The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 20, 1940



A Mediator

Graham Will Be Governed by Facts and His Conscience

There may be some elements in industry which will look with suspicion on the appointment of Frank Graham as a "neutral" member of the Labor Mediation Board, since he has before now certainly showed strong sympathy for labor in many disputes. The opposition in North Carolina and the Southern region generally is likely to be highly vocal.

And his acceptance of the post will surely give rise to more grumbling and questioning by some Tar Heels about the over-extension of his activities beyond the range of the University itself.

But in the end most people will agree that as a "neutral" member Frank will be neutral. His conscientiousness is something not more than two or three men in North Carolina or elsewhere have ever dared question, and their foolish charge that he was secretly plotting to hand the University over to radical elements has not injured his reputation for absolute integrity.

Frank is a calm man and a fair one, undoubtedly does his best to get to the bottom of things rather than to take any purely partisan stand. No man is ever entirely "neutral," and Graham won't be, either. But that he will try is certain. And that he will do what he thinks is right come what may--that is also certain.


The Bankers

Mr. Wheeler Invents an Odd Name for American Majority

In Washington, Burton Wheeler turns loose this blast:

"I have no doubt but that Mr. Roosevelt, with Mr. Willkie's aid, will take the country to war unless the people let the President know in no uncertain terms that they are opposed to Great Britain and a few international bankers determining our foreign policy."

It is worth observing that his "few international bankers" needs only the adjective "Jewish" to be taken from the mouth of Adolf Hitler.

In point of fact, it seems to us that it is Burton Wheeler who has been trying, in company with a few Lindberghs, Verne Marshalls, Father Coughlins, Bob Reynoldses, Hugh Johnsons, Bennett Clarks, and bitter-end partisan Republicans, to take over the making of the foreign policy of this country in defiance of the will of the majority of the American people and the powers prescribed by the Constitution.

In November forty-five million American voters cast their ballot for the two men he mentions--Roosevelt and Willkie, whose foreign policy was well known to them. Every existing public opinion poll has consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of the people of the nation favor that policy. The Congress of the United States voted two to one to uphold the policy of passing the Draft Bill and the Lease-Lend Bill. "A few international bankers," eh?

Contrast Wheeler's attitude with that of Republican Senator Taber, who voted against the Lease-Lend Bill but knows how to bow to the will of the nation:

"Regardless of what anyone's attitude might have been as to embarking upon a program to aid Britain, to my mind there can be no question but what we have embarked upon that program and that we must furnish enough aid to Great Britain to permit Great Britain to win the war..."


Slow Going

It's Easy To Talk but Hard To Spend in the Billions

With all the talk about the ten billions of dollars, eighteen billions, forty-five billions and so on that this country is spending and will spend for its own and Britain's defense, it is sometimes wise to look at the daily Treasury report (which appears every day on the financial page of The News) and see just how much has actually been spent so far.

Authorizations, of course, and liability for work in process do not figure in expenditures. These represent money actually paid out for the ordinary and extraordinary and emergency expenditures of the Federal Government.

In the Treasury's report published yesterday, expenditures for the fiscal year (since last July 1) amounted in round figures to $8,000,000,000. The same period last year: $6,500,000,000.

Thus we see that in this frantic year the Government has managed to expend so far only a billion and a half more than last year even for all the planes, tanks, trucks, ships, munitions, military construction and other material of war that it needs so badly.


Radio Room

Nazis and Communists Must Not Be Allowed To Run It

The accuracy of Jan Valtin's "Out of the Night" has been challenged by many commentators. The book purports to expose Communist and Nazi practices from the viewpoint of one who has been an insider for most of his life. But there is not much doubt that in general the book is a true picture, even though the author may have called on his obviously gifted imagination to fill in at many points.

The millions of readers of the book (already) will at once recall, in connection with the warnings of the Navy's chief radio officer, Admiral Hopper, that Valtin says that Communists and Nazis alike move heaven and earth to get their men into the radio control room of ships. That would be obvious in any case, since it is the real nerve center of any vessel.

In the purge of radio operators on merchant ships, which is in essence what the Admiral asks for, there would be danger of injustice. Radio men, like old telegraph operators, tend to be of an inquiring and original turn of mind, and often have read more widely than the officers on their ships, than either merchant or naval officers generally--sometimes have odd views without being disloyal or subversive.

To harry such fellows would, of course, be an outrage. But there should be no real difficulty about distinguishing between them and the active Communist and Nazi agents if intelligent men are put in charge of the matter. Certainly, the trouble-makers, so far as they exist, ought to be rooted out.


Elected Man

France Thought Clowns Were More Fun, Too--Once

What other qualifications Mr. Wickersham may have--if any--we don't know. He himself offers only one.

Mr. Wickersham is the 35-year-old insurance salesman and political tyro who has just beaten a field of eight candidates, including Congressman-at-Large Will Rogers and former Representative Jim McClintic, for the Democratic nomination to succeed the late Sam Massingale as Representative in Congress from Oklahoma's Seventh District.

Mr. Wickersham explains his victory thus:

"I shook hands with everybody from the bank presidents to the back alleys."

That, and nothing more, so far as Mr. Wickersham says.

It is, we suppose, somewhat more polite than electing a man because he had a hill-billy band play "Pass the Biscuits, Pappy." But it has little more justification in logic. And this habit of electing men with no appreciable qualifications because of something extraneous is growing in America.

Maybe it is all right. But we remember uncomfortably the famous fraud of the French Rightist parties in France a few years ago. To the whole Chamber of Deputies and the Senate were sent letters in the name of a non-existent republic asking for promises of a aid in case it was attacked. Over sixty members of the Assembly answered, saying they'd be glad to do their best for that. Then the ruse was exposed and Paris roared at a good joke, not minding much if France's lawmakers were shown up for ignorant fools.

We recall what happened to France, not with too much ease of mind.


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