The Charlotte News

Saturday, September 3, 1938


A Slander!

Cutler Moore, chairman of the State ABC Board, suspects that Charlotte's liquor supply is now being ordered by Catawba County licensees. Anyhow, an inordinate number of licenses have been issued to persons giving Catawba as their residence, and purchases have been made in the name of one of them who has been dead for a year and a half.

Mr. Moore must be mistaken. Surely he is thinking of a couple of other counties. Catawba would never traffic in the demon rum--why, it hasn't been a month since Catawba voted resoundingly against State liquor stores and re-affirmed its faith in prohibition. And it hasn't been more than a year and a few months since Mecklenburg, to which all this liquor is supposed to be coming, went through the same re-conversion, by a narrow margin, to be sure, but still...

The gentleman maligns us, whether he intends to or not. Ain't he heard that we "saved our youth" by thwarting the diabolical design of the wets? What does he mean by insinuating that liquor is still being sold in Charlotte. We voted the stuff out!

Redistribution Of Pork

There is more than one way to skin a cat. And Washington Merry-Go-Round was authority for the positive statement this week that some cats which are coming through the Presidential purge with whole pelts are still going to be skint.

The dope is that the President is going to get at them by cutting off their patronage. Key jobholders who obtained their places as a political favor to such men as Senators Smith, George and Tydings are to feel the axe. Nor is that all. Appointments recommended by the anti-New Deal group composed of Garner, Wheeler, Byrd, Pat Harrison and Bailey, et al., are going to be sharply scrutinized. The essential qualification will be not do they suit their sponsors but do they suit the White House.

And this, of course, if it comes to pass, squares not at all with the President's professions of High Ideals and Clean Government. It smells strongly of pork. But it promises a high old-time and some lively scraps for the next two years, not to mention the possibility that the country may get so sick of wrangles over jobs that it will rise and demand that the government service be divorced from politics.

A Thousand Times, No!*

Senator Bob Reynolds's proposal that the United States acquire Bermuda, Newfoundland and a strip across Canada to Alaska in exchange for the war debt Britain owes the United States, doesn't go deeply enough into the matter. He hasn't figured on the troubles that would immediately beset the nation were it to get that new land.

Immediately there would be the following problems to meet:

Setting up WPA, PWA, RTA, all the other alphabetical New Deal agencies in Bermuda, Newfoundland and part of Canada. One shudders to think of it.

Establishment of CIO, Communist, Fascist, Liberal, Conservative, Republican, Democratic and other political groups in all those areas. More shuddering.

Setting up Social Security, Unemployment Compensation and all the like; proposals for $30 every Thursday, $40 every Wednesday and $50 every Tuesday, new Youth Administrations, new farm problems, new marketing problems, new consuming problems, new bonuses and subsidies, embattled politicians sniping at other embattled politicians, more national defense problems. Much more shuddering.

You get the idea--simply a great increase in troubles of which there is now a great surplus.

And it wouldn't be very nice to treat the people of Bermuda, Newfoundland and part of Canada that way. They probably have enough problems now without being saddled with additional woes.

A Bloodless Turnip

Secretary Hull in says that Mexico must arbitrate the question of expropriated land belonging to Americans, and President Cardenas insists positively that the gringoes must not expect preferential treatment over Mexicans who are being paid. Secretary Hull is persistent, however, and he may actually compel Mexico by sheer doggedness and pestiferousness to toe the line of moral responsibility. But what about its fiscal responsibility--in fine, what about payment?

Well, the prospects do not look precisely bright. In 1926 the Calles Government had a law passed providing for indemnities for land which the state had taken over, and its sold some bonds to cover a ridiculously small proportion of the sums involved. With the proceeds it made a few payments, but in 1930 payments stopped and have stayed stopped ever since. In 1934 Cardenas came into power, and then expropriation began on a grand scale. As they proceeded, the Government lost the taxes which it had been collecting from the former owners, the new occupants being unable to pay. In taking over foreign oil properties, also, the Government lost its largest single and most reliable source of revenue.

So that, despite the principle involved, in a practical sense it is beyond the remotest possibility that Mexico will or can pay now for lands or oil wells or any other expropriation which may be made. About all Mr. Hull can do is to keep up his protests so as to deter our bad neighbor on the South from taking everything in sight.

The Law's A Prig

Eight white men in police court this week were fined $5 and costs each for gambling, with $25 and costs for the fellow who lived in the house where the game was going on. The two police officers who made the arrests said that it was simply a "card game"--that is we take it, that they hadn't turned up in gambling "hell," as the Victorian term went.

There wasn't anything for the court to do but to fine them. It's against the law to gamble. But we'll bet you, provided we are guaranteed immunity from arrest, that at the same time this game was going on there were 50 other games of equal earnestness underway in the politer parts of the city--games which the cops never would think of breaking up unless some over-conscientious informer forced them to.

For the cold fact of it is, messires, that most of them don't consider it either a sin or crime against the State to gamble with their own money. Maybe they should, but they don't. To run a gambling house is sinful, in the code of the man in the street, but a quiet little game is harmless.

We hate to see people arrested for crime which a great many people consider no crime at all.

Sure, And Why Not?

ROME. --"While the United States has first place as an exporting country for pacifist speeches, it has first-place also as exporter of armaments.

"Our Japanese friends know something about this. As Japanese they receive sermons from Americans. As customers, they get from the same America whatever they need to meet the situation in China--for pay, naturally."

--Editorial in Il Popolo d'Italia, Mussolini's newspaper.

Washington. --"The Foreign Policy Association said today that the outlook was for indefinite prolongation of hostilities in the Far East unless the Western powers, particularly the United States, discontinued the furnishing of war supplies to Japan. Of Japan's war materials purchased in 1937, 54.4 per cent came from the United States."

--Associated Press Dispatch.


Those two statements make it look as though the United States were talking one way and acting another. Almost one is impelled to blush and admit that Mussolini has exposed us for double-dealing hypocrites. The reality of it, however, is not at all to our discredit.

The reason the President doesn't invoke the Neutrality Act against Japan is, in a word, China. The State Department's private belief undoubtedly is that Japan would be less injured in China were we to stop shipments of war materials to both, as we would have to under the law. "Prolonging hostilities" we may be, but the alternative is to end them quickly in Japan's favor.


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