The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 16, 1951


Site Ed. Note: The front page reports, via Olen Clements, that Communist troops poured from the hills in attacks all along the eastern front of Korea this night, but it remained too early to determine whether it was the start of the renewed offensive.

Skirmishes increased on the western front, about seventeen miles north of Seoul.

An increasing number of Chinese prisoners were being taken, indicative of decreasing enemy morale.

Maj. General William Hoge predicted that the new offensive would begin Friday with the full moon and that his men would welcome it. The report notes, however, that the almanac indicated the full moon was not due until the following Monday.

General Omar Bradley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, testifying for the second day before the joint Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, was challenged by Senator William Knowland of California for being unwilling to discuss the private conversations between the Chiefs and the President regarding the firing of General MacArthur, the Senator contending that an "iron curtain" had been dropped over the witnesses. General Bradley sharply denied any such notion, saying that he was neither a Democrat nor a Republican and had never voted. He said he was willing to provide the reasons given by the Chiefs to Secretary of Defense Marshall for the firing but had only refused to discuss conferences with the President as being confidential.

The bulk of the time of two hours spent by the General before the committees this date was taken up by heated argument among the Senators over attempts to use the hearings to play politics. General Bradley was dismissed until the following Monday.

In Houston, General Maxwell Taylor, future chairman of the Joint Chiefs under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, told the delegates of the Women's Clubs convention, in response to a question on what he thought of the firing of General MacArthur: "Well, all I can say is what they say the GI's are saying, and that's, 'Good old Mac, first in rotation as in all things.'"

In Taipei, Formosa, Chiang Kai-Shek told the Associated Press that his Nationalist forces could halt Communist Chinese aggression with a counter-offensive launched from Formosa. He had an estimated half million men in training. He said that the immediate objective of Russia was expansion in Asia rather than in Europe, but also said that he did not think Russia would use its own strength in fighting in Asia as it was not necessary for it to use its own troops.

Secretary of State Acheson denied any intention of quitting his post and pledged to stay as long as the President wanted. He said that he had heard of no peace feelers from the Chinese Communists, as had been rumored. He said the U.S. remained steadfastly opposed to U.N. membership for Communist China.

Selective Service postponed until August 20 drafting of college students so that they could take aptitude tests or provide evidence of class standing to qualify for the experimental deferral.

In Bolivia, the Army seized the Government, claiming it was in "real and immediate danger." Maj. General Ovidio Quiroga, army chief of staff, named a military junta headed by General Hugo Ballivian as president and defense minister, after President Mamerto Urriolagoitia resigned and left the country. The country was then placed under state of siege, modified martial law. The coup arose after May 6 elections in which Victor Paz Estenssoro, exiled leader of the nation's tin miners, had won a plurality of the votes but not a clear majority, necessitating therefore an act of Congress for him to become president. Sr. Estenssoro said that the coup was designed to prevent his return from exile in Argentina to take power and that President Urriolagoitia's resignation and flight appeared to have been worked out with the army. General Quiroga denied any such plot.

Units of the Iraqi guard with anti-aircraft guns and planes had been dispatched to the aid of Syria against alleged Israeli aggression.

The Senate voted 52 to 32 to make the proposed shipment of two million tons of grain to relieve threatened starvation in India on a straight loan basis. The original bill had provided for it being half loan and half gift. The change in the bill would prevent opposition by some Republicans and Senator Pat McCarran. The President had originally urged the measure in February as a straight gift. The terms of the loan would be the same as under the Marshall Plan, with repayment over thirty years at low interest and a grace period of six to eight years before initial payments were due.

Before HUAC, screenwriter Leonardo Bercovici denied that he was presently a member of the Communist Party but refused to discuss past activities. He had been named as a prior Communist in 1945 by director Edward Dmytryck, a member of the "Hollywood Ten" who had recently denounced the Communist Party, and by screenwriter Richard Collins. Mr. Bercovici said in response to questioning that he had never been a member of the Klan and, when asked what the distinction was in answering that question and not anent the Communist Party, said that membership in the Klan was not incriminating.

Actor Alvin Hammer and former studio secretary Bea Winters also appeared and refused to answer whether they had ever been members of the party.

Ralph Gibson of The News relates more about the murder on Monday afternoon of a Charlotte woman while she and her four-year old daughter were taking a nap. An intruder, described by the daughter as a black man, had killed the expectant mother with multiple stab wounds. Clues in the homicide remained sketchy, the only description the little girl could give being that the man was tall and thin, wearing a baseball or railroad cap and a white T-shirt. The murder weapon had not been found. The slaying was described by police as one of the most brutal in county history.

On the editorial page, "McCarran Sets a Road-Block" tells of Nevada Senator Pat McCarran having held up in committee a bill to exempt the members of the Nimitz Commission, charged by the President with studying subversive activities and recommending legislative changes, from the requirement that persons could not represent private clients against the Government for two years after leaving a Federal job. The law had prevented thus far the appointed members of the Commission from serving. The bill had passed the House but Senator McCarran, who had sponsored the anti-subversive bill, did not want changes to it recommended by the Commission and so was pigeon-holing the measure.

The piece agrees with the President that it was incumbent upon the Senate to act.

"Better Break for the Home Owner" tells of a proposal in Congress to exempt homeowners from 25 percent capital gains taxation upon the sale of a home provided the proceeds were used to buy property within a year afterward. The piece finds it a good proposal which should have been enacted much earlier. It favors the law, however, being written to exclude those who bought and sold real property for a living.

"Too Many Cooks, Etc." tells of the vigilante atmosphere stimulated in the community by the brutal murder of the woman, stabbed to death in her home by a black man who had not been caught. In one instance, a black man was shot in the leg by a white man who, while driving along with two other white men, had ordered him to halt, at which point he turned and ran.

It suggests that failure of county police to prevent spectators and would-be manhunters from the area surrounding the murder scene may have contributed to the loss of clues. While there were some occasions when the public might assist the police in a manhunt, the present instance was not one of them.

"Arnie Cashion and His Successor" praises the County Commissioner who was resigning after 18 years of service to devote his time to the county revaluation of real and personal property and then to become a member of a three-person commission to keep values up to date into the future.

His successor would be Ernest Beaty of Davidson, who would bring practical political experience to the job and popularity with his townspeople and the many hundreds of Davidson students who had studied under him.

A piece from the New York Herald-Tribune, titled "The Farm Bloc's Offer", tells of the farm bloc offering nothing more than more produce if price controls were removed from farm products. It questions how much higher than 152 percent of parity beef prices had to go before consumers could obtain more beef. The farm bloc had no answer.

They threatened that under price control, food supplies would be held off the market. Either they meant that 25 percent above parity was not enough of a fair price or that farm producers would act in concert to withhold supplies.

It advises the farm bloc to meet their responsibilities by devising an alternative plan to the regulations, which would also keep prices and supply reasonable.

Drew Pearson again, as on Monday, discusses Greek shipping and the accumulation of wealth by a few Greek shipping tycoons who had purchased American Liberty ships after the war with a relatively small investment while paying almost no taxes by registering the ships in foreign countries, such that they now controlled a large part of the world's shipping. Meanwhile, the American taxpayers had been paying for aid to Greece and average Greek citizens were only slightly removed from poverty, as the Greek shipping magnates lived in luxury in New York and London. The huge profits garnered from increased shipping rates on Marshall Plan aid were used by the tycoons to buy American oil tankers and to order the construction of some of the largest tankers in the industry, with the result that they would nearly dominate the long-term oil transport business.

This time, Mr. Pearson starts his roll call of the tycoons with Aristotle Onassis, who operated a tanker fleet through a Panamanian corporation, the Olympic Oil Line, which had just ordered two 40,000-ton tankers to be built in Hamburg, plus three 21,000-ton tankers. Formerly an Argentine resident, Mr. Onassis owned homes in Athens and Montevideo and was represented in the U.S. by Simpson, Spence and Young of New York.

Another shipping czar was the Callimanopulos combine, owners of Hellenic Lines Ltd., purchasers of two of the original bargain-basement Liberty ships and owners of at least one Panamanian company, General Shipping, as well as holding an interest in Fenton Steamship Co. Ltd. He lists their assets.

Another tycoon was John M. Carras, whose holdings he lists. Others in the same vein were A. G. Pappadakis, C. G. Gratsos, George N. Moatsos, M. C. and J. C. Hadjipateras, and John S. Coumantaros, whose holdings he also provides.

Study those names carefully as there will be a quiz on all of this business next week.

Stewart Alsop says that he and his brother had suppressed two stories on the atomic bomb upon official request concerning secrecy. He assures that the column contained only information which had been cleared by the authorities.

The country had made substantial gains in atomic power in recent months. The third of the atomic tests on Eniwetok the prior week had been powerful enough to trigger a hydrogen bomb and was five or six times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August, 1945. If such a blast were to occur over a city, it would likely destroy an area of 30 square miles. The stockpile of the country was large enough to permit use of the bomb on a large scale, both strategically against cities and tactically against troops in the field.

The tests in Nevada were so successful that they doubled overnight the country's nuclear potential.

An underground test in the Aleutians had either already been conducted or was about to be. Such use of the bomb would contaminate soil such that enemy troops would be unable to traverse the terrain for days or weeks without being poisoned by radioactivity.

He cautions that the bomb, however, offered no ground for complacency as a world war in the future would not be won by the atomic bomb, but rather by more blood, tears, toil and sweat. Yet, the best hope for minimizing such sacrifice lay in the atomic bomb, should Russia launch general warfare.

Marquis Childs finds that while the Truman-MacArthur debate went on, vital decisions about major aims of American policy were being postponed or ignored. One such instance was in the allocation of scarce strategic materials—tin, copper, lead, sulphur and chromium, and who was to obtain them in Europe and the U.S. For four months a plan had been in the making for allocation among the NATO nations based on needs of each country in terms of defense and rearmament.

Pressures had been building abroad regarding resentment over America taking all of these strategic materials, as evidenced in the recent resignations in Britain of Aneurin Bevan and Harold Wilson from the Labor Cabinet, upset over the domestic austerity program required for rearmament. At the same time, Britain was permitting an increase in shipments of rubber to Communist China, producing resentment in the U.S., mutually weakening the coalition.

Nothing, he concludes, fit the plans of Moscow better than for such dissension to drive apart NATO before it was up and running.

Richard Spong writes of the February 14, 1950 mutual assistance treaty between Russia and Communist China and how it could be interpreted so as to permit the outbreak of a third world war arising out of Korea. Secretary of Defense Marshall had testified before the joint committees that the treaty was so loosely worded as to allow Russia a pretext for intervention in Korea based on U.N. bombing of Chinese bases, as favored by General MacArthur. Mr. Spong quotes from the treaty.

A Sino-Russian companion agreement on return of Port Arthur to Chinese control by the end of 1952 gave either country the right to use Port Arthur in the conduct of joint military operations against any "aggressor", specifically identifying either Japan or anyone who united with Japan.

In the February, 1950 treaty, the Russians had repudiated the 1945 treaty with Nationalist China, leading Mr. Spong to suggest that the Russians would only keep the treaties which served their expedient ends.

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