The Charlotte News

Friday, March 25, 1938

SEVEN EDITORIALS

 

Ballot for the Pool

A proposition that gets our vote is that one for a municipal swimming pool. We don't know that anybody is bound to contribute to it out of simple municipal pride. But it does seem to us that everybody who is the parent of a growing boy or girl and everybody who likes to go into the water himself or herself--and that's most of us--will want to contribute out of mere self-interest.

There are many pools in the county, to be sure. But none of them is very convenient for the city-dweller who doesn't keep an automobile. And in the nature of the case, none of them can give the surety of sanitation and safety which we would have in the municipally managed pool. And what seems to us to cinch the matter is that this pool promises to be one proposition which will pay its own way.

 

Nazi Gift

Secretary Hullís concern for political refugees from Germany and Austria is strictly in the American tradition. Our country has provided a haven for such persons from the days of Napoleon right on down. Indeed, the Government might very well go further than it has yet gone. Under the immigration laws, 25,957 Germans may enter the country each year. And it would be very well if it were ruled that nobody else might come so long as there was a single refugee seeking admittance. That would serve to keep out Nazi agents bent on making trouble for us. And--

Thomas Mann, the great German novelist now living in self-imposed exile among us, was saying recently that European culture promised to move bodily over to America. And indeed, such is the case. In Mann himself and Albert Einstein we have already gained the two greatest contemporary intellects of Germany. And among the refugees are likely to be found the flower of the German nation, as well as "the wretched refuse of your teeming shore."

 

Typically Untypical

One of our most ardent North Carolinians, Governor Clyde R. Hoey, told the Shriners here last night that this was "a typical American state;" and that is a statement which--we make our manners to you, Governor and pay our respects suh--that is a statement which is plainly not so.

North Carolina boasts, with more or less reason, the highest percentage of native born population of any state in the Union, and when this genealogical root is traced into the fourth and fifth grandsires, it is indeed a very pure root. About 80 per cent pure. But as Woodrow Wilson said here in a speech in 1916, this is anything but typical of the 48 sisters, for the grannies of most of the rest of our nationals spoke other languages, in other lands, as late as the period of the Civil War.

Typical, Mr. Clyde? Not unless we have been solacing ourselves with a superlative that didn't mean anything. Unusual, now; that might describe it, and that, probably, is the word the Governor was reaching for. And if he retort that to be unusual is typical of North Carolina, why, we concede it cheerfully.

 

Just Another Rubdown

La Thompson, in her article yesterday on the reorganization bill, appeared to be much alarmed lest Congress cede its ultimate authority over the whole administrative procedure to the President. "This," she says, "might conceivably be a desirable means for greater efficiency, provided that some check, somewhere, is exercised by the representatives of the people."

La Thompson had her say: now is our time. Our own mistrust of the reorganization bill arises from the fear, not that the President will play fast and loose with his extraordinary powers, but that he will be unequal to them. He is, by the black and white of his record, one of the world's worst administrators, not to say an exceedingly practical politician. And while Congress is nerving itself to undergo in the aggregate a major operation that the individual pork-eaters would never consent to, the likelihood is that the boys are preparing themselves for a shot that isn't going to materialize.

In short, the major operation on the governmental structure which Dr. Roosevelt has talked them into is more than apt to turn out to be a few chiropractic treatments and nothing more. He has lost, long ago lost, that urge for economy and efficiency which carried him into office, and has himself contracted jobholderitis and a bad case of bureauintoxication.

 

He Believes Everything

"Chamberlain said that Italy had 'now again' pledged her willingness 'loyally to assist' in carrying out the British plan for withdrawal of foreign fighters from the Spanish Civil War.

"What perhaps is most important is that they (the Italian Government) repeated a declaration to be a fact that Italy has no territorial or economic aims in Spain or the Balearic Islands."

"Now again"--after having over and over "pledged her willingness" and each time having landed more troops in Spain. The day before yesterday Mussolini made a speech in Rome in which he said flatly what he has intimated before--that he will not remove a single soldier from Spain until Franco has achieved complete victory. And the day before yesterday it was said, too, that Franco had protested to the Pope that he had not ordered the bomb-murders at Barcelona, that in fact he was against them, but that he couldn't help himself--that his Italian and German masters had committed them without his consent.

The opposition benches laughed derisively at Mr. Chamberlain yesterday. One can understand that. But how did Mr. Chamberlain manage to keep his own face straight?

 

Piling Up the Odds

The removal of the safety zones at Independence Square is going to be swell for the buses and the bus passengers. It is obviously going to be swell, too, for the automobile drivers. But it is going to be swell for the poor pedestrian only on a somewhat dubious hypothesis. In a town and at a spot where his right-of-way has little respect, where automobiles hurtle on across when the green light has already gone, where they shove off as soon as the yellow light peeps, where, during all this, the cops look complacently on, the zones have been invaluable in standing interference for the fellow on foot.

And the removal of them is going to be swell for him only on the dubious hypothesis that, by having to face these onrushing hordes of automobiles and by having to jump to save the life and limb he cherishes, he will somehow develop the courage of a lion and the agility of a kangaroo. He will need them.

 

The King of France

He is a dapper little man who lives in a modest apartment in New Orleans. He is, he says, Louis Phillipe de Bourbon, Duc de Normandie and King of France, no less--the "direct lineal descendent of the last dauphin."

This "last dauphin" was Louis XVII, second son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, born at Versailles in 1785, who became heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother and then was futilely proclaimed dauphin by the royalists after the execution of his father in January, 1793. On July 3 of that year, the boy was separated from his mother and placed by the Committee of General Security in the keeping of a cobbler, Antoine Simon, who is said to have treated him with great brutality. Afterward he is supposed to have been confined in a dark cage in the Temple, and to have been dealt with as a wild beast. Then the revolutionary authority suddenly announced that he had died of scrofula. The story quickly got about that either a wooden figure or deaf mute had been substituted for him, and that he had been smuggled out alive in a coffin.

And on the fall of Napoleon and the accession of Louis XVIII, a descendent of the third son of Louis XV, some forty pretenders appeared, all claiming to be the rightful king by virtue of having been fathered by the lost dauphin. Most of the stories of these pretenders were manifestly nonsense. But those of two of them, and particularly that of Karl William Naundorff, a clockmaker of Spandau, have received serious consideration from several historians.

It is from one of these pretenders that the little man in New Orleans seems to be descended, perhaps from Naundorff himself.


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