The Charlotte News

Wednesday, May 3, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Ah, how the times they did change yet even more in the country with respect to young musicianship by boys, through and beyond the simple fiddle to its electrification in the fifties, to its combination, electricity and all, with folk roots by the mid-sixties--a long way from the Crossroads Devil who taught Robert Johnson how to play.

Then, there was that little band born of Liverpool's bombs during the four years to come, the percussive nature of which would forever change the world.

So, as every thundering cloud has a silver...something, at least out of the steadfast ruins, from the Mersey to the Mississippi, we got...

Much Music

It's Pleasant To Have The Bandsters With Us

It is a cheerful sort of thing to contemplate--all those 3,000 high school students pouring into town with horns and trumpets and fiddles or just their young voices. It seems only the other day when we ourselves were shame faced over having to take music lessons and resolutely making sure to learn nothing about what those cryptic black signs on paper really meant. It was just plain sissy, then. All right for girls, maybe--though you liked them better when they preferred to climb trees. But for boys who planned to be men, it meant intolerable scorn when the gang went to smoke rabbit tobacco behind the barn. In those days, you couldn't have stirred up 3,000 confessed high school musicians in all these United States.

But now all that has fortunately passed away, and the boys and girls of our time are eagerly finding out something about the greatest of the arts. We are glad of it. And we congratulate Director Sides on having secured the convention of the eighth region of the National School Band, Orchestra, and Choir Association for Charlotte, and bid the boys and girls and their instructors most heartily welcome to town.

China Learns

She Gathers Skill In The Art Of Making Claims

If the adoption of modern methods is the test, the Chinese may really win that war yet. They haven't got around to bombing Japanese cities and killing helpless civilians to be sure. But that may come--probably will if they can get the planes. For they have already gone a long way in other fields. And now it appears that they have learned to make claims almost as though they were Nazis or Fascists or--Japanese.

Not quite, of course. Still, when Chinese military headquarters announced that during the last half of April they killed 41,665 Japs in 504 "enemy strength-testing actions," they appear to be getting their hand in. We couldn't swear, certainly, that they didn't actually do it. But still 2,000-odd a day is pretty steep. And when you allow for as many wounded--well, if the they kept that up, they'd dispose of 1,460,000 Japs in a year, and in five there wouldn't be a single Jap soldier left.

To say that we believe it's true would only be to yield to wishful thinking. And so we'll simply have to put it down as merely a sign of their growing skill in the great modern art of claim-making. Compared with the Japs, whose claims as to the numbers of Chinamen killed, practically without the loss of a Jap, are astronomical, it is a pretty modest showing, surely. But as a beginning it does pretty well.

No Substitute

Government, A Man Says, Can't Do The Miraculous

Mr. Clay Williams, R. J. Reynolds' board chairman, and former NRA administrator, made at least one striking statement before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce yesterday. That was when he said the people had learned that the Government itself was not rich enough to do everything they might want done for them.

It has been demonstrated, of a certainty. Relief appropriations start out as billions that strain the public treasury to the breaking point--and come out as thin pay envelopes in the hands of only a portion of the unemployed. Aid to agriculture runs up into real money, but leaves the farmer still in a plight, which is the politer word for fix. Pretentious public works dot the landscape of every hamlet in the country, but business derives only a temporary stimulation from the expenditure of vast sums necessary; and unless the spending continues, business relapses into the doldrums.

Six years of multiplied federal expenditures have shown beyond any doubt that they are no substitute for the volume of private business and investment. And doubtless the U.S. Chamber agreed to a man with Mr. Williams when he put the proposition into words. But, alas, the U.S. Chamber doesn't make the country's laws or control its governmental policies.

Against The Middle

How The Logic That Germany Is Entitled To Both Danzig And The Corridor Strip Works Out

There is an argument already going about that Germany's claims on Poland are entirely logical and justified, and that she certainly ought to have both Danzig, which is predominantly German, and that strip across the Corridor so as to obtain "free access to East Prussia." Old General Ironpants Johnson plumped for it hard in his column yesterday.

But it is really a little difficult to see how it can be maintained that she ought to have both. The ground on which it is supposed that she ought to have Danzig is, of course, that of self-determination and nationalism. But one wonders a little what those who argue so are going to do with the fact that Mr. Hitler has expressly repudiated both principles by seizing Bohemia and Moravia, which happened to be inhabited not by Germans but by Slavs. And if you accept his "blood and soil" argument and suppose that he needed those provinces to "protect" Germany--then Poland has exactly the same argument. Danzig controls the Vistula River, the aorta of the land, and two-thirds of Poland's commerce.

Let that go, however. Grant Danzig, and what about the Corridor! There is no question of Germany's free access to East Prussia by road and railroad. Her vehicles daily pour in solid streams over the Corridor. Still, she ought to have that seventeen mile-wide strip under her own sovereignty? To say it is to say a great deal. There is a widespread notion that the Corridor was carved out of proper German territory and represents a crime against the historic rights of East Prussia. Such is not the fact. It was carved out of the old German Empire all right, but so are other parts of Poland, for the excellent reason that Germany had seized it by brutal rape, in the three successive partitions of Poland during the eighteenth century by Prussia, Austria and Russia. Specifically, the Corridor constituted a part of West Prussia (a German name tacked onto it after the deed) and the Netze District was seized by Frederick the Great in 1772 for the declared purpose of making Poland his prisoner (shades of Adolf Hitler!) and stopping the Russian menace. And East Prussia now occupies much the same position she occupied up to that time. Moreover, East Prussia itself represented Slavic territory seized at an earlier date by German freebooters.

But East Prussia has for long been predominantly inhabited by Germans. West Prussia mainly never was. And the territory which is today the Corridor is peopled overwhelmingly, not by Germans but by Poles.

To say, therefore, that Hitler ought to have both Danzig and his extraterritorial strip is to say the Germans have rights of nationalism and self-determination that Poles do not have--to accept the whole Nazi thesis that Germans are a superman breed whose "divine mission" it is to enslave Slavs for the benefit of Germany.


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