The Charlotte News

Saturday, October 28, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the North Korean forces, aided by Chinese Communists, fought with renewed fury this date, seeking to stem the allied advance to the Manchurian border, including action far behind the line of advance. A company of U.S. Marines was cut to pieces in an ambush by about a thousand North Korean troops near Kojo, 30 miles southeast of Wonsan on the east coast. They were part of a column sent south to deal with 4,000 previously bypassed North Korean troops who had emerged from the hills. Tanks and reinforcements were sent to the area and the town was set aflame by Marine fighter planes. A U.S. Eighth Army spokesman, however, said that the American and British troops were expected to reach the Manchurian frontier within a week from their positions 45 to 55 miles south. He said that it was hoped that the twin drives along the two flanking coasts would end the war.

A South Korean battalion was still holding its position on the border after reaching the Yalu River on Thursday, though later reported to be withdrawing after its supply lines had been cut by the Communists to the south. Ground commander Lt. General Walton Walker had flown to the Yalu this date and found, however, the South Koreans still present.

Two Chinese Communist prisoners specifically identified their units fighting with the North Korean army, saying that they were told by headquarters that they were going to Korea to fight to protect their land and nation. Other prisoners said that 30,000 to 60,000 Chinese troops were engaged in the fight, but intelligence officers expressed skepticism at the accuracy of the claim.

U.N. troops would be under strict orders, said an Army source, not to create any border incidents along the Yalu.

Correspondent William Jorden, with the U.S. First Corps in North Korea, tells of the discovery of the bodies of 30 American prisoners of war in and near a northbound train 30 miles east of Anju. Nine were badly burned and the other 21 had been shot. Two survivors, so emaciated that they could barely utter thanks to their rescuers, were found by South Korean troops. The train had been attacked and set on fire by American planes. The fleeing North Koreans had shot the Americans and then the air strike had set the train on fire. There was no sign that the Americans had been bound or that torture had taken place. No North Korean dead were found.

India's Ambassador to Peiping confirmed this date that Chinese Army units had in fact been ordered to advance into Tibet but had no confirmation that they had yet entered the country. No reply had yet been received to the Indian diplomatic note to the Chinese Government, expressing regret and surprise at the invasion order. An Indian spokesperson said that the policy of recommending admission to the U.N. for Communist China would have to be reviewed as a result of the action. As India shared a border with Tibet, it had taken special interest in the matter.

The French aircraft carrier Dixmude moved 60 miles upriver to Saigon in Indo-China this date, carrying the largest cargo of American aid yet to reach the French in the country. The cargo included 40 Hellcat fighters with replacement parts and munitions.

In Washington, Secretary of Defense Marshall appealed to the other defense ministers of NATO to be "realistic in the appreciation of the present critical situation", as they shaped the combined force of the twelve member nations for defense against Communism. He urged that the gap in effective defenses had to be closed as quickly as possible to deter Soviet aggression. (This report uses for the first time the familiar acronym "NATO", instead of the previously customary "Atlantic Pact".)

General Eisenhower said that he was prepared to take any uniformed assignment the President might give him, but said the President had not made any direct proposal for him to accept supreme command of the NATO defense forces and that he believed that the stage of the proceedings had not reached the point of selecting a commander.

Government manpower experts said that during the ensuing five to ten years, most young men between 18 and 22 would probably have to spend two or three years in military service.

The U.S. proposed a 250-million dollar, five-year economic aid program for the Philippines, contingent on the Government making sweeping reforms. The Philippines was in the midst of a major economic crisis after the Government had failed to deal effectively with postwar problems, including inefficiency and widespread government corruption.

The threat of a nationwide strike by Bell Telephone Co. equipment workers emerged anew, set to begin November 9. The strike ultimately would involve most of the 300,000 workers.

In Chicago, a 17-year old girl, who had spent the previous two years in a home for dependent children, was being married to a 25-year old truck driver in a "Cinderella" wedding of her dreams, decorated by local florists and catered by other girls at the home, with the help of the local Soroptimist Club. Strangers had also contributed money after reading of her story.

Hope the slipper does not fall off on Halloween.

On the editorial page, "Moscow Mousetrap?" finds the American people not getting excited about the news of possible intervention in the Korean war by the Communist Chinese because it had been expected since the start of the war.

The only confirmation of the participation thus far had come from South Korean interpreters after interrogation of Chinese prisoners of war, as well as from an American military adviser attached to South Korean forces. The latter had said that 62 Chinese dead had been counted near Unsan and that many others had been wounded. A South Korean military official had suggested that North Korean divisions may have merely integrated some Chinese soldiers into their depleted units.

The piece regards it as not reasonable that China would join the fight in a full-scale manner at this stage as the North Korean cause was now hopeless, with its army destroyed and its territory occupied. Such intervention would inevitably prove costly for Chinese troops. Furthermore, such action would preclude Communist China from acceptance to the U.N. and would alienate its friends in the Far East.

But, it cautions, Communist strategy was not always reasonable. It might be that Russia wanted to tie down U.N. forces in Korea so that Western Europe would be ripe for quick Russian conquest in 1951.

It concludes that if the Communist Chinese joined the fight, then there was nothing to do but meet it head-on, bearing in mind that Russia could not be defeated by fighting in China.

"Making Democracy Work Abroad" finds that Americans did not always realize that the particular form of democracy which evolved in the country had come about from the peculiar circumstances surrounding its birth and could not easily be transferred abroad. While not subject therefore to being transplanted directly to places like West Germany, the U.S. could lend a hand in making democracy work there on the West Germans' own terms.

One example was newspapers. Traditionally, prior to the Nazis when there was a free press, newspapers had merely been party organs. It had been the accepted practice to editorialize in the news columns and to use the whole newspaper to advance the party's agenda. When the occupation authorities began licensing newspapers postwar, rigid rules based on American press principles were imposed, separating news and editorial comment and requiring objective reporting. The German people had liked the new system, as proved by the fact that when the restrictions were lifted and party organs again began to spring up, few had done well while the newspapers which continued to obey the American principles had maintained their circulation and prestige.

The State Department had brought to the U.S. groups of German journalists to study American journalism. One was currently participating in a seminar at Columbia. If the program, it ventures, resulted in a free and reliable press, the appropriation of the small amount of funding by the State Department would pay richer dividends than millions spent abroad in other ways.

"New Life for Our Forests" approves the Board of the State Department of Conservation & Development having recommended the program proposed by the dean of the Duke University School of Forestry to curtail forest fires in the state. Most forest fires were started by humans and obedience to a small list of rules would prevent most of them. Few were started in nature by lightning or spontaneous combustion. As forestry was a prime industry of the state, it was necessary to preserve the forests. Thus, it hopes the program would be adopted by the Legislature in 1951.

Drew Pearson, "en route", tells of the most vicious campaign being waged in the West being that between Congressman Richard Nixon and Congresswoman Helen Gahagan Douglas for the Senate seat of retiring Sheridan Downey. Were she to be successful, Ms. Douglas would be the second woman to enter the Senate by election, the other having been Margaret Chase Smith of Maine. But the big ranchers, the utilities, and oilmen, joined by some reactionary Democrats, had waged one of the most skillful and cut-throat campaigns against her which he had ever witnessed. Nothing was too vicious to say against Ms. Douglas and the most unfair statement was that she was pro-Communist.

The opposition had created a "pink sheet" distorting her voting record to make it appear that she was simpatico with radical Congressman Vito Marcantonio of New York. It ignored the fact that Ms. Douglas proposed some powerful and constructive legislation, such as the Douglas-McMahon bill to create the Atomic Energy Commission and the Public Housing bill, for which she had fought tirelessly. She had also fought for aid to Korea from within the Foreign Affairs Committee and for economic and military aid to Europe. Meanwhile, Mr. Nixon had voted with Mr. Marcantonio in opposition to aid to Korea, which lost by a single vote. He had also voted with the New York Congressman to cut 1949 military aid to Western Europe in half. Such votes inconsonant with Ms. Douglas being sympathetic to Communism, however, were not being made known in the race.

Instead, the big ranchers, opposing the 160-acre limitation on reclamation which Ms. Douglas favored, along with the utilities, who wanted private distribution rights of public power which Ms. Douglas wanted to retain for the Government, plus tidelands oil interests, which Ms. Douglas wanted to retain in Government hands, were the actual issues motivating the campaign against her, not anti-Communism.

It was the same type of campaign which had been waged against Senators Frank Graham in North Carolina, Charles Tobey in New Hampshire, and Elbert Thomas in Utah.

He finds that Congressman Nixon had some good points, including his persistence in the prosecution of Alger Hiss for perjury for his statements before the Grand Jury in December, 1948 growing from the Hiss-Chambers inquiry before HUAC of which Mr. Nixon was a member, but adds that the brand of negative politics he was using in the Senate race would not help him with the American electorate.

That would prove to be possibly the truest understatement of the century.

California and Arizona were voting to determine whether to legalize gambling and the gamblers were likely to lose.

The Kefauver crime investigating committee had learned that the slot-machine industry was planning to send a lobbying group to Washington to try to defeat the pending anti-slot machine bill to ban their shipment to states which had outlawed them. Senator George Malone of Nevada had filibustered the bill long enough to delay further consideration of it until after the elections, to afford time for the underworld to apply pressure. Senator Malone made the filibuster in the name of states' rights, but Nevada stood to gain the most from the bill because it was the only state where slot machines were legal, and, moreover, the bill actually bolstered states' rights by honoring their laws. Two different versions had passed the House and Senate and so the bills had to be reconciled. Only then had the underworld suddenly taken the measure seriously. Senator Malone had said nothing against it in committee and only began his opposition after it had passed both chambers.

Stewart Alsop, in Columbus, O., again discusses the Senate race between incumbent Senator Robert Taft and State Auditor Joe Ferguson, finding Senator Taft facing a surprisingly stiff challenge from someone who was no more than a political mediocrity. Both men were honorable and Senator Taft ought be seen as providing the kind of intelligent conservative leadership required for the country, willing to accept some change grudgingly but never welcoming change. Yet, he was not a sure bet in the race.

Registration in Ohio was up 20 percent, a large increase for a midterm election. Republicans claimed it was the result of GOP determination while labor and Democrats claimed it as the adverse reaction to Senator Taft's politics and Taft-Hartley.

The fact that the race was so close suggested that the brand of conservatism adopted by the Senator was no longer in step with the times. While his stands on domestic issues as housing, health, education, and amendments to Taft-Hartley provided moderation, other conservatives in the party, as Senators Wherry, Bricker, Kem, and Jenner, rejected such moderation. Senator Taft accused the Administration of a "strange sympathy for Communism" but also voted fairly consistently with Congressman Vito Marcantonio of the left-leaning American Labor Party on foreign policy, as did the other conservative Republicans.

The fact that his conservatism had become so unpopular had led him to stoop to devices unworthy of his integrity, as his implied defense of McCarthyism and his charge that the President's veto of the McCarran anti-subversive bill was pro-Communist. Furthermore, because the conservative challenge was inadequate, the Democratic Party was tending increasingly to the sort of mediocrity represented by Mr. Ferguson's candidacy.

Robert C. Ruark, in Chicago, tells of strolling through an unsavory part of the city, called Strip Row, where there were strip clubs, horse race betting, prostitution, bars full of hustlers, and freely available cocaine and marijuana sales. The boss of the district was police captain Tommy Harrison, who was being investigated by the Kefauver crime investigating committee.

Captain Daniel Gilbert, Democratic candidate for sheriff, told the committee how he had amassed a fortune of $370,000 on a police captain's pay. The committee told him to return after the elections with his financial records.

At the end of the week, Chicago's longtime political boss and former Mayor from 1933-47, Ed Kelly, had died, taking away much of the heat from the part of the investigation into vote-stealing.

He regards it as the pattern for such sudden turns of morality and demands for airing of evil. Accusation and threats flew as sensational stories piled up, until the public became numb and finally forgot the whole thing.

Tom Schlesinger, in his weekly "Capital Roundup", tells of the majority of the North Carolina Congressional delegation having voted more often with Senator Taft's bloc of Republicans in Congress than with other Democrats on key Administration issues. Senator Clyde Hoey swayed most of the House delegation, while Senator Frank Graham led the liberal forces, supported, however, only by Congressmen Charles Deane and Harold Cooley. The moderates, including Charlotte's Hamilton Jones, leaned more heavily toward the Republicans than the Fair Deal. He provides a breakdown of the votes in the delegation on several issues, including a substitute for Taft-Hartley, the minimum wage bill, low-interest loans to cooperatives, and the Kerr natural gas deregulation bill which passed but was vetoed by the President.

No one in the delegation had voted for the FEPC bill. No one in the delegation opposed the Point Four program for technological assistance to underdeveloped nations. The Korean aid bill was opposed by only three members and sufficient funding for the Marshall Plan, by only two members.

Senator Hoey had vowed to fight cotton export quotas being imposed by the Agriculture Department. Cotton had dropped by as much as three cents per pound since announcement of the curbs, imposed to protect supplies for domestic needs following a short cotton crop of the prior season.

Capitol Hill sources said that there were real doubts as to which candidate would win the Senate races in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Ohio, Missouri, Iowa, Utah, Indiana, Oklahoma, Colorado and Idaho. Likewise, both parties had enough House members in trouble to upset predictions.

The resignation of former UNC football star and now Washington Redskin Charlie Justice from the North Carolina Medical Foundation had started a move to get him to work for Senator-nominate Willis Smith, on the belief that he would assure his re-election in four years when the unexpired term of the late Senator J. Melville Broughton expired. Mr. Justice would receive $5,000 per year as a consultant for Wilson Sporting Goods Co.

The heaviest mail to Congressional offices was from people wanting out of the reserves, a request on which they were not getting much sympathy.

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