The Charlotte News

Monday, July 24, 1939


Site Ed. Note: Luren, incidentally, in addition to attacking the morals of those at the Governors' Convention in NYC, had also attacked someone who wasn't even there, betraying in the process probably--as they always do, don't they?--his true partisan intentions, saying that the ladies at the convention had apparently taken some drinking lessons from Mrs. Roosevelt during Prohibition. The remark prompted a public rebuke from Attorney General and later Supreme Court Justice, Frank Murphy.

For a more accurate picture of who the First Lady was, see "Snapshot", September 14, 1939.

Bad News

Charges Of Irregularities Threatens Sanatorium Tax

Exceedingly bad news it is this about the protesting of the Sanitorium election. Dr. Thomas J. Holton alleges through his attorney that seven or eight illegal votes were cast in the Huntersville precinct and that a third of the patients at the Sanatorium were improperly registered.

Inasmuch as the election carried by only three votes, the Sanatorium is in grave jeopardy. Somewhat like the Library, if it doesn't get a 10-cent tax, it can't continue to receive the allocation from an 8-cent tax. It would have to go back to a 5-cent basis--and be severely cramped in operating at all.

It would be hard, but fair, and no more than elementarily just. If elections can't be won in strict accordance with the rules, they shall have to be lost. But we do sincerely hope, for the sake of all the patients now at the Sanatorium and the tuberculars on the waiting lists, that the charges shall be proved unfounded and the tax upheld.

Sleepless Drivers

They Are All Too Usual On Our Highways

In that story about a run-away seven-ton truck on the mountain road into Uniontown, Pa., yesterday, there was one very notable statement. Whether it was anyone's fault the brakes failed does not appear certainly. The statement of the driver, Bermelson, that the "transmission suddenly gave way" suggests strongly a lack of proper inspection. Anyhow, there he was spinning down the three-mile grade at a speed that went up to 85 miles an hour, around curves, through traffic at the imminent risk of tragedy. At 60 miles the second man on the truck jumped, injured his chest and leg. But Bermelson held on and somehow got the thing down without injury to himself or those in his way. A remarkable exhibition of driving and cool nerve.

But--when a doctor picked up the second man, named Taner, and carried him to a hospital,

Taner welcomed a hospital bed, asserting he and Bermelson had not been asleep for four nights.

That kind of thing is all too common. So far as the big interstate trucking lines go, it is supposed to have been eliminated by law. But every road is full of trucks, owned by individuals or small trucking firms, manned by drivers who have not had sufficient sleep--to menace the occupants of every other vehicle also using the road. The case calls for regulation as plainly as that of the oil trucks--those rolling fire-sprays.

Letter by Luren

Our Masters Grow More And More Astonishing

The Hon. Luren Dickinson, the man who confesses that he has a pipeline to God by whose Grace he is Governor of Michigan, has closed up like the celebrated oyster about the wickedness of New York, Mrs. Roosevelt, et al. Not a word more, he says.

But he is still in the prints. Mr. John B. Corliss, Jr., a Republican of Detroit, had been playing with the idea of initiating a recall measure against the Governor. He repented himself, though, and wrote Luren as much. Whereupon Luren wrote him back to the effect that he had done a great service to humanity.

Said he:

"Your letter stating that you were not going to recall me came in the nick of time. I was getting ready to pack up and go back to the farm, but the employees were not so happy. They saw their jobs going and they were losing sleep. But when your letter came, you should have seen them clap their hands. Judge Boyles (Judge Emerson R. Boyles, Luren's gray-haired legal adviser, who sometimes seems to get mixed up with God on the other end of the pipeline) with a tunefork in his left hand--you know the Judge is left-handed--assembled them under the chandelier and how they did sing 'Praise the Lord (Johnny) from whom all Blessings Flow.'"

Good old Santa Claus. Sometimes, looking at a scene in which our masters grow more and more to be Lurens and Pass the Biscuits Pappys and Robert Rice Reynoldses, we remember with a waxing nostalgia the quaint way the old Athenians had of picking their magistrates. They simply put the names of all citizens in a pot and drew lots for the jobs. Sure enough, they were not absolutely democratic about making everybody a "citizen," but even so the system could hardly produce more comic results among us than the one we presently use.

Is It Another Munich?

If This Would Avert War, It Would Have Justification, But Look At The Evidence

If there were any genuine prospect that Hitler might really be persuaded to behave, then the negotiations which Neville Chamberlain's critics charge he has been carrying on with the German dictator, with a view to buying him off with a load of nearly five billion dollars, would be more or less worthy of applause. War would not be the worst possible catastrophe: the triumph of Nazism throughout the Western World would be that. But war would nevertheless be a fearful disaster, one which would certainly involve not only the death of millions but also tragic after-consequences for the victor and vanquished. And, therefore, anything which had the slightest chance of averting war, without involving the enhancement of Nazism, would deserve support.

The scheme Chamberlain is alleged to have in mind is the one cooked up and sponsored by the Pope. And it involves many unpleasant features. For one thing, it certainly means that England would have to break her solemn promise to Poland and betray that country into the Nazi claws. And it would involve the confirmation of Czechoslovakia's status as a slave-state of the Reich. Even so, there are millions of people over the earth who would say that it was justified if only it would avert war--on the candid ground that such a settlement would be best for themselves.

But is it reasonable to suppose that Hitler can be trusted to disarm, to be content with what he has got and actually keep his word to hold the peace four to five years? Five times already Adolf Hitler has given the world his solemn promise that some particular conquest was the "last territorial demand I shall make in Europe." Over and over again last Fall, he told us that he had no thought of trying to swallow Czechoslovakia, that he wouldn't have the Czechs as a gift. And everyone of these promises he has brazenly broken when it pleased him. As for his disarming--his whole power is built on the fact that the Nazi state has been organized into an armed camp. That is the way he has "abolished unemployment" and if he abandoned the arrangement now he would probably have on his hands a worse unemployment problem than that which killed the Weimar Republic--an unemployment problem which five billion dollars would solve only temporarily. And as for being satisfied with what he had got, that would mean the abandonment of the scheme laid down in "Mein Kampf" for a Reich with lebensraum for 300,000,000 "Germans," a Reich which would dominate the Western World. And the notion that he will really give that up fits neither with his past performances nor his temperament as we know it.

If the record means anything at all, it means that if Mr. Chamberlain is really planning this, he is headed for another Munich, with a virtual certainty that still another Munich will begin to loom up ahead as quickly as this one is made--that war at best will only be averted, that Germany will be made far stronger with British money for the killing of Britishers, and far more arrogant and confident in her future demands. It means that--or if the British people rebel against the plan--that Chamberlain is fatally playing with fire, doing exactly the thing best calculated to persuade Hitler that Britain will not fight, and so making war far more surely inevitable.


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