The Charlotte News

Sunday, January 23, 1938


Site Ed. Note: While we are not certain of attribution to Cash of any of the below pieces save "Not Too Easy", he would contribute to the book-page of this date "Now What Is a Book? Sinclair vs. Tribune". It should be noted that his book-page contributions began to skip weeks starting in January, 1938, continuing into February, with only one contribution in April, returning to a weekly rate in July, only to slip away again in latter August, with none in September, as Munich began to preoccupy his attention. It is likely also that he was using these periods to work on the book, even though not submitting a book-page piece meant not receiving an extra $3 for the week and a free book in the bargain.

"In Nature's Chapel" presents the ban of hunting on Sunday, for its being contrary to the Sabbath's spirit, as being another example of a Blue Law without reason, save that in this case giving guns a rest; but then questions whether or not the woods and field do not afford a kind of pantheistic gestalt, wherein the cathedral's ceil finds its limits only in the blue and clouds above and the altar appears magically out of the tabular rock encountered by the rushing stream around the corner of the bend in the path through the ashen down enmeshed with the pine needle floor of the realm, in all of which the huntsman might, amid this quiet room where the timber walls return gentle Echo, find his deific spirit--whether Diana or the fox or the deer, or just that of the snark, only the hunter could know. But, then, one finds the same thing without a gun or other apparatus for hunting anything save the reward of the impulses of vast freedom, occasioned by the sensal experience of the setting itself, one sensible as such in so simple an exercise as a Sunday hike instead.

Wait a While*

South Carolina's Legislature, which meets every year, is running almost too smoothly. The House has got half through the appropriations bill, increasing items here and there, voting down amendments to reduce other items, taking time off to pass a bill eliminating the State's five-mill property tax, and in general acting like a body that knows where it's going and wants to get there as soon as possible.

Ah, but this, we know from past experience with legislatures, especially South Carolina's Legislature, is too good to be true. Increasing appropriations and taking off taxes is good work, as long as it lasts, but there must be, in the nature of things legislatorial, an end. And that will come when the Legislature has to lay its finger on new revenue to cover the higher appropriations and to replace the discarded property tax. And at every spot it touches there will be a raw nerve exposed, and a resulting great outcry of pain. And that will be when legislating ceases to be fun and becomes a downright bother.

In Nature's Chapel

Not, apparently, from any sudden righteous impulse, but merely to make its regulations conform to the general law of the State, the Board of Conservation & Development has drawn up a rule against hunting on Sunday in North Carolina. And the rule is well substantiated by the more basic law, which reads:

Anybody found hunting on Sunday with a dog or, except in defense of his own property, found off his premises with a shotgun, rifle or pistol, is guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined not exceeding $50 or sentenced to jail not exceeding thirty days.

The sabbatical hunting day is probably a good thing for the continuing supply of game birds in the state, and beyond that it is the preference, in all likelihood, of most people who live in the country. But suppose the landed proprietor didn't mind, or, better still, that the huntsman owned or had leased the preserves over which he shot--is there any reason justifiable in morality or simple seemliness of behavior to forbid a man and his dogs to take to the fields in the hope of finding sport or, in rarer cases, food?

We trow not. And as for religious worship, which cannot be made compulsory, even by indirection, our Sunday huntsman might well retort to the arresting game warden that, in the love of Nature, he was but holding communion with one of her wholly visible forms. The game warden wouldn't understand, but the Board of Conservation & Development, it is highly probable, would.

We Learn About a Senator

Before this, nearly all we have known about Senator Ellender of Louisiana was his name and his political origin. But the Congressional Record for Monday, January 17, gives us a very large dose of the Senator. The whole Senate report, running to 21 closely-packed pages, is devoted to the Senator and his filibustering speech against the anti-lynching bill, together with remarks and questions of the numerous gentlemen who accommodatingly interrupted him.

The Senator, it is manifest, has a pretty gift for words. Indeed, and though he filled up considerable pages by the device of reading letters and telegrams and quoting from numerous presumably learned books, the Senator may be described assuredly as a veritable word-spout. The [indiscernible word] Senator, is a poised and polite man, Jim Ham Lewis, no mean heckler, did his best, but Senator Ellender was as sleek as ever when Jim Ham retired baffled from the fray. Whether the Senator may be a logical man or not we can't, however, make up our minds. The burden of his argument seems to be that the passage of the anti-lynching bill will at once bring on wholesale legalized miscegenation in Dixie--to which we are moved immediately to retort, "Nerts!"

Still, we are sure that it wouldn't be unfair to judge the Senator's logic by that yardstick. For, after all, the Senator is engaged upon a filibuster. And, in the nature of the case, a Senator engaged on a filibuster is bound, whatever his native capacities, to make noises like a man foolish in the head.

Time Will Tell*

Conferees of the House and Senate seem to have agreed upon provisions in the farm bill relating to cotton. For 1938, a crop of 10,000,000 bales will be the goal, and on such quotas as may be allotted to individual farmers, benefits will be paid. If, further, the farmers decide that they do not care to take another chance upon voluntary co-operation, compulsion may be invoked by referendum among the growers. If it carries, cotton produced in excess of quotas will cost the farmer two-cents-a-pound penalty to sell. In addition, he will forfeit his benefit payments. Senator Bankhead estimates that the total penalty will come to about six cents a pound.

Well, it may work. AAA, in its original form, bolstered by the high-handed Bankhead Act, had the prime virtue of working. On the other hand, the indirect approach to crop limitation by benefits for conserving the soil did not work. Look at that 18,746,000-bale crop last year, the biggest there ever has been. At the same time...

Yes, at the same time, whether it works or not, willingly assumed or no, this business of the Government's saying unto this man that he may raise but so many pounds of cotton on his own land without paying confiscatory taxes, this necessity of policing the farmers fields to make sure that he has carried out orders, this awaiting of instructions from Washington before setting plow into earth--is a great risk to take with liberty and initiative for the sake of a few cents' difference in the price of cotton. We are not prepared to argue, in the face of the farmers' preference, that it is too great a risk, but if the years show it to have been, we shall say to ourselves that we told ourselves so.

The Elder in Pink

"Some of his [President Roosevelt's] followers think the whole capitalistic system is not [in the public interest]. Mr. McNinch of the Federal Communications Commission is a favorite of this group and was put where he is partly for that reason."

Thus General Old Ironpants Johnson holding forth in the column to our right anent Elder McNinch's ruling that the radio broadcasting companies must keep everything "not in the public interest" off the air, under penalty of losing their license.

Wherefore we break out laughing. And so we take it will most people in this territory where Elder McNinch is known. Remembering the Al Smith campaign, Tar Heels will find the picture of Mr. Word Wood's Elder as a pink, or as having got into office because the pinks think he is a pink, most whoppingly droll.

And yet--and yet--. Maybe we go too fast. Along back in January 1935, when the Elder was up for confirmation to his second term as boss of the Power Commission, Senator Bailey told the Senate:

"This man's course within these four years has shown according to my judgment... just a disposition to accommodate himself politically to the circumstances as they arise in order if by any means he may continue to hold a public position."

What the Senator meant, we gather, is that the Hon. Frank is a sort of political chameleon. And if the Senator could have been right: why, then, we suddenly recall that among the colors a chameleon can take on when it serves his purpose is--pink.

Not Too Easy

Japan, in pursuit of its dream of the hegemony of all Asia, is reported to be planning to go forward with a scheme to build a canal through the Isthmus of Kra, to the end of circumventing the British base at Singapore which at present impregnably bars intruders on the road to India.

The Japanese will encounter some difficulties in attempting to build a canal through this isthmus which belongs to Siam, and lies some 750 miles north of Singapore. Physically the difficulties will probably be about equal to or a little more than those which broke the back of the French in Panama and which came very near doing the same thing to our own government. The width of the Isthmus of Kra is just about that of the Isthmus of Panama--some 48 miles from shore to shore and 53 from deep water to deep water. But whereas in Panama the Gaillard Cut had to be put through eight miles of mountain range, the great mountain chain which runs through most of Siam and the Malay Peninsula falls to mere low hills in Kra.

On the other hand, jungle, mangrove swamps, and mud flats offer even greater obstacle than in Panama. The climate is even more humid and hot--even more impossible for northern-bred men. The natives, too, are even less minded to work. And there are such fevers in Kra as make the old Yellow Jack at Panama look mild.

Moreover, in addition to the strictly physical difficulties, the Japanese may have also to overcome one very serious obstacle that was not present at Panama--the guns of His British Majesty's Navy.

Site Ed. Note: The rest of the page naturally resides here.

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