The Charlotte News

Friday, November 24, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that U. N. forces attacked on all fronts this date in an effort to end the war in Korea before Christmas, advancing as much as eight miles in two pincer movements comprising 100,000 men, aimed at squeezing the enemy into a trap primarily in the northwest sector, 45 to 60 miles south of the Manchurian border, as well as in the northeast sector.

The advance in the northwest reached to within two miles of Chongju, vital road hub, 53 air miles from Sinuiju, gateway to the Chinese armies in that sector. Four weeks earlier, the 24th Division had reached to within 14 miles of the Manchurian border in that sector before being forced to withdraw by the Chinese.

Advancing troops in the northwest sector found 30 wounded American prisoners, newly released by the enemy, only three being ambulatory. They were members of the U.S. Eighth Cavalry Regiment, ambushed near Unsan by the Chinese early in November. They were in addition to the 27 released on Wednesday. A letter from the Chinese accompanied the prisoners, instructing the American commander to send one unarmed litter-jeep with a large white flag on its right fender, in which case the jeep would be permitted to shuttle the men back to American lines. Two prisoners brought the letter to the American lines during the night. The returned prisoners provided reporters with details of the Unsan attack. They said, as had the 27 earlier released prisoners, that they were not given indoctrination lectures while captive.

South Korean troops of the First Division began closing a ring around Taechon, a road center, less than 50 miles from the Suiho hydroelectric plant on the Yalu River, with one element reaching to within three miles of the city at Singsang.

General MacArthur was at the front to direct the action and then flew over the Communist front along the Yalu River on his return flight to Tokyo, announcing that everything was going according to schedule, with light U.N. losses in the first day of the offensive. He said that "new Red armies" had joined the 100,000 Chinese and North Korean troops in the mountains of the northwest. Front line dispatches said that the enemy troops put up little or no resistance along the 80-mile front in that sector, while General MacArthur reported "stubborn but failing resistance", apparently referring to the northeast sector, which was the right pincer of the movement. He said to tell the troops that they were going home to eat Christmas dinner once they reached the Yalu.

Hot damn. Doug says we're going home. Let's go, boys.

The report notes that it appeared that few men could be returned home by Christmas even if they started presently.

That lying son of a bitch.

U.S. warplanes flew cover for the advance, bombing Sinuiju and Kangye in North Korea.

The U.S. reactivated its Seventh Army in Europe and American zone High Commissioner in Germany, John J. McCloy, speaking to students in Kiel, called on Germans to face up to the task of defending European freedom. The Seventh, which had fought in southern France in 1944, was the only reactivated army in Europe since demobilization after the war.

West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, speaking at Bonn with French High Commissioner Andre Francois-Poncent, blamed German indecision anent its contribution to Western defense on the lack of decision and disagreement among the Western powers as to the extent of its expected contribution.

The nine-member Communist Chinese delegation arrived via BOAC at Idlewild Airport in New York to participate in discussions in the General Assembly's political committee at the U.N. re the Russian-sponsored claim of American aggression in Formosa, based on the President sending the Seventh Fleet into Formosa strait to prevent the Korean war from spreading to Formosa. The delegation had been invited to participate in Security Council discussions of that issue and the issue of Chinese intervention in Korea.

The U.S. had proposed to a dozen other nations a seven-point peace treaty for Japan to end officially World War II in the Pacific, including a proposal that American and other forces assume post-treaty responsibilities of Japan's security. Other details were not included in the brief late bulletin.

Ten defendants accused of contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions by HUAC on whether they had ever been Communists, entered pleas of not guilty in Federal court in Washington. Defense attorneys were provided until December 19 to file pretrial motions.

Governor Dewey said that human failure appeared to be the cause of the Long Island Railway crash of two trains on Wednesday, taking 77 lives. He said that State Public Service Commission findings showed that the colliding train had missed a warning signal a mile and a half before the collision, as well as one stop signal, as it traveled at full speed between 60 and 65 mph. Tests after the accident showed brakes in good working order on both trains. The brakes had been applied 850 feet ahead of the stopped train, not nearly enough travel time for the colliding train to reach a stop. The motorman of the colliding train had been killed.

The nation set a record for accidental deaths during Thanksgiving, from 6:00 p.m. Wednesday through midnight Thursday, including the 77 killed in the railway accident at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, with a total death toll of 195, surpassing the previous year's record of 181 and far ahead of the 114 of 1948. Traffic accidents accounted for 89 of the deaths, compared to a record 123 in 1949. During the first nine months of 1950, 24,580 traffic deaths had been recorded, 90 every 24 hours. Illinois and Pennsylvania led the list of states for most traffic fatalities with nine each, followed by Texas with eight.

Outgoing Senator Frank Graham of North Carolina had an appointment with the President this date amid reports that he was to be offered the position of first director of the National Science Foundation, created the prior May.

The CIO re-elected Philip Murray as its president.

The Chinese Nationalist Defense Ministry reported that Senator William Knowland of California and his wife had missed by several hours being hit by Chinese Communist shelling of the island of Quemoy the prior Tuesday.

You can find a way to blame President Truman for that if you think hard enough. Or Congressman Kennedy.

On page 15-A, Cora Carlyle begins a fourteen-part series on how women could hunt down and trap men.

Isn't that encouraging of sexual harassment?

On the editorial page, "Peace Rumors Fill the Air" comments on the return by the Chinese Communists of 27 American prisoners on Thanksgiving as peace rumors abounded along the front while 100,000 Chinese troops continued orderly withdrawal.

What these actions meant would probably be told on arrival at the U.N. by the nine-member Chinese Communist delegation to discuss the Russian-sponsored claim that the U.S. had been an aggressor in Formosa.

But it appeared clear that the threat of major war in the Far East for the nonce had been lifted, though not completely dissolved. It urges caution until the conditions for peace were enunciated by the Chinese delegation.

"Beyond the Call of Duty" praises the response of the medical profession to the train wreck on Long Island on Wednesday evening. Within minutes of the crash, doctors were on the scene, setting up emergency medical tents for surgery and administration of sedatives and blood. There were medical heroes by the score.

After the police had pried apart the two telescoped coaches, two doctors, Paul Soffer and Arnold Sanders, crawled inside to tend to the dying and injured. For two to four hours, depending on the report, the two men inched their way through a tangled morass of dead bodies and body parts to reach those who had survived. Many who came out of the accident owed their lives to the two men.

"John Slear's New Job" finds that the news that Mr. Slear had become the new secretary of Senator-elect Willis Smith, leaving the same position with Charlotte Congressman Hamilton Jones, had produced mixed emotions, disappointment that he was leaving the Congressman while being pleased that he was joining Mr. Smith. He had served previously as secretary to the late Congressman Alfred Bulwinkle and had many friends in the area. He could now serve the state and was well qualified to do so.

"Grabbits and Atomshiks" borrows an old W. J. Cash phrase, addressing the piece to "our little readers", imparting tidbits of information the editors had gleaned from Funk & Wagnall Co. regarding the growing American language.

An "ear-owner" was someone who was a proper target for radio advertising. A "grabbit" was a typical hoarder. An "atomshik" was Moscow's name for a fanatical advocate of atomic warfare. "Ostrichism" meant excessive concealment of things already known or easily accessible. "Beefcake" was the masculine version of "cheesecake". "Brink" meant a million dollars. "Insectocution" referred to the electrocution of insects.

It ventures that such entries likely would not find a permanent place in the language.

They were probably correct, with the exception of "beefcake" and "ostrichism".

We would have thought, incidentally, that "grabbit" related to "cheesecake", but apparently not.

Does it explain, definitively, the meaning of the phrases "semolina pilchard" and "crabalocker fishwife"? both of which would come into the public's lexicon, at least that of those young and young at heart, precisely 17 years from this date. Do you remember?

...  — — —  ...

A piece from the Christian Science Monitor, titled "Meet the Isolationist Challenge", discusses Senator Taft's statement following his re-election, that Europe could not and should not be defended because of the exorbitant cost involved to the U.S. While he had a point in suggesting review of the Administration policy of aid to Europe, to suggest that the commitment to defend Europe was done in secret and that once that commitment had been made, it could now be withdrawn, was outrageous.

NATO was not formed in secret. Its purpose was to assure Western Europe of U.S. military aid and to encourage pooling of Western European resources to provide deterrent against Communist aggression. The piece addresses a series of questions to Senator Taft with the aim of showing the absurdity of pulling back from the commitment.

There could be no cheap war and not to rearm Europe could result in war, which inevitably would again have to involve the U.S. unless the battlefield would be allowed to extend eventually to U.S. shores. It would also be morally wrong to desert friends and the principle of supporting peace by resisting lawlessness.

Drew Pearson tells of the State Department having sought to have General MacArthur issue a statement similar to the President's, that the U.S. had no military designs on China, but the General had refused. Also, Russian radio was waging a propaganda campaign to convince the Chinese that the U.S. was about to bomb their cities, prompting the President's statement.

He notes that U.S. intelligence continued to be puzzled by the withdrawal of Chinese forces in North Korea in the face of U.S. advances. They either had no quarrel with the U.S. or were luring American troops into a trap.

Arthur Sweetser was a pioneer in forming a world peace organization, having worked for the League of Nations under President Wilson and now serving in the U.N. He had known Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Sr., a principal opponent of the League, and so found it ironic recently to hear Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., the grandson of the late Senator, battling in a U.N. committee for more funds for the organization. He sent Senator Lodge a note saying that it proved the world made progress and learned from the past.

Secretary of the Air Force Thomas Finletter recently was testing the new ham radio military amateur network which the Defense Department was organizing for emergencies. He was trying to talk to Maj. General Lyman Whitten but only rough static came through, sounding at one point as raspberries, causing Secretary Finletter to ad lib that it was similar to the conversation the two last had.

Top defense officials were holding secret meetings to prepare their budget estimates for the President. Estimates had been trimmed about ten billion dollars, to produce a total military budget of about 45 billion, to pay for 80 Air Force groups, eighteen Army divisions and 12 to 15 aircraft carriers, two divisions and ten groups fewer than originally planned.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss the object of the Chinese and Russians in Korea. The Chinese behavior had been puzzling, first entering the fight, then withdrawing, without readily explicable stimulus for either event. Ostensibly, they appeared genuinely disturbed about their power plants and the Manchurian border being breached. The propaganda issuing from Communist China urged pushing the "American interventionists" into the sea, suggesting preparation of the nation for general war.

But the evidence on the battlefield was to the contrary, as the Chinese had put up little resistance since the first attack after they intervened in the fighting. Whether they had, as estimated, as many as 60,000 troops in Korea was doubtful. And those troops were now only receiving slight reinforcement. Yet they could only hope to defeat the U.N. forces with vastly superior numbers as they were outgunned by land, sea, and air.

The State Department viewed the vacillation as indicative of genuine panic in Peking, sedulously cultivated by the Soviets, regarding the belief that the U.N. fighting to the Manchurian border was prelude to invasion of China. State believed that the best way to prevent war from spreading was to have General MacArthur hold the troops 10 to 20 miles from the border and, through the U.N., offer a demilitarized buffer zone along the border, with assurances that there would be no bombing of Chinese supply lines in China.

But the Defense Department held the contrary view, embraced by General MacArthur, that driving to the border was the only way to dissuade the Chinese from concentrated invasion, that such an invasion would result in massive bombing of Manchuria.

The National Security Council had considered both views and appeared to have determined that the Defense approach was the better.

The Alsops conclude that the probable result was that the Soviets would direct the Chinese to continue the fight, on the notion that it would occupy U.S. forces to the extent that Russia would have a virtually free hand to operate in other places, primarily in Western Europe. It was thus unlikely that negotiations with China at the U.N. would get anywhere. Such a view was reinforced by the fact that the chief Chinese Communist representative, en route to the U.N., was trained in Moscow and spoke Russian.

Marquis Childs tells of the latest consumer price index, to be released the following Monday, likely to show prices at or close to the all-time high reached in 1948, as the wholesale price index, harbinger of consumer prices, had already eclipsed the record.

Economists saw no end to the trend, even if there would inevitably be a temporary drop during the winter. Cotton futures prices had already hit an all-time high and rubber futures for December were as high as 92 cents per pound, whereas a year earlier they had been at 20 cents.

The war in Korea, rearmament and concomitant speculation were largely responsible for the rise in prices.

The Administration feared, however, that controls would be hard to administer in peacetime. The Administration was having trouble even filling the small number of jobs administering the limited regulations presently in force. The President could not find a director for Price Stabilization and though Cyrus Ching had agreed to be chairman of the Wage Stabilization Board, eight members of the Board had yet to be named. Consumer protest against price and wage controls in peacetime would be loud, producing black markets and the need to catch violators. Such a black market had already developed in steel products.

With the Democrats thus caught between a rock and a hard place, the Republicans ordinarily could sit back and watch the situation get worse, blaming the Democrats for the mess. But since the national welfare was at stake, the average citizen might expect something more than such passive conduct for political advantage.

A letter writer finds that the Republican opponent to Congressman Hamilton Jones had narrowly lost because of "appeasement" by Democrats who voted Republican on national issues but continued to vote Democratic at the state level.

A letter writer complains of the conditions at Good Samaritan Hospital in Charlotte, at which he had recently been a patient. He urges a better hospital.

We agree.

A letter writer from McBee, S.C., explains the hierarchy of the Catholic Church and what it represented. He could not understand the hostility to the Catholic faith as it was built on belief in Jesus Christ, just as Protestant Christianity. As a Catholic, he invites his Protestant friends and ministers to look closely at the Catholic Church and its teachings before criticizing it.

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