The Charlotte News

Tuesday, February 13, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Let's see... Caucasus...Russia...Asia...Caucasians. Aren't they all Reds and Yellows?



Boss Green’s Explanation Has Some Holes In It

Boss Bill Green, chaffing under the hair shirt that is Westbrook Pegler, has at length got around to trying to explain why he hasn't done anything about Mr. Willie Bioff, the convicted Chicago pander who is now head of the stagehands union in Hollywood, and who has been known to demand a $3,000 fee for the privilege of joining his outfit.

His critics, says Boss Bill plaintively, are unfair. It is not within his powers, under the AFL constitution, to remove any officer duly elected by an international union.

Which may be so. And still we remain hotly unsatisfied by Boss Bill’s explanation. In the past, we recall, Boss Bill has had his ways of getting things done when he wanted them done. He wanted the CIO heaved out of AFL, and he got it--though many of his most powerful lieutenants doubted and still doubt the wisdom of the move, and though the rank and file of the AFL certainly displayed no enthusiasm for it. And when he wanted the typographical union suspended for refusal to pay an extraordinary assessment to fight CIO--an assessment which the typos maintained was quite illegal, since they had had no opportunity to vote on it--, he got that done, too, and again against the judgment of many of his lieutenants and the rank and file of the AFL.

We may be wrong, but we are confident that if Boss Green wanted to turn on the heat, he could get rid of Mr. Bioff in short order. In any case, he could certainly state plainly to the unions and the public just exactly what he thinks of having a pander as head of a union and turning a union into a racket. So far, however, he has remained thunderously mum on Mr. Bioff.


If Britain Leaves Crews To Fate, She Has Cause

Whether or not all the British warships deliberately left the crew of the German freighter, Wakama, to their fate after they had set fire to their ship and abandoned it, still remains to be fully established.

But the remark of the officer of the Hawkins, which turned about and left the scene immediately, certainly suggests it. Said he:

"As far as I know the crew of the "Wakama" is still in small boats, because in wartime when a ship sets herself afire or scuttles herself, a warship has no obligation to rescue the men."

The case of the Columbus bears out the same suggestion. When the American naval vessel arrived on the scene and picked up the men, a British destroyer was standing by and apparently doing nothing about rescuing them.

If this is now the British policy, it sounds harsh and brutal. Nevertheless, it is to be observed that the British have much justification for resorting to stern measures to discourage the scuttling of captured German merchantmen. The ships are immensely valuable to England, and each time the crew destroys one of them it makes her defense that much weaker—deprives her of the legitimate fruits of her naval strength. And the men who sink her are as certainly engaged in an act of war as any man who fires a cannon on the Western Front or pilots a bombing plane over the Firth of Forth.

Moreover, it is to be observed that the Nazis are anything else but nice fellows. They not only sink merchantmen without warning and leave the crew to drown en masse. They bomb defenseless fishing vessels in contravention of one of the oldest laws of war, and machine gun the crew as the vessels sink. And if England feels that, in dealing with such a fellow, she cannot afford to stand too much on chivalry, it will be hard to blame her much.


The Nazi-Red Propaganda Takes In Youth Congress

We have expressed confidence before in the declaration in the accuracy of the Dies Committee's report that the rank and file of the Youth Congress is not made up of Communists or Communist sympathizers. Nevertheless, it is obvious that the Communist-Nazi propaganda has been singularly effective among them.

All efforts to get so much as a hearing for a resolution to express sympathy for Finland and disapproval of Russia's wanton attack on the little country were noisily shouted down. The wife of the President of the United States had to ask them not to hiss while she discussed the Finnish case.

And there was plainly in evidence a gross suspicion that the President is trying to get us into war, and a disposition to attempt to persuade the American people that such is the case and that the only way to avoid it is to yammer senselessly and everlastingly about our desire to keep out of war under any circumstances--itself an idiotic position.

All that is precisely what the Reds and the Nazis want. The Reds only the other day were shouting for a holy war on the Nazis. But now they have changed their tune and are moving heaven and earth to make it appear that aid for the Allies or Finland, even any expression of sympathy for them on our part, is bound to land us in the middle of the struggle.

It is a pity that the majority of the youth in the Congress has fallen for this stuff.


We Are Very Far Away From It At Present

The statement of Senator Taft in Greensboro last night that a New Deal victory this year means dictatorship, was a sad thumping of a dead horse.

This cry has been raised steadily ever since the New Deal came into power, and was particularly loudly vociferated all during the campaign of 1936, the Supreme Court fight of 1937, and the so-called "purge" of 1938. Mr. Arthur Vandenberg solemnly warned the nation. Mr. Frank Gannett solemnly warned the nation. And thousands upon thousands hysterically echoed them.

But we have got no dictatorship and were never in danger of having one. The Supreme Court fight had a half-dozen precedents in the history of the nation. And the "purge" was no purge but simply an ill-advised attempt on the part of the President to use his influence to secure the election of Senators more cooperative with him.

The wisdom or unwisdom of the New Deal policies is one thing. We suspect many of them, are convinced that some of them are totally wrong. But the statement that they add up to dictatorship is simply one which will not stand up under logical analysis. It is an attempt to settle the argument by an appeal to mass emotion–by inciting wild, unreasoning terror and anger in the crowd.

It might be true that if the spending policy continued to be indefinitely expanded–Senator Taft, it is to be recalled, does not propose to reduce it below seven billions annually--, the stage would be eventually set for dictatorship. But the point at which that would become true is still immensely far away. And the New Deal itself begins to show signs of realizing that it had better not be approached too closely. Meantime the sole effect of these dire warnings of dictatorship is simply to decrease the general confidence and to make a recovery of a reasonably stable economy more difficult.


It May Be Scene Of First British Move In East

One of the current rumors about the huge British and French colonial army which General Weygand has collected in Syria is that it is to be used for an offensive against Russia in the Caucasus.

That might well have the effect of relieving the pressure on Finland in the north. But that would be only an incidental purpose. Primary purpose would be to paralyze Russia by depriving her of oil and making her unable to aid Germany in any fashion. Russia is perhaps even more dependent on oil than the United States, for the collective farming is very largely carried on by tractors.

Moreover, her main oil supplies are concentrated in the Caucasus, principally around Batum on the Black Sea and Baku on the Caspian. The wells of the Aspheron Peninsula are the richest in the world.

Seizing Batum by a sudden attack ought to be easy for the British-French army if Turkey goes along with them. For Batum lies almost on the Turkish border. Taking Baku would be more difficult since it lies the width of the Caucasus away and the country is mountainous and difficult. However, there is a railway from Batum to Baku, and a campaign through the passes is by no means impossible.

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.