The Charlotte News

Saturday, August 26, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the North Korean forces shifted to the east coast and made some gains of 2,000 to 3,000 yards against South Korean forces in the Pohang-Kigye area, after failing for the second consecutive day in a 20,000-man thrust on the central front in the Kumhwa sector near Congno. In the latter area, the enemy effectiveness had been cut in half and they had pulled back, leaving Taegu safe for at least the ensuing ten days. American planes, flying 187 sorties, provided cover for the South Korean defenders in the eastern sector. The rest of the front was quiet.

Record air strikes the previous day, involving 600 sorties, had accounted for at least 600 enemy dead in an unidentified sector of the front.

Most of the 30,000 enemy troops in the central sector were pulling back beyond American artillery range. MacArthur headquarters said that the front was "pretty well stabilized".

American troops around Kumhwa were taking sun baths after seven straight days of fighting.

Hey, what are we paying you for, sunbathing? Hope you get a nice tan at taxpayer expense. You need one of those sun reflectors?

Stan Swinton, on the Masan front, tells of American black troops and South Korean infantry fighting shoulder to shoulder to win Battle Mountain again, after it had changed hands six times in a week. The enemy had put up only a light fight this time. American troops buried 215 North Koreans killed in the six attacks. Sobuk mountain, 15 miles west of Masan, also stayed in American hands, after a battle with hand grenades and small arms fire. The Americans discovered that the enemy had submerged two bridges across the Nam River, one of sandbags and the other of telephone poles, to move tanks across. Seven tanks were spotted and four were destroyed by American planes.

Military strategists were worried about two Communist Chinese armies, numbering about 200,000, massed in Manchuria near the Korean border. It raised questions whether they were poised to move southward into Korea. The size of the two armies was more than double that of the American forces in Korea. Whether they were present to unnerve the U.N. forces or were to be put into action remained unclear. Of additional concern were 120 large tanks which had been sent from the Russian-controlled port of Dairen to the North Koreans.

At the U.N., Security Council delegates were expecting a full hearing on the Formosa question the following week. Chief U.S. delegate Warren Austin said that the U.S. would welcome an investigation of the charges made by Chinese Communist Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai that the Americans had "invaded" Formosa. The monthly rotating presidency of the Security Council would pass to another delegate the following week, from Russian chief delegate Jakob Malik who had engaged in obstructionism during August, delaying the calling of the U.S.-sponsored resolution on Korea to rebuke North Korea for refusing to heed the ceasefire resolution of June 25.

The State Department expressed sharp disapproval of a speech by Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews at the Boston Navy Yard, in which he said the U.S. should be willing to start a war in the interests of peace. The White House said that the speech had not been cleared in advance.

In Manila, five thousand Huk peasant rebels, protesting the entry of the Philippines to the Korean war engaged in looting and arson, leaving 167 dead and scores wounded. The Huks had fought the Japanese throughout World War II.

UNESCO's executive council heard two strong pleas to take immediate action to support the U.N. forces in Korea, and it appeared likely that it would heed the pleas. The U.N. Secretariat had suggested that UNESCO could spread information about U.N. ideals and aims in Korea and participate later in the country's reconstruction after the war.

Four miles off San Francisco's Golden Gate, a hospital ship, the Benevolence, under repair by a civilian crew from Mare Island Navy Yard, was struck by a freighter in fog and sunk, sending survivors into chilly waters. Eighteen of the estimated 515 aboard died. Most of the persons aboard had just gone out for the short cruise, the ship's last shakedown cruise before entering service for Korea. Had the ship been returning from Korea, it would have had 1,500 to 2,000 patients aboard. One man said that he had spent four days in the drink at Guadalcanal during the war but the hour and fifteen minutes he spent in the water on this occasion seemed longer. Some survivors were in the water for hours. All were shivering when rescued.

Eleven nurses sang and prayed as they clung to boards while tied together, awaiting rescue. One of the nurses died as she was being pulled from the water by an Army tug. They had sung "Merrily We Roll Along". All ten survivors were reported in good condition.

Motorists would still be able to buy tires and tubes despite Government curtailment of civilian rubber production to allow for war production.

A major earthquake was recorded in Cleveland, occurring somewhere on the eastern edge of the Aleutian Islands off Alaska.

On the editorial page, "The Formosan Threat" discusses Communist Chinese Foreign Minister Chou En-Lai's recent renewed threat to "liberate" Formosa from the "invading" Americans, asking the U.N. Security Council to order withdrawal of American forces from the island. It was consistent with standard Communist propaganda as uttered by Jakob Malik, chief Russian delegate to the U.N., that the U.S. had "invaded" Formosa.

If it turned out to be more than propaganda and an invasion was imminent, then the response militarily would need be decisive to avoid a full-scale war with Communist China. It recommends building up defenses to the point that the Communist Chinese would not attempt such an invasion, counseling that half-way measures would be inadequate, setting up a policy of protection of Formosa while not offering sufficient military strength to back up the talk. That policy, it suggests, would only result in disaster.

"The Pork Still Oozes" urges that as long as Congress was levying new taxes and exhorting the American people not to hoard or buy non-essentials, while drafting young men to fight in Korea, it ought rein in the pork on display in the harbors, rivers, and navigation bill.

"Editorialettes" provides several fillers, among which is one which expresses hope that The New Yorker's "Life in Hollywood" column had not overlooked a report by Aline Mosby that at a restaurant called "The House of Murphy", film stars were psychoanalyzed while having lunch. It finds that the combined service took care of both the inner psychic and somatic needs at once.

It bids a fond farewell to the Loch Ness monster, to be replaced, it predicts, by a small alligator which had disappeared in Switzerland recently and would soon, no doubt, be transformed into a giant by the public imagination.

And so on...

A piece from the Winston-Salem Journal, titled "What It Costs Us", provides the costs in taxes for defense during the previous four years for a family across various income groups, as found by the Council of State Chambers of Commerce. Its study revealed that 67.2 percent of defense spending went to guns, ships, and planes. The study concluded that efforts at modernization, begun under Secretary of Defense James Forrestal and continued under Secretary Johnson, had worked to "strengthen the investment" in defense.

The piece urges that all non-essential spending on non-defense matters be eliminated to allow for the increased spending to follow in the wake of the Korean war.

Drew Pearson's column is written by Fred Blumenthal, who tells of Russian weather broadcasts omitting conditions north of Korea during the week, apparently to hinder U.S. air strikes.

Senate Majority Leader Scott Lucas and House Speaker Sam Rayburn differed in a conference with the President over whether there would be a sine die recess until January 3 after business concluded at the start of September, as favored by Speaker Rayburn, or a three-day periodic recess, as favored by Senator Lucas. The latter felt the Congress should remain on call given the emergency, while Speaker Rayburn wanted to enable things to settle down and convey thereby to the nation the lack of fear of a pending world war. The President said that they would have to work it out between themselves, but, regardless of the outcome, he could call Congress back into emergency session on 24 hours notice.

The FBI had been tipped of a meeting of mob leaders to occur in Cleveland the following week.

The price of crude rubber had jumped 300 percent since the start of the war.

Congressman Jack Anderson got into an argument with a doctor representing the AMA regarding a proposed program of free medical care for dependents of men in service, with the doctor contending that it would be unfair to those who lived great distances from Government hospitals. Mr. Anderson found that contention to be specious, as the taxpayer who lived next door to the firehouse paid the same taxes as one who lived a mile away, to which the doctor said he believed that to be splitting hairs. Mr. Anderson rubbed his bald head and said that he did not have any hair to split.

GOP Congressman Clarence Brown said that he did not think it would be a good thing for Republicans to win back Congress in the fall as it would commit the party to responsibility without any authority over administration. It would also give the President an excuse in 1952 for any blunders, just as he had successfully blamed the "do nothing" 80th Congress during the 1948 campaign.

Stewart Alsop discusses economic controls being considered by Congress and the effort of Senators Kenneth Wherry and John Bricker to offer an amendment designed to make them unworkable by mandating that the President, to invoke controls at all, would have to engage the full panoply of both wage and price controls. That way, when he did not invoke controls, they could say to voters in the fall that they had voted for the measure but the President would not use it to head off inflation.

Secretary of Defense Johnson was promoting the idea of a 50 billion dollar defense budget in the near future, mandating controls, while the President continued to say that he did not want wage and price controls.

Mr. Alsop suggests that since during the late war, defense spending had been as much as 40 percent of the budget without triggering economic ruin, indeed the converse, the economy could easily accommodate 50 billion dollars in defense spending, provided there were in place sound economic controls.

But, he cautions, if the Administration continued to talk out of both sides of its mouth while the opposition in Congress engaged in the type of sly chicanery represented by the Wherry-Bricker amendment, then the economy would fall into ruin and the defense capability of the country would be compromised.

Robert C. Ruark finds that the statements recently by freshman Indiana Congressman Walsh, whose first name he did not know or care to look up, regarding the ability of the United States to hit Russia many times over with its stockpile of 250 atomic bombs while, he believed, Russia had none, amounted to improvident blabber, and wishes he would shut up. He feels that he need not take such advice from a freshman Congressman, though a member of the House Armed Services Committee. He needed to hear it from the President, the Joint Chiefs or Stuart Symington.

He concludes: "Shaddap. Cease and desist from garrulousness. Hush, pipe down, and knock off. Especially in the case of small-bore politicians in the chicken-patty league."

His name was John R. Walsh and he would be defeated in the fall.

Tom Schlesinger of The News, in his weekly "Capital Roundup", tells of sources on Capitol Hill not placing bets that the Congress would not be done with its necessary business before mid-October.

Senator Frank Graham had said that he would vote in the fall for Willis Smith, who had defeated him in an acrimonious primary campaign in late June.

It was likely that Universal Military Training would be sidetracked in the rush for adjournment. Neither North Carolina Senator had committed to it yet. Senator Graham had been opposed to it in peacetime but believed in a strong defense.

Senator Graham lost his appeal to add three million dollars to the budget for the Blue Ridge Parkway. He found it to be "fake economy" to have dirt gaps in the road. The money had gone to the Baltimore-Washington Parkway.

Senator Graham had not been absent a day since his return to the Senate following the campaign.

Attendance of Paul Green's "Faith of Our Fathers", the outdoor drama on George Washington to celebrate the Sesquicentennial of the nation's capital, remained poor.

Lester Cohen had finally completed, after four years, the job of putting together a distilled version—actually, a dramatization—of Thomas Wolfe's posthumously published The Web and the Rock, a first version of which had not contained a single line taken directly from the book.

Capitol Hill talk was that Iran would be the next trouble spot in the world, and fairly soon.

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