The Charlotte News

Sunday, October 20, 1940




Cramerton Mills Put Defense Ahead of Competitive Gain

A report out of England in the early "phoney" stages of this war had it that one of the reasons that airplane engines were being produced in woefully insufficient quantities was the refusal of manufacturers to share each other's patent rights and processes.

They were perfectly willing to turn to and work like fury for national defense, that is, but they weren't going to give away any competitive advantage or any trade secrets. That was not only short patriotism but short-sightedness as well, for which they are now paying in Hitler's coin.

A highly commendable contrast on the American model is afforded in the attitude of the Cramerton Mills of Cramerton, N.C., long specialists in the manufacture of Army cloth. In a letter printed in The Textile Bulletin, President S. W. Cramer, Jr. writes in part:

"So far as our own mill is concerned, I will only say that in order to do our bit in this preparedness program we have not only gone to great trouble and expense to increase our Government deliveries--disrupting and disturbing our normal balance both in production and distribution--but have sought out every other manufacturer's equipment we thought might be suited to this war and urged them to enter these fields, offering our services to help them get started on these unfamiliar numbers.

"We fully realized the danger to ourselves of giving away to possible future competitors the fruits of years of research and experience in a highly specialized and hazardous field, though we feel that it is more important to see that our army is properly clothed than to attempt, in times like these, to hold this business in a tight little group, of experienced Government contractors, who are unable to meet the emergency demands of the nation."

Major Cramer, a West Point man, probably appreciates better than most of us the enormity of the task of outfitting an army in a hurry. But it is the spirit of putting his country first, above all other considerations, that gives his words a depth of patriotism which is inspiring. The rest of industry the country over might well model its policy after that which is already in effect at Cramerton.


Dog's Portrait

A Man Looks Over His Troubles at a Counter

The man who lives in the country and works in town came into the restaurant promptly at four o' clock as he always does. But he kidded the waitresses less heartily than usual. He was depressed.

"If I had my gun last night, I'd have killed a dog," he explained to the counter man.

"What's a matter," asked the counter man, "she running rabbits?"

"She's gone plumb crazy," said the man. "Last night I took her out in a place where I knew a fox was and she had the trail hot right off. But they run about a mile and then she turned around and sailed into the younger dogs and run them completely off. And after that she ran another mile before she opened up again. I can't walk like I used to."

"She's just jealous," said the counter man. "I've seen them that way before. She just don't want the young dogs beating her to anything."

"Maybe," opined a waitress sympathetically, "maybe she don't want no foolishness from the young 'uns."

"Yeah," said the man, "she's gone plumb crazy. Sometimes when the young dogs tree she'll sail into them and drive 'em away. Then she'll sit down at the foot of the tree and not say a thing for hours." He sighed. "They're funny dogs. I can walk all night with my lantern and they won't run a thing. Then just let me start out with my flashlight and they'll pick up a hot trail before you can say jack rabbit."

He gloomed over his coffee.


A Showdown

Demands on Greece Mean Hard Decision for Turkey

The Axis demands on Greece, if borne out, will bring the situation in the Mediterranean area to a showdown.

For several weeks it has been evident that Hitler and his Italian servant were planning a drive through Turkey to seize Syria and the Mesopotamian oil regions. That would serve a quadruple purpose.

First, it would deprive Britain of her most available source of oil. Second, it would insure Hitler unlimited fuel for a long war. Third, it would be calculated to make the whole Moslem world think the game was up for Britain and that it had better throw in with the Axis. And lastly, it would open the way for attacking Suez from two sides.

Greece is the primary key to this plan. The move into Romania was apparently undertaken mainly with an eye to getting a naval base in the Black Sea and to blocking Russian interference. The approach to the Dardanelles from the Bulgarian side is very difficult and many great armies have come to grief there in the past.

From Greece, however, it is easy to set down armies directly before the fortresses of the Dardanelles. And with Greek naval bases in the hands of the Italian Navy, it would be possible to keep the British Navy from rendering very effective aid to the Turks.

Whenever answer Greece gives will be a Turkish answer. If she yields, then Turkey will have decided to yield also. If she refuses, England will have gained a powerful ally and the chances of the Axis carrying through its plan will not be good.

Ultimately the answer to all this still probably hangs on the enigmatic Stalin. That is not to say, however, that if Turkey fights, Russia will necessarily enter the war at once. Stalin may well content himself with giving the Turks his blessing and aiding them behind the scenes, for awhile at least.


A New Record

Murder in This City Goes On Unchecked by Authority

Everybody who reads The News knows by now, surely, that Charlotte is the most murderous city in the United States. In years past other cities, such as Atlanta and Memphis, have occasionally challenged our eminence in this gruesome field, but latterly we have shaken them off our heels and gone ahead not only to establish undisputed leadership, but to set new records.

So far this year there have been 36 murders, with two and a half months to go.

To be sure, all but three of these murders were of Negroes by Negroes. Even so, a black corpse is a corpse, and if these 36 corpses were to be laid side by side they would make Chicago's St. Valentine Day massacre look like an amateur job.

Nobody seems to know quite why the people of the city should be more murderously inclined than their counterparts elsewhere. It cannot be attributed to hot Southern blood, for the other Southern cities have as much to contend with. It cannot be excused by citing the large Negro population, for in that respect we are not at all unique. But no matter why it is, it is; and so what shall be done about it?

There are two ways to tackle our murder problem. One of them will take so long as to be of no immediate assistance--gradual education and refinement, the relief of congested and insanitary living conditions, home, church and school training. But that is a slow process of evolution, whereas it is an emergency, a matter of life-and-death, that we face, have faced and yet are not facing.

There are certain specific steps which will have to be taken at once to curb murder in the city. They are:

1. More police protection in the murderous areas.

2. Better street lighting.

3. Vigorous prosecution of murder in all degrees, requiring the co-operation of the Superior Court Solicitor in preparing and presenting his cases and of the Police Department in obtaining evidence.

4. Sentences in keeping with the seriousness of the crime.

5. A re-defining of the coroner's authority so that all murder cases shall be tried by criminal court juries and not by coroner's juries.

Until these things, and probably others, are done we may expect no lessening in the frequency and irregularity of our murders. On the contrary, we may expect that unchecked murder will increase.

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