The Charlotte News

Thursday, March 6, 1941


Brazen Deeds

Stern Measures Are Needed To Nip This In the Bud

The City police and Superior Court have a stern test before them. To the town's crime record is now added two outbreaks of gangster violence in a labor dispute. And if the law-enforcement agencies do not break that up with stern swiftness, they will deserve far more bitter criticism then they have yet come in for.

There should be no more difficulty about establishing the identity of the thugs who perpetrated the dastardly attack on the home of Labor-leader Keyser--an attack on Keyser's wife and their two small children as well as on himself--than there has been about establishing that of the man who fired on a car in the street near the Barringer Hotel Tuesday evening--an attack that endangered the lives of innocent passersby. And once these birds are rounded up they should be brought speedily to trial and given the maximum penalty of the law.

According to the police, these outbreaks represent the culmination of an attempt to unionize the employees of a local trucking company--against the will of the employees. As to the truth of that, we don't know. But if it is true, then the attempt is itself outrageous. The right of laboring men to join a union is unquestionable. But the effort to force them to join regardless of their own wishes is another thing entirely--an intolerable thing.

Nobody expects a labor dispute to be a tea-party. But both sides to such a dispute are bound to obey the law, like all other citizens. And labor disputes give no license for murder or attempt at murder. Both sides of this dispute appear by incontrovertible evidence to stand guilty of attempt to murder.

And of something even worse--the endangering of the lives of people who have no part in the dispute, including innocent children.

The safety of every man and woman in Charlotte, of themselves and their loved ones, is involved in this matter. And the police, the Solicitor, and the Court, are equally bound to make it grimly clear once for all that this city is not to be turned into another Chicago.

Dubious Move

Hitler Seems To Have Guessed Wrong in the Balkans

In his last speech Mr. Hitler said he had made exactly 431 mistakes (the figures are approximate) in 1940, but that England had made 25,280 in the same period.

However, the thing that matters is not the number of mistakes but their consequences. And by that standard everything now suggests that Adolf may have made, in his invasion of Bulgaria, the most serious mistake since his failure to invade Britain last Summer.

The little man likes to believe that he has some more than human power of intuition and clairvoyance. Napoleon liked to think the same thing concerning himself, and his stout belief in it contributed to his undoing. Perhaps it will yet be the undoing of Hitler.

At any rate, he appears to have believed confidently that he can bluff Greece and Turkey into surrender by placing his army on the Thracian border--and to have been mistaken.

As matters stand at present, Greece gives every intention of meaning to fight on. Turkey clearly indicates her will to fight. The English seem to be landing troops at Salonica. And Russia is suddenly acting up. The last is very ominous for Adolf.

For it probably means that Stalin has begun to suspect that Germany will lose the war in the end and is moving at once to protect his interests in the Balkans and restore himself to the good graces of England and the United States.

Brave Words

That Are Yet To Be Suited To a Single Solitary Deed

Just after the United Drys had beaten off the attack of wets in June 1937 and saved this citadel of prohibition, their campaign manager, Chester Morrison, declared:

"I have been assured by Charlotte's most responsible citizens that a campaign of law enforcement will be waged in Charlotte which will clean out the bootlegging joints and other places of flagrant violations of law and decency."

A month or so later, D. E. Henderson, local leader of the United Drys and a perennial advocate of drying up the whole state, backed up Chester's declaration. Warned Mr. Henderson:

"If there be officers who think they can enforce the prohibition law, such officers will be asked to resign, and they will be replaced."

These two expressions, uttered in the exultation of victory over the forces of evil, had to be discounted, in all fairness. Nobody ever really expected the drys all at once to start alleviating conditions of their own dictation which they had allowed to exist for 30 years. To the contrary, they were expected to be wholly content with their new victory over the demon rum, and to sit back until the question was raised again.

Nevertheless, as advocates and professed upholders of what they call law enforcement, it is a little astonishing that they have not pitched in to make their influence felt in a local situation which, although it grows out of enforcement of the liquor laws, is hardly calculated to increase respect for the public official concerned and the prohibition he is sworn to uphold.

That situation revolves around 307 pints of bottled liquor Sheriff Riley laid away last November and which he has not turned over to the County to be sold for the school fund and which he has obdurately refused to account for.

Uncandid Claim

Right of Free Discussion Does Not Excuse This

On the floor of the Senate Robert Rice Reynolds, in one of his interminable speeches, quotes the Raleigh News & Observer as follows:

It would be difficult to conceive of a more dangerous mistake at this time in America than a filibuster in the Senate by the opponents of the Lend-Lease Bill... Of course, to cut off the debate on this bill in order that democracy might be aided quickly would be a quick form of destroying democracy at home... But taking the time necessary to voice opposition is one thing, filibuster would be something else altogether...

Robert said he agreed with that, and went on:

"I want to make it clear that there is a great distinction between a filibuster and legitimate discussion of any legislation."

The opponents of the Lend-Lease Bill have an ample opportunity to make themselves heard. They have taken full advantage of it. The country knows their arguments by heart. And with these arguments before them the majority in Congress and the nation have made up their minds. The bill will pass when it is voted on.

Robert Rice Reynolds, like Burton Wheeler, knows that to be the case. Both know that the country already is well acquainted with their arguments, and that they are now simply repeating themselves endlessly.

Their course has not yet taken the full form of a filibuster. But it is a filibuster in its essence and intent.


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