The Charlotte News

Monday, December 11, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General MacArthur had flown to Korea to examine the situation at the fronts in the northwest and northeast sectors. It came as the last of the 25,000 Marines and infantrymen, who had been caught in a trap by the onslaught of Communist Chinese in the northeast sector around Changjin reservoir, moved down the cold, winding mountain road onto the Hamhung coastal plain where they were to be evacuated. The 50-mile retreat, begun November 28, had been the longest in Marine Corps history. The Marines estimated that they killed 15,000 Chinese troops in breaking out of the series of traps. Correspondent Jack MacBeth reports that the Marines said that the Communists had been so chewed up as to have been "liquidated" as an effective fighting force.

The northwest front was relatively quiet.

General MacArthur reported to the press after returning to Tokyo that the U.N. command was in excellent shape and had high morale, despite the heavy dose of fighting during the previous two weeks since he had initiated the November 24 "end-of-the-war" offensive. He said that all allied units were intact and the losses inflicted on the enemy had been "staggering", estimated to be as high as ten to one by comparison to allied losses. He said that allied casualties had been greatly exaggerated. The full statement is reprinted.

The Marine Corps announced that the First Marine Division suffered more than 30 percent casualties in the fight to break out of the trap, suggesting 6,000 to 7,000 casualties, including those suffering from frostbite.

At the U.N., the thirteen Asian and Middle Eastern nations proposing that China agree to stop its advance at the 38th parallel to end the war, met behind closed doors and were expected to submit a new proposal later in the day to the General Assembly's political committee. The Indian delegate who led the effort said that he had heard nothing from the Chinese as to whether the initial proposal would be acceptable. It was not clear what the new plan would entail.

Senate Republicans failed to reach any consensus on whether to support the proposal by Senator Irving Ives of New York that Secretary of State Acheson resign.

The President continued to consider declaring a national emergency, after which controls on prices and wages might follow, and he asked Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress to discuss the matter with him.

The Congress passed a three-month extension of rent control and sent it to the President for signature.

In Singapore, British troops moved in to quell disturbances among a mob of Moslems protesting the court action to return custody of a 13-year old Dutch girl to her mother, and removing her from her new Moslem husband, after having been given in the marriage by the girl's Malayan foster mother following only three days of knowing the man. The appeal was being heard in the matter before the Supreme Court. The crowd threatened to kidnap the girl and burn the convent where she was being kept pending the final court decision.

Chief of the Associated Press bureau in Singapore, Tom Masterson, was injured in the mob action. Friendly natives picked him up and took him to his residence. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Larry Allen had been with Mr. Masterson at the time he was injured, but was missing. He had been captured by the Italians in 1942 and later released.

In Hollywood, the lawyer for gambler Mickey Cohen was shot in the neck and killed on the front steps of his Laurel Canyon home. The bullet exited from the back of his head. He had been the victim of an arson attempt in August, 1949. He was the third Cohen lieutenant killed since 1948 and two more were missing and thought dead. Mr. Cohen had survived six murder attempts, including an explosion which blew away most of his West Los Angeles home.

The National Production Authority announced that in January and February manufacturers would have to reduce consumption of natural rubber by 28 percent. The cutback would be made up by additional supplies of synthetic rubber. The agency said that a new passenger car tire required ten pounds of rubber plus fabric and bead wire, while a recap used but five pounds of camelback, five percent natural rubber.

But won't the camelback have humps in it when you drive through the desert on it?

The wholesale price of eggs declined for the first time in more than a month on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. What was the price in China?

Actor Robert Montgomery married socialite Elizabeth Harkins in Sag Harbor, N.Y., following his recent divorce from actress Elizabeth Allen, his wife of 22 years.

On the editorial page, "Telling the World about America" relates of the Common Council for American Unity, which for 30 years had worked to integrate new immigrants to American life, now undertaking to use the ties to immigrants to stimulate letter writing to relatives and friends in the Communist world to combat the effects of Communist propaganda. The Council had undertaken a fund-raising campaign to raise $250,000 to reach the 35 million first and second generation Americans for the purpose of educating them as to how they could combat Communism in their letters abroad.

"Choosing Our Friends" finds that it must have required soul-searching for Senator Paul Douglas, a liberal, to say that he was willing to take his friends now wherever they could be found, whether a Tito or a Franco. The piece agrees to a point but warns also that it was worth remembering the advice of the Atlanta Journal that the Soviets had been allies during the late war and that in choosing allies, it was wise therefore to look for those with the same basic interests and convictions cherished by Americans.

"Presidential Indignity" tells of reading with despair the report of the President's outraged letter, o contrare, to music critic Paul Hume, after he gave a bad review to the operatic recital of First Daughter, Margaret. It saw the outburst not as the product of strain which the President had been under, with the war and the death of his friend, press secretary Charles G. Ross, the previous Tuesday, the day of the concert. Rather, the piece characterizes the letter as representative of the "marks of a small man" who was petulant, churlish, and often given to use of opprobrious language.

The American people were willing to forgive a great many things in their Presidents as long as the dignity of the Presidency was retained.

The real tragedy, it concludes, was the timing of the letter, when leadership was most needed. Instead, the leader had penned a note "in the language of a Missouri mule skinner."

You priggish little... Why, you're no better than Pegler, the guttersnipe.

"State Reorganization Needed" favors establishment of a State commission to study reorganization of State Government, similar to that undertaken by the Hoover Commission with respect to the Federal Government. A report by a Duke University political science professor had demonstrated the need for it. Governor Kerr Scott had sent copies of the professor's report to the members of the General Assembly.

A piece from the Asheville Citizen, titled "These Days Are Tough", finds present winters far worse than winters of old, memories to the contrary notwithstanding. The steam pipes never burst in earlier times and the electric heater never went on the blink. Coal never ran out because there was no bin, and the back porch always produced another cord of wood.

The horse needed a blanket but not antifreeze and the buggy did not need chains to get 'em up. The wind howled but it did not knock down the radio or tv aerials. And a cough was remedied by syrup, with no need for histamines, pro or anti.

It concludes: "The old days were a cinch. These are tough."

You did not discuss the old days' lack of indoor plumbing though, especially in winter, or the manifold diseases which would probably do you in before reaching your majority, meaning that war was not that bad of an option.

Drew Pearson tells of Admiral Forrest Sherman, chief of naval operations, having explained to the House Armed Services Committee the prior week that the military situation was worse than after Pearl Harbor, with the Seventh Infantry Division in Korea cut to pieces. He believed that evacuation of the northeast sector would be required and that the Navy could handle the job, albeit possibly with some losses. Committee members were influenced by the testimony to insist on an increased rate of military production.

The column recommends four Republicans for the basis of formation of a coalition government: Paul Hoffman, former head administrator of ERP; Lewis Strauss, former secretary to then overseas Food Administrator Herbert Hoover after World War I, a World War II Admiral and recently retired from the AEC; Charles Taft, brother of Senator Robert Taft; General Wild Bill Donovan, former head of the OSS who had been touted by some to become Secretary of Defense instead of General Marshall, albeit not liked by the President.

Bald Senator Eugene Millikin of Colorado accused Senator Owen Brewster of trying to cover his bald head with comb-overs, after the latter referred to bald-headed old timers. Senator Millikin found Senator Taft, however, the "greatest deceptionist" in this department.

Rumors that William Boyle was about to resign as DNC chairman were not accurate.

It had become clear why Democratic Senator Sheridan Downey of California had resigned early to make way for early swearing-in of Senator-elect Richard Nixon, a friend of the oil lobby. Mr. Downey would represent the City of Long Beach, as well as other cities in California, which owned tidelands oil leases.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop discuss national mobilization and its meaning to the average citizen. Young men would likely soon be in military service, either through the draft or proposed universal military training, the latter to require two years of training and another year of service. Workers in industries producing civilian goods might soon be out of work. The 48-hour work week would also likely be re-implemented, and that work would probably be directed eventually by the Government. Businesses might be ordered into defense work.

Inflation would cause the reduction of spending power at the rate of about ten percent per year. Taxes would likely rise.

They provide the Government mandates which made these changes probable. A full war economy was anticipated for the immediate future, with its attendant lowered standard of living.

Marquis Childs tells of diplomats and military men forming a plan to end the conflict in Korea. The first aspect of the plan would be to reduce the commitment of troops as orderly and quickly as possible, over a period of two to three months, behind two or three perimeters protecting port cities. The second part of the program would be to carry on a limited campaign against Communist China to prevent further aggression in Asia. Such would require a sea and air blockade of the Chinese coast. Then, Chinese Nationalist troops could also be introduced to the mainland to work with anti-Communist guerrillas. The bombing of Chinese cities would be the next part, risking total war.

Under the proposed plans, there would also be no further commitment of American troops in Asia.

Formosa might be sacrificed to the Communists, as it was not strategically significant. But it appeared that such would not satisfy the Communist Chinese, that it could instead stimulate other demands.

The plan was not so cut and dry as use of the atomic bomb, as favored by some Americans, but it was a realistic approach being developed by those who knew that no miracles could wipe out the reverses in Korea.

A letter writer favors leaving Korea to the Communists and defending Formosa and other strategic points until the country was ready to serve notice on Communist China to leave Korea within 24 hours or be subjected to all the weapons at the command of the United States.

Well, you got it all figered out. Why aren't you President or Secretary of Something, rather than them Commies up 'ere in Washin'ton?

A letter writer thinks Korea could have been avoided if FDR had said no to Stalin at Yalta. He thinks the free nations were no longer acting as a unit, that the U.N. representative from India had gone over to the Communists, that Stalin had again outsmarted the "simple-minded" American leaders.

Well, you got it all figered out, too, don't you? You can join the other guy and become Secretary of Something Else.

A letter writer from Pittsboro thinks the country had undertaken more responsibility than it could handle abroad, favors "rational and responsible" conduct and evacuation of Korea.

You just joined up to form a triumvirate there of crystal clear thinking: Get out, give up, and go home, find new leaders, come back with the atom bomb and start world war third.

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