The Charlotte News

Saturday, May 6, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Perhaps "From the Needy" was the editorial which inspired some temerous suffragette to ask Cash at a party, "Are you on Relief?" According to his date and later wife, Mary, Cash simply responded, "No, I'm an associate editor for the Charlotte News."

The gasoline truck menace discussed in "The Last Straw" was echoed time and time again by Cash during his last two years at The News, almost to the point of obsession. Perhaps, its potential for the lake of fire in little was an Afghanistanism of sorts to the daily grist of writing on the ever encroaching Dead Sea Lake in large out of Europe.

"Cunning and Familiar Move" provides all the argument in brief why the view of some of the still powerful in France and Britain and the isolationists in Congress, and at least half the people of the United States, to the end of continuing appeasement to the "little man", was miserably a course of denial in light of the experience with Munich and the resultant Nazification of Czechoslovakia.


From The Needy

That Fair Building Came Straight Out Of Their Hides

The Hon. Taber, Republican Representative in Congress from New York, is obviously a thorough-going partisan. So when he says that the cost of the WPA building at the New York World's Fair will be $2,500,000, and that $400,000 more is to be spent in the transportation of exhibits, it is necessary to take him with a very large chunk of salt. Indeed, for ourselves we are inclined to write the Hon. Taber down as of no authority at all, and to put our trust in the honesty and good faith of Colonel Harrington and Treasury engineers, who say that the building, which is reported as 95 per cent complete, has so far cost $554,000.

But when we have said that--even if we go on to believe Colonel Somervell who says, "our building, plus exhibits, will be one of the cheapest at the Fair"--just what we want to know, is the Government doing spending over half a million dollars to erect a WPA building at a fair and more to transport exhibits there? WPA is supposed to be purely and simply a temporary agency for the relief of the needy. And that the exhibits at the fair can possibly contribute to aid the needy is on the face of it nonsense. To the contrary, that money was taken directly away from the needy. And the President himself was complaining not long ago that 2,000,000 people were on the waiting lists, and demanding that the ante be raised by Congress--at the same time this building was going up.

The thing represents a deliberate diversion to advertise and propagandize for the notion that WPA ought to be made a permanent part of the national life, regardless of employment conditions. And as such, nothing that even partisans like Taber can say about it can be too strong.

The Last Straw

Gasoline Transport Truck Nearly Consumes a Town

As it was, the gruesome wreck at Fayetteville this morning, where a freight train and a gasoline transport truck collided, was bad enough. The driver of the truck burned to death. The engineer of the train burned to death in his cab. The fireman was burned so severely that he died, and the brakeman lies in critical condition. Nine boxcars went up in flames. So did two houses. Three others near the tracks were damaged. Several automobiles were destroyed by fire. The flaming gasoline, pouring into sewers, caused several minor explosions on nearby streets.

And that list of horrors, obviously, is horrible enough. But worse almost happened. That is, the city was threatened for a time, by the liquid fire running through its streets and mains, with a general conflagration. Pumps at the waterworks were decommissioned because of burned power poles, and besides, water won't quench a gasoline fire.

With assistance from other places, the fire that threatened Fayetteville was brought under control. But the death and destruction that took place cap the climax of fatal experience with transporting gasoline by truck on the state highways and through cities and towns. Many places have narrowly missed being consumed by the wrecking of gasoline trucks within their limits. Once a whole lake was set afire. Motorists have been cremated, not to mention numerous drivers of the trucks that run so smoothly when all is well, but that blast death and destruction when mischance occurs.

If the State is going to continue to consent, as we have long argued it shouldn't, to letting its highways become pipelines for the movement of gasoline, the only apparent recourse left to cities and towns is to forbid, by virtue of their own ordinance-making power, passage to such vehicles except under such conditions as seem safe to all concerned.

Cunning and Familiar Move

Hitler's Concentrating On Danzig Will Make His Case Seem Plausible To Short Memories

It is very interesting to observe that Adolf Hitler has suddenly concentrated on the demand for the return of Danzig to the Reich, to the exclusion of the question of the extraterritorial strip through the Corridor. For in "Mein Kampf" he long ago laid down a rule which was not unknown to Caesars before him and above all to that great pedagogue of Caesars, Machiavelli: the rule that a wise conqueror will not present his demands to his victims at a single blow but will proceed by piecemeal. That way, said Adolf, the conquered will think each time that the booty involved is really not worth fighting for. And each time, too, they will be more accustomed to the idea of giving up something.

The move here is very smart. Adolf's real motive in this business has nothing to do with Danzig or roads for access to East Prussia. What he is up to is to make Poland prisoner--to the end, for one thing, of adding her resources to his own, but, also and primarily, to the double end of depriving the Franco-British bloc of face with the Balkan countries and abolishing the possibility of that bloc's having an Eastern front in case of war. But he very acutely counts on the fact that there are many millions of people in the world who are still unable to grasp the obvious meaning of his machinations and who, at the slightest suggestion, are apt to suppose that the question in issue is what he represents it as being.

Danzig's population is 91 per cent German. Until the end of the last war, it belonged to the Reich. Therefore, when he raises the cry of self-determination in connection with it, the many millions all over the earth will be likely to say that he is right--that he plainly ought to have it. Forgetting his own action with regard to the Czechs. Forgetting that while Danzig is German populated, it gets its livelihood from Poland. Forgetting that Danzig controls more than half of Poland's commerce and that it commands the Vistula River, which runs through the heart of the land. Forgetting that there is another demand which he is soft pedalling just now--that he shall have a fifteen-mile strip of the Corridor inhabited 90 per cent by Poles.

So short is the memory of some of these people, indeed, that they will actually reflect brightly that, after all, he is undertaking to guarantee that Poland shall always enjoy a free harbor in Danzig. Forgetting that he undertook to guarantee that the Sudetenland was his last territorial demand in Europe. Forgetting that he undertook to guarantee that he wanted nothing more of the Czechs after he had acquired the Sudetenland.

He'll probably get Danzig. And when he gets it Poland will be already two-thirds his prisoner. The rest will be easy.


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