The Charlotte News

Tuesday, June 20, 1939


Site Ed. Note: "Refugee 'Flood'" is echoed in a piece, "How Accurate Robert Is About Those Refugees", very possibly also by Cash, which appeared on the editorial page on June 24, 1939, from the Baltimore Evening Sun.

Beer's Conscience

The Industry Sets Out To Obtain Acceptance Of Its Respectability

Beer, we have always contended, is one thing, whisky quite another. And the distinction that is embodied in the alcoholic content of the two beverages seems about to be matched by another. Beer is going to acquire a sort of social conscience. Well, the beer people, anyhow.

So it was that they petitioned the County Commissioners yesterday to revoke the licenses of three beer venders who had court records. The further intelligence came out during the hearing that eleven out of thirteen beer dealers who had been convicted in County Recorder's Court were without benefit of a license to do business. The Commissioners pricked up their ears, as well they should have.

For here came the representatives of the beer industry not only petitioning that discretion be used in the granting of licenses but exposing the lack of licenses. And if there is anything a Board of Commissioners relishes it is to have a tax-dodger brought to bay and properly assessed.

Verily, the beer people must have put themselves in solid with the Mecklenburg board.

Rule By Failure

England Continues To Hold To Chamberlain In Amazing Circumstances

There have been few more amazing spectacles than the continued existence of the Chamberlain Government in England. Together with the Baldwin Government of which it is only a continuation, its record is one of complete ineptitude and failure. The Baldwin Government had it in its power to have nipped Mussolini, Hitler, and Japan in the bud. That Mussolini would not have gone to war if he had been blocked in the conquest of Ethiopia we know from his own words. That Hitler would not have dared war but would have retreated across the bridges if the British had taken action on the occasion of the seizure of the Rhineland, we know also--from Hitler's own words. And so far from attempting to stop the Japanese adventures, Baldwin & Co. actively encouraged them, and slapped the United States in the face when it suggested joint action.

And since Chamberlain has come to power, the record is even worse. It seems certain now that Hitler was eagerly aided and urged on--in the expectation that he would attack Russia. He moved upon Austria because he knew straight from Neville Henderson, Ambassador to Berlin, that England and France would not act to stop him. And the whole betrayal of Czechoslovakia, which deprived England and France of the most valuable part of their Eastern Front, is now commonly believed to have been a tacitly pre-arranged deal. And the Japanese have been allowed to establish themselves solidly in China. As a result of it, England stands bemused, unable to act in any fashion. For she faces the hard choice of fighting a war, at once in both East and West, with the odds against her--a war in which millions of Englishmen will certainly die, perhaps to no end but failure. That or the total loss of face in Europe through the betrayal of Poland, and the total loss of face in the East through humbly yielding to Japan--the rapid distraction of her empire by piecemeal. And England cannot live without her empire, unless Englishmen migrate en masse to Canada and Australia--if those countries will allow it. But with that plainly before it, the Government cannot even come to terms with Russia, whose aid is absolutely essential both in the East and the West.

Yet Chamberlain remains in power, and even the opposition hardly more than whispers the suggestion that he ought to resign. It is something that probably cannot happen in any other country on earth.

It's Wonderful

Big Business Cheers When Congress Raises A Tax Rate

Tax reduction--it's wonderful! Look, now. The old income tax rate on corporations earning more than $25,000 a year was from 16 1/2% to 19%, depending on the percentage of profits paid out in dividends. But Big Business, having convinced itself of the inequity of the undistributed profits tax and despising anything that smacked of the New Deal and Brain Trust, yammered and yammered for the repeal of this vestigial remainder. Congress heard, and was sympathetic.

And so yesterday the House passed a new tax bill, finally and completely eliminating any shred of the undistributed profits tax. Substituted for the 16 1/2-19% rate was a flat rate of--guess what. 16 1/2%? Nope. 17%? Nope. Nor 17 1/2%, but 18%. Which is to say an actual increase over the average rate under the old law.

And the House passed the bill unanimously (excusing the Hon. Tinkham from Massachusetts) and, indeed, why not? For when in the memory of man has Big Business let itself be so carried away with hatred of a notion, a symbol, a man that it actually rigs up a tax increase for itself and cheers when the silly thing goes through?

It doesn't make sense, and from that we deduce that there is more in this "tax reduction" than meets the eye. We think we know what it is, and will tell you tomorrow.

Wrong Road

There Are Better Ways To Get Rid Of Parole Abuses Than This

The authorities of the South Carolina penitentiary at Columbia have climbed down out on a limb, it seems to us, in refusing to honor a parole issued for a man named Greenwood Rogers, by Governor Olin D. Johnston shortly before he left office. Their excuse is that the man was convicted for both murder and arson, and that the parole only mentions his arson conviction.

That, however, is mere quibbling. It is plain enough that the Governor meant to parole a person, not an offense. Moreover, the parole power in South Carolina issues from the pardoning power, which is granted the Governor by the State Constitution on the principle that the greater power includes the lesser. And as we understand it, there is no provision in the law which requires that the Governor shall enumerate the crimes of the paroled or pardoned person. Indeed, if such a law existed, it would probably be unconstitutional, since the power of pardon granted by the Constitution is unconditional.

The power of pardon and parole has notoriously been abused by many Governors in South Carolina, and it may be that Olin Johnston, no very discreet person, abused it also. The mere fact that this man was found guilty of both murder and arson suggest wrongly that he ought not have been turned loose--though the fact that he is 75 years old somewhat softens that view. But--no, no, messires, we have no thought of taking a dozen bears by the tail and trying to run South Carolina from this side of the border. Nevertheless, there is nothing in the makeup of South Carolina prison authorities that exempts them from the rule that the way to dispose of a law which gives rise to unpleasant consequences is to change it, not to defy it.

Refugee "Flood"

It Is In Fact Only A Thin Little Trickle

To read publications like the Hon. Robert Rice Reynolds' Vindicator and Priest Coughlin's Social Justice, you ought to think--if you innocently accepted their flat statements and inferences you'd have to think--that a vast flood of refugees are pouring in upon us, particularly Jews from Germany, and grabbing jobs from native Americans, and threatening us with an Alien Menace.

But the American Friends Service Committee, a Quaker organization of Philadelphia which has no axe to grind save that of truth and common decency, has been looking into the facts. Here they are.

During the last six years--the period of the Nazi Government in Germany--4,487 more aliens have departed from the United States than have entered it. A total of 241,382 were admitted altogether in the six years. That is about one-fourth of the quota allowance under the law--which, to be exact, would have allowed 822,644 to enter. For the fiscal year ending June, 1938, 42,761 persons were admitted for permanent residence. That compares with 210,475 in 1929 and 630,107 in 1924, and represents 4/100 of 1 percent of the American population. More than 31 per cent of the persons admitted from Germany were Christians.

The Friends got these facts from the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the Department of Labor. Coughlin, Reynolds & Co. could just as easily have got them at any time. But, of course, they would not help to stir up hate among the uninformed.


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