, there was too much water, as in the eastern part of the state, which had 5.5 million acres of wetland which, if drained, could be converted to 200,000 farms of about 25 acres each.

The Governor had suggested that a North Carolina Maritime Authority be created and charged with the development and maintenance of the state's waterways, to be financed through gasoline taxes paid by users. The editorial finds that proposal to be a sensible water development plan for the state, just as the construction of the modern port facilities at Morehead City and Wilmington had been. It recommends the proposal to the next General Assembly, to meet at the beginning of 1953.

"Schumacher—Friend and Foe" tells of the death of Kurt Schumacher, the strong-willed leader of Germany's Social Democrats, removing thereby a major headache for U.S. planners in Germany, who had been exasperated by his opposition to West Germany's increasing ties to the Western nations and concerned that he might destabilize West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer. It remarks, however, that the now-leaderless dissidents he had led with an iron fist might cause American planners to wish that he had not died because he had also been a friend to the West in some respects. Despite his opposition to the Western alliance and rearmament, preferring a sovereign German army, he had also been equally adamant, long before the U.S, vis-à-vis the Communists.

It ventures that a battle might be waged for control of his party, with two possible contenders being Mayor Ernst Reuter of Berlin and Mayor Max Brauer of Hamburg, but it would remain a question as to whether the Socialists could agree on a leader who would be as strong-willed as had been Mr. Schumacher.

"A Good Man Advances" tells of Dr. Logan Wilson, 45, having established such an outstanding record at UNC and other schools that he had been recalled to his native state to become the president of the University of Texas. He was a professor of sociology and had held administrative positions at Tulane and the University of Kentucky, as well as having been for a year the academic vice-president and provost of the Consolidated University. It indicates disappointment that he was leaving North Carolina but it congratulates him for his advancement and wishes him the best.

A piece from the Arkansas Gazette, titled "Woman's Touch", tells of sages through the ages having confessed that it was the female of the species who maintained humanity's feet on the ground. When men would take off on the first rocket trip to the moon, it would be women, it suggests, who remembered to pack their box lunches.

As example of the notion, it recounts of Dr. Lincoln LaPaz, the eminent meteoriticist of the University of New Mexico, having advertised for material evidence of the mysterious green fireballs he had been investigating for more than a year, after which he received a package from a Macon, Ga., school teacher who thought that she might have that evidence and so sent it to Dr. LaPaz. He first tested the package with a Geiger counter, found no reaction, and upon opening the package, observed "a black, porous mass". It was subjected to microscopic examination and laboratory tests, with no conclusions being reached as to what it was. Finally Mrs. LaPaz was able to identify it as burnt toast.

It suggests that the moral was evident and that the incident had served one salutary purpose, significantly reducing the already slight interest in green fireballs.

Green fireballs. Sputniks were light blue and did not burn like the red fireballs. So we don't know what they are either, unless they are green-dyed red fireballs, which used to burn our mouths very badly and produce a level of heartburn, not, however, deterring their consumption.

Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon, substituting for Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, writing from Eugene, tells of introducing in the present Congress, together with the late Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut, a resolution which proposed that the Foreign Relations Committee should make a full and complete study and investigation to determine what attempts, if any, had been made by any individuals or groups of individuals representing the Chinese Nationalist Government, the Chinese Communist Government, or any other foreign government, to influence the foreign policy of the United States since the attack on Pearl Harbor and the extent, means and methods of financing, of any such attempts.

The reason for the proposal was that rumors, charges and counter-charges that foreign agents representing foreign lobbies were exercising inordinate power over American officials had reached such a level that the two Senators believed that the American people had a right to have the facts investigated. They had not realized, however, that the resolution touched upon an area which had become a political taboo in Washington, receiving in response "mysterious phone calls, anonymous letters, and visitations" from some remarkable characters, leading them to believe that they had entered a cloak-and-dagger game.

The Administration promised to make available any information contained in its files on foreign lobbies, which, while helpful, passed the buck from the Administration to the Congress regarding its duty to investigate such matters, a duty of the executive branch which should be exercised, he posits, without prodding from Congress. But Congress had also passed the buck by pigeonholing resolutions calling for such investigation, indicating as excuse that the State Department and Justice Department ought act on their own initiative in that area.

He believes that a thorough investigation of foreign lobby activities would disclose that there was an active Chinese Communist lobby working through Communist underground channels within the country, responsible for issuing propaganda regarding phony Asiatic peace proposals and false accusations regarding American foreign policy in Asia and alleged U.N. atrocities in the conduct of the Korean War, well-financed by the Chinese Communist Government. Likewise, he believes that there would be evidence disclosed that agents of the Nationalist Chinese Government within the U.S. had been seeking to influence American public opinion to encourage the country to become involved in a preventive war in Asia.

He hopes that when Congress reconvened in January, something would be done toward initiating this investigation.

Marquis Childs tells of vice-presidential nominee Senator John Sparkman having proved that there were some powers involved in that nomination, despite the office, itself, being regarded historically as useless. The Senator had managed since the convention to wrangle from the Administration release of the previously deemed confidential report of the FTC, regarding the oil cartels in the Middle East. Prior to the convention, both he and Senator Thomas Hennings of Missouri had sought, without success, to obtain the report.

It had been ready for release when oil was a hot subject in world politics, after the expropriation of the oil properties of the British in Iran, but was maintained in secret, after CIA director General Walter Bedell Smith expressed the view that releasing it could stir up the rising nationalism which threatened revolution in Iran and throughout the Middle East. The President had named a three-man committee to make an assessment, which included Secretary of State Acheson, Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett and Mutual Security Administrator Averell Harriman, the latter of whom had been engaged a year earlier in trying without success to work out a resolution between the British and Iranians regarding the expropriation. That committee in turn had weighed in with General Smith, and so the report continued to languish under wraps, until Senator Sparkman was able finally to turn the key.

There were to be about 40 redactions from the report, most regarding dealings with Middle Eastern countries, felt to be the most inflaming material for the rabid nationalists in Iran to exploit. But included in the report would be a previously unpublished memoir written by Calouste Gulbenkian, an 83-year-old Armenian presently living in Portugal and reputed to be worth a billion dollars. Mr. Childs also notes that he had a famous art collection, with many of its pieces on loan to the National Gallery in Washington. He had amassed his fortune from a five percent interest in the Iraq Petroleum Company and through other oil connections, and his memoir revealed that he had often clashed with the big companies over exploitation of Middle East reserves.

The report analyzed at length the interrelationship among the British companies, Royal Dutch Shell, Anglo-Iranian Oil, Iraq Petroleum, and the American companies in the international field, which included Standard of California, Standard of New Jersey and Texaco. The cartels had been previously known, but the level of detail and documentation in the report had not.

He indicates that there was politics involved in the release of the report, as evidenced by the fact that Senator Homer Ferguson of Michigan had sought to suggest that the Republican 80th Congress had, four years earlier, done an equally effective job in exposing the cartels, an effort which he claimed the Administration had ignored. But, Mr. Childs concludes, it was the politics of the world stage which would have the loudest reverberations in the wake of release of the report.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the fact that while the U.S. and the West had been growing stronger in their defense capability, the Soviets were building their military power even more rapidly, such that by 1955, it was conceivably possible that the Soviets would be in a position to strike the U.S. with crippling results, preventing an effective counter-attack. American air defenses were weak, whereas the Soviets had multiple layers of air defenses, rendering the U.S. B-36 obsolete. And those defenses were being constantly strengthened. In addition, Soviet output of atomic weapons was massive and increasing, as were their means of delivery of those weapons to American targets.

They posit that the new President would have to deal with these issues as well as the fact that Britain had just narrowly averted bankruptcy during the current summer, prevented only through the help of an infusion of American aid. If that situation continued to deteriorate, it would likely mean the end of the Churchill Government and the reintroduction in consequence of a Labor Government, a party in which Aneurin Bevan, who favored diminished alliance with the U.S., was becoming increasingly powerful, probably with the result that the U.S. would lose its British airbases, making it that much more difficult to defend against a potential Soviet invasion of Western Europe. To ward off these problems, it would be necessary to liberalize American tariff policy to permit Britain to export more to the U.S., thereby to obtain more dollars, and provide for an Anglo-American stabilization fund to maintain a better dollar-sterling balance. But it was difficult to imagine those two projects being of interest to Congress.

The British, plus many U.S. Air Force planners, believed that NATO had to be revised to place more emphasis on air power and new weapons, and less on naval power and ground troops. But that would likely arouse the French and Germans, as well as other European allies because of their front-line status in Europe. Thus, the new President would also have to face these problems, both with the Congress and the other NATO allies.

Additionally, the French continued to have a problem with the fate of Indo-China and through it, the fate of free Asia, almost as serious as the problem of Britain. The U.S. had given strategic commitments to 41 other nations, most of them on the periphery of Soviet power, an area where there was no country not under threat or without signs of trouble.

They conclude that perhaps the reason that the presidential candidates did not discuss these realities was because the subject was too difficult for campaign discussion.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Bernard Baruch having turned 82 and yet remaining spry, worrying more about the health of Mr. Ruark, not yet 37, than his own health. He had been the hunting companion of Mr. Ruark for the previous six years and still enjoyed hunting. He slept well, took frequent naps, but accomplished more in between the naps than most people half his age. The only thing physically wrong with him was that he was deaf in one ear and sometimes had pain in his feet. When hunting, he still walked with a young man's steady gait. He remained interested in everything, wrote a lot, read a lot and thought a lot, tiring out Mr. Ruark with the force of his mental vitality. He could also still get "as mad as an Irish revolutionist".

Mr. Baruch had not yet indicated which party he would support in the coming election, having previously been known as a primary financial benefactor of the Democrats, but, according to Mr. Ruark, probably now believing that the Democrats had been in power for long enough, at least for awhile.

He concludes by wishing Mr. Baruch a happy birthday and hopes that he would live to be 150.

By happenstance, Mr. Baruch would die in 1965, just eleven days prior to the death of Mr. Ruark—seeming to justify, after all, Mr. Baruch's concern for the health of his much younger hunting companion.

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