The Charlotte News
Thursday, June 27, 1940
Site Ed. Note: The title "Umbrella", not explained in the piece, refers to the characteristic trademark of Mr. Bumble Chamberlain, his umbrella. It was as this symbol which a man on the north side of Elm Street in Dallas on November 22, 1963 claimed as a reason for opening his own just as President Kennedy was first struck by a bullet in his right shoulder blade at 12:30 p.m. It was supposed to be, the man claimed in 1978 before the House Select Committee on Assassinations, an act of protest of what the man felt were too soft policies by the Kennedy Administration on Communism, and also to taunt the President for his father's stand in support of Chamberlain's position for appeasement at Munich when Joseph P. Kennedy was Ambassador to England under the Roosevelt Administration, and still acting as such when Cash wrote "Umbrella", retiring from that position in October, 1940. (Mr. Chamberlain had been retired as Prime Minister in May and replaced with the far more resolute Winston Churchill.)
Speculation has abounded, of course, over the years, and not without photographic evidence to support it, that this umbrella, given when it opened, and the rather weak reason put forth for its being done, was in fact a coordination point so that shooters, with less vantage point than a person standing on the curb adjacent to the President's position, could know that the opportunity was there, the hit was on, the rain could fall and fall hard, and the fusillade could be timed so as to hide and to confuse the origin of the individual reports. Of course, that which we know at present for certain is that our last Liberal President was murdered brutally by gunfire right in front of our eyes. And many turned right, and for reasons of tricks of the mind which they themselves do not usually understand, kept on turning...
One other thing is also quite clear, President Kennedy did not carry an umbrella.
Which Is In the True Chamberlain Manner
The initial letters of the Republican platform slogan, "Peace And Preparedness," add up to PAP.
This platform is a compromise reached by a committee which came within an inch of stating that "we are unalterably opposed to the spilling of a single drop of American blood on any foreign soil." If that had passed and the Republican candidate had been elected, we should have been unable to land a single soldier in Latin-America to help put down Nazi revolution--a revolution aimed at getting into position to make us come to terms. Worse, we cannot even have sent soldiers to defend Canada or the West Indies islands belonging to England and France, if England falls. It would have been an open invitation to Adolf Hitler to come ahead and surround us with bases, to come ahead and destroy us before we had struck a blow in our own defense.
And the spirit of the bitter-end partisans and isolationists who wanted to do this thing is still an essential part of the compromise reached.
What the slogan adds up to is that we now have peace, and the we can maintain that peace if only we "get ready." The fact is, as we pointed out yesterday, that we are already under attack.
Adolf Hitler is a conqueror whose methods have no parallel in history. He does not want to attack the United States until he has first paralyzed her by surrounding her with bases, especially in Latin-America. To that end he has been working in Latin-America for years. As matters stand now, Nazi revolution is imminent in several of the Latin-American countries, would surely break in most of them if England falls.
We can now have peace if we are determined to have it at any price, yes. Adolf Hitler doesn't want to fight us. He much prefers to have us submit quietly to becoming a satellite of Berlin and to being Nazified. And any moment we are willing to do that, we can make peace with him at once.
But if we are not willing to do that, the Republican slogan is wholly misleading.
New Legion Choice Assures Against Rise of Hysteria
The election of R. Dave Hall, of Belmont, and Mrs. Walter G. Craven as the heads of the American Legion and the American Legion Auxiliary in this state, is naturally gratifying to this section.
But there is more to it than that. Mr. Hall is a pleasant fellow and a solid citizen--and he is a representative of the more conservative and responsible section of the Legion. And so may be trusted to carry out the policy already mapped by the retiring commander, June H. Rose. The policy is summed up in Mr. Rose's insistence to the membership of the various posts that it must on no account go into hysteria over the the Fifth Column, and must in all cases proceed only under orders from the Legion itself, acting with the legally constituted authorities.
The suspicion and criticism which have sometimes been leveled at the Legion in the past have arisen from the fact that here and there over the country posts have fallen under the control of firebrands who wanted to put down unAmericanism by themselves adopting the unAmerican way of vigilantism. And such times as these are perfectly calculated to make that spirit spread.
It is gratifying to observe that the Legion has observed the danger, and that the control of the organization in this state remains in the hands of those who may be trusted to see that the energies of the old fighters are turned only to constructive ends.
It May Yet Complete The Doom of England
If the English are able to read what is plain as the nose on your face, they will not hesitate in ridding their Cabinet of Neville Chamberlain.
Before them is the example of France and appeasers in Reynaud's Cabinet who broke almost as soon as the Nazis had taken Sedan. Reynaud weakly attempted to remedy that by dismissing Daladier. But he replaced him with Royalists like old Marshal Petain, who think it worth any price to get a Bourbon moron back on the throne of France. And other appeasers were left in the Cabinet to continue to argue for the ideas of Pierre Laval and Pierre Flandin--the two men whose policies eventuated in the destruction of France. And the moment things began to go badly with the French armies, these men popped up again and took charge, to sell out France.
A Lot of People Helped To Strip Him of Arms
Says the Republican platform:
"We... fasten upon the New Deal full responsibility for our unpreparedness for the consequent danger of involvement in war..."
But the record will not bear that charge out.
In 1920, the first year after the complete demobilization of the war armies, the United States spent nearly two billion dollars on its army, three-quarters of a billion dollars on its navy, on which it had expended over two billion dollars the year before. In 1921, it still spent $991,588,055 on its army, $650,373,836 on its navy.
Then in the Spring of 1921, Congress, completely dominated by the Republican Party, overrode the protests of General Pershing and reduced the size of the army from 500,000 men to 150,000. And in August of the same year, President Harding, acting on a resolution of Congress which had been fathered by Borah, the isolationist, called the so-called Washington Naval Conference.
At that Conference the Harding Administration agreed to limit the United States Navy to a total of 525,000 tons of ships. And in pursuance of that agreement, it destroyed 30 ships, including six battleships, brand new or still incomplete, of 43,200 tons each--all far heavier and more powerful than anything now afloat and all newer than any U.S. battleship now in commission--one battleship of 32,000 tons, and six battle cruisers of 43,500 tons (ships comparable to the British Hood and Resolute), all of which were in process of construction.
It was the most thorough piece of disarmament ever undertaken. And when we finish all the battleships now building or authorized, we shall still have fewer capital ships than we would now have if the ships had not been destroyed.
After 1922, Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover, and their Republican-dominated Congresses, carefully encouraged the popular notion that money spent on navies and armies was wasted, to the end of setting up an "economy" record. Expenditures for the navy ranged between a quarter and a third of a billion annually, those for the army were only slightly higher--not enough to keep either establishment in repair.
The first Roosevelt Congress was guilty of slashing the naval appropriations even further, again to the end of setting up an "economy" record. But after 1935, the rate of expenditure went up rapidly. In 1936, we spent three-quarters of a billion dollars on the army and navy establishments. In 1936 and again in 1937 nearly a billion, and in 1939 well over a billion.
These sums were entirely inadequate to the need, of course. But they at least raised the navy to three times the tonnage originally provided by the Washington Naval Conference, and they left the army not entirely disarmed, as it was in 1933.
And--almost invariably the sums appropriated by Congress were smaller than those asked for by the President.
The simple truth about the matter is that no President and no Congress is to blame for the poor state of our arms. What was really responsible for it was the pacifist sentiment in this country and the isolationist doctrine which held, in General Johnson's words, that what happened to Europe was "none of our d---- business." Feeling that we were not going to fight Europe again, feeling that we were not likely to be directly attacked, the American people refused to countenance the spending of money on arms. Presidents and Congresses played politics with that sentiment. But no President and no Congress could have defied it if they had tried. And to attempt to put the whole blame on Mr. Roosevelt is simply a snide piece of partisanship.
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