The Charlotte News

Monday, September 16, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Reflecting back a moment a couple of days to that letter to the editor from Miss B.L. Rouse of Oak Park, Ill., subsequent diligent research has shown that Miss Rouse was the offspring of C.A. Rouse and A. Rouse. She ultimately got married to T.A. Bout. They had one daughter, P.L.A. She in turn married Y.R. Legg. Their son, named Sen Y.R., became a champion matador in Mexico City and is well known there to this day. He married P.R. Teaste, a picador, and they lived happily next to la corrida del toros in a small shack, until the earthquake hit and all the toros got loose and stampeded both of them to death as grandmother Bout onward looked in horror, having come there for the first time to see her grandson kill the bull.

The first piece speaks of the aging Leon Blum, then 68, the Socialist leader of France who had been Premier on two occasions, in 1937 and again in 1938. After the aborted trial of which the piece speaks, which did not convene actively until 1942, Blum was imprisoned for the remainder of the war. He became Premier yet again for a little over a month in 1946-47 and died in 1950.

He was tried at Riom along with Daladier and Gamelin, but the trial was recessed in 1942, not to be re-convened, when the only evidence of war guilt adduced placed blame on the accusers, Laval, Flandin, and Pétain--just as the piece by Cash, who was by the time of the trial no longer alive, suggests it would.

To Blum's great and lasting historical credit, he opposed the Munich Pact, even if to no avail against the Chamberlain Government in Britain determined to have "Peace for Our Time", which lasted only eleven months.

For more on Blum, see "Radical, But Respectable", January 19, 1938, "France Turns Right", August 23, 1938, a month before Munich, and "Blum's Aides", June 24, 1940.

Laval, who ultimately completely sold out France to the Nazis, fled to Spain after the Allies reoccupied France in 1944. He was caught, however, and extradited to France where he was tried for treason and, as the piece also suggests ought be done, was executed in 1945.

"To the Rescue" finds the British beetles being sent to the rescue of the Empire against the Nazis, attacking their potatoes, akin, says Cash, to Alice.

Well, of course. We knew that all along.

"And if the British get the bugs well started, the devil will be to pay."

We knew that, too. Because of the stones, you see, the stones. First the beetles ate the leaves in the garden, causing the Nazi potatoes to be cut off at the root, Hamburg; then came the stones, causing the soil for the Nazi garden to be too infertile to grow anything at all--Her Majesty's Satanic Service.

Never underestimate bug power buried in the rocks.

Whatever all of that should mean, we haven't the foggiest notion. It isn't the first time Cash ever mentioned either Alice or beetles, (see also "Literary Note", March 15, 1939), but it is the only time he ever mentioned them together.

To round it out, we have the letter to the editor on the page quoting the Pearson and Allen Washington-Merry-Go-Round re Ambassador Kennedy in a not so favorable light, serving his last two months in that position. And Ambassador Kennedy's grandfather came to America from Ireland in the midst of the potato famine in 1849. Whether from beetles, we don't know.

And, we have to feel a little sorry for that poor old bearded fellow in Winston-Salem to whom his relatives brought a plate full of rats. No wonder he felt a bit unsociable and declined the haute cuisine. Admit it. You would, too, under like circumstances. Escargot, maybe. Rats, never. Too crunchy. We'd about address the shoe leather on your feet with an appetitive eye before that.

Left Out

The Real Traitors To France Stand as Accusers Here

In the dock with the accused there certainly ought to stand the accuser.

Accuser is supposed to be, of course, old Marshal Pétain. But in reality he is only a front for Pierre Laval, the Vice-Premier of France, and above all, Pierre Etienne Flandin, fat cat banker and munitions manufacturer of France.

Leon Blum is the accused. Charge is that, as Premier, he introduced the 40-hour week and other reforms, and that as a result production fell off in France to the point of making the collapse of the nation in front of Hitler possible. In reality, the evidence now available shows that production in France reached its highest level of all time since the end of World War One--precisely under Blum.

But supposing the charge against Blum were true--Pierre Laval is the traitor to France who, as Premier, winked at the ambitions of Italy, and even encouraged them. And Flandin is the swine who, in violation of the Treaty of Versailles and France's solemn obligations under the League of Nation's covenant, used his office as Premier to allow Germany to re-arm and re-militarize the Rhineland. Reason for his course was quite simply that he had a big holding in the German arms cartel and that rearmament would fatten his own pocketbook.

Blum may deserve the guillotine, though the reason does not certainly appear. But there is no doubt at all that Laval and Flandin are traitors and deserve to meet the Widow of France.

Note In Gloom

Tar Heels Are Denied Chance Arizona Enjoyed

Senator Ashurst of Arizona, who has represented his state for all the 30 years since its admission to the union, is defeated in his bid for a sixth term.

Maybe the people of Arizona just got tired of him. He is a handsome fellow, always well groomed, with a gift for scholarly speech and a classical sense of humor. But he has never amounted to a great deal in the Senate.

However, he has gone all-out against conscription, and Arizona belongs to the Eighth Corps area of the Army. And the Eighth Corps area has been second only to the Fourth Corps area, our own, in volunteer enlistments. More, the evidence so far developed shows conclusively that the areas which furnish the largest number of volunteers are precisely those in which sentiment for the draft is most strongly developed.

Contrast is afforded by the cases of Shipstead and Vandenberg. Minnesota and Michigan both belong to areas in which volunteering has been very poor. Michigan, in fact, has turned in the poorest volunteer record of any state in the nation. Both states have strong German elements. And both have been the scene of intense agitation against the draft and aid for Britain.

So Shipstead and Vandenberg were battling straight down the old home alley when they went all-out against conscription and aid for Britain. These questions probably did not wholly explain their victories, of course, but they undoubtedly figure in them. People feel more strongly about them than anything else at the moment.

Which leaves us somewhat disconsolate, seeing that it is four years yet before North Carolina has a chance to vote on Robert Rice Reynolds.

Back Again

Old Gene Talmadge Rides Back to Georgia Power

The return of Old Gene Talmadge to the Governorship of Georgia is an interesting exhibit in American politics.

In his two former terms, Old Gene made a pretty bad Governor. He set up to favor economy, indeed, and in some respects actually accomplished it. But he showed little hesitancy about crippling essential services in order to do it, and he took good care to continue to fatten all the agencies which promised to be of use in further promoting his political ambitions. Moreover, he was guilty of high-handed and illegal activities even more outrageous than those of Little Ed Rivers. He called out the militia to put down the cotton mill strike of 1934 and herded the strikers into concentration camps. And he used the militia to carry out his will in other respects entirely without regard to law.

When he left office it looked as though he were through for good. And when he ran for the Senate in 1938, on an anti-New Deal platform, the results seemed to confirm that view. Now he is back in the saddle again.

One thing which goes to explain that is that he has made his peace with the New Dealers, so that he no longer had to contend with the organization. But above all, his return probably testifies to the fact that the people still dote on a showman who knows how to turn on the tremolo stops when he speaks of the "poor down-trodden farmer" and to snap his red suspenders and shout that he is "just one of the plain people and proud of it, thank God!" Especially, when they've had time to forget how bad he used to be.


Long Chance

Germany Pushes Italy Into Fight She Can't Win

The Italian attack on Egypt is another proof of the absolute desperation of the Axis powers.

Nazi Germany is well aware that it is now beyond the pale. Should it lose the war there is no mercy. And indeed there is no mercy should it eventually win. It must win now or all German cities will be destroyed within the next year or so, in atonement for London.

And so it has pushed Italy into something that Italy almost certainly cannot win. The reinforced British navy is now laying down a blockade against Italy which makes it virtually impossible for her to transport troops to Libya, the jumping-off point for the attack on Egypt. Worse, it makes it impossible for the transport of supplies, and, above all, water--which, in a desert land, must be fetched from Italy.

Italy's only hope is to blitzkrieg through Egypt in the next month or so. Else she will find herself without adequate supplies to continue the struggle, unless she is willing to take the supreme gamble and steam the Italian navy to sea to attempt to open a way by destroying the British navy. And all the evidence so far indicates that the Italian navy had rather face the devil.

Unless Germany can smash England within the next three weeks, the Axis faces disaster.


To the Rescue

America Sends Dangerous Forces Against Nazis

It will no doubt call for a thorough and angry investigation by Rush Holt, Burt Wheeler & Co. For though the British deny it, the Germans may possibly be telling the truth about these fellows. And there can be no doubt that they are outright interventionists. Probably Franklin Roosevelt plotted the whole business.

The family name sounds Greek--Chrysomelidae. And so does the given name they share in common--Leptinotarsa decemlineata. But in reality they are such old Americans that the passengers on the Mayflower, the settlers at Jamestown, the founders of St. Augustine, are mere parvenus by comparison. These Colorado potato beetles the Germans claim the British are dumping on their fields by the bagful. Plain potato bugs to us.

If you have been in the garden, you have probably seen them. Small plump black fellows, with yellow stripes, and voracious appetites for potato leaves--both in their larval and adult stages. That ragged pattern you observe in potato leaves was probably made by them. And when a potato vine loses its leaves, the potato root starves to death.

The taste for potatoes is an acquired taste for them. Originally, they ate the sandbur which grows in the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, their native home. But they found the potato more tasty when the settlers brought it out to those parts and have been hard at it ever since. That was a bad day's work for the Nazis, the day the bugs switched diet: for the potato is Germany's main home-grown staple food. And if the British get the bugs well started, the devil will be to pay.

It is a little like Alice--this quaint way in which the New World is alleged to have set forth to the rescue of the Old.

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