The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 7, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a defense mobilization report to the President by Acting Defense Mobilizer John Steelman, censored before it was published, indicated that 25 million man-days of work had been lost during the 54-day steel strike, between June 2 and July 25, causing military production to be retarded by a full year in some respects. The report indicated that the production stoppage would be felt most heavily in the ensuing 3 to 6 months, but would not be fully worked out for an entire year. Mr. Steelman had estimated that steel output for the year would be about 90 million tons, 14 percent less than in 1951 and the lowest since 1949. Some 299 plants had closed or slowed down by the time the strike ended. More would be idled before mills could catch up on deliveries. On the positive side, the new T-48 medium tank was rolling off the assembly line; total warplane output continued upward; and serious loss of perishable foods had been avoided. After price ceilings had been removed, no commodities had climbed as high as the ceiling level; easy-payment credit had reached a new high of 14.3 billion dollars; and if the warm season were fairly lengthy, enough iron ore to support steel mills at capacity for the winter might be brought over the Great Lakes before they would freeze. The report had also indicated that the draft calls, presently running about 30,000 per month, would jump above 50,000 in October and remain that way until the end of fiscal year 1953—which would also bring about the end of the war.

The President, in his weekly news conference, stated this date that he was considering calling a special session of Congress and planned a thorough canvass with Governor Stevenson the following week regarding what was necessary for a Democratic victory in the fall. His statement regarding a special session came in reply to questions regarding Price Stabilizer Ellis Arnall's statement the previous day that a special session might be necessary should food prices continue to climb. He refused comment on whether Mr. Arnall had tendered his resignation, as had been reported he would do in response to the price rise permitted by the Government on steel to resolve the steel strike. He said, in response to questions regarding the convention, that Vice-President Alben Barkley had departed Washington for Chicago expecting to be a candidate for the presidency and that had he remained in the race, the President would have supported him. He added that he had never promised to support Averell Harriman. The President's proxy at the convention in the Missouri delegation had cast his vote for Governor Stevenson for the nomination. The President urged all qualified Americans to register to vote in the coming election and urged the press to arouse interest in the subject. He indicated that he had allocated three million dollars this date for emergency funds for feed to save dairy and beef herds in Kentucky and Tennessee, in response to the ten-state drought conditions, declared disaster areas by the Department of Agriculture. The President disagreed with Duke Shoop, the Washington correspondent of the Kansas City Star, who indicated that the President had suffered a personal defeat in the Missouri election on Tuesday, after Stuart Symington had won the Democratic primary for the Senate race over the President's supported candidate, J. E. Taylor. He said that he had exercised his right as any other Missouri citizen to support the person of his choice and now that the primary was over, he would support the Democratic ticket, indicating that he was just as fond of Mr. Symington as of Mr. Taylor.

The Agriculture Department added North Carolina and the remaining counties of Arkansas to the list of the nine states already declared drought disaster areas, all of which, save Maine and Massachusetts, were in the South. Farmers in those areas were eligible for easy terms of credit on Government loans. The head of the Farmers Home Administration, at a meeting the previous day in Atlanta with representatives of the drought-affected states, assured that no hard-pressed farmer would be put out of business or be forced to sacrifice livestock as a result of the drought.

Rains came down in New England and parts of the South the previous day, but too late to save nearly a billion dollars worth of burned up crops and pastureland. The moisture did save corn, tobacco, cotton and vegetable crops still surviving in the drought areas and gave promise of reviving some pastures for the fall.

They needed some of that ice from outer space...

Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, after meeting with Governor Stevenson the previous day, stated that he believed the Governor would be elected to the presidency "by one of the largest majorities any man ever had." The Senator predicted that the Governor would carry the entire South, and that he saw no indication of a Southern revolt like that which had occurred in 1948. Earlier in the week, the Georgia Democratic executive committee pledged its electors to Governor Stevenson.

In Springfield, Ill., Senator Blair Moody of Michigan urged Governor Stevenson this date to make a major campaign issue of that which he called the "hatchet men" around General Eisenhower. He declined to identify whom he had in mind, but then went on to mention the names of Senators Joseph McCarthy, James Kem, and William Jenner. He invited the Governor to start his campaign with a Labor Day speech in Detroit, as had the President in 1948. He also proposed that the Governor challenge General Eisenhower to a series of one-hour radio and television debates during the fall.

Averell Harriman, after meeting with the Governor, stated that he had never discussed with him an appointment as secretary of state and that the rumors to that effect had not started with him. He said that he was thoroughly satisfied with the Governor's stand on civil rights. Mr. Harriman had backed fully the Fair Deal program on civil rights during his presidential campaign prior to the convention.

Tom Fesperman of The News, in Statesville, tells of North Carolina Republicans preparing for the fall campaign, but, in conversations with several of the leaders, Mr. Fesperman had concluded that a number of influential Republicans still had wanted Senator Taft to obtain the nomination and some believed that the Democrats had made one of the smartest political moves of the century in nominating Governor Stevenson. Many believed that the Republicans were going to do well if they obtained any electoral votes in the South, and many believed that their chances to win North Carolina for General Eisenhower was "similar to a butterfly's chance in a whirlwind". Outwardly, the party was putting on a face of unity, but behind the scenes there were still bitter wounds from the convention.

The state Republican Party was going to concentrate much of its efforts on winning the 10th District Congressional seat, currently held by Democratic Congressman Hamilton Jones, being contested by Charles R. Jonas of Lincolnton—who would win that election.

In Athens, Greek troops opened fire this date on Bulgarian soldiers on the Greek-claimed border island of Gamma. A communiqué said that the Greek fire from machine guns and mortars was not returned by the Bulgarian troops. The Bulgarians had been noticed on the island the previous night and the Greek general staff had issued a communiqué saying that no Bulgarians had been seen on the island after expiration of an earlier Greek ultimatum, demanding that all Bulgarian troops leave Gamma by the early morning of the previous day.

In Havana, Cuba, a military court sentenced five policemen this date to four years and two months in prison each on charges of plotting against the Government of El Presidente Fulgencio Batista. Sr. Batista had accused the five of conniving with members of the former Government of Carlos Prio Socarras, whom he had toppled in a coup the previous March 10.

In Boston, a Finnish-born 49-year old mill worker of Wendell, N. H., who signed a Communist Party membership application in 1934 because he had been told that they wanted to win a strike in which he was involved, was ordered deported the prior day. The Federal judge had ruled reluctantly on the matter, recognizing that the man had signed the Communist application, paid 50 cents and had never heard from the Communists again, but that under the newly passed McCarran Act, passed over the President's veto, he had to uphold the deportation. Two of the man's sons had served in the Navy during World War II. He had come to America from Finland at age 13 and had worked in the textile mills of New Hampshire since age 17. He was married to a U.S. citizen and had filed a declaration of intention to become an American citizen in 1941, and filed a petition for citizenship in 1949. His application had led to his troubles, as he had stated therein that he joined the Communist Party at the urging of party leaders because he understood the aims and purposes of the organization were to organize unions and if there was a strike, the party would appeal to all local groups to raise funds to help the strikers. The man said he did not blame anyone, including the government for his deportation, but rather blamed the law, which was unjust.

In Bayonne, N. J., a barkeep of the old school wiped a tear from his Irish eyes this date and poured 150 bottles of whiskey down the drain, as behind him stood a part-time employee holding a gun to him to make sure that the barkeep followed his instructions. The man then tied up the barkeep and fled. At dawn, the barkeep was rescued.

In Charlotte, City Councilman Sandy Jordan would offer his resignation within four months, having moved out of the city limits.

On the editorial page, "Why Not Let the People Speak?" tells of the Mecklenburg County Commissioners six months earlier having been informed that the main building of the Huntersville Tuberculosis Sanatorium was unsafe, whereupon the Commissioners had prepared to appropriate the necessary money to repair it. But during the current week, without advance notice, the Commissioners had reversed themselves and voted to build a new $450,000 sanatorium, after the superintendent had told them that it would be a great mistake to repair the old structure. The Commissioners had been opposed to a bond issue and assumed that the prior 10-cent levy for the sanatorium would produce enough money, with higher property valuations, to pay for the new structure as well as carry the regular operating costs of about $245,000 per year.

The piece poses again a question it had posed on March 20, as to whether the County ought stay in the business of operating a tuberculosis sanatorium. The Commissioners had not answered that question.

It indicates that the people of the County paid the double load of taxes for tuberculosis hospitals to both the State and the County Government, and it might well be that they would approve of this arrangement. But by their precipitous action, the Commissioners had denied the people a chance to speak and left dangling the question as to whether the County should be in the business of running a tuberculosis hospital. It asserts that the responsibility for providing such services, as with a mental hospital or building primary and secondary roads or maintaining a state prison or state university, ought lie with the State.

"A Political Revolution Fizzles Out" tells of the South Carolina Democrats' refusal to subscribe to the party loyalty pledge to ensure that the party nominees would be placed on the state ballot and its potential for a revolt to support General Eisenhower in the fall election, having fizzled out the previous day in the state convention, which followed the directive of Governor James Byrnes to support the Democratic ticket in the fall. The Governor had said that he would support the ticket not because they were Democrats, but because of the nominees' personal qualifications and records in public office. He reserved the right to change his mind by November should the campaign issues prompt him to do so.

Though the final action of the state convention had been made by a large majority, there remained many dissatisfied delegates, who in all likelihood would support an independent slate of electors pledged to the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket, to allow disgruntled South Carolina Democrats to vote for the Republicans without having them so labeled. But for the time being, South Carolina appeared to be in the Democratic column. It finds it gratifying that the state Democratic Party did not resort to chicanery to deny the people of the state their rightful choice between the two parties in the fall by refusing to place the ticket on the ballot.

"Truman Gets His Come-Uppance" tells of Stuart Symington, having won the Democratic primary in Missouri for the Senate seat occupied by James Kem, defeating the President's picked candidate, State Attorney General J. E. Taylor. Mr. Symington had served as the Surplus Property Administrator during the war and later as Assistant Secretary of War, then became the first Secretary of the Air Force in 1947 and later headed the National Security Resources Board, and finally was assigned by the President to clean up the RFC.

It finds that the reason why the President had supported Mr. Taylor was that he had been the candidate of the Pendergast machine, with which the President had close ties for the previous 30 years. It had also been the case that in cleaning up the RFC, Mr. Symington had stepped on the toes of several members of the White House palace guard who had dubbed him "Little Lord Fauntleroy" and set out to get him.

It finds that the voters of Missouri had given the President his come-uppance and it salutes their independence and good judgment in selecting the better of the two candidates and the one who would be most likely to win the November election against Senator Kem.

"Big Leaguer—Junior Size" tells of Philadelphia being prepared to nominate its own candidate for the presidency in October should the Philadelphia Athletics, by some miracle, get into the World Series. Lulled to indifference by their long second-division record, Philadelphia had suddenly come to life through a "blonde, blue-eyed elfin" pitcher named Bobby Shantz, from Pottstown, Pa., who stood 5' 7", weighed 139 pounds and could be outfitted in the junior department of a clothing store. He had become the first 20-game winner in the major leagues on August 5 by disposing of the Boston Red Sox on seven hits and three runs, while the Athletics hit nine times and scored five runs. A sellout crowd of nearly 36,000 had seen the feat.

Mr. Shantz took his fame and fortune confidently but quietly, facing foes as they came "with the coolness of a Mountie tracking the operator of a shell game." It was his fourth year in the majors and in his prior years, he had compiled 32 wins and 32 losses, but this season might win as many as he had in all of the prior three, which would place him in the company of Mose (Lefty) Grove, who had won 33 games in 1933. (He led the league that year in wins, but actually won 24 games. The piece appears to confuse the number of wins coincident with the year with his 31 in '31.)

In the process, Mr. Shantz had become an inspiration to youngsters who had been told that they were too small for the game. He had shown that there was a place for the little man in the big leagues.

Drew Pearson tells of word having been passed by a House Judiciary subcommittee that investigation of the Justice Department was to be quietly tapered off because of pressure from certain big distillers who had contributed to both political parties in the past. Congressman Frank Chelf, chairman of the subcommittee, had appeared at the outset anxious to do a good job. But he hailed from Kentucky where bourbon was said to be king, and had not called his subcommittee together since Seagrams admitted paying $30,000 in cash to former Attorney General J. Howard McGrath on behalf of the Democrats, and $20,000 to Harold Talbot on behalf of the Republicans. Various heavy contributions were also admitted by other liquor companies, together with the claim that an antitrust suit against them had been dropped.

During the war, Nelson Rockefeller, who had done a good job improving good neighbor relations with Latin America, had once remarked to Mr. Pearson that when he first came to Washington, he had the idea that he could bring in private business executives and reform the Government overnight, but that after about a year in the Government, had cultivated more respect for the average Government servant, concluding that running the Government was a lot harder than running a private business because one could not fire a Congressman who cut an agency's appropriations and one had to do business with Senators whether one liked them or not. He also had said that the average Government servant was very conscientious and that some were remarkably efficient.

Mr. Rockefeller's brother, John D. Rockefeller III, had just contributed a quarter of a million dollars through Princeton University to provide an award each year to the ten or so most deserving bureaucrats, providing them with free educational travel or study for about six months.

Argentine dictator Juan Peron was planning to have his wife's remains embalmed so that they would lie in state permanently, and Mr. Pearson thinks that a shrewd move to continue the hold he had, through Evita, on organized labor and the unorganized poor of the country. Keeping the latter's support while also winning back his greatest source of strength, the military, was his major problem. He had come to power through the Army, but when his wife had taken over the Labor Ministry and as her power over the underprivileged had increased, the military became restless and rebellious. Military disaffection had reached a climax the previous summer because of Evita's "undue prominence". Some Army units had revolted. While the attempt failed, distrust remained, and it took the secret police at least five months to apprehend even the secondary figures in the revolution. El Presidente was making overtures now to the Army to win back his old military friends, but had to proceed in a way not to alienate labor. That was why he had sent to Hamburg, Germany, to obtain the best embalming experts of Europe to preserve Evita's remains as a permanent shrine, like that of Lenin in Moscow.

Juan Trippe, head of Pan American Airways, had gone to England the prior week for secret negotiations to buy British commercial jet planes. Britain, however, had so many advance orders that Pan American would not be able to buy any for some time to come.

The Communist Party was so discouraged by the strong hand of the major political parties aligned against Communism that orders had gone out to all party members to affiliate with right-wing political groups, trade unions, and civic clubs, that they might bore from within. Party members were also instructed to place more people inside the Republican Party.

J. R. Wiggins, managing editor of the Washington Post, in Chicago, finds remarkable the Democratic nomination acceptance speech by Governor Adlai Stevenson at the convention two weeks earlier, for its substantive ideas and the extraordinary manner in which they had been communicated. He finds him a speaker in the tradition of Daniel Webster, Henry Clay, John C. Calhoun, Abraham Lincoln, William Jennings Bryan, Theodore Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson.

Governor Stevenson was conscious of the importance of rhythm and meter in public speaking and from time to time, when the written words did not seem metrically correct, he would change the wording and interpolate phrases. "He is concerned about the music as well as the message in a speech."

He also understood how to use the "humble mien, the simple manner and the homely allusion as Lincoln used them." The convention had responded enthusiastically to his speech, which was not necessarily unusual for a political convention, but it was unusual to see evidence of "thoughtful reflection, outward signs of serious effort to grasp the speakers meaning", as had been the response to the Governor's address. The delegates, "drenched in a flood of orotund phrases, extravagant superlatives, reckless expletives and violent adjectives spoken by regiments of political orators", appeared to thirst for that which Governor Stevenson provided them.

He concludes that a man gifted with the power of moving public speech had made his appearance on the national scene.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Selective Service director, General Lewis Hershey, having been fiddling around with the draft ever since Mr. Ruark could remember and still having not seemed to have it licked. Headlines read that fathers soon might face the draft based on the pool of potential draftees otherwise running dry. He suggests that if General Hershey were in any other business, he would have been fired for incompetence years earlier.

He posits that there had never been a stable basis for choosing draftees in the country, with the status of who went and who stayed having changed mercurially. The country had inducted fathers and then did not, took married men and then did not, undertook a sliding scale regarding ages, with educational deferments and occupational deferments, with changes occurring month-to-month, "according to some mysterious statistics that they grab out of a hat."

He regards the country as having made a serious pass at sense with the universal military training program, until Congress decided not to anger their constituents "by making the mass Willie eligible to serve his country." The weary retreads from World War II from already loused up families had been called up again to serve in Korea. He finds it all a capricious technique to satisfy the craving for manpower. He does not understand why college students should have deferments while a father had to depart from his family and go to fight a "political war" or why an exemption should be given to 18-year-olds while taking 18 1/2-year olds and retreads of the prior war.

He finds it all a "muddled mess, kicked around politically, and operated cynically" for the prior six years. He compares the incompetent handling of the draft to the incompetent handling of the prisoners on Koje Island in Korea.

A letter writer suggests that the President had given out "his platform for the coming campaign as Peace, Prosperity and Progress." He thinks it sounds like a happy jingle and proceeds to explain why, in his opinion, it belied the past record of the Administration.

Have it your way and play right into the hands of the Communists who started the war.

A letter writer indicates that the Democratic Party could ill afford the great debate over the "loyalty pledge" at the convention in Chicago, suggests that loyalty could never be won by any party with pressure or by reflecting on the honesty and integrity of any of its members. He finds that the Democrats would have a real fight on their hands this time and "the going will be rough on the road to victory."

A letter writer indicates that when he had first come to Charlotte to live several years earlier, business and professional men having uptown offices could park their cars all day long on Tryon and Trade Streets, for about two blocks each way from Independence Square. Now, traffic conditions were quite different, as the streets were full of cars and some of the narrow ones were difficult to navigate, especially during rush hours. Some improvements had been made with the crosstown boulevard and the widening of certain streets, and he recommends widening of the Plaza Road from the north end of The Plaza at least to 36th Street to avoid a bottleneck.

You just need to widen the whole city.

A letter from a Marine of the 5th regiment of the 1st Marine Division in Korea indicates that he was sadly lacking when it came time for mail call, had heard quite a bit about the girls from Charlotte from some of the other men present, and wanted to receive letters from some of them. He provides his address, in case you're interested.

A letter writer from Monroe tells of the chief vote-getting aim of the Republican Party being to instill in the minds of the people that it was time for a change in order to keep the two-party system in operation, finds that, to a certain extent, this effort was proving successful. She begs to look at the record of the Republicans, starting with the period between 1861 and 1885, during which the Republicans held the White House continuously and not resulting in the abolition of the two-party system.

She might also have gone further to indicate that other than the two separate terms of President Cleveland, 1885-89 and 1893-97, and the two terms of President Wilson, 1913-21, the Republicans held the White House continuously from 1861 until 1933, when FDR first came into office, thus having control of the Presidency for 56 of 72 years.

She believes that the two-party system would always exist, regardless of cries of dictatorship and socialism. Any party worth anything, she posits, had to undertake certain social reforms as the times required. She asserts that if the elimination of sweatshops and other social reforms amounted to socialism, then the Republicans were still living in the past, a past which catered to big business and Wall Street. During the many years in which the Republicans had been in power, they had never put forward any new ideas, despite the fact that the country had been ripe for reforms before FDR had been elected.

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