The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 21, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that allied troops rammed roadblocks on all the main routes north to Manchuria from Pyongyang as the war entered its mop-up phase. South Korean Sixth Division and U.S. First Cavalry Division troops linked with the U.S. paratroops of the 11th Airborne Division who had jumped into the Sunchon-Sukchon sector on Friday, 30 miles north of Pyongyang. Some 28,000 North Korean troops had been trapped by the parachute drop, nearly half of the 63,000 enemy troops still at large in the North. It was believed that some of the trapped men might be able to escape via mountain roads but had lost their heavy equipment. Little resistance was encountered by the allies. Five South Korean divisions were 80 to 85 miles from the Manchurian and Soviet Siberian borders and their drive was gaining momentum by the hour.

North Korean radio said that a provisional capital had been set up at Sinuiju on the Manchurian border, along the Yalu River, only a few miles from the Yellow Sea.

Resistance in Pyongyang had dwindled to occasional small pockets and snipers.

More than 82,000 enemy prisoners were held by the allies.

Correspondent Tom Lambert tells of the Pyongyang advance by American forces having once come to a halt for fifteen minutes to aid one lone American in distress, a pilot who had bailed out of his F-51 fighter as it plunged to the ground after being hit by enemy ground fire. Swearing infantrymen making the advance suddenly forgot about Pyongyang and rushed to help the pilot. He was still alive and they placed him on a litter and then on a tank which carried him to a jeep ambulance. The column then moved on toward Pyongyang. The pilot later died. The riflemen, when told, cursed and went on up the road.

The problem with dealing with bypassed North Korean guerrillas was illustrated by an engagement on Thursday night when an hydroelectric plant at Hwachon was captured by North Koreans after they fired mortars into the town, then fled north. There was no report whether the plant, previously captured intact by the South Korean forces, had been damaged.

At the U.N., the Political Committee approved unanimously the proposal for a five-power peace consultation after refusing to recognize Russia's two attempts to include the Communist Chinese as the Chinese representative among the Big Five.

In Prague, the representatives of Russia and its satellites met to discuss the September 19 conference between the U.S., France, and Great Britain to remilitarize West Germany. Russia made public the contents of notes sent to the Big Three charging that they were reviving German military might in their zones and rejecting the Western charge that the East German police was a military organization. Secretary of State Acheson said that the U.S. would reject the Soviet protest. France had thus far resisted the proposal, to which the U.S. and Britain assented, to rearm West Germany after the other NATO powers had rearmed.

A noon radio broadcast in Prague announced that there was no news to broadcast on any subject.

From Saigon, it was reported that French troops evacuated their frontier headquarters fortress at Langson, which had guarded the invasion route from Communist China into Indo-China for 78 years. It was the sixth fort abandoned by the French during the prior month in the mountainous stronghold of the Vietminh forces, leaving only Laokay and Moncay on the western and eastern ends of the French border defense line. The fall of the fort would enable Ho Chi Minh's guerrilla forces to receive supplies and access training bases in Communist China. Military experts, however, said that the posts had already become ineffective in stopping traffic between the Chinese Communists and the Vietminh. The French meanwhile had dug in with heavy armor along the Red River delta while reinforcements were mobilized to bolster new positions for a stand against the Vietminh.

Henry Stimson, former Secretary of State under President Hoover and Secretary of War under Presidents Taft, Franklin Roosevelt, and Truman, died at age 83 after having fallen and broken his hip three months earlier. He had been the first statesman of any Western country to demand a crackdown on the aggressors of the 1930's, with his condemnation of Japan's aggression in Manchuria in 1931. He had been ranked by historians as one of the two principal Secretaries of State, along with Edwin Stanton under President Lincoln. As Secretary of War, he had first overseen an Army with only 75,000 men in 1911-13, saw it grow during his second tenure between 1940 and the end of World War II to eight million men.

The latest storm, from the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the Tampa Bay area of Florida, had fizzled out in a wilderness area.

In Baltimore, H. L. Mencken,70, remained in grave condition following a heart attack on October 12. His death had been expected momentarily, according to the report. He would live until 1956.

The North Carolina Democratic executive committee nominated Jeff D. Johnson as a candidate for associate justice of the State Supreme Court in the November 7 general election, rejecting Murray G. James who had been appointed by Governor Kerr Scott to fill the vacancy left by the death of Associate Justice A. A. F. Seawell. Mr. Johnson had managed the unsuccessful primary campaign of Senator Frank Graham and the successful Senate campaign of the late J. Melville Broughton, to whose seat Governor Scott had appointed Mr. Graham, then UNC president, in March, 1949.

On the editorial page, "Urban Redevelopment in Sight" says that for several months, representatives of the State Real Estate Board and the N.C. League of Municipalities had worked out details of an enabling act to permit cities in the state to share in the nationwide urban redevelopment program. The program would enable cities to eliminate costly slum areas and redevelop the land for other uses. It suggests that the program was too important for it to be blocked further by minor differences, urges its adoption by the 1951 Legislature.

"How Much Is a Mayor Worth?" tells of a City Councilman having revived the issue of the salary for the Mayor, having previously favored raising it from $1,200 to $10,000 per year. The piece finds the present salary too meager but the proposed raise too generous. The City Manager received $16,000, but he was responsible for running the business of the City. The Mayor presided over the City Council. But he also presided over the town informally and his extra duties should be recognized in setting pay. It suggests $3,600 as a proper salary and invites comments from readers.

"It Gave a Lovely Light" tells of the death of Edna St. Vincent Millay at age 58, providing several quotes from her work, which had won her the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. At 19, she had written:

I would I were alive again
To kiss the fingers of the rain,
To drink into my eyes the shine
Of every slanting silver line.
To catch the freshened, fragrant breeze
From drenched and dripping apple trees.

It concludes: "The Earth—and humanity, too—has lost a sensitive lover."

A piece from the Salisbury Post, titled "Caveat Emptor!" tells of credit becoming tighter as a result of Government regulation because of the war. It explains the tightening process and why it was needed to stem inflationary pressures. It urges not being too upset about it as it was part of the patriotic sacrifice which everyone had to make for the war.

Bob Sain of The News tells of his hatred for cats, in contradistinction to his wife who loved the critters.

Sample: "While Wife cooed and Cat purred, I sank into an Adams-like revery filled with thoughts of cats tied to railroad tracks and great locomotives bearing down, cats stuffed in tow-sacks and flung tail-over-muzzle into a swollen stream, cats being fed rice pudding heavily spiced with ground glass."

Drew Pearson tells of the average monthly pay for infantrymen in Korea, taking the brunt of the fighting duty, being only $135, compared to $226 for an Air Force combat crewman and $172 for a submarine crewman. He advocates giving the infantry a pay raise commensurate with their hazardous duty, as in earlier times when they received a ten dollar monthly bonus.

Vice-President Alben Barkley took to the air easily but his new wife resisted flying because of a tendency to airsickness. When he had recently gone barnstorming for Democrats, she had stayed behind at their home in Paducah, Ky.

The Federal Farm Mortgage Corp. had sold the mineral rights to oil drilling and uranium mining out from under farm lands on hundreds of farms without the farmers being apprised, leaving them only a fifty percent share of the mineral rights. These farms had gone bankrupt during the Depression and the Government had taken over the mortgages and resold the farms, under mortgages which retained 50 percent rights in the mineral reserves. He provides examples of the practice.

Marquis Childs, still in New Delhi, tells of India still in the process of changing from the old British imperialism to new Western style democracy, with many pessimists believing it would take many years to achieve. The British, for more than a century, had ruled India, often with oppressive authority.

Generally, European colonial power in Asia ruled by superior weaponry and the willingness to use the weapons whenever there was sign of revolt. Humanitarian beliefs and the dynamic of the Communist revolution, however, made that kind of exertion of control impossible in the modern world.

Russia maintained control through promises to transform the abject poverty of the peasant and the city dweller, who did not understand that the promises were false. The Communists would seize the holdings of the top one or two percent to provide for the faithful Communists who would exercise authority. Once they had control with a thoroughly modernized military and police force, putting an end to graft and corruption in government with ruthless efficiency, it was difficult to understand how that authority could be overthrown. The Asiatic did not understand that there was a corruption more sinister than typical graft. By the time the promises were found false by the peasants, it would be too late to do anything about it. Talk of democracy was meaningless to these peasants as its benefits appeared too remote.

Joseph Alsop tells of being informed while recently in Korea that the most important factor at the front was men who could simply stay in place and shoot. The availability of manpower in Korea had been so lacking in the early phases of the war that the foxholes were 60 yards apart, enabling the line always to have a breakthrough somewhere when pressured. General MacArthur had used South Korean manpower in his American divisions in those early months to make up for lack of trained American manpower, especially in the depleted Seventh Division. These replacements had only a few weeks of training in most instances. The move had been bitterly opposed by almost all of the General's subordinates. But the South Koreans filled the gaps adequately, indeed had made the Inchon landing of September 15 possible.

The American military was not getting the adequate manpower into the line and this failing needed urgently to be addressed. The Army was expected to use 1.5 million men to comprise 25 divisions to combat 175 divisions of Soviets, utilizing only three million men. The problem was that the U.S. used 42,000 men in the rear to keep a rifle division of 18,000 men on the line. The Soviets, by contrast, used 6,400 men in the rear to keep 10,800 men on the line. And the U.S. divisions had no more firepower than that of the Russians.

One reason for the differences was that the Russians only had to advance short distances beyond their own borders. Another was that the Russian divisions lived off the country. And a third was that they used medical battalions of only eighty men, which the U.S. would consider callous and inhumane.

Even considering these differences, there should be an effort, he urges, to obtain twice as many men on the line from a division, including in the Navy and Air Force. Re-organizational ruthlessness, he ventures, was needed to achieve these ends. Otherwise, the U.S. would suffer defeat against the Russians in any battle where the available manpower counted.

Tom Schlesinger of The News, in his weekly "Capital Roundup", tells of the U.N. convention defining and outlawing genocide having received the last of the ratifications needed during the week to become effective. Twenty of 43 nations which had signed it had now ratified it, but the U.S. was still not among them, despite having led the convention which adopted the proposal in Paris two years earlier. Senator Frank Graham was a strong backer of the treaty but would be absent when it came up for consideration after the elections. Senator Clyde Hoey opposed it because of its broad terms surrendering power to an international body to determine guilt when only one person was killed or where there was some act which could be interpreted as intimidation or threat to a particular group.

Former UNC star football player Charlie Justice had accidentally bumped into Senator Graham recently at the Congressional Hotel in Washington and told him that he was stiff and a little worried, hoped that the Washington Redskins did not expect too much from him right away as he was not in shape.

Well, get out thar' on the track and run some laps, boy.

He would make his professional debut the following day against the Chicago Cardinals to great expectations by the Redskins fans. His salary had been estimated at between $30,000 and $50,000.

Representative Harold Cooley of North Carolina was flying, mostly at Government expense, with two other members of Congress, including outgoing Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, to the Middle East on an inspection tour, prompting many to wonder why the trip was necessary and why Senator Pepper was included on the junket when his term expired in January.

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