The Charlotte News

Friday, September 1, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that North Korean troops renewed their attack on the southern end of the 120-mile defense arc after pushing back American lines defended by the Second Division by 8.5 miles during the day from Yongsan across the Naktong River. These forces were reported to be tired but not broken and immediately dug in within the hills east of Yongsan, against an enemy thrust designed to cut the main highway between Pusan and Taegu. U.S. tanks leading the 25th Infantry Division swiftly recaptured burning Haman, temporarily blunting the southern drive, after the enemy had sent two divisions against it and threatened for a time to crack the American line protecting the city, 35 miles west of Pusan. The offensive had set the front ablaze along a 55-mile front on the Naktong River west of Taegu, southward to the sea. Some 50,000 enemy troops were committed to the effort.

Eighth Army headquarters in the field reported a thousand enemy troops killed during the day and three tanks destroyed by midday, but these figures appeared quite conservative.

An American officer said that he believed the enemy forces were making their last major effort. But an intelligence officer at MacArthur headquarters in Tokyo said that a second beachhead was still possible and that the largest infantry concentration of the enemy was in the area of Waegwan northwest of Taegu.

A piece recounts the brief Japanese surrender ceremony and speech to the men by General MacArthur aboard the U.S.S. Missouri five years earlier.

Britain's Sir Gladwyn Jebb took over in the monthly rotation as presiding member of the U.N. Security Council, taking the gavel from Jakob Malik of Russia who had served in the position during August and had obstructed votes on the pending U.S.-sponsored resolution to condemn North Korea for failing to heed the ceasefire resolution passed June 25 in the wake of its invasion of the South. Mr. Jebb said that he intended to turn the calendar back to July 31 and start anew, and reportedly planned as the first order of business the seating of the representative of South Korea and refusal of a place to the North Korean envoy. Next would come the U.S. resolution, which was expected to be vetoed by Russia, after which would be considered Communist China's charges, sponsored by Russia, regarding American aggression against Formosa and alleged air raids in Manchuria.

U.S. chief delegate Warren Austin had admitted the previous day that a U.S. fighter plane may have inadvertently strafed a Manchurian airfield on August 27. He promised that if the charge were proved after U.N. investigation, the U.S. would indemnify Communist China for the damage and take proper disciplinary action toward those involved. By agreeing to the investigation, it meant that U.N. investigators would need enter Communist Chinese or North Korean territory for inspection, refusal of which would send a signal that either the claim of the incident was false or that the countries had something to conceal. It was believed also that the candid admission of the incident largely had canceled its propaganda value to the Communists.

The House approved the compromise economic controls bill giving the President broad standby powers for wage-price controls and rationing, not sought by the President. The allocation and prioritization of scarce materials plus credit controls, as he had sought, were also included in the measure. The only thing sought which was omitted was control of trading on commodity exchanges to prevent speculation. Some of the controls, including the ability to establish wage-price controls and set up special machinery for settling labor disputes, would last until the end of the 1951 fiscal year, while the remainder would endure through fiscal year 1952 but could be used only on contracts entered during fiscal year 1951. The Congress reserved the right to revoke the legislation at any time.

It was expected that the Senate would pass the controls bill before nightfall, in advance of the 9:00 p.m. speech to the nation by the President via radio and television on the Korean war, mobilization, and domestic controls. There would be nothing new in the speech, according to the White House, but would represent a summing up of the replies to letters from all over the country expressing concern over the war, as well as serving as a response to Russian propaganda.

Key points of the President were in direct clarification of the controversial statements of General MacArthur intended for the VFW re Formosa, withdrawn at the direction of the President, and of Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews, urging preventive war to establish the ultimate peace:

Fifth: We do not want Formosa or any part of Asia for ourselves. We believe that the future of Formosa, like that of every other territory in dispute, should be settled peacefully. We believe that it should be settled by international action, and not by the decision of the United States or any other state alone. The mission of the 7th Fleet is to keep Formosa out of the conflict. Our purpose is peace, not conquest.

Sixth: We believe in freedom for all the nations of the Far East. That is one of the reasons why we are fighting under the United Nations for the freedom of Korea. We helped the Philippines become independent and we have supported the national aspirations to independence of other Asian countries. Russia has never voluntarily given up any territory it has acquired in the Far East; it has never given independence to any people who have fallen under its control. We not only want freedom for the peoples of Asia, but we also want to help them to secure for themselves better health, more food, better clothes and homes, and the chance to live their own lives in peace. The things we want for the people of Asia are the same things we want for the people of the rest of the world.

Seventh: We do not believe in aggressive or preventive war. Such war is the weapon of dictators, not of free democratic countries like the United States. We are arming only for the defense against aggression. Even though Communist imperialism does not believe in peace, it can be discouraged from new aggression if we and other free peoples are strong, determined, and united.

The House passed the reconciled Senate-House compromise bill specially to draft non-reservist doctors and dentists through age 50. The bill would next go to the Senate. It would first apply to 5,600 doctors and 3,000 dentists who had received all or part of their education free during the previous war in anticipation of service but who had seen little or no active service before war's end. The bill also included other allied specialists, such as veterinarians, optometrists, pharmacists and osteopaths.

House Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Vinson of Georgia said that the Committee would consider in January raising the minimum draft age from 25 to 35 and would consider drafting veterans with more than 90 days of active service, presently deferred.

The Senate sidetracked the excess profits tax bill until the new Congress would convene in January, with any new tax to be made retroactive to October 1 or July 1.

The President requested an additional six million dollars for the FBI in light of the changed international situation, for hiring 835 new agents and 1,218 new clerical employees, bringing the total to 5,000 agents and 12,600 overall personnel.

Employment rose by 1.1 million during August, 1950, to reach a new record high of 62.3 million, 752,000 above the previous record of 61.6 million in July, 1948. Non-farm jobs increased by 1.4 million while farm jobs decreased by 250,000, per a long-term downturn in farm employment. Unemployment was at 2.5 million, the lowest since the beginning of 1949, notwithstanding 400,000 persons entering the job market anew.

North Carolina Eleventh District Congressman A. L. Bulwinkle, 67, died at his home in Gastonia after having been ill for more than a year. He was not seeking re-election after nearly 30 years in Congress, continuously since 1931, after four previous terms during the Twenties. He had been a Major for the First Field Artillery Regiment of the North Carolina National Guard and had commanded the second battalion of the 113th Field Artillery during World War I, serving on the front lines at St. Mihiel, Argonne and Woevre in France.

Nathan Witt refused to tell HUAC whether he was or had ever been a Communist and refused to answer most of the other questions propounded to him. He had been named by Lee Pressman as a one-time fellow member of a Communist cell in Washington. He had also been named in 1948 by Whittaker Chambers as a Communist, at which time Mr. Witt had likewise refused to answer HUAC's questions. Two others, lawyer John Abt and Charles Kramer, were expected to testify during the afternoon. Mr. Abt—who would on November 23, 1963 be mentioned by Lee Harvey Oswald to an appointed Dallas attorney as his preferred counsel, though Mr. Abt, subsequent to the Oswald killing on November 24, would disavow any knowledge of him until that weekend—, had also been called before HUAC in 1948.

In Shannon, Ireland, a New York-bound Pan American Airways plane with 62 aboard was forced to turn back a thousand miles out over the Atlantic because of engine trouble. It had been aloft four hours when one of its four engines quit. Aboard was the wife of Ambassador to Britain Lewis Douglas.

South of Gaffney, S.C., three persons were killed and two injured in a head-on collision between a truck and an automobile on Highway 29.

On the editorial page, "Providing Play Areas" tells of a plan of one City Council member to amend the subdivision ordinance to make it mandatory for new subdivision developers to offer land dedicated to parks and playgrounds, with final decision to be made by the Park & Recreation Commission.

While there were four subdivision plans currently pending which should not be unduly delayed by the matter, it concludes that if it could be worked out, it appeared to be a good proposal.

"MacArthur—New GOP 'Issue'" finds that General MacArthur, in his attempt to circumvent the White House and Pentagon with a newly enunciated policy toward Formosa, had been acting in the service of Senators Kenneth Wherry of Nebraska, William Knowland of California, and Forrest Donnell of Missouri for the sake of fall politics. These Senators had sought to supplant the fading issues of Truman "socialism", "statism" and Communists in the State Department, as charged by Senator McCarthy, finally deemed a "fraud and a hoax" by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Senate as a whole. The first attempt at a new issue was the unpreparedness for the Korean war, proving, however, not very effective as a campaign issue since the Republicans in Congress had been complicit in the effort at economy in defense. So, they were now trying to make diplomatic failures by the State Department in the Far East the central issue, focusing on Secretary of State Acheson, with Formosa policy through General MacArthur supplying new ammunition.

The three aforementioned Senators had inserted the General's intended and withdrawn statement to the VFW into the Congressional Record. The Asheville Citizen had advised that unless the General harbored presidential ambitions, he should muzzle the attempts of his surrogates on Capitol Hill to champion his position.

"Truman's 'Fireside Chat'" finds that it would not be expected that President Truman would be able to match the magic of FDR during World War II in his "fireside chat" of this night. The people primarily would want to know from him what was required of them during the crisis, whether it would be confined to Korea, and how well the country was prepared for a larger war. The time for the President to speak plainly to the people about the war was overdue and it hopes that he would fulfill that responsibility in the address.

"Farewell to June Bugs" regrets having not seen a single June bug during the summer, perhaps for not having been out as much as in past summers. When a youth, it recounts, there was special delight in capturing June bugs, but laments that it would not be cricket to try to trap one at this late date in the summer as an adult.

A piece from the Salisbury Post , titled "Got a Chaw, Pard?" finds that the claims by all of the American cigarette manufacturers of making the "mildest" cigarettes on the market—finding, for instance, the Piedmont brand, which "used to be pretty rigorous", now being given "to infants whose teeth might be injured by sugar-tits"—, was no way to win a war in Korea, and so suggests as a substitute, following a considerable recitation of rural vernacular on the subject, a chaw of "ruff snuff".

Bob Sain of The News, in the fourth and last of his series of articles on Communism, tells of certain students and families in Chapel Hill in 1948 who were believed to be Communists but kept quiet about it and so no one said anything publicly about them. The anti-Communist was treated as a symbol of the greedy mill-owner exploiting workers or as the war-mongering imperialist. These Communists hated the open-minded liberal or moderate even worse.

He tells anecdotally of how some of these students had become Communists or fellow travelers.

He had attempted to arrange an interview with Junius Scales, leader of the North and South Carolina Communist Party, but the latter had refused to answer any questions not submitted beforehand in writing. Mr. Sain had complied and sent out questions but received no reply. He speculates that the pending Mundt-Nixon bill, requiring registration by Communists and front organizations, was giving young Communists in the country pause, as was the Korean war. He suggests that they would stick with Stalinism until its end, but how much they would aid its cause remained to be seen. They would continue propaganda on its behalf and seek signers for the Russian-inspired Stockholm Peace Petition, and might even attempt sabotage.

The worst danger they posed, however, was not sabotage but rather their ability to soften up young people so that they would have no heart to fight against Stalinism.

Drew Pearson tells of the behind-the-scenes occurrences in the President's recent rebuke of General MacArthur for his planned statement to the VFW, withdrawn at the order of the President, which had stated that Formosa was indispensable to the defense of the Pacific and praised a putative change in U.S. policy to provide, unilaterally, permanent protection to the Chinese Nationalist bastion. A reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, when he saw the draft of the statement, queried the State Department as to whether it had been cleared, causing the statement then to be passed to the President and the Defense Department. The President had not seen the statement until August 26, despite its preliminary release to newspapers on August 21 for public release on August 28. The fact violated the Truman advance approval policy, in place since 1946 when then-Secretary of Commerce Henry Wallace and then-Secretary of State James Byrnes came to loggerheads over Mr. Wallace's criticism in a Madison Square Garden speech, approved by the President, of Mr. Byrnes's "get tough" policy toward the Soviets. Since then, prior approval had to be obtained before any statement on policy.

Averell Harriman told the President that he had explained U.S. policy on Formosa carefully to General MacArthur and so there had been no reason for him not to have understood that the position was to neutralize Formosa against attack, consistent with U.N. policy, only as long as the Korean crisis was taking place. Otherwise, Communist China would have an excuse to put troops in Korea.

The President had hit the ceiling when he learned of the statement, implying that the U.S. would act unilaterally, apart from the U.N. The President feared that foreign diplomats would believe that the U.S. was floating a trial balloon through General MacArthur.

During 1944, the Navy had wanted General MacArthur to occupy Formosa, to provide a point from which to bomb Japan, but the General vigorously opposed the move, overruling Admiral Nimitz and the Joint Chiefs in favor of first liberating the Philippines.

The primary reasons the military now predominantly disagreed with the MacArthur position on Formosa was that they did not wish to stir any conflict with Communist China which would prompt them to send their troops into Korea. If they stayed out, the war would likely be over by winter, whereas with the commitment of substantial numbers of Communist Chinese troops, it could last indefinitely.

Top American intelligence reported the previous week that Mao Tse-Tung and former Russian Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov were at odds over Korea and Formosa, with Mao being opposed to intervention, favored by Mr. Molotov. The rift was believed to provide a possible opening for repair of relations between China and the U.S. While the information was not definite, there was no reason to take chances of deepening the rift. In support of the information was the fact that Mao had twice postponed a Chinese invasion of Formosa, presently set for September 15. If the Communists were to attempt the invasion and U.S. warplanes sunk the Chinese junks, injection of Communist Chinese troops to Korea would inevitably follow. The military argued that in that event, the U.S. could hold Formosa but would be thrown out of Korea.

Marquis Childs tells of the disunity within the Administration, despite claims of harmony, a recent example of which having been Secretary of the Navy Francis Matthews being called on the carpet for his statement advocating a preventive war with Russia to establish peace. But that advocacy had been prevalent for some time within the military, with Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson also making such statements privately. Within the prior two months, a prominent former high Government official had been approached by a Pentagon group to see if he would make such a statement publicly, but he had declined.

Preventive war had received no official endorsement as the State Department regarded it as playing to the propaganda desires of the Soviets and for it serving to spread further the existing distrust of the U.S. in Western Europe, as a preventive war would result in Russia hitting the capitals of Western Europe with atom bombs. Responsible Pentagon officials saw the concept as a gamble that B-36's could knock out Russian vital centers in one or two mass attacks.

Vassily Stalin, son of the Russian dictator, had flatly said that no plane could penetrate Soviet defenses and reach target. Pravda had echoed the claim.

While most Air Force officers regarded these statements as boasting, others took them more seriously, pointing to the tendency to underestimate Soviet capabilities, as with the atom bomb.

Robert C. Ruark discusses the bill before Congress to draft doctors and dentists, as the effort to induce to active duty volunteers and reservists had fallen flat, despite the volunteers being offered an extra $100 per month as a bonus. He finds the latter inducement unfair because when he was in the Navy during the late war, he had received 40 percent less than a Chinese messboy on a merchant ship. Moreover, the doctors who were educated in time of war received a free education and so it was time, he insists, to repay that debt.

He tells of the medics during the war having given up for the most part lucrative medical practices to serve, one he had met having been classified 3-A for the duration, but nevertheless remaining indispensable.

Twenty thousand had been enrolled in the Army's specialized training program, of whom twelve thousand went to active reserve duty. All, save 4,000, had flunked out for physical or intellectual reasons, and only one of those 4,000 had volunteered for active duty.

He concludes that he would not feel sorry for the lot of the latter 3,999 if they were all drafted at private's pay. They had it easy when other guys had it tough.

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