The Charlotte News

Wednesday, August 27, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the previous night, seven B-29's had dropped 70 tons of high explosives on a Communist supply area at Pyongyang, receiving moderate flak over the target, and 14 B-26's, in another night raid, had attacked an enemy supply concentration near Pukchong, followed this date by U.N. fighter-bombers dropping explosives on enemy front line installations, then diving low to drop napalm in support of allied ground troops, in the first clear weather in the previous five days.

Ground fighting, according to the U.S. Eighth Army, was light and sporadic.

A Senate Internal Security subcommittee report indicated this date that pro-Communist scriptwriters were spreading "subtle" propaganda in radio and television programs. The report quoted scriptwriter Ruth Adams Knight, who had testified in executive session, as denouncing Communists and Communism, indicating that scriptwriters stopped short of putting forth the party line in their scripts, but skillfully wove into them "constant derision of the capitalistic system", aiming their message at "simple people" who listened to the radio and would turn off outright Communist propaganda. She and another scriptwriter, Wellbourn E. Kelley, denounced Ira Marion, a one time scriptwriter for Voice of America anti-communist propaganda broadcasts to Israel, both indicating that he was pro-Communist. The report indicated that Mr. Marion, former president of the Radio Writers Guild, wrote for the Voice and the U.N. radio section, and that the Guild was controlled by pro-Communists. The Guild, in response, issued a statement saying it had never aligned itself with or supported any Communist or pro-Communist organization and that its officers were in compliance with the Taft-Hartley Act by having signed non-Communist affidavits.

James Henderson was named rent stabilization director to succeed Tighe Woods, named the previous day to head the Office of Price Stabilization, replacing former Georgia Governor Ellis Arnall, who had resigned, effective September 1. Mr. Henderson was presently general counsel of the Office of Economic Stabilization.

In New York, at the American Legion annual convention, a group of about 35 Legionnaires from North Carolina met with General Eisenhower this date and told him that the South wanted a change. They had met with the General in the Century Room of the Hotel Commodore, in which his new New York headquarters were located, gathering around a piano.

Perhaps, if Senator Nixon is around, he might favor them with a nice little hum-along tune.

The General announced that his first major campaign trip would be through strategic voting areas in the South and Midwest, departing New York on September 2 and making appearances in 14 cities across ten states during an eight-day period. The itinerary is printed, in case you want to catch him.

An aide to Senator Taft indicated that the Senator wanted to question the General about some specific issues before providing his general full support for his candidacy, specifically his position on Taft-Hartley and limitation of Federal spending. It was believed that toward the end of the tour, the General would stop in Ohio to meet with the Senator.

Also in New York, Governor Stevenson spoke to the American Legion convention this date, indicating that attacks on General Marshall by Republicans constituted a "shocking example" of misplaced patriotism, which he said, quoting Dr. Samuel Johnson, was in the form of patriotism which was "the last refuge of scoundrels". The Governor also said that he would not submit to any pressures from the Legion if he thought their demands were excessive or in conflict with the public interest. He incorporated a plea to defend freedom of thought in the fight against Communism, while he assailed Communism as "the death of the soul", indicating that freedom of thought was being menaced by over-zealous patriots. As when General Eisenhower had spoken to the Legionnaires two days earlier, Madison Square Garden was not filled and attendance appeared to be smaller than for General Eisenhower's speech. The ovation for the Governor, however, appeared as enthusiastic and was as enduring as that given the General. The Legionnaires gave him a standing ovation, waving state banners, when the Governor entered the Garden, and he was introduced by the national commander.

The Legion convention this date adopted by voice vote a resolution demanding the dismissal of Secretary of State Acheson and those in the State Department "found wanting in their proper activation of their duty to their country". A similar resolution had been adopted the previous year at the convention in Miami. A report submitted by the Legion's foreign relations committee stated that the U.N. was "ineffective as an instrument for world peace". The Legion also adopted a resolution recommending life imprisonment for persons caught illegally possessing or peddling narcotics on a third occasion, with a maximum ten-year sentence on a first conviction and up to 20 years on a second convection. Among other resolutions adopted were for Legion posts to consider a program of giving material assistance to the children of Korea and to consider fluoridation of water to protect the teeth of children.

In Raleigh, future Senator B. Everett Jordan, chairman of the state Democratic Party, outlined plans this date for a general election campaign in the state, indicating that the plans were to open campaign headquarters in the Sir Walter Hotel the following Tuesday and hold campaign rallies in each of the state's 12 Congressional Districts, as well as numerous county rallies. Party leaders were going to make efforts to persuade Governor Stevenson or vice-presidential nominee Senator John Sparkman, or both, to appear in the state. He also promised the strongest campaign among women voters in a long time.

In Ansonville, N.C., a 60-foot high sawdust mountain had caught fire July 14 at a lumber company and had since half burned up and was still burning. Metal fences had been erected around its periphery to prevent it from spreading and the local forest ranger and his assistant were standing by to ensure that it would be contained. They believed it would take three to four additional weeks for it to burn itself out. In the meantime, they kept the fire ablaze by throwing fresh shavings from the sawmill into it. The ranger said that it took eight to nine years for enough gas to form in the center of such a massive sawdust pile to cause it to ignite. He said it was the largest such fire he had ever seen. The sawdust mound had been accumulating for eight years and a worker discovered the fire in mid-July upon seeing a circle of flame about the size of a washtub. Their subsequent efforts to extinguish the fire went for naught and efforts since that time had ceased. In its original formation, the pile covered 2.6 acres.

In Salisbury, N.C., Miss North Carolina, Barbara Anne Harris, was catching a cold at a time when she was supposed to be packing to travel to Atlantic City for the Miss America Contest, set to start the following week, culminating in the crowning a week from the following Saturday.

In Charlotte, a battered 1937 Chevrolet automobile was on trial in City Recorder's Court this date, charged with "willfully, maliciously, unlawfully and feloniously" transporting eight jars of bootleg whiskey in the county. If found guilty, the car would be confiscated by the court and put up for sale at public auction. One official indicated that the procedure was a little unusual and that the warrant, which read "State of North Carolina and City of Charlotte versus 1937 Chevrolet", might not be served and instead the car simply sold under court order. The case had developed the previous night when Charlotte police came upon it on W. 2nd St., whereupon two men jumped out of the car and escaped.

Off Miami, the season's first tropical hurricane was forming about 1,000 miles out to sea to the southeast, about 250 miles north-northeast of San Juan, with winds presently clocked at 85 mph and a poorly defined center. Small craft warnings were ordered along the North Carolina coast, south of Cape Hatteras during the morning for strong winds between 25 and 35 mph.

Surf may go down again.

A new cool air front again brought cooler temperatures to the Carolinas, keeping the highs in the 80's for the third straight day, while the low reached 55 degrees at the Charlotte airport, setting a new record for the date, .6 of a degree lower than the previous record low set in 1944, the lowest reading in Charlotte since May 14. The high during the afternoon was expected to be 82 and there would be little change for the following two days.

Across the state, Mt. Mitchell was the coolest spot in the Carolinas, with a low of 41 at its peak, followed by Asheville, at 43, in contrast with Charleston, with a low of 68 and Columbia and Greenville, S.C., both at 61. Rocky Mount had a low of 59, Raleigh, 55, and Myrtle Beach, 66. Cherry Point had a low of 73 and Cape Hatteras, 70 during the morning.

On the editorial page, "A Soak-the-Sick Scheme" indicates that one of the major health problems for which the nation had not achieved a solution was catastrophic illness. The usual hospital insurance policy provided little more than a token contribution toward paying such bills and new types of policies which would cover catastrophic illness were still in the testing phase.

The chairman of the insurance committee of the North Carolina Medical Society had pointed out in Raleigh during the regional health conference on Monday that there was a way to reduce the cost of catastrophic illness and thus minimize the problem. Hospitals in the state and elsewhere generally set per diem rates on beds, with the average cost in North Carolina running about $6.50, while it actually cost the hospital $9.70 per day to furnish the additional necessary and routine services attendant to a hospital stay. To make up the difference, the hospital had to make profits on other services, drugs, laboratory and X-ray charges, actually costing the hospital $2.80 per day, charged to the patient, however, at the rate of $6.20 per day. The majority of the patients, however, did not pay for these latter services, as their illnesses were not serious enough to warrant their receipt.

The doctor had said that hospital administrators generally favored that system because the patients preferred it, but it was based on a principle exactly opposite to that followed by insurance companies, whereby a majority paid for part of the burden of the few suffering greater losses. He had suggested that to increase the charges on hospital beds would help to alleviate this unfair burden to patients suffering catastrophic illness.

The piece indicates that it doubted that the doctor would follow his own proposal to its logical conclusion, as cutting the costs for X-rays, for instance, would find considerable objection from many doctors, who wished to see the hospitals completely out of the practice of medicine. It also indicates that the person forced to enter a hospital had enough problems without having to pay part of the room rent of the patient with a catastrophic illness. It posits that the hospital charges ought be based on the cost of each service or facility utilized and that higher room rates would be accepted by the public if the charges for the extras were reduced commensurately.

How about allowing the patients to bring their own food, pillow and aspirin, and thereby save a bundle?

"Change of Mind" indicates its happiness to see that Governor Kerr Scott had changed his mind and withdrawn his allocation of $750,000 from the Highway Fund for his home county of Alamance, after a great deal of criticism and controversy had arisen in its wake. The Governor had concluded that the allocation would cause "other inequities" and thus would not be in the public interest. It suggests that the widespread indignation in response to the allocation was probably the actual reason for the reversal, as well as a court injunction which would have been served the following day to stop it.

It finds that the Governor had "grossly violated the ethical standards of his office" and perhaps also the law, when making the allocation originally. He had regained some of his stature, it suggests, in changing his mind.

"Putting Principle above Party" finds that Governor Stevenson had remained firm on principle, placing it above party, when taking a stand on tidelands oil, indicating that the Federal Government ought maintain its title to the reserves while urging that an equitable arrangement to divide the royalties with the states should be determined. That position had been a rebuff to the professional politicians of Texas, California and Louisiana, who had demanded that Congress restore the tidelands oil rights to the states. It remained to be seen whether the ordinary voters would react unfavorably to the Governor because of his stand on that issue.

General Eisenhower had risked the loss of much Republican support when he defended the President's decision to intervene in Korea, albeit coupling his statement with the suggestion that blunders had been made prior to the war which had encouraged Communist aggression in Korea. That had been contrary to many Republicans who had echoed Senator Taft's statements that it was "Truman's war" and a "useless war". It finds that the General, in so doing, had served the fighting forces well.

It hopes that that same kind of independence would continue as the campaign progressed.

"Double Burial" remarks on American Legion commander Donald Wilson, following his reading of the President's message to the Legion's convention in New York, having attacked the President for labeling the Korean War a "police action", finding it to be "an un-American approach to the facts".

The piece revisits the origin of the term "police action", indicating that on the Thursday following the attack of June 25, 1950, a reporter had asked the President if it would be correct to call the response a police action, to which the President had replied that it was. At that time, the term appeared appropriate, but since had been picked up and used by Republican politicians to criticize the Administration.

The piece urges that the phrase ought be buried, along with the phrase "Truman's War".

"The FTC Report on Oil" discusses the recent release of the previously confidential Federal Trade Commission report on alleged oil cartels, finding it to contain no startling revelations. It was mainly a history of the operations of major international oil companies and their cooperative efforts. Iran was conspicuously absent from the report, probably for security reasons or to prevent irritation of the Iranian nationalists. The report made serious charges against seven companies, Standard of New Jersey, Standard of California, Socony-Vacuum, Texaco, Gulf, Anglo-Iranian and Shell, charging them with conspiracy to fix prices, restrict competition and control production. A grand jury would convene September 23 to determine whether the companies had violated antitrust laws. Four of the companies, Standard of New Jersey, Standard of California, Socony-Vacuum, and Texaco, had been sued by the Justice Department for the recovery of 67 million dollars in overcharges to the Marshall Plan for oil purchased for the recipient countries.

Many of the agreements which the report criticized had been made 10 or 20 years earlier and the piece finds it strange that they were only now coming to light.

Among the serious accusations was the charge of "phantom freight" rates, continuation of charges based on tanker haulage, even after completion of pipelines which cut costs considerably. It also revealed that Marshall Plan oil shipped to Europe from the Middle East cost as much as oil shipped much longer distances, because of the basing point system used by the oil companies, under which the cost of production at U.S. Gulf ports, plus certain freight and handling charges, constituted the delivered price to consumers anywhere.

The accusers in the report were bipartisan and, it posits, the seriousness of the charges required thorough investigation.

Charles F. Horne, Civil Aeronautics administrator in the Department of Commerce, substituting for Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, tells of the functions of the Civil Aeronautics Administration, inspecting pieces of fabricated equipment to determine whether they met safety specifications set by the CAA.

In one rare instance in Bangkok, when naval officers had revolted and attempted to establish a new government, the U.S. Embassy had been struck by artillery shells four different times and by small arms fire, a hundred times. All normal communications had ceased. Meanwhile, U.S. commercial aircraft were en route to Thailand and there was no way to warn them of the coup in progress on the ground. The head of the CAA international regional office in Bangkok then made his way while under fire through the front lines of the opposing forces to an aeronautical radio station situated within the Thai naval compound, was able to talk his way into the radio station and then warn all U.S. commercial aircraft to divert their flights.

Typical duties of CAA safety agents included testing the competency of applicants for pilot certificates, frequently cutting out one of an airplane's two engines to see whether the pilot would react promptly and correctly—and, presumably, if not, would be killed in the resulting crash anyway and so what the heck.

A majority of the efforts at saving lives occurred via CAA ground personnel who manned the more than 70,000-mile network of Federal airways. They guided errant planes in for landings and enabled others to avoid hazards. He provides some specific examples.

The CAA also helped to plan civil defense through exercises involving planes delivering supplies into cities which were under simulated attack.

Dr. Edwin G. Nourse, former chairman of the President's Council of Economic Advisers between 1946 and 1949, writing in Tax Review, finds it a truism that the Federal budget was so vast and technical that it was nearly impossible for any member of Congress to vote on it with a feeling of sound judgment. Such status provided an opportunity for an administrative agency or a pressure group to stay the hand of any member of Congress or committee which tried to cut appropriations.

There were experts in the Senate and House who devoted great attention to budgetary legislation and were therefore qualified to make cuts judiciously, item by item, rather than with a "meat axe". Dr. Nourse, however, favors absolute ceilings on the total size of the budget, with categorical limits on particular divisions, such as welfare programs, resource development, and military expenditures. He believes it was possible to determine the safe upper limit of taxation and insist that expenditures be constrained to those limits.

He disagrees with the notion of having a Congressional form of the executive branch Bureau of the Budget, as there would be no guarantee that the Congressional analysis would be any more competent than that of the Bureau, whereas the expense for the analysis would be doubled. He suggests that a solution might be to have a small body of both houses which would keep close tabs on the budgetary process.

The President's Economic Report the prior January had expressed concern over the inflationary danger, claiming to have held military expenditures to their lowest limits of reasonable safety and to have deferred all postponable civilian projects. But Congress had not followed that lead. In a campaign year, they had rejected the idea of a four billion dollar tax increase from the present high levels of taxes. The Joint Committee on the Economic Report of the President and other voices raised in support of a return to pay-as-you-go, advocated effecting that goal by stretching out the military buildup or postponing its peak for a year or two. The Committee had indicated that a reduction of expenditures by approximately ten billion dollars would be necessary to accomplish the goal of pay-as-you-go, given that Congress in an election year was not going to raise taxes and given the Administration requests for defense.

At the end of the recent session of Congress, preliminary estimates were that spending authorizations for the ensuing fiscal year had been reduced from the budget estimates by about eleven billion dollars, of which 8.5 billion dollars was in appropriations, resulting in an unofficial estimate of possible savings of a little more than half of that eleven billion. Another 1.5 billion dollars in savings would have been added had it not been for that amount put into atomic energy funds on the final day of the session.

He finds that because the country and the Congress had become aware of the need to reduce the annual deficit, it was unlikely that the statutory ceiling of 275 billion dollars on the national debt would be exceeded. He believes that it was possible that a balanced budget could be achieved the following year in a new administration, after further clarification of the offensive threat and the county's defensive power. He thinks it possible to gain control of the Federal budget on a basis which would maintain deterrent military power against reasonably calculated risks, sustain the presently high general standard of living and make reasonably steady progress. That progress could be greatly accelerated should a truce between the free world and Soviet imperialism occur.

A piece from the Congressional Quarterly examines the Southerners in Congress who had voted with Republicans to block Administration domestic policy on several occasions. That block of Southerners consisted of 35 Representatives in the House. The Democrats had been defeated on 59 of the 107 House votes where the Democrats lined up against most of the Republicans. Since the margin of Democratic control of the House was usually only 30 votes and never more than 36, the Southern defections had resulted in these losses. Were 16 of those Democratic votes to support the party line, the outcome would be different.

In addition to the 35 Southern Democrats, Congressman Harold Patten of Arizona also often joined the Republicans, having a party unity rating of 49 percent. Congressman Don Wheeler of Georgia had a party unity rating of only 14 percent, joining most of the Republicans more than the average Republican. Four other Democrats had percentages under 30, John Bell Williams of Mississippi, at 20, John Wood of Georgia, at 22, J. Frank Wilson of Texas, at 24, and Ken Regan of Texas, at 28.

Eight House Republicans took stands with most of the Democrats more often that with the majority of their own party. Congressman Jacob Javits of New York, with a 15 percent Republican party unity rating, led that group.

Two House Democrats and two Republicans had 100 percent party unity ratings for 1951 and 1952, Congressman John Dingell of Michigan and Majority Leader John McCormack of Massachusetts, on the Democratic side, and Republicans Howard Buffett of Nebraska and Claire Hoffman of Michigan.

On the Senate side, Harry F. Byrd of Virginia had a 24 percent party unity rating for the 82nd Congress, the lowest among Democrats, while Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon had the lowest among Republicans at 33 percent, the next lowest in the Senate to that of Senator Byrd. Senators Herbert O'Conor of Maryland, Charles Tobey of New Hampshire, James Duff of Pennsylvania, and J. Allen Frear, Jr., of Delaware, each had a party unity rating of 50 percent or lower. There were no Senators with 100 percent party unity, but six Democrats and one Republican were above 95 percent, with the high achieved by Senator Carl Hayden of Arizona at 98 percent, whereas Senator Henry Dworshak of Idaho was high among Republicans at 95 percent.

It provides a table of Democratic House members with less than 50 percent party unity ratings. On the list were four North Carolina Representatives, including retiring House Ways & Means Committee chairman Robert Doughton, at 44 percent, and Labor and Education Committee chairman Graham Barden, at 39 percent.

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