The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 11, 1940


Site Ed. Note: We take from the page below a concise statement of qualifications and platform of one of ten candidates standing for Governor of North Carolina in 1940. The News afforded each, in these days leading up to the primaries, a forum in which to put forth their spiel.

Colonel Simmons, though, you will have to admit, suggested in bold print aplenty a plethora of reasonable and heartfelt positions, the implementation of any one of which would certainly have changed the course of mankind for time and times to come--everything from staying out of the war in Europe for it being "not our fight", to somehow curtailing spending and taxing levels back to the time of Woodrow Wilson, to drawing down American mill wages to be competitive with the 7 to 26 cents a day Japanese wages, or at least, by implication, that is the way we read it. Or, what would he have done? We canít quite figure it. But he sounds awfully convincing at it, whatever it was to be. And, on top of it, he did not even wish personally to have office, which is why he insisted at the end that campaigns cost MIGHTY BIG MONEY, and so invited the help of the readers to his campaign, steeped as it was in magnanimity and progress.

To paraphrase Menckenís statement about the money: when somebody says, "Itís not about the office," itís about the office.

In any event, he got his wish: he was not nominated for Governor, or for Vice-President, either. James Broughton, a Democrat, would eventually win the gubernatorial nomination and then become the next Governor. Big spending Liberal, anti-Billy Sunday, 35th(?) President FDR and MIGHTY BIG LIBERAL spender, Henry Wallace, would become incumbent President and new Vice-President, respectively.

But, to tell truth, if the Colonel could have just strung enough words together in front of a period a couple of times to make one or two complete sentences, he surely would have won both offices, thumbs down. After all, he was a farmer. And, he was taciturn. And, he was the only veteran running for Governor. And, low tax man, also. Get marching.


Candidate for Democratic nomination for Goverrnor.


MY name mentioned for Vice-President of the United States. Also, Governor, North Carolina.

I own farms in seven states.

Personally I do not wish office of any sort.

1--I'm only war veteran in race.

2--I'm only farmer.

3--I am only low tax man candidate for Governor.

My battle orders (as I am only war veteran in show):

On the march all 4,000,000 men, women, boys and girls in state of North Carolina.

1940 BUMPER CROP--PLOW 'EM ALL UNDER SAVE ONE. Dr. Clarence Poe of Raleigh, editor of Progressive farmer, a farm journal with over one million circulation, mentioned for President of the United States. Colonel Simmons by Federation War Veterans meeting Chicago, for Vice-President of the United States. Year 1902 Colonel Simmons served as NATIONAL COMMANDER IN CHIEF, FEDERATION OF WAR VETERANS. Now, year 1940, candidate for Governor of North Carolina as LOW TAXMAN, AGAINST A FIELD OF HIGH SPENDERS.

Colonel Simmons is one--only one--of 71,284 WAR VETERANS offering as a candidate for State office in North Carolina, 1940.


TAXPAYERS! With the seat of our pants worn thin from many beatings and ramshackisms. Unemployment and relief will soon reach 50,000,000, or nearly half our people. Taxpayers in 1932 were knee deep in mud and mire; now waist deep in mire and mud. HIGH SPENDERS WIN IN 1940 and 1942. OVER THE HILL AND TO THE POORHOUSE--ALL TAXPAYERS. The state of North Carolina cotton mills and hosiery mills pay wages $2.00 to $9.00 per day. Over in Japan cotton mills and hosiery mills pay 7 cents to 26 cents per day. Mills in Japan run day and night. The American mills stand still one-half time.


Year 1913, total of all taxes in United States--Federal, State and local--$2,935,652,000. Year 1935, total $17,665,952,000. Annual income of only $48,000,000,000.

United States from Washington to Wilson, 31 Presidents [sic], 124 years, spent $24,931,649,000. United States 1934, 1935 and 1936, will spend $24,000,000,000. IN THE NAME OF GOD, ARE WE CRAZY?


Write it down in words that cannot be erased. America's destiny is as high, as free, and secure as America's courage will let it be. We who are responsible citizens today can wreck America and its institutions beyond the powers of our children or children's children to repair.

COLONEL SIMMONS in addressing the Merchants' Club of Danville, Va., said: "There is no reason, economic, financial or social, to justify the United States getting in the war. This is not our fight."


Reverend Billy Sunday said: "We are all punished more for our mistakes than for our sins." We all have many of both. Taxpayers have worked and voted for "High Spenders" for the last 30 years, and we have had Debt and Relief and Taxes increased in many ways 6,000 per cent. CAMPAIGNS COST MONEY--CAMPAIGNS COST MIGHTY BIG MONEY. PLEASE HELP. SIMMONS FOR GOVERNOR. ORGANIZE, WORK AND WIN.


An Editorial Gets Swift Action, But Not Enough

We ought to write a hot editorial, suggested a subscriber, about that abandoned rock quarry where the carnival boy drowned last week. Said it's a fearful hazard not only for the youngsters to clamber down its sheer sides and swim in its depths but that an unsuspecting wayfarer could tumble over the brink and never know what had happened to him.

Before we could act on the suggestion, the City Council had done something about the rock quarry; and that certainly shows the power of News editorials. They get action even while they are in a state of preparation.

Seriously, this great gaping hole in the ground is a hazard which the City cannot allow to exist. Discussion by the Council yesterday seemed to indicate its use as a dumping ground and its eventual filling in. But that will take years and years, and meantime a stout fence and occasional calls by patrol cars probably would discourage trespassing.

Solid Brass

The Nazis Offer Themselves As Champions Of Law

The German apology for the invasion of Denmark and Norway is the most brazen dish yet served up by the brazen Nazi Government, which has often candidly confessed its believe that the lie is the best of all implements of policy.

There is no claim this time about "oppressed German minorities" and "the wrongs of Versailles." All the world knew that the little strip of territory taken from Germany by Denmark after World War One was territory raped away from Denmark by an earlier Hitler called Bismarck, and that it had gone back by overwhelming vote in a fair and above-board plebiscite. All the world knew that Denmark and Norway had leaned over backward in their efforts to placate the Nazis. And so the Nazis offer themselves to the world as the protectors of neutrality and international law!

From the first day of the war Nazi Germany has followed a systematic policy of defying what is probably the single best-established principle of international law: that submarines and warships must give merchantmen and passenger ships warning and ample time to provide for the safety of the persons aboard before sinking them. From the first day of the war, German submarines have sunk the ships of neutrals--Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Belgium--without such warning, drowned over a thousand sailors and citizens of these countries, including over a hundred Norwegians.

Then the day before yesterday Britain laid some mines in Norwegian waters to prevent passage of German ore ships. These mines in no way interfered with Norwegian commerce. They were not calculated to sink a single Norwegian ship or drown a single Norwegian sailor or to injure Norway in any material fashion at all. Moreover, Norway had little fear that Britain was likely to land a single soldier on her shores, none at all that Britain had any real designs against her sovereignty. The violation of Norway's rights as a neutral was purely a technical violation of sovereignty, that and no more.

But on the basis of it the Nazis, dripping with the blood of murdered neutrals, ask us to accept them as the champions of neutrality and international law!

Case of Danes

Nazi Grab Imperils Little Country's Basic Economy

The Danes are making a great show of being brave and hopeful about it, but their case is a gloomy one. They are certainly in for immediate gratification, and for the present their liberties and existence as a nation in anything but name are done for.

And they are left in an exceedingly precarious condition economically.

The little country has lived mainly by truck farming, horticulture, and, above all, animal husbandry. Horses, cattle, sheep (raised for their meat rather than their wool), swine, and poultry (particularly geese), have been mainstays. Britain, along with Germany, has been her best customer for the products of such farming.

From Denmark England has got most of her butter and milk and eggs and poultry, much of her bacon, vegetables--in sum, foodstuffs. That market is now completely lost. The Germans, of course, will eagerly take what was formally exported to Britain--but on their own terms.

What is more serious is that the Danes require great quantities of feedstuffs for their animals. And the country grows more oats, barley, and rye than any other comparable area in Europe. But it does not begin to be enough. Hitherto, the necessary imports of such feedstuffs have largely come from Britain. But now, of course, they will be immediately cut off.

Nazi Germany certainly has no great surplus to supply the deficiency. For a time, perhaps, she may manage it, but if the war drags on and the British blockade holds, Denmark is going to face the prospect of distress.

What Is Clear

British Still Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

The precise details of what has happened in the Norwegian struggle are lost, at the moment, in the vastness of the land and sea operations taking place there.

Nevertheless, several things seem plain. One of them is that the British had the definite best of it in the fight in the Skagerrak yesterday, and have a good chance of being able to cut off the passage of Nazi troops and Nazi supplies to Norway through the Kattegat, the only safe and direct route.

Another is that the British navy is still an immensely formidable engine of war, which bombing planes are apparently unable to crumble. It is safe to assume that the Nazis used the bombing plane to its utmost possible limit yesterday. Moreover, it is clear also that the tradition of the British navy still lives in all its ancient vigor.

When it cut its way into the Skagerrak, it performed a feat of daring of the same sort as that of Nelson when he stood out from Cadiz toward the fateful Cape of Trafalgar, of the same sort as that which made the names of Drake and Hawkins famous all around the earth and laid the foundations of England's greatness.

For the Skagerrak was admittedly the preserve of the Nazi navy, was sown almost solidly with mines fields, and is so cabined, cribbed, and confined that the British superiority in numbers of ships is canceled out.

Another plain thing is that the Nazis are no longer so certain. Last night the Nazi radio blared warnings to the German people not to be over-optimistic, that the occupation of Norway "offer great technical difficulties and was exposed to the action of the British fleet." It is the first time in history of Nazism that its leaders have ever admitted that their march was not necessarily irresistible, the first time they have ever tacitly confessed the need for a hedge.

However, it is still best to remember that the British have not yet won a decisive victory. If they succeed in cutting off Norway from German reinforcements, then it is probably only a matter of time until they can force a landing on the Norwegian coast and ram in a large enough force to destroy the Nazis now in the country.

But it may be confidently said that Adolf Hitler will move heaven and earth to head that off. For if the British take Norway, it is virtually certain that they will not be long in closing in on the Swedish iron mines, which furnish over half the iron--all the first grade iron--which Hitler must have for war. Lord Halifax is generally supposed to have been talking about Belgium and Holland when he warned yesterday that if small neutrals about Germany persisted in refusing to ask for aid in time to prevent German occupation, the Allies would have to take the decision into their own hands. But it is more than probable that he was talking about Sweden also--and even primarily.

Of course, if Hitler's iron supply were shut off, the Nazi goose would be cooked, barring a lightning sweep over France--practically an impossibility. There is nowhere else on earth that he can get the iron, once Sweden is lost.

So the British have plenty of trouble ahead of it, are far from certain of victory. Already Hitler is reported to be preparing to demand that Sweden allow Nazi troops to cross Swedish territory to Norway, under penalty of the occupation of southern Sweden.

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