The Charlotte News

Friday, December 22, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that Communist China, through Premier Chou En-Lai, had rejected the U.N. ceasefire proposal of the three-person committee representing the General Assembly. Chou described the committee's appeal as "unlawful" because the Chinese had not participated in the formation of the committee. The committee had sought three times to obtain negotiation with the Chinese, with the last attempt the prior day.

Shortly before Chou's statement, attacks began in western Korea, quiet for several days, indicative of an expected offensive at any time, probably on Christmas Eve, as that, according to observers, would be consistent with the Oriental practice of striking on Occidental holidays. MacArthur headquarters identified from ten to twelve divisions along the 38th parallel in that sector. The initial attacks against South Korean forces took place northeast of Chunchon, 45 miles northeast of Seoul, where there was a large build-up of enemy troops. West of that area, in Yonchon, 38 miles north of Seoul, another large contingent of Chinese troops had been spotted.

In northeast Korea, 25,000 civilians were evacuating Hungnam, where the U.N. defense perimeter had been established to permit the continuing evacuation of the Tenth Corps.

The Big Three Western powers agreed conditionally to a meeting with Russia re the future of Germany, as the Russians had proposed November 3, provided that the Kremlin would agree to broaden the agenda to include outstanding world problems in addition to the German question. The last Big Four meeting had been held in Paris from May 23 through June 20, 1949, following the lifting of the Berlin blockade by Russia, ending in deadlock on the German question, with only an agreement not to reimpose the blockade or the Western counter-blockade which had been put into place in 1948 in response. The four powers also had agreed to consult on interzonal trade, transportation and communications, with little resulting from the ensuing consultations. A tentative agreement on Austria reached at that earlier conference remained pending.

In Bonn, the West German Government considered a deal offered by the Western powers, whereby they would contribute to the defense of NATO in exchange for an end of the occupation controls and near independence. Chancellor Konrad Adenauer had yet to give any answer to the proposal to raise German military units for the combined Western European defense, but did express his approval of the proposed deal to eliminate the occupation controls and also praised the Big Three willingness to listen to the German proposal that they be treated as equals in the NATO decision-making process.

Secretary of State Acheson would this date appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, with members of the House counterpart invited to attend, to answer questions about the anticipated U.S. commitment of troops to defend Western Europe relative to the contributions of the Western European nations, as discussed and determined at the recent meeting of the NATO council of foreign and defense ministers in Brussels. Senator Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr., said that he would want to know whether the U.S. would continue to supply 90 percent of the U.N. fighting forces in Korea and also wanted information on whether Secretary Acheson had make specific commitments of American troops to the defense of Western Europe. Senator Alexander Smith of New Jersey said that he wanted to know whether the Western European nations had the will to fight, something on which he had grave doubts following his recent tour of Europe.

The Senate Appropriations Committee made public previous testimony by Atomic Energy Commission chairman Gordon Dean that Russia was making an "intensive effort" at development of atomic energy. The testimony had served as impetus to the Congress to pass the multi-billion dollar increase in defense spending, with the House approving 18 billion and the Senate approving 20 billion the previous day. Joint confreres were meeting this date to reconcile the two appropriations and it was hoped that the reconciled bill would go to the President this night.

Secretary of the Air Force Thomas Finletter had earlier told Senators that the country lacked an absolute air defense to possible atomic attack and that the best defense would be an attack on enemy bases, adding, however, that he was not recommending a preventive war.

Secretary of Defense Marshall had previously said that the country had to build its defenses at once for the contingency of a third world war.

This date, new director of the Office of Defense Mobilization, Charles E. Wilson, told the joint watchdog committee on defense that he believed the country could produce 50 to 100 percent more during 1951 than during 1942 after Pearl Harbor. Senators Homer Capehart and William Fulbright were cheered by the news.

Most of the civil defense legislation appeared stalled for the holidays, as absenteeism prevented quorums, and thus would be headed to the next Congress. The Senate appeared ready to approve this date creation of the Civil Defense Administration, already approved by the House. Once Congress adjourned this night, it was done with its business until the start of the new Congress on January 3.

In Moscow, there was no mention of any award of the peace prize of $25,000 to the persons who had done the most for peace during the prior year, to have been announced on Prime Minister Stalin's 71st birthday, occurring the previous day. Speculation ran that the Politburo probably postponed the awards to a more appropriate time, given the recent trend in Soviet propaganda away from "peace", which characterized the 1949 campaign highlighted by the Russian-sponsored "Stockholm peace treaty", and toward a more bellicose stance.

A special three-judge Federal court panel, impaneled to expedite handling of the matter, upheld the prior FCC decision to grant color television broadcast rights to CBS, ruling against the efforts of RCA to block the approval. The injunction pending the outcome of the litigation would remain in effect until April 1 or until such time as the Supreme Court would set it aside.

The CBS color broadcast system was mechanical, with a whirligig wheel to spin forth the colors. Get you one today.

The Adam Hat Company previously had given 90-days notice that it would drop sponsorship of Drew Pearson's radio show as of mid-February. It said that the decision arose from a shift in advertising strategy and had nothing to do with the call by Senator Joseph McCarthy for a boycott of Adam hats because of the Pearson program sponsorship, a call issued by the Senator on the floor of the Senate following the recent altercation with Mr. Pearson at the Sulgrave Club in Washington. The Senator had said that anyone who would buy an Adam hat would be a Communist sympathizer because of the Pearson sponsorship. A story in the Washington Evening Star had reported that Adam received numerous calls in support of Senator McCarthy prior to the decision to terminate the advertising contract but that since the announcement of cessation, it had also received letters in support of Mr. Pearson.

Adam needs a good, swift kick in the fig leaf.

Low temperatures, which had pervaded the Midwest during the prior couple of weeks, abated some, with no zero readings in the North Central states. Fair weather continued to hold for most of the Western half of the country. The previous day's high was 80 at Yuma, Ariz., and the low was 14 at International Falls, Minn. The temperature fell to 22 in Norfolk, Va.

You can take your choice of vacation spots for Christmas.

Actress Shirley Temple announced her retirement from acting after marrying Charles Black in Monterey, California, the prior Saturday.

Santa Claus was giving sustenance to a swayback mule in Richmond, Va., as part of the Christmas campaign by the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, feeding fruit to beasts of burden during Christmas.

You give so much tender care for an ass, Santa. What about the humans who can't afford Christmas? You better get with the program in a hurry or we shall make it a point to have Senator McCarthy go down there and kick you in places which will cause you to depart from the regularity of your "ho, ho, ho".

On the editorial page, "Hoover's Plan for America", in commenting on the former President's isolationist speech to the nation two nights earlier, recommends that he find out the things which he had forgotten or never realized about how the world had shrunk. It finds such a policy was not only outdated by 30 years, but that to revisit it would junk the whole concept of brotherhood within the free world. That his speech had stirred excited comment by many in the country showed the disarray and confusion in the American mind of late.

The former President would form an American version of the iron curtain between the two oceans. Such a concept was not new, going back as far as President Washington and carried forward into the post-World War I era when U.S. membership in the League of Nations was opposed by President Harding and Republican leaders in the Senate, and finally defeated in 1921. Former North Carolina Senator Robert Rice Reynolds had been a leading exponent of the idea since he had first run for the Senate in 1932. Publisher Bertie McCormick of the Chicago Tribune regularly gave solace in his columns to isolationism along with support of political candidates espousing same, as did the America Firsters in the latter Thirties through Pearl Harbor.

Within the presently confused atmosphere, the Communist Daily Worker and defeated Congressman Vito Marcantonio, considered pro-Communist, played the same tune.

It proceeds to respond to many of the points raised by former President Hoover in the speech, which it finds had gone further than Russia's representatives at the U.N. in attempting to cut off the world democracies from American aid.

While it shares some of President Hoover's expressed concern about Western Europe not undertaking enough effort to rearm themselves, one reason they had been slow in that process was lack of confidence that the U.S. would stand firmly behind them, given the disunity evident in America on the subject and the lack of U.S. defense preparation, the latter only being turned around completely in recent weeks in response to the debacle in Korea.

It finds that by thus ignoring the lessons of the two world wars, the Hoover doctrine would hasten and make inevitable a third world war, "breaking all the sacred vows we have given to the world of free men."

"The Real Highway Culprit" comments on the formal report of the Governor's advisory committee on highway safety, calling attention to its finding that responsibility for safe driving primarily vested with the motor vehicle operator and that the same care had to be exerted as in the handling of a deadly weapon.

It suggests that automobiles were handled, nevertheless, more carelessly in most cases than guns.

The recommendations included promotion of driver education in the high schools and stricter enforcement of traffic laws, such as imposition of a mandatory five-day jail sentence for drunk driving. In the final analysis, it viewed the success or failure of the traffic safety program as dependent on improved driving techniques, and the editorial urges the General Assembly to give top priority to the report's recommendations on those points.

Drew Pearson writes an open letter to his daughter in Los Angeles, telling her of his pride in being made a grandfather again, but that he felt a bit discouraged over the state of the world, one not very promising for a new grandson to face, even if the time of reckoning, he believes, was about twenty years down the road.

He finds intolerance, disunity and quickness to judge to be the worst mistakes being made in the country, playing into Russia's hands.

When he had exposed the spy ring in Canada in 1946, many had written accusing him of being a warmonger. He was therefore relieved when Prime Minister MacKenzie King admitted its existence. He wanted to send those letters to Senator McCarthy, but believed that he would be unmoved as he appeared motivated only by his capacity to generate headlines.

The country moved from one extreme to another in time. Some of those earlier letter writers, he suggests, were probably now on the other side denouncing Russia. For it was not enough to be anti-Communist in the current atmosphere. One had to be pro-American. Anyone who disagreed with the McCarthyites was branded a Communist.

In September, 1947, he had exposed a Communist spy ring which had stolen blueprints for the B-29, but the story was considered too controversial by some newspapers to print. Eventually, a year later, HUAC exposed the activity and some of the editors finally let the story come forth.

He had once suggested to the chief assistant of then-Secretary of State James Byrnes that Alger Hiss ought be investigated for possibly leaking information to the Russians, though he could not determine definitely that it was the case. He says that Mr. Byrnes did investigate and Mr. Hiss then left the employ of the State Department. He believed now that his determination that Mr. Hiss should not be in a high Government position had been justified, though he had never found facts conclusively proving that he was a Communist.

On another occasion, in the summer of 1945, he had gone to then-Secretary of the Treasury, now Chief Justice, Fred Vinson and suggested that he investigate a top assistant as being pro-Communist. Mr. Vinson had, and the person, who had since died, was discharged.

In September, 1947, he had published a confidential report of Italian Communist Party plans to seize control of Italy, and in December of that year when he arrived in Italy as part of the Friendship Train which he had sponsored to provide food and clothing to Italians, the Mayor of Bologna greeted him by waving the clipping in his face and denounced him, refusing to welcome the train.

He believed that democracy could be destroyed as easily by a Communist dictator as by a Fascist, and many of the former Blackshirts in Italy were now Communists.

Creating disunity and doubt at home, repeating the big lie in the vein of Hitler, gave solace to the Kremlin, adept at this very strategy.

He concludes that he hoped that before his grandson would become old enough to deal with the affairs of the world, his elders would have learned to show more sense than being presently demonstrated.

Marquis Childs discusses the counterproductive U.S. relations with Latin America in terms of trade and threat of Communism. The U.S. had sought the overthrow of dictator Juan Peron in Argentina but did not supply the support necessary for accomplishing the coup, leaving friends of freedom in the country disillusioned. Recently, the Export-Import Bank had loaned the Argentine Government a sizable amount of money, primarily to enable U.S. firms to continue doing business there.

Congress, where lobbies had been at work to pass legislation to effect these results, was as much to blame as the State Department for the stumbles.

Copper presented a good example, with 47 percent of the country's supply coming from Chile. A two-cent import tax had been suspended since World War II, through June, 1950, at which point the State Department sought extension of the suspension or elimination completely of the tariff, based on the fact that the two-cent increase would only increase the cost of copper to American consumers. Copper on the gray market was bringing about twice its twenty-cent per pound price before the start of the Korean war.

Other similar examples were tin from Bolivia and oil from Venezuela.

The U.S. handling of these commodities had alienated friends in Latin America while harming U.S. interests, comprising a substantial factor in current inflation, and ignoring the need to conserve the country's dwindling resources and to stockpile vital materials. If, for instance, Middle Eastern oil were to be cut off from the West, it would have to turn to that from Venezuela as a major source of supply.

An upcoming inter-American conference would seek to sort out these problems and effect cooperation to check the spread of Communism through inter-American common defense. But, he stresses, the principal issue was to end these economic "monstrosities" which imperiled American security.

Robert C. Ruark finds the Christmas spirit in the country overshadowed by the war and concern for continued existence, manifesting itself in bellicose tendencies, as exampled by the recent threats by the President of assault against Washington Post music critic Paul Hume for the bad review of daughter Margaret's operatic performance, as well as the incident between Drew Pearson and Senator Joseph McCarthy, in which the latter allegedly kicked Mr. Pearson twice in the groin. Senator McCarthy, cloaked in Congressional immunity, had said on the floor of the Senate on December 15 that persons who wore the Adam hats which Mr. Pearson promoted on his Sunday radio show were in league with Communists.

On top of those examples, he reports, a duck he had shot had fallen onto his hunting guide and knocked him over, proving that even in death, the animals were reacting with malice.

During the Army-Navy football game, he had seen on television a Navy player strike an Army player on the chin, and without a penalty having been called.

Domestic disenchantment also abounded, with Elizabeth Taylor having left Nicky Hilton and Robert Taylor and Barbara Stanwyck having called it quits after eleven years because of having to transact marriage via long distance telephone.

According to his conversations, everyone was on edge. Youngsters had placed their plans in mothballs because of the draft. He regards it all as the result of recurring crises fraying nerves, accompanied by poor judgments.

"It is difficult to traffic in mistletoe when the mind is firmly fixed on extinction."

A letter writer from Dallas, N.C., finds reasonable the editorial of December 18, "The Case of Dean Acheson", and hopes other newspaper editors throughout the country would read it for its unbiased presentation of facts in lieu of the usual half-truths and falsehoods. She is especially impressed by its statement that the fault in the Teheran, Cairo and Yalta conferences had been not in the agreements, themselves, but in Russia's unwillingness to adhere to them. She finds those who believed Westbrook Pegler and his ilk to be gullible, willing to believe that FDR and Winston Churchill had sold out their respective countries to the Russians. The desired scapegoat for the current world troubles, she concludes, had conveniently presented itself in the joint form of Secretary Acheson and the ghost of FDR.

A letter writer from Pittsboro tells of being forced reluctantly by costs to end his subscription to The News, praises its editorial page as the best of the state's leading dailies. He provides special praise to the same December 18 editorial on Secretary Acheson as referenced in the above letter. While he feels the country had bitten off more than it could chew, once the commitment had been made, he counsels, it had to follow through with it.

A letter writer from Monroe, N.Y., writes from Cheraw, S.C., that after reading the editorials of Marquis Childs, the Alsops and Drew Pearson, he deems it necessary to offer sympathy to the "suffering readers" of the editorial page.

Well, get the hell out and back to New York then.

Who invited you?

A letter writer favors telling the truth to the children about Santa Claus, that Jesus Christ was the only savior.

Well, look, you idiot, nobody has said that Santa was any savior. You are the kind of pompous ass who gives organized religion a bad name.

And Santa is real. We saw him on the front page of The News today feeding an ass. Who is fooling whom?

Merry Christmas.

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