The Charlotte News

Friday, July 22, 1938


Site Ed. Note: "Lord Halifax to Paris" tells us pretty much what would happen two months hence at Munich, the selling out of Czechoslovakia by the Chamberlain Government. And, in not resisting the fait accompli, the French indeed would ally with the hangman for their own hanging, come spring, 1940 and the little high-boot shuffle by the railroad car at Compeigne.

Do we not faintly hear Cash here, nearly breathless, rushing onward hard along the road to meet a deadline?--at least one of a sort.

Meanwhile, back in Charlotte, in the continuing saga of the comfort station to be or not to be in the cemetery, while the cute, pretty things were in bed now, of course, dar, the City Fathers were trying to endorse fair the reincarnation of Paul Revere's horsehair. We--meanwhile, we are on the pavement with the NYA's shoes--or something like that.

Service on a Word*

A great many people probably are puzzled at this new hyphenated word pick-a-back which has appeared in the stories of the plane flight from Ireland to Montreal--the "papoose" plane, some fellow called it, because of the manner in which it takes to the air. A four-engined, 20,000-lb. seaplane, it is securely fastened on top of a four-engined, 40,000-lb. mother seaplane. All eight engines turning at top speed, the two ships skim as one from the water, and when they have obtained a sufficient altitude the fastenings are loosed, the loaded papoose plane sets out for its destination and the lightened bottom plane returns to its base.

It's an English invention. As for pick-a-back, that's only a familiar word all dressed up in Eton jacket and topper. Millions of American children have demanded to be ridden piggy-back--their arms around your neck, their legs locked anywhere from your waist to your Adam's apple, depending on their reach. Hence, when the English say pick-a-back, they really mean piggy-back. Quaint, aren't they?

Who Owns It?

We are somewhat bewildered by the arguments flying around in regard to the old cemetery and its use as a park. The news reports for Wednesday had the ladies of the D. A. R. contending before the City Council that the City had no right to its use on the ground that it belonged to the First Presbyterian Church. Then Dotty Knox reported them as explaining "the City Fathers gave the cemetery to the D. A. R. 35 years ago," that they have had it in custody since, and that "they wanted to move that the handling of this property should never come before the City Council again." To which Dotty added on her own account: "The City appropriates $200 a year of the taxpayers' money for this tax-free property..."

What we want to know is how, if the cemetery belongs to the church, the City Fathers assumed to hand it over to anybody 35 years ago and since? And what, if it belongs to the church, they are doing appropriating annually $200 of taxpayers' money for this tax-free private property? And by whose authority this public money was used to put up barbed wire and "NO TRESPASS" signs to keep the public out of the place?

On the whole, it seems desirable that the City Attorney should look up title to this property and tell the City Council who owns it.

Site Ed. Note: Yesterday's prints, in which was contained Mr. Agar's piece...

Come and Get It!*

Herbert Agar, the newest and perhaps the most reasonable of our editorial page columnists, was writing yesterday about the National Youth Administration. His theme, an undertone in his dominant theme that the New Deal is in reality a conservative influence, was that NYA had made "four million young people" feel that somebody really cared what happened to them and had prevented great waste and human devastation, all at an annual cost of less than the price of a single battleship.

NYA undoubtedly has done a lot of good. With $30,000,000 a year, it should have. But we dislike Mr. Agar's picture of four million young people sadly reflecting, until NYA came along, that they were babes in a cruel world. In the first impingement of NYA in this neighborhood, the shoe was on the other foot. That was back in 1935.

NYA had quotas to fill, among them a quota for assistance to high school students. In Mecklenburg County, for some reason or other, there was more assistance to be had than there were eligibles to apply for it. And what did NYA do then? Why, it changed the regulations so that practically any high school students would be eligible for it. The administrators just stopped short of sticking their heads out of the window and shouting, "Come and get it!"

That's another side of relief. It not only takes care of the helpless but in some instances teaches helplessness to the people.

Lord Halifax to Paris

Last February Mr. Neville Chamberlain sent Lord Halifax to Berlin. Purpose No. 1 was to dissuade Hitler from getting too hoggish with Austria. Purpose 2 was the purpose which has long lain closest to Mr. Chamberlain's heart, the formation of an alliance between England, France, Italy and Germany, and the abrogation of the alliance between France and Russia.

Hardly was Lord Halifax in town, however, before Hitler spectacularly summoned Chancellor Schuschnigg of Austria to Berchtesgaden and laid down the law. Lord Halifax went crestfallen home, and in England the Opposition said that it was a shame that the English dignity should beg on the doorstep of a former house-painter--and get the door slammed in its face. Then in March Mr. Chamberlain sent Lord Halifax back to Berlin, with pretty much the same objectives. Lord Halifax did, according to one story, assure Hitler that England wouldn't fight about Austria but that grabbing it would make her pretty mad and thus upset the new alliance. Whereupon--Hitler grabbed Austria for keeps. And Lord Halifax was snatched hurriedly home, and in London Mr. Chamberlain, deciding to do nothing about Austria, announced that any further negotiations for his alliance would have to begin with Hitler.

Then in London yesterday it was announced that Captain Fritz Wiedemann, Hitler's secret envoy, had turned up with a "personal message" looking toward "improving English-German relations" for and with a Formula by Hitler for solving the Czechoslovakian Situation. And all that probably adds up, in likelihood, to a move toward the alliance Mr. Chamberlain has so long sought.

Reason is that Hitler is in a quandary about Czechoslovakia. The Czechs have made offer of every concession that could be made, short of surrendering their sovereignty over the Sudeten Germans and short of abrogating their Russo-French alliance, and leaving themselves helpless before Germany. But beyond that they have apparently made up their minds to face a war of extermination rather than yield. But if Hitler makes war now, he is pretty likely to have the Russians before him, and the French at his back. And England? As Mr. Lippman was saying recently, nobody knows about England. If she came to the aid of her ally, France, then Hitler would have little chance of winning. But if she didn't, his chance would be better. And if she could be persuaded to make it clear to France beforehand that she wouldn't aid her, then France might stay out altogether, which in turn might well keep Russia out. And if France could be high-pressured into abrogating the Russian-Czechoslovakian alliance to begin with?

In short, Hitler one way or the other, seems to be moving to break up the Russo-Czech-French front, with a view to securing a free hand in dealing with the Czechoslovakian republic. And apparently with the active backing of Mr. Chamberlain. For Lord Halifax, and not the German representative, carried the "formula" to Paris. If the Czechs stand by their determination, the scheme, if successful, probably means that Czechoslovakia will be turned into another and perhaps bloodier Spain. But Mr. Chamberlain has shown no scruples about using Spain as dog-meat in his deals with Mussolini, and so none is to be expected here.

The real difficulty is the French. A canny people, they will be hard to convince that their interest will be served by the alliance proposed by Mr. Chamberlain, by breaking off with Russia, and leaving their Czechoslovakian ally to her fate. Traditionally, they dread the ascendancy of Germany in Europe more than they dread any other one thing and history pretty well bears them out in that position. The spectacle of the heavily armed Third Reich strong along their eastern border already has them much worried, as does the spectacle of Mussolini establishing himself at their southern doorway. What concerns them even more immediately is that for the last year, the Nazis have been boldly carrying on in Alsace and Lorraine--once held by Germany and both occupied by greater numbers of Germans than Czechoslovakia--the same sort of propaganda which has the Sudeten Germans in revolt against the latter country.

They think, and perhaps have good reason to think, that the only thing which saves them just now is that Hitler is presently intent on moving east, and that he hasn't got food supplies enough to risk a war by trying to lord it over them. And--Hitler wants to move east to get those food supplies. And--Czechoslovakia is the key to those food supplies. Let him once take it, and the road will lie wide open to the great wheat reservoirs of his allies, Hungary and Roumania--capable of supporting his armies and his people through a war of any period of duration. Therefore the French are very likely to see the German-Chamberlain scheme as a proposal for an alliance with the hangman for their own hanging.

Still, Mr. Chamberlain holds the whiphand in his alliance with France, and so may get what he wants, however reluctant she is to grant it. And if he doesn't--his eagerness may quite possibly drive the allies apart, and secure Hitler some chance of having England stand aloof from France if war comes.


Site Ed. Note: And to cap it, today's, also.

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