The Charlotte News

Monday, May 14, 1951


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Olen Clements, that the Communist Chinese troops had expanded their bridgehead across the Choyang River on the central Korean front despite being pounded by U.S. artillery, posing a flanking threat to Chunchon. Strong enemy units were massing north of the river and between Kumwha and Hwachon above the 38th parallel.

A renewed enemy offensive was expected in about ten days. Allied airmen reported about 15,000 enemy troops concentrating north of Chunchon, as the capability for attack was mounting daily.

American patrols probed no-man's land elsewhere along the 100-mile front, meeting little opposition.

For the first time in the war, a small trickle of Chinese deserters, including some officers, were surrendering to the U.N. forces.

At the U.N., the sanctions committee unanimously voted 11 to 0 to ban worldwide shipment of war goods to Communist China. Egypt abstained because it had no trade with China and because the 12-nation Arab-Asian group was attempting to work out terms of a ceasefire with China. Britain had opposed such sanctions until the previous week, changing course because China had refused to make any moves toward peace. The resolution next would go before the political committee of the General Assembly and then to the plenary session of the Assembly. Russia was expected to oppose the embargo, as would India as leader of the neutralist faction. All signs pointed, however, to overwhelming approval.

Secretary of Defense Marshall testified again before the joint Senate Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, saying, in response to questioning by Senator Lyndon Johnson, that he feared adoption of General MacArthur's policy on Korea would offset the work of General Eisenhower in Europe. He also said that he believed General Eisenhower supported the President's policy on maintaining a limited war of attrition in Korea and that Administration military leaders, including General Matthew Ridgway, supreme commander of U.N. forces in Korea, supported the President's policy and opposed that of General MacArthur. General MacArthur had testified ten days earlier that he believed General Ridgway and other military leaders agreed with him.

It was the last day of testimony by Secretary Marshall, and General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, would appear before the committees the following day.

Senator Richard Russell said that secret information of possible value to Russia had been "leaked" from executive sessions in the hearings on General MacArthur and Far Eastern policy and expressed deep concern about future leaks. Senators Bourke Hickenlooper and Styles Bridges responded that the Administration had been leaking secret information to the press for some time but backed the plea of Senator Russell not to leak information. Both Republican Senators claimed the Administration took liberties in releasing to the New York Times the top-secret minutes of the Wake Island meeting between the President and General MacArthur the previous October, subsequently released by the joint committees.

The Supreme Court, in Labor Board v. Highland Park Co., 341 U.S. 322, a decision delivered by Justice Robert Jackson, decided 6 to 2 that the Taft-Hartley Act required that officers of parent labor federations, as CIO and AFL, had to file non-Communist affidavits, disagreeing with an NLRB ruling that the requirement pertained only to union groups partaking of collective bargaining and empowered to call strikes. The Court also struck down the NLRB ruling that its decision on compliance with the requirement was final. Justices William O. Douglas and Felix Frankfurter dissented. Justice Hugo Black took no part in the decision.

Senator Taft expressed dislike for the new 16-man Wage Stabilization Board, approved by labor and opposed by industry. The new chairman, Dr. George W. Taylor, was set to testify this date before the House Banking Committee.

Butchers around the country shifted their prices up or down to accommodate ceiling regulations imposed by the Government. Only a few types of beef would be cut and in some cases, such as with ground beef, prices could increase. Most meat dealers expressed greater concern over the potential for meat shortages as beef would tend to disappear from the market.

Mecklenburg County's State Senator Harvey Morris predicted that Government control of livestock prices would end at the end of the fiscal year.

In Tokyo, a young man carried a bomb into a shop to try to sell it and while waiting, the bomb exploded, killing both the seller and prospective buyer.

Near Norfolk, a collier collided with a Navy seaplane tender five miles east of Cape Henry this date. Both ships were on fire and their crews were initially reported to be abandoning ship, but a subsequent report said that the crews were staying aboard and had brought the fires under control.

In New York, a father of nine children completed a transcontinental flight from Los Angeles in a Piper Cub airplane in 23 hours and four and a half minutes, setting a new record for the journey in a light plane, eclipsing the previous record of 30 hours and 47 minutes, set in 1938 by John M. Jones.

On the editorial page, "Dewey's Challenge to His Party" tells of the New York Governor trying to stake a middle ground for the Republicans, including his inveighing against appeasement of Communism and recognition of Communist China, while favoring a free Formosa, more aid for the Nationalists, a total trade embargo on Communist China, bipartisan support for the Japanese peace treaty, an eventual united states of Europe, admission of Turkey, Greece, Spain and Yugoslavia to NATO, a solid front of free nations and acceleration of production of planes and tanks.

He did not endorse General MacArthur's recommended course of bombing Communist China's supply bases and blockading its ports.

General MacArthur had strayed from some of his strongest GOP supporters when he said that Communist China was independently pursuing its own brand of imperialism and was not a puppet of Moscow, close to Administration policy. He had also supported the intervention in Korea, undermining the Republican chant that it was "Truman's war". He voiced support for the Truman Doctrine and opposed the Hoover-Kennedy approach of pulling back ground defenses to the shores of the U.S. and deploying only naval and air defense abroad. He also disfavored placing limits on troops to be sent to Europe, as favored by Senator Kenneth Wherry and his wing of the Republican Party. He favored the concept underlying the Point 4 program, technical assistance to underdeveloped nations, which Republicans generally disfavored. He also showed restraint in how Nationalist Chinese troops would be used under his formulation of policy, whereas Republicans wanted them "unleashed" for a full-scale invasion of the mainland, disfavored by the General, who wanted the the Nationalists used only as a diversionary force to press the Chinese into withdrawing from Korea to protect their home turf and eventually sue for peace in Korea.

The only real disagreement between the General and the Administration was the use of the Nationalist troops for any purpose beyond protection of Formosa.

It concludes that with those issues clarified, it would be possible to resume bipartisan foreign policy. Governor Dewey had made a gesture in that direction with his 11-point plan, which most Democrats could support. But it remained to be seen whether his fellow Republicans would go along with the proposal.

"No Runs, No Hits, Etc." finds that after two days of testimony by White House aide Donald Dawson before the Senate Banking subcommittee, investigating his influence on RFC loans, the score remained the same, with the subcommittee's membership charging that he did influence loans and Mr. Dawson denying it. No new evidence had been introduced to bolster either side.

No clear line had been drawn between proper influence, of which there was always plenty in government, and improper influence, for gifts or money. It concludes that the subcommittee had performed poorly as detectives in obtaining hard facts to support their bald charges and had failed to show any improper influence exerted by Mr. Dawson.

"A Sound Investment" finds that identical measures pending in both houses of Congress since April 2 to provide to Israel 150 million dollars in economic aid deserved immediate passage. Both bills enjoyed strong bipartisan support. Senators Paul Douglas and Robert Taft had issued a joint statement explaining why the bill deserved passage, as Israel needed and deserved the aid for both humanitarian reasons and because it was a bulwark against Communism in the Middle East.

Bob Sain of The News, by way of discussing the powerful influence exerted by labor leaders in the country, reviews The House of Labor, edited by J. B. S. Hardman and Maurice F. Neufeld and prepared under the auspices of the Inter-Union Institute, Inc., by sociologists C. Wright Mills and Helen S. Dinerman.

Twenty percent of the studied AFL leaders and sixteen percent of the CIO leaders were located in the South. Of the CIO leaders, 45 percent who believed that unions had a long-range goal beyond higher wages, better hours and security, thought the program to be political, whereas only 16 percent of such AFL leaders thought the program should be political. Of AFL leaders, 49 percent thought there was a long-range program, whereas 70 percent of CIO leaders so believed. He goes on to cite several more such comparative statistics between the two labor organizations gleaned from the study.

Fifty-six percent of CIO members wanted the two organizations to join, whereas 83 percent of CIO favored joinder.

The study had also provided the composite picture of the average AFL and CIO leader in terms of age, education and background. The CIO leader was ten years younger, better educated and had begun trade union work later than his AFL counterpart. Both sets of leaders were primarily urban and came from the lower socioeconomic, working class stratum of society.

Drew Pearson tells of a small group of wealthy Greeks who bought American Liberty ships after the war for a relatively small investment of other people's money and parlayed it into one of the largest fleets in the world, paying nearly no taxes in the process. One such investor was the present Premier, Sophocles E. Venezelos, though doing so before coming into office.

The French Government had purchased 75 Liberty ships and the Italian Government, 50, but the Greek Government purchased none. Greek merchants, however, purchased 98 such ships using Greek Government certificates and loan guarantees, with a down payment of 25 percent, about $22,000 per ship. Each ship was then paid off by two or three trips.

In 1948, Congress passed a law to restrict sales of ships to foreign nationals but the Greeks circumvented the law by using dummy companies with majority American stockholders.

The largest owners were S. G. and N. G. Livanos, who had bought 12 of the original 98 Liberty ships plus at least ten more for transfer to Panamanian registry. Mr. Pearson lists their extensive maritime holdings. Another large holder was Manuel Kulukundis who bought four of the original ships and was now a director in eleven British shipping companies as well as being an officer of several other companies in the U.S. and Canada.

Parenthetically, on October 13, 1953, a grand jury in Washington would indict Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis and eight other individuals, including former Congressman Joseph Casey, along with six companies, for fraud against the U.S. Government and for false statements in connection with the formation of the dummy companies, of which Mr. Pearson relates, in an effort to circumvent the law restricting foreign nationals in buying American ships. (See page 39 of the linked FBI report)

By coincidence, Jacqueline and Senator John F. Kennedy were married on September 12, 1953, a month before this indictment was handed down.

Joseph Alsop, in Paris, tells of General Eisenhower hoping that by the following spring he would have enough strength assembled in Western Europe to give the Russians pause. By then, twenty divisions would be available to hold the line at the Rhine, considered enough to halt the 36 Russian divisions in East Germany and Poland. Still, danger would subsist for at least an additional year as Russia had at their disposal a hundred divisions in Eastern Europe and Western Russia, with sixteen in the Ukraine threatening the Balkans, leaving 48 to bolster the extant 36.

Reorganization of the satellite armies was persisting apace, with the process complete in Bulgaria and well advanced in Poland and probably Rumania. The job was expected to be finished by late spring in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

For the West to be ready by 1952-53, the British, Americans and French had to resolve their remaining issues, the extent to which the Germans should be rearmed, the extent of the air force needed in Western Europe, and construction of the facilities for new army and air groups, as well as how the French and other nations would adjust their long training periods.

The goal of General Eisenhower was to make Western Europe strong enough that American troops could be withdrawn. But with the increase in Eastern European forces had come a reconsideration of the number of troops needed to form a sufficient deterrent to aggression, such that it was believed at least 60 Western divisions needed to be in place and perhaps many more ready at all times. To build such a force required that it be done in phases and even this first phase would not be complete until the currently anticipated summer showdown had taken place.

Robert C. Ruark, in Miami, tells of his woes with the automobile, as his "Bessie the Buck" gave up the ghost in Stuart, Fla., on his way to Miami, necessitating an overnight stay at a local hostel while the local "Ali Baba" fixed it for a small fortune, as Mr. Ruark and a rubber planter from Kuala Lampur discussed politics over gin pahits. By the time they had killed their fifth tiger and put down three native uprisings, the car was repaired and made it as far as the yard before relapsing with the ague. He then sold it for some bright beads, gay calico and other such trinkets and decided to walk back to Stuart from Miami.

He was drinking again.

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