The Charlotte News

Monday, July 3, 1939


Site Ed. Note: The editorial page this date carried a letter to the editor commenting on the reprinted Dave Clark piece carried June 21, on which Cash made editorial comment the same date in "Literary Critic". It draws attention because it is signed "MORON" of Winder, Georgia, perhaps, referring to the letter printed on June 22, (and maybe even Tillie Eulenspiegel's on June 27). (Winder is known as the place from which Senator Richard Russell hailed, but we don't mean to suggest anything by it.) Unfortunately most of the letter is too dim to reproduce and so, for now, we'll have to pass on showing most of it to you.

It begins:

"I have just received a clipping from The Charlotte News captioned 'Dave Clark Spots Two Reds,' and regret that the editorial to which you referred parenthetically was not included.

"The Textile Bulletin editorial was heady stuff. Dave did a thorough job of excoriating Frank [Graham] and Paul [Green] but I know you had a [indiscernible word] of an editorial in rebuttal and that your friends emerged with a white halo about their heads instead of a red one."

It concludes, referring to the CIO, the United Textile Workers Association, and the AFL:

"The mill workers are poor misguided souls--abysmally ignorant of the fact they are killing the goose that lays the golden egg. But they had better go slowly. Too many parasites are ruling them as a means to an end.

"Now dear Editor, things are not always what they seem on the surface; there's always an inside story. But before you admonish me to go enroll in a kindergarten class, I'll skip along. And besides, I think I smell my ice cream burning!"

Whether Moron in Winder was keeping Cash files, and whether the reference to "kindergarten" referred to W. J. Eulenspiegel's book-page editorial, "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion; or, Ride for a Learned Man", of June 12, 1938, we don't know. Best not mess too much though with those who have the facility to commune on occasion with Mnemosyne, even across decades--hmmm, maybe even lives sometimes; else one could wind up looking like--well, a moe-ron; as did the celebrated Mr. H.

Still Bumbling

Mr. C. Leaves Mr. H. Much Too Much Room For Doubt

Apparently Great Britain at last means business. For France and Poland have given Hitler joint and explicit notice that any attempt to bring Danzig into the Reich, either by the use of force or by "voluntary decision" of the Nazis in the Free City to exercise "the right of self-determination" and "come home to Germany," will mean war, it is a moral certainty that they have done it only after the great partner in the alliance agreed to back them to the limit. And the statements by "spokesmen" of the British Government bear out that supposition.

But if this is so, it is a crying pity that Mr. Chamberlain seems constitutionally unable to say so directly, bluntly and unequivocally. And in his speech yesterday he mentioned neither Poland nor Danzig, but confined himself to saying again that Britain would resist "aggression" with all her force. And that sort of vagueness is carefully dangerous just now. Adolf Hitler is plainly a man who is given to taking his wishes for facts. He as plainly wishes to believe that England will not fight over Danzig. And with the record in front of him, he has all the evidence he needs to convince him that what he wants is so, and that he is on his way to another Munich. It is quite possible that he is so reckless that not even the most explicitly worded declaration would swerve him from his purpose. But it is also possible that, backed by the pressure of the few sane leaders left in Germany, it might achieve the goal. Certainly, if England and France do mean to fight, this seems the one hope of averting war. And not to make use of it is inexcusable.

Shot Called

Mr. Dabney's Intention Is Proved Right To The Hilt

It would be pleasant, masters, to have you think that it was all the result of our exceedingly nimble memory--the publication on this page yesterday of the article from Scribner's Magazine for September, 1937, wherein Don Wharton recounted how Huey Long selected the obscure and essentially undistinguished Mr. James Monroe Smith to be prexy at Louisiana State University after ten minutes' conversation had shown him that Smith could be trusted to be wholly and forever subservient to his orders.

But alas, rigid uprightness compels us to say that we clipped it from the editorial page of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, edited by Virginius Dabney. And as for Mr. Dabney's memory--we respect it, but we think we know the secret of how he reached back and pulled this article out, made to order for these times. He read it back there in 1937 and cannily filed it. But if that detracts a little from the reputation of his powers of memory, it more than makes up, we guess, by adding to the reputation of his prescience. For we think we know, too, why he filed it. He filed it precisely because he felt that a man selected for such a place merely on the basis of his lack of integrity and his willingness to play stooge to crooked politicians was likely to land in trouble soon or late. And no prognostications of the future ever turned out to be more right.

Site Ed. Note: On the way down to the Bowery, the Laird walked by a Guernsey cow...

Man Won't Talk*

Reporter Asks A Pertinent Question And Gets A Diffuse Answer

Mr. Timothy Pridgen's assignment, "What does Cameron Morrison think of the New Deal, especially its farm policies?" produced no startling disclosures, and not a single upset. The Laird of Mussocroft blandly directed the conversation towards livestock and the Lords and Ladies of his aristocratic herd, and, when Tim pressed the New Deal question, deftly parried it by holding forth on the virtues of the gr-reat Democratic Party, which is something else entirely.

Well, a man, particularly a man who has retired from politics, is entitled to the privacy of his opinion. And yet, the Senator is always delighted to sing the praises of the Democratic Party. And he is on record as daring any Democrat, now or in 1940, to repudiate the record of Roosevelt. So why doesn't he come right out and say frankly that the New Deal is the stuff?

Because he doesn't altogether approve of it? Yes, that, to be sure. Otherwise, he would have no reticence. And because, being a good organization man, and the New Deal at present being more or less in control of the Democratic organization, his allegiance is in the bag. And to expect him to give vent to the disapproval he must feel at times, is equivalent to expecting him to concede that Guernseys have their points over Jerseys.

All the same, Mr. Pridgen found out this much--that while the Senator, bless his shaggy old loyalty, won't talk out against the New Deal, he won't talk out for it.

Book Review

Mussolini's Generals Stir Up The People With Fantastic Brag

The Government of Italy is sponsor for a new book which has just been published at Rome under the title of "Armed Forces of Fascist Italy." Among those who contribute to it are Marshal Pietro Badoglio, chief of the combined war forces; Gen. Alberto Pariani, Chief of Staff of the Army; Admiral Cavgnari, head of the Navy; and Gen. Giuseppe Valle, head of the Air Force. To characterize it is easy: it is simply one huge mass of brag. Marshal Badoglio though states it as his solemn opinion that the army, militia, navy, and air force of Italy represent finer fighting men than the world has ever elsewhere seen. General Valle allows that Italy has succeeded in creating the "perfect airmen." General Pariani thinks that Italy will win the next war very quickly by "a terrific lightning assault to shatter the enemy lines and full exploitation of victory."

All that is, from one viewpoint, simply comedy. Most observers are agreed that the Italian airmen gave a very poor account of themselves in Spain--that if the Spaniards had had equal forces they would have been shot down in short order. And as for the Italian land forces, they ran on the single occasion when they faced fairly equal odds, just as they ran at Caporetto when the Austrians succeeded finally in organizing and equipping themselves. And far from succeeding with any sudden "terrific lightning blow," it took them two years to overcome a virtually unarmed foe. No sane military man anywhere outside Italy--including the Germans--believes that the Italian army could crack the French army.

But there is more than comedy in it. For it is calculated to betray the Italian people into eager readiness to risk a war. And that is a dirty trick.


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