The Charlotte News

Wednesday, June 29, 1938


Site Ed. Note: There is also from this date's page a by-lined piece by Cash, "Utopia for the Artist", taking the measure of WPA relief for struggling artists--the "mediocrities", as he terms some of them.

1600 Martyrs

Officials of Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus appear to have been telling the truth when they maintained that they couldn't continue to operate the show unless employees take a 25 per cent cut in salaries. At any rate they are carrying the big show back to Winter quarters in Clearwater, Fla., and for the first time the show has closed in the 54 years of its history. And, despite the current obligations about the allegations about the "capital strike," men don't close up shop in an immensely valuable business when they can make any money at all or even when they can make ends meet.

What the obdurate refusal of the unionized employees to consider the deal got them, we can't make out. They are out of jobs now--1,600 of them; and with most of the other circuses already out for the count, the prospects of getting jobs look pretty bleak. We had always thought that even a poor job was better than no job at all. But maybe they console themselves with the thought that after all they still have their principles.

Suffer the Children*

To the 76th annual convention of the National Education Association, Senator Thomas of Utah forthrightly declared:

"Federal aid for education needs no defense before a group of this kind."

Boy, we'll say it doesn't! To talk to educators about Federal aid for education is like talking to hungry dogs about juicy bones, or to the kiddies and about ice cream cones. For what Federal aid to education comes down to in the first analysis is, federal aid for educators. The dear little children may get something out of it in the end, but in the beginning the teachers are most certainly going to get theirs in the form of salary increases.

And that's why the mention of Federal aid for education always sets us to snarling. From these inculcators of knowledge and seekers after truth, of all people, one would expect candor, the plain argument that they are entitled to and would very much like to have better pay. One gets instead a sob story about the dear children.

Gentlemen to the Test

The exigencies of an undeclared war and the inconsiderate resistance of the Chinese have forced Japan to change its commercial methods again. Its pre-undeclared war system was to import all the raw materials it could get its hands on and export the finished goods at almost any old price. This built up balances abroad which it could turn into munitions and other war supplies, as well as new machinery from more industrial production. But when the hostilities with China commenced, nonmilitary imports were cut to the bone in order to conserve Japan's economic strength for the brawl in China.

For years Japan was, in consequence of its former policy, the Southern cotton farmers' best customer and the Southern mill men's most irksome competitor. Not even ten-foot tariff walls prevented the Japs from dumping their specialties to hostiles on American shores, shipments in bleached cottons alone rising from 50,000 square yards in 1932 to 30,000,000 in 1935. Finally it became so bad that an American cotton textile mission went to Japan and got a gentleman's agreement from the textile manufacturers there to obtain a quota of exports for two years.

The first of those years, 1937, Japan not only observed the quota but fell short of it. This was due in large part to the drastic limitations upon imports established by the Konoye Cabinet in order to strengthen the sinews of war--a policy which went into effect in March, 1937. It is that policy which Japan has reversed again in favor of the old system of takee allee can gettee and sell um chleap. And it is that reversal which, in this uncertain year of 1938, is going to show whether our little friends of the Orient are the gentlemen they subscribed themselves to be or exponents of the philosophy that all is fair in war.

In Full Swing

Despite rain and cool nights, the silly season has been developing normally this week.

In Irvington, N. Y., Mrs. Hedi Heuser, pretty divorcee, decided she had a yen for Millionaire Rollo K. Blanchard and moved into his house with the announcement that she meant to stay there until he married her. Millionaire Blanchard went out and sat on his yacht in the Hudson until the lady got tired and went home. Which, when you think of it, maybe wasn't silly in Mr. Blanchard.

In Philadelphia, His Royal Highness, Prince Bertil of Sweden, preparing to attend a luncheon in his honor, couldn't find his pants.

In New York, Dr. Stuart Rice, of the U. S. Central Statistical Board, speaking before the American Association for the Advancement of Science, saw "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" as darkly significant of the world's will to run away from bogeyman like Musso and Adolf into sweet and gentle fantasy.

In London, Mr. Neville Chamberlain told the House of Commons that German guns commanding Gibraltar and capable of sweeping the Strait constitute no potential menace to the British Empire.

And in London, physicians told old George Bernard Shaw to stay away from controversial subjects and not to talk to anybody.

Mutiny at the Dock

U.S. marshals last night took 25 striking seamen off the steamer Sagebrush, of American registry, in the harbor at Philadelphia and charged them with "conspiracy to mutiny" on the ground that they had refused to work--apparently, that is, to take the ship to sea--at the command of their officers.

The CIO protests angrily, and this time CIO seems to have a point to make. There is an enormous difference between a ship at sea or in a foreign port and a ship in her home port. On the sea, inexorable reasons of the safety of passengers and cargo, of the ship, of the very members of the crew themselves, require that the old iron law of the sea, under which the will of the master is absolute, must be maintained. But in the ports of the home country there is no sufficient reason why that law should hold. Otherwise, a ship's crew can strike only when they were unengaged, and that would be the height of futility.

Mr. John on the Job

Mr. John Carson better look after himself. He takes that job of Consumers' Counsel to the National Bituminous Coal Commission too seriously. All sane men know that what he was appointed for was to make a noise like the Federal government busily arguing that regulation of the bituminous coal industry oughtn't to mean higher prices to coal consumers--when, in the very nature of the case, it is bound to. But Mr. John seems to labor under the impression that it is really his job to do the very best he can to keep the price to consumers as low as is possible in the circumstances. Thus, when the commission last November published minimum schedules without bothering to consult consumers, he raise such a rumpus that in the Spring it had to abrogate the whole proceedings and hear him through.

And in that hearing Mr. John said that the coal operators themselves had asked for this thing, and since they had, they had no ground at all to expect to have the rates fixed at figures which they themselves offered as fair, but that on the contrary they ought to be fixed on the basis of an examination of their actual costs of production. And that, further still, the public ought to be let in on the findings so it might know exactly where it stood. And he argued so persuasively that the commission ruled with him. Wherefore, the coal companies were so outraged that they appealed to the circuit court. But Mr. John has gone up there to argue it out with them--with a very good chance, we bet, of winning.

All the same, Mr. John had better look out for himself. It is not like that that jobholders keep their jobs.

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