The Charlotte News

Saturday, April 5, 1941


Site Ed. Note: The editorial reply to a letter to the editor this date employs, or should we better say deploys, the word "angary", which means, according to Oxford: "In full right of angary (from the French droit d'angarie): the right of a belligerent to use and destroy, if necessary, the property of neutrals." From its usage quotes, we are informed that, as of 1880, its most recent invocation was in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71. All of which leads us inevitably back to the White Cliffs of Dover...

Whether, strictly speaking, the right of angary was subject to use by a neutral against a belligerent, absent international maritime law provisions, might be questioned; but on general notions of reciprocity under the law, one would think it probably not a very logical position to allow a belligerent to act against a neutral and not allow the neutral the same latitude in its ports. But then, would the neutral not then become a belligerent by so acting, much as the letter suggests the United States might become vis à vis Italy and Germany? Does the right of angary not then lead to expansion of a war, rather than its containment?

After all, were journalists sent to cover, say, a football game or a boxing match, and, should the combatants deem it desirable and necessary to their ends of winning the game or match, then were subject to being tackled or punched, some few journalists thusly co-opted might well turn at least to the law, if not active tackling and fisticuffs, on their own part to resist the gesture.

In the case of the seized ships of Italy and Germany, it is really too bad that such a simple act did not lead to war in that instance. If it had, perhaps millions of lives might yet have been saved which were lost. Or would the eight months difference in mobilization by the United States have meant so much? Was the United States, even still ill-prepared for war in terms of ships and a well-trained military by December, yet ready for war in April at some disputed barricade? Might have involvement in the war at an earlier time been riddled with the problems magnified which beset the early war effort in 1942 and 1943?

Hindsight is always perfect, and we do not therefore fault the good intentions of the couple who put forward this particular letter. It represented about half the country, as "Who Is Judas?" points out.

Hitler at this juncture still held out the hope that the United States would act as a broker for a peace settlement leaving him head of all Central Europe. Or were his aims so simple? Would he have ever been content with merely Central Europe? Was the bombing of England to subdue it to Nazi authority, or was it to obtain favorable peace terms with respect to already conquered territory? Was the invasion of Russia a similar offensive move in defense of perceived threats that it would come to the defense of the Balkans ultimately if pushed sufficiently by the Nazi Juggernaut?

Or was there yet more to it than that? Hadn't the previous five years of steady accession to territory, even if on the pretext, not applicable to either England or Russia, that greater Germania entailed all German people and so included the Rhineland, Austria, the Sudetenland, Danzig, etc., already shown the megalomaniacal will to accede to world power through subjugation of whole sovereignties, through the enslavement of convenient scapegoats and subjugated classes for the greater economic prosperity of the superior Aryan breed inhabiting Greater Germania? And in so doing, had it not now included Scandinavia, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France, the latter nations for no more than accession to territory and elimination of powerful potential resources arrayed against the Nazi war machine and the acquisition of a great wealth of national and natural resources for equipment and sustenance of same? there being in the latter invasions no excuse of German classes being denied their rightful heritage as in the earlier conquests and puppet-rigged plebiscites, only the spite and satisfaction of strutting before the railroad car at Compeigne.

Cash, meanwhile, in view of the division in the country over whether to proceed to war, was undoubtedly gnawing his fists during these troublesome times for the world, even if personally his time had become finally his own, triumphant, in what would turn out to be these latter 87 days of his life.

In his commencement address at the University of Texas on June 2, Cash spoke none of the cautious prediction of a quick end to the war on the horizon, the outcome dependent on the victor in the Balkan campaign, as he had in early April in the column. Just two months later, he was warning of sacrifices ahead as the world, including the United States, prepared, against what some had called the irresistible "wave of the future", to move into war on a different scale from that of the first two years of it. He was of course speaking to students many of whom themselves would be called or would volunteer to fight in that war.

The world was becoming grimmer by the day and the editorial page reflects the darkness. Indeed, in breeze of syntax and creativity of expression, we find the writing in somewhat deteriorating form from the earlier, less constrained times of 1938-39. It is not, we suggest, because of any deteriorating condition in Cash mentally, but merely from the weight of what he and everyone around him was considering, consciously or unconsciously, as the daunting task of another prolonged world war became steadily more apparent daily, with the encroaching tide threatening to envelop the United States in the fight, lest it be vanquished by the storm, an array of nations in the Nazi-Italian camp so vast and powerful economically and geographically, including the islands and empire interests possessed by France, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Great Britain, that the United States would be left alone only to try to woo to itself the good will of the Japanese warlords as an ally. Does it not then become obvious why the uneasy bedfellow of Stalin became an attractive alternative to the Allies, as confusing as the entangled and ostensibly philosophically antithetical alliances became? And which, after the war, led to the Cold War enmity of four and a half decades.

Such are the inevitable confusion and collective angst of such times, just as with what the country went through in the wake of September 11, 2001, and for at least three or four years afterward, just as the country endured in the mid to late sixties and into the early seventies with Vietnam. As they say, war is hell.

As to the latter period of our history, we may speak with fair memory, it was only the music, and perhaps sports, hijinx and comedy, which saved us from final insanity. But it was close, very close. And comedy, as taken by some so far as to be a deadly joke, may itself turn quickly to insanity rather than mere release from tension. But those who look back on those times with anger aimed at the home front, for its not cowing to the party line, the military line, the patriotic line, have forgotten too much of what the home front was really like. War is hell--for everyone involved. We shall say it again--in that one, and in the Cold War generally, we all stood the frontline, and daily.

In any event, through it all, we are still here, abated murder rate in Charlotte and all.

Perhaps, in part, it is because of the fact that people were moved to shoulder and thus took the time and effort to contribute what they could to the Red Cross drive and other such efforts.

Prosaic, indeed, perhaps even so as to the sending of a toy to Liverpool, 'ey all, wrapped in The Charlotte News, preserving the memory of war to instill peace in the infants to become the adults of the future?

Further up the road, further up the road, meet you further on up the road--the one which rises to meet ye...

Where the penny whistles are always playing blissfully.

A Shame*

Failure of Red Cross Drive Will Be Test of City

At the close of the day, Thursday, April 3, the Red Cross in Charlotte had collected $12,179.05. A total of 5,633 persons had joined. That compares with a goal of $24,000 and 11,000 members. Only six days remained before the end of the Roll Call. As this is written the second of those days is passing.

All this adds up to the obvious conclusion that unless there is a sudden great rush of people to join and contribute their cash, the Roll Call is going to fail of its objective--calculated on a minimum basis with reference to the needs.

It is, we think, a shameful commentary upon the city. Where, precisely, are all those people we are always encountering and hearing of who rush around wringing their hands and saying, "What is there I can do? It makes me feel so ashamed with those brave people over there behaving so magnificently!"

Well, here is one thing they can do--they can join the Roll Call and pay at least a dollar, more if they can squeeze it out, and plenty of them can.

But that's too prosaic!!! Is it? Only dopes think there is anything magnificent about shivering under bombs or being shot out of the skies. We may be sure that the people of England think their daily tasks are very prosaic, indeed, and that they do not spend their time in making rhetoric about it or posturing before their own eyes and those of their neighbors.

War is a grim, prosaic business everywhere. And in the winning of this one there is nothing which counts more certainly in the end than the seeing that the work of the Red Cross, in all its departments, is adequately carried out.

Site Ed. Note: Says also Oxford:


Forms: 4-7 hidel, 4 hidil, 5 hydle, hydell, hedell, 6 hidelle, hidle, hydel, hiddill. [f. hidels, -s being mistaken for the plural inflexion: cf. burial, riddle.]

Hiding-place; = hidels. in hidel, in concealment, in secret; but hidel, without any concealment, openly.

a1300 E.E. Psalter xxvi[i]. 5 He hiled me in hidel of his telde ai. a1340 Hampole Psalter Cant. 511 Him þat deuours þe pore in hidil. 1450-1530 Myrr. our Ladye 265 The same sowle+kepte close in the hydel of her deadely body. 1485 Act 1 Hen. VII, c. 6 2 Beyng in sentwarie or in hedell for youre querell and title. 1503-4 Act 19 Hen. VII, c. 36 Preamble, Sir Edward kepith hym in such hidelles and other places fraunchesed. 1508 Dunbar Test. Kennedy 53 I callit my Lord my heid, but hiddill. 1594 Jas. VI. Let. in J. Melvill Diary (Wodrow Soc.) 320 The retreat of our rebelles to corners and hiddilles. 1607 Cowell Interpr., Hidel seemeth to signifie a place of protection, as a Sanctuarie.

Who is Judas?

A Sacrosanct Man Boldly Calls FR, Others, Traitors

The isolationists have often loudly protested against the use of epithets against themselves, even such mild ones as "appeaser." And after Lindbergh, the man they have most loudly asserted must be immune from such attacks has been Burton Wheeler.

To suggest the slightest ill thing about that great man, we have been told, was to indulge in the lowest and most contemptible form of smearing.

All along that seemed a little odd, in view of such assertions of Burton's as that the President was deliberately plotting, without the slightest justification, to "plow under every fourth American boy."

And now we find him saying:

"In the midst of the Lenten season the American people are being betrayed into the arms of their enemies, the warlords, the modern Judases."

If you don't know or have any doubt--the Judases he is talking about are the President of the United States and his advisers, who are acting on a policy approved by a majority of the American people and two-thirds of the Congress. "Judas" is equivalent to "Benedict Arnold" or, flatly, to "traitor." What a traitor is guilty of is called "treason."

We have no intention of making remarks about the sacrosanct Mr. Wheeler. Merely we quote you the definition of treason as laid down in the Constitution of the United States, Art. III, Sec. 3:

Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. (Italics ours.)


Loss of Bengasi Is Not Likely To Mean Much

The main source of the British retirement from Bengasi before Nazi-Fascist forces probably lies in its propaganda value to the Germans, who are already trumpeting that it again proves the vast superiority of the Nazi soldier over the Britisher, exactly like Belgium last Spring.

It proves no such thing, of course. Neither did Belgium for that matter. Dunkerque is pretty conclusive evidence that if the British had had the numbers and equipment comparable to the Nazis in 1940 the Union Jack would already be flying over the ashes of Berlin. And in this case there has not even been a clash. On the Nazis' own say-so, the British withdrew while the Nazi-Fascist force was still 60 miles away.

Nor is there any reason to fear that this move really heralds a come-back of Nazi-Italian forces for the recovery of Libya and the invasion of Egypt. The British have undoubtedly greatly fanned out their forces in Libya for the expeditionary force to Greece and the Somaliland-Eritrea-Ethiopia campaign. But the approaching end of that campaign will release vast forces to again turn their attention to Libya. Moreover, the Nazis in Libya are certainly only a few thousands, lightly armed and sketchily supplied. To attempt a drive with that force, with the British in full naval command of the Mediterranean, would simply insure its butchery.

Finally, the British, in falling back, are simply taking up strategic positions and insuring themselves short supply lines from Bardia. The Nazi-Fascist supply line is already drawn out over 900 miles of desert.

The whole move on the part of the Nazis is unquestionably just another move in the war of nerves, designed to frighten Yugoslavia, Greece, and Turkey. Its chance of success is small.

Good Record

But Joyner May Yet Find Traffic To Be His Jonah

We were not precisely elated when Harry Joyner became police chief in Charlotte. He was just another man from the ranks, and experience had shown that such men were not very good bets, even when they possessed integrity and the best of intentions.

But it must be said that in his four months in office Chief Joyner has in general hung up a good record. The number of arrests has increased. More important, cases have been so prepared that the number of convictions has increased. And above all, under his direction the department has solved every murder case.

There may have been another four months in the recent history of the town when every murder case was solved, but if so we don't remember it. We do remember that it was the general habit of the Police Department in the past to brag about having solved as many as two-thirds of the cases. Perhaps it is no accident that March went by without a single murder in the city.

One thing, however, Joyner hasn't yet done much about--the traffic problem. There is perhaps some little improvement. But in general the old anarchy still persists. That is not primarily the Chief's fault. The simple and obvious fact is that the tragic situation here calls for the attention of a full-time traffic expert, whereas Joyner has to get along with the advice of a man who is primarily a building inspector.

Nevertheless, the responsibility is inevitably laid at the door of the Police Department. And if Chief Joyner wants to meet that responsibility, as we are sure he does, he will be well-advised to raise a clamor about the necessity of providing him with a man who can furnish adequate traffic advice and lay out a system of traffic control.

Other Side

Max Gardner Sums Up Strike Case Admirably

Raymond Clapper calls emphatic attention in his column today to a side of the strike situation which is apt to be lost sight of by many people, who lay the blame simply and wholly upon organized labor.

But Max Gardner said it all in a nutshell in his Jackson Day speech at Atlanta, as reported yesterday by Drew Pearson and Robert Allen, of the Washington Merry-Go-Round:

"Today, some of the same sort of labor strikes and slowdowns which killed France are rampant in the USA-led by a minority of labor, but with devastating effect upon production.

"Today, many United States big business leaders, as Le Creusot and the Comité des Forges did in France, are putting die-hard labor policies and dividends ahead of patriotism.

There you have it, admirably and pithily summed up, with suitable distribution of the blame.

Site Ed. Note: Since there is no Sunday edition, we thought we would point out that the next day, April 6, 1941, Cash's brother-in-law's father, Robert Elkins, passed away at age 56 of heart failure in Liberty, N.C., where the senior Elkins had held forth for many years in the dual capacity of town clerk and railroad depot agent. In his sparetime, in earlier years, he had played in a band, a photograph of which Mr. Elkins showed to us. It was one of those turn-of-the-century Sunday afternoon gazebo bands which every town had, not unlike that depicted on the cover of that album from across the sea which debuted June 1, 1967.

Mr. Elkins imparted to us the brief story of his father's death: he was taking medication regularly for high blood pressure and a heart condition, one of those new miracle pills maybe of which the piece of a couple of days ago by Louis Graves spoke. This particular Sunday, he had heart palpitations, but was out of his medication. Someone was dispatched to obtain the medication. The pharmacist, contacted at home, refused to open the pharmacy, however, it being Sunday. Mr. Elkins's dad thus didn't make it. Much of the little town turned out at his funeral.

Though we didn't suggest it to Mr. Elkins, and he didn't suggest it himself, we have to wonder, given what occurred to Cash just three months later, whether this was posed as a sort of warning by those who would not tolerate change in their midst.

But, as we say, we only wonder. We don't know. Perhaps, it was just a stubborn pharmacist who was raised to believe that the Sabbath was sacrosanct, so much so that he could not even be bothered, in his religion, to save the life of a man. And besides, there were the Blue Laws.

Once, we happened to be travelling with Mr. Elkins, out in Burlington, Colorado, October, 1980, a town not far over the border from Goodland, Kansas. Mr. Elkins had a health problem which needed immediate attention. We stopped at the town hospital, one of those still with the opening sashes and the tile floors which echoed with the serenity of a chapel, one where every click of the heel made the echoes resound off the walls. The doctor prescribed some medication for Mr. Elkins and directed us to the home of the town pharmacist. We encountered him cleaning out his garage. Despite his admonition that one should never disturb a man cleaning out his garage on a Sunday afternoon, the Good Samaritan duly drove to the pharmacy and opened it for the stranger before him. Mr. Elkins got his medication and lived another 22 years. He died of heart failure at age 92 and five days.

Mr. Elkins, the consummate North Carolina Tar Heel, happened to be in Columbia, S.C. one November afternoon in 1994. They were burying an old Irish coach. Mr. Elkins, though never having met the man in life, knew him as someone who had provided to Mr. Elkins and his family numerous good times and memories--went out to the cemetery and, from a distance, watched the old Irish coach laid to earth.

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