dated July 21, 1950: The uncensored war

Gen. MacArthur's special communique on July 20, from Tokyo, claimed that the North Korean invading forces had missed their chance of victory. With the deployment in Korea of major elements of the Eighth Army now accomplished, the first phase of the campaign had ended, and with it the chance for victory by the North Korean forces.

``Believe it or not, they are actually complaining against the General's decision not to impose any censorship on war news even from the military and morale point of view. This strange experience, so much at variance with the usual practice in war- time reporting, appears to have momentarily made the correspondents forget their habitual grouse against the Army brass-hats preventing anything worthwhile being despatched for publication from the front. The reasons for this unprecedented state of affairs as given by both sides are interesting. Indeed Gen. MacArthur's explanation is such as to knock the bottom out of war-time censorship, the case for which has been tacitly admitted to be unassailable even by the most ardent advocates of freedom of the Press.

``The contention of some,'' says the General, ``that the military must take the responsibility of laying down fixed rules governing limitation upon news and pass upon each item before it is printed, is as unrealistic as it is defective. In the Korea operations, it has been my purpose to leave this responsibility where it rightfully belongs - in the hands of the correspondents, editors and publishers concerned.''