The Charlotte News
Tuesday, August 27, 1940
Site Ed. Note: For more on the claims of Robert Rice Reynolds on the deftness of the Southern squirrel hunter, as set forth in "Phoney Claim", see "Squirrel Cage", August 28, 1940.
Reynolds and Lundeen Wanted To Grab Peoples, Not Bases
The Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds held the floor in the Senate. He was holding forth as usual on the wickedness of Albion perfide, and quoting that great expert on everything, Ironpants Johnson, to the effect that the Administration was probably preparing to give the said Albion our undershirt and to get on into war in return for the new bases in Bermuda and other British possessions. As for that, said Robert, he was indeed in favor of getting those bases. It was no more than he himself had been crying for for many moons.
And then up arose the Hon. Ernest Lundeen, who first came to note for his pro-German sympathies in the House during the last war. Said he:
"What became of all the indulgent and smug smiles with which our proposals were greeted a few months ago? It was thought they were preposterous and untimely, and should not be mentioned. I remember editorials and articles taking a hostile position with regard to the able Senator's proposals... It is not too late now. We still have time to act. And if these empires (Britain and France) are not willing to pay their legitimate debts seize their possessions in the New World..."
To which Robert replied lucidly:
"It is just as the Senator said. I believe the Senator introduced a resolution for the acquisition of Greenland and Iceland."
Which was very good backscratching, but not very good truth or logic.
It is quite true that the Hons. Lundeen and Reynolds have been bellowing their heads off about the British and French possessions in this hemisphere. But, it is not true that what they proposed and now propose had anything to do with what has been done.
What has been done is to acquire bases from Britain in her Western Hemisphere possessions by orderly negotiation, with regard to the interest of both parties. And above all with regard to the right of the people who live in these possessions to self-determination. Bermuda has explicitly asserted her complete satisfaction with a life under the British flag, her strong objection to being taken over by the United States.
What Reynolds and Lundeen proposed is what Lundeen again proposes: to "seize their (Britain's and France's) possessions in the new world..." that is to take over whole populations against their will and by force instead of by orderly negotiation with regard to the common interest. That such a move would certainly make war with Britain does not at all deter this great man of peace who is greatly fearful lest there is a plot to get us in war with the nice Nazis. Indeed, he is so eager for it that he wants to resort to force even after Britain has already agreed to give us the bases!
In truth, it is difficult to understand what motive these men can have for wanting to use force to grab these possessions if it is not in fact to embroil us with Britain. Nobody can think that they are desirable from an economic standpoint, for they all lose England money. And Reynolds is on record as recognizing as much. The sole reason we need these possessions or bases in them is to protect this hemisphere against Hitler. Yet the Hon. Reynolds tells us flatly that we have nothing at all to fear from Hitler. Down in North Carolina, he gravely told the Senate, and over in Kentucky, every man and boy can hit a squirrel's left eye at a hundred yards. And the squirrel shooters will whip Mr. Hitler if he ever tries to come over. And Mr. Hitler knows it and won't come.
All right, you say it.
Obstructionists Do Their Best To Wreck the Draft
Thomas Jefferson once advised his countrymen that the only way to insure good government in this nation was to have a few good healthy hangings in Washington every twenty years or so. And looking at what is going on in Congress now, one is almost inclined to agree and to observe that the accumulated hangings of a hundred and fifty years (figurative hangings, of course) are now about due.
The limitations fashioned in the draft bill yesterday are at best strained, and at worst they may be exceedingly dangerous. It is highly doubtful that 900,000 men will make an army adequate to the needs of the United States if Hitler conquers England. Nobody wants to take more men out of production than is necessary, but the War Department is a good deal better judge of what is necessary than Burt Wheeler or Henry Cabot Lodge.
And as for the ban against the use of troops outside this hemisphere, it apparently bars us from defending the Philippines. And in any case, it serves notice on Japan that she may go right ahead with her plans in the East. What makes it worse is that it is probably ultimately misleading.
When Japan has gone too far to turn back and we have begun to realize the implications of her plans, we are very likely to do the same sort of about-face we did in the case of Hitler. Far from helping to keep us out of war, such measures as this shove us constantly closer to it.
The sole reason for such limitations is the attempt of partisans and isolationists to convince the American people that great precautions are necessary to keep Mr. Roosevelt from hurrying us into an unnecessary war. These men play with the destiny of the nation to gratify their dislike and self-interest. But we should not like to be in their shoes in the worst comes and the American people find out that they have been buncoed.
Play With Fire
Sit-Down Armament Makers Are Looking for Trouble
If the Washington Merry-Go-Round story about the sit-down strike of certain unnamed armament manufacturers is true, these manufacturers will do well to take to heart another story in the papers--the one about growing demands in the Senate that wealth and industry be subjected to conscription along with manpower.
There is no reason at all, certainly, why armament manufacturers should be expected to make greater sacrifices that are commensurate with those demanded of other manufacturers and the people of the country generally. No one can blame them for not wanting to put their capital into factories which may suddenly cease to operate in a year or two, without reasonable guarantees which will not leave them holding the bag. But when men's bodies are being drafted, they have no right at all to attempt to dictate their own terms and to refuse to budge a wheel until they are met--to attempt to dodge their fair share of taxes and to chalk up huge profits out of the war--, which is what Merry-Go-Round's story indicates they are up to.
The nation has already made its position about labor union obstructionists clear. But it has not forgotten about the profiteers in the last war either, and the President perfectly summed up its temper when he warned that nobody was going to get rich out of the present emergency. Anybody who thinks differently is in for grief.
Old Man of Mountain Had Nothing on These Policies
At High Point, one Euliss Hodge made about $25 a week by taking on a part-time job in addition to his regular one.
Now Euliss has owned up, according to the High Point police, to his game for swindling insurance companies out of twenty-five thousand smackers by staging a fake drowning and disappearance.
As for Euliss, he seems to be on his way to a nice long stay in the cooler where they disillusion men with too naïve an imagination.
But while we are about it, we are moved to wonder little about those insurance companies in the case. How did it happen that a man who made $25 a week by extending himself was sold policies for $25,000?
Didn't the insurance companies have a pretty good idea what Euliss made? And didn't they know how much insurance he was taking out? And if so, did they really expect Euliss to pay for it out of his lean twenty-five a week? And if so, what did they expect him to be in the meantime? Or did they have a hunch that Euliss was a financial genius and would make one million inside a few months?
Or supposing they knew that Euliss probably could pay for it, didn't they know that was going to let Euliss in for a loss?
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