The Charlotte News



*Mr. Pridgen's Book

A pleasing piece of news in Sunday's papers was Little, Brown & Co.'s announcement of the publication October 21 of T.M. Pridgen's "Courage, the Story of Modern Cockfighting."

The author's name--he is, of course, our own Tim Pridgen--is guarantee of the book's engaging content, for he is the slick sort of craftsman and a philosopher and a thorough-going reporter in the bargain. On top of this we have Little, Brown's word for it that the book is "exciting," and as proof positive that something exceptional is bound between the covers of "Courage" we have the price. It will sell for $3.50.

This is further evidence of Tim's versatility and application. Anybody who can spend his days writing for the five-cent trade and his nights for the carriage clientele, and make a distinguished success at both, is good. We look forward to the evidence of it and "Courage, the Story of Modern Cockfighting," and we hope, Tim, that it sells a million.

Not for Reason

The President's appeal to Hitler is wasted so far as it is truly concerned with "reason and equity."

"I am persuaded that there is no problem so difficult or pressing for solution that cannot be justly solved by the resort to reason rather than the resort to force."

If only both parties want to solve it by reason and equity. And we know now beyond doubt that Lord Hitler does not want to solve the Czechoslovakian question so.

That, indeed. was plain from the beginning. Germany has never owned any part of Bohemia, which has been a unit for a thousand years, whereas the greater Germany was born only in 1870. And she has no more real claim to any part of it than she has to Ohio or Wisconsin. Still, there was the question of the Sudeten minority, as whipped out by carefully planted Nazi propagandists. And racial myths are never reasonable. If it would preserve the peace of Europe to give him Sudetenland, a case could be made out for that, provided that it was perfectly clear that, having got it, he would be satisfied.

But the mask is stripped away now. Give Bumble credit for that. Whether he intended it so or not, he has certainly succeeded in clearly and dramatically revealing to the world that Hitler's yowls about "oppression" and the "rights of minorities" were completely phoney, and that he cares nothing about the German people in Sudetenland, but only wants to destroy Czechoslovakia and seize its wealth to the end of making himself strong for further conquest. Nakedly, he stands before the world today as simply a new barbarian bent on leading his hordes out to ever increasing plunder and rapine.

And you cannot treat with a man like that on the basis of "reason and equity." As well talk of treating with Attila the Hun or a rabid wolf.

But Perhaps for This

Yet perhaps the President's appeal was not altogether wasted. For where "reason and equity" cannot operate, fear can.

Lord Hitler this evening stands on the hottest spot any man in Europe has stood since Napoleon went his way to St. Helena. Three days ago he was swaggering and boasting as the master of Europe and autocratically laying down such terms as belong to warlords who have just won a war. Are not England and France cringing before him? Had not Czechoslovakia yielded without a blow? Ah, now, he would have all his way at a stroke. But today his answer lies before him. Three-quarters of a million tons of fighting ships lie in the North Sea with their guns trained upon him. In London even Bumble has begun to take on the image of John Bull. Two million Frenchmen stand across from the Rhine. Two million Czechs stand in the Sudetens. And in the east, where nine million Russian soldiers can be called out, there is a rumble behind the curtain.

And in the south where dwells Lord Mussolini, of the bold and ferocious word? There the words rattle still, but how faintly! If the powers keep on mobilizing, he will feel compelled to take steps toward mobilizing his own forces! No talk now, with have a million tons of British fighting ships lying in Alexandria and six hundred thousand tons of French fighting ships lying straight across his road to Spain--no talk now of the decadence of democracy.

And they say that in Berlin Lord Hitler's generals, seeing all that, are urgently warning him that the time has come to eat crow, somehow to find a peaceful way out. And to the end of making him see it, the President's words may very well contribute. Not because they contain any threats. But because they explicitly set forth the fact that if he makes war he will have the feeling and opinion of the United States overwhelmingly against him. And if Lord Hitler is too tender to allow himself to remember the last war, his generals are not.

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