The Charlotte News
Wednesday, November 20, 1940
Site Ed. Note: Martin Dies, the subject of "Horror Show".
Destroyer Fires Again Raise Sabotage Question
When last week seven explosions in national defense or potential national defense factories all happened in one day, investigators, including FBI agents, reported that it was pure accident and coincidence. And it is quite possible that we shall be told the same thing about the fires in the battleship, South Dakota, building at Camden N. J., and the destroyer, Gwynn, building at Boston.
More than that, it is within the balance of possibility that they were coincidence. The building of a warship, after all, involves the handling of a great deal of red hot metal. And this speeding up of work on national defense projects inevitably means both that the opportunities for accidents are greatly increased and also that the fatigued workmen grow less alert and watchful against such accidents.
On the other hand we know that Nazi Germany and her satellites are naturally very anxious to keep the United States from successfully rearming with requisite speed. And we know from the last war that sabotage is a characteristic German way of fighting nations which are not at war with her but which are sympathetic with her opponents and victims.
Moreover, we have the word of FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover himself that the country is honeycombed with saboteurs.
And under these circumstances, it will not be surprising if a lot of people keep right on suspecting that the accident rate in national defense is getting a little help from pro-Nazi hands.
Maybe Rulers of Argentine Don't Want To See, However
The Argentine should take a look at what happened to Holland and Belgium. The Argentine, which has representatives in Washington trying to arrange a huge loan, says that the acquisition by the United States of bases in Uruguay would be considered "an unwarranted intrusion until we consider danger of attack here." That is precisely the line pursued by Holland and Belgium until the Nazi had crossed their borders and it was too late.
Precisely what business the Argentine has with an agreement between the two sovereign nations of the United States and Uruguay is hard to understand. Nobody has recognized the Argentine as keeper of Southern South America, least of all her neighbors. She isn't strong enough for the job, for that matter.
In any case, the Argentine might have a look at her own huge German population which has already given her the gravest trouble. And she might also have a look at who is lined up with her and protesting against these bases in Uruguay. It is Franco's Spain, which is busily organizing a "House of Spain" which will operate newspapers, schools, and radio stations in Latin America. This "House of Spain," of course, is only a fraud for Nazi Germany. Latin America had trouble enough in ridding itself of the corrupting tyrannical rule of Spain a long time ago. It would have far more trouble ridding itself of the brutal tyranny of Nazi Germany.
But maybe the people who really rule the Argentine now don't want to see the facts. They have been accused before this of having designs on their neighbors. And the Cabinet is at present dominated by men of known pro-Nazi sympathies.
Built Up With All Devices, Ancient and Modern
Martin Dies clearly hasn't forgotten that the appropriation for his committee expires on December 31, and that this time he wants a million smackers from Congress. For he is now surrounding everything that committee does with theatrical mystery.
Hands reach suddenly out from the wall and clutch at your throat. Astral bells ring abruptly out of the void. Eerie screams echo hollowly through vast and cobwebbed halls.
In his youth Martin Dies plainly read Mrs. Radclyffe, Monk Lewis, and Willkie Collins, and in his manhood he has plainly been to see "The Bat" and the Boris Karloff movies.
We are not suggesting that the evidence that Mr. Dies and his committee say they have about the activity of German and Italian diplomatic agencies in this country is phoney. Quite possibly and even probably it isn't, though it may be less weighty than has been intimated. But what we are saying is that, for all Martin lets out, it is quite impossible to say whether the "spy" he has been showing off in Chicago is real or something out of Oppenheim.
What we are saying is that we are getting sick and tired of the elaborate and stagey build-up--of "pssts!" and hush-hushes about the dreadful revenge Mr. Hitler is planning and about the necessity of putting out a "White Paper" instead of holding a public hearing--quite as though the form of publication made any difference.
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