The Charlotte News

Friday, August 29, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied warplanes, in a record 1,403 sorties, this date hit Pyongyang in three waves of land and carrier-based fighter-bombers representing four of the U.N. nations, South Africa, South Korea, Australia and the U.S. Some 420 planes poured 4,000 gallons of napalm and 597 tons of high explosives on more than 40 enemy targets during the dawn to dusk raids. Returning pilots indicated that explosions were observed everywhere in Pyongyang. The North Korean capital had been forewarned of the raids by radio and leaflets so that civilians could evacuate. Only the raid of July 11 had exceeded the tonnage of bombs dropped, when 1,400 tons were dropped on Pyongyang during 1,063 sorties. U.N. jets protecting the bombers had shot down one MIG-15 jet and damaged two others in dogfights.

Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., denounced as a "pious increase piece of double talk" the statement of Governor Stevenson the previous night in which he had opposed Senate filibusters, the Senator indicating that the Democrats had controlled the Senate for the previous four years and had done nothing about it. He also criticized the Governor's support of his running mate, Senator John Sparkman, who, he said, had expressed strong opposition to a civil rights program in Mobile, Alabama, in a speech of April 17, 1950.

The Governor had stated that as President he would use whatever influence he could muster to get the Senate to change the filibuster rules which had killed civil rights legislation. He said that "the sound of tireless voices is the price we pay for the right to hear the music of our own opinions."

Congressman Adam Clayton Powell of New York, who previously had stated that he expected blacks to boycott the Democratic national ticket because of the presence of Senator Sparkman as the vice-presidential nominee, said this date that after conferring with Governor Stevenson, he and a dozen other black leaders were now "ready to back him to the limit". The Congressman stated that the Governor had promised to make a strong pronouncement on segregation in Washington and that he and the other black leaders were now satisfied with the Governor's stand on civil rights generally.

A Justice Department attorney testified to a House investigating committee that one reason the Government had never prosecuted a war contracts fraud charge against a Detroit company was because so many of the witnesses had dropped out of the picture, though indicating that the head of the company had been responsible for "difficulties" which several of the Government witnesses had encountered, one of whom had been committed to an insane asylum and another had been charged with bigamy. The committee's counsel had indicated that the head of the company had been indicted in 1944 on six counts alleging fraud involving $14,000, but had never been prosecuted, with the indictment finally dropped by the Justice Department in 1950 on the grounds that the case had become "enfeebled with age".

In Bern, Switzerland, Senator Willis Smith of North Carolina told political leaders of 33 countries this date, meeting as delegates to the Interparliamentary Union, that American aid to the free world was not limitless, that the U.S. had a tremendous debt, with 80 percent of the U.S. budget for the previous two years having been devoted to foreign aid and defense. He also said that it was not the U.S. against Russia but the free world against slavery and freedom against tyranny. He also said that he had seen a tendency in Europe toward too much nationalism, particularly in countries which had refugees who could not find jobs because, as foreign nationals, they could not obtain work permits. The Senator had been investigating the refugee problem and made a special plea for the refugees from Palestine living in the Gaza Strip under conditions which he described as inhuman.

In Raleigh, the Duke Power Company sought to raise its bus fares in five cities this date by filing a new rate schedule with the State Utilities Commission, under which ride tokens, which sold three for a quarter, would be eliminated, leaving a straight 10-cent fare in those five cities for everyone except schoolchildren who could obtain four rides for a quarter. Charlotte City Council member Basil Boyd expressed opposition to the increase and said the Council should not consider the question.

In Stanley, N.C., a man was shot and seriously wounded this date just outside the city limits, and police, 90 minutes later, arrested a man for the shooting near Mount Holly. The man was allegedly shot with a .38-caliber automatic pistol after he and the arrested suspect had been riding in the wounded man's car. The suspect, according to police, had admitted the shooting and stated that it was over "domestic troubles".

In Rutherfordton, N.C., two teenage boys, who had departed the town the previous Sunday, planning to paddle a canoe down the Broad River to the Congaree and then to the Cooper to Charleston, were expected to arrive at their destination the following day. Both boys, close to being Eagle Scouts, were set to enter Duke University as freshmen on September 11. One of the boys had constructed the canoe in his spare time while working as a lifeguard at a local swimming pool.

May you have deliverance from running into any of those backwoodsmen who might seek to see whether you would like to be initiated as a neophyte blue devil out there in the woods. You probably should carry with you a full quiver of the well-known blue devil repellent.

An erratic Atlantic storm developed into a hurricane this date as it approached the Atlantic coast with increasing speed and intensity, positioned about 280 miles east of Melbourne, Fla., with the upper Florida east coast, Georgia and South Carolina presently in its path. Storm warnings were in effect from Vero Beach, Fla., north to Wilmington, N.C. The hurricane was moving west-northwestward at about 18 mph with its strongest winds estimated at 75 miles per hour. The storm was labeled "Able" by the Weather Bureau, as it was the first major storm of the season.

On the editorial page, "A Courageous, Fighting Speech" tells of Governor Stevenson, in his speech to the American Legion on Wednesday, having shown again his ability to state his philosophy succinctly and forcefully. He had voiced, finds the piece, the high aspirations of millions of his countrymen who shared his faith that man stood on the threshold of his greatest time and that the basic direction of U.S. foreign policy was sound. The speech had also revealed his courage as he took exception to some well-known Legion positions while nevertheless getting his audience to like what he said, as judged by the applause.

He advocated the "great international system of security" which the country had taken the lead in building, which was a system developed under Secretary of State Acheson, the Governor having made his statement shortly after the Legion had demanded the Secretary's resignation. He also attacked the "self-appointed thought police" and "overzealous patriots", called for "free enterprise for the mind" as well as for business, and defined patriotism as "not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime." He also said that he would resist the demands of pressure groups as President, including pressure from veterans, indicating that the country was rapidly becoming a nation of veterans and that if all claimed special rewards for their service, beyond specific disabilities, there would be no one left to pay for the benefits. The country, he said, was comprised first of Americans and second of veterans, that Jefferson's "equal rights for all, special privileges for none" still obtained.

It finds that the Governor was emerging as a "fighting candidate", not the give-em-hell type which the President was, but rather the Gene Tunney type, "methodical, fair, learned and extremely effective". It finds that a great fight was shaping up between the two champions.

"These Trips Were Not Necessary" tells of 14 four-engine Air Force transports having during the week been carrying Moslem pilgrims from Beirut, Lebanon, to the Moslem holy cities of Mecca and Medina, at the request of the Lebanese Government. Those pilgrims would commemorate Abraham's attempt to sacrifice Isaac, his young son. The State Department said it expected the cost to be borne by the Air Force.

It suggests that while helping the Moslems, who had been stranded by a traffic jam, might redound to the credit of the U.S. throughout the Middle East, neither Congress nor the majority of Americans had supposed that tax money would be used for circumventing a traffic jam to relieve a non-emergency situation. It finds that there were more important uses for public funds and reminds that Abraham had made the journey in his time on an ass, only a three-day ride. It indicates that there were many asses in the Middle East and that their use in such instances would keep the American taxpayers from looking "like such silly ones".

"On Grand Juries in General" indicates that when a Superior Court Judge of the caliber of Allen Gwyn and a State Attorney General as experienced as Harry McMullan agreed that a grand jury had no legal right to make critical remarks about a high school, it had to defer to their opinion, though it did so grudgingly. Superior Court Judge Hoyle Sink had been campaigning for years to abolish grand juries, as he believed they were useless.

It indicates, however, that the grand jury could be an effective weapon for examining all aspects of local government and reporting to the people. It suggests that if the Buncombe County grand jury had no right to say that the Biltmore High School was a disgrace to the school system, it ought to have that right. The inspection of schools by grand juries was merely a custom and the piece believes that any public function of local government ought to be within the ambit of the grand jury. It indicates, however, that there was little in the record of North Carolina grand juries in recent years to suggest any substantial hope that they would vigorously exercise such responsibility if they were granted it.

"If at First You Don't Succeed, Etc." tells of the American Legion, at its convention during the week, having voted for a resolution calling for the firing of Secretary of State Acheson. The Legion had first passed such a resolution in 1950 and had repeated it the previous year.

It suggests that the Legion ought get set for a shock, that its orders would not be obeyed in 1952, any more than they had been the prior two years. For the voice of the Legion was not that of the millions of thoughtful, patriotic veterans who had fought in the nation's wars, but rather of a small group of men at the top who controlled the annual conventions and dictated policies for the delegates to approve. Being a small voice, it was not heard in the White House or across the land.

In urging the firing of Secretary Acheson, the Legion, it suggests, had made itself look silly. Mr. Acheson had been a distinguished Secretary of State, who had borne a tremendous responsibility in one of the most difficult times of the nation's history and borne it unflinchingly despite huge criticism. The resolution, it concludes, did not represent the great majority of American veterans or the people generally, and would have no influence on the President or anyone else.

A piece from Business Week looks at "Washing Machine Economics", suggesting that if the classical economist were to see a home washing machine, he would have nightmares for being the machine standing idle most of the time while costing quite a bit of money to purchase. To the economist, it was an economic waste. But to the ordinary housewife, it was a method of conserving great labor. The housewife regarded this fixed package of labor instead of a fixed package of land or capital, as would the classical economist. On that basis, the washing machine made good sense by being present when needed and alleviating the housewife's labor.

It suggests that there were reasons why this new economics had developed in the kitchen rather than in the factory, as human servants had become prohibitively expensive in the country, producing a desire to get the most labor for the money.

Even in industry, it was possible to see a trend toward thinking in terms of the fixed package of labor and a variable application of capital, taking the form of a calmer look at overcapacity. Many companies had found out after the war that it was expensive to run a plant to the limit of its capacity, as labor costs had risen uncontrollably, producing a "profitless prosperity", of which many businessmen had complained in 1946 and 1947. More manufacturers began to realize that there had been a fundamental change in the cost relationship between labor and capital, such that capital had become relatively cheap and labor more expensive than ever. The result was that a lot of manufacturers had deliberately planned expansion programs large enough to leave a little margin for overcapacity. He cites Westinghouse as an example of a company which had become reconciled to the idea that at least part of the new capacity provided by its latest expansion program would not be used constantly. Those manufacturers knew that it would cost a lot of money to carry this extra capacity through slow periods, but they planned to get the money back through greater efficiency in faster periods.

It concludes that such a theory would make no sense to the classical economists such as Ricardo or John Stuart Mill, "but then Ricardo sent his laundry out."

James V. Bennett, director of the Bureau of Prisons, substituting for Drew Pearson while he was on vacation, asks Mr. Pearson whether he recalled the embattled prisoners in New Jersey having demanded that he be brought to the prison so they could impart to him their grievances, but that Mr. Pearson was unable to go. He finds it significant that the prisoners had asked him, however, as in every prison riot which had occurred recently, the prisoners had insisted upon telling their story directly to a member of the press. The prisoners believed that the public did not understand their problems and they had confidence in the power of the press to remedy some of the conditions they faced.

He indicates that most American prisons were "obsolete museum pieces built years ago", with additions made when overcrowding reached the breaking point. The Trenton prison had been built in 1936 and the prison in Maryland dated to Thomas Jefferson's day. The Ohio penitentiary at Columbus had been built in 1834, and in 23 other states, the prisons were from 70 to 100 years old. They lacked modern facilities, decent dining room and kitchen equipment and were built when prisons were purposely made dark and comfortless. Now, however, the primary purpose of the prison was rehabilitation and retraining of the prisoner, rendering dungeons and bastilles obsolete.

The worst problems facing prisons was lack of adequate and decently paid personnel, with less than 10 percent of prisons having full-time psychiatrists and probably 80 percent of the guards not receiving as much as the average construction worker, many receiving less than minimum wage while working long hours. In Tennessee, for instance, prison officers worked 70 hours per week. Most prisons contained twice the number prisoners for which they had been built and typically there were only three doctors servicing 9,000 prisoners.

So he suggests that it was no wonder that such prisons failed to reform more than one out of three prisoners. In some states, there was a 75 percent recidivism rate and for the country as a whole, there was about a 60 percent rate within five years of release. Idleness and lack of work was one of the greatest handicaps to prevention of disturbances and maintaining order in the prisons. He suggests than in a country where 60 million people were employed, it ought be possible to find something for 40,000 to 50,000 prisoners to do, work which could be a substitute for criminal activity upon their release. Yet pressure groups, timid public officials and shortsighted legislators had been unwilling to work out such a solution.

He indicates that when prisoners were mistreated in one state, it redounded to the rest of society, as they would exit prison as embittered people and menace the citizens of every community. What was needed was capable leadership, free from political control, qualified and adequately paid personnel and provision for more than 40 to 50 cents per day per prisoner for food, medical supplies and training materials.

He suggests that behind every adult offender was a juvenile delinquent. About 35,000 boys and girls under age 17 were annually sent to state training schools, which were attempting to help those people, but were handicapped by lack of funds, personnel and encumbered by methods which had been questionable 25 or more years earlier. They were sent to training schools because the system of juvenile courts and probation was spotty and inadequate.

He urges the establishment in each state of a special youth conservation board or authority to deal with such cases. California, Minnesota, Massachusetts and Texas had formed such boards, whose job it was to mobilize all resources of the state and focus them on the prevention and treatment of juvenile delinquency. He finds that no money could be better spent and informs that details of that kind of program could be obtained from the American Law Institute in Philadelphia, which was spearheading the program.

Marquis Childs tells of General Eisenhower having recently had a conference with one of his most understanding supporters and friends, who told him that he had two public images, one as the warmhearted, friendly person whom everyone liked, and the second, as a confident and resolute leader ready to assume the task of becoming President. The second image, the friend had continued, was being blurred in the public mind, in part because of propaganda from the opposition which sought to make the General appear as a good-natured person out of his depth in politics. Another part of the blurring, however, was the result of the failure to focus the campaign on the second image. Mr. Childs believes that to be an astute analysis.

John Foster Dulles had thus far had more to do probably than any other single individual except the General, himself, with shaping the content of his speeches. Mr. Dulles had urged the General to use foreign policy as a frame of reference for his attack on the Truman Administration, enabling him to attack corruption in government by indicating that the scandals had lowered the country's prestige across the world, making it more difficult to lead against Communism. The General had incorporated those thoughts in his American Legion speech the prior Monday.

While the theme of that speech, that the nation faced its greatest peril in its history, coincided with the General's own beliefs, it was not entirely good for the audience, who did not wish to hear that their sacrifices in two world wars had been in vain. The General had not yet struck a proper relationship between the politics and relating to an audience. His advisers were so cautious in seeking to avoid having him do or say something wrong that they preferred to do nothing. In such an atmosphere of timidity, suggests Mr. Childs, the speeches were pared down and statements suppressed.

Robert C. Ruark comments on the publication of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway in the current issue of Life, the work demonstrating that his talent remained intact after a hiatus of that proof in his immediately preceding work. Mr. Ruark indicates that he was an aficionado of Mr. Hemingway, that he followed the old man's personal triumph in catching the big fish and his struggle to bring it to port with such enthusiasm that he was moved to tears over a "lousy fish".

"You may say of the great man that he practices a cliché. Hemingway is the exponent of the epic struggle which must end in personal disaster while achieving slight spiritual triumph for the central personage. All right. He still does it better than anybody else, and there is no man alive who can put the taste and feel and smell and size and color into [a story] like the Grand Maestro does it."

He especially liked him because he had made it okay to live the life he wanted, write what he wanted, and to profit from it.

Mr. Ruark, incidentally, would die four years less a day after Mr. Hemingway, albeit not by suicide, July 1, 1965.

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