The Charlotte News

Friday, May 12, 1939


Site Ed. Note: One favorite nemesis, Robert Rice Reynolds, and one favorite friend, Jonathan Daniels, became the subjects of two of Cash's editorials on this date. While Reynolds may have carped at the insinuation by Drew Pearson that he had Nazi leanings for his alien-baiting Vindicator publication, it is a fact that it was later learned Reynolds, whether through stupidity or deliberate leak, did provide valuable French shipping data in 1940 to a Nazi Abwehr agent. To read his quoted passage in the editorial below in that context, one wonders whether he thus decided to help the war become that much more a reality in fact.

Daniels, of course, had become Cash's friend in spring, 1938 when they met at a Charlotte book fair sponsored by The News. (See "On Carolina's Past", May 8, 1938, on the book fair, as well as Cash's book review of May 19, 1940, "Jonathan Daniels Discovers New England", regarding Daniels's sequel to the book mentioned in the editorial) Sixteen months after this editorial appeared, Daniels, who had won a Guggenheim Fellowship for his book on the South, would sponsor Cash for his successful Guggenheim application. While never formally entering elective politics, Daniels joined the Roosevelt Administration in 1943 and after the War worked at the United Nations. His father, Josephus, of course, was Ambassador to Mexico from 1933 until October, 1941 and an old friend of FDR, having been his boss at the Navy Department in Roosevelt's first government job as Assistant Secretary during the Wilson Administration.

Also mentioned in the editorial, then North Carolina Governor and later Senator, from 1944 to 1954, Clyde R. Hoey, of Shelby, who is buried a few feet from Cash in Sunset Cemetery in Shelby. (His home on Marion Street, pictured at the above link, backs on the backyard of Cash's parents' last home in Shelby on Sumter Street, a few blocks west of the Morgan Street house where Cash wrote much of The Mind the South. Cash died a year before the elder Cashes built the house on Sumter.) At his death, Hoey was succeeded in the Senate by Sam J. Ervin.

Innocent Remark

But Which Poses, Even So, A Real Question Of Policy

All the inside-stuff columnists will have a prolonged feast on that remark drawn out of Henry the Morgue at his press conference yesterday. He was reiterating the Treasury's interest in revising the tax laws when a reporter upped and asked if the President had ordered him to lay off that topic. "That's ridiculous," the Secretary replied. "We're living under a democracy, thank God!"

Now, the question is, did he mean that it was ridiculous to assume the President was so high-handed as to deny his subordinates any opinions of their own, or was he blustering his own independence? The answer is easy. No more loyal servant has FDR than this Henry the Morgue. His remark, of course, merely implied the President would never presume to forbid him to exercise the prerogatives of a Secretary of the Treasury.

But, after disposing of what Henry meant, something still remains to be done about what Henry proposed. It's fairly plain that the New Deal isn't getting anywhere with its tax-and-spend policy. In spite of high taxes, revenue comes nowhere near balancing expenditures. On the other hand, it has been pretty generally agreed that the rate and nature of Federal taxes actively discourage investment, enterprise, and so recovery. And from such a situation, which is a happy one neither for the Government nor business, the only logical escape is higher taxes to enable the Government to care for all the unemployed, or, alternatively, lower taxes to enable business to get going again. But we cannot continue to exist, with comfort to either side as a half-capitalistic and half-socialistic state, neither one nor the other.

Between Evils

That Choice In This Case Is Not Too Hard To Make

It is difficult to pump up any sympathy for those Southern coal operators who are holding up settlement of the current strike because they are opposed to the union's "union shop" on principle (sic). Most Southern people, being thorough-going individualists, are convinced a man has equally as much right not to belong to the union as to join it. And if the operators really were standing on that principle, they might command a great deal of support.

But the whole record shows that what they are actually doing is merely making that an excuse--that what they are opposed to is unionism altogether. For years and years they have thought to put it down, using the most indefensible methods. Harlan County, Kentucky, with its astonishing dossier of intimidation, corruption, gross abuse of the powers of the law, beatings, and outright murder, is the most famous instance. But there are other areas in the Southern region where the conditions are only comparatively better.

Perhaps, however, we do not quite state the fact when we say that they are merely making an excuse out of their "principle." What the fight is all about is the effort of John Lewis's United Mine Workers to make it impossible for the AFL to muscle into the field and set up a rival union. And what the operators probably hope is that the AFL will succeed in getting a foothold, and that in the ensuing war to the death between the two groups, the whole union movement will collapse. But the prospect of such a struggle, which would probably last for years, is not one which the public can afford to view with equanimity. It would mean everlasting disruption of coal, production and dizzy prices.

The choice here may be altogether one between evils, but for all that, it is not very hard to make.


Robert Denies Nazi Gold But Still Leaves His Sources Mysterious

The Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds was very angry yesterday. He had just read the remarks on himself made by the Washington Merry-Go-Round, the mordent syndicated column of the Messrs. Drew Pearson and Robert Allen which appears in The Charlotte News and many other papers. The boys had called the Vindicators a Fascist organization, remarked upon Robert's recent trip to Germany to hobnob with the Nazis, and concluded by saying that the money for the Vindicators came from some mysterious source.

All that, Robert stormed to the Senate, added up to saying that he was in the employee of the Nazi Government and that his organization was being financed with Nazi jack. And that, he thundered, was maliciously untrue. He was, he said, battling out of pure love for North Carolina and the United States and the mothers whose sons would die in the fields of France if he did not do his duty, regardless of political considerations.

"What the hell is the use," he demanded rhetorically and practically with tears in his eyes, "of wasting energy and all my time gallivanting over the country and making speeches and speaking on the floor of the Senate... no one appreciates it. I sometimes feel that I would like to see us go to war, and then one million mothers would spend the rest of their lives in misery..."

All of which is very interesting and moving. But one omission puzzles us. Since Robert bitterly denies the insinuation that the Nazis are financing his Vindicators, why didn't he take the simplest way of laying that canard forever by telling us precisely who is financing the outfit and why?

That Man Again

Jonathan Dan'ls And His Fitness For Politics

A story comes out of Raleigh that Jonathan Daniels, author of "A Southerner Discovers the South" and editor of Father Jo's News and Observer, has entered into a deal with the Hoey forces whereunder the Hoey candidate for Governor in 1940 will enjoy the support of the Old Reliable and Jonathan will get appointed Democratic National Committeeman from North Carolina.

Whether the story is true or not we have no way of knowing. But for our part we rather hope it is true. Jonathan has intelligence and knowledge of Southern problems, integrity, and enough energy and enterprise for four men. And withal he has the salt of common sense and good humor in him. The fellow is exactly the sort of man needed in politics and the sort which hitherto we have not often had. In capacity for genuine service to the state he ought be worth 4,000-odd of the assorted hacks by whom all too often we get governed.

It would seem a little quaint, certainly, to see the Old Reliable lining up behind the Administration candidate; for through all the years it has been The Opposition par excellence--a gadfly joyously buzzing away at the "machine." And some of the good people down east who regard it as a political Bible are probably going to be sorely upset if it does take to cheering for a Hoey man. Nevertheless, a man who is going into politics has to find a practical way up, and if this sort of deal can get Jonathan into the line-up, we think the old subscribers can resign themselves to the change with very calm minds.


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