The Charlotte News
FRIDAY. MARCH 11, 1938
Money in Gaul
"Weakness of the franc," he said, ."was only temporary."
Thus M. Chautemps on the occasion of the fall of the one hundred and third government France has had in the 67 years since the Third Republic was established in1871--an average of a new government every eight months.
Well, that was essentially what old Colbert was saying anytime he was asked after 1675, with the ruinous wars of Louis XIV hurrying the land into bankruptcy.That is what the Duc de Noailles was saying in 1716, when the Scotch adventurer, John Law, swept into Paris with the Mississippi Bubble. That was what Turgot was saying in 1776, what Necker was saying in 1788. It was what the Directory was saying in 1796 when Napoleon heaved over the horizon, what Talleyrand was saying in 1814, what Guizot was saying in 1848. It was what innumerable ministers were saying for long in the years after the establishment of the Third Republic. And it is what, save for a period of five years, every minister of France has been saying since the end of the Great War.
For 250 years the franc, or what answered to the franc, has, more often than not, been"only temporarily weak." Sometimes,indeed, it has been stabilized at some level--usually lower than the last--and has stayed so for a good many years. But most often it has gone down still further until utter bankruptcy---and with it revolution--was reached, and French money started out all over again.
A Fast Play
Chancellor Schuschnigg may yet turn out to be the most astute of the European dictators.
Hitler's scheme has been to penetrate Austria without actual resort to arms, to make Anschloss a reality, while retaining the pretense of Austrian independence until some convenient opportunity to abolish it arose. The immediate strategy called for an intensive Austrian Nazi organization program in the next six months or so, then the forcing of an election, the systematic intimidation of all voters save Nazis, and the election of a Nazi government.
But Schuschnigg, by ordering an election for Sunday, has upset that applecart. The Nazis stand to take such a beating at the polls just now as to seriously impair their prestige in Austria. And if they resort to armed force, the Chancellor probably can quickly put them down--unless Hitler intervenes with troops. But if Hitler invades Austria, it is an even bet that the patience of the French may snap, that a French army will move into the Rhineland the French navy into the North Sea to shut off foodstuffs from an already hungry Germany. And what will Signor Mussolini do? No one can say, of course. But there is a very good chance that, disliking German occupation of Austria anyhow, and fearing an open contest with Britain, he'll decide to sit tight and hope to profit from the weakening of both sides. Nor are Czechoslovakia and Poland likely to pass up a chance to have at their ancient oppressor with the pack.
Hitler's fanaticism and belief in his destiny may lead him to do it anyhow. Nevertheless, Schuschnigg does seem to have put it up to him to back down or take a last desperate throw.
Southern farmers vote tomorrow on whether they want the Federal Government to fix 1938 marketing quotas four cotton and tobacco. And we climb out on a limb which is practically the size of a redwood trunk and confidently announce our belief that two-thirds of 'em will vote that they do want it, and that the thing will go into effect.
But having said that, we hardly know what else to say to make this look like an editorial. There's a great uproar going around, we've noticed, to the effect that the farmers will be signing away their liberty if they accept the scheme. The individual farmer, it is said, will no longer be the master of what shall be done with his private acres, but will have to account for every inch of his holdings to the bureaucratic colossus at Washington. And so far as that goes, it's all so, we guess, and we don't like it.
Still, we can't work up much of a lather over it. After all, it is the farmer's liberty, and if he wants to swap off a hunk of it for hard cash, that seems mainly his business. More than that, we observe that he only swaps it for a year at a time, can quit the trade next year if he likes--and that that doesn't seem to add up very far toward the dictatorship we hear about. And more still, the liberty he is swapping off appears to be mainly the liberty to grow too much,to get himself ear-deep in grief, and sadly to upset the national economy. It's a pretty stiff price to pay for individualism.
The dime taxis want a hearing before the City Council on the charge that they aid and abet prostitution and bootlegging before any action is taken looking to their elimination. And of course they ought to have it. If it can be satisfactorily shown that cabs can be operated for a dime without becoming mere ambulant procurers, and that they are financially responsible for any damage they may do to life and property; why,obviously, they have the same right to ply the streets as any others. Provided, one other thing--
Provided, we started to say but have changed our minds, that they mended their driving manners. They are pretty bad, in all conscience. They rush green lights at headlong speed and pass on under the red. They dart recklessly in and out of traffic lanes, and they pull up for a stop in the middle of the block without the thought of a hand signal.
But, so b'George, does everybody else; and besides, you can't run the dime taxis off on a blanket charge that they aren't driven as they should be. There are laws against driving that way and policemen to enforce the laws, against dime taxis and all other motorists.
*J. P. Practices Exposed
Mr. Paul's workmanlike story in yesterday's paper, all about justices of the peace and the disposition of criminal actions coming before them, contained a number of quaint disclosures. One was, that the total of fines imposed in 1937 by ten jaypees in Charlotte township came to $69.15. Fines go to the school fund. In contrast to this miserable sum, a total of $2,996.05 costs were collected. Costs go to the jaypees and their constables.
Another peculiar characteristic of the jaypees is the infrequency with which they find the accused innocent. This may be due to the fact that prosecuting witnesses, so to speak, retain the jaypees, and if not given satisfaction will take their business elsewhere. At any rate, out of 785 cases, not guilty verdicts were returned in only 23.One magistrate with 178 cases involving 151 persons found only one of them not guilty.
Something else to marvel at was the number of warrants withdrawn. These are criminal actions, mind you, and not civil; based on some violation, real or alleged, of State law.Yet 236 of 785 warrants served were withdrawn. Anybody who is familiar with jaypee practice knows what this means. It means that, in many instances, if not in most, criminal processes were being used to do what couldn't be done in civil court. In fine, it means that you persuade a debtor to give you a check, and that I you take that check before a jaypee, who swears out a criminal warrant, and that the poor devil who gave the check is threatened with jail unless he settles. "Warrant withdrawn" is an equivalent term to "check paid," plus the jaypee's costs.
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