The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 14, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U.S. troops seized Kumchon, eleven miles north of the 38th parallel, in a battle seventy miles to the southeast of Pyongyang in North Korea, trapping 20,000 North Korean troops. No other substantial ground action was reported. The North Koreans appeared to be down to small arms, mortars, and land mines as their primary means of defense, having produced only a small number of tanks in defense of Kumchon. Along both coasts of the peninsula, allied planes hit targets in the North.

The fact that General MacArthur had flown to Wake Island from Tokyo to meet with the President reinforced the belief that the war was in its death throes. The President had landed on Wake at 1:30 p.m. General MacArthur had arrived several hours earlier—but would nevertheless leave the commander-in-chief waiting for their only tête-à-tête meeting, causing the President considerable perturbation for the insinuated insubordination. The talks, to take place in a Quonset hut, would consider generally the Communist menace in Asia and how to effect world peace. It was to be the first meeting between the President and General MacArthur, the first time the General had met with any chief executive since the meeting with FDR in August, 1944, right after the Democratic national convention which had nominated Senator Truman as the vice-presidential candidate. The President had selected either Honolulu or Wake for the meet and General MacArthur had chosen the latter for it being closer to Tokyo. The President spent a day in Honolulu before proceeding to Wake. He would return to Honolulu on Sunday, local time, and then return to San Francisco where he would give a speech regarding the meeting.

In Blackpool, England, Winston Churchill warned against being lulled into a false sense of security from the apparent victory of the West in Korea.

In East Germany, the first major elections were being held, but with only one slate of candidates, seventy percent of whom were Communists. The East German rulers had urged a large turnout of voters, using coercive tactics and even threats. It was expected therefore that 95 percent of the registered voters would turn out to elect the same government which had appointed itself after the founding of East Germany a year earlier. West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer labeled the election "a shocking rape not only of human right but human dignity."

The French had requested U.S. aid of three billion dollars over the ensuing three years to build up its defenses. Secretary of State Acheson, Secretary of Defense Marshall, and Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder had responded by saying the request was too much and that some of the aid to be given would have to go to the native troops in Indo-China fighting alongside the French against the Vietminh. The French were promised interim aid pending an overall NATO plan of assistance, the same promise extended to Britain.

Tighter installment buying terms would go into effect Monday on items costing more than $50. The term limit on automobiles would be curtailed from 21 to 15 months, with one-third down payments required, and from 18 to 15 months plus a required down payment raised from 15 to 25 percent on household appliances.

Better get down there and buy your new television to-day for new house bought ten days ago.

In Detroit, a man was being sought for arrest after going from house to house in the Eight Mile Road and Livernois district, beating and terrorizing women and children with a metal club. Six persons, including two children, were hospitalized as a result, with five in serious condition with skull fractures.

In Atlanta, a 22-year old man who had become a licensed attorney at age 18, was arrested for murder of a cab driver whose body was found slain in a park. The defendant said that he committed the murder for his mother. According to his mother, he had once throttled her for using "ain't". She said that he could memorize volumes of information, but that he "knew the words but not the music", could never seem to apply that which he memorized. He had never been able to earn much of a living at the law in four years of trying. He blamed his mother, she said, for his failures, including a failed marriage. He had abused her physically, including knife cuts. He had been treated previously in a mental institution. Police believed that he got the idea for killing the cab driver from a movie he had attended Wednesday night.

Charlie Justice, formerly a UNC football star tailback who had graduated the prior spring, was signed to the Washington Redskins this date. He had been employed by the North Carolina Medical Foundation in Greensboro and was granted a leave of absence to pursue his pro football career. He had previously determined not to play professional football but said that the offer by the Redskins was so attractive, he could not afford to turn it down.

They must use tomahawk to convince.

Fulton Oursler, in chapter 6 of Why I Know There Is a God, tells of the world tending to blame everything bad on Communism but that if the system were to disappear from the globe, there would still be left basic good and evil. He viewed the problem as Godlessness, the "dragon mother" of Nazism, Fascism, and Communism. Christian zeal was thus necessary or else chaos would be the result. Christians, he urges, should follow the example of Joseph Cardinal Mindszenty, persecuted in Hungary as a traitor and sentenced to life imprisonment by the Communist Government. Gilbert Chesterton had once said that Christianity had not been tried and found a failure but rather been found hard and not tried. To practice Christian doctrine was the challenge of a lifetime. Faith in God and Jesus would cure all manner of ills.

On the editorial page, "Is War Inevitable?" finds that the recent talk of preventive war against the Soviet Union had diminished, partly the result of increased confidence in the machinery of the U.N. and the combined strength of its member nations to effect peace, and partly the result of the positive turn of events in Korea.

The move away from war as a means of settling international disputes had come about as a result of the two world wars. To wage war, governments, even those run by dictators, now had to convince their peoples that the war was justified by a threat to national security or at least that ancient wrongs were in need of remedy.

Russia had suffered greatly during World War II and it was unlikely, therefore, that their bitter memories of war had dissipated. It was thus safe to believe that Russia would not at the present time wage an aggressive war.

With the Korean war, the U.N. had received new prestige and with it had come the recognition that the fate of the U.S. was bound up with the rest of the world.

The apocalyptic nature of atomic warfare would also deter any Soviet aggression toward the U.S. in the near term. Despite the detonation by the Soviets of the atomic bomb in August, 1949, the U.S. remained well out in front of Russia in atomic development and stockpiling.

The logic of events in Korea was producing a groundswell of U.N. member enthusiasm for development of a U.N. police force. As U.N. members were sending equipment and manpower into Korea, the war had produced the passing of national armies. The result was that there was not so much talk any longer of a push-button war, but rather at work a more realistic assessment of the nature of modern warfare. The Korean war had shown the value of unity and awakened the country to the need for maintaining defense strength in peacetime.

Western democracy also appealed more to people generally than the regimentation of the Soviet Union and Communism. Congress had been short-sighted in authorizing funding for selling democracy abroad through such organs as the Voice of America, while Russia moved forward with its propagandizing efforts. The West remained amateurs at propaganda compared to the thirty year experience of the Soviets. Such witch-hunting efforts in the U.S. Government as that of Senator Joseph McCarthy or Senator Kenneth Wherry tended to undermine American foreign policy and play to Soviet propaganda. The country had made blunders but was learning of the effectiveness of dissemination of positive information.

The above considerations, it posits, were some of the reasons why the country need not view war as inevitable and why peace remained a realistic hope. It adds that the guarantees of personal freedom should not be trod underfoot in the name of domestic security, that the country would be injured if, in response to outside threat, individual freedoms were eroded. Those freedoms stood as the best advertisement for the democratic way of life.

Drew Pearson tells of the President having wanted to visit with General MacArthur and go to Korea since late July but that the Secret Service had objected. The plan to go to the Pacific had been revived about a week earlier after talks between the President and Averell Harriman, who had already been to see General MacArthur and advised the President to undertake such a meeting. General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, also urged the meeting after the President raised the prospect with him the prior Monday. It was decided, in consultation with Secretary of Defense Marshall, that General Bradley would accompany the President on the trip. Mr. Harriman told the President that General MacArthur had good ideas regarding the rehabilitation and administration of Korea.

The Defense Department wanted to occupy all of Korea but only with U.N. troops at the end of the fighting, whereas the State Department wanted some U.S. troops involved in the occupation, to assure that the job of rehabilitation would be accomplished correctly. The State Department believed that the worst psychological effect of the war to Western Europe was the bombing of Korean cities, that it had caused the realization that Western European cities would be bombed in any conflict between the U.S. and Russia. The State Department wanted to show that after any conflict, there would be proper rehabilitation of a destroyed country.

The President also wanted to make it clear to General MacArthur who was boss of Far Eastern policy, following the intended statement of the General, forced to be withdrawn, before the V.F.W. the prior August that the new policy toward Formosa was to provide it permanently with U.S. defense, contrary to the U.N. policy, supported by the Administration, that Formosa was only to be neutralized during the Korean war.

The President had told friends that his greatest ambition was to effect peace in Korea, that the U.S. could not afford to lose the peace as in the past, and that obtaining information directly from General MacArthur could help to achieve the goal. He also said that he was sorry that he had allowed his associates to dissuade him from sending Chief Justice Fred Vinson on a peace mission to Moscow in fall, 1948.

Former Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson appeared at the American Legion convention during the week to have taken in stride his recent firing, though it had been his ambition for ten years prior to taking the position in March, 1949.

The Kefauver crime investigating committee was looking for the private diary of former Chicago police officer William Drury, who was shot to death just prior to being scheduled to provide testimony to the committee. The committee had received a tip days before the murder that Harry Russell, a gambler from Chicago and Miami, was to be killed. Mr. Drury had sought to get Mr. Russell to turn state's evidence but Mr. Russell objected that if he did so, he would be killed.

Stewart Alsop provides the current intelligence estimates of Soviet atomic bomb production, with the caveat that the accuracy of the estimates could not be known. It was reliably believed that the Soviets would have 22 atomic bombs by the end of 1950 and that they were producing two bombs per month, a rate which would not change through 1951. That would render 46 bombs in total in their arsenal by the end of 1951. They were also constructing a large, new production plant in the Urals, to go into operation in early 1952, and it was believed that the new plant would increase production to five to seven bombs per month. That would push the stockpile to more than a hundred by early 1953 and about 300 by 1956. It was also believed that based on uranium resources available to the Soviets in Czechoslovakia and East Germany, that might be the limit of their stockpile.

The Soviets thus could not expect to win a war for at least two years and it was known that they would not start a war they could not win. Moreover, they would not be able to deliver a hundred atomic bombs to the right targets even when their stockpile reached that number at the start of 1953, as they did not have sufficiently accurate guided missiles available and their strategic long-range bomber force of B-29 equivalents numbered about 400.

The only way to deter the possibility of the Soviets being tempted to try a knockout blow when their potential would reach the level to permit the effort was to build a defense force in Western Europe by mid-1953 which would assure a strong retaliatory response as a deterrent—or, as Winston Churchill had described it, a "peace of mutual terror".

Robert C. Ruark tells of the twenty-first New York City police officer, the latest an inspector, to resign amid the scandal uncovered when bookie Harry Gross began admitting to bribes to permit his gambling operation to continue. The inspector had received a television set from Mr. Gross. The inspector was facing a contempt citation for not providing answers to a grand jury. By resigning, he avoided the internal police investigation. As a civilian, he would be entitled to keep his retirement pension with the department. He had signed an immunity waiver, appeared before the grand jury and then quit.

The prosecutor had sought revision to the retirement system, to disallow it when an officer resigned while under investigation. That effort was being opposed by the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association. Mr. Ruark suspects that the revenue agents would be looking into the assets of the officers to determine what was ill-gotten gain not reported for tax purposes.

Tom Schlesinger of The News, in his weekly "Capital Roundup", tells of the summer hearings before the House Select Committee on Lobbying Activities having heard testimony from Dr. Edward Rumely, executive secretary of the Committee for Constitutional Government, that his organization did not take credit for the primary defeats of Senator Claude Pepper of Florida and Senator Frank Graham of North Carolina, both having been targets of the organization and its adherents, particularly John T. Flynn, who had authored The Road Ahead, an attack on the New Deal, claiming that it led to socialism. Dr. Rumely admitted, however, that friends of his committee had distributed about 60,000 copies of distillations of the work through the rural areas of North Carolina, bearing the statement, "compliments of Willis Smith", Senator Graham's successful primary opponent. Senator-nominate Smith had thus far remained silent on the support by the organization.

The CCG had been founded by newspaper publisher Frank Gannett in 1937 as a Roosevelt-hating organization and had become one of the richest propaganda and lobbying organs in the country. Some of its distributions, as The Road Ahead, was by courtesy of Congressional franking privileges, thus at taxpayer expense. Congressman Ralph Gwinn of New York had a been a prime distributor, sending out three million pieces of CCG propaganda to citizens all over the country.

Representative Charles Deane of North Carolina had expressed indignation at such distribution at taxpayer expense, accomplished after the material had been reprinted in the Congressional Record and then the excerpt sent out. He said that the mailing cost alone for sending franked material had been a million dollars in 1949.

Senator Paul Douglas of Illinois had inscribed a picture to Senator Graham which described him as "one of the surest souls ever to serve" in the Senate and a "Christian in politics".

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