The Charlotte News

Tuesday, April 26, 1938


Site Ed. Note: ...And on your visit to Matanuska, be sure to go by the most accessible glacier in Alaska, the one to which you may easily reach by putting the pedal to the metal and pumping two hours' and probably $350 worth of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere from your gasaholic SUV to get there; but be sure to watch your head for falling 'cicles, for she's going down faster by the stern than you can say, "Matanuska ain't there no more, pardner; it's a beach now."

But, nevertheless, we heard a feller on the tv yesterday talking and talking re the vision thing, about renewable energy resources, hydrogen vehicles--, and drilling for oil up yonder in Alaska. So we're donning our Klondike boots and heading out that way in our Hummer American to join the Party, be Patriotic, and Yammer endlessly about being Less Inter-Dependent on Foreign Oil Reserves and More Inter-Dependent on Destroying Our Own Moraines and Other Natural Carbonic Resources in America's Cold Kodiak land at an even greater pace than before by lowering the pumping prices. We therefore join up with this new movement, one to get behind: HAPPYLIDFORMIDDOOMONCRACK.

Salve for Malignant Sores

The umpteenth homicide of the year--we have lost count, they have been coming so fast; the total for these 116 days is somewhere around twenty--was committed Saturday night. One Negro is said to have let go at another with a shotgun, and the other polished him off with a pistol. God is love.

So yesterday the Baptist group of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Ministerial Association held a meeting during the course of which they denounced:

1. Sunday movies;

2. Sunday baseball;

3. Easter bunnies containing rum-flavored candy;

4. Beer-drinking in the public parks.

A Case for Mr. Hull

We trust the State Department will lose no time in making it perfectly clear to the Japanese authorities that it wants Mr. Melvin Gibbon turned loose pronto. The wisdom of Mr. Gibbon's serving the Chinese Government as an aviator is open to question. But that does not in the least effect the fact that the Japanese have no legal ground for detaining him. The Japanese Government, by its own assertion, is not at war with China. Ergo, it is nonsense for it to claim that Mr. Gibbon has been making war on it. There is no allegation even that Mr. Gibbon has ever dropped a bomb on Japanese territory or flown over an inch of it. At the worst, he has merely dropped bombs on Chinese territory at the command of the legal and sovereign Chinese Government. If Japanese bandits happened to be in the way, that is simply too bad--but not for Mr. Gibbon.

In any case, Mr. Gibbon was not captured while under arms or while still in the service of the Japanese [sic] Government. Nor was he taken on either Japanese or on Chinese territory, but on American territory. He was seized on a Dollar liner, flying the American flag, when she touched at Yokohama en route from China to Vancouver. Which is precisely as though he had been seized in the streets of San Francisco--or Charlotte.

Finny Tories

In the rivers of Alaska the great run of the salmon from the sea to the shallow waters where they spawn has begun. In swollen shoals they are sweeping upstream past the fishing grounds. They need to be taken quickly, for, since the fish do not feed while they are in fresh water, their condition deteriorates rapidly. And on this catch depends 80 per cent of the revenue of the great territory of the north, and the jobs of 20,000 men in canneries.

But in Seattle the fishing fleets lie becalmed though they should already have been on their way. And, indeed, they may not sail at all. For the canneries have announced that unless the labor disputes which are holding them up are settled by Thursday, all plans for the 1938 season will be completely canceled.

Labor disputes, we say. And that, you think, would be wages and working conditions? Not so. There was a dispute about wages, but that has been settled satisfactorily. What is holding the sailing now is a dispute between the AFL and the CIO as to which shall be the exclusive bargaining agency. Both claim a majority of the workers; neither will compromise. And under the law, there is only one way to settle the matter--by an extended hearing before the National Labor Relations Board. But the salmon are reactionary creatures of tradition, and there is no New Deal among them. Unmindful of questions of union jurisdiction, of Wagner Acts, or anything at all but their will to propagate, they--$45,000,000 worth of them--sweep stubbornly on past the fishing grounds, and will not wait for the NLRB.

Gaul Balks

M. Daladier's announcement that France isn't going to have anything to do with four-power pacts including Germany seems to leave Mr. Neville Chamberlain's policy in the shape of the celebrated cocked hat. Insofar as it is possible to discover the aim of Mr. Chamberlain, it appears to have been his hope to split the Berlin-Rome Axis and erect this four-power pact on its ruins.

But that hope hinged on the assumption that he could dragoon the French into following his lead. In the case of Italy, he had gone so far before he let them in on the secret that there was nothing much they could do but make gestures of acceptance, though it may be guessed that they were bitterly reluctant. The French are "realists" of a very different cut from Mr. Chamberlain--such realists as don't for a second believe that Mussolini is going voluntarily to get out of Spain and abandon the Majorca base which enables him to block the French road to North Africa.

And as for Germany, these Frenchmen remember vividly how Bismarck falsified the Emperor's telegram at Ems and tricked foolish Napoleon III into ruinous war, and what happened to both Belgium and France when they trusted the German word in 1914. They know very well that Hitler means soon or late to retake Alsace and Lorraine, and to destroy the French power. They know that the price of a pact with them would inevitably be the abrogation of the pacts with Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia, giving him a free hand to the East. And that all that would simply mean an opportunity for him to wax strong enough to strike them and that they would be left isolated when he decided to strike.

One doesn't blame the French. One simply marvels that Mr. Chamberlain ever thought he could force them into this curious policy.

Biology and Streamline

Civilization seems determined to get along badly with biology. Thus, one of the things it has been doing for the last fifty years or so is to make it increasingly difficult for people to get married early. The young man in our time who has to make his own way is more and more inclined to wait until his thirties and even his middle or later thirties before acquiring himself such a consort as was once referred to as "an helpmeet." Up to that time it is impossible for him to keep himself, not to say the lady in the case, in the style to which he may be accustomed.

But one Jacob Yerushalmy, Ph.D., of the Division of Maternity, Infancy and Child Hygiene, New York State Department of Health, told the American Statistical Association at Atlantic City the other day that studies made by himself had established that children born of parents in their twenties, and particularly children of fathers from 25 to 29, are much more likely to live and grow up into strong, healthy individuals than children born of older parents.

Old Dame Nature, in short, seems not at all to have foreseen Henry Ford, Murphy beds, installment buying, permanent waves, and the seven-billion-dollar deficit.

Report From Matanuska

From a six-month visit with the colonists in the Mantanuska Valley, Alaska, and from subsequent correspondence, Dr. H. M. Colvin, legal counsel for WPA, has acquired the material for a factual report. They are thriving. Of the 200 relief families that were moved into the wilderness three years ago, 160 are still there, and twelve new families have taken the place of the quitters. The baby crop has held up well, 123 blessed events having been celebrated. And about the vegetables which grow so fast and so large, but... it isn't true that they are tasteless. From actual experience, Dr. Colvin testifies:

"Nowhere in the world have I seen better looking or tasted as fine flavored beets, carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes, radishes, rhubarb, rutabaga and turnips. Barley came to my chin and oat and pea hay had to be cut to keep it from falling of its own abundance and weight."

The colonists carry guns to church like the old Pilgrim Fathers, but to shoot chance game instead of Indians. In addition to feeding and partly clothing themselves, the settlers sold $27,000 worth of provender and stuffs last year; and Dr. Colvin predicts that when they have cleared all the land allotted to them, they'll gross $238,000 a year.

All of which is very fine and not a little thrilling. The rehabilitation of human kind is always thrilling. But there is one detail undisclosed which is necessary to complete the report from Matanuska and give the picture perspective. How much has it cost?


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