The Charlotte News
THURSDAY, MARCH 17, 1938
[Site ed. note: The following two lines concluded a previous editorial, possibly, but not likely by Cash regarding purely local politics, the infamous, long-defunct North Carolina Blue Laws banning commerce on Sunday, not usually his editorial beat (and so not included here). But the original juxtaposition of the lines to the following article definitely by Cash on Neville Chamberlain is so pointed that we must believe it was intentional on the part of someone. So we include the extra lines for your edification. And, incidentally, the reference is slightly wrong or simply misprinted; it is from the 35th chapter, 3rd verse.]
. . .the third verse of the 36th chapter of the Book of the Prophet Isaiah:
Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble
Chamberlain at Trafalgar
Mr. Chamberlain wrung his hands when he addressed the House of Commons. Lord Halifax marched the floor exclaiming, "It is terrible, terrible!" Mr. Chamberlain reproached Mr. Attlee the Laborite for "hard and provocative words" which the whole world knows to be true.
Yet none of that is conclusive evidence of the weakness of the British, or Mr.Chamberlain or Lord Halifax. There always has been an odd falsetto streak in the upperclass Britisher. In R. C. Sheriff's "Journey's End," it is so much in evidence that American audiences sometimes laugh at the wrong moment. And Nelson, dying on the Victory, sealed his lips forever with the whisper, "Kiss me, Hardy! "
What is a great deal more ominous is the indecisiveness of these men before the obvious fact that England is in danger of rapidly becoming simply another island. There was no such indecision in Grey of Fallodon or old Lloyd George, no such indecision in the commanders at Soissons who hurled their adenoidal soldiers straight into the path of the immensely more powerful German host--and halted it dead in its tracks. And the day Nelson raised his standard before the French . . . He had not wanted to fight there, off Cape Trafalgar. By all the reckonings he was due to take a terrible beating. And the fate of England hung forever in the balance. But--the decision was taken just the same.
A Shotgun Wedding
Signor Mussolini's pronouncements that the independence of Austria was "an historical and political absurdity" is one which curiously echoes what liberal opinion in the democratic countries argued at great length during the 1920's. Austrians, it was said, were simply Germans, with a German language and a German culture, and with all their interests lying with Germany. Hence Anschluss was a perfectly inevitable and desirable thing.
Perhaps that was right, too. Indeed, most of us have objected to the Hitler union simply because it means that the charming Austrian characteristics will probably be blotted out in Nazism, and that it was accomplished by force. But perhaps it is not right at all. Prince Bismarck made it his first business to heave Austria out of the German confederation.: And though he was perhaps mainly actuated by the fact that she was then such a great power as to keep Prussia over shadowed, he perhaps was also thinking of the fact that, historically, she had stood apart--almost from the day of Charlemagne down--of what Thomas Mann, the great German novelist now living in exile among us, has in mind when he protests the union.
Austrian culture, says Herr Mann, is anything else but identical with German culture--is a separate and unique and infinitely stubborn entity in its own right. And the attempt to force it into the German pattern will only lead to strife and bloodshed, soon or late. That comes pretty close to being expert testimony. For few men know Austria more intimately than Mann.
A Slander Retracted
Ferdinand Lundberg and the Vanguard Press have published public retractions of the charges made against E. I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co. in the book "America's Sixty Families."
"Upon reference to certain public records, we have found that the charges made by Government investigators against the Du Pont Company as to war contracts, the sale of bodies of its employees, and kindred matters, were refuted by evidence later introduced, and that this company was exonerated in a confidential letter written by former Attorney General Sargent to the War Department . . . "
Mr. Lundberg and his publisher seem to have got what they both deserved. It appears, indeed, that "the evidence referred to and the confidential letters of the former Attorney General were unpublished and unavailable to the author except in certain unindexed appendices to a public record of nearly fourteen thousand pages." Nevertheless, the charges bore on their face the plain stamp of post-war hysteria. It should have been easy to discover that the Du Ponts had never been haled into court to answer them. It should have been easy to find responsible persons in Washington who remembered that they had been confuted. And, certainly, anybody who sets out to publish such charges is bound, by the dictates of common decency, to check them with the most thoroughgoing care.
The fact that neither Mr. Lundberg nor his publisher seems to have taken any such care argues pretty eloquently that they were all too eager to believe the worst--were interested primarily in making a sensational smear.
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