The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 21, 1940


Site Ed. Note: We pause a moment this Good Friday of 2008 to indicate that this March 23rd Easter will be the earliest since--1940, when it occurred on March 24. The last time Easter occurred as early as March 23 was in 1913, eleven months after the Titanic sunk. Before that, the previous March 23rd Easters were in 1856 and 1845, prior to that, 1788 and 1600. The only earlier Easters, since 1550 anyway, were on March 22, in 1573, 1668, 1761, and 1818. There will not be another so early as this one until sometime after 2050; see you at the hunt. Roll up.

The moral, perhaps, to all the Hitlers of the world, big and small: don't count your eggs too soon, for when dyed, they tend not to hatch.

For our part, if you study it all closely enough, you will see that we predicted sucessfully not only the first-round opponent, but also the outcome.

Next up?...

Well, we shall let you know our prediction tomorrow, though as to the opponent, we already clued you earlier, before even the pairings were set forth.

The rest of the page is here.

Eye For Eye

Germany Is Again Reminded England Is Not Poland

When the Graf Spee encountered an inferior British naval force off Uruguay, the Nazis got their first concrete notice that they were not now at war with Poland or Czechoslovakia or Austria--with weak peoples who made easy pickings.

Second notice has been served. Over the week-end Hitler launched the first of those great and terrifying air attacks which he has continually threatened. Large numbers of bombers roared over Scapa Flow where the British battle fleet had been gathering, raining bombs. The Nazis claimed to have hit a half a dozen ships, to have put three battleships or battle cruisers out of commission. Neville Chamberlain says they hit one, did not much damage it, hit no battleship or battle cruiser. Anyhow, they had struck, had killed one civilian, wounded seven more, in the course of the bombing.

So Tuesday night the British struck back. For seven long hours bombers roared in unending relay over the island of Sylt, sandspit which is Germany's northwesternmost outpost, her air base for operations against the coast of Scotland and the Scottish naval bases. Ammunition dumps exploded, hangars, ramps, breakwaters burned or collapsed. Next day, the bombers came back, and after them, as the final nose-thumbing gesture, came photographing planes to collect proof of the British claims.

Nazi Germany, in sum, is at war: a war which neither threats nor words of any sort will win. Perhaps she is destined, as she proclaims, to destroy England. No one can be sure of the outcome. But this much emerges as fairly certain: before she does it, she is going to feel the sword as Germany has not felt the sword since the Wars of the Reformation.

Manager Wanted

The Former One Goes Into Business For Himself

Jim Farley had an unlucky break yesterday on his "frank and without reservation" announcement for the Presidential nomination. Britain had just staged the most exciting air raids of the war. Daladier had just resigned for lack of a confidence vote. And Jimmy Cromwell had just stuck his neck out for the first time--as Minister to Canada.

As a result, the Postmaster General's disclosure that he too, along with an assortment of lesser men, was suffering from Presidentitis, aroused no great excitement. In fact, it barely made the front pages.

Nobody, we take it, expects Jim to put on much of any race. He isn't impressive enough. He's too generously tarred with the machine-politician stick, and he is a Catholic. Al Smith could tell him something about the handicap of the wrong religious label in a country that was founded on religious tolerance.

Jim's announcement fell sort of flat, to say the least: nevertheless, there was news in it. For if Jim is out for the nomination on his own hook, FDR will be left for the first time to run (if he runs) not only without benefit of Jim's astute management but with Jim against him. And those who in the past have had Jim against them are quick to point out that he is an adversary of the first importance, with many a vote in his pocket.


Doughton Points Out Real Weakness Of Hatch Act

Lining up against the amendments to the Hatch Act passed by the Senate, Representative Robert L. Doughton says:

"I am opposed to any coercion of Federal or State employees in regard to election matters. At the same time I do not want to see anything done that would abridge their constitutional and inherent right to exercise the franchise in a free and proper manner."

There is no reason to doubt his sincerity. He opposed the original Hatch Act. And he remains in politics only on the insistence of his constituency and, as the reports have it, at the direct request of the President himself. Certainly, it makes a better argument than the States Right cry raised by not a few men who were hot for the Hatch Act so long as it promised only to curb Federal employees controlled by the New Deal from Washington, but who are now dead agin it when it proposes to extend its control to state employees partly paid by Federal funds--to the employees in the state highway departments, etc., upon which the power of these politicians rests.

Candid fact about the Hatch Act is that it is attempting to reach San Francisco by sailing due east. Presumably, the evil at which it is directed is pay roll electioneering--the practice of the big shots of forcing jobholders to kick in a part of their pay for a campaign chest and to engage in political activities for the boss, under tacit threat of having their jobs taken away if they refuse.

But to achieve that end, it does not address itself to the activities of the big shots, but instead makes it a crime for the little boys to engage in political activities almost in toto. That is distinctly an invasion of their right of franchise and not only theoretically. For many of them unquestionably want to engage voluntarily in such activities.

Maybe Congress feels that this is the only practical way to go about the matter. But if so it is a sorry admission. For it amounts to saying that the only way to keep the political big shots in the straight and narrow is to bind and gag their henchmen.

As A Starter

Veterans, Like Power Lobby, Plead Widows & Orphans

The organized veterans of the World War have taken a leaf from the book of the G. A. R. and the vested interests. What they didn't have the gall to plead for themselves, they have asked in the name of the widows and orphans. To begin with, that is.

A House committee has given its whole-hearted approval to a new and wedge-like bill authorizing monthly pensions to the dependent widows, orphans and parents of World War veterans whose death was in no wise service connected. Widows with children, for example, who married the deceased veterans before May 13, 1938, would draw from $28 to $56 a month, depending on the size of the family. Childless widows would have to produce a marriage license dated prior to July 3, 1921, and then would receive $20 a month.

But the dates and the amounts are of no consequence. Both may be liberalized by succeeding Congresses, as similar legislation in behalf of the G. A. R. was successively liberalized clear up into Teddy Roosevelt's time.

The thing that is important, however, is the declaration that the Government has an obligation to the families and men who wore the uniform (but who may never have seen the firing line and who, in any case, came through the war with whole skins and sound constitutions) over and above the obligation it has to the families of the ordinary citizens. For, of course, once the veterans' organizations succeed in getting the family obligation recognized, the next step will be to have it extended to the ex-soldiers themselves. And then the country, despite painful experiences of the past, will again have assumed a general pension running up into the hundreds of millions annually, and running on into the next century.


This Protest Indicates Real Value Of Russia's Promises

Russia gives its hand pretty thoroughly away when it begins trumpeting that for Finland to enter a Scandinavian defense pact would be to violate the "peace treaty" just signed.

Article 3 of that treaty binds each party not to join a coalition against the other. But does anybody suppose that Moscow trembles for fear that the Scandinavian nations are getting together to gang her? Nobody who is quite bright does, of course.

Nobody can even believe that she fears that they are forming an alliance with Finland, by way of opening the way for other more powerful nations like England and France to attack Russia. The recent war demonstrated conclusively that the very idea scares Norway and Sweden into conniption fits.

The only way the Finn-Swede-Norwegian coalition could be directed against Russia would be as a defense against active aggression on her part. And when Russia denounces it, she simply discloses that she herself has such aggression in mind--has no intention of really respecting the independence of what is left of Finland or of not attempting when it suits her to take over the domination of the whole Scandinavian Peninsula, pious declarations and protestations to the contrary notwithstanding.

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