The Charlotte News

Saturday, November 23, 1940



Site Ed. Note: In July, 2004, we inadvertently posted the latter two of these editorials under November 30, 1940. That was so because the original column, as was wont to happen on occasion, carried a misprinted date. Printer's devil.

Thus, we now remedy the error, and as a bonus, add the other two columns of the date, possibly not by Cash.

We also add the following item from the editorial page of this date, as a reminder of that which was happening in these days in London Town:

While the Bombs Fall

Baltimore Evening Sun

And here are a few odd bits of conversation overheard in an air raid shelter as reported by Madeline Miller in "News From the Outpost," a newspaper published by Americans in London:

"'I told her to go and put the baby on my bed, but when we opened the door the place was a shambles. The bed in pieces and everything topsy-turvy...' 'No. 11 got hit, didn't?' "' Yes, it got hit too.' 'Are Mrs. Smith and the kids all right?' 'I think they are, but I've heard he's still under it...' '"Thank God," I said, "I shan't have to pay a sweep, Hitler's done it for me, he blew the chimney off."...' 'Emmy, do sit still, there's a good girl...' 'Yes, my house got it last night, but we were lucky and I managed to get this much out...' Knit, knit... 'What a pretty pattern dear...' 'We seem to have had so much noise at home that I come down here to get away from it...' 'Have a drink of lemonade and a biscuit, you looked tired...' 'I told my husband to put the clothes on to boil, but the silly fool took them off when they were just warm...' 'Oxford street? Yes, but that's only property. That can be replaced with money which doesn't matter anyway. It's only lives that count now.' 'Alternative? Of course, there's no alternative. Nine out of ten of us would rather put our heads in a gas oven than have an alternative'."

In A Nutshell*

Nolan Sums Up Police Department Case in a Paragraph

The brief statement of Chief of Police Nolan published on the front page of The News yesterday summed up the police situation in Charlotte better than if he had sat down and written out a column about it. Said he to Dick Young, News reporter:

"They wouldn't let me run the department. Some of the men kept running to the Council. If I transferred a man to night duty, there'd be complaining to the Council. Unless a chief has authority and is supported there won't be much chance of success."

"They," of course, means the City Council. And the picture is simply one of absurd conditions. He might as well talk of having discipline in an army with every soldier privileged to run to Congress any time he didn't like his assignment, with the certainty that pressure would be brought to relieve him.

The plain fact is that the Police Department is, and has long been something of a football for the politics of the City Council. And so long as that holds true the department is going to remain totally inefficient and crime is going to continue to run wild in the city. The most competent man in the world couldn't make a success of it under the conditions that prevail.

And indeed, so long as they prevail, it is idle to talk about getting a competent man for the job of chief. No competent man is going to stick his neck out like that. For he will know that all that comes of it is a spoiled reputation for himself.


Mr. Willkie and Mr. Doughton Express the Same Sentiments

Monday after his defeat in the election, Wendell Willkie made a speech to his supporters and to anybody else who cared to listen. In the course of his remarks he outlined five steps which he thought ought to be taken by the Administration.

Two of those steps:

"All Federal expenditures except those for national defense and necessary relief ought to be cut to the bone.

"Taxes should be levied so as to approach as nearly as possible the pay-as-you-go plan. Obviously, we cannot hope to pay for all the defense program as we do. But we must do our best. That is part of the sacrifice we must make."

Yesterday, North Carolina's Bob Doughton, chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee, told reporters after a conference with the President (which suggests that he told them in substance what the President had told him):

"Outside of increased national defense costs it is my individual opinion that after effecting every proper and reasonable economy we should raise sufficient additional revenue to meet at least the regular expenses of the Government.

"We shall not be able to meet this $13,000,000,000 or $14,000,000,000 with increased taxes. But I don't think we should pass to future generations a dollar of indebtedness that we can possibly take care of ourselves."

Disagreement in principle between Mr. Willkie and Mr. Doughton, an Administration spokesman, is worth noting.

CIO Chief

Peace Is Not Assured But Murray Is Some Hope

The CIO closes its convention with the prospect for peace in the ranks of Labor not a great deal better than they were to begin with. John Lewis is out of office, and Philip Murray is President, with the consent of the Hillman wing which has fought Lewis.

But in New Orleans Mr. George Meany, Secretary of AFL, lived up to his name and greeted the news of Murray's elevation with the remark, "Well, that's still Lewis!" And old Boss William Green snuffled piously and said he hoped it meant peace but insinuated it probably didn't.

Then Murray proceeded to give him aid and comfort by promising that he would be in no hurry to rush into peace negotiations. And the CIO convention itself, dominated by the Lewis steam-roller, failed completely to do anything about the Reds in office in some CIO unions.

A pious resolution was passed to the effect that CIO does not approve of Communism and Nazism. Nobody except a few rabid labor-baiters thought that in general it did. But that did not change the fact of the presence of the Red or fellow-traveler manipulators in some of the unions.

On the whole, however, the outlook was somewhat more encouraging. Chances were that in the showdown Philip Murray would be more reasonable about coming to some agreement with the AFL-perhaps not for merging with it but at least for settlement of the jurisdictional fight, etc.-than the intransigent Lewis has been. And his own reputation gives some hope of the cleaning out of the Bolos by executive action.

With Sydney Hillman, Murray has perhaps the best reputation for honesty and fairness of all the leaders of Labor, he certainly enjoys the confidence of the rank and file of CIO and he is not persona non grata with management as Lewis usually was.


We Bumble

Our Efforts Are Still Too Feeble To Save England

The President himself indulges in mere "glittering generalities" when he insists that defense production in this country is going forward as rapidly as is humanly possible, and that Britain is getting all the aid we can possibly give. If that is so then all the boasted power of the American industrial system is a mere myth.

The Nazis are quite candid about their intentions. Spokesmen in Berlin have explained that what they are trying to do is to beat England to her knees before the United States has time to get effective aid to her. That, they said, was the meaning of the Coventry and Birmingham horror-raids, the redoubled assaults on London. The British claim that the Germans did little damage to industrial establishments of the cities but that may be taken with a grain of salt. Coventry is the great motor center of the country. And the increasing bombing of the Midlands is, among other things, a determined effort to cripple England's airplane production. It is ominous that the bombers now seem able to get through in large numbers, something they couldn't do last Summer.

The cold fact is that, for all her bravery, England is probably doomed to defeat, unless we can get her effective aid in time, for this is a duel of industrial production. And if England falls the fate of democracy, here as elsewhere, is almost certainly sealed. That we can exist as an island of free men in a world of slaves is a pipe dream, subscribed to only by men of limited imagination.

At the present moment according to economic experts, the production of Germany, with virtually all Europe in her grasp, is at least twice that of England. If England is to stand, that must be evened up. If she is to win, it must be overbalanced. The industrial machine of the United States, and it alone, is rated competent to the job. But the bald fact is that up to now it hasn't even begun to do the job. In the first year of the war we sent England just five per cent of her equipment. That has been stepped up since, but mainly by such devices as sending her old equipment already on hand, such as the "surplus" rifles and the 50 destroyers. There isn't much more of that to send her. What goes to her hereafter will have to be new. And today, despite ballyhoo, we simply aren't producing it in quantities which promise success.

For instance, we have twice the steel productive capacity of Germany. Yet, at present, we are succeeding in getting steel to Britain at a rate of less than half of the 25,000,000 tons annually which she needs to equal Germany. And so it goes.

Can we get the United States on a wartime production basis while we remain at peace? Upon the answer to that question depends the outcome of the war in Europe. Today we are answering it in the negative. And time, the decisive factor, hurries on.


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