The Charlotte News

Friday, November 15, 1940



Site Ed. Note: "Journey's End" has the same strange foreboding whisper as "On the Tracks", one week following this date. Was Cash reminding himself of the dangerous venue which awaited if his third Guggenheim Fellowship application would be granted? Such reminds us to give our little horse a shake while stopping by the wood, after not so far to venture in that we cannot with ease get out. Would it were that statesmen on the scene today would have learned the lesson well.

A Telegram

At Which a Local Shows No Wisdom in Scoffing

To a local of the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (CIO) at Midland, Pa., came the telegram. The 4,000 members of the local had just walked out on strike at the works of the Crucible Steel Company, engaged on Government contracts.

The telegram said in no uncertain terms that the local was violating its contract with the company, and went on:

"In view of the pledges given by officers of your organization to our Government to aid in the fulfillment of the national defense program, I urge your members to return to work without further delay so that the pledges may be given substance."

The man who sent that telegram was neither an industrialist nor a Government official. He was Clinton S. Golden, SWOC regional director. The local was striking in defiance of orders from the leaders of the union. But leaders of the local only scoffed when they read the telegram.

As to the merits of the dispute at the mill we know nothing. It may well be that, with the mills enjoying the prosperity, the workmen are entitled to better wages. But if so, the matter can safely be left to Government mediation, as is being done elsewhere.

Meantime--the local is strictly within its legal rights, even in the breaking of the contract and even in its flouting of the needs of national defense. But it will has to reckon with public opinion. And if it alienates it, it is likely to wish it hadn't in the long pull. Mr. Golden plainly understands that.


Nazi Spoon

Upon Which Many a German May Yet Choke to Death

Adolf Hitler seems still to be pretty confident of the victory which is still far from his grasp. The gag of cutting up a world which he and his stooges do not yet own, assigning "spheres" to each of the four powers, may be designed partly for psychological effect, but it may also testify to a confidence in his invincible destiny like that which eventually betrayed Napoleon.

More significant still is the fact that he has ordered all French-speaking persons out of Lorraine and, despite the protests of the Vichy Government, is now sending them into unoccupied France at the rate of seven trainloads a day.

Lorraine has belonged to France ever since 1648, save for the interval between the Franco-Prussian war and 1918, is as thoroughly French as Paris or Normandy. What Adolf Hitler is about is simply the cold-blooded expulsion of the people from their native land and their expropriation for the benefit of Nazis who will be settled in their places.

It is a fearful precedent he sets. At the end of the last war there were many men in France and England who thought grandly that France's one true hope for safety was to take all Germany up to the Rhine River and clear out the Germans bodily. The counsel of those men failed that time. But with the precedent of Lorraine before them, it is as nearly certain as anything can be that it won't fail this time--if Nazism is eventually overthrown.


Time Factor

Japanese Must Strike Soon Or Lose Advantages

The crippling of Italy's navy by British bombers may head off Japan's plans for a move to the south. But on the other hand, it may simply accelerate them.

Unquestionably, it will enable the British to reinforce their naval strength in the Pacific. And indeed, that they mean today just that is already clear.

If Japan is going to strike at all, she needs to strike before the British ships have time to reach Singapore--several weeks. And that she may intend to do it is suggested by the fact that she continues to withdraw from southern China at increasing speed. Already she is reported to have a huge army of crack troops on the island of Hainan in the Gulf of Tonkin. With these her navy and the air bases she has already acquired in Indo-China she should have no difficulty in seizing Saigon. It is doubtful if the French would fight at all, for the authorities in Indo-China have remained loyal to the so-called Vichy Government of Pierre Laval, which is only a stooge of Hitler's.

And once in Saigon, Japan would have gone a long way toward her goal of seizing the Dutch East Indies and ultimately rejecting the British from Singapore. Singapore is about 500 miles away, and could be attacked from the rear by land as well as from the front by water. Dutch Borneo is about the same distance, with Java, Sumatra, and Celibes lying just beyond.


Journey's End

A Little Boy Finds His Ithaca Close at Hand

At two you do not know very clearly about old Odysseus, even if you have heard of him, which is not likely. And you don't know either about Kipling and verses about the wish--

For to admire and for to see
For to behold this world so wide

Still, and even so, you are of the kin of old Odysseus, and you do know about that itch itself. At least you know how fascinatingly and mysteriously blue is the place where the sky and the woods meet and how it beckons and stirs your little legs to motion. You do know how the great maple and hickory trees stand above the dark Georgia pines like pagodas in scarlet and gold--well, not like pagodas, either, for you don't know what pagodas are, but like something which makes your hands reach, for all that. And even at two, it is quite probable that literature has already touched you in the shape of the tales of Hans and Gretel and the Babes in the Wood shivered over pleasantly by the kitchen stove.

So the little boy went into the woods. And the little dog ran happily before him. It was very still there and quiet. Most of the birds were gone now and the loudest sound you heard were the hickory nuts falling and the sudden excited crashing of the little dog through the leaves and brush.

And the little boy was a little awed by it and did not at first mean to go very far. But the sun splattered pleasantly, through the dark shadows, on the leaf-carpeted floor, and the little dog ran joyously on ahead. And so the little boy went on and on. Once, twice, he thought of his mother and was suddenly afraid, and turned back; but there were fascinating things like an old hollow log and a red-berried bush ahead and so he turned around again and went on after the little dog.

But it was not very much of the world he was to see after all. For it was only a mile and a half from his home that they picked him up, dead on his face, four days afterward.


No Daniel

This Is Hardly the Way To Dispose of Mr. Madden

Apparently the gloomy fears of a lot of anti-Rooseveltians that the President was just waiting until after election to reappoint J. Warren Madden as chairman of the National Labor Relations Board were unfounded. Dr. Harry Alvin Millis, of Chicago, a former member of the old board before the Wagner Act was passed, is to have the job, say the reports from Washington. Dr. Millis is expected to line up with the more conservative policy of William M. Lieserson, leaving only one member of the board, Edwin S. Smith, to support the old Madden line.

But if the Associated Press is right, the news from the capital is still nearly as bad as if Madden had been reappointed to the NLRB to be a storm center for four more years. Says the AP:

There have been reports that Madden would be given a Federal Court appointment here (in Washington).

That is precisely the sort of thing that has made the Roosevelt Administration so many enemies and saddened its friends. Madden has the temperament of a fanatical advocate, and while he was in office he wholly disregarded the limits upon his functions set by the law.


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