The Charlotte News

Tuesday, October 11, 1938


Site Ed. Note: We include the following letter to the editor of this date from Cash's original hometown of Gaffney, a cotton mill town, regarding the author's suggestion, interesting for its time, of conveying tenancy land, improperly cultivated otherwise, to the ownership instead of former tenant farmers who would likely thus tend it better in simple, and cultivate it not for cotton but for their own food. This, he opines, would present ultimately a substitute for both the continued waste of arable land and the continued overgrowth of cotton on it resulting in the reduction of the government program buying up the excess fiber.

In fact, a great portion of the cotton wound up as part of a secret, serpentine barter deal between Mexico and Germany for the trading of expropriated American and British oil in Mexico for railroad equipment and other manufactured goods from Germany, as arranged by viscid American businessman William Rhodes Davis, the Cockatrice, with the endorsement of the Reich. Someone should have listened to Mr. Littlejohn's laudable suggestion and perhaps by it saved us from a world war or at least severely delimited Hitler's ability to wage it. But gold prevents common sense from being admitted to the table of consultation more often than not.

As to "A Canny Judgment", not a bad idea the Commissioners had to deter the likes of these two cops. Whew mercy, $15.10 for a tire, 15 hours of average pay down the drain. And we hear they didn't last so long, certainly not 40,000 miles, along the erratically paved or not roads of 1938. And they were all rubber yet then, too. We don't know the brand, one of the two Goods or another, but given the bad year with some bad riches floating about, we would venture to guess Uniroyal, or maybe Continental. Anyway, we bet the cops didn't feel so good when those Commissioners said, in silence, "Woh, we got you."

At least our faithful old News carrier didn't go up in Flames.

Cotton Lands Should Be Sold To Tenants

Export Market Is Lost And Plantations Need To Be Cut Up Into Small Food-Growing Farm Units

Dear Sir:

Fifty years ago we built ten big cotton mills in South Carolina, such as Clifton, Pacolet, Piedmont, and Pelzer to make sheeting and drills for sale to China. This export business dried up 25 years ago when Japan, with her ten cents-a-day labor, got enough mills going to run us out.

Now we have come to the same pass in cotton growing. India, Russia, and South America have practically supplanted us, and we are doomed so far as the export market goes. We will be forced to limit our production to what we can consume at home--6,000,000 bales. The South will have to grow food not only for our farmers but also for our city folk and the factory workers--if we had done that for the past 75 years and saved the money paid in freight on corn, flour, meat, hay, and mules we would be independent now.

Ed Smith and Walter George (and I do not doubt that Wall Street spent half a million dollars to elect them) may run to Washington to see President Roosevelt (and attempt to make political capital out of his not seeing them) until they wear their legs out, and still get no results. This Government cannot go on buying up 7,000,000 bales yearly, with no one to sell it to. This must stop, at once, as the people, had as well understand it.

It seems to me the only reasonable plan is to divide these acres devoted to cotton into fifty and one hundred acre tracts and sell them to industrious men, white and colored, all along terms at low interest, thus making citizens out of men who have been tenants and who, therefore, did not take any interest in soil-building and conservation. Citizens who will terrace and ditch their own land, (which tenants never do) and stop soil erosion so that we can produce all our food at home.

I am disgusted when I read old McFadden in Liberty and that Republican sheet, The Saturday Evening Post, and find them bragging about what a rich country and people we are: I travel over the South, and when I see 200,000,000 acres utterly worn out and unfit to terrace, and 500,000,000 acres of timberland all destroyed, and our own cities mortgaged to death, I fail to see riches. It looks to me as though we have destroyed ourselves.

J. J. Littlejohn

A Canny Judgement

For sheer brilliance we here and now nominate the Mecklenburg County Commissioners. Yesterday they crowded themselves right up with Solomon by simply doing nothing at all.

Before them were two rural cops with a plea. These cops were the same who two weeks ago shot out the tires of W. A. Dunn, Charlotte News motor route carrier, when they blithely assumed that he was a hit-and-run driver because, seeing that they were riding in a car without visual markings, he mistook them for highway robbers and fled upon their demand to halt. They had bought Mr. Dunn a new tire, which set them back $15.10. And they wanted the County Commissioners to pay 'em back. But the Commission--the Commission heard them through and then calmly went on about its business, without saying a thing or doing anything, leaving the cops with the bag to hold.

We bet you that the innocent citizen is going to be a lot safer on the highways hereafter, from cops with nervous trigger-fingers. We bet you.

An Hour's Less Evening

The Junior Chamber of Commerce is going to put on a campaign for daylight saving time next Summer. It is to be a statewide innovation, if agreeable. A bill is to be submitted to the Legislature.

It is the working man whom the Junior Chamber has in mind, and there are, to be sure, certain manifest advantages to him of setting the clock an hour ahead. He gets off from work an our earlier by sun time, and has an hour more of daylight in which to play. And that's fine.

The one thing not to be overlooked in this sunny South is its sunniness. On those breathless days in mid-Summer when the mercury in the thermometer stands up like a snake on the tip of its tail, when relief comes only with the disappearance of the sun and the gradual cooling off of the earth, the inclusion of another hour of sunlight in the day is not an unmixed boon. The working man has to go to bed by 10 o'clock, well say, in order to get his accustomed eight hours, and 10 o'clock by daylight saving time is 9 o'clock by the sun. It can be still stifling hot, at 9 o'clock.

And weary mothers with weary brats to put to bed on schedule--they might have bitter objection to an hour less of the cool of the evening. At any rate, they had best be consulted.

Daylight saving would be, in all probability, generally desired for certain seasons of the year. But for that torrid stretch between July 1 and Aug. 31, we dunno. It would have its drawbacks.

Inept, At Least

As to the truth or untruth of the Russian charges against Colonel Lindbergh, we don't know. In view of the well-known Russian capacity for lying, they probably deserve no credence. But certainly, it was unfortunate that he should have gone barging into Moscow without an invitation, just when he did. And certainly it was more than unfortunate that he allowed himself to be drawn into the international picture at all, that he ever consented to any consultations with Bumble's cabinet, which is obviously fishing for excuses for its course and ready to use anything it can use, with the ruthlessness that has always distinguished British Tory politics. For it was representatives of the American Government at Moscow who arranged with the Russian Government to allow him to land and visit the Russian army air show. And the man himself holds a commission in the United States Army.

But most unfortunate of all--what is well-nigh unforgivable--is that he should choose now to go rushing to Berlin, hard on the heels of these charges. For regardless of what the facts may be, that action is perfectly certain to lend color all through the world to the idea that he is engaged in international intrigue on the side of the Nazis.

Colonel Lindbergh has pretty consistently refused throughout his career to admit that, having deliberately laid himself out for the role of public hero, he therefore owed certain duties to the public. And that recalcitrance has caused both himself and his countrymen no end of trouble. But neither the Colonel nor anybody else can well deny that the simplest loyalty demands that as an American of tremendous prestige and an officer in the United States Army, he deport himself with more discretion that he is showing, and refrain from embarrassing the government of the country in which he was born, which has greatly honored him, and to which he owes allegiance.

The Prophets Win

It is startling to observe with what mathematical precision the prophecies of Mr. Bumble's critics are turning out to have been correct. They said:

1--That, once inside the defenses of Czechoslovakia, his territorial demands would go steadily up. So they have. At the end of last week, German spokesmen, who at the first of the week were estimating the whole territory to be seized at 3,500 sq. miles, were already estimating it at 11,500--about a fifth of the territory of the republic, and going far beyond even the demand at Godesburg.

2--That he would cast aside the pretense that it was the Sudetens he wanted and take his territory purely with an eye to industrial and military advantage. He has done just that. Today he holds almost the whole of the Czech industrial establishment and all the fortresses, not only of Bohemia but of Moravia as well. More, he has cut the little republic almost in two. And yesterday it was cannily admitted by German spokesmen that the Czechs make up the majority in many of the seized districts, but that Germany means to hold them regardless.

3--That, having seized all this, he would then give the rest of Czechoslovakia its choice between becoming a puppet state like Manchukuo or being annexed by force. Yesterday Prague reported that he is already demanding (a) customs and monetary Anschluss and such trade agreements as he shall dictate, (b) the outlawing of Communists, which is to say, under the Nazi definition, all persons who dislike Nazism, (c) the suppression of free speech as regards Nazism, and (d) the adoption of an anti-Jewish program. And the price of refusal was finally stated to be "further penetration."

4--That the international commission set up by Bumble and Co. would have to acquiesce in all this and pretend to think it was all very decent and just in order to save the face of Bumble and Co. The international commission has done precisely that.

5--That Hitler would immediately use his new resources to make himself strong for a war with France on the one hand and with Russia on the other. Yesterday Prague reported that he is hurrying materials, including some hundreds of miles of steel anti-tank barricades, out of the fortresses of Bohemia to his western border to complete the Siegfried line facing France. And one of the demands he made on Prague yesterday was that German troops must have the right to pass through the republic "in case of war in the East."

6--That both Hitler and his stooge, Mussolini, would immediately wax far more arrogant than in the past and that if any peace came out of the proceedings at Munich, it would be a peace purchased by always humbly yielding to always rising demands. And Sunday Mr. Hitler made a remarkable speech at Aachen, near the French border, in which he in effect warned Great Britain not to vote to remove Mr. Bumble as Prime Minister and replace him with "a Duff Cooper or a Churchill or an Anthony Eden." That is to say, as Dorothy Thompson correctly points out, Mr. Hitler, having become dictator to Czechoslovakia is now also presuming to exercise the veto power in England and to tell the English people who shall rule them. And in Italy, Mussolini is waging a viciously anti-French campaign and growing more and more challenging toward Great Britain, obviously with the intention of forcing the handing over of Spain to his mercies, for no other consideration than the calling home of 10,000 veterans already too weary to fight anymore--in other words, for no consideration at all. And in this, he undoubtedly has the backing of his master, Hitler.


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