The Charlotte News

Sunday, June 18, 1939



A Difference

Which The Japanese Should At Least Look At

The unusual Foreign Office communique, to the effect that Britain is prepared "to take immediate and active steps" about the situation at Tientsin has a decisive ring about it. And so--and if it is true--does the report, turned in by Domei, the Japanese news agency, that two British warships have been ordered to the port.

It may well be that the Japanese brass hats are overlooking something, misreading the cards. Apparently, their action is based on the theory that Britain won't resort to force. And there is a good deal of ground for thinking that, seeing that tying knots in the lion's tail has been one of the safest of sports during the last few years. Nevertheless, it is worth nothing that the things to which Britain submitted tamely all involved other people's property. Ethiopia. Spain. Czecho-Slovakia. Memel--all these concerned neither national British property nor British citizens. And Britain has immemorially traded on other people's property. But there is no record that she ever gave out anything of her own without a fight to the finish. And she emphatically does consider her rights in the Tientsin as national property.

Switch Pulling

Does It Constitute A Fair Day's Work Over Here?

Mr. Thomas Murray, president of the Building and Construction Council of Greater New York, an AFL outfit, vigorously denies the charges made by Dr. Neil Van Aken, president of the Foreign Government Commissioners' Club, that union labor sabotaged buildings and caused greatly increased costs of foreign exhibitors at the World's Fair. He says that the charges arose only from the fact that his organization protested "when an attempt was made to import literally thousands" of "coolly workers," including brick-layers, carpenters, plasterers, and so on, and that they (the charges) simply represent "mad jealousy and resentment at the fact that in the United States a man who puts in a fair day's work is still entitled to a fair day's pay."

Mr. Murray may and probably does have a good case in protesting the wholesale importation of workers, if such was planned. But he seems to be hedging a little. The main charge made was that, even in cases where specially skilled workmen, unavailable in the United States, were brought into the special jobs, the unions still demanded and enforced that their own men should be hired even as the others did the work--that, in many cases, they were paid our wages for doing no more in a whole day than pulling a switch. Whether that is so or not, we don't know. But Mr. Murray might tell us candidly--and also whether he thinks that in the United States pulling a switch has got to be a fair day's work worth a fair day's pay.

Excessive Costs

Public Weal's Analysis Of Sanatorium Expense Not To Be Ignored

The report presented by the Public Weal committee at the meeting of that body Friday evening, is exceedingly interesting. According to figures presented, the annual cost per patient at the Mecklenburg Sanatorium of the four items of food, laundry, electric lights, and fuel is $325.66 as against $213.21 for Western North Carolina Sanatorium at Black Mountain and $209.10 at North Carolina Sanatorium. That is a difference of $112.45 and $115.56-- well over 50 percent in either case. And it adds up according to the Weal figures as to the number of patients, to a total cost of $17,092.40 more than is the case at Black Mountain.

These charges plainly need to be gone into and cleared up. Local prices vary considerably, and it is perhaps natural that costs in Mecklenburg with Charlotte in its midst, should be somewhat greater than at Black Mountain, though Summer resort prices of the latter place at least partly tends to balance that out. But it seems hard to believe that the difference could add up to so much. Certainly, the Sanatorium ought to set the best prices available, for every cent it saves on costs enable it to extend its facilities to the sick who need it. On the other hand, Mr. Harkey, who, as Chairman of the County Commissioners and purchasing agent for the County, was the target at the meeting last night, has both the right and the duty to set forth his side of the case. Perhaps the figures are inaccurate or incomplete. And perhaps there is a logical and reasonable explanation of the matter. But at any rate, all the facts clearly need to be brought out for public judgment. Meantime, the Sanatorium stands in pressing need of additional funds to enable it to render additional services.


Casual Man

With Disaster Upon Him He Asks For A Cigarette

Father Divine horned his heaven into an exclusive section of New Rochelle and Judged Davis across the road asked for a cigarette to help him stand the shock. It's like the time Mae West met a trying situation gallantly by saying to the colored maid, "Peel me a grape, Mabel."

The Judge must be quite a wise fellow. Small wonder he's a judge. He has been surprised and his case has been lost before he knew he had one, and he lost as gracefully as a courtier playing penny-ante with his king.

A white schoolmarm, one of the Divine Papa's followers, bought the house for a measly $7,500 from the Chase National Bank. When taxed with a breach of something or other, the bank threw up its hands and plaintively uttered, "My goodness, we're not in business for our health! And anyhow the contract's been signed."

So the judge certainly was surprised when the dusky angels moved in and started cleaning up. Did he thrash around and saw the air and make a futile cussin' spectacle of himself? Verily, he was as unperturbed as the gentleman from Krum Elbow in the same situation.

"Give me a cigarette--"

A casual man who somehow reaffirms our sagging faith. From various cynical gentlemen we have heard that the bands really did not play "Rock-a-bye Baby" as the cadets marched into battle at New Market, and that Mr. Sheriff was only seeing things in "Journey's End"--that no real British officers ever actually talked about the primroses in England with zero hour thirty seconds away. But with the judge before us--of course, they did.


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