Page 1 article text (OCR)
BLYTHEVILLE COURIER NEWS VOL. 62—NO. 274 BLYTHEVILLE, ARKANSAS (72315) TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 1968 12 PAGES 10 CENTS VC PRESS ATTACKS IN SAIGON, HUE By GEORGE ESPER Associated Press Writer sAlGOfl (AP) - Attack and counterattack widened devastation across Smith Vietnam today as the Communists pushed their biggest offensive of the war into its second week. Red troops battled on against superior allied fire power in Saigon; gave ground in Hue. U.S.. Marines recaptured the Thua Thien Province headquarters building in Hue, the old imperial capital, and their South Vietnamese allies narrowed Communist holdings in Hue's bomb-blasted walled Citadel across the Perfume River. Only one wall of the Citadel was reported to remain in Red hands. At some points .elsewhere the enemy, though by Saigon count losing men at the rate of 12 to 1 for the allies, appeared to be outmaneuving government troops, Large sections of Saigon and Hue lay in smouldering ruins, and towering columns of smoke rose into the sunny skies as South Vietnamese dive-bombers, U.S. helicopter guhships, artillery and tanks blasted away at Communist troops in scattered sections. Tens of thousands of terrified civilians streamed from shacks and huts in Saigon with what meager belongings they could carry, swelling the number of homeless'to staggering proportions. Already nearly 200,000 refugees are reported, 58,000 in Saigon and its suburbs, and the total is expected to double or triple when all reports are in. From the northern sector of South Vietnam came reports of fresb mortar and ground attacks on government district . headquarters and army units along a wide arc around Da Nang. Da .Nang, South Vietnam's second largest city, was . placed on "Alert Two," meaning an attack is probable. U.S. headquarters said elements of the 2nd North Vietnamese Division were between Da Nang and Hoi Ah, a provincial capital I?, miles to the south. ''Which way they will go we don't know. It has a potential of some magnitude," a spokesman said. The air war against North Vietnam, overshadowed for a week by the Communist offensive against South Vietnamese cities and towns, returned to the headlines with a U.S. announcement that an American Thuri- derchief jet and a North Vietnamese MIG21 were shot down in aerial duels northwest of Hanoi Monday. The Thunderchief pilot is missing. His plane was the 797th U.S. combat plane officially reported lost over the North and the 40th brought down by a MIG in the Vietnam war. The MIG21 was the 106th Communist jet claimed by American fliers in combat over North Vietnam. /*» -'••-(••: jr** r\\S Council Gives OK To Sewer Bond ...At,a meeting of the .city.coun- cil last night, a resolution was unanimously approved to bring an $335,000 sewer bond issue before the city's voters on the 27th of February. Today Mayor Tom Little again stressed the importance of the passage of the bond issue in : .order to insure the continued'.growth of Blytheville. Little said "The bonds, if they are approved, will be 30 year issue, but I predict that they will be retired in 15 to 18 years at the latest, based on past history (of city growth). .."The only cost to the people of Blytheville will be an increase in sewer fees from $1.80 to $2.00 and will relieve us of > the overloaded conditions=.pre.fc. ent in the trunk lines and at the water treatment plant. "Right now," he .continued, "raw sewage must, on occasion, be released without treatment and is polluting some 15 miles of waterway creating a health hazard." * * * A spokesman for Ellers and Reeves, the consulting engineers hired by the city, said that if the bond issue is approved they "hope to be able to advertise for bids by the fall of this year and begin construction before the end of 1968." An added protection for the city to insure that an adequate sewer system will be built, Lit- ,-.tie,,.. said, is .the-fact -that the completed plans from the consulting engineers must be approved by the Federal Water Pollution Control Board in Dallas, the Arkansas Water Pollution . Control Commission and the State Board of Health. The mayor said the city has $400,000 in cash, and a.federal grant for $342,000. The only other funds available for a new sewer system will be the $835,000 to be raised by the bond issue, he said. "Unless the sewer bond issue is approved by the voters on the 27th," Little said, "then the city's growth will come to a standstill." U.S. planes flew 72 missions against North Vietnam and the demilitarized., zone Monday. Their targets . included a surface-to-air missile supply area inside the DMZ, and the Vinh airfield. 130. miles north of the .zone. Delayed reports from the threatened-provinces below the DMZ told of fierce fighting along South Vietnam's norther frontier; where senior American commanders expect an even bigger Communist offensive than the one in the past week that dealt severe blows to provincial capitals and cities. One report, withheld for security reasons, disclosed a 15-day- old operation by U.S. paratroopers and air cavalrymen in an area 25 to 35 miles south of the DMZ to take some of the pressure off threatened Quang Tri and Thua Thien provinces. U.S. headquarters said the Army troops have killed 578 of the enemy and captured 89 weapons, while U.S. losses were put at 23 dead and 144 wounded. Headquarters also reported that U.S. Marines killed 295 Communist troops and captured 116 weapons in'a two-day fight seven miles -below the eastern edge of the DMZ, while 36 Marines were killed and 164 wounded. : The U.S. Command said that except for Hue, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces had regained control of all cities and towns . seized, or (Jeeplyj.penetrated by Viet Cong forces in their attacks on 35 major'population centers in the last eight days. At the northwest frontier bastion of Khe Sann, where U.S. Marines await an even bigger Communist offensive than the campaign against the cities, the situation was reported quiet after a probing attack Monday. The U.S. Command said 21,330 Communist troops have been killed across the country in the last seven days, more than a third of the 60,000 troops which American intelligence officers estimate the Communists sent into the cities campaign. The total jumped more than 4,000 in See VIETNAM on Page 2 Unhappy Over Pueblo Talks S. Korea Raps U.S. By WILLIAM L. RYAN AP Special Correspondent SEOUL (AP) - South Korea's National Assembly adopted tonight a sharply worded resolution expressing "-national indignation" at current secret negotiations between the United States and North Korea on the fate of the USS Pueblo and its crew., 1 The resolution, reflecting widespread Korean dismay at the American attitude in the crisis, insisted that ttie attack^ by North Korean commandos assigned to assassinate President Chung Hee Park was more important to South Korea.than the Pueblo incident. The legislators asked'the. gov- ernment to take "punitive measures—if necessary, alone against Communist provocations," and suggested that "military reprisals would be the best measure" since the record of the North Koreans "proves they do not stick to diplomatic agreements." Many in this country feel the Pueblo incident is endangering U.S. relations with its strongest ally in Asia. As one legislator put. it, "We are disappointed, and although it is not yet disillusionment, we are frightened." ..The fright, he explained, grew out of a feeling that the United States-might sacrifice the interests of South Korea for American global interests and for the sake of furthering a thaw in U.S.-Soviet relations. An atmosphere of tension was heightened by an anti-American demonstration in the capital today. ' The resolution was drawn up jointly by the Foreign Affairs, Defense and Interior committees of the National Assembly. Leading South Koreans express hurt and indignation, saying there was no U.S. inclination to react forcefully when the assassination attempt was made against Park. But, when the Pueblo was seized Jan. 23 all forces here, South Koreans and Americans alike, were placed on alert on orders of the American general who heads the Unit- ed Nations Command. They picture the United States as going to the North Koreans and saying it was sorry, thus enhancing North Korean stature in Hie eyes of the world. The assembly asked the government to "review all bilateral and multi-lateral treaties to which the Republic of Korea is a party, with a view to guaran- of this country and in particular to deal with any eventuality which may be the result of fu' tare North Korean military provocations." ' / Park Choon-kyoo, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, expressed the view that the United States was employing a See KOREA on Page 2 UNITED FUND AWARD-Harold Anderson (center), recipient of a similar award. This year's campaign ; ..^__. president or this year's United Fund campaign, receives a percent short of the $62,'000 goal, Anderson said, but "he- distinguished service plaque for his work in last year's hopes the shortage will be made up by the end of Febf drive from T. E. Geeslin Jr., (right) campaign vice-presi- ruary. (Courier News Photo) 1- dent. Bill Williams (left), fund chairman for 1968, was the "T 6 THE FIRST IN A SERIES of short talks relating to Blytheville's sewer problems was schedule to be given to the Lions-Club at'noon today. The speaker, Col. Marvin Jacobs, is the field sup- 'ervisor and liason man for Ellers & Reaves of,Mem' phis",the. city's' consulting engineers. '. . ' Mayor Tom Little said talks will be given to other civic clubs, the PTA Council(Feb. 15), Ministerial Alliance and "any other group that wants information about the sewer project." The $1.5 million improvement project either stands or falls Feb. 27 when city, voters decide on an $835,000 revenue bond issue (see story on this page) to help finance the plan. "This is a wonderful bargain for the city," Lit-. tie said today. "For only 20 cents a month more we can clean up the city's sewage. "Ttiat's only the price of two soda pops." WHILE DECLINING SPECIFICS, Police Chief George'-Ford said response to the department's "Anonymous Tips" Post Office box has "exceeded expectations... I didn't think it would be that good." The police department is accepting anonymous information through P. 0. Box 1002, at the local Post Office, and, according to Ford, "people don't have to sign their name and we're interested in anything." Ford said he has only one regret. "So far we haven't received anything from teenagers," he said. Ford was asked to describe the tone of the information he has received. ;. , '' "Oh, I wouldn't devulge that," he said. ••'• •' •'•*. • ' •' MACK TODD OF DELL is chairman of that city's North Mississippi County Heart Fund Drive efforts, according to Mike Kenner, over-all chairman. : * •"••'"' •" " . • SEN. GUY "MUTT" JONES OF CONWAY said Monday that Gov. Winthrop Roskefeller hadn't done "his homework" and that was the only reason there could be for holding two special sessions of the legislature. Jones, who has had numerous verbal clashes with the governor, during and since the last regular session of the legislature, made his remarks Monday just before the Senate convened. . ..,..; ^ IF THERE IS A,FEUD between state Prison Supt. Thomas 0. Murtoii and the chairman of the state Penitentiary Board, any information about it will have to come from one of them, Gov. Winthrop Rockefeller said Monday. "I'm not going to try to start evaluating who is doing what to whom," Rockefeller said, but he added: "You can't ever have so many people involved without having some personal friction." EMK S. V/efs - : f.or ~ \ WASHINGTON (AP) - Sen. Edward M. Kennedy says the massive Viet Cong attacks on South Vietnam population centers reveal the "deadly apathy" of the South Vietnamese. The Massachusetts Democrat, who tias often criticized corruption .within th« : . South Viet- namoe government, said the surprise Viet Cong attacks would have been impossible "if then wen a population in South Vietnam that felt even a reasonable allegiance to its own government." Kennedy, in a Monday speech to the American Advertising Association, added: "Unless we assume that the enemy has the strongest internal security system known, it would have to b* said that ther* was no one in those 28 cities and Saigon who felt compelled to Inform the central government of the time and place of even tint of these attacks." As Kennedy spoke, Republican presidential hopeful Richard M. Nixon said in Wisconsin that the guerrilla attacks prove Americans aren't being kept fully .informed about the war's progress. Before the .Viet Cong raids, Nixon said, there had been optimistic reports issued in Washington indicating, the military operation was going well or that, "peace was around the corner." But'meanwhile, Nixon added, "apparently our hard intelligence indicated that not only was the enemy capable of doing what it did in this last offensive, it is capable of doing it again." He said the Johnson administration "would be much better advised to tell the American people the truth about the enemy's strength and the enemy's intentions, and at the same time make very clear that we're/not going to cave in to this kind of assault." Kennedy called for a new confrontation between this country and the Saigon government, saying'the South Vietnamese leaders must be told to reform, to make their, government "worthy of the respect of the people." .,-•.. ... ,. Senate .'Democratic Lesder Mike Mansfield endorsed Kennedy's call, saying he believes It's time for "very serious Sea KENNEDY OB Page I UF Falls $15,000 Short . • About-$15,000 is needed for the Blytheville United Fund' (UF) -to 1 meet i its $.62,000 goal, according to Harold Anderson, local campaign president. •'Anderson said if the 25 percent deficit is'not made up, the 11 participating . agencies will Suffer a reduction in appropria^ lions for the year. ( Pledge.cards,are being given .campaign workers, Anderson said and in the next few weeks. 1 Bly'thevilie. residents will be contacted and asked to support the 1968 drive with their contributions. - . ' . Anderson' stressed that if for. some reason a person is not contacted,-he may mail a contribution addressed to: Blytheville United Fund P. 0. Box 625 Blytheville, Ark; 72315' Officers for this year's United Fund, in addition to Anderson, are T. E. Geeslin, vice-president and Bill Williams, fund chairman. During the month of January, Anderson reported, Blythevillfl United Fund mailed checks vto- taling almost $20,000 to participating agencies Fait of this amount was t« pay off the commitments remaining from 1967 and the rest was the first quarterly payment for this year,, Anderson- said. Because these agencies are paid on a .quarterly basis, Anderson said all pledges need,to be paid when they are due so' that the UF can meet its obligations. Further information may be obtained by contacting Williams' or by attending one of the board meetings held at 3 p.m. the first Thursday of every month at the city hail, Anderson said. Travel Tax Has Support By EDMOND LeBRETON Associated Press Writer WASHINGTON (AP) — President Johnson's : proposed travel tax .on, overseas spending, although generating complaints it is discriminatory and impossibly complicated, appears' to have powerful support on Capitol Hill. . - .. The House Ways and Means Committee continues hearings today on the proposal—aimed at reducing the U.S.' balance-of- payments deficit by $500,000 a year—with Secretary of. the Treasury Henry H. Fowler once more the top administration witness. As unveiled Monday by Fowler, the plan would impose a graduated tax on the spending of U.S. travelers outside the Western Hemisphere-nothing on the first $7 a day, 15 per cent on the next $8 and 30 per cent on everything above $15. There also would be a 5 per cent excise tax on all international air fares and on water transportation outside the Western Hemisphere; plus tt 90 per cent reduction in the duty-free privileges oni gifts arid goods bought abroad and brought home by travelers. Although Rep. John W. Byrnes of Wisconsin, senior Republican Ways and Means Com- mitteenian, sharply questioned Fowler for three hours, he later told a newsman: "It lookEas though traveling is the only_ox to be gored." Committee Chairman Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark.,. did not question Fowler and other administration witnesses. _ But he later told an intervfe^ er "we will have to do soffig-' thing" about the tourist contribution to the dollar drain, f i Travel industry spokesmen^ at home 1 and abroad were predictably hostile to the. proposals. ""—« A New York travel agency~official, Dick Bryers, said the proposal would force "people fifbe accountants while on vacation £ Howard L Clark, president_of American Express Co., saidj^^L think such taxes could lead to retaliation affecting our present favorable balance of trade" with many countries. ™C* Also criticized was the fornitf; la for assessing the tax, involv'. ing— among other feature's^ payment of taxes on estimated expenditures before taking the trip along with filing of tax forms upon returning home. ,' •iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiHiiiini Fair and cool today and tomorrow. Little chance of pn> cipitalion. Highs tomorrow 'h the upper 50s. Overnight low* fc the 30s. '