The Charlotte News

Sunday, August 20, 1939


Site Ed. Note: The first two editorials were added February, 2002; since, we have discovered the two latter editorials, probably also by Cash. As to "Hero's Stuff", the editorial refers to cowboy silent film star William S. Hart, the first of the Saturday matinee horse-opera stars, who began his film career in 1914 at age 45 and retired eleven years later, as the silent western genre began to fade. He died in 1946. "Wizard of Oz", incidentally, as mentioned at the end of the editorial, (along with the glancing blow as well to Mr. Bumble), had not yet premiered, due for late November, but in a mid-July Life an article on it had appeared, replete with lots of bright color photos from the set, celebrating the fact that it was one of the first handful of color feature films to be released.

Lion Growls

Hitler's New Demands Make Another Munich Unlikely

The British backbone shows increasing signs of stiffening up. The Japanese tinhats are bluntly told that their economic demands on China will not even be discussed in the Tokyo talks. And the staid old London Times, a mouthpiece of the Government, says flatly that if there is to be any more conciliation it will have to be on a basis of complete abandonment by Germany of Hitler's expansionist policies and the restoration of freedom to the Czechs. And spokesmen for the French Government, who certainly aren't sounding off without British consent, declared that France will be no party to any conference about Danzig to which Poland is not admitted.

That seems pretty well to rule out a new Munich. And, indeed, if Hitler means to follow up the demands made by his stooge newspapers that Germany must have not only Danzig, not only a strip across the Corridor, but the whole of that Corridor, he himself has made another Munich inconceivable. It reduces to absurdity his claim for racial determination for the Germans in Danzig, since the Corridor is mainly inhabited by Poles. And it openly confesses what all sensible men have known all along, that his real purpose is to choke Poland to death. If the whole Corridor were taken, Gdynia would go with it, and Poland would have no outlet to the Baltic. In sum, the demand takes Hitler's claim clearly out of the field of "self-determination" and even into that of aggression.

It may be a bluff designed to make the handing over of Danzig look like a small price to pay--a bluff designed to frighten England and France into hurrying Poland into another Munich. But if he means it, it leaves Poland no choice but to fight. And England and France none but to back her to the hilt.

Good Racket

Der Fritz's Bund Has One Typically American Feature

The Dies Committee didn't pin anything much on Fritz Kuhn, branch Führer, in his unexpected appearance yesterday. It turns out that he has a brother who is a Nazi supreme court justice in Berlin, but that's not to be held against him.

He denied vehemently that the Bund takes its orders straight from Germany and admitted with the blandness that one politician feels safe in answering in the presence of other politicians, that membership in the Bund is limited to enfranchised American citizens so that they might protect themselves--i.e. use their voting strength to influence Congressmen.

And in one respect, Der Fritz's organization was found to have a feature which is typically American. Its present membership was reported at around 20,000, with two to five times as many more in sympathizer groups who for one reason or another preferred not to the join up. But they paid the dues--$1.00 to go in, and 75 cents a month thereafter

Which means that Der Fritz's outfit has a monthly revenue (leaving out initiation fees) of $60,000. And that's a pretty lush racket even for the United States. Why, Fritz has got hold of something here that is almost as good as the Townsend Plan or the Ku Klux Klan.


Boss Green Has His Fill Of Them These Days

Labor Boss Bill Green has his hands full of trouble these days.

The squabble among the actors, stagehands, etc. is so complicated that trying to make head or tail of it is like trying to disentangle the New Deal alphabetical agencies.

However, what it seems to come to is that there was first a split in the ranks of Associated Actors and Artists of America (the 4-A), AFL affiliate, over whether or not Sophie Tucker as head of the union, had used union relief funds for other purposes. Then Sophie and her adherents were expelled. And thereupon the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, another AFL affiliate, assumed to issue a charter to the Tuckerites as a regular actor's union. The 4-A promptly appealed to Boss Green on the ground that the IATSF had no jurisdiction in the premises. The Boss and his executive board upheld that view, ordered the IATSF to revoke the charter, but demanded that the 4-A take the Tuckerites back and reinstate as its executive secretary one Ralph Whitehead, who had got fired in the Tucker squabble. The 4-A refuses, threatens a general strike if it doesn't have its way.

But that headache is probably nothing to the one the Boss has cooked up for himself by suspending the International Typographical Union from the AFL for refusing to pay an assessment to fight CIO. The ITU says that its constitution allows it to vote on such matters, and that the membership voted against the assessment. But the Boss says it must pay or stay in the doghouse. All of which seems to add up to an effort to force the union, one of the most powerful of all, into the arms of CIO. A large wing of the membership has already been flirting with that idea, anyhow.

What it all proves we don't know, unless it is that Labor's worst enemy is rapidly getting to be--Labor.

Hero's Stuff

A Two-Gun Man Turns Out To Have Been Spoofing

Old two-gun Bill Hart, he of the cold and steely eye, who once upon a time when we were very much younger was wont to thrill us with the magnificent way he walked right up to evil, shot chucked it under the chin, tweaked its nose, and invariably proceeded to whale the life out of it--old two-gun Bill disappoints us sadly.

A court out in Los Angeles has returned to him a trust fund he set up twenty years ago for a boy whose mother said he was Bill's son, without benefit of clergy. But now it appears that the boy was not Bill's at all, that the woman was a fraud and a blackmailer, that the child was one she had adopted for the purpose of blackmailing Bill and that eighteen long years ago she admitted as much. Bill even maintains that the full extent of the relations with her was to say "how do you do" to her on a few occasions.

Well, but why then did Bill submit to setting up the fund? Why, because, he says:

"At that time I was probably one of the most important stars in motion pictures and believed my career would be ruined if the stops came out and I had no way to refute it."

All right. We can see his point. Remembering the unhappy Fatty Arbuckle, we must admit it might have been so, though little Mary Astor still does very well by herself. Even so, it is a gloomy thing to think of. For it is to confess that old two-gun Bill was all along a timid and cautious fellow at heart who never, never could, in real life, have walked up to those tough eggs like that, with Avenging Justice blazing from his gun barrels. It is as though he had suddenly been cast for the lion in the Wizard of Oz--or those on the great of England.


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