The Charlotte News

Sunday, February 6, 1938


Site Ed. Note: As perhaps extension and elaboration, to an extent, of "Ten Authors", Cash also contributed on the book-page of this date "Spartacus to James Branch Cabell", positing that, for all his modernist cloak, even Cabell, with his widely censored Jurgen, was at base no more than a Southern sentimentalist, a logical extension into the early Twentieth Century from the likes of syrupy romanticist and Southern apologist Thomas Nelson Page of the latter Nineteenth, though also with recognition that it was not the same brand of sentimentality. For, at heart, this Southerner, this American, is, for all his pretensions to the hard-nosed contrary notwithstanding, a sentimentalist.

The rest of the page is here.

No Southern Monopoly

The Southern filibuster against the anti-lynching bill, we think, has plainly been conducted on a shabby plane. It has kept matters of first importance waiting. It has been used for the greasy political end of embarrassing the administration. It has shown us our Bailey hurling books around like an avenging prophet, The Man Bilbo boasting cynically on the Senate floor of Negro-hazing in his state, Ellendar arguing solemnly that the bill's passage would result in wholesale legalized miscegenation in Dixie. But, for such comfort as may be in it, we note that at least it hasn't been only the Southern opponents of the bill who have behaved shabbily in the case.

Friday, after the Senate had refused by a vote of 59 to 34 to shelve the bill, the cautious Associated Press reported:

Some informed persons said privately that many Senators probably took advantage of today's vote to get themselves on record as favoring the anti-lynching bill. This group, it was contended, would be willing to drop the fight if the filibuster continued...

That is to say, these hon. gentlemen give not a whoop for the merits of the measure itself. They use it simply as a means of greasing the Negro voter and the Association for the Advancement of Colored People. And having succeeded in persuading these that they are for it, they're perfectly willing to see it die--maybe, many of them, even relieved to see it die.

Adolf's Round

Hitler, from this distance, seems to have won Round One. For two or three months now, stories have been leaking out of Berlin to the effect that his power was cracking, and that the high command of the army was preparing to take over the real rule of the country. And when, last week, the fifth anniversary of his rise to power came around, the correspondents reported that, while great crowds participated in the torch parades, the crazy enthusiasm of past years was ominously lacking. Perhaps that last was what nerved the generals, with Von Fritsch at their head, to test their power by forcing out Hitler's pet, Von Blomberg, from the War Ministry, the final key, of course, to control of the nation. Certainly, the alleged reason that the latter's wife, carpenter's daughter, was "socially impossible," seems pretty thin in view of the acceptance, for instance, of Dr. Goebbels's frau. But, for the moment, Adolf has clearly nipped all that in the head by seizing command of the army himself.

It is perhaps an unfortunate denouement for the world at large. For, megalomaniac tin-hats though they are, the generals do have some sense of reality, and enough sanity to make them calculable. But, according to the virtually unanimous verdict of those who have seen him closely, Hitler is unpredictable, a paranoiac, a wild, dreaming fanatic, convinced that he is resistless, who, in a fit of mania, might take one of his own inflammatory speeches seriously and act upon it.

Prescription For The Doctor*

Three new policies have been laid down by Revenue Commissioner Maxwell for the guidance of the State Highway Patrol. With only one of them are we concerned, which is that, "Patrolmen are required to spend the major part of their time on highways outside municipalities"--in fine, to ride herd on [indiscernible word] instead of--well, instead of [indiscernible word] it is [indiscernible words] patrolmen [indiscernible words].

[Indiscernible words] policy should becomes a rule we shall probably encounter more patrolmen on highways and take comfort--and caution--from the meeting. But is the State prepared to swallow its own medicine? No Governor has ever hesitated to jerk twenty or thirty officers off the roads and assign them to policing strikes or escorting visiting dignitaries or supervising the parking of cars at big football games. These were not the purposes for which the Highway Patrol was organized, and while the boys have come in mighty handy for such details, the record shows that the number of persons killed on the highways has increased from year to year.

Madam and the Sea

It is easy to understand Madam Perkins when she advises the Senate Commerce Committee that she thinks that the labor provisions of the new maritime bill would be a mistake, and that the seamen and ship owners ought to fight their troubles out. Madam is charged with responsibility for representing the opinions of organized labor in the councils of the nation--is, in one sense, more Secretary for Labor than of Labor. But Madam has her duty to the nation, too. And it may be doubted that this is other than bad service to labor itself.

The real issue here is discipline on the sea. The bill is the work of Joe Kennedy, who, as Chairman of the Maritime Commission, found discipline on American ships going rapidly to pot.

The bill denies the right of seamen to strike at sea or in a foreign port, but that is the only rule consonant with the perils inherent in the sea and is in fact no greater limitation than the law already imposes on railroad men. And on the other hand, it sets out to force the shipowners to pay decent wages, provide decent quarters and food, and recognize the right to unionize, and to strike in the home port. In brief, it seems to be aimed at restoring discipline by settling the shipping quarrel on a rational basis.

Madam's proposal that two sides be left to fight it out is grotesquely out of keeping with the general philosophy of the New Deal. And it would probably mean that the struggle would go on for years, with a good chance of discipline's ultimately blowing up so completely that American ships would virtually disappear from the sea and passengers from those few that were left.

Is It Rebellion?

Dave Clark, in the current issue of his Textile Bulletin, sails into a Mr. K. M. Biggs, of Lumberton, calling him weak-kneed. Occasion of Dave's wrath is this: Mr. Biggs was recently made president of a cotton mill in his town. On the petition of its employees, he held a collective bargaining election under NLRB auspices, as the Wagner Act requires. And when the NLRB certified that the vote turned out in favor of the CIO, why, Mr. Biggs, in accordance with the terms of the law, proceeded to sign a contract with the CIO as the sole bargaining agency in his plant.

Doesn't Dave believe in collective bargaining with the CIO under the terms of the Wagner Act? From the above, it seems plain that he doesn't, or at least not in writing.

Ah, then, but he believes in collective bargaining with the AFL under the terms of the Wagner Act? He has never said so, and he has said a great deal to warrant the presumption that he doesn't.

But, in any case, he certainly does believe in collective bargaining with somebody under the Wagner Act? Well, but surely he believes in obeying the law of the United States?

Ten Authors

Doc Billy Phelps (William Lyon in his official incarnation) has been naming the "ten greatest living American authors" at intervals for the last thirty years. And every time he has had to change them, and not because of death. But what would you do if you had once named Gertrude Atherton as one of them?

Anyhow, in his latest list, just out, he instates these:

Stephen Vincent Benet, Booth Tarkington, Pearl Buck, Willa Cather, Sinclair Lewis, Edna St. Vincent Millay, George Santayana, Robert Frost, Eugene O'Neill, and Dorothy Thompson.

What do you think of it? Ourselves, we immediately haul out Tarkington and put in Theodore Dreiser. The author of "Sister Carrie" may fumble his sentences sometimes, and he is indubitably depressing, but all the good stuff Tarkington ever wrote is dated. Pearl Buck comes out in favor of Thomas Wolfe. Remembering the excellence of "John Brown's Body," we still take out Mr. Benet for the benefit of Ellen Glasgow. And what about putting in Dorothy Thompson and leaving out the creator of Poictesme? Nonsense! The lady is a good reporter and analyst, but besides Cabell as an author she seems hopelessly dull. So she'll have to make way.

But, ah, now; we are convicted of prejudice in favor of the Confederacy, whereas we were merely indulging in [indiscernible words].

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