The Charlotte News

Tuesday, May 9, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Since it is a warm day where we sit this May of 2005, and what with all this labor over print on pirates, Rocky Road, and taxed soda jerkers, our taste buds tell us it's time for an ice cold soda. Since we haven't any onboard, we must go get some. So we'll take our leave via the rowboat to do so and let you read these by your lonesome. See you in a bit. Be sure and monitor the glass for any man o' war in our brief absence. They can sneak upon you in a flash, especially in halcyon waters.

Bound West

The Strange Course Of A Crucially Important Warship

It is a little curious to observe that among the three British cruisers standing in convoy with the Empress of Australia, on which the King and Queen of England are traveling America-ward, is the Repulse. The Repulse is the ship which was originally outfitted to carry the Royal pair. But since it was the only one of three British ships not laid up in dry dock which was capable of catching the German pocket battleships it was decided to keep it at home in view of the threatening war situation.

Perhaps it is scheduled to turn back before it gets utterly out of striking range of Spain, where the German fleet is. But nothing is said of that, and the ships are already more than 300 miles west of Ireland, which suggests that she is engaged in more than guard-of-honor duty to the limit of home waters.

Has England, then, come to believe in anything so fantastic as that the Germans and the Italians, long ago turned pirates, might dare to sink the King and Queen, in the same fashion as the mystery ship in the South Atlantic, as a gesture of contempt? Hardly. Much more likely is the supposition that the presence of the Repulse in the convoy is additional proof of what became fairly clear in the House of Parliament yesterday; that the Bumble Government is still happily married to "appeasement" and that it has no notion of taking a firm stand on Poland or anything else, short at least of Britain's own possessions.

It is a bewildering time. And it is not at all impossible that all the uproars of the last few weeks have been just so much more hocus-pocus, like that which preceded First Munich, designed to frighten the British people out of their wits, and prepare them for Second Munich.

[Note: Chalk up a bad guess for The Charlotte News interpreter of foreign trends. The Associated Press reported at 12:45 PM today that the Repulse (bad 'cess to her!) having proceeded more than 750 miles westward from Ireland, turned her nose homeward again.]

Some Values

How Congress Voted On A Fairly Clear Issue

Patronage or party plus a good opportunity to stand out boldly as being hot for honest, efficient government before everything else--that was the choice the Democrats in the House faced last week when a joint resolution came up to a vote: the resolution to reject the President's reorganization order transmitted on April 25. As for the Republicans, their choice was a little different: patronage plus party or just plain patriotism plus a good opportunity to advertise their devotion to it.

There was no legitimate objection to this scheme, and nobody even attempted to make any. But there was this: that the resolution's defeat (it actually died by a vote of 265 to 128, with 35 members refraining) was a foregone conclusion, so that the boys can draw up on party lines with a relatively clear conscience. Even so, it is interesting to observe how they voted.


For party, patriotism and advertising and against patronage... 251

For patronage and against party patriotism and advertising... 7


For patronage and party, against patriotism and advertising... 139

For patriotism and advertising and against party and patronage... 27

Socking 'Em All

That Tar Heel Revenue Law Is Bad News For Everybody

That fat volume, "Public Laws of North Carolina, Special Session 1938, Regular Session 1939," has arrived on our desk, bright and shiny, as, mutatis mutandis, it always does about this time each biennium. And as usual the most cursory glance shows that it is full of interesting stuff. But what takes our eye immediately and to the exclusion of lesser things is that revenue law. It covers everything from page 176 through page 389 (a total of 214 pages, ma'am) and runs to 941 sections, of which the greater part is devoted to listing the sad news for virtually everybody inside.

The boys have literally gone through the available revenue sources in the state with a fine tooth comb. To save our lives, we can't think of a single possible sockee who gets off scot-free. Well, not more than one anyhow. The little black boys who carry their shoeshine boxes around with them on the street still seem to be getting away with it. But if they set up a fixed chair anywhere, let them watch out: the revenue agents will be around to see 'em pronto under threat of putting them "in jubilo for a hundred thousand days." For the rest, the Chinaman who runs a laundry just up the street from our door has to kick in $250 a year for the privilege. The man who brings our clean towels around has to do the same. And beside that the City and the County are licensed to sock them some more. The man who sells you pianos or radios or victrolas gets off light, having to pay only $10 a year, but the fellow who peddles cap pistols is soaked for $100--which on second thought, and considering our ears, is probably exceedingly light at that. A man who has twelve spouts for putting up bottled drinks has to come through with $250, the plutocrat who has 41 with $3,000. The drugstore and soda man must hand over $10 for every soda arm, the man at the soft-drink stand $5 on his icebox. Lightning rod sales are taxed $50, tobacco warehouses from $50 to $500, and men who put on contests for daily newspapers $200, with counties and towns empowered to nick them for half as much more. Loan sharks must pay to the tune of $750--which will pain no one but loan sharks. The fellow who sells outdoor advertising in Charlotte must cough up $325. And--but maybe we had better hold up. If we tried to set down all the gloomy tidings, we would fill up not only the whole page but the whole newspaper.


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