The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 19, 1950


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports that the U.N. forces rushed river-crossing equipment to the Han River at Seoul to permit crossing the half-mile breadth by a 40,000-man offensive before the North Koreans could rally their defenses with reinforcements. Marine forward elements were reported two miles from Seoul.

For the first time since the previous Friday when the landing at Inchon had taken place, the North Koreans hurled artillery fire at the Americans during the day and began using for the first time mines and booby traps to try to slow the advance.

Veteran Marine Colonel Lewis "Chesty" Puller was not impressed with the quality of fighting by the North Koreans when compared to the Japanese during the Pacific island amphibious landings of World War II. But he agreed that resistance was becoming fiercer as the Marines approached Seoul, a critical supply funnel for the troops in the south.

On the southeast front, North Korean forces were withdrawing toward the new allied northern front, a few hours away. Allied tanks shielded the cross-river suburbs of Seoul from the enemy drive northward.

The allies seized Waegwan, fought into Kasan, and placed at least 4,000 men across the Naktong River at the center of the 125-mile defense arc around Pusan. They also made gains in the Masan and Pohang end sectors. South Korean troops entered Pohang's port after battering by the U.S.S. Missouri.

Air transports landed in a steady stream throughout the afternoon at Kimpo airfield opposite Seoul, bringing supplies and additional troops to the northern front. Marines battled 200 Communists on a ridge northeast of Kimpo.

In New York, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Vishinsky arrived for the U.N. General Assembly meeting, saying that the Soviet delegation would work for peace, cooperation and friendship among peoples. He suggested that reports that he had recently visited Communist China were exaggerated. The primary aim of the Soviets was to seat Communist China on the Security Council in lieu of the Nationalist representative.

Western leaders considered the Korean question condemning North Korea's continued violation of the ceasefire order of June 25 to be of utmost initial importance on the agenda.

The Big Three foreign ministers held their last meeting this date following conclusion of the NATO talks. The Big Three announced agreement to permit the West German Government to organize mobile police formations to deal with possible subversive activity of Communists. They were also considering German participation in an integrated force for the defense of Western Europe. They set forth decisions regarding West German occupation policy to provide West Germany greater control over its own affairs. They said that they would regard any aggression by the Soviets against West Germany, including West Berlin, as an attack on the three allied nations. They indicated that they would reinforce their forces in West Germany and would take the steps necessary to end the state of war with Germany, never resolved by treaty because of disagreement by the Soviets on treaty terms.

The Air Force canceled a planned non-stop flight of its jet aircraft from London to New York after one of the planes had damage to its mid-flight refueling equipment.

Senator Estes Kefauver told the ABA that a 15 million dollar illegal gambling business was being transacted in the country by the same big city organized crime gangs which had operated in the 1920's. His inquiry had not yet ascertained whether there was one or more such gangs. He identified the Costello mob in New York, the Capone gang in Chicago, and the Purple gang in Detroit as still in operation. Illinois Governor Adlai Stevenson told the trade group that crime would not be cured until police forces were divorced from partisan political control. Senator Kefauver had said that corruption in law enforcement in many communities was rampant on a scale which made the corruption of the Twenties era appear as "kindergarten play". He also said that many lawyers had been found in alliance with the criminals and some were partners in the gambling enterprises.

Robert Denham, who had resigned as chief counsel to the NLRB, told the ABA that the Taft-Hartley Act was the best piece of regulatory legislation on the books.

Averell Harriman, speaking to the AFL in Houston, said that the country could no longer afford Senator Taft in a position of high responsibility. The Senator was running for re-election in Ohio in November. Mr. Harriman urged the membership to vote.

A New York woman requested that the I.C.C. ban the use of segregated cars on trains running in interstate commerce. She claimed illegal discrimination by being forced to ride on a car set aside for black passengers during a trip from New York to Tampa in April, 1948. She had already filed a damage suit, seeking injunctive relief against the railroad. The Supreme Court had ruled the previous June in the Henderson case that the I.C.C. had to end the practice of segregated cars, forbidden by Federal statute.

In Nashville, a Federal alcohol tax unit agent said that his men caught a Chattanooga bootlegger pouring legal whiskey into a jug so that he could sell it as moonshine, as it sold better that way than standard legal whiskey.

On the editorial page, "Crowded Classrooms" tells of only eight of 32 Charlotte City schools being able to handle their present student enrollment. The other 24 were overcrowded, ranging from a hundred percent to 238 percent over capacity. Some schools were forced into double sessions of attendance, one in the morning and one in the afternoon, while others had staggered sessions. In some schools, classes were held in the cafeteria.

It concludes that not enough schools had been constructed in Charlotte since the war and that the situation in the county was just as bad. It urges approval therefore of the 5.3 million dollar school bond issue slated for the ballot on September 30.

What's the big deal? We had split sessions in the first grade, a trailer classroom in the second grade and for seventh grade math, and had to learn driver's education in the cafeteria in ninth grade. Use the plate as the steering wheel and the knife and fork as the turn signal indicator lever and gearshift. Be creative. Moreover, the fine arts course in the seventh grade was taught in the school auditorium. And in college, at the public university, we had statistics sophomore year in a quonset hut. Times are tough all around.

Stop having so many babies.

"No Sanction" thanks the City Police Department and the Recorder's Court for the arrest, conviction and meting out of punishment to seven men accused of burning a Klan cross on someone's lawn. It had demonstrated that such harassment would not be permitted in Charlotte.

Recently, a police officer who was a Klansman had been killed in Myrtle Breach during an interracial fracas. The Klansmen would not be permitted to go about their lawlessness with impunity in Charlotte as in other places.

"To the Common Defense" finds that since military strength of Western Europe was regarded by military experts and planners as the key to withstanding Soviet aggression, it was important that the NATO treaty be followed, with its provision that each member would provide forces within its industrial capacity and geographic situation, resources and manpower.

"An Unfair Charge" finds elucidative the New York Times editorial on the page which made the point that General Marshall had been sent to China in 1946 as the President's envoy to do the impossible, find a solution to the Chinese dilemma, and that his effort in that regard had been honest and sincere, if a failure.

It reminds that many people had thought that the country could do business with Hitler and Mussolini, just as the country believed it could coexist with Russia after it became an ally in World War II. The belief that the Communists in China could form a coalition government with the Chiang regime was the product of the same sort of naivete.

It concludes that it was unfair to charge General Marshall with the failure of that policy, as he had performed dutifully the orders of the Administration.

"The High Cost of Oratory" tells of a recent speech by Senator Styles Bridges, charging that Communists were in charge of the Farmers Union, having cost the taxpayers $1,558 to print in the Congressional Quarterly, and a three-hour rebuttal by Senator William Langer, $5,658, plus the delay to more pressing business.

A piece from the Lancaster (S.C.) News, titled "The PFC Was Outspoken", remarks on the Army private first class who had been wounded in Korea and stated in a television interview from Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington that he did not understand why they should fight the Communists in Korea if the country would not fight them at home. It thinks it the most significant comment since the President had branded the HUAC hearings—not the perjury trials, as the piece suggests—regarding Alger Hiss and Whittaker Chambers a "red herring" in an election year, and Secretary Acheson had said that Mr. Hiss was still his friend.

Yeah, you'll like Nixon just fine in about 19 years—maybe not so much, though, within another four or five.

A sucker is born every minute, maybe every twenty seconds or so in South Carolina.

A piece from the New York Times, as indicated, looks back at General Marshall's role in 1946 as emissary of the President to try to effect unification of China through establishment of a coalition government to bring about an end to the hostilities in the civil war, a nearly impossible task. The President had authorized him to threaten withholding of American assistance to Nationalist China to enforce mediation efforts.

It was believed at the time that the Communists in China were primarily land reformers rather than doctrinaire Communists. General Marshall found that the Communists who, by early 1947, were irreconcilable to a coalition government had not appeared so a year earlier. An easily adopted truce in early 1946 had inadvertently worked to weaken the Chiang regime and strengthen the position of the Communists by yielding strategic geographic points to the Communists.

General Marshall had arranged for mutual reduction of armed forces, to which the Chiang regime agreed while the Communists had balked, leading ultimately to the failure of his mission. Eventually, General Marshall was forced to report that further mediation would be fruitless as the Communists had walked out of the talks. The President then issued his hands-off China policy statement on December 18, 1946 and announced the recall of General Marshall in January to become Secretary of State.

The mission, concludes the editorial, had been based on a total misconception of the Chinese Communists and wound up strengthening their hand while weakening the Nationalist position. The policy, however, had not been initiated by General Marshall. He had received his instructions and obeyed them. The episode should not become the basis, it contends, for attack on General Marshall in the hearings on his confirmation as Secretary of Defense. The error was not his but in the whole body of thinking which had sent him to do a job which was impossible of accomplishment.

Drew Pearson tells of Army chief of staff General Joe Collins having told the Senate Armed Services Committee that there would be no more retreats in Korea and predicted that the Chinese Communists would not attack Formosa. The Senators had needled him about sending untrained, green troops into the front lines, but he had responded that it was their only choice as the Army did not have enough trained men in Japan, that Japan was short of ground for training troops as shells could ricochet for miles and likely kill civilians. He said the chief problem, however, was not lack of manpower but lack of equipment. Senator Lyndon Johnson had inquired as to why the super tank-penetrating bazookas had not been in production earlier, to which General Collins responded that it was lucky they were perfected as soon as they were, the problem having been to produce the heat-boring shells with sufficient power to penetrate the 14-inch armor of the Soviet 40-ton tanks.

He pointed out that the Army had developed a method to make plastic relief maps for 60 cents per square foot rather than the previous $35 per square foot, to which one Senator remarked that the fiscally conservative Senator Harry F. Byrd ought be notified of the development.

General Collins also indicated that the 38th parallel was only an imaginary line which followed no particular natural geographic boundary, that sometimes it cut through a rice field, and the natives paid little attention to it. He did not answer a question as to whether the allied armies would pay attention to it, saying that the decision would be left to the U.N.

After a day of questioning before the Interior Committee, Frank Bow, the ghost writer for Senator Andrew Schoeppel of Kansas, who had charged against Secretary of Interior Oscar Chapman that he had ties to Communists, had concluded his testimony by saying that he made no charge of personal disloyalty against Mr. Chapman. He said that he had gotten the criticism from the HUAC files and while he had been counsel for the Harness Committee two years earlier. He admitted that he had not acted on the information at that latter time and said he was making no charge at the present time. Senator Jim Murray of the Committee said that the Committee members should be ashamed for listening to such "stuff" when the country was threatened with danger. Mr. Bow then said that he did not doubt Mr. Chapman's loyalty.

Stewart Alsop finds that though the news from Korea was good, the Inchon landings having enabled a breakthrough by the allies which ought bring peace in the war sooner than expected, the strategic situation of the U.S. with respect to Western Europe's defenses against Communist aggression was intolerable. It was the latter situation with which the foreign ministers of NATO and, specifically, the Big Three, were trying to grapple in New York. For the nonce, the defense of Western Europe remained a paper defense with regard to any war which might break out in the near future.

Except for the strategic air force and odds and ends of divisions, virtually everything the U.S. had in the way of military strength was committed at present in Korea. The military planners, including apparently Winston Churchill, believed that Britain could be neutralized without an invasion. There was also nothing left for defense of the Middle East, requiring a major base in North Africa. Southeast Asia was threatened with going the way of mainland China. With that gone, the defense of the American bases in Japan, Okinawa, and the Philippines would be "probably impossible".

The U.S., for the first time in its history, was thus consigned to fight nearly alone, with its effective allies being the members of the British Commonwealth, plus whatever allies might be found in Latin America.

According to best military estimates, the Soviets at present could eliminate at most 15 percent of the American war potential with its atomic bombs while the Soviet Union could be bombarded back to the Middle Ages. There would also be many secret allies within the Soviet empire such that it could suddenly collapse. But the planners also warned that such a war could last thirty years.

The key to everything was counterbalancing conventional military strength in Western Europe with Soviet atomic strength. Until that time, requiring roughly eighteen months to create the necessary deterrent of thirty divisions, everyone had to learn to live on their nerves. The remaining thirty divisions to produce the full complement of sixty divisions could then take place rapidly.

Robert C. Ruark finds that while the press had not been very effective during the Truman Administration, it rated a heavy assist in causing the firing of Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson the previous week.

Secretary Johnson had only one qualification for his job, that of having been the chief campaign fund raiser for the President in 1948. He had made blunder after blunder as Secretary of Defense but the President had refused to budge until the initial unpreparedness for the invasion of South Korea became apparent. The President thereby had been forced to admit that some issues were bigger than a political payoff. It was, finds Mr. Ruark, the President's first cry of "Uncle" after harsh criticism of "what the brash little man evidently figures is an infallibility of judgment." Like his boss, Secretary Johnson had made his enemies from "dumb bullheadedness and involuntary ineptness."

A letter writer thinks the American Red Cross to be a relatively harmless place for Senator Frank Graham to serve in the future.

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