The Charlotte News

Wednesday, December 13, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that as 60,000 American troops boarded ships for evacuation from Hungnam, Communist Chinese troops of company strength, wearing American uniforms, waged a three-hour attack on the effort. The attack was repelled with artillery, mortars and long naval guns but allied officers feared that the Communists would repeat the attack and so the pace of the evacuation, begun two days earlier, was accelerated. Among those being evacuated was the 17th Regimental Combat Team of the Seventh Division and the South Korean regiments which had been the first to arrive at the Yalu River, from which they had retreated for the prior two weeks. The Communists were the vanguard of eight divisions, 64,000 to 80,000 Chinese troops, massed around Hungnam. The allies maintained a fourteen-mile defense perimeter around Hungnam and Hamhung.

The latest Defense Department casualty list reported 458 new casualties, of whom 107 had been killed, 265 wounded, 63 missing and 23 injured in accidents.

At the U.N., Russian chief delegate Jakob Malik accused Britain and the U.S. of wanting a ceasefire in Korea to spell the U.N. troops so that they could again build up their forces. The ceasefire to which he referred was that proposed by India and 12 other Asian and Middle Eastern countries.

The U.S. cut off all Marshall Plan aid to Britain, effective January 1, because of Britain's economic restoration during the prior year. Britain had received 2.7 billion dollars under the Marshall Plan since 1948. It was not necessarily a permanent end to the aid, which could be resumed if the British economy took a downturn. Britain would continue to receive the 175 million dollars granted through the last half of 1950. The announcement was made jointly by the American and British governments.

In London, NATO deputy foreign ministers and military chieftains set forth final political and military plans for using West German troops as part of Western European defense. The defense and foreign ministers would meet in Brussels the following Monday and Tuesday to study the recommendations. The decision would form the basis for negotiations with the West German Government at Bonn, which was expected to balk at any use of West German police or troops because of the general opposition of West Germans to rearmament of any kind.

Following a White House conference between the President and Congressional leaders, Republican leaders gave their full support to the President's efforts to build up military strength and agreed that a dangerous emergency existed. The President would give a radio and television address at 10:30 Friday night regarding the world crisis. Senator Taft said that as to a declared national emergency, the Republicans felt that they were not sufficiently advised as to its ramifications to make a decision on it. The Administration representatives had said that it would have no legal effect on the President's power but would serve as a psychological stimulus to action.

The President indicated in a December 7 letter, made public the previous night by Representative Edward Hebert of Louisiana, that campaigns in the midterm elections were as low in five states as he had ever seen, prompting investigation by the Senate Campaign Committee chaired by Senator Guy Gillette of the campaigns in North Carolina and Utah, two of the states named by the President, along with Louisiana, Illinois, and Indiana.

Mr. Hebert had asked the President to set aside a Sunday before Christmas and call for the people to pray in their churches for guidance of the nation in the "Gethsemane of our existence". The President responded by sending Mr. Hebert a copy of his Thanksgiving proclamation. The President then subsequently sent him another note saying that he was sorry that his sentiments had not been expressed before the midterm election when the campaigns in the listed states had been so low. Mr Hebert had then responded that he was sorry the President misunderstood the real purpose of his suggestion and decided to respond by "gratuitously" injecting "political distemper" to the reply.

Senator Homer Capehart said that the President was right that the campaign in Indiana was the lowest in its history but said that it was the result of the campaign of his opponent, Democrat Alex Campbell. Senator Elbert Thomas of Utah, defeated in the election, said that his campaign was beset by "fake" publications. Senator Russell Long of Louisiana said he thought the campaign was conducted on a high plane. Senator Scott Lucas of Illinois, defeated in the election, refused comment. In North Carolina, Senator Frank Graham had been defeated by Willis Smith in the June Democratic primary. Senator Taft said that he was thinking of asking Senator Gillette to investigate defamatory campaign literature circulated against him by the CIO during the campaign.

Government price control administrators met with auto industry officials, with the prediction that price controls would be implemented the following week. Ford and Chrysler were being asked to suspend their recently announced five percent price increases.

In Chicago, a sudden, unauthorized strike by railroad yard switchmen tied up freight traffic. The Army said that it directly hurt the war effort.

In Augsburg, Germany, Ilse Koch, on trial before a German court for war crimes at Buchenwald concentration camp, collapsed again at her trial and was deemed temporarily unable to follow the proceedings. She had been previously convicted in 1947 by a war crimes tribunal and sentenced to life, but her sentence was commuted in 1948 and she had been released.

In Raleigh, the State Supreme Court reversed the conviction of Sterling Hicks, former Park & Recreation commissioner in Charlotte, on misdemeanor conspiracy to blow up the WBT radio tower in Charlotte, on the ground of a fatal variance between the indictment and the evidence presented at trial, as he was indicted for conspiracy to damage the property of Jefferson Standard Broadcasting Co. and the proof showed the property did not belong to that company but rather to Duke Power Co. Mr. Hicks and his co-conspirator, whom he allegedly had hired to blow up the tower, had been sentenced to 18-24 months in prison.

The Court affirmed the conviction of a Greensboro gambler. The Court also reversed two convictions entered before a judge who had retired under a total disability but who had subsequently been appointed by Governor Kerr Scott to serve as an emergency judge. The Court ruled that he could not render judgment after being found to have a total disability.

On the editorial page, "An Engineer's Formula for Peace" tells of M.I.T. a year earlier having appointed a commission to study M.I.T.'s purpose in the world and its success in achieving it. It determined that its graduates should be well-rounded individuals ready to face society's problems, meaning that its liberal arts program should be expanded.

The piece thinks a living exponent of the formula appeared in the form of Dr. James Killian, who had spoken at the Duke University Founder's Day program during the week. He spoke on peace from an engineer's perspective, setting up a goal, ascertaining the present divergence from it, and then bridging that gap. He proposed reaching the Iron Curtain nations with a message of freedom, which would cause the Communist leadership to understand that there were human aspirations they had to respect. He viewed the country as being in World War 2.5 and that it was time for America to take the lead in proclaiming that its aims were freedom and justice for all persons everywhere. He implied that the effort would not be enough unless arms were accompanied by a crusade for human freedom.

The piece thinks the lesson a good one.

"One Charge That Falls Apart" tells of one of the principal criticisms leveled at Secretary of State Acheson being that he had failed to include Korea in the defense arc in the Far East prior to the outbreak of the war on June 25. He did so because the military leadership determined that Korea was not important to U.S. security in the Pacific, and because it could not be defended in a land war short of great effort. Had Mr. Acheson ignored this advice, he would have been properly subject to great criticism. For he would have ignored the basic precept that a nation should undertake to defend that which it could not back up with force, and, furthermore, would have provided a unilateral pledge of defense of a nation created by the U.N., thus causing dissension within the organization.

If the North Koreans had invaded anyway, the U.S. could not have done anything more than it was doing. It had been shown that the U.S. military was not strong enough to defend South Korea without utilizing every American in service. Moreover, it would have left the U.S. alone to wage the fight.

It concludes, therefore, that Mr. Acheson showed considerable wisdom in his initial decision. To charge his inaction with encouraging the North Koreans, ignored the shrewdness of the Soviets. They likely would have been even more eager to challenge a unilateral commitment by the U.S. to South Korea.

"Truckers Tackle Speeding Problem" says it has high hopes for the anti-speeding campaign to be initiated by the state's long-haul trucking companies. Their hearts appeared to be in the move, as well they ought for loss of public favor because of reports of bad driving and a recent report of the State Highway Commission telling of truckers having been found guilty of numerous speeding infractions.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Mr. Williams Should Sing On", tells of Hector Williams, night watchman at the Schubert Theater in Philadelphia, who liked to sing parts of operettas after the audience had departed. Recently, while he was singing, the police entered the theater to investigate reports that screams were emanating from the place.

The piece regards the "philistinism" prompting such a report as likely to break the resolve of a lesser man. Persons who could not tell the difference between a cry for police help and a "tit-willow, tit-willow, tit-willow" deserved short shrift. It wants Mr. Williams to resume his renditions of Gilbert & Sullivan selections which had few screams in them. And those hearing his singing should then only report the sounds of sweet music.

Drew Pearson discusses the closed-door discussion in the Republican policy committee regarding the proposed resolution by Senator Irving Ives to have Secretary of State Acheson resign. Senator Taft had argued that any resolution should deal with policies, not personalities. Senators Eugene Millikin and Kenneth Wherry both opposed any such resolution. They did not like the ultimatum language of the resolution, that the President had to fire Mr. Acheson or face lack of Republican cooperation going forward on foreign policy. They also believed it would make the President more determined than ever to retain Mr. Acheson.

Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts objected to the timing, while the President was meeting with Prime Minister Clement Attlee to work out Far Eastern policy.

The most rabid of the Senators at the meeting was Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa, who wanted to revamp the entire State Department.

The President and Mr. Attlee had a late night dinner at the British Embassy during their recent conference, at which were present some of the leading advisers on British-American relations. They had no comment for the press on what was discussed. Both men had served in World War I and persons present at the dinner reported that the two spent most of the evening swapping war stories about their experiences. "Captain" Truman and "Major" Attlee spent some of their time cussing out generals, despite the presence in the room of top American and British brass.

While the President, as had FDR before him, greatly respected the elderly wisdom of 84-year old Representative Adolph Sabath of Illinois, his latest advice to the President, that it would be appropriate to yield a little to accomplish peace in Korea, would not likely be followed. The President had responded that while he could not condone the Communist Chinese aggression, he would do everything he could to restore peace and avoid greater losses of men.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop find it time to listen again to Winston Churchill, who had begun about two years earlier a series of speeches warning of the empire ambitions of the Kremlin. The most recent had been before Commons on November 30, from which they quote. He said that the American advantage in atom bombs was the only restraint against Russia initiating a third world war. He despaired of the disparity between conventional Western military strength and that of the Soviets. He had also repeatedly advocated negotiations with the Soviets at the highest level, using America's atomic strength as the basis for bargaining.

He warned that because the U.S. would not fight a preventive war, war, if it came, would be at a time and place of the Soviets' choosing.

He meant to convey that the Kremlin had to be given a choice forthwith, before they brought their nuclear arsenal to parity with the U.S., between immediate war and immediate peace, to warn Stalin that the American arsenal of atomic bombs would be used if settlement were refused.

The Alsops find it dreadful that Mr. Churchill had been driven to such lengths after only five years since the great military victory over the Axis powers. But, they conclude, if the odds, as they appeared to be, were two or three to one that a war at a time and place of the Soviets' choosing would occur, then Mr. Churchill's advice should be heeded and honestly considered.

Marquis Childs suggests that under a parliamentary system, the time would be ripe for a coalition government, especially with a Republican of the stature of Senator Irving Ives of New York, who had condemned McCarthyism and favored bipartisan foreign policy, calling for the resignation of Secretary of State Acheson. There were several qualified people who could become Secretary of State, including Republicans Paul Hoffman, John Foster Dulles, and Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., along with Democratic Governor of Illinois, Adlai Stevenson.

But, he concludes, that would not occur because of the temperament of the President and his resolve that coalition government was not in the American tradition. Thus it was dangerous to continue the sniping against individuals in the Administration as it only weakened the nation at a time when it needed bipartisan strength.

A letter writer wants the American people to stop picking on its leadership in time of crisis and unite.

Auh, come on. That's not the American way and you know it.

A letter writer from Badin, N.C., (near Goodin, we suppose), finds that the U.N. had presented nothing to the average citizen which justified the taking of lives on foreign soil, finds that it was unlikely that American fighting men knew what it was for which they were fighting. He wants to know how long the country could continue to play Santa Claus when the reindeer belonged to other countries.

Probably until Rudolph's nose turns blue from the cold.

He concludes that the best motto was to live and let live.

A letter writer tells of a New York Times editorial of December 1, titled "Mr. Churchill's Speech", which told of Winston Churchill believing that a major attack by Russia was not imminent and that there was a chance to negotiate presently with the Russians. The writer thinks it against the Republican view that the Russians were out to engulf the world. He finds this speech under-reported, though Mr. Churchill's Fulton, Mo., "iron curtain" speech of March, 1946 had received repeated publicity. The News had relegated to page 5-A a report on Mr. Churchill's call the previous winter for a peace conference. The writer had scanned at the time some newspapers from around the country and found them granting limited space on page one to the former British Prime Minister's advice.

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