The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 16, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Perhaps too fed up from the sell-out of Czechoslovakia by Bumble & Co. to Hitler, Cash obviously took a hiatus from much writing today; so we'll follow suit.

"Record for Six Months" presents a quick transit through the lead-up to Munich and its aftermath by way of short quotes and news excerpts from the period a couple of weeks before the Pact was signed September 29 through the taking of Moravia and Bohemia and the march of the Nazi soldiers and Gestapo agents into Czechoslovakia the day before.

To track back through the editorials more or less associated with each of the several excerpts indicated, see "A Fateful Speech", September 12, 1938, "The Price Paid by the Democracies", September 21, 1938 (including the post-Munich map of Czechoslovakia), "Still in the Balance" and "What Hitler Demanded", September 27, 1938, "A Question at Munich", and "Argument Through a Sieve", September 28, 1938, "The Odds for Peace", September 29, 1938, "Victory by Bumble", September 30, 1938, "Omen" and A House on Sand", October 4, 1938, "A Forgotten Promise", March 14, 1939, and "A Shameful and a Gross Betrayal" from the day before.

Onward Into Security

The South Carolina Legislature now is having its troubles. Yesterday the Committee of Nine set up to study taxation and governmental reform came forward with its proposals for raising $4,400,000 in new revenue. Besides earmarking beer and wine taxes for Social Security, increasing the State property tax, diverting a chunk of highway revenue, increasing the tax on liquor to $1.26 a gallon (Federal to $2.25, which together would mean 90 cents' tax on every quart) and increasing various other tax [indiscernible word], the committee proposed to lower income tax exemptions from $1,000 to $750 for single persons and from $1,800 to $1,500 for heads of families.

The tax-eaters, mates, have taken to scavenging. And income tax on $750 a year is a tax on anything over $15 a week. In fact, it is a mislabeled income tax. It is a wage tax, and a tax almost on minimum wages, at that.

It is made necessary, of course, not by any tendency towards profligacy in South Carolina but to effect the New Deal's scheme of Social Security and the More Abundant Life. This begins, the little reader will please note, with what amounts to a tax on pay envelopes.

It All Depends

No, alas, it isn't so. We were all prepared to argue, from the logic of the Federal Power Commission in refusing the Aluminum Company of America license to build its proposed dam at Tuckertown on the Yadkin--we were all set to argue from that that the commission had squarely reversed itself in licensing the High Point dam, which has the active blessings of all sorts of alphabetical agencies in the form of handouts and loans. What! Ruin the navigability of the Pee Dee below Cheraw! Balk that vast stream from being the mighty highway of commerce it ought to be! Outrage South Carolina! Ha, no, the commission wouldn't mean to do that. Why, it was only the other day that they finally did get a barge through into those waters.

But now, it turns out we were mistaken. From good engineering authority, we hear that the High Point dam isn't going to interfere with the navigability of the Pee Dee one little bit. But hold on there! How, then, does it happen that the Tuckertown dam, some few miles lower, is going to do it--which is the ground the commission alleged for refusing the license? Well, from the same engineering authority, we hear that it just isn't so. Only the lowest dam on the river above the so-called "navigable waters" could possibly have this effect, it seems. And the Tuckertown dam would not be the lowest dam. The already existing great dam at Badin would be that dam. The Tuckertown dam would stand somewhere between the great High Rock reservoir, with the High Point dam a few miles above that, and the Badin dam a few miles below. And all four of them would really have no effect at all but to regulate drought and flood conditions--exactly what, you will recall, the great Tennessee Valley dams are alleged to have been built for!

In short, masters, we are simply being given the old run-around. When the Federal Power Commission wants to license a public power project, it worries not at all about the "navigability" of the Pee Dee. But when it wants not to license a private enterprise, why, then, it finds it immensely convenient to feel tender concern for that "navigability." That is the sum of it.

Record For Six Months

From the speech of Adolf Hitler at Nuremberg Sept. 12, 1938:

"What Germans demand is the right of self-determination, which every other people possess. The Almighty did not create 3,500,000 Germans to deliver them over to a hated foreign regime. The Almighty has not created 7,000,000 Czechs to act as guardians to these Germans..."


From the Associated Press report for Sept. 19 an "unofficial but authoritative" account of terms contained in a memorandum demanding cessation [sic] of Sudetenland, presented to Prague government by England and France after conference between Chamberlain and Hitler at Berchtesgaden:

The new frontiers of Czechoslovakia shall be guaranteed by Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Hungary, and Rumania.


From an editorial of The Charlotte News Sept. 21:

As for Czechoslovakia, it may as well be written off. It is obvious nonsense to suppose that the powers can or will protect it in the plains when they couldn't or wouldn't protect it in the mountains, or that their word is worth more than in the last case than in the first. The poor Czechs seem to be in for dreadful times...


From the AP report for Sept. 26, after the negotiations at Godesburg had broken down:

Members of Daladier's ministry said the French Government had decided to maintain three essential points. These were: (1)... (2)... (3) Guarantees by the British and the French and other neighboring states of the new frontiers of Czechoslovakia.


From the speech of Adolf Hitler at Berlin, Sept. 26:

"The Sudetenland is the last territorial demand I have to make in Europe...

"I assured him (Chamberlain, at Berchtesgaden and Godesburg) that when the Czechoslovaks had peacefully settled their difficulties with other nationalities, Czechoslovakia no longer interested me...

"I further assured him, and I repeat here, that if this problem (the Sudetenland problem) is solved, there will be no further territorial problem in Europe for Germany. And I further assured him that at the moment that Czechoslovakia has solved the other problems (those of the demands of Hungary, and Poland), this is when the Czechoslovaks state no longer interests me, and that, if you please, I give him the guaranty: we do not want any Czechs any more..."


From AP "authoritative" report on British-French position on Sept. 26:

If the Czech Government is prepared to concur in these measures (the surrender of the Sudetenland), they will be entitled to ask for assurances of their future security. Britain has expressed her willingness to join in this new guaranty of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak state against unprovoked aggression...


From the AP report on the speech of Neville Chamberlain before the House of Commons Sept. 28:

Then Chamberlain outlined how the British Cabinet had agreed to the principle of self-determination for Czechoslovakia, deciding that the great powers of Europe should guarantee the continued independence of the remainder of Czechoslovakia in the manner that Switzerland is maintained intact...


From the official text of Munich Pact of Sept. 29, giving Hitler the Sudetenland :

"The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission (consisting of representatives of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, and Czechoslovakia)."


From official text of the annex to the Pact of Munich:

"His Majesty's government in the United Kingdom and the French Government have entered into the above agreement on the basis that they stand by the offer, contained in paragraph six of the Anglo-French proposals of September 19, relating to an international guarantee of the new boundaries of the Czechoslovak state against unprovoked aggression. When the question of Polish and Hungarian minorities in Czechoslovakia has been settled, Germany and Italy, for their part, will give a guarantee to Czechoslovakia.


From the AP report of Chamberlain's speech in Commons Oct. 3:

"I say in the name of this House and of the people of this country that Czechoslovakia has earned our respect for her restraint, her dignity, and her magnificent discipline in the face of such a trial..."

When the opposition benches shouted "shame!" he...retorted angrily: "I have done nothing to be ashamed of. Let those who have hang their heads!"

Chamberlain promised a cheering House to build on the foundations he had already laid toward a towering structure of peace for Europe and the world. He declared he could see chances for disarmament "opening up before us."

As for Hitler, Chamberlain told the House he believed there was sincerity and good will on both sides at Munich...


From the AP report for March 14, 1939:

The Prague office of the Wittkowitz Iron and Steel Works said its works manager at Morovaska-Ostrava had reported by telephone that German troops had marched into that Czech city and occupied it...


From the AP report of March 14:

Prime Minister Chamberlain indicated in the House of Commons today that the breaking up of Czechoslovakia called for no action from Great Britain. He said "the proposed guarantee" (of Czechoslovak frontiers) was "one against unprovoked aggression against Czechoslovakia, and no such aggression has taken place." This was believed to represent the views of both Great Britain and France...


From the AP report for March 15:

Adolf Hitler, protector of Bohemia, sponsor and guarantor of Slovakia, joined his vast cavalcade of soldiers pouring into shattered Czechoslovakia today while Czechs cried "false" at his tanks rumbling through the streets of Prague.

The swastika flies over Bohemia and Moravia, which have become in effect merely parts of the Greater German Reich and probably will be less independent than most protectorates. They were shorn of armies and power over their foreign affairs and lacked even a common name.

Before the day is over Hitler is expected to proceed like a conqueror of old into Hradceny Castle, Prague's famous fortress residence of Czechoslovakia's presidents and the burial vault of men who made glorious Bohemian history. His soldiers were in Prague in the snowy morning. They had occupied the castle. Their war machines on wheels pushed through the streets packed by hostile men and women who jeered or were grimly silent... The tri-colored flag of the State that was had been hauled down from Hradceny Castle as early as 5 A.M. ...


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