The Charlotte News

Tuesday, September 17, 1940


Site Ed. Note: Boysters de la Playa, they ate every one.

We also have further discovered, incidentally, after a quick check of the Cook County records over the weekend, that the two Leggs, P.R.T. and Sen Y.R., before they died in the stampede there in Mexico City, had a daughter. They named her Pamela P. Lona Roony. She goes by the sobriquet "Go Red". You may have heard of her, as she appears in the news about once a year, being something of a glutton for publicity.

The subjects of "Bold Name", Paul Satko and family, formerly of Richmond, lately of Juneau, had appeared earlier in a Cash editorial of April 27, "Vessel", and "Fabulous Man", July 30. Whether they rode any of those snaking trunks they had to float down the Eagle River to Juneau in order to take ownership of the parcel provided by the government to encourage settlement, we don't know. But it couldn't have been any more exciting than riding that snaking Gerdy at Tacoma come November.

"On a Limb" refutes the charge brought by Wendell Willkie during the 1940 campaign that Roosevelt favored the Munich Pact. Conventional wisdom had it at the time that the Pact led directly to the war: by satiating the Nazi wolf once with the Sudetenland, it became inevitable that it would seek more territorial acquisition with the belief that it could take what it pleased with impunity.

But the converse of the argument requires answer to the inquiry of whether anything could have been done in September, 1938 by way of alternative. Had the British said no to the cession of the Sudeten territory, inevitably war would have likely come immediately, or certainly by the following spring. Indeed, at the time, no one, possibly including Chamberlain himself, really believed that Munich meant more than a temporary stop-gap by which to buy time for the western democracies to prepare themselves for what Hitler obviously intended, the recipe for which was set forth in Mein Kampf. Joseph Kennedy, for instance, had said in early 1939 that he believed war would come by the end of the year.

No one could accuse The News of hypocrisy: the column regularly inveighed all through September and into October against the Pact, as Cash, taking a leaf from Dickens, branded Chamberlain "Mr. Bumble", predicting from the outset that the Pact wasn't worth the scrap of paper on which was written.

Still, what could be done to avert the thing? One could make the Pollyannish argument that Hitler was a year less prepared than in 1939 and so would have been more easily dealt a stultifying blow at that time, but the same was true of Britain and France and the United States, all woefully behind Germany in establishing a well-functioning military apparatus. So the mistake of Munich was preceded by two decades of mistakes which led inexorably to it--the multilateral disarmament of the allies after World War I on the theory that war is encouraged by standing armies, a sound theory as long as the disarmament is adequately maintained at skeletal levels throughout the world.

Regardless, whether or not Munich was really the disease or the final symptom, it is pinned as the beginning of the thing, fairly or unfairly therefore attributing to its architects the cause ultimately of the war. The fact, however, remains starkly present that with Hitler having been placed at the head of the Chancellery in Germany in 1933, war on a world scale became at that point inevitable and was scarcely to be stopped by anyone, save by putting a well-aimed bullet into the cranium of Hitler. And it is impossible to know whether even that would have done anything to the Nazi mentality early on than to create a martyr whose memory would have stimulated them then to fight the more fiercely to vindicate their manhood perceived as stripped from them by Versailles and its decade in aftermath, one largely poverty-stricken in Germany in a sea of government impotence torn between the claimants of its soul, the Communists on the left, the Nazis on the right, both disseminating wild propaganda among the proletarian masses drunk with their beer hall weakness, with the Social Democrats trying peacefully to maintain the state in some form of democracy somewhere in between them. A policy of containment of the Nazi aggression was easier said than done.

The great mistake was in not creating a League of Nations with teeth to produce organized economic sanctions on rogue nations, in which the United States was a member, following through on Wilson's Fourteen Points. We have the Republicans to blame for killing that one.

So, who was at fault? Roosevelt? Kennedy?

The rest of the page is here.

England's Task

Possibility of Invasion Now Recedes Swiftly

The task for England now seems to be one of enduring the bombing of London until weather conditions enable her to balance out the German air superiority. With fogs over her own territory and the sky clear over Germany, she should be able before long to begin to level some of the cities in the Rhine Valley by way of giving the German swine a taste of their own medicine.

Invasion is still an outside possibility, but all the evidence now suggests that Hitler has pinned his hope on being able to beat the English to their knees by systematic terrorization from the air. The best moon and tide conditions for September are now past, and the Channel will be too rough after the first of October to make invasion really feasible.

Meanwhile, it looks as though Spain were about to do the British a favor by joining the Axis. That will be of the first interest and importance to the United States, for Spain has repeatedly made it clear that she hopes to be handed back over the nominal title to her old Latin-American empire in North America as the price of her subservience to the Nazis.

But for England it is better to have Spain as an outright enemy than as an enemy pretending to be neutral. What it undoubtedly means immediately is that Hitler plans a heavy assault on Gibraltar this Winter. But that would have to be faced sometime anyhow. And if England can survive it, she will have a bridgehead on the Continent when the hour comes to strike for the total destruction of the German nation.

Glenn Frank

Only in This Country Could He Have Existed

The career of the late Glenn Frank was a curious one. In no other country save the United States could he have pursued it. Born the son of a village minister, as so many Americans have been born, he had risen to the editor of the staid and conservative Century Magazine by the time he was in his middle thirties. Before that he had been a boy orator at twelve, a minister at sixteen, and practically everything else.

The man was indubitably an opportunist. It was not by accident that he became the first "boy president" of an American university, because he had precisely the qualities of a go-getter who was determined to get on without too much regard for the cost. And the circumstances of his leaving of Wisconsin did him no credit. Nor did his backing and filling as the spokesman of the Republican Party.

Yet, withal, he had a certain integrity. A son of the people, he was full of the great faith in their destiny which has always distinguished the common American. Some of his books are among the most adequate existing testimonials of that faith.

His fault ultimately was inherent in his nature, and it is a fault which is characteristic of many Americans. He too readily believed what it was to his interest to believe.

Wide of Mark

A Glimpse Into the Mind of An Isolationist Statesman

The Hon. Lister Hill, Senator in Congress from Alabama, was approvingly reading to his colleagues from the recent column by Raymond Clapper (published in The News Tuesday):

"... since the conscription issue has been raised, it becomes almost a matter of self-respect to follow it through. The votes are there to pass conscription in principle. But the hedge and crawl by adopting the trick delay [not to apply conscription until volunteering had been tried for another 60 days] would be a demoralizing confession that our nerve failed us in the pinch, a tip-off [to ourselves and Latin America and Japan] that we didn't have the determination to do the thing we admit ought to be done."

Then up rose the great isolationist statesman from Missouri, the Hon. Bennett Champ Clark, to sneer that he didn't know "with what organization Mr. Clapper served in the war," or how he got to be "a great military expert."

And after that arose that other mighty pillar of isolationist statesmanship, the Hon. Bounding Burt Wheeler, of Montana, to sneer that the Hon. Clark ought to include those other "great military experts," Jay Franklin, Alsop and Kintner, etc.

But on the whole, it seems to us that the newspaper men came off best.

Mr. Clapper has often pointed out that he is no military expert. And he was not setting up to be one in this case. His remarks had exactly nothing on earth to do with military expertise. He was saying simply that if we backed out of the draft now, in the plain face of the fact that volunteering has already failed, we should be serving notice on our own people and the world that we are nothing but a gang of vacillating softies like those who ruined France. It was a matter purely of human psychology.

Mr. Clapper may not be a military expert. Neither is he a muddle-head who thinks it takes military experts to observe matters of the simplest human reaction.

On A Limb

Willkie's Charge That FDR Favored Munich Is Baseless

The thing over which Wendell Willkie is losing stature more than anything else is his persistence of sticking his neck out by attacking the President's foreign policy--when Mr. Willkie is indubitably on record as having approved of that policy in the past.

And in none of his utterances has he looked more inane that in the statement that the President "telephoned Hitler and Mussolini and urged them to sell Czechoslovakia down the river at Munich."

Any newspaper reader ought to have known that the President did not telephone Hitler and Mussolini, and that neither of them needed any urging to sell Czechoslovakia down the river.

More than that, the implication that the President favored the Munich deal is the commonest sort of political claptrap. Whatever may be charged against Mr. Roosevelt, his whole record shows that he has consistently championed the right of small nations to freedom and has objected to giving dictators any part of their way.

What actually happened was that, at a time when it was already clear that Chamberlain & Co. meant to betray Czechoslovakia, the President addressed a message to Hitler and Mussolini calling on them to show some decent moderation. The message accomplished no good, but that is no ground for Mr. Willkie to misrepresent its motive.

Bold Name

But the Man Who Gave It Is a Bold, Hardy Fellow

Mr. Paul Satko, of Richmond in Virginia, has named his new place "Journey's End." Which is ambitious and might even be rash in most cases.

The 122-acre place, you see, is located at the confluence of the Eagle and Herbert Rivers in Alaska, where the waters coming down from the glaciers are ice cold. It lies at the end of the road to Juneau, and it is solidly forested with cottonwood, spruce, and alder, save for five acres of naturally open meadow.

Before Mr. Satko comes into possession of that farm, he and his children are going to have to clear most of it with an axe. Then he will have to snake such trunks as can be made into good lumber down to the river, make a raft and float it on to Juneau. The rest will have to be piled in great heaps and burned.

The snakes and varmints will have to be stamped out. The stumps will have to be grubbed out. And then will come the terrible ordeal of plowing the ground, with roots bruising his shanks at every step.

It is a harsh prospect in that far off land to which he has gone. Many men have tried it, most have failed. But about Mr. Satko there need be no question. Presently Mr. Satko will have a very fine farm out there.

For Mr. Satko is the man who, rather than go on relief, took an old Ford engine, turned a trailer into a boat, took it across the continent on practically nothing a day and set out up the coast, in the teeth of the warning of all navigators that he was sure to founder, and brought his boat at last safely into Juneau.

Those people who are so enthusiastic for "the old stern virtues" these days by ordinary leave us cold. They all too clearly crave them ardently only for other people. But Mr. Satko plainly has 'em. And so may without rashness call his new place "Journey's End."

Framed Edition
[Return to Links-Page by Subject] [Return to Links-Page by Date] [Return to News<i>--</i>Framed Edition]
Links-Date -- Links-Subj.