The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 4, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that General MacArthur's headquarters had informed that Suwon in South Korea and its important airfield, the only major South Korean airstrip north of Pusan, had fallen this date to the North Korean Communist forces following a day-long battle with four or five North Korean divisions. The latter then sent patrols five miles south, toward American outposts, the locations of which were not disclosed. No American troops had been involved in the fighting in Suwon or elsewhere thus far. It was considered the largest concentration of Communist forces yet in the ten-day old war.

Also according to MacArthur headquarters, a group of 25 North Korean tanks threatened encirclement of the South Korean forces in the Suwon-Inchon-Seoul triangle. Inchon had thus far been held by the South Korean forces. Communist planes had also strafed a British ship off the east coast of Korea.

A mistaken report initially had reported American troop involvement in an engagement at Munmang, ten miles southwest of Wonju, where the Communist forces had a large tank force, along the road to Suwon.

North Korean radio said that the capital, Pyongyang, had been hit by U.S. bombers for the fifth time, with 30 planes dropping 600 bombs.

First orders by the Navy the previous day that the First Marine Division, many of the men of which were veterans of World War II, would join the fighting indicated the seriousness of the situation. The Division was designed as an integrated assault force. Units of the First Marine Air Wing, generally a sign that the Marines would be assigned to combat, were also being sent to support the Korean action. The Air Force had dispatched 75 B-29 bombers from the U.S. West Coast.

Top-level U.N. officials worked during the holiday to try to coordinate U.N. action to end the war. The Security Council was expected to meet again on Thursday. The U.N. began a news bulletin service, to be operated by the BBC and the Voice of America, to broadcast news to South Korea.

Russia demanded, in a statement issued by Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko, that the U.N. Security Council expel American forces from Korea. Soviet newspapers, Izvestia, Pravda, and Soviet Sport, agreed with the statement, calling the American action "aggression in Korea". Mr. Gromyko's statement went on to condemn the sending of the U.S. Seventh Fleet to protect Formosa as an act in violation of the Potsdam agreement of July, 1945 and the earlier Big Four Cairo accords of November, 1943, as Formosa, he contended, remained part of China and should be governed by Mao Tse-Tung's Government of the mainland. He also repeated the claim that the U.N. resolution to end the fighting was illegal because of the boycott by Russia of the Security Council based on the refusal to seat Communist China and continued recognition of the Nationalist Government. The State Department had no immediate comment.

In London, India reportedly had offered to Russia and the U.S. to become a mediator to end the Korean conflict. It started from the premise that Korea was a single country which ought be unified politically and economically.

Speaking in Los Angeles, the editor of the Nippon Times of Tokyo, a specialist in Far Eastern affairs teaching history at Stanford, said that American troops could expect little help from the army of South Korea, that Koreans had little love for Americans or the democratic government of President Syngman Rhee, and might possibly fight against the American Army as guerrillas. He also advised that nothing would be solved by pushing the Communists back behind the 38th parallel.

Dick Young, Jr., city editor of The News, having spent several months as part of a signal battalion stationed in Seoul at the end of the war in September, 1945, reports that Korea was a puzzling and often contradictory country. For one thing, every place, town and river had at least two names. Seoul, for instance, was also known as Keijo or Kyongsong. Inchon was also known as Jinsen, and Pusan, as Fusan. Korea, itself, was known as Chosen to the Koreans. The Japanese had changed all the place names to Japanese when they seized Korea in 1910, but the Koreans continued using the original names.

Seoul had been found by the American occupation troops to have been an admixture of East and West, with the central portion almost entirely Western but increasingly Oriental the further one traveled from the city center. The soldiers regarded it as an extremely dirty city, although it was probably no more so than any other Oriental metropolis.

In Springfield, Mass., a man, who left two hospitals to avoid surgery for serious internal injuries after being struck in the stomach by an exploding tire rim while he was helping a truck driver fix a tire, was being observed in the State mental institution. He had been picked up a mile from the hospital wearing only a blanket. He had given a false address and it was determined that he had escaped from the New Jersey State Hospital in 1943.

In Valley Forge, Pa., General Eisenhower would appear this night at the Boy Scout Jamboree to initiate the grand fireworks display, with the words "Let 'Er Rip", the same words he had used six years earlier to initiate the D-Day invasion on June 6. The Second National Jamboree had attracted 47,000 scouts from 21 countries. The theme was "Strengthen the Arm of Liberty".

Get out your clickers for the fact of the hedges.

Accidental deaths had totaled 534 thus far during the four-day weekend to conclude at midnight. Of those, 345 people had died in traffic accidents as of the prior night, thus likely to exceed the estimate of the National Safety Council that 385 would die by that means through the holiday period. Michigan, with 26 traffic deaths, and New York, with 21, had both surpassed North Carolina with 20, after the latter had led in that category the previous day with 19. California, Illinois, and Texas each had 18, and Alabama, 17. California led the nation in total accidental deaths with 42, while Michigan and New York each had 38, followed by North Carolina, with 29. Only one death, in New Hampshire, had thus far been reported from fireworks.

Sold American...

On the editorial page, "The Fourth of July" finds that with fighting having started anew, involving American soldiers in Korea, the holiday was perhaps less sentimental, gay and more subdued than during the previous five years since the end of World War II, but that the determination to fight for freedom had never been more evident.

"Sugaw Creek Solution in Prospect" relates of the efforts thus far to clean up the polluted creek, as well as other streams in the community, such that Charlotte's creeks ought be clean by 1952. It gives credit to the City Administration and especially the City Council committee headed by Basil Boyd for the effort.

"About That Prison Report" tells of it normally not feeling the need to go to bat for the editor of the High Point Enterprise, Bob Thompson, who regularly inveighed against Senator Frank Graham, Governor Kerr Scott, and President Truman, as he could take care of himself. But it would support him in his insistence to have the SBI report released to the Raleigh district attorney by State Attorney General Harry McMullan, anent State Prison director J. B. Moore, involving the controversy, stimulated by the report of WRAL news director Jesse Helms, as reported June 10, surrounding Mr. Moore's alleged use of prisoners to paint the front porch of his residence and construct a garage apartment at his home. Mr. Thompson wanted the Wake County Grand Jury to investigate any grounds for criminal prosecution in the matter.

On June 30, Mr. Moore had resigned after a hearing before the Highway Commission, claiming that he had done nothing wrong, that the materials in question came from private sources, not the State, and that the labor was voluntary help for the regular prison trusty assigned to the director for years, aiding him during periods of rotation of work crews on a demolition project on the campus of N.C. State, as the crews were using the director's home as their staging area for the work, a statement confirmed by the supervisor of the demolition work. The Highway Commission merely accepted the resignation without comment or findings of fact.

The piece thinks that there must have been some reason for the resignation and so agrees with Mr. Thompson that the matter ought be investigated further by the Grand Jury and the district attorney, and that the SBI report thus ought be made available to the people.

Jesse 'll get to the bottom of it, with his nose for news. He could probably sniff around Sugaw Creek in Charlotte also and find out the source of the problem.

A piece from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, titled "Taft Lowers Himself", finds Senator Taft's condemnation of Secretary of State Acheson, urging his ouster for setting in motion the weak policy toward the Far East, while praising the President's action in defending South Korea, to have neglected the fact that the Asian policy had been in place for far longer than the eighteen months during which Secretary Acheson had been in the post. The policy had been put in place because of the determination that the corrupt and inefficient regime of Chiang Kai-Shek, enjoying less popular support in China than the Communists, was little, if any, better than the Communist regime with their land reform program. General Marshall, as special envoy to China for the President in 1946, had said as much upon his return, just before becoming Secretary of State to replace James Byrnes. The appraisal of Chiang still stood in the State Department, regardless of the claims of Senators Taft and William Knowland. The American people had disfavored providing more aid to the regime, only to see it wasted in graft or arms surrendered to the Communists without a fight, as had been the case.

Many of Senator Taft's Republican colleagues warned of spreading American resources too thin over the world. The Senator, himself, had voted in September, 1949 against the 27 million dollars in aid for Korea, the Philippines, and Iran, as well, the prior May, against the foreign aid authorization bill.

Meanwhile, former President Hoover and Governor Dewey urged unity and gave unstinted praise to the President for his action.

The piece finds that the attack on Secretary Acheson had diminished Senator Taft's reputation nationally. It adds that his public support of Senator McCarthy six weeks earlier had already, however, lowered the estimate of Mr. Taft in the eyes of the American people.

Bob Sain of The News tells of two books regarding Russia being worthwhile reading for understanding better how to achieve peace in the cold war. One was Natural Regions of the U.S.S.R., by L. S. Berg, and the other was Economic Geography of the U.S.S.R., edited by S. S. Balzac, V. F. Vasytin, and Ya. G. Geigin. He provides some of the arcane geographic information contained about Russia in the first volume, finding the second book to be of even greater value in providing demographic information about industrial areas and the transportation system of the country.

Two other significant volumes, which he does not describe, were The Law of the Soviet State, by Andrei Vishinsky, and History of the National Economy of Russia, by P. I. Lyashchenko.

Drew Pearson tells of the National Security Council deciding whether to cut off British, French, and other Western European NATO nations' exports to Russia, ultimately to cost, if implemented, the U.S. three billion dollars per year. Those nations had curtailed export of strategic materials to Russia and its satellites but had continued to ship non-strategic materials. If the latter were cut off, it would cost those nations' economies 2.6 to three billion dollars per year, in turn creating the necessity for the U.S. to fill the gap in aid. The State Department had been negotiating for two years to cut down export of critical items and a list dubbed "Group 17", which banned exports to Communist areas, had been develeoped. U.S. military leaders demanded, for instance, that duck feathers, usable to make aviators' suits, and all ball bearings, including those in ball point pens, be added to the list. W. Averell Harriman, the new cold war coordinator, recommended instead looking to U.S. trade with Russia in furs, the dollars from which Russia had used to buy armaments and strategic materials in South America.

He notes that Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson blamed Secretary of State Acheson for nixing the plan to cut off trade, but, in doing so, had neglected to account for the fact that the President had actually vetoed the plan on the basis of the cost to the Treasury.

General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, had suffered food poisoning on the way back from his meeting with General MacArthur in Japan, during a stop in Alaska, when he had a slice of lemon meringue pie. Secretary Johnson remarked that he had two slices of the same pie.

Senator Owen Brewster of Maine had been responsible for nixing the renomination of Sumner Pike to the Atomic Energy Commission, of which he was acting chairman, as further elucidated below by Marquis Childs. Mr. Pearson ascribes Senator Brewster's opposition to Mr. Pike being more aligned with the liberal politics of Maine's other Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, than those of Senator Brewster. Plus, Senator Brewster was concerned that Mr. Pike was considering a run against him for the Republican Senate nomination in 1952. Senator Brewster had worked out a deal with Senator Harry Byrd whereby Mr. Pike would receive a negative recommendation in committee and then be defeated on the Senate floor, in exchange for Republican opposition to the nomination to the FTC of Martin Hutchinson, a foe of Senator Byrd, receiving an unfavorable committee recommendation by a vote of 5 to 3. Meanwhile, Senator Bourke Hickenlooper ostensibly led the drive against Mr. Pike in committee. Senator Tom Connally was caught by surprise by the opposition to Mr. Pike, but the deal was not disclosed by the coalition of Republican and Dixiecrat Senators who were party to it.

Marquis Childs finds that the important issue of the future of atomic energy was being decided on the basis of ward-level politics, as in the case of the negative recommendation by the Joint Atomic Energy Committee of the renomination of Mr. Pike to a new four-year term on the AEC. Senator Bourke Hickenlooper, who had been behind the effort in 1948-49 to oust David Lilienthal as chairman of the AEC on the basis of alleged mismanagement and had failed in doing so, was also behind this effort, having probably corralled enough votes among Southern Democrats to go with the Republican opposition in the Senate finally to defeat the nomination.

There was little substance, as with the attack on Mr. Lilienthal, behind the move. The best guess was that Senator Hickenlooper wanted to prove to his constituents that he could accomplish something after all. Mr. Pike had also made a speech the previous year at Bowdoin College in Maine, suggesting that the charges against Mr. Lilienthal by the Committee had remained peripheral and insignificant probably because the Committee knew so little about the inner workings of the Commission, deliberately keeping from itself even the knowledge of how many bombs were in the stockpile and their rate of production. He found that the fact showed a basic distrust by the Committee in representative democracy. Only the President, the Joint Chiefs, the Commission members, and the chairman of the Committee, Senator Brien McMahon, knew the number in the stockpile and rate of production. It suggested that the Congress did not believe its members could maintain the secret.

Also, both Colorado Senators, Eugene Millikin and Edwin Johnson, were opposed to Mr. Pike because of his stands on uranium production and pricing, opposed by the uranium mining interests in that state.

Bernard Baruch had spoken of atomic energy being a choice for everyone between the quick and the dead. That it had devolved to the level of ward politics, he concludes, bespoke the times.

Joseph & Stewart Alsop tell of what would have inevitably occurred had the President not responded strongly to the invasion of South Korea by North Korea. Iran had been served recently with notice by the Soviets of violation of the 1921 Russo-Iranian treaty which forbade admitting hostile forces within Iranian territory. The Iranians had permitted the U.S. to establish a base there in violation, claimed the Soviets, of that treaty. The Communist Party in Iran, financed heavily by Moscow, had been working for weeks to undermine the tottering structure of the Iranian state, denouncing via radio the U.S. as an imperialist government and promising "liberation" soon.

Moreover, beyond Iran, Burma, Tibet, the Middle East, and Greece would have experienced similar pressures, and all of these places, being weak in defense, would have been forced to capitulate quickly to terms.

West Germany and Western Europe generally, while not subject to being forced to quick capitulation, nevertheless would have felt pressure toward appeasement and surrender. The Soviets would have been increasingly emboldened by an unchecked successful invasion of South Korea. Even during the three days between the invasion and the decision of the President to send in U.S. forces, there were signs of Western European concern.

By contrast, in light of the President's action, the non-Soviet world was united as never before against Soviet aggression. While there were still more menacing dangers ahead, it was better to face those in such a united vein rather than have the defenses of the free world crumble, as the Kremlin had anticipated and which would have followed American appeasement in Korea.

A letter from J. R. Cherry, Jr., of Chapel Hill, starting with a quote from Hamlet, (not part of the first quarto, recrudescent devil, ill-begotten 'twixt two sheets in the unremitting wind, which doth pass through a void, for want of loam, but it be patch'd by shoe-gauze, polluted of oily, evacuate refuge), says that he had gotten a kick during the campaign out of the favorable analogies of Senator Graham to George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Booker T. Washington, Woodrow Wilson and FDR. He predicts that next would come the suggestion to enshrine Senator Graham, upon his death, in Arlington National Cemetery and canonize him "Saint Frank". He concludes: "Isn't it amazing the extent to which emotions rather than sober reflection direct us?"

As we have suggested previously regarding Mr. Cherry—who, the previous year, had been the instigator of the Senate hearings pertaining to a UNC graduate student, Hans Freistadt, informing Senator Clyde Hoey that Mr. Freistadt was an open Communist and attending graduate school on an AEC scholarship—, he would no doubt be tickled pink, for awhile at least, by late 1972. His tickle, however, might become less pink, more purple, come August, 1974.

And to answer his question: Yes, it is.

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