The Charlotte News

Friday, August 8, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via George McArthur, that in Tokyo, U.S. Far East Naval headquarters this date described how heroic crewmen had saved the aircraft carrier Boxer from flaming explosions which killed nine of the carrier's crew members. Minutes after flames erupted, crewmen had penetrated smoke and intense heat to unload bombs and ammunition from planes readied for strikes in North Korea. Other crewmen donned oxygen masks and rescued their fellow crewmen trapped by the smoke and flames. According to the Navy, in addition to the killed, 32 were injured, while Washington placed the number of injured at 75, but a Navy spokesman stated that probably included those temporarily overcome by smoke but not injured. Headquarters had reported that the cause of the explosion had not been determined, but the Navy Department in Washington had indicated that an exploding jet had touched off the explosions which destroyed 12 other planes. A Naval court of inquiry was ordered to investigate, with Rear Admiral Herbert Regan, commander of Carrier Division One, appointed as its senior officer. The explosion had occurred while the Boxer was 90 miles east of Wonsan on Korea's east coast.

The State Department reported that a young American who had been jailed as a spy in Communist Czechoslovakia had escaped his imprisonment the prior January 2, according to the Czech Government. The Czech authorities said that they did not know where he was. He had been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on a charge of espionage and the U.S. Government had been pressing the Czechs for his release and that of Associated Press correspondent William Oatis, who had been sentenced on a charge of spying 13 months earlier.

In Denver, General Eisenhower, Senator Nixon and John Foster Dulles, the General's adviser on international affairs and chief author of the foreign policy plank of the Republican platform, parleyed together this date to organize a campaign attack on the handling of foreign policy by the Democrats. The General had endorsed the aims of the Administration's foreign policy program, but Mr. Dulles reported that the General was in complete accord with the platform's criticism of many phases of that foreign policy, such as its statement that the leaders of the Administration had lost the peace won in World War II, had plunged the country into Korea without the consent of the citizenry acting through their representatives in Congress and had prosecuted the war without a will to victory. The General had never indicated whether he supported the President's decision to send U.S. troops to Korea, pursuant to the U.N. resolution passed in the wake of the attack by North Korea on South Korea, without the prior approval of Congress.

In Springfield, Ill., Governor Stevenson was reported ready to start his presidential campaign with a Labor Day speech in Detroit, followed by a tour of the South. In 1948, President Truman had begun his campaign with a Labor Day address in Detroit and Senator Blair Moody of Michigan had suggested to the Governor that he do likewise, to court the labor vote. The Governor paused this date to attend ceremonies formally opening the Illinois State Fair, where he would deliver a speech the following Thursday, along with Vice-President Alben Barkley, after Republican vice-presidential candidate Senator Richard Nixon would speak on Wednesday. Governor Stevenson would fly to Washington on Tuesday morning to meet with the President and his Cabinet and then return to Springfield in the evening.

Leading Democrats appeared to disfavor the President's suggestion at his press conference the previous day that he might call a special session of Congress to act on new inflation controls. Senator Joseph O'Mahoney of Wyoming, chairman of the joint Economic Committee, told a reporter that he believed such an action would be futile. Senator Mike Monroney of Oklahoma said that he believed the Government ought to watch the cost of living "like a hawk" but did not believe Congress would be in a frame of mind to return to Washington to enact a new controls law. One Democrat, who did not wish to be quoted, indicated that he believed a special session might prove embarrassing to Governor Stevenson, as the Republicans had made it clear that they would use it to launch attacks on the President and Governor Stevenson.

Tennessee Congressman Albert Gore apparently had won the Democratic primary against incumbent Senator Kenneth McKellar, providing the latter his first political defeat in 41 years. With most of the precincts from the previous day reporting, Mr. Gore had a lead of more than 60,000 votes. The vote was close even in Shelby County surrounding Memphis, where in earlier years political boss E. H. Crump had held sway for Senator McKellar. Senator McKellar refused to concede defeat. He had served six terms in the Senate. In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, Frank Clement defeated Governor Gordon Browning, seeking a third two-year term. In the virtually one-party state, the Democratic winners of the primary would likely win in the fall.

A new round of top-level resignations in the Justice Department was reported likely to be in the works, with some firings expected of U.S. Attorneys outside Washington. A relatively unknown attorney, Ross Malone of Roswell, New Mexico, was slated to take over the Department's second position, after A. Devitt Vanech had resigned as deputy Attorney General the prior Monday to seek the Democratic nomination for the unexpired term of the late Senator Brien McMahon of Connecticut. Behind much of the shakeup of the Justice Department had been an investigation launched in the spring by a House Judiciary subcommittee chaired by Congressman Frank Chelf of Kentucky. He and the subcommittee counsel were reported to be backing Mr. Malone.

They're taking their cues from them little green men out yonder.

The Agriculture Department, in its first forecast of the current year's cotton crop, estimated that it would be 14,735,000 bales of 500 pounds gross weight each. Production the previous year had been 15,130,000 bales and in the short crop of 1950, 10,102,000 bales, with the 10-year average at 11,775,000 bales. The Department had sought a 16 million bale crop during the year to meet domestic and export needs and to increase the reserve. The average yield to the acre to be harvested during the year was estimated at 277.4 pounds, compared with 271.7 pounds the previous year and the 10-year average of 267.6 pounds.

The billion-dollar drought in New England and the South appeared to have broken this date and Government agencies moved swiftly to get farmers back into production so that they could feed their hungry livestock and prevent premature slaughtering, while preparing for fall planting.

Heads of the three big railroad unions this date canceled a planned strike for Monday on the New York Central Railroad lines east of Buffalo, having accepted a Railway Mediation Board plea to postpone the strike.

In Charlotte, an 18-year old boy who hitchhiked from New Jersey to face trial on charges of auto theft and driving it to New York, was released on his own recognizance this date by the U.S. Commissioner. He was one of four people charged in stealing a 1949 Chevrolet and transporting it to New York. The other three boys had been given preliminary hearings on July 24 and bound over for trial in October. The fourth boy had brought with him a letter from a Commissioner in Jersey City, N.J., indicating that he was so impressed with the boy's honesty that he was permitting him to return to Charlotte by himself. The boy had decided to report to authorities as soon as he heard that the FBI was looking for him.

In Gaston County, N.C., at the Catawba River bridge, a man, about 22, and a boy, about 14, held up a fruit stand on Highway 74 early in the afternoon and fled with $200 and the stand operator's automobile. The man had used a pistol, ordered the stand operator to turn over all of his money and said that the pair would leave his car in front of the Cherryville theater. Police said they were staking out both theaters in Cherryville. The car was a 1940 Chevrolet sedan, with North Carolina license plate number W-6255, should you see it.

Probably a return engagement of "The Grapes of Wrath" was playing at the theater. Anyway, it was kind of a fruity robbery.

Tom Fesperman of The News tells of an aerial phenomenon having come down in a tobacco field near Reidsville, while another had bounced off a chimney in West Lumberton. A witness to the latter event indicated that he was standing outdoors when what he thought had been a flying saucer came down Wednesday night and ran into the chimney of his house. He said it bounced off and a little man emerged, about five-sixths of a yard high, standing beside the saucer. The object, about 6 feet high and 8 feet long, lighted on the inside, had knocked a part of his chimney off. The man had spoken to the little fellow and asked if he was hurt, at which point the object whistled through the air and vanished. The Lumberton Weather Bureau had reported quite a lot of lightning in the area on Wednesday evening. In the Reidsville episode, a farmer said that he had gone to see how his tobacco was doing, when he suddenly saw an object lying in the field. Attached to a white box had been an orange-red parachute. The farmer turned around and ran away for about a mile, contacted his friend, and…

You will have to find the rest of the story in upcoming episodes of "Tales of Tomorrow".

On the editorial page, "No Time for Faintheartedness" remarks on Tom Fesperman's report from Statesville on the state Republican convention, in which Mr. Fesperman had found considerable chafing from supporters of Senator Taft, after the latter had lost the nomination to General Eisenhower.

The piece hopes that it was a temporary disappointment rather than an expression of lack of faith in the Eisenhower-Nixon ticket or weakening of confidence in the ability of the party to make a horse race out of the election in the state in 1952. It indicates that the national leaders of the Taft wing of the party were far from gloomy, one by one having visited the General at his headquarters in Denver and come away charged with enthusiasm for the ticket. Convention wounds were healing quickly and there was every reason to believe that the party would stand united in the fall.

It indicates that Republican hopes had suffered a setback when the Democrats, contrary to expectations, had restored unity to their party organization with the formidable Stevenson-Sparkman ticket. But it believes that it should make the battle for North Carolina Republicans the more interesting and spur them to greater efforts. It suggests that a Democratic victory, while favored presently, was not necessarily in the bag.

Governor Stevenson would carry the state overwhelmingly, by 54 percent to 46 percent and 100,000 votes. In 1956, however, after four years of the Eisenhower Administration, North Carolina would vote for Governor Stevenson again, albeit by a much narrower margin, a little over one percent and 15,000 votes.

"Harmony at City Hall" tells of a budget agreement having been reached between the City Council and the Park & Recreation Commission, after the Council had initially cut about $50,000 per year from the Commission's budget and restricted another $14,000 to purposes not included in the Commission's plans. After the Council had received an unanticipated dividend of more than $100,000 from the Alcoholic Beverage Control system, of which $5,000 was earmarked by law for the Commission, the Council agreed to allocate an additional $31,500 of the ABC money for the Commission and lifted the restrictions from the $14,000, thus restoring more than $50,000 of the $69,000 previously cut or restricted.

It indicates that presumably, the Commission could live with the new budget without reducing services or significantly curtailing facilities. It finds the new spirit of friendliness and cooperation between the Council and the Commission a good development.

"U.S. Justice—McCarran Style" comments on the Finnish-born 49-year old immigrant, in the country since age 13, who had just been deported by a Federal judge because on his application for citizenship in 1949, as the husband of a U.S.-born wife, he had listed his short-lived 50-cent membership in the Communist Party 20 years earlier, undertaken on the belief that the Communists would support striking workers, of which he was one at the time. The Federal Court had ruled reluctantly to uphold the deportation order on the basis of the McCarran Act requiring it. The piece indicates that the man, showing "a good deal more charity" than Senator McCarran had shown, stated that he did not blame anyone and only blamed the law, which was unjust.

"From Tolar to Smith to Lentz" indicates that there had been four State Highway Patrol commanders during the prior four years, in an organization which ought to have continuity of direction and be maintained free from politics. The director, in early 1949, had quit in May, and Governor Kerr Scott had appointed C. R. Tolar, who was stopped twice for traffic violations and resigned in 1950. James Smith was then appointed in his stead, but had been demoted during the current week from his rank of colonel to that of major. Captain W. B. Lentz, commander of the Patrol troop in Greensboro, had been promoted to commander and given the colonel's rank. That last change had been ordered by the new director of the Division of Motor Vehicles, to bring more efficient service to the state.

The piece suggests that the move had likely occurred because Mr. Smith had reportedly relied on discipline rather than force of personality in running the Patrol, with the result of low morale and frequent resignations. It regards the change as wise in one respect, as the budget of the Patrol had grown to 3.4 million dollars and its personnel expanded from 213 to 528, exclusive of radio operators and mechanics. It spent more than a million dollars per year on cars, parts, and supplies for those cars. Mr. Smith's new role would be to keep track of those expenditures, for which, it posits, he appeared well-suited.

But even so, it was difficult to understand how the Patrol could develop the proper spirit when the top command changed so often.

"One for All, Etc." indicates not having seen any Southern politicians who ordinarily objected to Federal encroachment, having any problem with the Federal Government providing aid to the states which had been stricken by the drought. It suggests that it would be easy enough for Southern governors to call their legislatures into special session to vote emergency funds from the state budgets for the help of the farmers hit by the drought, and that following the states' rights discussion to its logical conclusion, such would be the responsible thing to do. But, it concludes, when disaster struck one region, the other regions were always anxious to assist, and the only agency which was able to accomplish the job effectively was the Federal Government, "not in any Santa Claus role but as the common instrument of all the states."

A piece from the Greensboro Daily News, titled "Love Scene, Communist Style", quotes from a report of a German Communist woman leader informing a women's meeting in East Berlin that they should kiss with caution and that the single women among them should make certain that their friends and sweethearts were "ideologically safe".

The piece provides a satiric discussion between "Olga from the Volga" who would meet "Boscow from Moscow" on a park bench in Leningrad, on a moonlit July night, then engage in a predictable ideological discussion on Lenin and Marx.

Drew Pearson, on vacation for the last three weeks of August, would have his column written by his staff under his by-line for the ensuing week, followed by guest columns for the remaining two weeks.

For the previous four months, the State Department had been haggling with Generalissimo Francisco Franco's Spain regarding the proposed Spanish air and naval bases which Franco had promised the U.S. over a year earlier when he wanted American cash, but on which he had reneged ever since the aid had been voted by Congress. His terms were that there would be more aid with no strings attached, modern tanks, planes and artillery for the Spanish Army, all of which the U.S. Army needed primarily in Korea or at home or for the European Army. U.S. diplomats believed that one reason Franco was so stubborn was because he knew he had powerful friends in Washington and that the money for Spain already had been appropriated by Congress. Among those friends were Senator Pat McCarran of Nevada and Charles Patrick Clark, who was paid $75,000 annually to influence Congressmen on behalf of Spain—the same Mr. Clark who had been convicted by a jury a week earlier of an assault on Drew Pearson for striking him in the neck in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel the prior June for writing about him in the column.

Senator McCarran had once summoned the head of the Export-Import Bank and grilled him in front of the Spanish Ambassador as to why he had not loaned money faster to Spain. More recently, the Senator had bawled out the diplomat handling Spanish negotiations, during secret hearings on the State Department's appropriation. Because the Senator sat on the subcommittee which decided how much money the State Department was appropriated each year, he wielded great power. The piece quotes from the testy colloquy before the subcommittee regarding why the State Department had not allocated any of the 100 million dollars to Spain, which had been previously authorized by Congress. The Senator also demanded that Spain be admitted to NATO, to which the diplomat indicated that the chances of that occurring at the present were bad because many member countries did not want Spain to join for its dictatorship, that only Portugal had indicated a favorable attitude toward admission of Spain at the present. He also indicated that the Spanish Government had taken the public position that it did not wish to join NATO. To that, Senator McCarran asked the diplomat whether he was sure of that point, to which the diplomat indicated that he was, reading a news dispatch quoting the Spanish Foreign Minister to that effect. Hastily, Senator McCarran changed the subject.

Roscoe Drummond, of the Christian Science Monitor, suggests some of the questions which ought concern independent voters when trying to make up their minds between the two party nominees, General Eisenhower and Governor Stevenson, both new political personalities on the national scene. He suggests that they might ask Governor Stevenson whether he would represent enough change in Washington without changing party leadership to rid the Government of corruption and the corrupt forces, as well as the incompetents who had become entrenched over the 20 years of Democratic rule. Whereas the Republicans would not be tempted to retain the secondary and tertiary bureaucrats, there would be pressures on any Democratic administration to do so.

They might also inquire as to whether a new Democratic administration would feel so constrained by the past to adhere to foreign policy commitments that there would be lack of flexibility in dealing with the Soviets.

The Democratic platform advocated repeal of Taft-Hartley, as it had in 1948, whereas Governor Stevenson had only sought modification of it. Thus, the independent voter might wish to ask the Governor where he stood on this labor issue.

The Governor had suggested that there were "two Republican parties", but the voters might inquire as to whether there were also two Democratic parties, one having voted to retain tidelands oil under Federal control while the other voted to return it to the states, one favoring bold Federal legislation in the area of civil rights while the other voted consistently against such measures.

The independent voter would want to ask General Eisenhower whether he would be the leader of the Republican Party or the chairman of a divided party, whether a vote for the Republican ticket in 1952 would also be a vote for conservative, semi-isolationist Republican Senators whose voting records showed that they would oppose most of the policies the General would be elected to carry out, whether the wing of the party led by Senator Taft, defeated at the Republican convention, in fact would be in control of Congress under an Eisenhower administration.

They might also ask whether advocacy for cutting of Federal expenditures was more than campaign rhetoric and whether military expenditures could be safely reduced in the near future, and how there could be substantial savings when 86 percent of the budget went to defense spending.

They might inquire as to whether there was an easy road to tax reduction, as the General had suggested easy solutions to other complex problems.

There would also be other questions, and each candidate would have answers which would need to be carefully scrutinized by the voter. It would take, Mr. Drummond posits, honest and discriminating answers to these questions, not typical campaign talk, to persuade the independent voter who would determine the 1952 outcome.

James Marlow discusses the ongoing crisis in Iran after Premier Mohammed Mossadegh had regained power and had the interim Premier, Ahmed Qavam, arrested in a military coup. Iran was a land comprised of a few rich men and a "vast mob" of ignorant poor. Only ten percent of the 16 million people were literate.

The rich, including the large landowners and merchants, were among the richest persons in the world. Some individual families owned hundreds of villages, including the surrounding land worked by peasants as sharecroppers.

Although Iran had a tax law, the rich paid virtually no taxes, conducive to huge wealth as long as the British, who paid a royalty to the Government amounting to about a third of the country's revenue, had been piping oil from the country. The remainder of the revenue had come from customs duties and other sources.

When Premier Mossadegh had kicked the British out 15 months earlier and nationalized the oil industry, that third of the revenue suddenly dried up after the British imposed a ban on trade with Iran and its oil. The Moslem leaders who were ultra-nationalists had kept the Premier in power despite the economic downturn. The previous day, one of those extremist leaders, the Ayatollah Kashani, was elected leader of the lower house of the Parliament, the same house which had just voted dictatorial powers for the Premier, who had proposed placing a tax on real estate to raise perhaps 300 million dollars per year, enough possibly to forestall the country's bankruptcy. The Iranian Senate was planning to vote on those same powers for the Premier the following day and so the effort to obtain revenue from the rich was not yet an accomplished fact.

Meanwhile, the Communist Tudeh Party had become stronger in the months after the British had been thrown out, as the economy weakened.

No one in the West was sure of what might occur next, with the Communists being a genuine threat. Were they to stage a revolution and win, the rich would not have to be concerned about paying taxes as they would have no money left with which to pay. There was also talk of the Premier wanting the sharecropping peasants to have a larger share of the profits from the land which they worked.

The Premier's plan for economic reforms, however, would only barely get the country by, if at all, and there was need for more pervasive reform for it to return to solid financial footing.

A letter writer from Lincolnton indicates that the Democrats had chosen another winning ticket for 1952 and that the American people had no intention of "going back to long working hours, 'Hoover Dust and Hoover Carts!'" He posits that the majority of Republicans had more intelligence than that. He was pleased with the outcome of the convention, though his first choice for the vice-presidential nomination had been Senator Richard Russell of Georgia, his second choice, Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, and only his third choice, Senator Sparkman. He regards it as a great honor that the Democrats had selected a Southern vice-presidential nominee.

A letter writer says he had read with a great deal of interest a prior letter criticizing Governor James Byrnes of South Carolina and other "Southern statesmen" who had refused to agree to the loyalty pledge at the Democratic convention. He thinks the pledge, contrary to numerous recent newspaper editorials, had been a "masterpiece of political maneuvering" so that no one could find fault with it and its innocent appearance, despite having a sinister motive, sponsored by the left wing of the party, to be a "political instrument aimed at defeating the interests of one and only one group of delegates—namely the Southerners."

Just how he got all that from a simple statement that the convention believed in majority rule and that the state delegations would do everything within their power to ensure that the Democratic nominees appeared on the November ballot, defies understanding. Guess you have to be a Southerner who finds in every civil rights effort a hidden bogeyman, trying to threaten you and take away your white supremacy, not to mention your wife's or daughter's virginity, which could only be preserved by a totemic religion founded on white supremacy.

A letter writer from Pico, California, indicates that he was a disabled veteran, confined to his home, and had a hobby of collecting mechanical advertising pencils, which many firms gave away, and so wishes the newspaper to inquire of its readers whether they might send such pencils to him, in which case he would be happy. He provides his address, so that you might send him some mechanical pencils should you have any.

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