The Charlotte News

Friday, March 7, 1941


Sloppy Courts

Our Goddess of Justice Is Careless As Well As Blind

Up in Wilkes County the grand jury has indicted two sets of County Commissioners, the last board and the new one for not carrying out a Superior Court judge's order to make certain improvements in the county jail, tuberculosis hospital and courthouse. The order warned that they would face indictment if they failed to do the necessary, and so they cannot plead that they were taken by surprise.

But here's an ironic commentary on this unusual action. The original order was issued by Judge Armstrong at the August 1939 term of court. It instructed the Solicitor of the district to move for indictment if the County Commissioners had not complied with it by November 1939.

Our calendar shows the current month to be March, 1941. In other words, the order was not enforced until nearly eighteen months after the deadline that Judge Armstrong set--and left to the Solicitor.

It all backs up our contention that the courts, which are charged with the gravest responsibility over the lives and liberties of the people, are the sloppiest run agencies in all North Carolina.

Lean King

End of War May Not Set Cotton Back on Throne

In January the United States exported only 80,000 five-hundred-pound bales of cotton, as compared with over one million bales in the same month last year. Value of exports in January 1940 was $60,000,000, for January 1941 it was only $3,100,000.

The war is of course the explanation. But it would be rash to assume that the end of the war will see the old export market restored.

If Hitler wins, it is probable that he will want a great deal of American cotton at once. But he will buy it on his own terms, not ours. And moreover, his demand is highly likely to be only temporary. He will prefer to develop other sources which will be more completely under his control. And he is certain to destroy at least much of the English textile industry--hitherto the South's best customer.

But even if England wins, the prospect of permanently regaining the lost market is not too bright. Japan has already been making great inroads into the English textile industry. In the decade between 1930 and 1940 the number of English spindles fell by about twenty million, while an increase nearly as great was taking place in Japan.

But Japan provides no good market for Southern cotton. Specializing in the low grade cloth which is used in the Orient, it wants cotton far cheaper than the United States can grow. And it has been busily developing new sources for the staple--will turn much of China into cotton fields if it succeeds in conquering that country.

A Silence

Britain Refuses To Give Wheeler Aid in His Plans

One of the points upon which Burton Wheeler harps incessantly is the demand that England shall state her war aims.

Churchill has so far ignored him, and the reason is clear enough. As Raymond Clapper suggested recently, most realistic authorities are now agreed that the German nation must be Balkanized at the end of the war, so as to make it impossible for it again to repeat the crime against civilization of which it has already been twice guilty. The country will have to be occupied in the course of carrying out the division. And the men responsible for the crimes against the nations will have to be hunted down and ruthlessly punished.

No responsible person believes that this should be done merely for revenge. But they do believe that stern measures are necessary to destroy the German Menace once and for all. And there is not much doubt that Mr. Churchill shares this view.

He doesn't state it now because he knows that what Wheeler and his gang want is ammunition with which to appeal to sentimentalists. Wheeler has yet to raise his voice against the infamous crimes of the Nazis in Poland, as reported by Mr. Clapper today--the deliberate cold-blooded effort to exterminate a nation. But his heart bleeds and bleeds at the thought of the dear gentle Germans having to suffer the penalty of their deeds.

And there are plenty of people in the United States who feel the same way--who keep on telling themselves the old falsehoods that the Germans are to be distinguished from their leaders, though the plain fact is that, having been deprived of bad leaders at the end of the last war, they promptly got themselves worse ones as quick as they dared.

Churchill does well not to provide such people with an excuse to hold up their hands in horror and start bawling about Britain's desire for tyranny.

Naval Expert

Mr. Vinson Turns Down A Request a Bit Hastily

Politicos always proceed on the principle that they know more about everything than anybody else. And so it is not startling to find Chairman Vinson of the House Naval Affairs Committee bluntly turning thumbs down on the Navy's request that it be allowed to replace over-aged battleships with any type of combat ship deemed advisable.

Vinson says he views that granting this authority would mean the halting of work on battleships and concentration on destroyers.

As to whether that would be advisable we don't know. Neither does Vinson, who is without naval background. But the Navy ought to know.

Most Americans will agree that the battleships ought to be built. For the experience of this war seems to indicate that they are still ultimate masters of the sea. But the unhappy fact is that most of those now laid down or provided for cannot be ready for service for at least three years longer.

And it is certainly conceivable that destroyers may be so crucially important in deciding this war that it might be best to sidetrack battleships for the time being. If Hitler is destroyed we shall have no imperative and immediate need for battleships. If he wins, the battleships will probably be too late anyhow.

In any case, the Navy ought to be heard carefully when it speaks of its own needs.

Still Silent

But To Force Turning Rum Over Seems In Order

In the House at Raleigh Rep. McDougle yesterday introduced a bill which requires liquor seized by County police officers to be turned over to county commissioners within ten days. The boards, in their turn must dispose of the stuff to hospitals or ABC stores within 90 days.

Yesterday also the County police turned over to the Commissioners of Mecklenburg 148 pints of tax-paid liquor.

Unaccounted for remained 318 pints of liquor seized by J. Mack Riley, Sheriff Mecklenburg. Of this 307 pints were seized so long ago as November 1940. The record shows that Sheriff Riley has turned over no liquor to the Commissioners since June, 1939--now almost two years.

Sheriff Riley has persistently refused to disclose the whereabouts of the liquor, save to intimate that he had given it away. We should never ourselves have suggested anything of the kind in the absence of proof--since such a disposal of the liquor would be grossly reprehensible morally and also illegal. But the Sheriff's own words raised the question.

At any rate, the measure proposed by McDougle seems to be eminently in order for Mecklenburg County, at least.


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