The Charlotte News

Thursday, November 30, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that eighty thousand Communist Chinese troops were attacking in the northeast sector of the front in North Korea, while the northwestern sector, abuzz with enemy activity the day before, was quiet. Maj. General Edward Almond, field commander in the northeast sector, said that his Tenth Corps was suddenly confronted with ten divisions of Chinese troops, six of which, according to intelligence officers, were in the forward attacking force. Some enemy tanks were also in use. U.S. Marines and infantrymen around Changjin reservoir were surrounded and the Marine supply route to Hamhung, cut. The heaviest fighting was three miles northwest of Yudam, above the reservoir.

In the northwest sector, correspondent Hal Boyle reported from aerial observation that the last American troops protecting the retreat across the Chongchon River by the U.S. Eighth Army, which had faced 200,000 men the day before, had pulled back safely through burning Kunu. Fighter planes strafed Chinese troops moving toward the town. Mr. Boyle could spot no Chinese movements, confirming the ground reports of quiet, resulting from the American, British, and Turkish effort checking the Chinese attempt to unhinge the right flank and pin the allied forces against the Yellow Sea coast. The Eighth Army was attempting to establish a new line south of Chongchon and north of Pyongyang.

Speculation for the halt in action on the northwest front ran to allowing supply lines to catch up, to regroup the large fighting forces, or to allow diplomatic efforts to transpire at the U.N. in the wake of Secretary of State Acheson's speech via radio and television the night before, warning of grave consequences to the Chinese for their intervention.

John Hightower reports that increased defense spending was the likely result, according to Government officials, after the speech by Secretary Acheson, warning that the free world had to "prepare for the worst" while hoping for the best in response to the grave world situation. He had said that the country's defense preparations presently were inadequate to meet the threat posed by the Communist world conspiracy.

At the U.N., Russia was expected to veto in the Security Council this date the six-power-sponsored resolution charging Communist China with aggression in Korea and demanding withdrawal of its troops, while also assuring that U.N. forces would not cross the Chinese border. The U.S. planned to press the matter within a day after disposition in the Security Council to the General Assembly, where it was not subject to veto.

The President told a press conference that the nation would not back down in Korea and that the atom bomb would be used if necessary to meet the military situation, leaving it to American military leaders in the field to determine that necessity. Two hours after the conference, the White House clarified that the decision was not left to General MacArthur and that only the President could order use of the weapon. The President also said that it was up to the U.N. to decide whether to deploy U.N. troops over the Manchurian border.

Congress was split over the President's statement that consideration was being given to use of the atomic bomb. Senator Owen Brewster of Maine urged its use against troop concentrations and ammunition dumps. Senator Brewster, relying on scientist Karl Compton, remarked that he did not believe Russia actually had the bomb. Republican Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado, however, felt that it should not be used absent dire necessity. Senator Milton Young of North Dakota, also a Republican, was against its use on Chinese troops, favoring use against only important hard targets. Senator Ralph Flanders of Vermont favored use only upon approval by the U.N. Senator Burnet Maybank of South Carolina, a Democrat, believed that every consideration should be given to its use. Some said that use of the bomb might invite retaliation or surprise attack on the U.S.

News editor Pete McKnight reports of Robert Hanes, head of Wachovia Bank in Winston-Salem and former ERP official in Belgium and West Germany for the previous eighteen months, asserting that use of the atomic bomb might be the only solution to the Far Eastern situation. He urged that the U.N. ought first find the Chinese guilty of aggression in Korea and then give the Chinese a reasonable time to withdraw their troops, failing which would then merit use of the bomb. He also urged that Western Europe could not be neglected in favor of the Far East, without giving the Soviets a green light to invade Western Europe.

The House Ways & Means Committee reached a compromise on the excess profits tax bill, estimated to provide 3.4 billion dollars in new revenue, falling short of the four billion sought by the President. The compromise allowed corporations to have 85 percent of their average earnings during the 1946-49 base period taxed at ordinary corporate rates of 45 percent, instead of the 75 percent proposed by the President, with the 75 percent rate applied to all earnings over 85 percent, and a comprehensive tax ceiling of 67 percent of earnings.

The United Steelworkers union accepted an average 16-cent per hour wage hike from U.S. Steel. The company then announced a 5.5 percent increase in prices.

In Fayetteville, three civilians and two soldiers were found dead in an auto repair garage from carbon monoxide poisoning. Two cars had been in operation during the previous night and their fuel tanks were found empty. One of the dead civilians had come to the garage the previous night to obtain his car which was under repair. The men were listening to a boxing match on the radio when last observed.

Bob Sain of The News tells of the coming fifty years earlier to Charlotte of the horseless carriage, a Locomobile Steamer. The car was delivered on November 30, 1900 to a local doctor by the first automobile salesman of the South. The same man, two years later, drove his new Oldsmobile to Asheville in two days to prove that it could be done. Also in 1902, he created the first hot-rod, stripping his Oldsmobile to its bare essentials, and then racing it at 60 mph along Beattie's Ford Road. In 1903, he drove his Oldsmobile at the head of a Confederate parade in New Orleans.

On the editorial page, "Acheson Explains the Issue" finds that Secretary of State Acheson's speech the previous night had contributed to understanding of the full meaning of the Chinese intervention in Korea. He had branded it an "act of brazen aggression" against the 53 United Nations providing moral and physical support to the Korean effort. He said it proved that the aim of international Communism was to hold and solidify their power over people and territories within their reach.

He warned Russia that because Americans held freedom in such regard, they would fight for it when necessary. He warned the leaders of Communist China that Moscow was using them as dupes and that they were being judged by mankind. He told the American people that the measure of the country's defense was its ability to meet the forces of international Communism and that by that standard, the country was inadequately prepared.

He explained the six-point American foreign policy: support of the U.N.; development of regional organizations, as NATO, with the U.N.; rapid build-up of strength in the free world; economic cooperation; readiness to negotiate on the basis of justice; and firm adherence to principles of democracy.

He did not threaten or take advantage of the anxiety in the land or engage in melodramatic rhetoric. Rather, he had spoken calmly and in earnest, relying on logic and reason to make his case. It finds that it would have been hard to improve on the content of the speech.

"That Home-by-Christmas Remark" finds General MacArthur's suggestion that his statement, that the troops would be home by Christmas once they reached the Yalu River, bringing the war to a close, was jocular in nature, being, if so, a raising of false hopes in a cruel manner. It also questions whether his statements, first on October 20 and then again November 24, that the war was coming to an end were not predictions. It wonders how he expected to protect North Korea if all U.N. fighting troops were to be withdrawn. It concludes that the General had not begun to answer these and other questions which arose from his thoughtless statements the prior Friday while flying back to Tokyo from the kick-off in Korea of the end of the war campaign.

"With Troubled Spirit..." tells of the huge new plant planned for Aiken County, S.C., on the border with Augusta, Georgia, for developing materials for the hydrogen bomb. The moral implications of this new bomb were problematic. It prompts the piece to ask whether man was out to destroy himself.

During the meeting to create the National Council of Churches of Christ in Cleveland during the week, this subject had been discussed. One opinion voiced was that the way to prevent global atomic war was to prevent recurrence of global war, itself. The report of the group said that it was impossible to isolate the atomic bomb or the projected hydrogen bomb as belonging to a different moral category from other weapons, and declared, "with troubled spirit", their use justifiable by the Government.

A piece from the Raleigh News & Observer, titled "McCarthy at Home", tells of a piece appearing in the Nashville Tennessean, by Edwin Bailey, reporting from Wisconsin that of 14 cities in which Senator McCarthy had spoken during the election campaign, Republicans in nine received fewer votes than in 1948. The increase in two of the other five arose from the fact that one was Senator McCarthy's hometown and the other was the home of the successful gubernatorial candidate. A better test, it posits, would come when Senator McCarthy, himself, was up for re-election in 1952.

Bill Sharpe, in his weekly "Turpentine Drippings", snippets from newspapers around the state, provides one from Mrs. Theo Davis of the Zebulon Record, who tells of a friend who told her that her husband always came home singing because it was a good idea to make sure those in the home knew who was approaching, especially late at night, as the woman had a shotgun ready for intruders.

What do you want him to sing?

Holt McPherson of the Shelby Star says that at 45 mph, one should sing "Highways Are Happy Ways", at 55, "I'm But a Stranger Here", at 65, "Nearer My God to Thee", at 75, "When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder", and at 85, "Lord, I'm Coming Home".

What do you sing at 119?

The Goldsboro News-Argus reports of a woman on Halloween having exhausted her candy late in the evening and a couple of stragglers therefore receiving magnesia wafers with the advice from the woman that it was what they needed if they had eaten as much as her son that night. Her husband, finding out about the trick treat, chased the boys down and exchanged a couple of apples for the wafers.

The Camden Chronicle tells of actor Gene Kelly, during an interview, being asked when he started liking girls and responding that it was when he found out that they were not boys.

And so, so, more on.

Drew Pearson tells of every top military man in Washington the previous week looking to the skies expecting a bombing raid, based on a cable from India warning of same against all U.S. cities within 24 hours. Then it was discovered that the sender of the cable was a U.S. tourist stopping off in India, who sent it November 23, Thanksgiving Day. One officer speculated that the sender was probably drunk.

American ordnance officers in Korea decided, after observing captured Russian weapons in Korea, that the Russian military strength had been underestimated by as much as fifty percent. They estimated that Russia had sent about two billion dollars worth of equipment to Korea, more than that spent by the U.S. on NATO aid. The markings on the weaponry was traced to factories previously thought to be producing civilian goods. The most effective weapons were heavy mortars and burp guns. Most of the burp guns were marked with 1950 manufacture dates, refuting the Russian claim that they had sent no weapons to North Korea since 1945. He reviews comparisons between specific weapons made by Russia and the closest American analogs.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of the President facing reality after the midterm election results, abandoning two of the principal parts of the Fair Deal, the Brannan agricultural plan and the compulsory health insurance plan. They were dead anyway before election day but his decision to abandon them bore on foreign and domestic policy. Senator Taft had command potentially of a majority of the new Senate, comprised of conservative, isolationist Republicans, moderate Republicans, and conservative Southern Democrats. The President could ignore the first group as he could not work with them. But he could work with the moderates and most of the Southerners, the latter group, provided he would abandon the parts of the Fair Deal deemed by them most objectionable, especially the civil rights program. The Republican moderates would want replacement of Secretary of State Acheson.

By according these wishes, the President could salvage the rest of his domestic and foreign policy. Otherwise, the worst could be expected from the new Congress, troublesome in such a dangerous time.

Marquis Childs tells of the uniqueness in history of General MacArthur, that his struggle with the Pentagon over Korea was nothing new in his career. It was a climactic struggle, as Korea, itself, was a climax in his career. The latest manifestation of the struggle was whether the Chinese troop concentrations across the border in Manchuria should be bombed. The Joint Chiefs were reluctant to grant such authorization as it would inevitably mean war with China, something to be avoided at all costs because of the vast reservoir of manpower from which the Chinese had to draw.

Nearly twenty years earlier, General MacArthur had been chief of staff of the Army and so he was a member of the exclusive Pentagon club. His advice therefore was hard to reject. Chief of staff of the Army, General Lawton Chiles, and chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Omar Bradley, both found the request reasonable, but chief of Naval operations, Admiral Lawton Chiles, and head of the Air Force, General Hoyt Vandenberg, opposed it.

General MacArthur's promise to bring the troops home by Christmas had resulted in private explosions at the Pentagon, especially from the Navy, which said that there would not be enough ships to transport the troops home in such short order even if fighting ended. The greatest dismay came from State Department planners, who had considered it necessary to keep some troops in Korea after the end of the shooting war, to restore order and insure democratic self-government in the face of the continued presence of thousands of armed Communist guerrillas throughout Korea.

While General MacArthur was a great military man, he was often a wayward politician-diplomat, recognizing no superior, "living out a drama that owes not a little to his own romantic imagination." While he had won much praise and hero worship in his career, it never seemed enough.

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