The Charlotte News

Thursday, December 19, 1940



Good Work*

Detectives Show That Where There's a Will There's a Way

Detectives Altman and Gardner, working under the direction of Mr. Littlejohn, deserve to be congratulated for their quick success in solving the murder of Clarence Ritter. With hardly anything to go on except motive of robbery, which was of slight help, and the caliber of the weapon with which he was shot, they persisted, picking up this piece of information here, another there, and fitting them into a whole which led to the arrest of the Negro boy and the inevitability of his conviction.

Diligence and determination did it. The Police Department knew that, in the minds of many people, it was on the spot, and were resolved to show its mettle. The detective division measured up fully to the demands upon it

And having congratulated those who are due the credit, may we say something else? The murder of Mr. Ritter was frightful in the sheer stupidity of it. The befuddled boy had a gun and the notion to rob, and when his command of "stick 'em up!" failed to be obeyed, the fool didn't know anything else to do but shoot.

Now he'll be fearfully punished for it, as he should be. But in Charlotte this year there have occurred more than two score murders. Many of them remain unsolved. Ten or twelve of the killers are at large. In almost none of them have the police manifested the determination shown in the Ritter killing by Gardner and Altman and Littlejohn to get to the bottom of them and enable the courts to mete out whatever punishment was deserved.

Verily, murder is murder, and if the officers would invariably treat it as such, it would make a prime contribution to the city's welfare and the prestige of its Police Department.


Not So New

President's Scheme Is Just To Avoid the Facts

The President's "brand-new idea" is not really new at all. What it comes to is that Britain is to be granted lump credit in return for her promise to pay "in kind" after the war.

"In kind" means in goods, and if there is anything reasonably certain it is that Britain would be allowed to pay in goods if she wanted to and were in condition to afford it after undergoing Hitler's attack. She would have paid the old war debt if the United States would have permitted her to pay in kind. But Congress took good care to keep the tariff barrier high enough to insure that British goods would be kept out. And if she attempted to pay in goods after this war, the agonized shrieks of industry and organized labor would echo in Mars.

All this is simply hocus-pocus designed to avoid facing the fact that Britain can't pay back the loans in any foreseeable future. And the President and his advisers are resorting to it because they're afraid that a proposal to go ahead and do the obviously required thing of making outright grants to Britain will stir up vigorous opposition. Maybe it will. However, the professional isolationists are going to oppose anything that can be proposed. And avoiding the facts now merely stores up trouble for the future.

There ought to be enough common sense in the United States to make it possible to tell the public the whole truth.


Christmas Gift*

Mr. Crockett Hands Over A Lot of Money for Toys

On the sports pages, with their easy familiarity, he is spoken of as Jim. Up here in the tower, where dignity comes natural because of the aesthetic surroundings and the lofty matters under consideration, we call him Mr. to his face and refer to him as James.

But no matter the handle, J. Crockett, the wrestling promoter, is in solid with all departments of The News. He contributed $256.17 to our Empty Stocking Fund.

This is the third year he has staged a show for the benefit of the poor children of Charlotte. The News does its part to be sure, by handing over its stock in trade--publicity. But Mr. Crockett in return hands over a large cut of the gate, earmarking it for the Empty Stocking Fund.

And the whole transaction means toys and toys for poor girls and boys, and Christmas in Charlotte is for them a far more cheerful occasion because of the thoughtfulness of Jim Crockett. The knowledge of that ought to make him enjoy the day with the satisfaction of one who has remembered others.


Straws In Wind

Which May Indicate Nazi Purpose To use Strike Soon

It is still in the field of conjecture but the evidence gathers that Hitler may be planning to invade England before the fall of Italy releases the British Navy from the Mediterranean.

The sinking of a large Nazi supply ship off Belgium suggests clearly that something is afoot which calls for the all-out use of transportation facilities. The Germans are transporting stolen goods out of Belgium and France at such a rate the railroads are kept pretty busy. Still, it is hardly likely that it has reached the point where ships have to be resorted to in order to supplement the trains.

The almost complete absence of bombing in England for the last several nights is ominous also. For it suggests that Hitler may be holding his planes back from a really wholesale attack, say with the use of poison gas.

And it may be guessed with a lot of confidence that the uproar between Berlin and Petain over the Laval case was not caused by controversy over anything so minor as the proper honors to be paid the bones of a child dead a century. It is much more likely that Hitler asked for the complete use of the French Navy when he gets ready to strike, that Laval agreed to it eagerly, and now Petain has been forced to acquiesce or even has been won over completely. Petain is pretty much of a defeatist, and whatever he might think of the honor of such a deal, he would probably go along if he thought it was going to be done anyhow and if he thought it might gain France concessions from the conqueror.


New Honor

Robert Becomes an Expert In Another Field

Now we know what Robert Rice Reynolds is doing in Latin America.

Innocently we had thought that Robert had gone down there to gratify his passion for being away from home at Christmas. And of course to furbish up his status as an expert on international political affairs. That was before we found out about his new status as an economic expert.

From Guatemala City the perspicacious Associated Press reports that Robert prophesies great economic things to come out of the opening of the Pan-American highway, and goes along:

The Senator... is studying economic conditions in Latin American countries...

Which seems to have Robert set up squarely for an economic expert. Well, maybe so. But somehow he was more convincing to us before he set up for a heavy thinker. Bussing Jean Harlow in public, endorsing cigarettes, and riding in a college-boy jalopy seemed somehow to suit his style better than great considerations of economics and politics. Certainly, it was better for the country than the Vindicators.

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