The Charlotte News

Tuesday, July 23, 1940



Peace Game

Adolf Seems Less Than Anxious for Attack

It is still perhaps open to the suspicion of wish-thinking, but the conclusion that Adolf Hitler has no stomach for the enterprise of attempting to invade England becomes continually more probable.

Time is certainly greatly important to him. He has promised Rumania aid after Aug. 15. And he has offered Argentina guaranteed delivery of steel by Sept. 1. Both promises involve the supposition that he will have finished the English business by Aug. 7, for the Nazi ships will have to clear Hamburg about that date to reach Buenos Aires on schedule. And he will need at least a week to get ready to take on Russia.

If he fails to live up to these promises, his prestige is going to take a great tumble.

Moreover, it is absolutely imperative that he settle all accounts before mid-October, for about then operations against either England or Russia are going to be made virtually impossible by the weather. And if England and Russia have another Winter to repair his chance of ultimate victory is not going to be good.

Further still, famine is already pressing the Continent hard, and behind famine plague is making its appearance. He may, indeed, count on feeding the Germans this Winter by stripping all the conquered countries of food. But starving men are desperate men and he will have to count on wholesale rebellion in the conquered territories--will have to use most of his armies merely to hold them in subjection.

And if, in view of all that, he still holds off his attack on England, it is the rational thing to suppose that he has reasons over and beyond his desire to avoid heavy sacrifices of precious Germans which he knows will inevitably be involved.

The whole propaganda from Berlin and Rome these days has a hysterical ring about it. Could anything be more forlorn than the effort to persuade the English people that their Government is a wicked and tyrranical tool of international capitalists and that they must get rid of the Churchill Cabinet, which contains three of the most trusted labor leaders in England? Or that all the fee-faw-fuming about forces so irresistible and dreadful that England's fate will be settled in a few days? No country in the world is more solidly united behind its Government than England, and Englishmen have long ago accustomed themselves to Hitler's worst and steeled themselves to meet it.

All in all, it looks very much as though Adolf was eager to make any sort of agreement with England for the time being.

One reason for that might well be doubt as to his power actually to overcome England now. The sole weapon on which he can count is the air weapon, where he has an advantage of perhaps two to one. But the English have consistently shown themselves able to balance out a considerable part of those odds by superior skill and fighting qualities. And moreover, they are fighting on inside lines and over a comparably small area. But unless he can destroy England's factories and smash her morale by bombing, any attempt by water is likely to be suicide.

Perhaps even more important in his calculations is uneasiness about Russia. That Stalin has any intention of actually attacking him from the rear is improbable. Nevertheless, the Russian "suggestion" to Rumania about the desirability of establishing a "popular" government there and so coming under the Soviet wing shows that Stalin means to bring his power right up to Germany's back door, to block German designs on the Balkans, and, most important of all, to get control of the German oil supply.

This is not to say that the attack on England won't come. It is Hitler's practice to take the bull by the horns when he finds himself hemmed up. And the attack may come as quickly as he has finally convinced himself that England is not to be gulled. But just now he is plainly fishing hard for a deal under which Europe could be fed this Winter, Russia disposed of, and England left to be swallowed when he feels more equal to the job.



Too Many Murder Cases Never Get by Coroner's Juries

A statistic that came out of The News' series of articles on "Crime and Punishment" in Charlotte was that--

... of 29 manslayers arrested in the months under consideration, ten were cleared and turned loose by the coroner's jury.

This is a finding of the first importance. Whatever the legal authority of the coroner--and that the lawyers will have to determine--for a minor officer, trained in anatomy rather than law, with the assistance of a jury of only six men, usually regulars, to pass on matters of life-and-death in this most murderous of cities, is absurd on its face.

The coroner cannot sentence a petty thief to jail for thirty days, any more than he can send the murderer to the chair. But he can exculpate killers, and he is doing it regularly.

Hence, rightly or wrongly, the coroner has first jurisdiction in killing cases. As a result, many never reach the courts set up to dispense the State's inexorable justice.

What it comes down to, in the final analysis, is that a man named Chris Neubert--a wholly estimable citizen, as far as we know--has a great deal to do with the holding or freeing of manslayers, for Mr. Neubert sat on 54 cases out of the 57 fatalities passed on by coroner's juries in the period under examination. L. A. Norman set on 52 of these cases, C. C. Adams Jr. on 30 cases, W. F. Hanks on 29 cases, Frank Bell on 28 cases, and so on.

We would not dispute their verdicts, which probably follow the evidence as presented. But we would dispute vigorously the wisdom of the system whereunder a coroner and a jury of six men, usually regulars, try murder cases and dispose of so many of them without any appearance in real court.



Japs, Like Hitler, Advise Us Scornfully of Aims

Adolf Hitler has long practiced a kind of contemptuous technique on democratic powers, especially on the United States, that has now been copied by Japan. It consists of stating exactly what he plans, on the assumption that democracies are too stupid, too given to wish-thinking, to act on it--that they will always grab the straw of hope with which he judges it necessarry to lull them now and then.

Yesterday members of the Japanese Cabinet gave interviews to the press. Foreign Minister Yosuke Matsouka made it plain that his government proposed to use "diplomatic blitzkrieg" methods of Germany and strike without notice for the achievement of its ends.

Minister of Commerce Ichizo Kobayashi said Japan must "unhinge itself from the economic orbit of Great Britain and the United States." And went on: "A high degree of state efficiency must be achieved through hitching ourselves to the Italo-German axis, and freeing ourselves from dependence on the United States and Britain."

Minister of Home and Welfare Eija Wasui was even more candid. Said he:

"We cannot doubt that the day soon will come when Japan can share the world with Germany and Italy."

There used to be an old saying in all the copybooks, "Forewarned is Forearmed." And if that were so, then it might reasonably be expected that we would take these remarks as representing the fact and act on them--for the whole history of the Axis shows that they are not to be put down as mere brag and bluster but as a sober blueprint of what is intended. But the fact is that so far as democracies go the old maxim seems to be untrue. Hitler's contemptuous assumption that the democracies would not believe him until it was too late has proved one hundred per cent correct so far.


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