The Charlotte News

Friday, August 25, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that a major battle over a new road between Uisong and Yongchon to Taegu had broken out in the central front mountains between 6,000 vanguard North Koreans and South Korean troops, 12 to 25 miles north and east of the city, the last bastion before the plains to Pusan. Behind the lead enemy force were 20,000 troops. It was the fifth time in a week that such an attempt by the enemy had been made, failing four times in five days to crash through to the "Bowling Alley" corridor, at a cost of 3,500 North Korean troops. The bloodiest fighting in the new contest was around Chongno, 25 miles east of Taegu and seven miles east of Kunwi, across a 12-mile front.

A former squirrel hunter from Georgia, now in Korea, had dispatched several of the 55 North Koreans found dead around his position. He said that they had kept coming and coming and he had kept shooting and shooting.

The 1,500 British infantrymen from Hong Kong were now on their way to Korea.

Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson asked Congress to permit the drafting of doctors and dentists up to age 45.

It was now considered by the State Department unlikely that the Communist Chinese would attack Formosa, though the possibility still loomed that such an attack might be launched to divert American attention from Korea. Peiping radio had issued statements of intention to liberate Formosa but it was dismissed as propaganda. There was a practical bar to such action in the immediate future as the threat of typhoons lay ahead in the coming weeks and months. Moreover, the U.S. Naval forces, along with allied forces, were becoming formidable in the area and the Strait of Formosa was within easy range of American aircraft on Okinawa.

A bipartisan group of 16 Senators and 15 House members urged formation of a U.N. police force made up of volunteers from the smaller member nations, to operate without interference by Security Council veto. Senator John Sparkman, just appointed to the American U.N. delegation, outlined the proposal.

The Senate-House confreres, assigned to reconcile the economic controls bills, agreed to provide the President, instead of Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer, the full power to allocate and prioritize scarce defense materials. It was likely they would also delete the provision tying wage and price controls tightly together, to be implemented simultaneously if at all. That provision also had been criticized by the President.

The President ordered seizure of the nation's railroads in advance of the Monday called strike by the Brotherhoods of Trainmen and Conductors, directing the Secretary of the Army to take over operation of the roads. The unions had said that they would work under seizure. They had, in fact, desired the seizure, as they believed it would facilitate the resolution of their 18-month old wage-hour dispute.

West Coast longshoremen union leader Harry Bridges, following conviction for perjury for failing to disclose on his 1945 application for citizenship his past Communist Party membership, was again freed on bail pending appeal. His previous bail had been revoked by a Federal judge on August 5 after deeming Mr. Bridges a menace to national security, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals overruled that determination.

In an unprecedented move for an automaker, Chrysler and the UAW announced minimum hourly raises of ten cents above recently negotiated contract terms for all employees.

Retail food prices had fallen by .3 percent since the end of July, following a near record increase for the summer as of July 15.

In Wewoka, Okla., reports of the capture of a 26-foot long snake proved a hoax, after it was discovered that a zookeeper and animal trapper had ordered the snake to capitalize on rumors a month earlier that a huge snake had been observed by a farmer in the area. His claim was to be that he had captured the snake in a snare and would then exhibit it for a fee. He came clean when the sheriff and police became involved.

A photograph on the page shows Senators John McClellan of Arkansas, Garrett Withers of Kentucky, and Alexander Wiley of Wisconsin jointly chowing down on a large slice of a 117-lb. watermelon sent by friends of Senator McClellan from Hope, Ark.

Don't worry, Ringo K. Galaxie, it was a green watermelon, not a white one. But there may have been an illegal gift in there somewhere. Better hurry before the evidence is gone.

On the editorial page, "Universal Military Training" tells of a Charlotte unit of the National Guard having departed for the Korean war the previous day, leaving behind young men without dependents, better suited for going to war. The latter had stayed because they were untrained. Universal Military Training would remedy that situation. It suggests that while many well-meaning people opposed UMT in 1948, it was the better part of wisdom to adopt it to assure readiness in time of war.

"Mr. Truman Should Get Tough" finds that the nationwide railroad strike being called the following Monday could not be justified in time of national emergency in Korea when the need to maintain the domestic economy was especially crucial. The two Brotherhoods had rejected the recommendation of an impartial fact-finding board and then rejected an offer even more liberal than that recommendation. Such an abuse favored the Communists.

The hope of the unions was to force seizure of the roads by the Government in the expectation that it would result in better terms. But the President also might then insist that the roads would not receive any more favorable treatment, given the circumstances of the strike, especially as he had stated the previous day a feeling of betrayal after being assured by the unions that there would be no strike two hours before the strike was called. The nation, ventures the piece, would welcome such a tough stance.

"A Judge Sticks out His Neck" finds the Durham Recorder, who had ordered Durham police officers to pick up distributors of the Stockholm Peace Petition, a subversive document promoted by Communists, to elicit sympathy while not achieving his end by appropriate means. The son of the St. Paul's Recorder, a former G.I. and UNC graduate, had sought to test the order by seeking the signatures on the petition from three Durham officers, prompting his immediate arrest.

The order violated the First Amendment right to free speech and to petition the government for grievances. The Recorder also would be prosecutor and judge if he sat on the adjudication of guilt of those arrested pursuant to his order. Statutes prohibiting vagrancy could not possibly be stretched to encompass peaceful solicitation of signatures. And even if it were legal to arrest the solicitors, the answer to error, as Senator Frank Graham had said, was not terror, but rather truth. The way to expose the Stockholm Petition was to show it to be Soviet propaganda.

That's no fun. You have to go bust some heads first.

"Roanoke and Charlotte" finds that the assessment of Roanoke's parking problems provided on the page mirrored those of Charlotte: a congested business district bounded on two sides by railroad tracks, compounded by inadequate streets, a lack of spaces for parking, and consequent loss of downtown business and decreased property values. Roanoke had dealt with the problem with bypass routes, better enforcement of parking regulations, improved traffic signals, repaving, better lighting, and one-way streets. Roanoke was also planning to build a 2,600-car parking lot after razing buildings on eight secondary business blocks. Meanwhile, Charlotte was still awaiting a committee report and had not yet determined even how much money might be available for such projects.

"The Virtue of Brevity" applauds, with undue prolixity, the brevity of the Greensboro Daily News in saying that the claim of the Russians that the U.S. was dropping potato beetles on the East German potato crop was absurd, as it was the case that if there were such beetles available, the Government would drop them on the American potato crop.

John W. Eure, writing in the Commonwealth, as indicated above, assesses Roanoke's parking problems and explains how it had addressed those issues. If you have a parking problem in your city, you may read it in its excruciating detail. But remember that the very best solution to the problem is fit mass transportation rather than paving over the city and erecting ugly parking decks everywhere—or, better yet, in a computer age, allowing office employees to work from home half the week. Better for business, better for the environment, better for the green spaces.

Drew Pearson's column this date is written by Jack Anderson, who finds the general feeling among Lt. General Walton Walker's fellow generals to be that he was a competent but not very dynamic general, not a good field commander for Korea. General Walker's chief of staff was Col. Eugene Landrum, who commanded the 90th Division when it landed at Normandy in June, 1944, and had botched things so badly that he was relieved of command after two months and returned to the States. He had obtained his current position because, as General Walker happened to be in line for the post of commander, he was in line to be his chief of staff.

Another less than first-rate officer in a significant position, according to other generals, was Maj. General Charles Willoughby, in charge of Army G-2 intelligence, accused by subordinates of doctoring intelligence reports for General MacArthur, to make things seem better than they were. General Willoughby's chief qualification was that he had served under General MacArthur on Bataan.

General MacArthur had been considering return to the U.S. to take a job with Remington Rand at the time when the Korean war broke out—perhaps, in light of subsequent events, providing insight to the failure of intelligence to assess properly the threat to South Korea, which General MacArthur had advised just prior to the attack was not in danger, asserting to Joint Chiefs chairman General Omar Bradley and Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson that Formosa was instead the threatened trouble spot.

Many top mobsters had been reporting small incomes and lumping it all under such euphemistic rubrics as "speculation".

Presidential military aide General Harry Vaughan was still able to grease wheels, notwithstanding his embarrassment occasioned by the previous year's investigation of the five-percenter schemes, which had sent his pal John Maragon to jail for perjury before the Senate investigating committee. Recently, he was able to provide a letter to a young lawyer friend, a lieutenant, to get him transferred from Army field artillery to the Army JAG Corps Reserve, despite the fact that the latter was not generally taking any new lawyers at present. Nevertheless, the Army did need in the field young officers with the lawyer's training.

Marquis Childs tells of pending proposals before the U.N., one being to form a convention to amend the Charter or even discard it and start anew, to try to provide methods for breaking the current deadlock. A vote of two-thirds majority of the Assembly plus seven members of the Security Council would be necessary to adopt such a proposal, not subject to veto by one of the Big Five on the Security Council. The catch would be that the veto power would apply to elimination of the veto power, itself.

Opinion was, however, that Russia would go along to avoid being shown finally to be the obstructionist power in the body.

Another proposal for amendment was to eliminate China from the permanent members of the Security Council and substitute India, obviating thereby the friction over whether Communist China ought be recognized in substitute for Nationalist China, reduced as it was to Formosa, thus no longer a world power. John Foster Dulles, in his War or Peace, had stated that the Communist delegate should be seated when it became clear beyond doubt that the Communist regime, in fact and law, was the Government of China. From the point of view of American public opinion, however, such a move could never happen as long as Americans were fighting in Korea.

Russia, again, might go along with such a plan to avoid alienating 400 million Indians.

Robert C. Ruark tells of El Paso editor Ed Pooley having sent Secretary of Agriculture Charles Brannan a check for $27.50 to buy a hundred pounds of canned meat, 200 pounds of butter and a hundred pounds of cheese at the Government surplus sale prices. But the check would be returned uncashed as the meat had been killed in Mexico by their hoof and mouth epidemic, and the cheese and butter could not be sold to Americans without the Government buying a corresponding amount on the open market to hold up prices. The commodities could only go to the U.N. FAO for "supplemental feeding", for sale to the nations for their own dollars, not from Marshall Plan proceeds.

He finds, however, Mr. Pooley to be a good candidate for President or at least Secretary of Agriculture.

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