The Charlotte News

Wednesday, November 13, 1940

FOUR EDITORIALS

 

Site Ed. Note: "Expression" suggests what the average citizen might do even today as a quiet protest of the action of other countries in derogation of human rights. Perhaps, today, not a bad idea would be to walk, bike, catch a bus, or some other silent expression to avoid excessive use of the individual automobile and its internal combustion engine burning fossil fuels predominantly coming fromů

In A Walk

Charlotte Has 1940 Murder Crown Already in the Bag

Down until the end of October Charlotte had had 40 murders during 1940. Six of them occurred in October. If the rate were continued to the end of the year, the total score for 1940 would be 48. That would be the highest record since 1936, when the number passed 50. It would beat 1939's score of 30 by one-third.

That the town is insured of its customary crown as the most murderous town in the United States seems apparent. On the basis of FBI reports of the first six months of the year, it was no longer merely six times as murderous at Chicago but eight or more, relative to population. That city, with 3,500,000 people, had 103 murders for the first six months--only five times as many as Charlotte. And it was no longer only eight times as murderous as New York but over twelve times as murderous. That city, with 7,000,000 people had 115 murders for the first six months of the year.

More than that, it was far out in front among the towns of the South Atlantic states, the second most murderous in the country as a group. Average for South Atlantic towns of more than 5,000 population for the first six months of the year with 7.4 per 100,000 people. Charlotte's score was more than two and one-half times as great.

More still, it was double that of the towns of the East South Central States, the most murderous group of all. Average for all South Central towns with more than 5,000 population for the first six months was ten. Charlotte's score was just double that.

 

A Hijacker

Eire Reaches Out for Some High-Grade Tyranny

The Irish were once the fanciest squawkers about liberty and the right of self-determination whoever infested this planet.

But, as we have noted before, the moment they got Eire set up as an independent nation, they began to develop an edge for a little first-class tyranny on their own account--by grabbing off the old Orange enemy of Northern Ireland, which is Protestant and pro-English and emphatically doesn't want to be dominated by Eire.

And now they have it going full blast. It has been manifest for sometime that one of the shabbiest actors in the European scene was Eire. English victory was obviously the one hope for Eire to remain free of the Nazi yoke. And for an English victory, as Mr. Churchill pointed out to Parliament the other day, the naval bases of Ireland would be of immeasurable use.

England built those bases. And she got out of them, not because the Irish threw her out or ever could have thrown her out, but as a gesture of good will and the recognition of Ireland's fullest freedom.

But Ireland has refused to play. When the war broke and she announced herself neutral, England thought that was all right but she needed the bases. But no, said Mr. De Valara, sniffing down his nose with pieties; that would not be neutral.

All along it did not make sense. And now apparently the cat is out of the bag. What Eire has begun to hint she wants is for Britain to force Northern Ireland into Eire's grasp. For that she will abandon her neutrality, for nothing else.

It is a barefaced attempt to use England's need, which is also Eire's need, to carry out an otherwise unfeasible tyranny. And if under those circumstances Berlin turns out to be right and Mr. Churchill is preparing to seize the bases and occupy Ireland, Eire will get scant sympathy in this country save from professional Irishers.

 

Expression

Queens College Girls Suit Action To Their Anger

The indignation towards Japan for its raiment of China which Queens College students felt to such a degree that yesterday they signed up (1) not to buy any silk stockings for three months, and (2) not, as far as possible to buy any goods manufactured in Japan, is a thoroughly wholesome emotion. In fact, the gross failure of the decent peoples in the world to suit action to the anger which they felt successively over Ethiopia, China, Spain, Finland and so on down the list of badgered nations, may go along way towards explaining the plight in which the world at present finds itself.

Maybe those outrages were none of our business. But by tolerating them, instead of pitching in to prevent them, and by actually aiding them, instead of hindering them at all costs to our commerce, we of the civilized nations have been a generous contributor to the overturn which has exalted ruthless force and abased gentleness.

The action of a few young girls at Queens College in boycotting Japanese goods is pathetically futile, perhaps. It can have no perceptible effect in Japan; indeed, merchants and hosiery manufacturers of this immediate section will feel it more.

Nevertheless, they are doing something to give active expression to their hatred for cruelty and overbearing inhumanity, and that is just so much more than the rest of us have done.

 

The Saboteurs

Evidence of Their Activity Begins To Be Overwhelming

In times like this it is necessary to avoid hysteria and to keep a grip on emotion and suspicion. And so we have consistently refused to play with the probability of sabotage in the series of explosions and strange accidents in the armed forces of the nation since the Hercules Powder plant at Kenvil, N. J. blew up on September 12. But it is now about time, it seems to us, to turn loose. Is it really reasonable that the six explosions from New Jersey to Oklahoma yesterday were accidental? And is it accident which has been destroying so many army planes, killing a general and any number of skilled airmen? These men are supposed to be the best-trained fliers in the world. Yet they go out on routine flights and end in disaster, though the commercial airlines are flying millions of miles safely.

There is collateral evidence that these things have not all been accidents. It goes back to the last war, to the Black Tom explosion, the Kingsland explosion, the Gillespie explosion, all--it is worth noting--in New Jersey. It comes forward to the constant warning of J. Edgar Hoover that the country is honeycombed with saboteurs. And beyond that--only the other day the army transport, Republic, sailed for the West Coast by way of the Panama Canal, with over a thousand officers, men, and their wives and children aboard. Hundreds of miles at sea, one of the crew smelled a strange odor and investigation revealed an infernal machine that would presently have blown the ship to bits and destroy the lives of all persons aboard.

Nor is there any secret about the source of these things. The name of that source is Nazi Germany. We face today a monstrous extension and refinement of the same thing we faced in the last war. The Italian certainly, the Japs in all probability, are working with the Germans this time. And in view of the revelations about Count von cat Bernstorff's activities in the last war...

Well, the Dies Committee has been repeatedly said to have facts in its possession which the State Department is suppressing as too explosive. These facts establish espionage and subversive propaganda as being engineered from the German and Italian embassies and consulates, say the reports. And there are suggestions that they indicate that sabotage is being engineered from the same sources. Bernstorff did it. Is it too much to expect the Nazi to do it?

Senator Gibson, Republican, of Vermont, has introduced a resolution in Congress calling for the sending home of the whole kit and caboodle of the vast army of so-called German and Italian and Japanese diplomats in this country. That may be drastic or may not be. Certainly, it means a formal break with the powers involved. But the American people are entitled to know the truth here and have whatever steps may be necessary for their protection to be taken, regardless of the diplomatic consequences.

And meantime, it seems in order to tighten up the sabotage laws and greatly extend the manpower of the FBI.

 


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