The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 30, 1939


Site Ed. Note: The CCC is, of course, the New Deal's Civilian Conservation Corps, aimed at the employment of single men by the government in various civic projects involving preservation of natural resources. Originally formed in 1933, it was overseen by the War Department without military authority. In 1939, it was made part of the Federal Security Agency, with emphasis instead on defense projects. With the onset of direct United States involvement in the war and the consequent decreasing need in the country for any alternative to military service, Congress abolished it in 1942.

Cash's reference in "Gesture" to the crazy flight of Douglas Corrigan, otherwise known as "Wrong Way", is to the aviator's July, 1938 flight from New York to Ireland, intended to be to California, but for a supposed compass error. Of course, "Wrong Way" begs the question as to from whence he thought that water over what should have been the Alleghenies had suddenly arisen. The second Flood, maybe? Corrigan's explanation was that the fog in which he took off was so dense that he not only couldn't see the geography but also couldn't even determine heads from tails about his compass, following the wrong end of the needle for some 26 hours, two hours out from Dublin. Ah well, he made it, wrong way and all.

Perhaps, his widely publicized feat gave the idea to the Japanese in 1941 of embarking for Pearl Harbor in a dense fog. Theirs, too, however, proved ultimately to be the wrong way.

The analysis in "Toward Failure" of the probable result of the alliance between Britain, the U.S., the "Free French", and Russia would take yet another five and a half years and millions upon millions of lives to prove true; but true ultimately it would prove and to the same end predicted by Cash in May, 1939--the Nazis' doom and failure.

Town And Camp*

CCC Men Plainly Ought To Be Put Under Full Military Control

In view of the existing situation, the Monroe authorities seem to have done the wisest thing in deciding to ask for the removal of the Negro CCC camp from the neighborhood of their town. Good racial relations have already been breached, and that they are likely to improve does not seem probable. The situation might easily give rise to serious violence. Better to move the camp than to risk that.

As to the background out of which the situation arose we have no opinion--not being conversant with the facts. But two things seem clear: that the Negroes were the immediate aggressors in this case, and that the officers at the camp failed lamentably in maintaining discipline among their charges. According to the published stories, one Negro went back to the camp and organized his fellows for the raid. Weren't the officers there? Certainly they were supposed to be. And if they were, why didn't they stop the men? It is our understanding that they are given semi-military power to put down such uprisings by rigorous methods. But if they aren't--it is only another argument as to why the CCC men should be regularly mustered into the army. Indeed, the whole case is such an argument. To have hordes of men, white or black, strutting around in the anonymity of uniform, and without arranging for complete and rigid control over them, cannot and ought not be tolerated.

Laws Are Passed

It Now Remains To Be Seen If Penn. Can Enforce Them

Once upon a time Governor George Earle of Pennsylvania was a Democratic Presidential prospect, at least in his own mind; and so to get himself right with the labor vote, and because it was the vogue, he had his Legislature pass a Labor Relations Act modeled somewhat after the Wagner Act. But Pennsylvania's synthetic liberalism could not withstand a combination of factors, including dissension among its politicians, dissension among its labor leaders, and the normal Republican majority; and the Earle Administration went out.

The James Administration, which succeeded it, was not long in revising that Labor Relations Act. Revising it, if you please, with a vengeance, going so far as to define unfair practices on labor's part, which is unheard of. An employee may be found guilty of unfair practices if he intimidates or coerces (a) any other employee, or (b) an employer; or if he takes part in a sit-down strike or seizes or damages an employer's property.

These unfair practices are in themselves, of course, no different from breaches of the peace, trespass and vandalism, and as such punishable in every state in the land under ordinary conditions. But strikes and troublous labor relations are not ordinary conditions. Indeed, the disposition of the authorities in handling such situations has been to overlook them in the hope that labor would quiet down without a pitched battle.

And Pennsylvania may enforce its new specific laws where it, in company with the rest of the states, has failed to enforce the old. But between defining unfair labor practices and preventing them there is a whale of a difference.

Site Of The Crime

We Bring Mr. Murphy Up To Date On The Second Louisiana Purchase

It was in New Orleans--of all places--that Attorney General Murphy found occasion to disclose yesterday that the Federal Government is prepared to "strike hard" in a "purge to clean up American politics if city and state governments won't clean up of their own accord." From a member of the Administration which put through this Second Louisiana Purchase, on the very spot of that deal, this was either inept or calloused.

Mr. Murphy came later into the Department of Justice, and perhaps he is unfamiliar with the circumstances of the Purchase. The Government, remember, was after Huey Long (Roosevelt's bitterest enemy) and his companions in crime for income tax evasions. Indictments were returned against Seymour Weiss, treasurer of Huey's organization, and seven others. One man was actually tried and sent to prison. Then Huey was killed.

Two or three additional indictments were brought, and then it was announced in New Orleans that the former Long machine had decided to attempt reconciliation with the Administration. Between that time and the Democratic Convention of 1936, the Department of Justice nol-prossed all its untried cases, eleven in number. The Louisiana delegation went instructed for Roosevelt. Harmony reigned again, and the Second Louisiana Purchase was a matter of recorded fact. Though, to be sure, we have never decided if it was Louisiana or the Administration which was bought off.

Toward Failure

Mr. Hitler's Game Now Seems Headed For Defeat

If the proposed Anglo-French-Russian act goes through, Mr. Hitler's diplomatic game will have failed and he will have to find himself a new course. That game has plainly been, not to make war but perpetually to start war--to terrorize the nations into giving him everything he wanted by piecemeal rather than take the risk that after all, he might make war. It worked in the cases of the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, Moravia, Bohemia, Slovakia, and Memel.

But it isn't working now. It hasn't worked very well, indeed, since Mr. Chamberlain went to Birmingham and made that speech in early April. Albania has been taken, yes, and Yugoslavia immobilized. But that seems to have been contemplated by Britain and France as the last step that would be allowed. Beyond that--the line has been drawn: in Poland, in Rumania, in Greece. And the great man plainly suspects that they mean it--is at least full of doubts. Long ago, according to the precedents of the past, he should have whipped his people into a wild fury, should have been screaming that he must have Danzig and the Corridor now--at once--or else. Half a dozen times, he has clearly started on that way--only to lapse again into hesitancy and silence.

And if the Russian pact goes through, the ring about him will be made complete. He'll face the prospect of having either to make his demands reasonable or of using force--with the certainty that the latter means war. And he simply cannot afford to make a war under the circumstances. Economists report that his resources are inadequate for more than three months of war, and with the Russian planes pouring bombs into Berlin and Munich and Leipzig, with the Russian hordes pouring in to back the excellent Polish Army, with the French and British hammering at the Western Front, and the overwhelmingly powerful British and French navies operating on the seas, his hope for a quick knockout blow would be virtually nil.


A Foolish One But Not Wholly Unadmirable

Why young Mr. Smith should have wanted to undertake the hazardous feat of piloting his little 65-horsepower plane in a non-stop flight across the Atlantic is hard to understand. Certainly, the day when such a trip would long make him famous is well past. Douglas Corrigan who achieved the craziest flight on record, could today walk through the streets in New York or Charlotte or anywhere else in America without producing a ripple of excitement. And the young Swede who attempted the same crossing the other day vanished from the front pages even before it was quite certain he was lost.

About the only reasonable motive you can assign Mr. Smith is simply that he wanted to prove that he could do it. That he wanted to take his courage in his hands and go out and face the Atlantic with the odds plainly and overwhelmingly against him--just to show himself and the world that he had it in him to win anyhow. As this is written, it seems to have cost him his life. Foolish? Of course--mad, in fact. And yet it is impossible not to feel some respect for his spirit if not for his intelligence. The pity is that his daring and his will to achieve the spectacular on a forlorn hope could not have been tied up with something more genuinely useful than pushing a small plane across the Atlantic now is.


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