The Charlotte News

Thursday, August 2, 1951


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Robert Tuckman, that the U.S. Eighth Army gained more than two miles on the central front south of Kumsong in Korea on Thursday, meeting only light enemy opposition, possibly urging the Communists to be more conciliatory in their adamant stance that the ceasefire line be drawn strictly along the 38th parallel, whereas the allies were demanding a ceasefire zone north of the present battle lines. For the nonce, the two sides remained deadlocked on the point on Thursday and would meet again Friday to renew negotiations.

Peiping radio had reported that the allies were demanding a "top-shooting line" halfway between the 38th and 39th parallels, a claim which a high U.N. source described as "a lot of malarkey", that such a described line was about ten miles north of the line which the allies actually sought. But that false contention, speculated the source, was to build up home expectations so that acceptance by the Communists of a line south of it would appear to the people as a victory.

Other than the allied advance south of Kumsong and a predawn attack by the enemy northwest of Yanggu, the battlefronts were quiet.

Allied planes had flown 500 sorties the previous day and again made raids on enemy supply lines this date.

The U.S. Second Division was reported to have orders to shoot at anything which moved during the night and I Company complied implicitly. At dawn, they found three dead squirrels.

The President said at a press conference that he did not think General Eisenhower would be too busy with his Army job as supreme commander of NATO to run for the presidency in 1952 if he chose to do so, but was sure that he would put duty to his country first.

The President refused comment on the proposal of Senator Karl Mundt of South Dakota that the Republicans join in a coalition with Dixiecrats in 1952. The President also said that he was continuing his investigation of charges that DNC chairman William Boyle had been paid a fee in connection with a St. Louis business receiving an RFC loan.

Admiral William Fechteler, nominated to succeed recently deceased Admiral Forrest Sherman as chief of Naval operations, said to a press conference that the Navy was inadequate to the job it had to do without a topflight air arm. He said that he planned no major changes in Navy policy from those implemented by Admiral Sherman, as he considered those policies sound and in the interest of national security. The Admiral also instructed that the accent was on the first syllable of his last name, after a Navy public relations man had pronounced it "Fek-ler".

At least he didn't pronounce it, "Fek-less."

The House Foreign Affairs Committee began drafting the foreign aid bill after the chairman, Congressman James Richards of South Carolina, instructed the members that he wanted eight percent or 700 million dollars cut from the Administration's 8.5 billion dollar measure. The jointly meeting Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees continued their hearings on the President's bill, and some Republicans on the Committees talked also of cuts to the bill. Senator Owen Brewster of Maine and other Republicans proposed a new single agency to handle the aid program, to take it out of the State Department and thus away from the control of Secretary of State Acheson, as well as spreading the 8.5 billion over two years instead of one, and killing the ERP administration, set up to handle Marshall Plan aid. Senator John Sparkman of Alabama said in response that he would fight against any attempt to cripple the foreign aid program by cutting its budget in half.

The Marshall Plan administration report for the fiscal year informed the President and Congress that Western Europe was expected to double its production of military goods in the coming year and that it had been doubled once in the two years since NATO was formed. It warned that raw materials shortages and rising prices threatened military output and the Western European economy.

A Senate investigating subcommittee chaired by Senator Clyde Hoey of North Carolina announced in its report that Sam Mason was a "complete fraud" who worked a confidence racket to swindle about a quarter million dollars from the victims, including a Greek Catholic church, on the promise of obtaining cheap leases on Government surplus properties as an investment. It also said that a grand jury investigation of the matter had been commenced. The committee did not condone the actions of a newspaperman and two Catholic priests who were duped by the scheme, as it knowingly involved alleged bribery of public officials to obtain the supposed leases, but the report also said that the three were foreign born and that some of their complicity may have resulted from misunderstanding of the English language. Mr. Mason, a.k.a. Mussman, who had lost a leg in World War I, claimed that he only received about $100,000 toward the scheme and that he gave it to a third party who was supposed to arrange the leases but disappeared to Australia and only gave him about $25,000 in return. The committee concluded that this third person was a "figment of Mason's imagination".

Attorney General J. Howard McGrath ordered the re-arrest of 39 aliens fighting deportation while free on bond furnished by the Civil Rights Congress, deemed unreliable as a provider of bail in the Communist prosecutions.

Hede Massing, the former wife of top-Communist Gerhard Eisler who had fled the U.S. to East Germany as a stowaway on a Polish vessel, testified to the Senate Internal Security subcommittee that she had worked in 1934 as a Soviet espionage agent and had recruited into her apparatus Noel Field, then a State Department official who had since disappeared behind the Iron Curtain. She said that she and Alger Hiss, since convicted of perjury in 1950 for his December, 1948 grand jury testimony disputing the claims of former Communist courier Whittaker Chambers, had competed for Mr. Field's services. She also claimed that she had recruited to her apparatus Laurence Duggan, at the time a State Department official. Mr. Duggan had died December 20, 1948 after a fall, at the time labeled a suicide, from his 16th floor office in New York, shortly after being named in excutive session before HUAC as a suspected Communist by a hearsay witness who claimed that Mr. Duggan gave secret documents to Whittaker Chambers, a charge denied by Mr. Chambers after the death of Mr. Duggan, a charge also posthumously disputed by reliable friends and family, but made public callously by then-Congressman Karl Mundt, who said to the press that the Committee would reveal the names of those implicated "as they jump out of windows".

Parenthetically, in the mid-1990's, the released and declassified Venona files, compiled from Army Signal Intelligence intercepts of Soviet secret messages during World War II and afterward, showed this message of August 4, 1944, in which it was described that the Soviet operative "Frenk" had just left the "Bank", considered by Venona decoders to be the State Department, previously communicated as imminent on July 22, and joined the "Shelter", considered to be UNRRA, a move, if interpreted correctly, coinciding with Mr. Duggan's change of employment at the time. Even if the interpretation is correct, it is a far cry from verifying that Mr. Duggan was actually a spy for the Soviets during the war, inimical to the interests and security of the U.S., when Russia was an ally of the U.S., and a quite invaluable ally in depleting considerably the fighting strength of the German Wehrmacht by holding it in place fighting in the Eastern theater—a fact routinely forgotten by the revisionist apologists for Messrs. Nixon, Mundt, McCarthy, et al., intent in the process on sacking the "left", but obviously not possessed of sufficient accuracy of eyesight to distinguish a "Frank" from a "Frenk".

Representative Prince Preston of Georgia told the House that actress Myrna Loy's new husband, State Department official Rowland Sargeant, not the Government, had paid for their Paris honeymoon. Mr. Sargeant was chief of the U.S. delegation to UNESCO, which took him to Paris, and Ms. Loy was an unpaid consultant of the U.N. organization.

In Birmingham, Ala., officials of the City-operated amusement park, Kiddiland, had encountered a problem because the anteater, added recently to eradicate the ant problem, would not eat ants, only hamburgers.

In Hollywood, actress Micheline Presle announced through her studio that she and her producer-director husband, William Marshall, were expecting a baby in December, preventing her from starring in a motion picture opposite James Mason.

On the editorial page, "Inflation by Default" tells of the Congress, in the wake of passing an economic controls measure which the President signed reluctantly while blaming Congress for producing a measure grossly inadequate to control inflation, now having the responsibility to pass legislation which would raise taxes, as sought by the Administration, and to slash the Administration's proposed record non-defense budget, lest there would be "inflation by default".

Though there had been some decline in prices since March and a Government surplus rather than the originally anticipated deficit, these trends were not expected to be permanent as the price recession was said to be the result of reaction to panic buying in late 1950, reinforced by the effort to reduce inventories and the failure of the Government to reduce spending as much as anticipated, while personal income was rising and plans for new plants and equipment were being stepped up, with a sharp increase in Government buying expected in the second half of the year and the prospect of a Korean ceasefire not greatly altering the scenario.

"Postgraduate Course in Crime" tells of the charge conveyed by the title of the piece being made by the Greensboro Daily News, finding it justified, assuming the primary purpose of prison to be rehabilitation.

Of the 14,000 persons introduced to the State's prison system the prior year, fewer than 4,000 were first offenders, with about 70 percent being recidivists. The State appeared to be failing, therefore, at rehabilitation while the prisoner was in the system.

The new Paroles Commissioner, Dr. T. C. Johnson, believed that the solution lay in following the recommendations of Dr. Austin McCormick, after his study the prior year of the penal system. Dr. Johnson suggested that the prisons, other correctional institutions, parole and probation be combined into a single Department of Corrections and that its administration be removed from politics, which pervaded under the current system administered by the Highway Commission. He believed the change, however, had to await the next governor as the next Legislature would not meet until 1953.

The piece urges that unless the people of the state demanded such a change, it would not take place. No governor or Highway Commission would give up the patronage preserved by the present system without pressure from the electorate to do so. Until prison administration was removed from the Commission, whose primary mission was to build roads, not to rehabilitate prisoners, the reforms instituted by former Prisons Director John M. Gold of Winston-Salem could never be more than half-measures.

"Regulation Is Not the Answer" tells of Governor Kerr Scott and State Attorney General Harry McMullen believing that gasoline prices were fixed by the oil companies in the state and that regulation was the best answer to stop the "arbitrary and unreasonable" pricing practices, with Esso setting the standard for the other bastions of the oil trade. Esso had denied the charge and Mr. McMullen had offered no proof of his claim. The piece therefore asserts that court proceedings would be the better way to stop such alleged price-fixing, if true. A full grand jury investigation could adduce the facts and show whether grounds for indictment or civil remedies lay for violation of antitrust laws.

But state regulation, it asserts, could be a dangerous and unconstitutional method to try to forbid the practice, as oil companies, unlike state-regulated public utilities, were private companies operating in the competitive marketplace—which assumes, of course, that anyone could start their own oil company, just by setting up a drill in their backyard. There was no more reason, it urges, to regulate their pricing practices than that of washing machines or cars.

"Cease-Fires Take Time—And Men" tells of the hardship of soldiers during ceasefire negotiations. While the fighting was slight and sporadic during this period, an unlucky soldier who happened to be on the receiving end of a fatal bullet was just as dead as during heavy fighting.

Ceasefire negotiations typically took time, two and a half years in the Dutch-Indonesian civil war, and Dr. Ralph Bunche had said that he had been prepared to stay ten years to negotiate the ceasefire in the Arab-Israeli war, to which one old Arab had responded: "Only ten years? What's your hurry?" If the Communists believed that a long period of negotiations would serve their ends, then they would prolong the discussions.

L. D. T. Cox, Jr., of The News writes of the continued remoteness of Cape Hatteras on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and its reputation as the "graveyard of the Atlantic", the curving hook of land into the ocean becoming a deadly bar to ships through the centuries, hence the establishment in 1802 of the lighthouse to warn wayward mariners of impending disaster.

But the locals believed that the remoteness was giving way to modernity and once the new highway was completed, avoiding the necessity of either having to take the Hadeco ferry from the mainland or precariously negotiating the dunes for twelve miles from Nags Head, the seclusion previously enjoyed at Hatteras would become a thing of the past, opening the door to tourists and "the wail of the juke box" and the "roar of the hot-rod". "Then Hatteras no longer will be Hatteras."

We can report that as of August, 2010, Hatteras remained Hatteras, despite the highway having long been in place, and that the two and a half hour ferry ride from Swan Quarter to Ocracoke is pleasant at dusk. And that driving over the sand in a Ford car, even for a quarter mile or so, is not wise, even in the morning hours, especially as the temperature approaches the high 90's and one's jack is meaningless in the sand to extricate the stuck front wheels of a front-wheel drive vehicle, even with boards found in the surrounding territory shoved underneath to act as skids, only digging deeper and deeper into the sand.

Drew Pearson tells of the usually unruffled General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, being quite angry at the Army briefing officer at the Pentagon who revealed to the press, in the midst of discussing how the Communists were taking advantage of the peace talks to build up their strength in Korea while the U.N. forces reduced their strength to show "good faith", the highly secret movement of an airborne division from Korea to Japan. The General was also perturbed by the officer's statement that the U.N. halted its offensive though it could have continued it to the Yalu River, with the Chinese on the run in their disastrous second offensive of the spring. General Bradley had ordered an Army investigation of the matter.

Mr. Pearson explains that the reason for the transfer of the division to Japan was to meet the potential threat of a Russian attack on Japan during the lull in fighting occasioned by the peace talks, with its two divisions on Sakhalin Island, only one of which could be transported at a time.

According to the House watchdog committee chaired by Congressman Porter Hardy, Jr., of Virginia, the automotive industry was fleecing the taxpayers out of billions of dollars by charging during the national emergency four or five times the manufacturer's price for spare parts, increasing even up to ten times for lower-priced parts. The amounts in question would not be recovered through either taxation or subsequent renegotiation of contracts. The blame for the situation was placed by the report on both the industry and the military procurement officers.

An example presented was that of the Troy Sunshade Co., which produced windshields for the Army at $28.64 per unit. The Federal Motor Truck Co., however, which had designed the windshield and owned the dies, withdrew its dies from Troy and pressured them to discontinue bidding on the Government contract, leaving Federal with a monopoly so that it could sell the windshield to the Government instead for $52.50 and $57.50, twice that of the Troy price.

Joseph Alsop discusses the distance being created in Communist China from the Soviet Union, with it being made plain that Mao Tse-Tung considered himself an equal in every respect to Josef Stalin, and the Chinese press substituting the deification of Stalin, normally present in Russian satellites, with deification of Mao. Whether a Tito-type rebellion was taking place was not yet clear, but it was clear that China was pulling away from the Soviets as a subordinate satellite.

In seven recent articles by leading Chinese Communist Party functionaries, published in July to celebrate the 30th anniversary of formation of the party, four made no mention at all of Stalin. By contrast, Mao was placed uppermost in esteem, with his name mentioned 47 times, giving him and the Chinese party all credit for the Chinese revolution, and consistently communicating reverence to Chinese nationalism.

He concludes that the development was of historical significance, which he promises to examine further in a subsequent column.

Robert C. Ruark, in Tanganyika, tells of going out with his white hunter, Harry Selby, to look for rhinoceros or oryx, feeling confident in the prospects after killing two lions and a leopard in only three days of hunting. But after a week of coursing and recoursing in Jessica through the Manyara area where they were supposed to be, finding Hapana, the Swahili for nada, nary a one of the Faro or Choroa, they finally had to give up. But, he urges, "[J]ust wait 'til tomorrow."

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