The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 23, 1952


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the Republican vice-presidential candidate, Senator Richard Nixon, would step before the television and radio audience of the nation this night at 8:30 EST for 30 minutes to explain his $18,235 expense fund, provided to him by wealthy California supporters in the wake of his 1950 Senate victory. Associates of the Senator's campaign emphatically denied that he would resign from the ticket. Instead, he would seek to convince the country that he did nothing wrong in accepting the contributions to pay for "strictly political activities". He planned to speak from the NBC television studios in Los Angeles without a prepared text, and would issue a supplementary press statement listing his private income and expenditures, as the limited, $75,000 worth of air time preempted the provision of detail. The Senator had arrived in Los Angeles the previous afternoon, greeted by a partisan crowd of 400 to 500 persons, shouting, "We want Nixon." The candidate looked tired, and a high ranking member of his staff stated privately that he was "sick" over the matter, but declared that there had been no talk of resigning the ticket.

General Eisenhower had indicated the previous day that he would decide whether to retain Senator Nixon on the ticket following the broadcast, deciding whether he had come "clean as a hound's tooth" in revelation of his financial history, which the General had mandated.

The story notes that the address would be carried over WBTV locally and WBT and WIST on the radio. Don't miss it. Bring your Parcheesi board.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported this date that the trustee of the expense fund for the Senator, tax attorney Dana Smith, had enlisted the aid of the Senator's Washington office in connection with a tax refund claim of between $500,000 and $600,000, and that Mr. Smith had stated that some progress had been made on the tax case since that time. The tax case related to a lumber company in Northern California, which was owned by Mr. Smith's family and in which Mr. Smith held stock and for which he acted as attorney. Mr. Smith said that he was introduced to an attorney in the Justice Department's tax division by John Irwin, then an administrative assistant to Senator Nixon. He said that he had made a routine request to the Senator's office more than a year earlier to inquire as to what was holding up the case, and said that the Senator, himself, had not been involved and he did not know whether he had even been consulted.

Supporters of General Eisenhower aboard his campaign train contended that there was "no difference" between an expense fund raised for Senator Nixon and a Democratic fund sponsored by Governor Stevenson, which reports had indicated the Governor had endorsed in Illinois to bolster the incomes of men he recruited into the State Government from private business. Specifically, Congressman Hugh Scott of Pennsylvania, former RNC chairman, said that he could see no difference in the two funds, that the Governor had been acting in the same role as Mr. Smith and that if the Senator was guilty of anything, then so was the Governor. All signs aboard the train pointed to retention of the Senator on the ticket.

Mr. Scott, by August, 1974, would be humming a quite different tune, after one trick too many by the beneficiary of the largess of Mr. Smith and company.

Governor Stevenson acknowledged that he had promoted such a fund from private individuals to augment the salaries of some state officials, but indicated that there there was nothing secretive or improper about it and that none of the men were elected officials or office seekers. He also said that there was no connection between the contributors and the beneficiaries, and so no question of improper influence could arise. He stated that the funds were left over from his 1948 gubernatorial campaign.

The Governor's sister, who lived in Bloomington, Ill., addressing the North Carolina Democratic Club of Washington, said that she was secretary of the relatives of the Governor, who had so many kinfolk turning up around the country that they alone could elect him. She had earlier had tea with First Lady Bess Truman at the White House. The story indicates that she would likely be the official hostess should the Governor become President, as he was divorced.

General Eisenhower campaigned in Ohio this date, declaring that the Truman Administration was "totally incompetent to straighten out the problems that face this nation." The General introduced Senator Taft's brother, Charles, who was the Republican gubernatorial candidate, telling a crowd estimated at 3,500 persons at Middletown that it was "a deliberate policy of this Administration to deflate money." He said it had adopted a slogan that "inflation is the best policy", whereas the Republicans wanted "honesty in the dollar". He also said that the Republicans wanted "big men" in office in Washington, "not men who are too little for their jobs and too big for their breeches." The General would make a major speech this night in Cleveland, scheduled for the same time as Senator Nixon's speech, regarding inflation. He made no mention of the problems of Senator Nixon.

The Office of Price Stabilization suspended price controls this date on shoes because there was an ample supply and no prospect of general price increases in the coming months.

At the AFL convention in New York, William Green was re-elected unanimously to his 29th consecutive annual term as president of the labor organization. George Meany was also re-elected as secretary-treasurer, and 13 vice-presidents were also re-elected.

The AFL endorsed this date Governor Stevenson for the presidency by a unanimous vote of the 800 delegates at the convention, on the basis of a committee recommendation. It was the first endorsement of a presidential candidate by the convention since the organization had been founded in 1881. The delegates cheered and applauded for half a minute at the news of the vote. A few delegates had remained seated during the vote. A. Philip Randolph, president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, said that his union liked neither party's platform on civil rights and so endorsed neither candidate. The CIO had already endorsed the Governor.

Former Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal and tax divisions at different times, Lamar Caudle, testified again before a House Judiciary subcommittee investigating the Justice Department, indicating this date that members of Congress had frequently tried to influence his judgment on tax fraud cases and other criminal prosecutions, and that a White House secretary, Matthew Connelly, had called him in a successful effort to postpone for two months a case involving a St. Louis businessman charged with substantial tax fraud. Mr. Caudle said that he had approved the latter delay based on a claimed heart attack of the lawyer of the accused, though Mr. Connelly had not produced any evidence to back up the claim of the health condition. Eventually, the accused had pleaded guilty and was fined $40,000.

In Cairo, Hjalmer Schact, the former economic czar of the Third Reich, arrived to advise the Egyptian Government "on all sorts of economic and financial questions" which interested the country.

Samuel Lubell, in the second in a series of articles analyzing grassroots opinion on the election, indicates that his interviews of voters had suggested that the pattern of voting in 1952 would be quite different from that of 1948, as new issues had arisen and new emotions had been stirred, the most important of which related to the Korean War and its concomitant draft and increased prices and taxes. The sum effect of those issues had caused many who had never voted for a Republican for the presidency to break with party allegiance. He had spent a day in a predominantly Polish-American precinct in Detroit, where most of the residents were workers and which had voted 5 to 1 Democratic four years earlier, finding that of 26 Democratic families he interviewed, six indicated they would vote for General Eisenhower, citing the rise in prices or taxes or the draft for "a useless war" as the reasons. But the overwhelming bulk of the voters he interviewed in that precinct were sticking with the Democrats, contrasting the way things had been at the end of the Hoover Administration, realizing that now they were working steadily. Yet, the rising cost of living had left a minority of workers worse off economically than they had been in 1948, especially those with large families, widows or retired persons and government workers. These persons generally favored General Eisenhower as an alternative. He encountered similar opinions in Cincinnati and Los Angeles from similarly situated people. The opinions also were shared in the farm belt, all complaining about high taxes and inflation.

On the editorial page, "Malik's Vetoes Could Boomerang" tells of Russian chief delegate to the U.N., Jacob Malik, having proposed, in response to the Security Council having agreed to the admission to the U.N. of Libya, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia as being ready for membership, that Russia would agree to a package deal whereby all of those nations would be admitted, except for Japan and South Korea, provided the Russian puppet states of Rumania, Hungary, Bulgaria, Albania and Outer Mongolia were also admitted at the same time. While there was nothing fundamentally objectionable about admission of the Russian satellites, the U.S. properly refused to consider any such deal as long as Japan and South Korea were excluded. Thus, Mr. Malik had exercised his unilateral veto on the Council and prevented the admission of the other nations.

It urges that the free nations should take full advantage of the propaganda value of the vetoes and promote the fact that Russia alone had prevented these deserving nations from becoming members of the U.N., thereby building friendship for the free nations and creating resentment against the Soviets.

"One Way To Restore Majority Rule" indicates that majority rule in the country would be, to some degree, sacrificed by the need to appeal during the presidential election to special interest groups and minorities. The electoral college dictated this result, as U.S. News & World Report had found that there were 17 states outside the South where three million black voters could make the difference in 293 electoral votes in a close election.

It suggests that to avoid that result would require a Constitutional amendment, such as the proposed amendment by Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., in 1950, which had passed the Senate and been rejected by the House, whereby the electoral college would be preserved, but the vote would be divided proportionally to the popular vote in each state. Other proposals would completely abolish the electoral college.

It indicates that such campaign tactics aimed at minorities and special interest groups, such as farmers and labor, indicated the need for revision of the electoral college and recommends it as an early item of business for the next Congress, regardless of which party had control. It posits that not until the influence of minority groups was reduced would the national parties shape legislation which put the national interest first.

"A Miner's Motivation" tells of collective bargaining having worked promptly and well for coal miners, with the contract signed the prior Saturday between UMW leader John L. Lewis and the Northern soft coal operators having provided for a $1.90 per day pay increase, plus another dime contribution per ton of coal to the welfare fund, and other benefits.

It suggests that the contract might appear overly generous to the miners, but it had to be remembered that the contract had been freely negotiated between labor and management and that coal miners took a huge occupational risk. U.S. coal miners had a high rate of death compared to other nations, averaging 3.11 per thousand miners between 1937 and 1950, whereas in France, for instance, the rate was 1.07, and in Great Britain, 1.05. That meant that for every thousand miners in the U.S. who entered the pits at age 20, 93 would be killed on the job before they reached age 50.

The 82nd Congress, in its closing days, had given the Government authority to close coal mines where there was imminent danger of disaster, which would increase mine safety in states without sufficient laws.

It indicates that the hazards associated with coal mining were reflected around the bargaining table.

"From Attu to Thule" tells of "Thule" meaning literally "the end of the world", and having now become the country's responsibility after the U.S. and Denmark had jointly announced the establishment of a strategic airbase at Thule on Greenland's northwest coast within the Arctic Circle and astride the Great Circle route between the U.S. and Russia.

Since the beginning of World War II, the country had established several such bases all over the world, in Europe, Africa, South America, the Asian subcontinent, the East Indies, Korea and Japan, all having airfields from which U.S. planes operated, Point Four stations, and Naval facilities and Army posts. The containment line was tenuous in some places and could be easily broken by the Communists. But that line now stretched from Korea to the Baltic, and from the Arctic to New Zealand and Australia. In the meantime, many Americans were left behind regarding the fact and need of these bases, leaving them confused and bewildered, despite the strategy appearing basically sound.

It suggests that the presidential candidate who could do the best job of selling this program to the voters, along with its high financial burden, would be understood over the long haul.

A piece from the New York Times , titled "It Won't Be Quite the Same", indicates respect for the good sense and ingenuity of Davis Shuman, the inventor of the side-sliding trombone, but finds that in such form the experience of the trombone would be forever changed, as it would no longer jut forth majestically to the front of the stage. It suggests that there was only one authentic trombone, just as no pitcher would be throwing balls and strikes from third base.

Drew Pearson, aboard the Eisenhower campaign train, tells of the General having begun to settle into his whistle-stop tour when the news of the $18,000 expense fund of Senator Nixon had surfaced. The General had just begun to learn how to harangue the crowds and appeared to be enjoying the hustings. But when the news of the Nixon "millionaires' club" fund came to light, it appeared to take the wind out of the General's sails, causing him to appear grim the following morning when he spoke in small Midwestern towns along the train route. He had gone through the usual motions, but his heart was no longer in it.

On the rest of the train, the General's advisers discussed the pros and cons of the Nixon expense account. According to normal tax practices, income used for living expenses was taxable, but the Senator had treated the expenses as tax-exempt, and so had opened himself up to a charge of income tax evasion, provided the Justice Department chose to deal with the Senator the same way the Republicans had demanded that it deal with others. Those who had provided the gifts to the fund would also be vulnerable to prosecution if they had deducted the money from their income taxes. It was also against the Corrupt Practices Act for any member of Congress to accept a fee or gift in connection with any claim, legislation or case against the Government, and it was possible that contributors to the fund might have Government contracts or might file for a radio or television license, or have other matters pending before the Government. In that case, the Senator would be subject to criminal prosecution and a two-year jail sentence. Senator Barton of Kansas had once gone to jail in just such a case and the Justice Department had recommended the prosecution of Democratic Congressman Gene Cox of Georgia for taking a gift of stock in connection with the call he made to the Federal Trade Commission to secure a radio license in Albany. The Eisenhower advisers discussed all of those possibilities while the General was trying to make up his mind on how to proceed.

Journalists on the train, most representing pro-Eisenhower newspapers, asked campaign press secretary James Hagerty for a statement, to which he replied that he had no comment, though usually one of the most obliging men in the world. Several newsmen of pro-Eisenhower newspapers, such as Vance Johnson of the San Francisco Chronicle and Ed Folliard of the Washington Post, pressed Mr. Hagerty on the matter, but to no avail. The following morning, however, Mr. Hagerty provided a statement from the General, which appeared to be in strong support of Senator Nixon. Shortly thereafter, the train stopped for its usual whistle-stop appearance and the General grimly stepped out onto the platform and went through his usual anti-corruption speech, indicating that he would get rid of the people in government who regarded public office as an opportunity to get rich and aggrandize themselves, and provide a housecleaning from top to bottom in Washington. But in making this talk, he looked unusually stern.

Mr. Pearson observes that coattail riders were increasingly jumping aboard the train, so much so that the General was busy shaking hands in between stops. A total of 180 people had ridden with the General across the state of Iowa. Many of them wanted to make speeches or take a bow with the General. One could understand, he notes, such eagerness by Senator William Jenner of Indiana, who was facing a tough re-election fight, or others in the same category, but when Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, who was re-elected in 1950, had delivered an introduction almost as long as the General's ensuing speech, it illustrated how enticing the coattails of the General were.

Stewart Alsop, with Governor Stevenson's campaign, tells of the Governor having taken over General Eisenhower's greatest single asset, the perception of him as a leader who understood the world situation. The Governor had started the campaign as a relatively unknown quantity with voters, and had since gone about trying to establish himself as an intelligent, bold and tough-minded candidate, all characteristics which actually defined him. In addition, he had shown his ability as a phrase-maker and wit on the campaign trail, attracting many people to his speeches to see if he was really as funny as he had been represented to be, in part the result of General Eisenhower's attack on him for supposedly making light of matters in the midst of a serious world.

Prior to his speech in Hartford recently, the Governor had made a series of humorous statements which caused laughter in his audience, and then suddenly shifted gears to the very somber topic of control of atomic power. The audience had appeared puzzled at the sudden change of mood and demeanor, but had strained to try to understand the Governor's phrases. The speech had left out the Soviet power to effect a surprise attack, and therefore was not very thorough, but, more importantly, the Governor had sounded more like a President than a candidate, precisely the way he had intended it to be. Mr. Alsop ventures that it might turn out to be a very shrewd strategy, as the voters were desperate for someone who really understood the world situation and knew how to deal with it, never minding the fact that, in truth, no one did.

People had expected General Eisenhower to be that individual, but his speeches were so full of generalities, repeatedly bringing up high taxes and denouncing corruption in general terms, that it was difficult for the press to find anything newsworthy about which to report. While whistle stops were supposed to be that way, his generalizations were not contributing to the perception of the General as a world leader, which he, in fact, had been as a General. But on the campaign trail, he was sounding more as a politician, while the Governor sounded more as a world leader.

Mr. Alsop observes that a good many voters appeared to be waiting for the General's own estimates of the nature of the world situation and how to deal with it, based on his unrivaled experience.

Robert C. Ruark tells of an ongoing headline story in New York about prostitution, complete with a double-standard whereby the solicitors of the prostitutes got off free, after identifying the prostitutes for the sake of prosecution. He finds this duality unacceptably unfair, that elsewhere in the law, aiders and abettors or co-conspirators were tried as principals, and he thinks the same treatment ought be given to the hirer of prostitutes. He indicates that in the age of equality, applicable as much to strumpets as to debutantes, as much to the bad as to the good, everyone ought be treated alike.

A letter writer decides to take stock to see what was necessary to ensure a victory for General Eisenhower. He fears that if only 51 percent of eligible voters went to the polls, the General could not possibly overcome the Democratic store of votes to be cast for Governor Stevenson, and so urges a campaign to get out the vote. He thinks the General ought stress cleaning up the mess in Washington, elimination of waste to reduce taxes, and his awareness of the horrors of war, indicating that he would bring the Korean War to a conclusion, as well as establish foreign diplomacy which would bring "peace in our time".

Well, that last bit would immediately conjure to everyone who had any historical perspective the disastrous declaration of Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, fresh off his Munich Pact "victory" in September, 1938.

We think, perhaps, rather than including that latter point, he just ought to dump Dick and the dog. Then, everything will probably be smooth sailing—just as it all turned out for Senator McGovern in 1972 after he dumped Senator Eagleton. But, in that latter one, he was, after all, probably fighting the most corrupt opposing party campaign ever waged to that point in the history of the country—albeit now, we trow, having been eclipsed by another.

A letter writer responds to a letter writer who had, in turn, responded to another letter writer, who had objected to paying taxes on his $200 per month income, with the original responsive writer having questioned why the original writer had to pay any taxes at all on such small income, this writer challenging the responsive writer to pay $200 in taxes and then swear that he was glad to pay it, in which case he would petition Congress to award him the Medal of Honor.

Anyone ever tell you you're crazy? You make about as much sense as the average Trumpie Dumpy.

A letter writer indicates that he was in agreement with General Eisenhower on the part of his speech to the AFL convention the previous week regarding patriotic union leaders taking a non-Communist oath, that as financial secretary of Local 234, Upholsterers International Union, an affiliate of AFL, he and his fellow officers had taken that oath and he felt good that he could do so and "feel free to act and live as an American should feel". (Winstons taste good...) He thinks that management also, as recommended by the General, ought be required to take the oath, and should feel good about signing such a non-Communist affidavit. He concludes that for all anyone knew, all of industry might wind up full of Communists.

A letter writer indicates that "the money element and social highbrows" appeared to have a morbid fear that the working people of the South might unionize, as they had in the North. He thinks it hearkened back to the days of slavery when a poor white man who did not own slaves was classed with the "great unwashed". He indicates that in the South, there were many working people who came from indentured slave stock, brought over by colonial landholders and forced to work for seven years before being freed. He suggests it as one reason why Southern workers were so easily bluffed by the Southern aristocrats and nouveau riche. He was glad that his ancestry did not stretch that far back, although indicating that he had a lot of European blood within him.

A letter writer indicates that Senator Nixon, who had "vociferously denounced everything from political patronage to treason", now found himself in a "pretty indefensible position". He suggests that it was "'the little foxes that spoil the vine'". The Senator had been throwing stones for some time and now found himself with a beam in his own eye, and to make matters worse, had sought to defend the action by noting the conduct of the vice-presidential nominee for the Democrats, Senator John Sparkman, which, even if accurate, would not excuse Senator Nixon's conduct. He suggests taking the nastiness out of politics, and that as much as he admired General Eisenhower, bemoaned his choice of the Senator as the "potential next President", "the purist from California".

Don't worry. After that silly travesty tonight on television, surely no one in their right mind would retain this numb-skull on their ticket, if for no other reason than those corn-ball comments about his little cocker spaniel, his wife's cloth coat, and their 1950 Oldsmobile. If he was trying to emulate FDR from 1944—with shades of Huey Long, in the standing part of the speech, thrown in for good measure—, he needs a new scriptwriter or should return to acting school. Moreover, that had been a speech before a live audience, with the ambiance of accompanying live reaction. Perhaps the Senator needed the addition of laugh and applause tracks interjected at appropriate points.

We note that when we first saw the speech in its entirety, October 18, 1974 in Chapel Hill, with an auditorium full of college students, having been preoccupied elsewhere with matters of state on the night it originally aired, the laugh tracks were amply filled in, but at all the wrong places, and notably absent of any applause. But, of course, the entire audience was Communist, and so....

Framed Edition
[Return to Links
Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i><i><i>—</i></i></i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date Links-Subj.