The Charlotte News

Tuesday, November 2, 1937


Site Ed. Note: The more we consider the Bay of Pigs, we tend to agree with President Kennedy, that it gets "better and better and worse and worse", that the Administration got it right.

If you canít for the Dickens figure out what he was suggesting, and consider it one of his less lucid moments of record, think about it some, after reading thoroughly this dayís newsprint.

We would have to offer correction to Captain McIver, incidentally: it is Robeson, not Roberson. We ought to know, Capín. We hope the news of it reaches you before you commit any further major faux pas. Good luck in all your battles. We hope you recover your blankets. ĖEditors, 145 years post.

Report on a Report*

Another sample of the alert and intelligent council-manager administration with which the City of Charlotte has been favored these last few years is to be found in the Annual Report for 1936-1937. In booklet form, well-illustrated and with a whale of a lot of pertinent information within its covers, the report is itself an excellent work. As for the manifold municipal activities it summarizes, it is plain to see that they are not only capably directed but that the whole governmental organization has somehow acquired an esprit de corps which is essential to the success of any corporate body, public or private.

Surely the record of the administration for the preceding fiscal year must be a source of satisfaction to itself, of reassurance to its preferred stockholders, which is to say its bondholders, and a pride to its common stockholders, which is to say its taxpayers and citizens. As one of those last, we move that the report be adopted and that the management and the directors of the municipal corporation be commended for their stewardship. There being no objection, it is so ordered.

The Senator Is Cynical, and We With Him*

Senator Bailey, in Worcester, Mass., yesterday, gave bold vent to cynicism about the President's intention of really balancing the budget. He said he'd believe it when it actually took place, not before; and surely this is lese majeste of the worst kind. Senator Bailey ought to be ashamed of himself.

But if he is not, and if anyone cares to take issue with the Senator about his low appraisal of the President's intentions, it must be admitted that the cold, hard record is wholly on the Senator's side. The President has always been going to balance that dratted budget--next year. Last year he was going to balance it--next year, which has now become this year, and how remote that objective still is may be established in a moment merely by consulting yesterday's Treasury report. It shows that in the first four months of this fiscal year expenditures have exceeded receipts by 555 millions of dollars.

Balancing the budget is o-u-t for this year and has been postponed, for the nth time, to--next year. And this may be lese majeste, too, and we haven't the slightest idea that next year it will be balanced or approximately so. After all, it is beyond reason to take a man on the strength of his promises after five successive failures.

We Begin to Get It

In the old days they used to call old Mother Britain "Perfidious Albion." Napoleon, who had extended words, not to say blows, with her, in particular doted on the title. And there are times when one gathers dimly what it was Nappie and all the French from time immemorial were talking about. For instance, Mr. Anthony Eden, having yesterday announced the willingness of Britain to "go as far as the United States" at the forthcoming Brussels conference, proceeded:

"I feel I ought to make it quite plain initiative for holding the conference in Brussels never came from us at all but from the United States government itself."

Was that nice? Everyone knows very well that Mr. Roosevelt's Chicago speech was undoubtedly due in considerable part to the pressing pleas for cooperation which the British diplomats have been lodging at the State Department for the last two years. And everyone knows that old Mother Britain is in a fearfully hot spot, and that, with exactly ten times as much property in China as we have, with her Eastern empire stretching out straight in the path of the advancing little brown brother, and with Deuce Mussolini and Heel Hitler playing ring-around-the-rosie with her in Europe, she needs aid as she has never needed since the days when Boney was expected to land at Dover almost any day. But will she confess that like a nice old girl, and be duly mannerful about Mr. Roosevelt's promise, which was only a promise to "cooperate"? Not she. She is going to pretend that it is she who is rescuing us!

Yes, there are times when we sense what it was Nappie and all the French were talking about.

Site Ed. Note: For the full text of Roosevelt's Chicago speech of October 5, 1937, go here and here. In it, he advocated quarantining the unnamed bandit nations engaging in wanton warfare: "When an epidemic of physical disease starts to spread, the community approves and joins in a quarantine of the patients in order to protect the health of the community against the spread of the disease." Over the next four years, thanks in great part to greedy and unprincipled business tycoons, such as William Rhodes Davis, continuing to supply the warring nations with the precious commodities needed to wage war, as well as a stubborn U.S. Congress insisting at every turn on isolationism and denying aid to Great Britain and France until it was too late to stop the pandemic, this quarantine would prove ineffective.

Congressional Swindle Sheet

The first piece of business to engage the special session of Congress will be the voting of Congressmen's usual travel allowance of twenty cents a mile. That's comparatively lean pickings, for from 1866 down to the last few years the rate was forty cents. Even so--.

Take the case of that monumental foe of graft and corruption, Senator Hiram Johnson, for instance. Hiram is from California, and his allowance for the trip both ways comes to exactly $1,208.80. The actual fare, including a lower berth, is $217.50, leaving a net profit of $1,081.30. Or consider the Hawaiian delegate who travels 10,800 miles at 20 cents a mile, $2,160 in all. Consider even the case of unfortunate Senator Tydings who only has to go over to Baltimore, 40 miles away. Senator Tydings gets only $16 for the round-trip, but his net profit in the eighty minutes required for the journey is something over $11. Moreover, the Senators and Representatives do not even have to make the journey to collect. They can stay in Washington from one session to the next and still get paid. More yet, they are always paid the full allowance to their home towns, even though in the particular case they are only coming from Alexandria. Nobody ever asks them questions. That would be a reflection upon the honesty of our lawgivers, you understand.

Site Ed. Note: It is of little importance probably, except in passing strangeness, but we shall note it anyway--that the occurrence of the dangling "Even so--" above is the only such occurrence we have so far found, save in the last piece Cash is known to have written, on his impressions of Mexico, from Mexico, drafted in mid-June, 1941 and never published until 1967.

A Really Dangerous One

In Rio de Janeiro, the Government of Brazil, nominally still democratic but in actuality dictatorial on the fascist model, has ordered Mark Twain's "Tom Sawyer" out of the libraries and schools. That's swell, we think. For the book is subversive in its tendency and incompatible with the world which, on the word of the chief dictators themselves, is the destined order of the future. Doesn't it--the book--show us a pair of boys exercising their wicked individual impulses without due regard for authority and without any notion of their duty to prepare themselves to die for the glory of the State and its boss?

But while Brazil is going in for censorship, it ought to make a thorough job of it. In particular, we hope that they do not neglect to ban "Mother Goose." There's a real subversive book for you. There is mention, you remember, of "all the kingís horses and all the king's men;" which is an intolerable anachronism. There is the old woman who had so many children she didn't know what to do. She should have formed them into a company of baitlii, with toy guns. There are the beggars who come to town when in a well ordered society they'd be in work camps, and there's a tyke called Georgy Porgy who's anything but the fascist model of fortitude. "When the boys came out to play, Georgy Porgy ran away."

Down with Mother Goose! The fascist children should be raised on blood and thunder.

Just Between Us

Tell it not in Gath, but the special session crop control bill shaping up now in the House Agriculture Committee, is particularly favorable to North Carolina. The two principal agricultural commodities in Tar Heelia are, as every school boy knows, cotton and tobacco. But what every school boy doesn't know is that on the "bright" variety of the latter, what the headline writers call the weed and the reformers the filthy weed, we have something of a monopoly. It is vital to North Carolina's economy that that monopoly be preserved as far as possible, and how can this be done more effectively than by preserving the status quo? The bill under consideration by the committee undertakes to do precisely that by assigning quotas based on past production and by slapping a penalty tax of 50% on excesses--in fine, by compulsory control.

As to the production of cotton, North Carolina has slumped far down the line of the Cotton States. At that, it maintains its position only by a profligate use of fertilizer and the necessity of the small farmers and tenants and sharecroppers to raise a cash crop of some kind even if at a loss. It is important to North Carolina, therefore, that her farmers be allowed to continue to raise this cash crop and that quotas be not too rigid and penalties for exceeding quotas not too severe. The bill as it is shaping up in the House Agriculture Committee contemplates the regulation of cotton production by inducement--in fine, by voluntary control.

Now if the committee would just include a provision limiting Virginia's peanut crop and giving the go-ahead signal to North Carolina growers, everything will be jake.

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