The Charlotte News

Saturday, June 10, 1939


A Dark View

About Labor, Which Is Not To Be Reconciled With Its Experience

A. J. Wiltse, operator of a printing firm at Ann Arbor, Mich., sounds like a man who doesn't have much use for labor unions. At any rate, in his testimony before the Senate Labor Committee he denounced the Wagner Labor Relations Act as class legislation and went on, in grim earnest, to deliver this awful prophecy to the Senators:

"When you finally organize all workers into one big union, you won't be the bosses here anymore. They'll be the bosses. They'll rule you with the same tyranny they are trying to use on us."

The Government undoubtedly let itself in for due grief when it made labor unions, which are frequently without discipline and restraint, an instrument of Federal policy. Nor is there any doubt that organized labor is a potent pressure group willing and able to bend legislation to its own ends. But this description of it as a Frankenstein monster--well, maybe. But what does experience show?

Why, that labor is a broadly inclusive term, something like "the public." And that it cannot even unite for aggression, much less likely remain united after the battle is over and the spoils to be divided. And that it varies widely among itself, and that the larger it becomes, the more it varies. So that it is almost a cross-section of "the public," including persons of conflicting political faiths, liberals and conservatives, ins and outs, torn by sectional differences and all others which have brought about the continued existence of two political parties.

Nope, the gentleman lets his pessimism run away with his judgment. Labor cannot even cease its own opportunities, much less seize the Government.

That Man Again

Charley Is Back With A Plan To Let 10,000,000 Men To Work Overnight

Charley is at it again. Not McCarthy but Mr. Charles Davis, of Bass River, Cape Cod, Mass., Boston, Philadelphia, New York, and perhaps other points east. Charley first turned up in our mail a year ago with the news that he was heading a movement to draft Herbert Hoover for the Presidency. There was a picture of a very large house over in New Jersey somewhere, which Charley said would be headquarters. Then after some months, he turned up again, and that he was heading a movement to draft John Garner, the Texas Bearcat, for the Presidency. There was a picture of a very large house over in New Jersey somewhere, which Charley said would be headquarters. Then after some months, he turned up again, that time as heading a movement to draft John Garner, the Texas Bearcat, for the Presidency. Next time it was Vandenberg, or maybe Dewey, and then again it was Franklin D. Roosevelt. The only thing that stayed fixed in Charley's plans was the house.

But not even that was destined to last. Not long ago Charley came through again. But this time he apparently had decided to wash his hands of politicians as a shabby lot and devoted himself to higher things. What Charley wanted to do that time was to save the world and put an end to wars by having everybody speak the same language--Basal English, a vocabulary of 850 words which the professors who cooked it up claim is adequate for the expression of all the ideas most people have. Anyhow, Charley was hot for it, to the tune of ten thousand words or so. And a picture of the house was no more--perhaps because it reminded Charley of the ingratefulness of politicians.

Now he's back once more. This time with a sure-fire formula entitled "How To Put 10,000,000 To Work." All we need, says Charley at great length, is three things: (1) that the goal shall be to put 10,000,000 people to work, (2) the money, and (3) planning and doing the work. And do you think the money might be difficult to get? Hooey, says Charley, just plain hooey. "Money is a manufactured article like any other industrial product..." and to get plenty of it, all the Government has to do is start the printing presses. Inflation? Hooey, just plain hooey, says Charley.


He Is Still With Us To Play The Role Of The Great Democrat

The kind of American--once celebrated by Charles Dickens, Harriet Martineau, and a host of other visitors to these shores--who thinks that bad manners are the badge of a noble independence of spirit, was not as much in evidence in Washington yesterday as he formerly would have been. But he was still around. There was, for instance, Cousin Nat Patton, Representative from Texas, busily "cousining" the King and Queen, advising them that Texas was the only state which never fought the English, and brashly informing the Queen that she was nearly as pretty as "the blue-bonnet girls of Texas."

And there were, alas, at least two disciples of the cult from North Carolina. The Hon. John Kerr, did not only stay away from the reception, as was his polite privilege, but also hastened into print to inform a breathlessly waiting world that he had done so because "I don't think the greatest legislative body in the world ought to be presented to anybody. It should have been the other way around. The King and Queen should have been presented to Congress." That great Democrat, Mohammed, you see, is so great that, by golly, if the mountain wants to stand in his august presence, it will simply have to get a hump on and come in on bended knee.

And of course, the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds--a sort of avatar of all such Americans of all times. The Hon. Robert is a vain man, and dearly dotes on pomp and circumstance, and so it must have cost him no end of pangs to give up the reception. But after all, as he explained ostensibly, "The King and Queen cannot vote in North Carolina" and he had "some visiting home folks" on his hands. "I picked up four votes," he added. But not, we may add, an inch of stature.

Czech Defiance

Probably Explains Hitler's Concern With Current Incident

It is quite probable that the key to Hitler's ultimatum to the Czechs is to be found in the threat that if the "Czechs are incapable of ruling themselves" he will be bound to abolish the last pretense of self-government for them--that he is looking for an excuse to begin the systematic dragooning of them on a wholesale scale. As for that, of course, they have given ample proof in the past that they are much more capable of actually governing themselves than the Germans--who have always had to be herded around like sheep by one brutal master or another. And the fact that Mr. Hitler feels called upon to make threats of the arrest of thousands of innocents unless an assassin has discovered and turned over is an admirable measure of just how fit he himself is to rule.

But the fact is that the little man is probably worried half out of his wits. All the stories that come out of Czechoslovakia bear out the idea that the swallowing of the little republic was a bad day's business for him. Everywhere work has been sabotaged; the factories are a mess, and the rich wheat fields are steadily turning barren. And on every hand his officials have met only silent, stony-faced hate and opposition even when they sought to be conciliatory. And so it is quite likely that he has in mind the using of the incident of the killing of his policemen as an excuse for beginning to deal with them after more rigorous methods--the methods of the Iroquois. If so, it would be splendidly ironic if the case turned out to be the signal for the launching by the Czechs themselves of some such campaign of systematic assassination as the Chinese have been using with considerable success against the Japanese. Assassination is reprehensible under any circumstances, yes; but if any people were ever justified in resorting to it, the Czechs are.

Model By Hague

In His Zeal Against Hate, Mr. Ickes Overlooks Something

From the Washington Merry-Go-Round of the Messrs. Drew Pearson and Robert Allen, which appears in The News daily, we learn that the Hon. Harold Ickes has written a letter. To one Donald Shea, a professional peddler of hate against Jews, who has been engaged in trying to form a women's auxiliary of the National Gentile League--a hate-peddling organization--in Washington. The ineffable fellow had written Mr. Ickes asking the use of a Government park for a meeting, obviously to peddle his hate. And so Mr. A. Ickes wrote his letter--turning the request down flat and announcing caustically that "while I am Secretary of the Interior, it (the park) will never be used by one group to spread hate against others."

We know exactly how the Hon. Harold felt. Ourselves, we yield neither to him nor to anybody else in our hatred and contempt for the sort of thing this Shay deals in, and we should not at all mind if the fellow's own bile rose up and choked him. Nevertheless, it is impossible to reconcile Mr. A. Ickes' action with the decision which the Supreme Court handed down in the Hague case the other day--impossible to avoid the conclusion that he has acted in a thoroughly high-handed manner. That decision said plainly that the people are entitled by immemorial right to use the parks for the exercise of the Constitutional rights of free speech and free assembly. And that ought to be doubly true of the Federal parks.

Free speech is either wholly free speech, or it is nothing--must include the right to peddle hate and lies, else the truth itself will stand eternally in danger of being suppressed under the excuse that it also is a lie. That is dangerous? It imperils democracy? Certainly. All free speech is dangerous, as all democracy is dangerous. Both rest on the theory that the best answer to a lie is the truth, and that, over the long haul, the people have sense enough to recognize the truth and decency enough to prefer it.


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