The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 28, 1939


Site Ed. Note: As to "Marse Henry's Acres", what at age 76 did Henry want with such a 90,000 acre swampy tract in a part of Georgia which since Sherman marched the Union Army through the region in 1864 had been one of the poorest parts of the South? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that a year later, Congress would authorize the purchase of the first part of what would become the 280,000 acre Camp Stewart, eventually the largest military installation east of the Mississippi, embracing a part of Bryan County. Or, less cynically, we could posit that since Henry had built a factory in Cologne in the 1930's, producing a car every three minutes by 1938, had even met personally with the Fuhrer to ensure continued permission to produce for the population of the Reich, that he had also intended to build an assembly plant in Georgia for the economic benefit of the region, perhaps then pre-empted by the coming of war and the need to convert factories to military production.

We only know that Camp Stewart came to be, whether at the purchase at a profit of Henry's acreage or not, we know not. Whatever it was, it was not likely purchased for his health. For that, he would have needed to go 200 miles or so west to Warm Springs.

We also reprint the following letter to the editor from this date's News on the junior Senator from North Carolina:

Old Supporter Turns Suspicious of Robert

Dear Sir:

It is my personal opinion that Senator Robert (Their Bob) Reynolds is the outstanding No. 1 enemy of democracy in America at this time. Anyone with the brains of a half-grown flea who has been watching his action since his return from a visit to Germany last Winter, can see that he is an Anti-Semite. And I believe he is building an organization (the Vindicators) which he intends to use in a campaign of Anti-Semitism. I hear questions like these everyday: Is Senator Reynolds launching a campaign to become dictator of the United States? Did Hitler give him some lessons on how to be a dictator while he was visiting in Germany? Many people are asking these questions since he came home to defend Hitler in the United States Senate, and to launch his organization to bring several million people under his leadership.

Just what is Mr. Reynolds' intention? Do the people who join his organization understand just what he is seeking? Just how does he feel toward the Jews in the United States? Don't you think it is time Senator Reynolds made a public statement about the matter, so the people of America can know where he stands?

You may laugh at the idea of Reynolds ever becoming a dictator in this country. But ten or twelve years ago, the people of Germany laughed at the idea of the Austrian house-painter ever becoming ruler of Germany.

I voted for and supported Mr. Reynolds in both his campaigns for the United States Senate. I'm sorry today that I did this. I'm afraid that the future will prove that was the worst thing I could have done. I have some Jewish friends that I value highly, and until Senator Reynolds proves that he has no Anti-Semitic leanings, he is to me personally the No. 1 enemy of democracy in this country, and a man to be watched and fought at every turn. If later developments should prove me wrong I will gladly apologize for anything I have said. But until there is proof--Mr. Reynolds just what are your intentions and plans for the future? Just how do you feel toward the Jewish people of the country?

Charles A. Newman.



Man Outdone*

The President Shows That He Prefers The Extraordinary

In his resentment at being stripped of authority to devalue the dollar, within certain limits, at will, the President displays more than a little personal pique. Remember, now, that he asked for this extraordinary power to be continued, not because he intended to use it but admittedly as a club to be kept handy in case business got uppity. Remember, too, that it is the supine state of business which makes it necessary for the Federal Government to assume many costly extraordinary services.

Most of all, remember that the revoking of the President's extraordinary devaluation authority does not in the least mean that control over money has been transferred, as the President laments, to Wall Street and the International Bankers. Where does control reside? Go to the Constitution of the United States and you will find there a clause--

The Congress shall have power to coin money (and) regulate the value thereof...

Nobody will catch us proclaiming that by reasserting its express control over the value of money the Senate has made any great contribution to recovery or proven its worth over and above the President to exercise this function. But it has at least disposed of one of the uncertainties that have the country on tenterhooks these last years, and it has at least resolved that the delegation of extraordinary powers for five and half years is long enough. The President as clearly indicates that for himself he demands extraordinary powers as long as his extraordinary administration continues. In fact, there is reason to believe that the great man dotes on extraordinary conditions.

Health Wins

Narrowly, But Learning Suffers A Severe Rout

By the narrowest sort of squeak the Sanatorium tax was authorized yesterday. Voters out in the county overcame the city's adverse sentiment. But the Library tax got turned down cold, though the county people were more receptive towards it than the urban voters.

We were prepared last night, on news that the election was going badly in both instances, to explain the defeat of the Sanatorium tax. There were certain plausible reasons for voting against it, and of course a tax is always unpopular. But the denial is much harsher upon the Library than it would have been upon the Sanatorium, for the latter could have continued to be operated in some manner, limping along, whereas the proposition as it concerned the Library was to keep it going or to discontinue. We assume its doors are to close.

And if that's the way the people feel about it, why, there never has been any use in the service. That is, if they don't want it; by all means let's dispense with it. And if we find in so doing that we've cut off an essential and desirable function, a demand will arise for its return. If not, we shall have made a discovery unique in the whole of the United States, and that will be a distinction of a sort.

The Bid System

County Plainly Needs More Efficient Method Of Buying

The hubbub about food costs at the Mecklenburg County Sanatorium will not be stilled by the results of the special election yesterday. Something should be done to assure greater efficiency in the purchasing system and, we believe, can be done very easily.

In North Carolina, there are at least two bureaus which have near-perfect buying systems--the North Carolina Division of Purchase and Contract in Raleigh and the Purchasing Office in Fort Bragg. Each buys tremendous quantities of the highest grade foods on bids from individual wholesale grocers and food dealers all over the state.

An expert from one of these departments could be brought to Mecklenburg County for a few days. He could survey the food consumption records at the Sanatorium over the last two years and could set up a complete and efficient organization for competitive bidding, grading the foods, drawing up forms for the bids, estimating quantities needed, etc. The Sanatorium Board could then ask for monthly or quarterly bids on large volumes of foods, tabulate them, and then turn the lowest bid for each item over to Henry Harkey, purchasing agent for the County, to award the actual contracts. By buying in such quantities and by such a system of competition, all the inefficiency and haphazardness of daily requisitional purchasing could be avoided, assuring the Sanatorium of the highest quality foods at the lowest possible cost. For the food dealers would have to supply stated brands and grades of food at an extremely narrow margin to get the business.

There is the possibility, too, that after the system has been operated for several months and all its details perfected, it could be extended to cover the entire range of County purchasing. Such a plan, with its impartial and efficient approach, would be pleasing, we believe, to a public which has heard a lot about 40-cent butter recently.

Marse Henry's Acres

He May Regiment The Skeeters, But As For These People, He Is Going To Have His Hands Full

Grand and lusty news comes out of the South with interesting frequency, but there's none more appealing than recent tidings from Georgia. It was all a piece of coincidence, of course, but we found significance in the news that while an author named Margaret Mitchell was getting a master's degree from Smith College, where the little bas bleu Yankees go, a fine gentleman named Gerald O'Hara in Miss Peggy's hometown of Atlanta was sternly rebuking the new Imperial Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. It was Gerald O'Hara, of course, who was the master of Tara in "Gone With the Wind," which got Miss Peggy something like a million dollars--and a degree at Smith. To be sure, today's O'Hara is no Irisher cotton planner, but a Catholic Archbishop and 'twas a fine thing, we've been thinking, for one with such a name to be giving the back of his hand to the Klan.

More importantly is what's going on down in the small county of Bryan, near Savannah, on the Cuyler River and the Coast. This is where a new landlord has set himself up with more acres than the first Gerald or his fellows ever dreamt of--more land, maybe, than any Southern planter ever actually cultivated. He has 90,000 acres, many of them doubtless smoky with the miasma and singing with the insects of the Atlantic swamps. And therein he has to contend with a microcosm of all the Confederate ailments: pellagra and malaria; sharecroppers and the tenant system; poverty and ignorance; the one-crop system and the lack of green foods to eat; prejudice, po-white trash, landlords and Negroes. It will all be set forth there, under the hand of any man who has the temerity to own such an appalling lot of land as 90,000 Georgia acres.

The landlord is Henry Ford. And now--well. Now we really do have something, for here the arch-antithesis of all traditional Confederate approach has put his efficient million dollar hands on the plow handle. We shall see whether the belt assembly method will work with 'taters, houn' dawgs, pig and hominy, soil erosion, shiftless folks and a glamorous, heat-shimmering climate more conducive to the yawns than crisp decisions.

Marse Henry will have to deal with more than the geographical and climate curiosities of South Georgia. He will have to deal, God help him, with the proudest, most independent lot of men ever birthed. They can be led maybe. But they cannot be regimented, Marse Henry, or even prodded. Old General William Tecumseh Sherman played the devil to learn that very thing, and nothing much ever came of it but a lot of grief.

Still, there's one inescapably happy thought about the experiment. Those Georgia country boys and their pappys are unquestionably the world's premier and master chauffeurs of second-hand Fords. Their rattle-trapping marks the Southern countryside today more emphatically than any other one thing. Perhaps, after all, you see, Marse Henry and the Crackers will have a great deal in common.


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