The Charlotte News

Thursday, April 13, 1939


Site Ed. Note: As to that speed limit, exceeding which one should, according to the editorial, submit to the higher, less crowded spaces of the air, how could you blame them for wanting to go faster than most of those hulks of tin were fit for running? Some of them, indeed, not only had begun to get molded and fashioned to look like aeroplanes but as well were yclept as them, too.

And, Maybelline wasn't but 16 years away...

Having supplied the letter to the editor printed April 4 containing shameless, free self-promotion for the Queen Mary Restaurant in NYC, we supply this vote in response as well--perhaps, in combination with the previous suggestion of that which, according to the "Frenjies" piece of April 6, tastes akin to vodka, might properly have suggested that the prospect of aid to the Royal Family from the Russians was less slim than expected in April, 1939:

Dry or Dairyman? See His Suggestion For That Drink

Dear Sir:

In answer to your request for a North Carolina drink to be served to North Carolinians in New York to visit the World's fair this year, and to be called the "North Carolina," I hereby cast my vote for milk.



[Note: It was not ourselves but Herr Michael Larsen, operator of the large Swedish restaurant, "Queen Mary," in New York who asked for suggestions as to a drink to be served North Carolinians during the World's Fair. We merely passed along his request in the spirit of service. It was Herr Larsen's notion that it would simplify matters if he knew the favorite drink in use in these parts, and could arrange to give it to Tar Heels if, without fuss and bother and explanation, they simply held up so many fingers and said "one--two--ten--North Carolinas," as the case might be.

We felt bound to inform him that to serve the drink which is commonly accounted to have had the greatest vote among us, might land him in trouble with the Treasury's T-Men, who are devoted to a hopeless but gallant determination to settle all its manufacturers and purveyors in the hoosegow. But we suggested that a second-best might be found. Unfortunately, we are far from sure that, if the juvenile portion of the population is excluded, we could candidly assure him that the drink "Don't Use My Name" proposes actually is the really and truly favorite North Carolina drink which he might serve legally. And in any case, having ourselves sometimes observed Tar Heels, both wet and dry, in New York, we should hesitate to urge the suggestion on him too firmly. After all, what Herr Larsen wants is business.--Editors, The News.]

60 M. P. H.

Hereafter, if you like to go roaring along at seventy or eighty miles an hour in your automobile, you'd better keep a weather eye out for that cop on a motorcycle. For the Legislature this year at last concluded that it was time to fix a definite speed limit and named 60 miles. Hitherto, the only rule has been that the cop could arrest you if you were traveling at a rate of over 45 miles an hour and in his judgment your speed constituted reckless driving. So did an accident at that speed. But now--60 is the limit regardless.

Nobody can call it an unreasonable rule, certainly. Studies in a number of states have clearly established that speed is the chief bad actor in causing accidents--that such accidents most frequently take place on a long, straight, level stretch of smooth road, where the tendency to speed is most marked. And if you think you react fast enough to take care of an emergency when you are traveling at 70 or 80 m.p.h., you are merely kidding yourself and flirting with death. Exhaustive studies have shown that, in the nature of the human nervous system, nobody can react that fast. If you've just got to make more than 60, then get an aeroplane.

High Cost of Liberalism*

Down in South Carolina, where the Legislature meets every year, they are having a time with money matters. There isn't enough money left in the Treasury to finish out the fiscal year. State employees are jittery at the specter of payless pay days, and the Legislature, in order to achieve a balanced budget for the coming year, is having to entertain proposals for such picayunish taxes as 20 per cent on chewing gum and candy, such foreign taxes as 12 cents a gallon on lubricating oil (the automobile kind), and such desperate taxes as one on incomes in excess of $15 a week for single persons and $30 a week for benedicta.

South Carolina, in years past, has been notable for restraint in spending. Even in the lavish Twenties, it never succumbed entirely to the theory that progress and bond issues were identical, and during the first part of the Depression it simply drew its belt tighter and got by as best it could. But that was before Liberalism hit the State House.

The Liberalism, that is, of the New Deal and a turgid New Deal satellite in the person of Governor Johnston. The Liberalism that invariably costs a whale of a lot of money, whether you've got it or not. The Liberalism that enunciates the principle that governments must first appropriate for the social welfare of the people, and then somehow find the money. The Liberalism, in short, that is synonymous with deficits and unbalanced budgets and constantly higher taxes. The Liberalism that somebody always has to clean up after.

Hate's Sharp Eyes

When the Hon. Harold Ickes calls columnists "calumnists," he obviously means only some columnists. To be specific, he obviously means only columnists who do not speak well of the Hon. Harold and his New Deal friends. For Heywood Broun and Ernest Lindley, for instance, he has only the kindest of words. And the Messrs. Herbert Agar, Frederick W. Wile, Howard Vincent O'Brien and other New Deal friends all get only caresses, too.

But it is worth observing that the Hon. Harold is ill at ease with his praise. Hate is obviously the proper metter. When he attempts to grease Heywood, for example, he totally misses the mark, calls him a genial philosopher who refuses to take himself too seriously--whereas he comes a lot nearer to being a more or less subtle propagandist, who, taking his ideas with the most militant seriousness, seeks to avoid the impression of fanaticism by exhibitions of good humor.

But when the Hon. Harold turns to hate--ah, there, even his most bitter critics must admit, he has a pretty gift for spitting his victim. Thus anybody who reads General Johnson daily must grin to see him described as "against only those numerous public officials who are bungling affairs that he can so confidently manage." Nothing could get Mark Sullivan down better than the name Pontifex Maximus--though the Hon. Harold pulls his punch a little by admitting that the fellow does have personal charm. The picture of Walter Lippman as a man with a wooden sword which he will never, never break unless he trips over it in a minuet, is so penetrating as to convulse anybody who has followed him through his strange evolution in the last ten years. Old Frank Kent's own vast capacity for hate, masquerading absurdly under a claim to objectivity, is fairly brought to earth with the statement that he is much more likely to forget then forgive--and that he has a very long memory. And what could be prettier than this of our own Dorothy Thompson:

"A sincere and earnest lady who is trying to cover too much ground..."

Innocence Is Expensive*

The House yesterday extended FHA's life for two more years and authorized it to insure another billion in mortgages. Upon the insistence of Rep. Cochran of Missouri, however, and by a vote of 199 to 142, a provision was inserted that, in determining how much FHA would lend on a proposed structure, the value of the unimproved land be taken rather than its value after improvement.

It was argued against the amendment that it would discourage large apartment projects, and this shows the utter innocence of the prosperity-at-any-price faction in Congress. FHA hasn't caught on yet, but what's happening is that contractors all over the country are playing it for a sucker. The procedure is to pad land appraisals and building estimates to a point where the Government loan will cover the entire cost of the project and sometimes more. Out of this the contractor, who is frequently the entrepreneur, gets a fee that we may be sure is adequate. And if the completed apartment rents well and is a respectable investment, the owner will keep it. If not, FHA may jolly well have it back, without recourse on anybody.

Mr. Cochran cited instances in St. Louis where land value had been written up in one instance from $40,000 to more than $170,000, and another from $170,000 to $300,000; and a majority of his colleagues stood by him to put a statutory crimp into the practice. But FHA hadn't objected. FHA's innocence is blessed. FHA's innocence, in fact, is also expensive.

Bad News For England

The resignation of Hungary from the League of Nations is, at this moment, a significant straw in the wind. For it serves notice on Mr. Chamberlain that his effort to detach her from the Axis is doomed to failure. And that his whole policy of encirclement is not likely to succeed.

It may well be that Hungary is not altogether happy in her present situation. She faces the risk, and perhaps even the probability, of eventually being gobbled up as Czecho-Slovakia was gobbled up. And it may be that if a strong stand had been taken by Bumble at Munich, she would have been willing to take refuge under the English wing. But, like Rumania and the other Balkan nations, she has little faith left in either the power or dependability of Britain (even Egypt is reported to have lost that faith), and knows that with Germany now extended on the flanks she would probably be immediately swallowed if she attempted to turn anti-German. And on the other hand, her immediate interests are served by going along with Germany, for in the reduction of Rumania and Yugoslavia, she may recover a good deal of the territory lost at the end of the World War, as she has already recovered part of that in the reduction of Czecho-Slovakia.

Mr. Bumble may be able to save Greece for his cause. And perhaps he will be able to line up Rumania for at least a brief resistance to the Axis. But Yugoslavia and Hungary are plainly out. And the prospect of really getting aid from Russia grows slimmer and slimmer. Thus the eventual result of Munich may be that England and France will have to fight Germany and Italy entirely or almost entirely on the Western front. If so, they stand an excellent chance of being defeated.

High Cost of Marriage*

For the last several days there has been no marriage and no giving in marriage among the Negroes in Mecklenburg County. The reason, which probably holds good for the rest of the state, is said to be that it costs too much. The recent Legislature passed a law requiring prospective brides and grooms to present health certificates from a practicing physician, and since that examination entails laboratory tests, the fee for two persons runs up into money. The overall cost of getting hitched is estimated at $20-$25.

And that, on the face of it, is too much. The State, having fixed it so that the poorer classes of people cannot afford to be married, will have to fix it so that they can, provided always that they meet the health conditions.

This oughtn't to be an insurmountable obstacle. There are public health departments and public clinics which give a variety of free services. These even now will examine applicants for marriage licenses at no charge provided they are certified by case workers to be indigent. Between the state of indigency and not having the money for health certificates there is a pretty thin line. There oughtn't to be much difficulty in obliterating it entirely.


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