The Charlotte News
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 1938
Japanese foreign office spokesmen report, with a fine show of indignation, that Chinese soldiers have "kidnaped" three Jesuit priests in the Yellow River battle area. But it may be reasonably questioned as to whether the priests have been "kidnaped" or simply taken prisoners of war. It is an accepted principle of the law of nations that whoever gives aid and comfort to an enemy in war--and certainly an invading enemy--occupies the status of an enemy himself, and may justly and legally be taken prisoner and, if his offense is a serious one, executed. And it does not seem entirely unlikely that these Jesuits have been guilty of lending aid and comfort to the Japanese as against the Chinese. For of all Catholic orders, the Jesuits are most immediately subject to the command of the Pope. And it is of record that, directly after the beginning of the Japanese attack on China, Pius XI officially accepted the Japanese claim that it was all by way of defending the world from the Reds, and instructed all Catholic priests and orders in China to aid the Japanese in this "crusade against communism" in every way they could.
So Soon a Generation?
Exactly a week ago, as everyone knows, Mr. Neville Chamberlain rid himself of Anthony Eden as Foreign Secretary and embarked forthrightly on the policy he is said to have favored all the time--the conciliating of Mussolini and Hitler by giving them a full hand to do what they like, particularly in Central Europe. And last Monday afternoon, on the floor of the House of Commons, he defended his action by saying that he confidently expected that it would--
". . insure the peace of Europe for a generation. :."
Wherefore we observe by today's paper that the first fruit of his course has been that the Austrian Government has had to send the Austrian army to Graz to put down 60,000 Nazis assembling to march on Vienna. If the attempt had gone through--and it may yet do so--it probably would have precipitated a bloody civil war in Austria, for even as the Nazis foregathered at Graz, a vast assembly of peasants at Vienna was taking oath to die rather than submit to Nazi rule. And a civil war in Austria would surely mean; that Hitler would intervene with force on the side of the Nazis, and it he did that, La Belle France would have no choice but to repudiate all her treaties--or fight.
There are, we know, forms of life in which the span of "a generation" is precisely seven days. But we had not thought that man was one of them.
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