The Charlotte News

Friday, December 29, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that 10,000 North Korean troops penetrated through allied lines by three to five miles in a sudden attack launched in east-central Korea at Pupyong on the 38th parallel, 35 miles from the east coast, though the attack was now said by an Army spokesman to be "contained" after continuous counterattacks by the allies. Correspondent Hal Boyle reported that the Army spokesman had called the situation "confused".

Skirmishing had increased all along the front between U.N. and enemy forces. A North Korean regiment attacked allied positions near Inge, five miles north of the parallel, and were repulsed with no allied ground lost. Two enemy regiments seized high ground northwest of Oron, 35 miles inland from the east coast, ten miles south of the parallel. Another enemy thrust pushed back U.N. lines between three and ten miles, southeast of Yongpo, thirteen miles east of Oron. MacArthur headquarters reported that there were 5,000 to 6,000 enemy troops massed west of the frozen Imjin River and another concentration south of Yonchon. North Koreans were at the vanguard of the enemy forces, backed by hordes of Chinese, estimated at over 1.35 million.

U.N. warplanes struck at the enemy all along the front and at supply lines extending from Manchuria. Air observation showed Chinese and North Korean troops moving up to the front. Censorship of press reports, imposed the previous week by MacArthur headquarters, was preventing pinpointing of their location.

New commander of the Eighth Army, Lt. General Matthew Ridgway, expressed complete confidence in the ultimate success of the U.N. in Korea.

An exchange of diplomatic notes between the U.S. and Russia showed that they were at loggerheads over formation of a treaty with Japan officially to end World War II in the Pacific. The U.S. showed intention to proceed with formation of a treaty, notwithstanding the Russian disagreement over terms. The U.S. rejected the Russian contention that each of the Big Five should have a veto over the treaty. It also rejected the Russian contention that Communist China now had to be consulted on the treaty. The U.S. considered it reasonable to station troops of the U.S. and other nations in Japan for purposes of combined defense. The U.S. was standing by for a future decision by the U.N. or the major powers on the status of Formosa, despite the Cairo agreement of 1943 which stated that Formosa would be restored to China—that having been superseded by subsequent events, the change of government on the Chinese mainland and the recent Communist aggression in Korea and subsequent Chinese intervention there, in derogation of U.N. resolutions passed in the wake of the June 25 aggression by North Korea.

Relman Morin, in the third of his three-article series on Korea, from which he had just returned after four months of reporting from the front, discusses the role of Japan as potentially the most effective ally in the world. In Tokyo, MacArthur headquarters told of a former Japanese army officer, after hearing of the Sunday attack in Korea on June 25, having presented himself in full uniform at headquarters and, with a salute, offered to regroup his old regiment by Monday morning. While the incident, suggests Mr. Morin, probably was apocryphal, it was a genuine illustration of Japanese attitude. Thousands of former Japanese soldiers and officers had volunteered to fight in Korea. Newspapers in Japan had regularly championed Japan's right and duty to assist in the allied effort. The reason was not based on affection for the U.S. so much as intertwined political and economic interests and the desire of the Japanese to end the occupation and become a member of the U.N., in exchange for cooperation in trade and military matters.

In Taipei, Formosa, the Central Daily News reported a Russian army numbering 775,000 in Siberia, for possible use to invade Japan.

The Government cut back money available for private lending, with a Federal Reserve Board order to its member banks to freeze two billion dollars in assets from the loan market through increase of reserve requirements, having the effect of cutting out twelve billion dollars of loans, as the reserves could have been loaned against repeatedly. Interest rates were not affected.

The National Production Authority announced that it would take over immediately as sole importer and distributor of natural rubber. The Government already controlled synthetic rubber production. NPA also prevented hoarding of 55 defense-essential materials, including steel, lumber and paper.

What about scissors? Scissors cut paper every time.

NPA's restriction on cobalt would affect the kitchen appliance and radio-television industries as it was used in both the porcelain finish of major kitchen appliances and for the magnets in radio and television speakers.

What about phonographs?

Five General Motors plants, used for assembly of Buicks, Oldsmobiles, and Pontiacs, were set to close for one week as a result, it claimed, of shortages of materials needed for defense. Parenthetically, G.M. had responded to the Government price rollback to December 1 on automobiles with a subsequent directive to dealers in the three models not to sell any further units before March when the price-freeze would end. The temporary shutdown would render 13,000 workers idle. Packard, Ford, and Studebacker had also announced intent to cut production because of shortages of materials needed for defense.

North Carolina's Selective Service Board changed its induction rules regarding deferment of married men, now only allowing the deferment if the marriage preceded the call to report for physical examination, previously allowed if before actual report for induction.

You had better get down on your knees, men, omnipresent ring you won in the ring-toss at the fair in hand which you had hoped to give to your best girl, and pray that the girl you met last night on the street says "yes" on the first date, no matter what her occupation may be now. You can obtain a divorce after the war.

Freezing rain and sleet caused hazardous road conditions and accidents in the Eastern part of the nation, from Georgia to Pennsylvania and New York City, while the rest of the country had warmer temperatures. The mercury had risen for instance to one above zero in Minneapolis and 13 above in Chicago, 31 in New York, 53 in Los Angeles, and 63 in Miami. Six inches of snow was being forecast into Saturday for the Boston area—causing post-Christmas Girl Scout cookie sales to be reduced.

In New Orleans, it had been chilly the previous night, prompting an armed robber to take a man's overcoat for warmth, in addition to his watch and $60 in cash.

What time is it? Five to ten?

In Burlington, Wis., the Burlington Liars' Club chose a Californian as its champion Liar of the Year. He had said that one winter while he was working on a pile driver in North Dakota, it got so cold one night that a member of the crew froze to death in bed, after which they discovered the ground frozen so hard that it was impossible to dig the grave, leading them to stand the corpse on its head and drive it with the pile driver for seven days and nights into the ground, at which point it was down far enough for a decent burial.

An honorable mention went to a Cleveland man who said that when he was firing on the railroad, they received orders to enter a sidetrack to allow a passenger train to pass, but that because of the long passage of the train, carrying 65 carloads of canaries, the engineer could not get rolling at the highball for the weight, until the teller of the story had solved the problem by going back along the train, hanging a lighted lantern in every canary car, causing the birds to fly away in belief that it was morning, reducing the weight enough to pull the grade.

Where did Joe McCarthy place?

On the editorial page, "Emergency Rescue Service" favors the City Council proposal that the Charlotte Life Saving & First Aid Crew be absorbed by the Charlotte Fire Department to provide it with its necessary funding. The only other alternative for preservation of the privately funded entity which had done a good job in the saving of lives in the community, was to allocate $6,000 per year from the City treasury. If the Council had decided that the crew was a public responsibility, then the Fire Department, it offers, was the appropriate agency for providing the service.

Just hope that ten years down the road, if they are coming to your aid, you are not in a Corvair, and God help you if, twenty years down the road, you are driving a Pinto when it is rear-ended by a semi seeking to spread the industrial wealth of the state from Manteo to Murphy in the "Go Forward" program.

"Auto Inspection Law Needed" hopes that Coleman Roberts, president of the Carolina Motor Club, was correct when he said that sentiment favored restoration by the coming Legislature of the automobile inspection law which had been in effect from 1947-49, before being abolished by the 1949 Legislature for its unpopularity with motorists. It suggests that the Legislature should have instead amended the law to eliminate the problems of inefficient processing of inspections.

Not having inspections had resulted in mechanically-related auto accidents, of which there had been 1,384 during he first three quarters of 1950, with 33 of those involving fatalities. Inspections would also make motorists more aware of the need to eliminate mechanical defects.

Don't worry. In just nine years, in the fall of 1959, will come those little, cheap cars that you can buy and throw away every year, such as the Falcon and Corvair. All will be well with the advance of modern technology. The cute, little subcompacts, Pintos and Vegas, will make things even safer ten years later.

"A Better Balanced State" finds itself in rare agreement with the enthusiasm demonstrated by the Raleigh News & Observer regarding the State Department of Conservation & Development report, which found 31 new manufacturing industries had selected sites in the state in 1950 for plant investments totaling 31 million dollars, set to employ nearly 10,000 workers with an annual payroll of nearly 25 million dollars, the best record in state history. More than half of the amount, about 60 percent, was to be invested in Eastern North Carolina, which had once suffered from the reputation of being not as healthy for commerce as the Piedmont.

The piece points out that the rivers and streams of the Piedmont had formerly provided the mechanical power for early industry around the turn of the century, and that industry had clustered in the Piedmont along the Southern Railway route. But the trend away from hydroelectric power to steam generation of electricity and the development of the trucking industry had enabled dispersion of that concentration in later decades.

What was good for one section of the state was good for the whole of it, and so it expects the state, in the words of Governor Kerr Scott's "Go Forward" program, to move forward faster, now that all sections were going forward at a faster rate.

A piece from the Washington Post, titled "What Hoover Missed", finds that former President Hoover, in his isolationist speech of the prior week, had failed to recall that air power had changed the world such that Western Europe and the U.S. shared the need for common security. The U.S. needed air bases in Europe which could not be had under an isolationist approach.

Mr. Hoover was seeking to annul the NATO pact, which could not be done in modern times.

Economically, the country also was inextricably tied to foreign interests. As example, the steel industry needed manganese from India, Russia, or Brazil. If Russia obtained the ports of Europe, it could interdict trade with its long-range submarines.

It concludes that there was no choice but to sign the NATO Pact, undertaken in "enlightened self-interest".

Drew Pearson finds that as a result of the isolationist speech of the prior week by former President Hoover, the Republicans had split into two factions, one headed by Senator Taft, representing isolationist tendencies, and the other headed by Governor Dewey, wanting continuation of bipartisanship in foreign policy. Unless the leading GOP exponent of bipartisan foreign policy, Senator Arthur Vandenberg, could return to the Senate, a dubious prospect for his continued ailing health, these factions would likely persist.

In the Republican policy committee, Senator Taft had expressed a desire no longer to consult with the Administration in foreign policy, as it would lead to shared responsibility for it. He specifically advocated the timing of the resolution against Secretary of State Acheson, just before the Brussels NATO foreign and defense ministers conference, saying that Mr. Acheson ought to be weakened to avoid any NATO agreement he might otherwise effectuate. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper of Iowa supported this view of Senator Taft.

But Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon contended that the Republicans had no right to hamper the efforts of Secretary Acheson with inter-party quarreling. Senator Chan Gurney of South Dakota agreed.

Senator Leverett Saltonstall of Massachusetts proposed a substitute resolution, calling for reorganization of the State Department without naming Mr. Acheson. Fifteen GOP Senators agreed with Senator Taft, while twelve, whom he lists, backed the bipartisan approach of Senators Morse, Gurney and Saltonstall.

Secretary of Defense Marshall sent the President a long letter praising the work of the FBI in digging up the facts regarding the false charges of Communist sympathy of Anna Rosenberg, during her confirmation hearings as Assistant Secretary. The FBI found that the sources of the rumors were reactionary Gerald L.K. Smith, Senator McCarthy, and conservative radio commentator Fulton Lewis, all based on perjured testimony. Senators Richard Russell of Georgia, Harry Cain of Washington, and Harry Byrd of Virginia were among the most indignant of the Senators at the charges.

Former President Hoover had apparently forgotten, in his advocacy for return to isolationism, that the Ruhr and the Rhineland supplied iron and steel to Western Europe and that steel was the Achilles heel of Russia, which, combined with its satellites, produced only 28 million tons of steel per year, while the the U.S. produced a hundred million. If Russia got control of the Western European steel production capacity, however, it would nearly match that of the U.S.

The Brussels Conference and the immediately subsequent appointment of General Eisenhower as supreme commander of NATO had changed the mood in Europe from the deepest pessimism since the end of the war to one of optimism, even if tempered somewhat by the debacle in Korea.

British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin had proposed that West Germany be allowed to build U-boats again, to catch up with Russian submarine production, numbering about 400—benefiting from captured plans and exemplars of the German Schnorkel submarine breathing device at the end of the war. Hamburg and Bremen in the British occupation zone, urged Mr. Bevin, had the capability of great submarine production. Some diplomats at the conference found it ironic that Britain, nearly defeated twice during the war by the U-boat destruction of supply convoys in the Atlantic, would make such a proposal.

Marquis Childs discusses the impact of McCarthyism on the country, as manifested by three incidents. The use of fraud and deception in the Maryland Senate race, in the form of a composite photograph showing Senator Millard Tydings alongside former Communist Party head Earl Browder, had worked to defeat Senator Tydings, who had chaired the Senate committee which investigated Senator McCarthy's charges of Communists in the State Department, resulting in a majority report which labeled the charges a "fraud and a hoax". Senator McCarthy had stumped among the voters of Maryland during the fall campaign, calling the report a "whitewash".

Second, during her confirmation hearings for Assistant Secretary of Defense, Anna Rosenberg was portrayed as a Communist sympathizer merely because she was Jewish and Jews were equated with Communists. Again, Senator McCarthy was involved in this process.

Finally, the Senator had sought personally to smear Drew Pearson in the Senate, calling on citizens to boycott Adam Hat Co. hats because of their sponsorship of Mr. Pearson's radio program, seeking to drive him off the air. That had followed the altercation with Mr. Pearson at Washington's Sulgrave Club, in which Senator McCarthy allegedly kicked the columnist twice in the groin following a brief exchange of remarks in the cloak room.

During the prior twenty years, commercialization had put news and opinion in competition with show business, resulting in sensationalism and distortion of the news.

Communist conspirators, many of them naive dupes while others consciously performed the will of Moscow, had worked to abuse the trust of Americans reposited in the Constitution, a threat, however, which had been removed. McCarthyism, nevertheless, attacked from a different angle the same trust, reliant on the protections of the First Amendment, and in the particular case of the Senator, on the protections offered by Congressional immunity against defamation.

Some people, dissatisfied with the way things were in the country, thought McCarthyism would provide a return to what they regarded as "the good old days"—the same mistake, he suggests, which Germans had made regarding Hitler and Nazism.

Senator McCarthy had been compared to the late Governor and Senator Huey Long of Louisiana, but Mr. Childs finds the comparison inapposite for the fact that Senator Long had sought, albeit in corrupt fashion, to remake Louisiana with new schools, roads and other infrastructure, while Senator McCarthy had never made a single constructive proposal. The Senator, before his crusade against Communists in the State Department, had, for instance, intervened in behalf of the German prisoners held in the Malmedy massacre during the Battle of the Bulge in 1944, contending that they had confessed because of coercive techniques of military interrogators, with the result of driving Senator Raymond Baldwin from the Senate.

Society was defenseless in the face of such an attack. Even Senator Taft, in the wake of his re-election, had reportedly discussed ways and means to restrict Senator McCarthy's "one-man show". Beyond the Republican Party, he posed a danger to the whole of free society, undermining the values on which it was based, creating a herd mentality which might not realize the problem until it was too late to avoid the damage.

Robert C. Ruark tells of Christmas, 1950 resembling more the old-fashioned "peace-on-earth, good-will-to-man" Christmas than any other he could recall. People he knew had concentrated with passion on fun, presents, calls to friends and family members, with more decorated trees and more Christmas music in the air than usual, more stress on the true meaning of the holiday.

One man he knew had suggested that the change had come from the fact that people felt guilty about having fun in such a troubled world without an excuse such as Christmas, which had provided a break from the depressing events of Korea and McCarthyism, the atom bomb and economics.

The mood was pervasive in the land, extending to people who did not follow current events very closely and instead listened attentively to soap operas on the radio. The conversations in the bars which he habituated to perform his research had become much more serious regarding foreign policy and the lack of leadership in Washington. Most wondered what would happen. For the first time, he heard a theme of isolation, favoring that the country withdraw from the world scene.

While ordinarily, the heated reply of the President to critic Paul Hume of the Washington Post regarding his negative review of daughter Margaret's operatic performance would have evoked laughter and understanding of a father defending his daughter, everyone he had met instead felt concern for the President's frivolous outburst over such a trivial matter in a time requiring sober leadership.

He could not recall a period of greater sober reflection since the end of the war.

Well, Mr. Ruark, those fellow habitues of the bars need only look into their crystal balls by 18 years to find a return to solid values of the silent majority— and then when that miserably fails, will only need wait another 43 years until America would be made great again in 2017.

Prr-haise Je-he-sus.

You can say "Me-herry Chri-histmas" again, pre-heviously ba-hanned from the saluta-hations of that ho-horrible Pre-hesident Oba-hama and those even more ho-horrible Cli-hintons.

Prr-haise Gi-hod for Pre-hesident Tr-hump.

A letter writer says that he was sorry that the newspaper, in its December 22 editorial on President Hoover's isolationist speech, had failed to grasp the wisdom of it—which he then seeks to elucidate, saying that the Russians desired having American troops spread over the world, diluting the nation's strength at home, and so pulling in defenses to U.S. shores and using the two oceans as bulwarks to invasion, as counseled by Mr. Hoover, were good ideas. He concludes by saying that he had all the confidence in the world in the military and hoped that the "misfits in Washington" would not impede their progress.

The editors respond that foreign policy had become such a central issue that whether readers agreed or not with their editorial stance, they encouraged comment.

A letter writer finds that things had been so redefined that instead of weeping over wars as had the Lord over Jerusalem, the country now espoused war in God's name.

The Fifth Amendment of the Constitution once had meant that a person could not be forced to incriminate himself, but now things had changed such that a person had to testify or face contempt of Congress.

Russia claimed that a civil war was transpiring in Korea, whereas the U.S. regarded it as an act of Communist aggression, inspired by the Soviets. He suggests that under this new definition, the Spanish civil war of the latter Thirties could be regarded as an invasion by Russians or their puppet Spaniards.

He thinks there was not enough left of Korea over which to risk an international incident and if Russia could be convinced that international law was as the U.S. considered it, they would realize that the whole thing was started by Russian aggression.

Fifth Day of Christmas: Five Plants Closing.

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