The Charlotte News

Friday, June 7, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Here, in "A Tune Changes", Cash comes as close as editorially possible, without a hard case for it, to denouncing Senator Robert Rice Reynolds of North Carolina as being a Nazi sympathizer. Indeed, history later revealed that Reynolds, whether knowingly or not, did in fact on at least one occasion provide key French ship positions in the Mediterranean to a Nazi Abwehr agent with whom he was friendly, (see Hitler's Undercover War by William Breuer, St. Martin's Press, 1989)--another fact for the reader to use in his or her determination of the matter, which Cash leaves open to judgment.

Senator Claude Pepper of Florida, as mentioned in "Committee", who, though defeated for re-election to a third term in the Senate in 1950, would return to Congress as a Representative in 1962 and remain until his death at age 89 in 1989, was the sole vocal proponent in Congress for an immediate declaration of war on Germany in June, 1940, and was also, incidentally, an admirer of W. J. Cash's writing. (See his telegram to Cash shortly after the publication of The Mind of the South in the W.J. Cash section of the Wake Forest University Rare Book Room.)

On May 23, 1940, the young but Administration-favored Pepper gave a speech before the Senate in which he stated: "I'm not going to let a day pass when I do not raise my voice against the folly of sitting back wishfully hoping that the enemy will not attack us or may not attack us, and not doing something while it will be effective, and before it is too late... Now, we can turn the scales of battle by goods and by money and by airplanes, and perhaps even more, by a straight-forward, manly declaration that we have enough of self-respect and enough affection for the institutions of democracy to tell Hitler that we are his eternal and mortal enemy, and that it is our will that as a political power he shall be destroyed from the face of the earth, and that every item of our strength and every bit of our courage and all of our resources we dedicate to the honorable cause of his destruction as the arch foe of decent men." Said Washington syndicated columnist Raymond Clapper on May 28 of this statement: "That is a long sentence. But it would become a historic one should we get into this war, for it is the most aggressive call that has echoed from any official source since the last war ended."

Alben Barkley, Senator from Kentucky, also mentioned below, would in 1949 become Vice-President under Truman.

And as to "Dig Down", read our lips in January, 2002: in time of war, taxes must inevitably, sooner or later, rise. War machines are not free and are even more expensive when there is not only no economic wherewithal of the enemy nation to pay reparations but instead it is left to our responsibility as a nation to rebuild the conquered for humane as well as practical reasons of prevention of future recurrence.

Dig Down

Election Year or Not, Taxes Are Going Up

 It's inexcusable politics to raise taxes in an election year, but so disturbed is the mind of the country, and so distracted by what's going on in Europe, that a tax rise has become imminent, here only five months before the election, without calling down a single protest.

It's been coming on for several years, ever since the country and Congress finally realized that the New Deal had no intention of cutting down on its expenditures. Bills to put it into effect have been offered before and nearly carried in one house or the other, but always they have been laid aside for future reference.

This time, however, it is likely that Congress will impose and the people will accept without murmurs a broadening of the income tax base. Put that way, it sounds innocuous. Actually, it means that salaries in excess of $35 a week for heads of families and $15.50 a week for single persons will be subject to income taxes.

It means also that higher salaries having lower exemptions, will have to pay more taxes.

It will make a lot of people agree with Sherman that war, even preparation for war, is hell, but they may console themselves with the reflection that had President Roosevelt believed in paying for ordinary Governmental expenditures as they were made, it should have been done long ago.


Aid for the Allies Has Little Chance Here

As to Claude Pepper's scheme for aiding the Allies with planes, by shipping them some of the older ones we now have and taking new ones building in exchange, we don't know. To a layman's eye the idea looks sound enough. But it is for the military authorities of the country to say whether or not the plan would weaken us.

We should feel a lot better, however, about any plan for helping the Allies if the Senate Foreign Relations Committee were made up a little differently. Here is its membership:

Key Pittman, chairman -- More or less an Administration spokesman.

Pat Harrison -- More or less anti-Roosevelt, but never a rabid opponent of the President's foreign policy.

Robert Wagner -- The President's man.

Tom Connolly -- Ditto for Harrison save that he has been more strongly isolationist.

Elbert Thomas -- Rabid isolationist.

Frederick Van Nuys -- Rabid isolationist.

James E. Murray -- An unknown quantity.

Lewis B. Swellenbach -- Strongly Rooseveltian.

Claude Pepper -- See above.

Theodore Green -- Mild isolationist.

Barkley -- President's man, no isolationist.

Robert Rice Reynolds -- Organizer of Nazi-like movement in this country, professed admirer of Hitler, British-baiter.

Guffey -- Anything the President says.

Guy Gillette -- Rabid isolationist and bitter hater of all measures proposed by President.

Bennett Champ Clark -- One of the three most rabid isolationists in the country.

Hiram W. Johnson -- Another of the three.

Arthur Vandenberg -- The third of the most rabid isolationists, one of the most bitter Republican partisans in the nation, and a man who has hitched his Presidential hopes to isolationism.

Arthur Capper -- A militant isolationist.

Robert La Follette -- As strong, though not as bitter, an isolationist as Johnson, Clark, and Vandenberg.

Wallace White -- An unknown quantity.

Henrik Shipstead -- A strong isolationist.

It is easy enough to see that any proposal to aid the Allies has little chance in this committee, whatever the merits of that proposal.

Silly Move

Signor Gayda Is Simply Defeating His End

Signor Gayda, we fear, is not as bright as he might be.

His "warning" to the United States yesterday that we had better not interfere with the plans of Mr. Hitler and his own jackal master, under penalty of being beaten up later, was obviously loosed with an eye to inciting our isolationists and giving them more material in their attempt to terrify us.

These, he undoubtedly thought, would take up his warning and use it in an effort to prove that we were just picking trouble for ourselves quite needlessly. And, no doubt, some of them will. A good many of them, indeed, have been taking their argument straight out of the mouths of the Nazis and Fascists all along.

But for all that, Editor Gayda could be a lot smarter than he is. For if he had tried hard, he couldn't have invented a method more certain to get up the dander of the American in the street. There is a boy who sells apples who stopped at our desk to ask about the story. He was breathing hard. And his reaction was typical of everybody we heard speak of it.

No country in the world takes threats with less humbleness than this one, which has never known a master. And Signor Gayda would be well advised to bear the fact in mind.

A Tune Changes

Robert Is Willing To Have Hitler for Our Neighbor

Consider the consistency of the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds.

For several years, as all our readers know, this great statesman has bellowed in Congress that we should grab the British and French insular possessions in this hemisphere as payment for the war debts. Over and over the converted playboy has roared that it was absolutely necessary to the protection of our national interests to have these islands.

But now, look you. Yesterday the Senate was debating the Pittman-Bloom resolution which does no more than reaffirm the Monroe Doctrine--declares that we will not tolerate the transfer, by force or peaceful means, of any territory in this hemisphere from one non-American power to another.

Then up arose the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds, statesman (God help us!) from North Carolina, to roar thusly:

"This resolution means simply that we today serve notice on Hitler that, should he win the European war, we will not stand for his taking over English, French or other possessions in the Western Hemisphere. This is nothing more than an implied declaration of war against Hitler should he make such a move... In other words we are saying to the Nazis that, should they win the war, that (sic) they cannot take over St. Thomas, Jamaica, and other rich possessions along the coast of North America and Central America... I will never vote to send our soldiers out of this country to fight over small islands that are of no use to us (italics ours), and which are occupied by an admixture of people who have nothing in common with us."

Observe what it all comes to. This man was perfectly willing to risk a war with England and France, which do not threaten us, on the ground that the islands were so necessary that if nothing else would do force ought to be used to secure them.

But now when the most ruthlessly aggressive conquering power since the Dark Ages appears--a power which coolly proposes to destroy democratic civilization--what happens?

He informs us suddenly that we must under no circumstances think of fighting about these islands, that they are entirely worthless. He informs us that, rather than send a soldier out of the country, he would see Adolf Hitler grab these islands, bases which would make us absolutely powerless to defend ourselves, the possession of which would put us wholly at Adolf Hitler's mercy.

He goes further, indeed; for what he says can mean nothing but that he would see Adolf Hitler installed in Canada and throughout South and Central America with equanimity--this man who is ready to risk war with England because we so needed Jamaica and the Bahamas!

The excuse he offers is his tender, bleeding love for the soldiers--of whom incidentally he was never one, though of the right age and qualifications. But for ourselves we recall all too clearly that ever since he visited Berlin in 1938 and was heavily entertained by important Nazi swine, he has been yelling his admiration for Hitler.

We have never openly charged that Robert Rice Reynolds was an outright Nazi sympathizer, though it was plain all long that he had many sympathies in common with them. We do not charge it now. It is unnecessary. The reader may judge by the record as herein cited.

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