The Charlotte News
Wednesday, October 9, 1940
Site Ed. Note: "…And our friends are all aboard. Many more of them live next door…" Ah, you're here. Where were we on the War? Well, read "Bear and Trap" and see the ensuing several years summed up. We shall just continue with a celebration of the singer, song-writer's birthday. "Turn off your mind, relax, and float downstream…"
Federal Court's Reversal of Labor Board Hits New Deal
The only remarkable thing about the decision of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals in the Ford case is that it ever had to rule on the right of the company to distribute pamphlets stating its position about unionization and arguing against it. The court's decision upheld that right all the way.
And in doing so, it reversed the National Labor Relations Board and virtually accused it of having perpetrated "an invasion of the liberties guaranteed to all citizens by the First Amendment of the Constitution"-- specifically, the liberty of free speech.
The menace abroad to this country's welfare and national security has diverted public attention from lesser grievances such as the Labor Relations Board to the critical need for defense. That has had a unifying effect upon the country, and has obscured many purely domestic issues.
But for whatever bearing it may have at this juncture, those opposed to the re-election of President Roosevelt and the extension of the New Deal are justified in charging that one of the agencies set up by the New Deal--the labor board--deliberately ruled that the Wagner Labor Relations Act took precedence over the Bill of Rights. So strong was this board's determination to encourage the organization of labor as an instrument of New Deal policy that it forbade an employer to express any opinion against it.
A Man Pretty Well Sums Himself Up in a Sentence
John Nance Garner probably told more truth than he intended. Yesterday he pulled up stakes and left Washington apparently for good after a brief visit of two weeks. Before that, ever since the nomination of Mr. Roosevelt at Chicago, he had been taking it easy in his pocket borough of Uvalde, Texas.
As he shook the dust of the capital from his ten-gallon hat, he told reporters cryptically:
"That's the way I came in and that's the way I'm going out."
What he meant to refer to is not clear. But what is clear is that there is no record of his announcing that he was resigning the office of Vice-President of the United States or renouncing the salary that goes with it--that he took no account at all of his duties in that office.
And so his words, as we say, acquire a meaning which probably go beyond what he himself intended.
How he "came in"--that is, arose to such great prominence in the United States that the people ultimately honored him with the second highest office within their gift--is well-known. He did it simply by making politics his first value devoting himself solely to its pursuit, to the end of acquiring office for himself.
The nation stands before a crisis. Congress will remain in session. The Vice-President of the United States should be at his post. Instead he goes home to sulk, and continue to draw his salary. He is quite right. He plainly goes out with the same values he brought with him when he came on the stage.
Bear and Trap
He Plainly Has Reason To Begin To Fear It
It is still a completely nebulous matter and may all come to nothing. But the news that Molotoff has been conferring with Sir Stafford Cripps, the British Ambassador to Moscow, and that Sumner Welles has resumed conversation with Costantine Oumansky, Russian Ambassador to the United States, may be the most important news in the world at the moment.
For it is no longer necessarily wish-thinking to suppose it quite logically possible that Russia may now be getting into a mood to consider lining up with Britain and the United States against the triple Axis.
The Soviet game all along has been entirely a cold-blooded one. Apparently the 1939 pact with Hitler was signed because the Kremlin was aware of Hitler's strength, judged that he would win the war, wanted to be on good terms with them when it was over, and saw a chance to do a good deal of territory-grabbing and to work itself into an immensely better strategic position with reference to Germany in the meantime. But it seems unlikely that Stalin and Molotoff expected that the Nazis would sweep through the Continent as rapidly and as thoroughly as they have.
Ever since the fall of France, Russia has been giving clear signs of growing steadily colder toward Germany. Nevertheless, with the fate of Britain hanging upon its ability to withstand Hitler's air attack and with invasion constantly in the offing, great care was taken not to draw too far away from Hitler.
The outcome of the Battle of Britain, however, puts a different face on things. The Axis chance of victory is now plainly smaller than it was. And unless it can break through to the Near East, its chances will be a good deal smaller by next Spring. For its oil reserves must by now be pretty well burned out, and even with Rumania, it cannot, in its present situation, possibly supply itself for a long struggle. Moreover, England's blockade has its commerce strangled and, though its submarines are doing a great deal of damage, there is little sign that it will be able to break the blockade.
Meantime, the extension of the Axis to include Japan is quite as definitely bad news for Russia as for ourselves. For the moment, indeed, it draws the theater of conflict away from her, but looks to the building of a great Japanese empire extending over the whole East and including half the population of the earth. If the Axis wins, Russia lies between the two greatest empires (Nazi Germany-Italy and Japan) which have ever existed on earth--both armed to the teeth, both committed to unlimited expansion, both old enemies of Russia, and both eager for vast resources. It is a prospect which inevitably must fill the Kremlin with consternation. And the Nazi entry into Rumania, with an eye to the Dardanelles, must stir it to rage.
That is not to say that necessarily means that Stalin and Molotoff are yet ready to line up against the Axis. They have indulged in wish-thinking of their own account and have hoped to keep Russia out of the conflict to the end, with a view to capitalizing on the aftermath of the spread of Communism and Russian influence. They may still cling to that hope. They may be betting that the United States Navy will do the job of cleaning up Japan for them, without their having to lift a hand. And they may believe that there is yet the chance of the war in the West ending in a long bloody stalemate.
But it is also entirely possible that they may be beginning to think that it is necessary for Russia to throw her own weight in the scale to make sure that the two encircling empires do not arise. If so, it is altogether probable that she will still demand a reasonably sure thing before she undertakes to join the conflict. Which is to say finally that her decision will probably depend ultimately upon what the United States does and how soon it is done.
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