The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 6, 1941


Site Ed. Note: Perhaps part of the wistful impulsion and inspiration for Cash to begin, in seeming non sequitur, his commencement address at Austin on June 2 with the reference from the short passage in Delilah, by Marcus Goodrich, on the Alamo, then relating the historic struggle of "plain men" on the American frontier in Texas in 1836 to that of the Greeks at Marathon and Thermopylae, projecting forward 2500 years from 1941 to venture the future probability of continued remembrance of these brave struggles against the odds, as well as that of the contemporary Greeks in defense of their homeland, came from the piece this date of Dorothy Thompson. Ms. Thompson was moved to write in not dissimilar terms after her visit to San Jacinto--the battlefield among the hyacinths on which retribution was exacted by Sam Houston and his army against Santa Anna for the annihilation of Crockett and Travis and the rest of the small band of men from many far-flung places fighting for their freedom at the small mission amid the grove of cottonwoods.

The hyacinth, more akin to the larkspur or iris than the modern hyacinth, grew, goes the legend, from the blood of Hyacinthus, after Apollo, fond of the handsome youth, accidentally killed him during a game of quoits; or, according to another version, when Zephyrus, jealous of the favor bestowed on Hyacinthus by Apollo, deliberately blew the quoit off course.

As was said: "Thermopylae had its messenger of defeat. The Alamo had none."

But at San Jacinto, the tables were turned, as is etched on the stone--at Omaha Beach, at Iwo Jima, at Arlington.

A Last Look*

Douglas and His Council, On The Whole, Have Done Well

Tomorrow a new Mayor and City Council will be inducted into office, and they will come in for a lot of congratulations and best wishes. In the meantime, while there is one day left, something ought to be said about the present administration.

Even his enemies cannot deny that Mayor Douglas has been a hard-working, responsive and whole-hearted mayor. How much of his own time he has given to City business was illustrated most pointedly in the advertisement of the Citizens Group in The News yesterday. A statement of traveling expenses contained frequent items such as "Douglas to Washington, Memorial Hospital;" "Douglas to Washington, defense program;" "Douglas to Washington, airport;" "Douglas to Washington, Army warehouse facilities," etc.

Some of these trips, we happen to know, were taken at the instigation of Chamber of Commerce officials. Some of them resulted in substantial benefits to the city, in contrast to which the Mayor's traveling expenses were chicken feed.

Fiscally and administratively, Mayor Douglas's three terms have been characterized by soundness and efficiency. In that he had the immense assistance of former City Manager Marshall and the co-operation of his Council.

In the record of the Council, there is little to be ashamed of, many creditable achievements. The Police Department was allowed to get into a muddle, to be sure. That was due partly to the requirement about the chief having to come from the department and partly to politics within the Council.

But don't forget that this Council fell heir to a pretty sorry department.

The Council has showed a disposition to co-operate in community improvements such as Memorial Hospital, the housing projects and various minor, but nonetheless important, enterprises.

If Mayor Douglas and his Council fell down, it was in respect to the desirable undertakings they didn't undertake. They did nothing about the city's shameful crime rate, although to that they may ask, what could they have done? And they did virtually nothing about city-planning for the Charlotte of 100,000 population, not to mention the Charlotte of 200,000 and of 300,000 population.

Nevertheless, considering the limitations of the Council as a whole, considering the times and circumstances, we think it can be said that the last Douglas Administration, like its two predecessors, wrought admirably and honorably enough. For that, for the unremunerated service of Messrs. Albea, Baxter, Britt, Hovis, Huntley, the late Roy Hudson, Little, Nance, Sides, Ward and Wilkinson, and for the excellent offices of Mayor Douglas, we think the people of the city owe thanks and sincere appreciation.

That Medal

It's Least of Evidence As to Lindbergh Views

Senator Bennett Champ Clark, of Missouri, works himself up into a passion about that Nazi medal of Mr. Lindbergh's. It is, he explains, in a museum in Washington--but has not been unpacked.

But the question of the medal counts for little in itself. The main charge which has been made in connection with it is that Lindbergh has never troubled to return it to the Nazi Government as a gesture of disapproval of the crimes of that gang.

In reality, however, the evidence as to the Lindbergh sympathies rest on far better ground than this. It rests primarily on the fact that he has never once expressed any general disapproval of Hitler and Nazism. And it is not as though he were ungiven to denunciation. He has denounced England bitterly--has charged that she is responsible for this war in that she is the real betrayer of the small nations of Europe. Once, in answer to a direct question, he said that there were some things in Germany of which he disapproved. But in general disapproval for Hitler and Hitlerism he has never uttered a word--through the long record of the systematic murder of women and children. And on the other hand, his wife has explicitly expressed approval for Nazism in general, called it the inevitable and necessary Wave of the Future.

To conclude, therefore, that he sympathizes with the Nazis is no smear but sound logic.

And the same thing can be extended to his defender, Senator Clark.

Senator Clark has used up many pages of the Congressional Record denouncing Britain in the most unmeasured terms. But if he has ever denounced Hitler Nazism, the reporters have failed to note it.

Robert Wins

Partisanship and Timidity Score Over Nation's Interest

Administration supporters are said to have abandoned attempts to head off Robert Rice Reynolds' elevation to the post of chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee. Reason given is the almost unanimous determination of the Republican Senators to back Reynolds in a fight on the floor if the Steering Committee turns thumbs down on him.

It is not precisely calculated to fill sober men with hope for America.

Why, exactly, do you suppose that the Republicans are so unanimous for Robert? Because they think him well fitted for the job? Of course not. They know very well that he is totally unfit, that his only claim to it is seniority. And most of them know in their hearts that to place an unstable man in a key post in time of the greatest national peril is to gamble with destiny.

But that makes no difference. They are out to wreck the Administration at any cost. They oppose its foreign policy as a matter of partisanship. And they know that Reynolds as military affairs chairman will be in position to deal terrific blows against that policy, perhaps to block it effectively in the showdown. And if that may also involve wrecking the nation--they'll take the chance.

No more hopeful is the attitude of the Administration. Presumably it has the power to block Reynolds, regardless of the Republicans. But it simply isn't going to take the risk. It wouldn't be good politics. And good politics, as everybody knows, must come before everything--including the national safety.

A Goal

But It Will Not Be Reached By Timidity and Defeatism

In the last war a memorandum came to the desk of Lloyd George from the War Office, after long delay recommending a greatly increased number of machine guns for the British Army.

On it the Welshman, determined to win the war, wrote, "Take that and double it, and then, just for luck, double that again."

It is the spirit in which production of heavy, long-range bombers ought to be gone about in this country. At present we are producing a pathetically small number of these machines. The President suggests five hundred a month.

The defeatists will, of course, start calling that an absurd figure. And so it is if you surrender to the absurd idea that "70 million malignant Huns" and 60 million little monkey men in the East (the Italians are merely a dead-weight for these to carry) are invincible and destined to conquer 200 million Britishers and Americans. And so it is if you say supinely and fatalistically that the German lead in machines cannot be overcome.

The last war demonstrated that, in a relatively short period, America can crack any production problem it really sets itself to crack. And if today, with an industrial capacity greater than the rest of the world, with by far the most numerous and most skilled corps of technicians on earth, the United States says it can't do this thing--fails to do it--then it deserves to fall.

But it cannot do it under the rules of business as usual--can do it only with the total energies of the nation concentrated upon the primary purpose.

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