The Charlotte News

Monday, September 11, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page, bearing a bold headline for the first time since June 24 not relating to the Korean war, reports that 32 persons had been killed and 40 to 50 injured, after a passenger train crashed into the rear of a stalled train carrying Pennsylvania National Guardsmen, in the fog near Coshocton, O. Of the dead, 27 were soldiers of a battalion of the 109th Artillery, headquartered at Wilkes-Barre, Pa., with twenty more soldiers critically injured. There was no immediate indication of the cause of the crash or statement whether a signal had been missed by the passenger train engineer or fireman. Most of the dead and injured were in an old-fashioned coach at the end of the 20-car troop train, which had stopped because of mechanical trouble a mile east of Lafayette, seven miles from Coshocton. The crash occurred five minutes after the train had stopped.

In Korea, fighting was relatively light, with the primary engagement involving allied and North Korean artillery and infantry in bitter, close-range fighting seven miles north of Taegu. By nightfall, according to MacArthur headquarters, there had been no change in the defense lines. No major developments had occurred after dark, by midnight. A fresh North Korean offensive, however, was expected to commence at any time, based on enemy probing actions along the line.

Sorties by U.S. fighter planes had left a thousand enemy soldiers dead and between 1,500 and 3,000 wounded, as they fled the Naktong River bulge area. Allied pilots reported some enemy withdrawals west of Masan in the southern part of the 120-mile defense arc, with two enemy battalions reported moving north toward Uiryong.

Diplomatic officials believed that Secretary of State Acheson, in the conference in New York during the week with British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bevin and French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, would press for a major build-up in Western Europe's defense forces. His position would be bolstered by the President's approval during the weekend of providing an estimated additional five to ten American divisions, as they would become available, for supplementing U.S. forces in Europe, provided Britain, France and other allies would match those forces. Secretary Acheson had said on a television program during the weekend that the troop gap versus Soviet strength in Europe and Asia was not so great as it appeared because of the nuclear deterrent possessed by the U.S.

Correspondent Elton C. Fay tells of a Government report to the President on May 29, 1947, recommending universal military training, having forecast the Korean war or one very like it.

The President appointed William Harrison, president of I.T. & T. , to be head of the new National Production Authority, under the direction of the Commerce Department, charged with materials allocation, to coordinate the industrial mobilization program to produce the 30-billion dollar per year defense apparatus proposed by the President for implementation by the following June. Mr. Harrison's first task would be to confront the presidents of the nation's 21 steel companies to discuss division of steel supplies between civilian and military applications. Allocation of steel and other critical materials would take place through a series of orders which would not be implemented for weeks to come.

The President, in his "fireside chat" the prior Saturday night, had said that the mobilization program, to involve eight Federal agencies, might last many years. He also created the Economic Stabilization Agency to check inflation, the director of which had not yet been named. Stuart Symington, chairman of the National Security Resources Board, would coordinate overall mobilization and settle policy disputes between agencies.

Flash flooding in Maryland and Virginia claimed the lives of three by drowning. State police had rescued between 50 and 60 persons in a tavern in Essex, Md., after they had become trapped by a flash flood following more than two inches of rain in the course of five hours. The rains came from the 13-day old Atlantic storm which had once packed 160 mph winds before bypassing Cape Hatteras, N.C., now packing 100 mph winds while off the East Coast, tracking close to Cape Cod, threatening gale force winds for Atlantic City and New York, as well as across the Nantucket area of Cape Cod.

Dr. Norman Vincent Peale and Dr. Smiley Blanton present chapter one, "Doorways to New Life for You", from their book, The Art of Real Happiness, suggesting that successful living hinged on the capacity to believe.

Hitler and Goebbels, however, counseled the same thing. So...

On the editorial page, "A Tawdry Episode" tells of Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas having become lonely during the weekend, as the Republican policy committee led by Senator Taft had disavowed connection with his attack on Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman as a fellow traveler. Moreover, the Senate Interior Committee had quickly undertaken an investigation of the charge and found it groundless, with Secretary Chapman testifying ably in his own behalf, leading even Senator Schoeppel to admit that his initial claim may have been "a little strong".

It finds the Senator's charge to be one of the latest and tawdriest episodes in the recent fall of the Senate from public grace, led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. Its members, it suggests, needed to refrain from indulging in the cloak of protection afforded by Senate immunity for the sake of political expediency to obtain momentary publicity for otherwise obscure Senators.

"Changing Times" tells of the Columbus County Commissioners in North Carolina being urged by farm women of the county to retain permanently a home demonstration agent, as such projects and 4-H clubs had led to improved prices of tobacco over time. That was a change from earlier times when farmers resisted such outside advice in improvement of farming techniques. The piece approves of the move.

"The Army's Mental Test" tells of a report that three New Jersey Congressmen, all Democrats, had taken the Army's mental test and found it too hard. The reason for their taking the test was because one out of every four inductees from New Jersey had flunked it.

North Carolina also had a high rate of failure on the test. The schools of the state, it ventures, had not prepared their pupils that badly.

The test was secret, though it required only 39 of 90 correct answers to pass, as were the scores of the Congressmen. One Congressman had carped that service in the Army only required telling one's left from one's right. The piece concludes that many ex-G.I.'s, who foresaw having to serve again were the mental tests not relaxed, would agree with that assessment.

"Overdue Recognition" finds the bill of Senator Chan Gurney of South Dakota to provide a five-star rank to General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, to be overdue and urges the Senate speedily to approve it.

A piece from the London Times, titled "Fish for Waiting Rooms", tells of some dentists thinking of placing aquariums stocked with goldfish in their waiting rooms to relieve anxiety in anticipation of the drill. It recommends stocking the aquarium instead with cod, dogfish, and pike, to avoid patients playing the game of matching the faces on the fish with friends and acquaintances. In any event, it concludes, the idea of having fish to take the patient's mind off the impending visit to the chair was better than the morgue-like atmosphere created by the typical magazine fare in a dentist's office.

Drew Pearson tells of the President only reluctantly apologizing to the Marines for his statement equating their propaganda to that of Stalin, after being urged by DNC chairman William Boyle, secretary of the Senate Leslie Biffle, and Attorney General J. Howard McGrath, former DNC chairman, to do so to prevent losses in the fall elections.

The White House staff were holding their breath that no other such remark in a hastily dashed off letter from the President would interfere with the elections. This particular letter had been different from its predecessors in that it had been addressed to California Congressman Gordon McDonough, a Republican, after his urging that the Marine Corps commandant be named to the Joint Chiefs. But the President had written many such letters containing impolitic remarks, mostly, however, to old friends, who had kept them confidential. Mr. Pearson attributes the practice to the highball, sometimes two or three, which the President had with lunch, plus his old habit adopted as a Senator of answering his own constituent mail. The President resented opposition and so no one dared try to censor the practice.

The President's feud with former Secretary of State James Byrnes had prompted his old ally to run for Governor of South Carolina and had cost the President support among Democrats in that state. The President's caustic letter to Bernard Baruch after he had refused to serve on a committee had cost the President more than it had hurt Mr. Baruch, as the latter had worked behind the scenes to block the President's old friend Mon Wallgren from being confirmed for his appointment to be chairman of the National Security Resources Board.

It had been reported that the President bragged to friends that he once threatened to shoot Mr. Pearson with two pearl handle revolvers he supposedly kept in his desk should the column continue to print critical stories about him. The incident had never happened. He says that he was never upset by the President's imprecations directed at him, realized that it was part of politics, believed that the President was about 90 percent correct in his general goals for the common man, though about 90 percent wrong in the means used to attain them.

He concludes by saying that it should be recalled that as an artilleryman in World War I, the President had a special "love" for the Marines. Even so, he needed a copyreader to tone down his letters in time of war.

Stewart Alsop tells of the National Security Council wrestling with the recommendation for the budget for defense for fiscal year 1951-52, with the amount having gone from 18-20 billion to 25 billion, being recommended by the President to Congress, now increased over the weekend to 30 billion, and potentially rising as high as 50 billion.

The rising budget had forced military planners to focus more on what was really needed than on what the nation could comfortably afford. The needs were eighteen to twenty divisions for the Army, with six going to defend Western Europe, 90 to 105 Air Force groups, rather than the existing 48 or the previously authorized 69, and a Navy about double the size of the economized Navy, with ten to twelve heavy aircraft carriers, a larger number of light carriers, and strengthening of both the Marines and anti-submarine defenses. Those improvements would cause the total defense budget to reach about 30 billion dollars, and, for the speed necessary to bring them about, possibly as high as 40 billion. Added to that would be about 5-6 billion for European rearmament.

Provided there was no general war, about 10 to 15 percent of the country's gross national product would thus be geared to defense, not a pleasant prospect but better than risking another world war or losing such a war if it occurred, the point at which, he posits, the country had been at the start of the Korean war on June 25.

Marquis Childs discusses John L. Lewis's control, along with his longtime associate, Josephine Roche, of the 150-million dollar per year UMW Welfare Fund. A suit was pending brought by a miner, seeking an accounting on the fund and an order removing the existing trustees.

One of the witnesses possibly to be called would be Senator Styles Bridges of New Hampshire who had been paid $35,000 for his services per year for two years on the Fund's board. Senator Bridges claimed that the fee was for legal and other costs associated with his term. But the Senator had received, through one New York law firm retained at his direction, over $38,000, and the firm over $100,000.

Senator Bridges and Mr. Lewis had formed a kind of political partnership as a result, such that Mr. Lewis had taken an interest in the Republican primary of Senator Charles Tobey, to whom Senator Bridges was inimical, campaigning for his opponent. Mr. Lewis had dipped into UMW funds several times previously for the purpose of political contributions, as in 1936 when he donated a half million dollars to FDR's re-election campaign, only then, the following year, to obtain from oil millionaire William Rhodes Davis $55,000 to pay for a radio broadcast denouncing FDR.

Mr. Lewis wielded as much power as any single person in the history of the country. A third member of the board controlling the Fund could only watch as the two-member majority controlled the fate of the coal miners' pension. He finds it autocracy at its "rawest and crudest", doing the trade union movement no good.

A letter from Rabbi Philip Frankel of Temple Beth El in Charlotte tells of this date starting the ten days of Penitence, beginning with Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and culminating in the Day of Atonement, at which time all men passed before the throne of God to be judged according to their merits. Judaism declared that all could rise above their sins through repentance.

The world, rather than facing such reconciliation in peace, was embroiled in war.

He hopes that the dawn of the Year 5711 would bring blessing and peace, "pardon and favor".

A letter writer comments on the letter of August 31, criticizing as un-Christian the white ambulance service which had left a black victim of a vehicle accident injured by the side of the road, to be picked up by the separate black service.

He imparts of witnessing an incident in Charlotte two years earlier in which two white youths were injured in a single-car accident and a black ambulance from a nearby undertaker quickly having happened on the scene. Both youths were bleeding profusely and eventually died. A critical hour had elapsed before they could be transported to the hospital because the black ambulance personnel had to await permission of the police to transport the white youths. He believes the youths' lives might have been saved but for this discriminatory practice.

A letter writer provides an open letter to Attorney General McGrath, in which he quotes from Faith and Freedom, the monthly journal of Spiritual Mobilization, which had said that freedom was the right to say what was true and good, according to intelligence and conscience, but that freedom was never won permanently. He thinks the passage pleaded well for the exoneration of the eleven top American Communist leaders who had been convicted under the Smith Act.

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