The Charlotte News

Sunday, June 11, 1939



That's Different

Administration Allows Itself Privileges It Denies Others

One of the things that rather gets under our skin about the Roosevelt Administration is its way of declaring, "Now, we shall do this, which is all right because it is we who do it, but it would be wrong to do a whit more or a whit less." Thus, the President brings in a budget hopelessly unbalanced by reason of huge expenditures, but to Congress he lays down the law that any more of the same must be accompanied by revenue produced out of pocket.

More high-handed still, he resists any and all efforts to shave a few millions here and a few millions there from his sacrosanct recommendations. In this he is fortified by the natural tendency of politicians always to increase appropriations.

A further illustration of these headstrong proprietary tendencies is afforded in Federal Reserve Chairman Eccles' proposal to withdraw a hundred million or so from the stabilization fund and use it for loans to small businesses. What Eccles puts forward, you may be sure, FDR has first approved. And yet it was only a couple weeks ago that FDR, taking notice of a suggestion in Congress that a part of the stabilization fund be used for something other than stabilization, warned hands-off. For Papa would spank.

Uses Of The Heat

Isolationists Devise A Trick To Defeat Will Of Majority

The isolationists in the Senate--both those who are that way out of honest conviction and vested interest as ancient proponents of that conviction, like Borah and Hiram Johnson, and those who have lately got that way out of partisan or personal spite toward President Roosevelt--have obviously been studying the philosophy of old General George Van Horne Moseley. That is, they are going to save us, and have their way, in spite of us.

It seems to be manifest even to them that they can't stop the Hull proposals to repeal the arms embargo law and give the President power to designate danger zones into which American shipping may not go in time of war--if they allow it to come to a vote. And they are taking up a round robin to threaten endless debate--a filibuster, that is- if the proposals are not quietly laid aside. That strategy has been adopted because the President wants very soon to go to the World's Fair at San Francisco, and because the Senators generally want Congress adjourned as quickly as possible so that they can escape from the Turkish bath Washington turns into in the Summer.

It may be true that all the polls show that the overwhelming sentiment of the American people is in favor of the Hull proposals. But that doesn't matter. Papa knows best. And no small matter like democracy and the right of the majority to prevail must be allowed to block the isolationist wisdom from saving us from ourselves.

Pirate's Boast

Musso Put Franco's American Supporters On A Spot With This One

Italy and Germany are a little unkind to the good American supporters of Franco's cause in the late Spanish civil war. These good people have worn themselves blue in the face telling us (1) that Italy and Germany came to the General's aid only after the war had been going on a good while and it was plain that the Reds had charge of the Loyalist Government (2) that their aid was only incidental and (3) that it was all done purely by way of saving civilization.

In the last two weeks both Italy and Germany--Italy through Virginio Gayda, Mussolini's official Charles McCarthy, and Germany through Herr Hitler himself--have openly insisted that they were in Spain from the beginning, that it was they who brought the Moors over from Africa and saved Franco's cause from destruction during the first few days of the war, and that without their aid he couldn't possibly have won. And now comes an Italian newspaper to brag that Mussolini's submarines played a decisive part in winning the war by sinking "numerous" merchant ships of Britain and other nations.

That last is simply a candid confession of piracy. For that, precisely, is what it was under the law of nations. Neither Italy nor Germany were at war with the legitimate government of Spain, neither had any shred of legal right to sink or even to stop and search the ships of third powers. And the fact that they may have flown Franco's flag while engaged in their criminal acts does not at all change the situation. For he had not been recognized as a belligerent by any of the powers whose ships were destroyed and whose sailors were murdered. Ultimately, this boast may prove highly embarrassing for both Mussolini and Hitler. For if a war should come and they should lose it, it is as certain as anything can be that they will have to face trial precisely on this charge of piracy, among others. But in any case it is going to be immediately and dreadfully embarrassing for Franco's American apologists. For it is just a little hard, masters, to reconcile the practice of piracy with a crusade to save civilization.

High Costs

But They Do Not Change Sanatorium's Need For Adequate Facilities

The main item in the charges aired in the Friday night session of the Public Weal--that the per capita costs of operating the Mecklenburg Sanatorium for Tuberculosis are too high as compared with the two State Sanatoriums--the main item in these charges was that of food. In the North Carolina Sanatorium the per capita annual cost of feeding the patients is $158, in the Western North Carolina Sanatorium it is $165.62, but in the Mecklenburg Sanatorium it is $259.10. That difference seems much too great.

But it is fair to remember that the Sanatorium does not buy its own food. The County authorities do that on requisition from the Sanatorium. And so the fact that food costs are too high is no reason for turning down the Sanatorium's plea for what it obviously needs: adequate facilities for taking care of the Negro tuberculars in the County. That would be simply to punish Negroes for what they have no control over, since the difference in cost would still not provide adequate facilities. The Weal itself, indeed, seems to decide just that, to judge by the vote. The too-great costs at the Sanatorium obviously need to be remedied. Meantime, however, we should go ahead and vote for the new levy, in the expectation that, since the matter has been brought to the attention of the authorities, adjustments will be made.

A Man's Due

Trouble-Shooter McNinch Receives Laurels On Which To Rest

As Frank McNinch's severest critics, who not only deprecated the appointment of a Hoovercrat to one of the Democratic places vacant on the Federal Power Commission, but had also frequently questioned the independence of that quasi-judicial agency, it behooves us to bring the McNinch serial up-to-date. The latest episode has to do with exchange of letters between "Dear Frank," now chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, and President Roosevelt, offering the former "good neighbor of Sharon Road" reappointment to the F.P.C. This he declined on account of his health and because, we may assume, his work on the F.C.C. has not been completed.

It is that work which deserves, we believe, the highest commendations. He was transferred as a trouble-shooter to an agency which was rife with ineptness, politics and worse. His task was all the more difficult because the place of radio in the American scheme of commerce, public service and free expression had not yet been established. He has been drawn into one or two controversies of a trifling nature which did him or radio no great good, but for the main part he has demonstrated both an understanding of his job and capacity to get it done. Not even his bitterest enemies, which we never were, can say that he has not made a name for himself that any man might be proud of.


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