The Charlotte News

Sunday, April 9, 1939



This Holy Day

After Nearly 2,000 Years Of Poignant Memories

The Easter celebration is as old as mankind, or at least as old as the time when man began first to celebrate anything at all. The name we give it comes from an old Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn, Eastre, who had become also the goddess of Spring. Long before she had been dreamed by men, other men all about the earth were celebrating the eternal returning, the stirring of the dead earth to life again, the flowering with the promise of the harvest and the fruit.

But for us, of course, the celebration is not only the great festival of Spring but of the Resurrection, with which it has been bound up since the triumph of the Christian faith in the Western World. Somewhere about this time of the year it certainly was. And no doubt the sun that morning, as the women went slipping through the street bearing spices to anoint the body in the tomb in the councillor's garden, fell as softly over Jerusalem as it falls over most of the evening land today. And as the trees billow and float on the hills of our own country, so must they have done for the moment in even that bare and baked land--which was less arid then than now.

But of that we take only incidental account. What we recall above all things is the scene in the tomb, the towering figure in white, the empty shroud, and the women hurrying away in their fear, telling no man, with the words sounding in their ears as they have gone on sounding through the centuries since:

He is Risen!

Proposals By An Officer

Which Strain Our Belief In Free Speech Exceedingly Close to the Breaking Point

We are so thoroughly convinced that free speech should be free speech that we believe the doctrine ought to be stretched to the last final limit even in the case of retired army officers.

So we think old General Van Horne Moseley was within his rights when he inveighed against the Jews in the true Hitler vein before a patrioteer woman's organization in Philadelphia the other evening, when he yelled that the next war would be fought for them, when he screamed that the Roosevelt Administration is Red. Maybe he was even within his rights when he cried that Fascism was an excellent "anti-toxin" for the United States, and that the best type of democracy was insured by its battle against Communism, which he saw as a very great menace to us.

But when he went on to say that the Army would, very rightly, "demur" if a "Leftist Administration" (he clearly meant the Roosevelt Administration) ordered it to fight in a war against the Fascist powers, and that a patrioteer Army ought to be organized to deal with "emergencies" at home (he constantly calls the Roosevelt Administration an "emergency"), he passed over the line of free speech and came dangerously close to sedition. Frank Gwynn, commander of the American Legion in Pennsylvania, indeed walked out of the address in disgust and said flatly that it proposed nothing less than rebellion against the United States. And this man Moseley, you understand, is still an officer in the Army--draws pay as such. If war were declared, he would almost certainly be called back into active service--could profoundly influence his command. Indeed, there must be many thousands of men in the Army right now who will be profoundly influenced by what he says. For he holds the great rank of Major-General.

Altogether, it seems about time that the War Department at least admonished the old General that there is such a thing as court-martial for retired officers.


Dixie Recognized!

Uncle Sam Assumes the Confederacy's Pensions

Uncle Sam, you know, stands half the cost of the old age assistance which is handed out at all the courthouses in North Carolina. And so the last Legislature got to wondering if it couldn't shift a part of the support of widows of Confederate veterans to the same obliging philanthropist, and a new law was born.

Hereafter, Class A widows (married before 1900) who have neither income nor property to disqualify them will get their $25 a month in the form of old age assistance instead of a war pension. Of this, Uncle Sam will contribute $12.50, a sum which is about the same standing in New Deal fiscal calculations as a postage stamp to Big Steel. But the transaction supplies an ironic commentary, all the same.

For it will mean that, these 74 years after Appomatox, the Federal Government, perhaps all unbeknownst to itself, will have begun to pay pensions to the relicts of the men who were hell-bent on sundering it. Virtually a subsidy, so to speak, to the nurturers of the rebel spirit. And a first-class example, if you ask us, of a sovereign state's playing its rich and careless Uncle, with his humanitarian yearnings, for a sucker.


Vest-Pocket Munich

France Coolly Considers Trading Off Mandated Territory as a Defense Bargain

All unnoticed, France seems to be playing, as it were, a little reversed Munich game of her own. For she has informed Turkey that the latter can have the Sanjak of Alexandretta just as soon as Syrian unrest quiets down, if only Istanbul will line up with Paris and London as against the terrible Mr. Hitler.

Which is to say that France is giving away other people's property to buy support for herself. The Sanjak doesn't belong to France. It belongs to Syria, which is only a mandate of France under the League of Nations. And the terms of the mandate--ostensibly set up mainly to protect Syria from again being gobbled up by her hereditary enemies, precisely the Turks--can't be legally changed without the consent of the League and the Syrians.

The Sanjak is a mere dab of land, its chief jewel, the port town of Alexandretta, a small one. Moreover, the majority of its population are Moslem, just as the majority of the Sudetenland population were German. But also, just as the Sudetenland was the military key to Czechoslovakia, so is the Sanjak the military key to Syria--in that Alexandretta commands the Beilran Pass, the celebrated Syrian Gates, and before which conquerors from Thothmose and Rameses and Alexander himself (who founded the first Alexandretta) through Tamerlane and the Crusaders and the Turks on their march to Egypt, have either failed or paid with hordes of dead before they took them.

Ah, but France will see that Syria, deprived of her great bulwark, is still safe? Maybe, if she judges her interest lies that way. But if not--she promised the same thing to Czechoslovakia, you remember.

A Statistic Blushes

Robert Was Only 600 Per Cent Wrong

It took a lot of searching, but finally we found it--the statement, over Bob Reynolds' own signature, that--

"At least one out of every eight persons on relief in this country is an alien."

This statistic was issued back in February, 1937, when there were some 2,200,000 persons on relief. There are nearer 3,000,000 now, but never mind that. Taking an eighth of the smaller figure, the purging of aliens from the relief rolls, in accordance with congressional instructions, should have severed 275,000 of these dratted furriners from the jobs which belonged to American citizens. Actually, only 45,500 came off (six in North Carolina), and of these some 10,000 may go back on as soon as their status has been clarified. But never mind the 10,000.

Giving Bob every benefit of calculation, it still appears that this information on which he based a furious campaign against aliens and immigration was 600 per cent wrong. And 600 percent, even for Robert, is pretty far wrong.


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