The Charlotte News

Sunday, October 22, 1939


HOLC To Date

Its Record With Distressed Clients Makes A Good Showing

Something to be remembered about the Home Owners' Loan Corporation, one of the relief agencies created in the early masterful days of the New Deal, is that the people whose mortgages it took over were for the most part about to lose their homes. Its clients, that is, were hard up and hard pressed.

In that light, the report on HOLC's experience in North Carolina is gratifying. Most of its loans were made with a rush after June, 1933, though its lending powers were extended until 1936. During that period it had mortgages on 12,442 pieces of property for a total of $31,394,396 (nearly two and a half millions of which went to pay delinquent taxes).

So far, only a little more than a tenth of those properties (1,343) have had to be taken over. A fourth of the principal amount of loans has been repaid--$7, 629,174. Some 900 loans have been paid in full.

Of the 10,000 loans still active, 8,320 are in what the Corporation calls "satisfactory" standing. The rest are making adjusted payments, which means, in all probability, that they are still hanging on with some hope of ultimate success.

Altogether, it is a record which, under the dark circumstances in 1933, makes a good showing both for the HOLC and its beneficiaries in Tar Heelia.


Our Thompson Seems To Overlook Robert Rice

Apparently Dorothy Thompson has never heard of North Carolina's great gift to the nation, the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds, Senator in Congress and Captain-General of the Vindicators.

In her column to the right she asks:

"Shall we hear one of these days that we cannot permit a corridor to exist, cutting us off from our great outpost of Alaska?"

But the fact is that we have been hearing it for two years now. The Hon. Robert Rice began asking it so long ago as that, and the other day in a speech he made in the Senate he not only asked it again but also indicated (great peace and neutrality advocate that he is) that he thought we ought to proceed immediately to grabbing it by force.

Tck! Tck! Dotty, even a lady journalist should keep up with her country's statesmen better than that.

Aid For Subs

Senator Clark Rushes To Help the Germans Now

Bennett Champ Clark, Senator from Missouri, is out with an amendment to the neutrality bill which would forbid the entry of armed merchantmen into American ports.

This is a blow aimed directly at England and France and calculated greatly to benefit Germany. It would force them either to disarm their merchantmen or to stay completely out of our ports. If they did the latter, it would inevitably mean the ruin of our commerce with them--and our commerce with them is the largest part of our export trade. But of course, they could not do that. They could, and undoubtedly would, scale down their purchases from us, in retaliation, to be considerable damage of business in this country. But some of our products they have to have, at all costs. And so the result would be to force them to disarm their merchantmen.

Which is to say that it would be a major move in support of the German submarines, which would then be able to sink them at leisure and without risk.

And that, precisely, is what Clark undoubtedly wants. He claims, indeed, that it is only a logical extension of the President's ban on the use of our ports by submarines. But there is this great difference between submarines and the arms of the merchantmen: the former is a regular offensive weapon of war, the latter are used only for defense. The real logic behind this is simply that of spite, partly toward the President, who is conceived as the active friend of England and France, and partly toward the English and French themselves. No man in Congress, unless it is Ham Fish, has shown a more bitter personal spite and only Lundeen and Robert Rice Reynolds have shown in usual rage toward England and France, a more pronounced sympathy for the Nazis.

Such stuff is serving rapidly to embitter our relations with Canada and the British Empire generally, and promises to yield poison fruit to when--as now seems inevitable--England makes Canada the real citadel of her empire.

Broken Treaties

Germany Has Broken Her Pledge To Us, Also

One of the most insistent charges brought against Mr. Roosevelt's foreign policies are that they are not really neutral. Probably, it is a true charge--and so what?

There is no absolute neutrality, in the sense that our policies are not bound to aid one side or the other. And there is no doubt that the present law actively aids Germany by depriving England of one of the things its sea control was meant to insure: the ability to secure arms and other need for war materials in this and other foreign markets. The only neutrality open to us is a legal neutrality under international law, and under that law the proposed measure is just as legal as the existing statute.

When that is disposed of the basic question remaining is: as between Germany and the allies, which side ought our policy to aid from the standpoint of our own self-interest and a decent regard for international morality?

The answer is evident in many ways, but one point that has been generally overlooked is that we have good legal grounds for frowning on Germany and employing our rights to the advantage of her foes rather than of herself. Our position on treaties is well known. And if one leaves aside Germany's violation of her various national treaties with her victims, she is still enormously guilty--in violating international treaties.

There is the treaty of Locarno, for example. Signed in Switzerland in October, 1929 by Great Britain, France, Italy, Belgium, Cechoslovakia, Poland, and Germany (acting of her own free and uncoerced will), it guaranteed the peace in Europe and all existing boundaries. The United States was not a signer of that treaty, but it was certainly a party to the maneuvering behind the scenes which brought it about.

But this is not all. At Paris on Aug. 27, 1928, was signed the Kellogg Pact. Fifteen nations, including Germany, Czechoslovakia, Poland, and the United States, agreed under that treaty that settlement of all disputes of whatever nature "shall never be sought except by pacific means."

The moment Germany crossed Poland's border she became a violator of a treaty with the United States--remains in that status. Has she then any legal or moral right to impartiality?

Discipline At Sea

It Is Menaced By Militant Maritime Labor Unionization

If the U.S. Maritime Commission follows military procedure enough to end each day with the ceremony of Retreat, an appropriate variation of the usual flag lowering would be to let the man down from where he was hoisted by that petard.

For, if ever the old simile applied with sardonic force and effect, it is to the Maritime Commission, operator of its own shipping lines and angel to others, among them the U.S. Lines. As an agency of the New Deal government, it is having to take the same distasteful medicine which is the dose prescribed for private employers.

Organized labor, which has its good and bad points, has been made an instrument of Federal policy, and since one of the manifestations of organization, at least in its early stages, is militancy, it was inevitable that the Maritime Commission, a large employer of maritime labor, should run up against that factor. It was inevitable, too, that the tradition of discipline, which has been strong in men who go to sea, should run up against the low regard for discipline that characterizes militant unions.

And so passengers from the U.S. liner Acadia, which docked in New York last week after a voyage from Europe whose danger was redoubled by hurricane winds, reported disturbing signs of this clash between maritime tradition and maritime unionization. Insolence and insubordination were cited, and the ship's officers said that a dozen fights had taken place between crew members of the National Maritime Union (CIO) and the International Seamen's Union, (AFL).


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