The Charlotte News

Thursday, September 14, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the allies had launched heavy attacks by warship and carrier planes on the west coast of Korea in the vicinity of Inchon, in apparent prelude to a major offensive. The action had prompted the North Koreans to claim the sinking of four U.S. landing craft and three destroyers, denied by the Navy. Islands flanking Inchon had been seized by South Korean commandos in the two-day operation.

The Far East Air Forces reported complete disruption of North Korean supply lines even over short distances. Two U.S. pilots were lost, one confirmed as killed, in action north of Taegu and near Kumchon, 32 miles west of Taegu.

General Lawton Collins, Army chief of staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that the days of retreat in Korea were over and that the offensive had begun.

The Big Three foreign ministers, meeting in New York, showed good prospects for agreement on the Big Three instituting practical measures to end the state of war as rapidly as possible with the West German state by developing a treaty, giving West Germany a larger police force to meet the Communist threat, and regarding West German security continuing to be primarily the responsibility of the three occupying powers while agreeing also that at some future time it would become more the shared responsibility of the West Germans. Some diplomats believed that the three foreign ministers would reach no accord presently on whether the West Germans would be given a defense force as part of NATO solidarity, with French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman having raised objections to the proposal by Secretary of State Acheson. The conference had been scheduled to conclude this date, but the manifold problems associated with Germany would likely cause it to resume during the weekend after a two-day postponement for the 12-nation NATO meeting, starting the following day.

Senator Taft said that he was dubious of the appointment of General Marshall to be Secretary of Defense because of his enunciated position of not being opposed to the Chinese Communists while the President's envoy to China in 1946, and would, in consequence, vote against the amendment to the 1947 National Security Act to create an exception for General Marshall to the rule that no one could serve in the post who had been on active military duty during the prior ten years.

The House voted to take action on an excess profits tax, the first test of the bill.

Frank Bow, chief aide and ghost-writer for Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas, appearing before the Senate Interior Committee, adopted the Senator's previous statement that Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman had ties to Communist Russia and challenged Mr. Chapman to sue him, said he would make the assertions in a public forum outside the Senate. Mr. Chapman had challenged the Senator to do so, but he had backed down. The allegation by Mr. Bow was that Mr. Chapman had refused to sign a loyalty oath in 1946, but Mr. Chapman had responded that he had signed one in 1941 and so it was unnecessary to do so again in 1946. Mr. Bow wanted the 1941 affidavit scrutinized to make sure it was in the handwriting of Mr. Chapman.

Former Kentucky Congressman Andrew May, who had been convicted in July, 1947 of accepting bribes on war contracts, was granted parole after serving nine months of his eight to twenty-four month sentence. The board turned down parole for the two Garson brothers, convicted at the same time as Mr. May for having given the bribes in exchange for war contracts for their Kentucky company.

In Philadelphia, tritium, the rarely occurring triple-weight hydrogen isotope used in the hydrogen bomb, was found in faucet water, according to the Temple University Research Institute.

In New York, 19 persons suffered injuries or suffered from smoke inhalation when a Manhattan subway train short-circuited.

Also in New York, two gunmen opened fire on two messengers, wounding both and seizing $23,000 in payroll before escaping in a car driven by a third man through the streets of Manhattan. One of the gunmen appeared wounded.

On the editorial page, "The Big Truth" finds that the Senate Appropriations Committee's approval during the week of 97 million dollars for the State Department to pursue information dissemination through Voice of America to combat the Soviet propaganda machine in Eastern Europe and elsewhere, demonstrated a realization of the need of an effective propaganda arm in the country. The Russians had learned their craft from Herr Doktor Goebbels during the war.

It suggests that had this propaganda of truth been established to counter the Big Lie technique of the Soviets five years earlier, the Communist parties in the satellite countries might never have grown above nuisance levels. It hopes that the attitude conveyed by the Appropriations Committee was indicative of the feeling within the entire Senate.

"Radio Network Shows Some Spunk" explains that ABC had advised the Illinois American Legion objecting to the presence of Gypsy Rose Lee in an upcoming show on the network, for her supposed Communist ties as stated in the pamphlet "Red Channels", that she would be retained unless independent evidence were presented verifying the ties, which she had denied.

The pamphlet had not produced any such evidence thus far regarding the 150 persons in entertainment whom it had listed as having Communist ties. The sources, according to Theodore Kirkpatrick, the former FBI agent who published the pamphlet, were newspaper clippings, court records, government committee records, letterheads and various publications. To be removed from the list, the individual or group had to prove that they were not Communists, by showing both public denial and active work for "pro-American" organizations.

The piece favors investigation of this organization which had shown itself to be as "un-American as the sin" it imputed to others by the fact of placing the burden on the accused to disprove the charge of subversion based entirely on hearsay.

"Cause and Cure" tells of the Associated Press out of Chicago having conducted a study of the Labor Day traffic accidents and found that of the 389 fatalities nationwide, for which a cause had been listed by the police in 136 of them, 83 had been attributed to driver misbehavior while 31 were the result of pedestrian negligence, 20 by mechanical fault and two from obscured windshields. Of those resulting from driver error, 27 were based on speeding and ten others on intoxication. It had also been found by a life insurance company that 36 percent of accidents had been caused by four percent of drivers while between five and ten percent of drivers caused more than half of all accidents.

It recommends tough treatment to serious traffic offenders, as the six-month sentence to the roads handed down in Raleigh recently to a man convicted of speeding at 97 mph.

"Ambulance Service" tells of Charlotte Police Chief Frank Littlejohn assuring the people that the ambulance services in Charlotte were not operating on a discriminatory basis, with the white service unable to transport black patients and the black service unable to transport whites. The Chief said that his officers were instructed that in an accident where an injury had occurred, the nearest ambulance service should be summoned to speed care for the injured as quickly as possible. He also said that more than half of the ambulances were summoned by spectators at the scene of an accident and that the police had no way of knowing what was said in those calls.

The white and black ambulance services had also assured that no discrimination was taking place.

The piece assumes therefore that the two cases recently presented in the letters column had been the result of mistakes on the part of the individual ambulance drivers.

John P. McKnight, brother of News editor Pete McKnight and former A. P. foreign correspondent for 20 years, in the third and last of his series of pieces on the attempts to control Communist propaganda without compromise of Constitutional rights, finds that defending Constitutional freedoms was the greatest asset in the struggle against Communism. But it was also true that the nation could not afford to allow partisans and agents of foreign enemies to take shelter behind those freedoms if they posed a significant threat to those freedoms. The difficulty arose in trying to balance these two competing tensions.

The Founders could not have foreseen the complexities of modern times with the development of modern weapons and the atom bomb, coupled with the enabling of long-range threat across oceans. Some modern constitutions had written in exceptions to civil liberties in times of national emergency. But with one or two exceptions, such efforts had ended in dictatorship. Such investiture of temporary power tended to create a greed for prolonged power.

Beating up Communists in Georgia, as had recently occurred, won no victories in Korea and was the way of Fascism. Justice was ill served when statutes, as vagrancy, were stretched to embrace political activity, as in the test case in Durham of Williams Evans, arrested under that statute pursuant to order of a Recorder Court judge for merely seeking signatures on the petition for the Soviet-backed Stockholm peace treaty. Congress, in writing new laws, had to assure that the basic freedoms of the citizenry were not compromised or chilled. Congress would be guilty of partisan politics at its worst if it failed to provide proper weight to the President's desires for tools to combat subversion, while enacting far more restrictive legislation which the President had vowed to veto, the McCarran bill, a variant of the Mundt-Nixon bill.

He favors resort to the basic line, developed by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, that political speech could only be limited where it constituted a "clear and present danger" of inciting violence or other "substantive evil" within the purview of Congressional powers to control and the mischief of suppression of it was less than the evil itself. The formula had been used by Judge Learned Hand in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the convictions of the eleven convicted American Communist Party leaders pursuant to the Smith Act.

Mr. McKnight concludes by again quoting the unknown "Junius", from 1769, in one of his letters to the London "Public Advertiser": "We owe it to our ancestors to preserve entire those rights, which they have delivered to our care: we owe it to our posterity, not to suffer their dearest inheritance to be destroyed."

Drew Pearson suggests that sometimes the President's off-the-record remarks were his best, as when he had recently address a joint session of the AFL-CIO, asking for tolerance in wartime, refraining from the hysteria of the past when the Alien and Sedition Act had gripped the country shortly after its founding or when the Klan marched during the Teens and Twenties. He did not mention the Mundt-Nixon bill or the McCarran bill, both requiring registration of Communists and front organizations, but he obviously had such witch-hunting techniques in mind when referring to those who waved the flag while persecuting alien immigrants and trampling the rights of loyal Americans, declaring that such was the "raw material of totalitarianism".

The President had planned to oust General Clifton Cates, commandant of the Marine Corps, when, the prior year, he had ousted Navy chief of operations Admiral Louis Denfeld. General Cates was a strong ally of Admiral Denfeld in the controversy over whether the B-36 of the Air Force or the Navy was the better delivery device for the atom bomb. Thus, there was no love lost between the President and General Cates, making the President's eating of crow with his apology to the Marines the previous week the harder to take. He notes that General Cates had not been averse to exerting pressure to include his position as a member of the Joint Chiefs.

Chilean President Gonzalez Videla had received a hearty welcome the previous year for preserving Chilean democracy from Communism, but not long after he had left, Congress reimposed the prewar excise tax on copper, a chief export of Chile. Since that time, the House had voted to remove it, but the Senate thus far, though the majority also favored the removal, had been stymied by a small bloc of Rocky Mountain state Senators, led by Senators Carl Hayden and Ernest McFarland of Arizona, where the Phelps Dodge copper mines were located. He notes that Latin America, not understanding the intricacies of the American legislative process, blamed the entire country for the problem.

Joseph Alsop, in Tokyo after returning from the Korean war front, takes stock of the situation at the front, where allied reverses and losses had taken a toll in the previous ten days, but where also the allied pressure had made life uncomfortable for the North Koreans after their most powerful drive to date had failed to dislodge the allies from their positions, as the allies had closed the gaps which had threatened to allow breakthrough by the enemy while forcing them to expend their vital supplies to near exhaustion.

The offensive had taken long to prepare because most of the reinforcements had to be brought to the front through night marches from Seoul. Even ammunition had been hand-carried by coolies. Great holes had been torn in the enemy lines, as well as on the allied side, with whole regiments swallowed up. But because allied air support had destroyed the enemy supply lines, they could not exploit their temporary breakthrough with reinforcements or armor and artillery support.

Ground commander Lt. General Walton Walker had shrewdly utilized his small reserves to save the beachhead.

Some additional American forces were likely on the way to the front and it should be enough to withstand another such offensive, as the North Koreans were depleted to perhaps one or two defense reserve divisions at Seoul. That advice was based on the assumptions that the intelligence was correct, reliance on which often turned out misplaced, and that the Communist Chinese would not join the fight.

When and if the Korean war was finally won, its success would depend on the country not crowing about a relatively minor victory and learning from the weakness from which it started, remedying those problems henceforth.

Robert C. Ruark admires the President's piano playing skills and poker prowess but not his abilities at public relations. The Marines appeared to be in the same category after exacting from him an apology for his remarks in a responsive letter to Congressman Gordon McDonough that the Marines had a propaganda arm equal to the Soviets and so did not need representation on the Joint Chiefs separate from that of the Navy, as had been urged by the Congressman.

It had to annoy his supporters to see the President on the front pages occasionally eating crow for his careless remarks or retaining around him "some of the jerks" who regularly embarrassed the Administration. He had not been hired to engage in occasional profanity at the expense of the press, to play piano or poker, or to sneer at the only segment of the fighting forces which was ready to go professionally when called to action in Korea.

He acknowledges that the Presidency was a tough job, full of frustration, but was also the most "honor-bound" job in the nation and worthy of "bigness" in the conduct of it. The country had elected the President, "small as he may be", and so was stuck with him. Not so much could be expected of him as a "small-bore politician", but at least the people had the right to demand personal dignity from him as long as he was on the public payroll.

The present "President", we feel compelled to note again, for all of his similar tendencies and faults, as ascribed by Mr. Ruark anyway, excluding any known abilities at plunking the 88's or penchant for poker, though not hesitating to foist on others the gambling addiction while pushing around in the process individuals and small businesses to build his casinos, and, instead of standing strong for civil liberties and the rights of aliens to come to the country, posing a fried chicken stance, a la Robert Rice Reynolds and Martin Dies of old, opposed to these time-honored American practices, was not even popularly elected by so much as a plurality of the people while en route to being a "small-bore politician", and in more ways than one. It is a far better thing, truly, that he and his loyal retinue of boot-licking champions at Fox and in the population in general bear that single fact uppermost in mind, daily, and begin to demonstrate some degree of humility, even obeisance, to the will of the American people as a whole, rather than not only ignoring reality in their boot-licking, boot-kick fashion, but denying its existence in continued deference to a bunch of Neanderthalic thugs and hunkered down, bunkered up, racist punk obscurantists.

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